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Author Topic: Printer Calibration Devices  (Read 6971 times)
n1x0n
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« on: May 13, 2007, 06:01:36 AM »
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Hi everyone,
i'm trying to make my mind between two printer calibration packages:

Colorvision's PrintFIX Pro with Datacolor Spectrocolorimeter 1005
and
Gretag Macbeth's i1 Photo with X-Rite Eye colorimeter device.


Here are the few questions that i have:

1. Is there a real difference between custom and bundled profiles, considering that my EPSON printer will be used with original Epson inks and paper? Are the benefits of custom profiling worth the extra money and hassle?

2. Is Gretag solution worth the extra money? I mean, aside of the extra features /like camera calibration option/, purely based on it's printer calibrating capabilities.
Is Gretag colorimeter more precise?

3. Is PrintFIX good enough to do the job?
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colinm
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 03:47:30 PM »
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For my $0.02, the fact you can do a strip scan alone is well worth the price difference between PrintFIX PRO and a Gretag solution.

I've done patch-by-patch readings before, and it's frustrating, time-consuming, and incredibly tedious. The ability to just swipe the Eye-One across the page and do an entire row of patches at a time? That pays itself off in no time flat if you profile with any regularity. Especially if you're using large targets.

If you only plan on making a few profiles now and then, or primarily small targets, it may make less of a difference to you.
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Colin
n1x0n
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007, 05:56:58 AM »
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Thanks!

What about UV cut option on EyeOne? Considering my RGB workflow...
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digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2007, 08:09:21 AM »
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Thanks!

What about UV cut option on EyeOne? Considering my RGB workflow...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117843\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The EyeOne software (as well as ProfileMaker Pro) don't require a UV cut as the software will handle all this for you. A more user friendly and some would say more intelligent way to handle this issue. PrintFix has no such provisions.
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Andrew Rodney
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jconly
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2007, 10:16:29 AM »
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The EyeOne software (as well as ProfileMaker Pro) don't require a UV cut as the software will handle all this for you. A more user friendly and some would say more intelligent way to handle this issue. PrintFix has no such provisions.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117859\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Andrew,
I've been taught by a printing professor here at RIT that using software compensation instead of a UV filter is an inferior method for correcting for optical brighteners.  His frame of thought, why use software to compensate for a data-skewing element instead of using a filter to remove it all together.  

Would you mind elaborating?
Thanks,

Justin Conly
Rochester Institute of Technology
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
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rdonson
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2007, 10:34:09 AM »
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Andrew,
I've been taught by a printing professor here at RIT that using software compensation instead of a UV filter is an inferior method for correcting for optical brighteners.  His frame of thought, why use software to compensate for a data-skewing element instead of using a filter to remove it all together.   

Would you mind elaborating?
Thanks,

Justin Conly
Rochester Institute of Technology
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117900\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Another thought is that the i1 spectro in the HP Z3100 uses and LED light source that is supposed to obviate the need to account for OBAs.  As usual there are those who believe this and those who don't.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2007, 10:39:37 AM »
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If doing your own profiles is important to you, spend the $ and go for the iOne photo. PrintFix pro is merely the latest iteration from Colorvision of a basic piece of software that now dates back about a decade. The major difference is just the inclusion of an inexpensive patch scanner. I struggled for months with a previous version trying to make profiles that would work using several different printers, and never got remotely consistent results. Repeated cycles of printing test patches, scanning, building profiles, making test prints, editing profiles, then gnashing teeth in frustration left me wanting to throw the thing against the wall.
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pfigen
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2007, 10:57:14 AM »
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Having the luxury of being able to change filters on my Spectrolino, I'm beginning to come around to the opinion that UV filtration is giving me a slightly better overall profile, especially in the neutrals. This really shows up when using the Epson to simulate a pre-press proofer, where the matches are closer than ever. Unfortunately, very few instruments these days have changeable filters, and unless you have a very generous budget, you have to choose one or the other.

If you're considering moving to the ColorBurst RIP one day, having UV cut built in will probably be an advantage for their system, as everything they do is designed with that in mind.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2007, 01:22:02 PM »
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Andrew,
I've been taught by a printing professor here at RIT that using software compensation instead of a UV filter is an inferior method for correcting for optical brighteners.  His frame of thought, why use software to compensate for a data-skewing element instead of using a filter to remove it all together.  

Would you mind elaborating?
Thanks,


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117900\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The best post on the subject is below from Robin Myers. Have your professors look up the rest of the posts from the ColorSync user list archives:

Quote
On Sep 8, 2006, at 3:56 PM, Marco Ugolini wrote:

> I am not a scientist, so what I am going to say here is pure 
> conjecture
> based on inductive reasoning (or is it deductive...?).
>
> But here it goes: a UV filter is a physical object of a given 
> shape, color
> and texture, made to fit a given condition created by FWAs 
> (Fluorescent
> Whitening Agents). So, if the conditions change (a type of FWAs with
> different visual characteristics), it would seem to follow that the 
> type of
> filter would have to change too.
>
> (How am I doing so far...?)

Not completely correct. The UV "blocking" filter (it is important to 
note that it "blocks" the UV component of the light as opposed to a 
UV filter that transmits UV light) is a pale yellow filter that 
transmits the visible spectrum and blocks the UV portion of the 
spectrum. So it is not designed for a particular light source or a 
particular FWA. It blocks ALL the UV light thus inhibiting the UV 
induced fluorescence of the FWA. Most FWAs exhibit UV induced 
fluorescence, so they all are affected by the UV blocking filter.

>
> So the question is: do FWAs come in just one "flavor"? Meaning: do 
> they
> always produce one and the same given set of effects on the visible
> spectrum, or is there a range to how they look and the effects they 
> have on
> the paper to which they are applied?

No, FWAs come in several "flavors", but they all work in a similar 
manner as noted above. Their spectral effects differ, but their goal 
is the same, to counteract the natural yellow appearance of paper and 
make it look bright and white.

The paper manufacturers use FWAs for two main reasons; to make whiter 
white papers for marketing reasons and to produce consistency from 
batch to batch for a given paper product. This last reason may be a 
bit confusing, but each batch of paper has its own particular color. 
To make the same paper product, for example Epson Glossy inkjet 
paper, it is necessary for each batch to get a different amount of 
FWA to make each batch hit the target whiteness for Epson Glossy.

>
> If the answer is that they come in different "flavors," then how 
> can it be
> maintained that *any one* given UV filter does the most appropriate 
> job
> possible in filtering *any* given set of FWAs?

Explained above. The UV blocking filter simply cuts off ALL UV 
wavelengths, thus defeating the fluorescence effect.

>
> If FWAs do come in different "flavors," then it would seem logical 
> that
> software corrections have the obvious advantage of being far more 
> flexible
> and adaptable to the specifics of the case at hand.

Software corrections have to assume a particular amount of UV light 
in the viewing environment or the colors will not match. Not all the 
colors, but the ones where the paper component is most visible, such 
as whites and pale colors.

Also, the software has to assume a known amount of UV in the 
spectrometer's light source or the software may under or over 
compensate for the FWA.

These two items were noted by Mr. Graeme Gill and Dr. Danny Rich in 
their papers in the proceedings of the Color Imaging Conference a few 
years ago.

Now, just to make your head spin, it turns out that some FWAs are 
also excited to some degree by visible light, i.e. longer wavelengths 
than 400 nm. UV blocking filters that cut off all light shorter than 
400 nm will not block this visible light excitance. But, the good 
news is that this effect with most FWAs is extremely small, so it can 
usually be ignored.

The BIG problem with FWAs is that the amount of UV is usually never 
known; either in the measurement or in the viewing environments. This 
make UV compensation in color management an extremely difficult to 
solve issue. At the moment, there are only two packages that offer 
software UV compensation; ProfileMaker and possibly Graeme Gill's 
Argyle. I do not know for sure about the latter, but it makes sense 
because he published a paper on software UV compensation a few years 
ago.

The absolute best thing to do with FWA papers is to say NO! Refuse to 
buy them, refuse to recommend them, make certain to buy the non-FWA 
papers so the manufacturers will quit this nonsense. It is the only 
way to have controlled measurement and viewing environments where the 
images have a good chance of matching.

Or, the user must relax their requirements for matching to allow for 
variance in the images due to uncontrolled UV.

Or, a standards committee must decide exactly how much UV must be in 
the measurement and how much must be in the viewing.

One last note, for all of you that are engaged in fine art printing, 
FWAs lose their ability to fluoresce after a few years with a 
subsequent yellowing of the paper and undoing all your initial color 
management work compensating for the FWA. Using inks that will not 
fade for decades or hundreds of years is for nought if the paper is 
not equal to the task.

Mr. Henry Wilhelm has good information on FWAs in his book "The 
Permanence and Care of Color Photographs: Traditional and Digital 
Color Prints, Color Negatives, Slides, and Motion Pictures".

Robin Myers
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 01:22:30 PM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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jconly
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2007, 06:04:05 PM »
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The best post on the subject is below from Robin Myers. Have your professors look up the rest of the posts from the ColorSync user list archives:
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Andrew,
A very interesting read.
I'm not quite sure where my opinion sits at this point in time.
I'm left with a few choices.  
I can either ditch my favorite paper, and forget about the issue all together, or...
Choose to use a Monaco PULSE with a UV filter, or use the i1 with ProfileMaker Pro and software compensation.  
Regardless, I appreciate you're response.  It provides some great food for thought.  
Thank you,
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n1x0n
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2007, 06:33:06 PM »
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Thanks everyone, you've been really helpfull!

Actually, i've stumbled earlier today upon above quoted post from Robin Myers.
I can't judge for myself if it's plausible, since it's far beyond my level in this matter, but since Andrew reccomends it... :-)
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rdonson
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2007, 08:40:18 PM »
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One last note, for all of you that are engaged in fine art printing,
FWAs lose their ability to fluoresce after a few years with a
subsequent yellowing of the paper and undoing all your initial color
management work compensating for the FWA.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd still like to understand how, when FWAs lose their ability to fluoresce, this turns the paper yellow.  That just doesn't make sense to me.  It would seem that when FWAs cease to fluoresce the paper would just look natural unless there's some other chemical action going on.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2007, 06:00:24 AM »
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Most "natural" papers will be warm in color, somewhere in the ivory/cream end of the spectrum, just due to the color of cellulose fibers. Standard bond paper is bleached white with industrial chlorine, making it hideously acidic and short-lived. Our printing papers can be color-balanced with flourescing optical brighteners, which push the tone in a blue direction. The flourescence also extends the apparent dynamic range of the paper by giving it a "whiter white". As those optical brighteners fade, the paper's color simply reverts to the warmer tone it had before the OBA's were added.
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rdonson
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2007, 07:38:18 AM »
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Most "natural" papers will be warm in color, somewhere in the ivory/cream end of the spectrum, just due to the color of cellulose fibers. Standard bond paper is bleached white with industrial chlorine, making it hideously acidic and short-lived. Our printing papers can be color-balanced with flourescing optical brighteners, which push the tone in a blue direction. The flourescence also extends the apparent dynamic range of the paper by giving it a "whiter white". As those optical brighteners fade, the paper's color simply reverts to the warmer tone it had before the OBA's were added.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118156\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That makes sense to me.  It reverts to the natural paper.

I wonder if it makes any difference if the OBAs are in the paper vs. in the coating.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
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digitaldog
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2007, 09:26:00 AM »
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That makes sense to me.  It reverts to the natural paper.

I wonder if it makes any difference if the OBAs are in the paper vs. in the coating.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118165\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Refer back to Robin's point about papers with FWA's "dont use em". Or at the very least, use those with as little as possible. Using a black light when examining papers makes this a bit easier. The difference in say Epson Luster and the Canon Bright Photo is night and day. The later is almost blinding.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2007, 11:16:53 AM »
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If doing your own profiles is important to you, spend the $ and go for the iOne photo. PrintFix pro is merely the latest iteration from Colorvision of a basic piece of software that now dates back about a decade. The major difference is just the inclusion of an inexpensive patch scanner. I struggled for months with a previous version trying to make profiles that would work using several different printers, and never got remotely consistent results. Repeated cycles of printing test patches, scanning, building profiles, making test prints, editing profiles, then gnashing teeth in frustration left me wanting to throw the thing against the wall.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The new PrintFix Pro by Colorvision is a complete revision of the original product. (I agree with your summation of the original product) The new product has comprehensive step by step software for creating 150, 225 and 729 patch targets with the ability to gray profile. It compensates for paper brightness and creates great profiles for my Canon iPF5000. The spectrocolorimeter has a ring of leds that read the patch targets. Of course you cannot swipe across a line of patches like the eye-one, but you do get a confirming beep with a visual representation on screen for each patch. For the price (1/3 of competitors) I think it is a very viable alternative. Luminous Landscape has a comprehensive review of the product here: [a href=\"http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/Printfix%20Pro.shtml]http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...fix%20Pro.shtml[/url]
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Gerald J Skrocki
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digitaldog
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2007, 11:28:04 AM »
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It compensates for paper brightness and creates great profiles for my Canon iPF5000. The spectrocolorimeter has a ring of leds that read the patch targets. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118538\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Two questions (one I know the answer too <g>):

1. What does it mean 'compensate for paper brightness?
2. What is a spectrocolorimeter? Is it a colorimeter or Spectrophotometer?
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2007, 03:21:50 PM »
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Two questions (one I know the answer too <g>):

1. What does it mean 'compensate for paper brightness?
2. What is a spectrocolorimeter? Is it a colorimeter or Spectrophotometer?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

1. The device requires you to set the calibration by reading a "canned" white patch that comes with the unit. By setting it with the paper being profiled it reads the paper's white as it's base and calibrates the patches accordingly.

2. Spectrocolorimeter is Colorvision's terminology, not mine. It is imprinted on the bottom of the device.  

3. Here is a more detailed review comparing the Colorvision device to others on the market (including specs): [a href=\"http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/printfix_pro.html]http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article...intfix_pro.html[/url]
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Gerald J Skrocki
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digitaldog
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2007, 05:52:20 PM »
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1. The device requires you to set the calibration by reading a "canned" white patch that comes with the unit. By setting it with the paper being profiled it reads the paper's white as it's base and calibrates the patches accordingly.

OK, there's nothing special about this then, all the hardware and packages do this.
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Andrew Rodney
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zaharia
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2007, 10:33:50 AM »
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Just wondering if anyone has actually used both of these (i1 and the Printfix colorimeter) and compared the resulting profiles of different papers? I've seen the reviews and the CV unit generally gets good marks, but how about a side by side comparison? Just concerned with the end result and not ease of use issues.
I already use a DTP94 and BasicColor for my display, so only interested in the printer profiling aspect.
edit: just saw this: http://luminous-landscape.com/essays/fancy-graphics2.shtml
Clears it up a little.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 11:16:18 AM by zaharia » Logged
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