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Author Topic: Canon x300 Media Configuration Tool  (Read 16748 times)
shewhorn
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« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2010, 10:13:09 AM »
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Quote from: Onsight
These graphs don't look right, and that's probably my fault by not suggesting you zero out the settings. Under the "Ink Curves" tab, set all the values to 100%. Under the Linearization tab, hit the "Reset Baseline" button, reload your Lin file and then re graph by going to "Advanced Lin Control". Then you'll see the desired plateaus.

Ahhh... Perhaps my fault as well for maybe not reading through the manual a bit more. Still not sure I see anything as some things are still going up as others are going down but it looks like maybe the transition for medium to medium high? Cyan and Magenta start going down but black and yellow are still headed up. When you go from medium high to high though, everything is still heading up except the black which finally goes down a bit.

 Here's what it looks like now for the Crane Museo Silver Rag:

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jgbowerman
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« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2010, 10:20:05 AM »
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I'm preparing to build another third-party paper configuration using the MCT. Scott had me get in touch with John Hollenberg on the Canon iPF printer wiki to discuss implementing a wiki page for third-party papers and the x300 series. John was kind enough to reply prior to leaving town for a couple of weeks, and he intends to start a new wiki page after his return, but for now, this appears to be the best place to get feedback on the subject.

The next paper I'm going to configure is the Ilford Smooth Pearl (an excellent RC paper). I contacted Ilford regarding the x300 MCT settings, and I got an answer that was at the least, more detailed than selecting something as generic as "Special 5". I'll paste their recommendation:
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We suggest to use the media type "Premium Semi-Glossy Paper 280", Print Quality "High" or "Highest" with the choice of ticking "High Precision Photographs". This is valid for either printing by the use of our ICC profile or when printing without ICC profile.

When I use the assist button in the MCT and enter the paper weight (290), Canon recommends using Premium Gloss 280. Hmmm, which one to use?

First, I'm going to go with Ilford's recommendation and use Semi-Gloss media-type setting, I'll then print three test charts from the three highest ink-volume settings for the sole purpose of evaluating color saturation and brightness (it is the only aspect of Canon's MCT test charts for ink volume I find useful), then I'll make my choice for ink-volume setting (Standard, Medium-high, or High). From there, I'll go ahead and finish the configuration, and print the 1860-patch profile target.

Second, I'm going to do the same protocol using the Premium Glossy media-type setting.

With both protocols, I'll build ICC profiles and compare them in color think for gamut size and see if I can appreciate a difference. In addition to implementing ColorThink for gamut evaluation, I'll visually compare the 1860-patch profile targets, which I find extremely useful for evaluating tonal definition, which is very subtle on the 1860-patch targets.

Any thoughts or feedback is welcome!

Greg
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2010, 11:14:43 AM »
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Greg,

Interesting work with the Colorburst demo. I'm going to have to give this a try for my next profile (got a role of  Canson-Infinity Rag Photographique on its way, which I haven't used before).

Maybe Scott can comment, but I wouldn't put too much faith into the "Assist" button in the MCT for choosing the base media type; it seems to go primarily by paper weight within the broad paper categories. But we know from experience with the x000 and x100 printers that some media types do better than others with 3rd-party papers, and it's not just a matter of paper weight. My suggestion would be to look at the "recommended" media types on the ipf-wiki that have been used successfully with 3rd-party papers in the past with x100 printers, as those will likely serve as good starting points for a custom media type and profile.

On the topic of sharing this info on the wiki I think it's a great idea. It might even be cool to share MCT files, atlhough unfortunately they're not compatible between 6300 and 8300.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2010, 11:51:49 AM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
Greg,

Interesting work with the Colorburst demo. I'm going to have to give this a try for my next profile (got a role of  Canson-Infinity Rag Photographique on its way, which I haven't used before).

Maybe Scott can comment, but I wouldn't put too much faith into the "Assist" button in the MCT for choosing the base media type; it seems to go primarily by paper weight within the broad paper categories. But we know from experience with the x000 and x100 printers that some media types do better than others with 3rd-party papers, and it's not just a matter of paper weight. My suggestion would be to look at the "recommended" media types on the ipf-wiki that have been used successfully with 3rd-party papers in the past with x100 printers, as those will likely serve as good starting points for a custom media type and profile.

On the topic of sharing this info on the wiki I think it's a great idea. It might even be cool to share MCT files, atlhough unfortunately they're not compatible between 6300 and 8300.

Thanks, Jeff

Unfortunately, the ipf-wiki for x100 printers does not list Ilf. Smooth Pearl. You have likely noticed, the media-type choices with the x300 series have changed considerably from the x100s, a much abbreviated list. So even if I could find a choice for the x100 series, that choice is likely not provided in the x300 MCT. On the subject of not putting too much faith in the Assist button, it would figure to be of dubious help... egads, this thing about digital technology, you get it too fast, and no one else has caught up to speed enough to adequately implement it, and you wait too long, you get outdated! Okay, so I'll stick with Ilford's recommendation to use the Semi-Gloss setting, then print a couple of different profile targets using different ink volume settings instead. Like I've said before, I'll do the best with what I got.

The work with ColorBurst is interesting, I'm hoping others will implement its use (I'm kind of over my head as it is) and verify or invalidate my choices using the MCT on certain third-party papers. Until then, I'll keep publishing my findings under this topic and look forward to the feedback I can get. I need all the guidance others can provide.

Cheers,

Greg
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 11:52:21 AM by peninsula » Logged

jgbowerman
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« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2010, 08:45:43 PM »
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Having printed a profile target for the Ilford Ultra Smooth using the Med-high ink-volume setting and Ilford's recommended Media choice of Semi-Glossy Paper 280, I'm going to leave it at that for the time being. I'm going to trust my eye, but keep an eye on Canon's iPF wiki site for additional information pertaining to third-party papers and the MCT x300 series, as well as the current effort using ColorBurst. Then I might feel inclined to use more ink and paper to re-evaluate pending additional feedback.

Moving on... I configured settings for H. Photo Rag Ultra Smooth (Matte). Based on others using similar paper (here and at the iPF wiki), I settled on using Premium Matte for the Media choice. When examining all five ink-volume settings, it was more difficult to appreciate changes in saturation and luminosity with my naked eye or when using a 7x lighted loupe, while it was more clearly obvious when configuring glossy and semi-glossy papers, although the High setting did appear too dark. However, I could better appreciate the black and white ink-dot profiles and found the High and Medium-high settings appeared to bleed a bit. Given Jeff's finding the ideal setting for a similar paper was Medium-low or Low, and the fact I could hardly see a difference between Low, Medium-low, and Medium, I went with Medium (what can I say, I think the color patches look a tad better with Medium?) I'm ready to print the 1860 patch profiling targets for both of these papers, and I'll double check for any visible problems before making a profile after they dry overnight. I'll take another look at the ink-volume test targets as well.  

Time to fire up the grill.

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Scott Martin
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« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2010, 12:27:03 AM »
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Quote from: shewhorn
When you go from medium high to high though, everything is still heading up...
I'm not sure what media setting you are using for Museo Rag, but it looks like you could potentially add more ink (by selecting a different media setting) to achieve greater saturation. Just for reference, here's a screen grab that shows when you've got too much ink and the maximum saturation has been exceeded.

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shewhorn
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« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2010, 01:05:34 AM »
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Quote from: Onsight
I'm not sure what media setting you are using for Museo Rag, but it looks like you could potentially add more ink (by selecting a different media setting) to achieve greater saturation. Just for reference, here's a screen grab that shows when you've got too much ink and the maximum saturation has been exceeded.

Interesting. When using the MCT I've been entering both the weight and the thickness and using whatever the heavier thickness is. I've done about four of these now and the results are all pretty consistent and don't even approach the curves you're showing (and yeah... that's pretty obvious LOL). I do hope Canon changes their terminology in the next revision of the MCT to something more concrete as low, medium low, medium, medium high, and high aren't... well... meaningful. "Medium High", relative to what, and is medium high in Special 9 the same as medium high in some other media type?

Cheers, Joe
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2010, 10:35:00 PM »
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Plodding along with my subjective efforts configuring third party papers. I'm excited and pleased with all four profiles built with the previously posted MCT settings. I printed Uwe's test target shared in Fine Art Printing for Photographers. Color and neutral transitions are text book. The memory colors remarkably consistent across all three glossy papers. I love the shadow detail in the lava flow! Skin tones outstanding. It looked like the ColorChecker was getting clipped in soft proof, but side by side comparisons looked great (using a mini checker). All subjective stuff, but no grossly visible issues. I'll roll with my settings for the time being.

First landscape print using the iPF8300, a scene out of Coyote Gulch near Escalante, on H. PhotoR UltrSm, shows notable improvement in the reds/magentas/yellows and overall improved contrast compared to iPF6100. I'm ready to dig in, let the fun begin...

Any progress elsewhere?
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2010, 09:54:45 AM »
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Quote
Moving on... I configured settings for H. Photo Rag Ultra Smooth (Matte). Based on others using similar paper (here and at the iPF wiki), I settled on using Premium Matte for the Media choice. When examining all five ink-volume settings, it was more difficult to appreciate changes in saturation and luminosity with my naked eye or when using a 7x lighted loupe, while it was more clearly obvious when configuring glossy and semi-glossy papers, although the High setting did appear too dark. However, I could better appreciate the black and white ink-dot profiles and found the High and Medium-high settings appeared to bleed a bit. Given Jeff's finding the ideal setting for a similar paper was Medium-low or Low, and the fact I could hardly see a difference between Low, Medium-low, and Medium, I went with Medium (what can I say, I think the color patches look a tad better with Medium?) I'm ready to print the 1860 patch profiling targets for both of these papers, and I'll double check for any visible problems before making a profile after they dry overnight. I'll take another look at the ink-volume test targets as well.
I actually did two profiles/media-types for Hahn Photo Rag 308. The first one I used FA WaterColor as the base media type, with an ink setting of Med-Low. I did a second profile with a base media-type of Premium Matte and the best ink setting turned out to be Standard. The Prem-Matte-based profile has a littel better gamut in the shadows and darker midtones, which is where matte papers tend to struggle so that is the profile I've been using. So our findings are in pretty close agreement there.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2010, 10:15:32 AM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
I actually did two profiles/media-types for Hahn Photo Rag 308. The first one I used FA WaterColor as the base media type, with an ink setting of Med-Low. I did a second profile with a base media-type of Premium Matte and the best ink setting turned out to be Standard. The Prem-Matte-based profile has a littel better gamut in the shadows and darker midtones, which is where matte papers tend to struggle so that is the profile I've been using. So our findings are in pretty close agreement there.

Thanks, Jeff

Yes, I settled on the Standard ink volume as well, although it was not as easy or clear a choice as when testing with the glossy papers. I went with the Premium Matte setting based on your advice as well as the iPF wiki with similar papers on the Canon iPFx100 series. Good to know we have similar conclusions, it builds my confidence. It will be interesting to see what others come up with.
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routlaw
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« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2010, 08:09:49 PM »
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Just read through this series of post, wow! Great work guys, much appreciated.

Just took delivery of the 8300 a little over a week ago (replacing an aging Epson 9600) and while it is potentially a fabulous printer the complexity of this thing is off the charts compared to my old printer. Canon documentation is one notch above useless so I have been winging it the best I can until coming across this thread. Lots of great info here.

Couple of questions though:

Having downloaded the demo to CB rip and Spectral Vision in the past one only has two weeks to use the demo and then its DOA, in other words while its a great tool for building medial files for the MCT software you really have to get as much done as possible in the two week time frame, correct? Or can the SV part of the software continue to work without a license?

Also I find it curious no has used the Colorsync tool to look at the 3D gamut maps and make comparisons with one against the other, to see which media/paper settings Canon used to build profiles. Basically before realizing anything about this MCT software, (which potentially could be a huge attribute if Canon can improve a few things), studying the existing colorsync gamut maps provided the only usable information I could find to start profile building. Does this make sense? Personally I have always liked the colorsync utility for looking at gamut maps vs Colorthink's method.

So you folks have gone through a lot of trouble, used a ton of ink and paper to tweak and optimize printer settings. I have to ask, just how much of an improvement is there really compared to simply using the widest gamut media setting to build a profile for X brand comparable media? As an example using Epson's Premium Luster and building a profile with the PremSemi-gloss 280 setting?

Its fairly easy to get a great looking print off this thing winging it with the media settings as is. And I don't mind putting in the time if noticeable improvements are to be had. I agree the color chart Canon uses is somewhat worthless, trying one effort this afternoon with Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Matte paper, one has to strain to see any significant difference in the 6 ink limits. Interestingly enough all of them exhibited the problematic uber saturated purple-ish magenta situation previously described on some other media.

Thanks

Rob
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #51 on: August 13, 2010, 12:47:42 AM »
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So you folks have gone through a lot of trouble, used a ton of ink and paper to tweak and optimize printer settings. I have to ask, just how much of an improvement is there really compared to simply using the widest gamut media setting to build a profile for X brand comparable media?
In the bigger picture, not much. We're totally geeking on a few percentage points here. The MCT tool is for uber geeks - not 99% of iPF users!

As an example using Epson's Premium Luster and building a profile with the PremSemi-gloss 280 setting?
That'll work great. Most people should simply use a similiar sounding media type like you would do with an Epson or HP printer, or check the wiki for a recomended media setting.

Its fairly easy to get a great looking print off this thing winging it with the media settings as is.
Yep, it is. Don't feel like you have to even install the MCT tool - it's for super geeks, tinkerers, and people looking for trouble.  Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: August 13, 2010, 03:50:21 AM »
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In the bigger picture, not much. We're totally geeking on a few percentage points here. The MCT tool is for uber geeks - not 99% of iPF users!
That'll work great. Most people should simply use a similiar sounding media type like you would do with an Epson or HP printer, or check the wiki for a recomended media setting.
 Yep, it is. Don't feel like you have to even install the MCT tool - it's for super geeks, tinkerers, and people looking for trouble.  Smiley

Thanks - that needed saying!

When I was testing the 6300 I printed a set of test images at high quality and the same at 'super high all knobs at 11' setting. There is a difference, I can see it with my pocket microscope and by eye, only with very good lighting - a blind test with someone I regard as a real expert, in ordinary lighting, led to him first picking the 'lesser' version and then being not so sure...

The MCT is great idea, but like a lot of this advanced stuff should come with health warnings that most people (if they are honest  Wink ) probably won't see any differences.

Don't get me wrong I love tinkering, and the reviews I write give me a great chance to experiment with other peoples' printers/paper/ink. However, there is always the chance that all this concentration on minutiae puts off people wanting to move up to larger printers.

Of course, this is a print section of the forum, so I'd expect to find the print anoraks here (UK version of 'Geek' Wink ) but I'm well aware that its a place where other people come for help and information.

I've long followed that engineering adage that 'perfection is the enemy of excellence' and I know that people who actually buy prints don't get out a hand lens to look at them ;-)
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2010, 08:44:11 AM »
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Thanks - that needed saying!

When I was testing the 6300 I printed a set of test images at high quality and the same at 'super high all knobs at 11' setting. There is a difference, I can see it with my pocket microscope and by eye, only with very good lighting - a blind test with someone I regard as a real expert, in ordinary lighting, led to him first picking the 'lesser' version and then being not so sure...

The MCT is great idea, but like a lot of this advanced stuff should come with health warnings that most people (if they are honest  Wink ) probably won't see any differences.

Don't get me wrong I love tinkering, and the reviews I write give me a great chance to experiment with other peoples' printers/paper/ink. However, there is always the chance that all this concentration on minutiae puts off people wanting to move up to larger printers.

Of course, this is a print section of the forum, so I'd expect to find the print anoraks here (UK version of 'Geek' Wink ) but I'm well aware that its a place where other people come for help and information.

I've long followed that engineering adage that 'perfection is the enemy of excellence' and I know that people who actually buy prints don't get out a hand lens to look at them ;-)


I'd have to agree in general the MCT is not going to sell more prints, nor will the naked eye see a difference, with one exception: Hahnemuhle paper. To shoehorn all H. gloss papers under Special 5 and all matte under Special 9 is ludicrous. With H. Photo Rag Baryta, the differences were easy to see when tweaking with the MCT and then comparing Special 5 to what I came up with using Heavy Wht. Gloss Photo and the Medium-high ink setting. For such high quality paper, I'm baffled with Hahnemuhle's generic approach. If not for the MCT, we'd be stuck until if/when H. comes out with more paper-specific recommendations.

Also, if one uses the MCT for nothing else, use the show/hide feature to simplify workflow on the printer's display screen. Editing the paper order on the printer display is a nice feature, too. Even if one is using canon papers, use the MCT for setting printer preferences. For example, I like to set all roll-paper preferences to "Eject Cut", and with the MCT, I can set this preference for each paper configuration once and be good time after time instead of having the printer reset to its default "Auto Cut" preference. On the iPF6100, one could choose the cut-setting preference in the plugin under "Advance" settings, but this is not an option on the 8300.

In other words, the MCT has many features that are simple and practical, as well as geeky and of marginal benefit.
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routlaw
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« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2010, 09:41:07 AM »
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When I was testing the 6300 I printed a set of test images at high quality and the same at 'super high all knobs at 11' setting. There is a difference, I can see it with my pocket microscope and by eye, only with very good lighting - a blind test with someone I regard as a real expert, in ordinary lighting, led to him first picking the 'lesser' version and then being not so sure...


Exactly, this has been my experience as well. One really has to strain to see the difference with these maxed out settings and then you find yourself second guessing and doubting your own findings. That said what I do find interesting and a bit frustrating is Canon's obtuse way of defining print resolution. While they claim this is a 2400x1200 dpi printer, and who am I to doubt it, there seems to be nothing but a 600 dpi setting, or was that 600 ppi. Canon has really gone out of their way to keep end users in the dark on understanding what this printer is all about.
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routlaw
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« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2010, 09:51:51 AM »
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In other words, the MCT has many features that are simple and practical, as well as geeky and of marginal benefit.


Good points Greg, and would agree wholeheartedly.

Just for grins and giggles I am going to at least follow through with working the MCT to the max for print optimization on at least one or two paper choices just to see for myself what differences do exist if for no other reason than my old 9600 printer produced some slightly better autumn colors than did the Canon 8300 from images shot at Zion NP this past year. The yellows were just a tad "closed in" compared to the 9600 print, and you could clearly see this attribute comparing the two different printer profiles in colorsync. These initial results surprised me greatly and on the surface made no sense (until reading through this thread) given the extended color gamut of the new printer.

Thanks
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2010, 05:46:33 PM »
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That said what I do find interesting and a bit frustrating is Canon's obtuse way of defining print resolution. While they claim this is a 2400x1200 dpi printer, and who am I to doubt it, there seems to be nothing but a 600 dpi setting, or was that 600 ppi. Canon has really gone out of their way to keep end users in the dark on understanding what this printer is all about.
I agree it's confusing and that's partly because the software is designed in Japanese and the English translation isn't as intuitive as Canon USA and the rest of us would like it to be. The older drivers used to say (600x1200, 1200x1200, 1200x2400, etc) but now they are reduced to "standard", "high" and "highest". The (600dpi) portion after these words actually refers to the input image resolution (which should be in ppi). So it's accepting a true 600ppi image that's then rendered at the print resolution (which is 2400dpi is you use "highest"). I've given feedback to Canon on this again and again but Japon's willingness to change things is slow...

John Hollenberg made the iPF wiki so we could have a place where iPF owner can discuss stuff like this. Details like yours have been discussed and explained there for years. Check it out if you haven't already. Even Canon USA staff do too. :-]  http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2010, 05:54:54 PM »
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...my old 9600 printer produced some slightly better autumn colors than did the Canon 8300 from images shot at Zion NP this past year. The yellows were just a tad "closed in" compared to the 9600 print, and you could clearly see this attribute comparing the two different printer profiles in colorsync. These initial results surprised me greatly and on the surface made no sense (until reading through this thread) given the extended color gamut of the new printer.
The x300 inkset yellows are unsurpassed - that's likely an issue with how the ICC profile handles "edge gamut" colors with the perceptual intent, and not an issue with the color gamut itself. A saturation maximizing approach to perceptual rendering will sacrifice image detail for color saturation near the edges of the color gamut. EyeOne Match and the LOGO Colorful option in ProfileMakerPro both take this approach. Monaco Profiler and the upcoming i1Profiler have, IMO, superior edge gamut handling that allows for excellent edge gamut color saturation without loosing image detail.

So I'd recommend getting some Monaco Profiler profiles made for your 8300 so you can get the most out of the "edge gamut" colors you're talking about. With them the results should blow you away, especially on a fiber base paper.
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« Reply #58 on: August 13, 2010, 07:31:49 PM »
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Scott/shewhorn,

I installed the Colorburst Demo, can I get some clarification on which linearization target you're supposed to print from the MCT? It seems all the Colorburst targets are CMYK, and MCT doesn't like that. Do I need to convert one of these to RGB? If so does the color space matter?

Thanks,
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shewhorn
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« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2010, 10:57:11 PM »
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It seems all the Colorburst targets are CMYK, and MCT doesn't like that. Do I need to convert one of these to RGB? If so does the color space matter?

Hi Jeff,

I've bypassed the MCT completely and have been using the IPF plugin to print. Here's the process...

Using the MCT I create media types for each paper (I'm skipping the print feed calibration for now) so each paper will have a low, medium low, standard, medium high, and high media type. With the exception of the "high" media type (which is the last print I run) I've disabled the auto cut feature. This way I can reload the roll, turn off the 1st layer, turn on the 2nd layer, and go for another pass without wasting paper. It's a bit of a pain but it saves paper.

In Photoshop I have 5 duplicate linearization charts spread out across 22" (each chat is about 3"x11"). I just show/hide each layer on every pass.

Cheers, Joe
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