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Author Topic: Printer Profiling with Colormunki  (Read 17925 times)
neil snape
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« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2008, 09:35:26 AM »
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Hi Neil,

I extracted bits from your most informative post and labeled them for ease of reference, as these raise some questions:

Let's start from the premise that the key objective for colour management in printing photographic images is the reliability of perceptual results moving from display to paper (allowing for the inherent limitations due to differences of gamut and light between the two).

(1) So, turning to your comment "A" on the difference of the red/green balance between CM versus the comparator: which would be a more accurate rendition on paper? Will you be testing for that?

(2) Is there any contradiction between "A" and "C" insofar as in "A" the profile seems to produce less red in yellows and oranges?

(3) In "B" you say the curves are smoother with PM, but in "C" you say the greyscale step wedge is perfect. Is there any contradiction between these observations? When you print the image using the CM profile, is there visually less smooth tonal gradations on paper from a CM profile?

(4) In "D" where you say the profiles are "much more than acceptable", have you had a chance to rank them against say Epson's latest series of canned profiles for their recent crop of professional printers, or a custom profile generated by the HP Z3100?

(5) Re "E" I simply don't understand the meaning of this paragraph. Probably because I don't own a CM (yet) so I'm not familiar with its optimization routines and therefore I don't have an idea of what they are supposed to be doing. Grateful if you could elaborate these observations in case there are also other interested parties in my situation.

Mark

(Edited to change back from program-induced smileys to the actual letters I intended to show here!)
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I better start off clarifying ; this is the first set of profiles, both monitor and printer by no means extensive, nor exhaustive . Rather quickly done in between other things, I'll add.

1} Yes I will test everything the way I usually do. It is a bit too bad that I didn't beta test with Andrew and others. We all seem to find things and share our findings. Without that support I'm surely going to miss things that were shared on beta testing.
The colours I saw that were not right are on the hue angles pure zones as seen in ColorThink 3D graphing.
The colours I see in the print are more an overall perception of hues outside of say pure red, in between, same with the saturation of most colour.

The prints show things like skin tones that are a bit too red in the image as less red, and reflections in hair that should be blonde with some red, are towards cyan /green.
PAtches in the Fogra MW are lighter than they should be, I didn't measure the strip yet, didn't print to full scale yet  either.
I would attribute this to both the LED spectrum of the CM, and the paper and ink being used. The paper is HP Advanced Glossy, with the HP pigments. A lot of OBA, and HP inks are quite prone to bronzing. So I think the bigger fault would be HPs inks and media with a spectro quite different than an i1 non LED. PErhaps the CM soft takes into account UV in a different way than PM.

2} Yes and no. Colorthink is good but the graphs only represent where the grid points create a volume within the hue angles (well a*b* plots to be more precise). The colours on the print are proof of application so I prefer to reference the print to monitor rather than assume too much from a 3D plot. I'll test more soon and really look at the colours and measure them too.

3} True the CM profile has a bumpier curve than PM5 for grey builds. Yet they are well handled in the profile, and seem to fit well in the LUTs. So less patches causing a few meanders in the grey build where they are aligning data samples to grid points hasn't seemed to create problems in greyscale printing.  Again I'll have to print some large long tone prints to see for sure.

4} Hmmm. Form what I have, what I've heard, what I've read the Epson profiles are very good, and I think I saw that Epson USA made profiles with X-rite soft. HP use an internal custom program with some interesting quirks. their APS program is PM/i1Match hybrid with the Logo 6.x libraries so essentially PM5 with tweaks for the IsIs LED spectro. I made better profiles with PM and hand measuring a 918 and PM 5 than APS in the Z. But marginally so!
So no I don't think the 1st profile I made is as good as PM5, nor the quality of the recent Epson profiles, but close enough for professional use. The differences are not any greater with the CM than there is between other profile apps,  and other spectros. Hence being thrilled with the quality, (sincerely I didn't expect it to be all that good) for a one off, first time profile that makes a very good screen to print match with 2 letter sizes pages, it is really incredible. A trained eye will pick out the differences but a vast majority of users wouldn't, nor should they as there seems to be little fault with my first try.

5} Yes I'm in the same boat. Actually anyone who uses a CM will be. X-Rite are doing themselves harm with oversimplification in the UI. IF they put the right options in and explained a bit about the options , users would step right up to the solution they need. UI design is still good, it's the missing options, and lack of details that take away from the max potential of the device.
Optimisation is adding a new page  of patches (nodes if you like) to the first iteration of the profile. It is done by loading a jpg or tiff of any image, or a color palette already made in the color picker application. So if your greens are out, you load a landnscape and it builds a set of patches from the image and you print and measure.
The nodes are calculated and somehow incorporated into the profile. I don't know if they are added as grid points, or if they are moved , extrapolated, concatenated with previous existing points. Form what I did, the new prints were near the same as the old first profile. IT therefore looks like it simply over-samples and makes corrections to the first profile grid points but Andrew probably knows.


What is surprising, ; you print a page that you measure so fast you wonder if it really can work at all. It creates a subset, you print, measure , it calculates the profile and your done. You get a profile that is near large sample chart measured with much more expensive devices, and software costing much more. I'm impressed. I want to make some more. This little thing is fun. IT is what the Colortron should have been. Yet it couldn't have. I suppose with a bug fix update, possibly an upgrade this can only get better.   A suivre.....
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David Good
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« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2008, 09:50:16 AM »
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Mark,

Regarding (E) the Optimization process, is intended to "smooth out" any problem areas. I had an image with that showed banding orange/yellows both in the soft-proof and the print. On my XP Pro box it took me approximately 25 attempts to arrive at the end of the process. I experienced application crashes and hang-ups. The new profile did fix the problem though, and I find the others I have built to also be very good.

I can not advance very far through the process again, just for testing purposes not because any other profiles require it. Has anyone else had this problem?

ColorMunki Photo 1.0.2, Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista Home Premium (laptop).

Dave
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David Good
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« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2008, 06:43:20 AM »
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I guess no one else is experiencing the issues with the optimization process that I am or don't see the need to use it. I'll move on.

Dave
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neil snape
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« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2008, 06:57:00 AM »
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Mark,

Regarding (E) the Optimization process, is intended to "smooth out" any problem areas. I had an image with that showed banding orange/yellows both in the soft-proof and the print. On my XP Pro box it took me approximately 25 attempts to arrive at the end of the process. I experienced application crashes and hang-ups. The new profile did fix the problem though, and I find the others I have built to also be very good.

I can not advance very far through the process again, just for testing purposes not because any other profiles require it. Has anyone else had this problem?

ColorMunki Photo 1.0.2, Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista Home Premium (laptop).

Dave
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David.

I haven't had the chance to use it on Windows yet.

I will just to try it for users on PC.
Is this happening on both XP and Vista or is it a Vista only problem?
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David Good
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« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2008, 08:37:05 AM »
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Neil,

It happens on both XP and Vista. It is a nice feature to have, the ability to easily tweak the profiles if necessary.

Dave
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David Good
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« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2008, 09:07:09 AM »
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Version 1.0.4 has been released and at least one fix I am aware of is the crashing problem I was having. X-Rite support was able to duplicate the crash with a profile I sent them and appear to be treating reported issues as fast as they can. Handy little device.

Dave
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The View
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« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2008, 01:28:58 PM »
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B&H currently has a 100.00$ rebate on the Color Munki, which brings it down to 349.00$
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neil snape
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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2008, 03:54:03 PM »
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Quote from: The View
B&H currently has a 100.00$ rebate on the Color Munki, which brings it down to 349.00$

Ah then it really comes down to what you will use them for; the Spyder for it's versatility and control beyond the CM software, or the shear pleasure of using the CM being so darn easy and fun.
Personally I have never had more fun making profiles than with the CM. Wish everything was so easy in desktop publishing!
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gianfini
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« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2008, 03:24:55 AM »
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Hi Neil, very informative post.

I found slightly different results with my CM, just purchased one week ago. I profiled Ilford paper (Classic Glossy and Pearl Smooth) with my Canon Pro9000 and what I get, compared to Ilford profiles provided for that printer:
- much better color match, Ilford profiles are yellowish and too saturated
- but unfortunately much darker and muddy shadows. It is like if it applies a contrasty S-curve but just to the shadow part (highlights are not increased). Ilford profiles are much more "open" in the shadows. This is clearly visible also in the soft proof, the image keeps same monitor colors but get darker in the shadows.

This is bearable or even nice for landscapes, but pretty bad for portraits...

Why don't they add few simple adjustments to the profile, like contrast/brightness/saturation of single colors/shadow opening?

I will try to "tweak" the profiel by sampling some darker image and close portraiture to see if it gets better with the CM profile refinement functionality.

any experience so far?

g
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neil snape
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« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2008, 03:34:27 AM »
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This is actually a problem of the profile using a rendering called Colorful. It pushes the contrast  and can cause blocked up shadows.

Normally it should be in these cases better to use relative colorimetric.
The reason they came out with this is because dye printers had a tendency to make certain greens and reds in the shadows go mushy. It cured the problem but creates others. Profiles made on other applications like Monaco, have much smoother graduations, thus shadow rendering is not compromised, yet you still may have flatness in certain areas.

I don't know if the optimization of a dark image with no highlights might tweak the darks for the Canon 9000.

Please note; there is an update to the software at X-Rite. Not sure what has changed.
On my pigment printer, and on the Epson at school, the shadows are just as good as any other profile custom or canned. I do have a dye printer here, so I must try this when I make the review....
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gianfini
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« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2008, 07:37:46 AM »
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Thank you Neil.

Although my comments was made in comparison with the Ilford profiles that on the very same printer (dye ink) and paper which is showing much more open shadows, without loosing all that contrast in the end...

It's a pity because colors are really "true"...

I'll do other attempts during the w-e and let you know.

g
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jarnold439
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« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2008, 11:49:05 PM »
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Quote from: gianfini
Hi Neil, very informative post.

I found slightly different results with my CM, just purchased one week ago. I profiled Ilford paper (Classic Glossy and Pearl Smooth) with my Canon Pro9000 and what I get, compared to Ilford profiles provided for that printer:
- much better color match, Ilford profiles are yellowish and too saturated
- but unfortunately much darker and muddy shadows. It is like if it applies a contrasty S-curve but just to the shadow part (highlights are not increased). Ilford profiles are much more "open" in the shadows. This is clearly visible also in the soft proof, the image keeps same monitor colors but get darker in the shadows.

Hi,

I just ran across this thread and am most interested in the ongoing discussion. I am considering purchasing the ColorMunki and have read a lot of mixed results so it's good to hear some positive. The comment in this post regarding darker and muddy shadows is something that I have run across in other forums but not with any consistency. On the other hand, today I talked to a very knowledgeable photographer who uses both the ColorMunki at one work location and the more expensive i1spectrophotometer with profile maker at another. He says that he feels that they are quite comparable and made no mention of problems with shadow detail.

Does anyone know if Andrew Rodney ever posted any post-beta test results. I read his comments on the trials he ran with the beta version but was under the impression that he was going to do some follow-up tests after the product was released. I have searched the internet but have not seen any more recent comments of his other than on this thread. I am assuming that he did some further testing and that I just haven't found the results. Is that true?

John
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The View
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« Reply #52 on: October 30, 2008, 01:27:55 PM »
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Quote from: neil snape
This is actually a problem of the profile using a rendering called Colorful. It pushes the contrast  and can cause blocked up shadows.

Normally it should be in these cases better to use relative colorimetric.
The reason they came out with this is because dye printers had a tendency to make certain greens and reds in the shadows go mushy. It cured the problem but creates others. Profiles made on other applications like Monaco, have much smoother graduations, thus shadow rendering is not compromised, yet you still may have flatness in certain areas.

I don't know if the optimization of a dark image with no highlights might tweak the darks for the Canon 9000.

Please note; there is an update to the software at X-Rite. Not sure what has changed.
On my pigment printer, and on the Epson at school, the shadows are just as good as any other profile custom or canned. I do have a dye printer here, so I must try this when I make the review....


I have the same Canon 9000 and am wondering if the Color Munki does a good job with dye printers, too.

I'm very interested in your test results of the CM regarding this printer.
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gianfini
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« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2008, 02:24:45 PM »
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I will do some more test this week-end. Namely I'll re-profile the Smooth Paper using longer drying times (probably the 10minutes proposed by the CM software are too little, and the ink still has brighter appearance than the one it would take after few hours).

I will also refine the profile with other pictures

The only think I can say is that for sure all color casts have been eliminated and colorwise the appearence is very similar to the monitor when soft-proofing. It's just that even in the soft-proof the picture get darker in the shadews and partially mid-tones than with the Ilford profiles

Let's see

g
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David Good
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« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2008, 04:05:34 PM »
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Quote from: The View
I have the same Canon 9000 and am wondering if the Color Munki does a good job with dye printers, too.

I'm very interested in your test results of the CM regarding this printer.

I have just profiled my old Epson 1280 today and will be looking at the results and will post back tomorrow. I don't have any negative issues with muddy shadows on the papaers I have profiled on my R2400.

Dave
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David Good
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« Reply #55 on: October 31, 2008, 02:03:54 PM »
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I just printed a few test prints through the 1280 on Premium Glossy with the ColorMunki profile. Color prints are quite good, gone is the pink cast mine had with the canned profile. Greyscale images are surprisingly neutral, not exhibiting the slight cast shown in a step-wedge. Viewed in ColorThink (3D gamut map) the CM's profile shows greater gamut volume than the canned profile for that paper (it was built years ago though). This has just breathed new life into an old printer!

Dave
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gianfini
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« Reply #56 on: November 03, 2008, 07:47:15 AM »
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I did some test during the w-e with my CM. This is what I learnt

Ilford Classic Glossy:
- the process of refining existing profiles DOES improve the profile. It's clearly visible by eyes (at least well trainined ones). I did get nicer portraits and better balanced colors in other pictures
- the profiles created with CM are slightly darker than the ones provided by Ilford. I cannot see less details in shadows but they are darker. Soft proof is pretty accurate

Ilford Smooth Pearl
- canned profiles were way out (yellowish)
- CM created very good profile colorwise but it seems to try to open up shadows too much, loosing a bit of contrast in mid-dark tones. Not a real issue for landscapes, but dark / low-key protraits lose a bit from this.

I also learnt that profiling for portraiture is way more difficult that getting nice landscapes/ cityscape profiles where a slight color shift do not really arm the whole picture.

I learnt that the 10minutes dryout time for patch charts are way underestimated for most paper

Finally my impression is that CM is wonderful at color profiling, less so at calibrating tonal curve. A good solution would just be to provide in the software a tool to adjust the curves, but this is just dreaming I guess since they clearly state that this tool is fully automatic and if you want more control you should upgrade to the higher system!

g
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