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Author Topic: Imageprint - worth the $ ? - compare to QImage? other views please!  (Read 25564 times)
PeterAit
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2010, 03:43:04 PM »
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ImagePrint is unbeatable as to price? Do tell <g>!

But, you misunderstood my question. When I asked how IP profiles are better, I was asking how the resulting prints are better. To be honest, I have never tried the program, but for such an expensive product I have yet to see any believable or objective information about why it is worth the money. Plus, I find the company's pricing to be grotesquely high and rather offensive in requiring a new purchase when you upgrade your printer. It would cost me $895 for my Epson 4880, and then if I upgrade to a 24" printer I would have to buy a whole new version for $1495?!?! I could see - barely - limiting the program to one printer at a time, but this licensing scheme seems like a real money grab. And, to be honest, when a company treats their (potential) customers this way, they can go jump in the lake as far as I am concerned.
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Peter
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2010, 04:45:30 PM »
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RIPs were at one time priced $5000 or more. These prices are somewhat reasonable in comparison. Of  course, this was in the time when 36" inkjet printers were selling for $15000 also, and did not come with drivers.

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Sven W
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« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2010, 05:19:50 PM »
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ImagePrint is unbeatable as to price? Do tell <g>!

But, you misunderstood my question. When I asked how IP profiles are better, I was asking how the resulting prints are better. To be honest, I have never tried the program, but for such an expensive product I have yet to see any believable or objective information about why it is worth the money. Plus, I find the company's pricing to be grotesquely high and rather offensive in requiring a new purchase when you upgrade your printer. It would cost me $895 for my Epson 4880, and then if I upgrade to a 24" printer I would have to buy a whole new version for $1495?!?! I could see - barely - limiting the program to one printer at a time, but this licensing scheme seems like a real money grab. And, to be honest, when a company treats their (potential) customers this way, they can go jump in the lake as far as I am concerned.
And you misunderstood my comparison; that "quality and price" both are higher for that system then the OEM system.
Better prints? Different prints, I would say. But that is just one of many good reasons for using a RIP like IP.
About pricing; what's the cost for an own profiling system, e.g. EyeOne Pro with ProfileMaker?
What's the cost for custom made profiles, say, for ten different papers?

/Sven
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2010, 03:09:24 AM »
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And you misunderstood my comparison; that "quality and price" both are higher for that system then the OEM system.
Better prints? Different prints, I would say. But that is just one of many good reasons for using a RIP like IP.
About pricing; what's the cost for an own profiling system, e.g. EyeOne Pro with ProfileMaker?
What's the cost for custom made profiles, say, for ten different papers?

/Sven

Investing in an optimal profile creation solution can be done at different costs. It keeps its value longer + no restrictions on how many printers you make profiles for or the number of profiles. That can not be said of the IP purchase or buying custom made profiles. If there's more time than money available a nice solution can be an Eye One Basic + ArgyllCMS. The purchase of the Spectroproofer for the 9900 + suitable software is an option but I do not know whether that covers profile creation for the other printers like possible with the HP Z models. If the Spectroproofer exports CGAT files ArgyllCMS is an option too.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

spectral plots of +100 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm


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Sven W
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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2010, 05:52:26 AM »
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The OEM printsystem vs ImagePrint RIP:
Mark Dubovoy's printing article on LL

"When I began to make prints, I frankly did not know what to expect. State of the art inkjet printers have gotten so good, that I very much doubted anyone could exceed the quality of something like the Epson 9900 with my custom settings and my custom profiles.  I was wrong.  The prints made using Imageprint 8 are better.

As to how much better they are, really depends on the particular image.  In some images, the difference is quite subtle and it may take a couple of minutes of observing the prints side by side to really see it. Interestingly, once you see it, it somehow gets imbedded in your brain. If you re-shuffle the prints and look at them again, you can now pick the better prints instantly."
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2010, 06:20:43 AM »
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This is beginning to lapse into the discussion we had several months ago about being able to detect the difference in two prints from across the room.  I don't doubt that as Swen has noted Imageprint has some definite positives and has to be regarded as a total printing system when evaluating the cost benefit.  That being said, we ultimately get back to subjective judgment about print quality.  Mark says he can pick out the Imageprint image from the Epson driver image; I don't doubt that.  We are caught in the same conundrum that high-end audio equipment is in; there is no reliable way to objectively measure discernible differences.  If one finds value in a product, good, but for the large number of us who look at photography as an avocation and enjoy the occasional sales that it brings cost tends to be a barrier to products such as this.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2010, 06:22:51 AM »
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About five years ago some of the more well-heeled photogs in my area were touting IP as the greatest thing since sliced bread especially for bw.  Since 90% of my printing was bw at that time I wanted to do a comparison since I was printing with a Quadtone RIP and thinking I had excellent results. I made a print and took the image file and print over to a friends to do the same with IP. No one, out of several professionals, could tell the difference. That killed it for me.
However I must admit the profiles which come with IP8 have me interested and I would love to demo the software, but not being able to print from a demo is a deal killer as my monitor isn't all that great.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2010, 07:07:01 AM »
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"When I began to make prints, I frankly did not know what to expect. State of the art inkjet printers have gotten so good, that I very much doubted anyone could exceed the quality of something like the Epson 9900 with my custom settings and my custom profiles.  I was wrong.  The prints made using Imageprint 8 are better.

As to how much better they are, really depends on the particular image.  In some images, the difference is quite subtle and it may take a couple of minutes of observing the prints side by side to really see it. Interestingly, once you see it, it somehow gets imbedded in your brain. If you re-shuffle the prints and look at them again, you can now pick the better prints instantly."


I did read that article.

1/ He picked a profile from the paper manufacturer's website for the Epson driver solution.
2/ In the  reviewer's opinion IP's dithering weaving while more coarse is considered better as it translates detail better but there's no reference to what the image resolution has been. For that matter it could well be the resampling (up/down?) of IP that shows its better quality than the application (which one?) or driver delivered in both examples: the detail in the dark blue shadows and the wimpers detail contrast/sharpness.
3/ It still isn't an IP print versus Qimage print test, which could say something about the resampling quality.
4/ I think good profiling is a key aspect. IP does that well but it isn't the only solution that does that well. There are several good programs that deliver excellent RGB-device ICC profiles. If no exotic materials are used the (Epson) media presets will provide enough choices to build custom ICC profiles on that cover photographer's needs.
5/ Several IP features mentioned in the review are also available in Qimage. Photoshop and even Lightroom are not really the standard to compare application printing features with.  Qimage has a similar Canvas Wrap feature, cheap PS plug-ins exist with even more wrap choices. Nesting, smart sharpening, print filters on the fly, proof print crops, etc etc it is a long list of features that Qimage has.

100/ As I recommended let Narikin test the two (or more) applications and let him decide what is the best or what suits him the best. Someone else suggested that right away after the request and he was right, nobody can replace your eyes, brain, expectations in cases like this one.



In my opinion the LL reviews in the past on profiling, printing, scanners were of a better quality than what I have seen here recently. For example Gerard Kingma's articles on Gamutvision and several profile creation programs were far more interesting. The discussion on the articles too.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/



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Czornyj
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« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2010, 07:23:16 AM »
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After reading that topic I took a sheet of Epson PLPP, PGPP and I did a quick test of IP against Qimage+standard Epson ICC. I don't know what might go wrong, but the result is awful - B&W is not neutral (L*a*b 70,-2.5,-5!!!), colors are desaturated, screening coarser. I can't find any interpolation & sharpening options, the UI is not intuitive and lacks many of countless functionalities from Qimage.
I belive it's a matter of my ignorance, but frankly - my initial impressions are so bad, that I wouldn't even consider using it if it was for free.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 08:10:21 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Czornyj
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« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2010, 08:59:20 AM »
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the result is awful - B&W is not neutral (L*a*b 70,-2.5,-5!!!), colors are desaturated
Excuse my ignorance - it was a matter of a profile calculated to some weird illuminant (F3), that was initially installed with the program. I downloaded the DAY profile and everything seem to be better. I still much prefer the standard Epson profile color rendering - IP profile has a problem with blue that turns violet and red that turns orange (L*a*b vs CIECAM02?) - but apart from that it's quite ok.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 09:04:09 AM by Czornyj » Logged

David Watson
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« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2010, 06:34:21 AM »
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A big issue is whether you are printing from a Mac or a PC.  If a PC I cannot offer an opinion but if you are printing from a Mac then IP is a definite improvement on the native drivers.  Every Mac upgrade seems to bring its new printing problems. Whether it is the need to find and use drivers embedded in the OS or overcome contentions in the software when producing profile targets.  For my own purposes (landscape and architecture) IP solved all of these problems in one fell swoop.  I get very high quality and most importantly consistent results from both my 3880 and my 7900 printers - consistent between printers and from print to print -and I do not have to waste hours and hours generating new profiles  and setting up the OS/driver combinations.  IP bypasses all of the OS and application drives so there is no issue with colour management contention coming from the OS or the application.

In addition I do not use any Epson papers as I favour Hahnemuehle PhotoRag smooth and Canson Baryta Photographique so the Epson profiles are really of no use to me.  The IP profiles for these papers work very well indeed. 

Yes it is expensive to buy but it is a one-off cost and compared to the aggregate cost of quality papers and inks, not to mention the high cost of digital MF and lenses, I think it is affordable.
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narikin
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« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2010, 07:00:46 AM »
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I think this is the problem: There are a lot of people out there who don't need a RIP for the old print-shop reason, they are not nesting up multiple prints, or running giant stitched panoramas or photo murals - they simply want maximum quality out of their machines... and anyone smart and well informed (i.e. most people on this forum) is getting close to that - perhaps 95-97% of what is possible.  Factory profiles are a LOT better than they used to be...

For some who must have those last extra 1 or 2%, they might benefit from the Imageprint system + profiles.  A few super nerdy others - professional profile builders, color scientists, people like Bill Atkinson, can probably get there themselves.

Then there is the question whether any normal person can really see a difference in a 97% good and a 98% good print!  (setting aside if its worth ~$2500 for a 9900 for that)

Why not 100%?  Well for all the hubris, these are still canned profiles, made for your TYPE of machine by Imageprint, but not YOUR machine.  And even if you pay even more $ to get Imageprint make them for YOUR machine, its only good for that batch of ink, as the next cart may have a tiny shift in ink density from what you profiled, or they settled a bit, or the paper manufacturers coating shifted a tiny amount... so 100% is out of reach, 95-99% is the best we can hope for.

That said, grasping for perfection is human nature, and thank goodness for all of those out there who strive to push this medium forward. We stand on their shoulders with gratitude.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2010, 09:56:51 AM »
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I think this is the problem: There are a lot of people out there who don't need a RIP for the old print-shop reason, they are not nesting up multiple prints, or running giant stitched panoramas or photo murals - they simply want maximum quality out of their machines... and anyone smart and well informed (i.e. most people on this forum) is getting close to that - perhaps 95-97% of what is possible.  Factory profiles are a LOT better than they used to be...

For some who must have those last extra 1 or 2%, they might benefit from the Imageprint system + profiles.  A few super nerdy others - professional profile builders, color scientists, people like Bill Atkinson, can probably get there themselves.

Then there is the question whether any normal person can really see a difference in a 97% good and a 98% good print!  (setting aside if its worth ~$2500 for a 9900 for that)

Why not 100%?  Well for all the hubris, these are still canned profiles, made for your TYPE of machine by Imageprint, but not YOUR machine.  And even if you pay even more $ to get Imageprint make them for YOUR machine, its only good for that batch of ink, as the next cart may have a tiny shift in ink density from what you profiled, or they settled a bit, or the paper manufacturers coating shifted a tiny amount... so 100% is out of reach, 95-99% is the best we can hope for.




Amen!

« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 11:05:29 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2010, 11:54:45 AM »
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A big issue is whether you are printing from a Mac or a PC.  If a PC I cannot offer an opinion but if you are printing from a Mac then IP is a definite improvement on the native drivers.  Every Mac upgrade seems to bring its new printing problems. Whether it is the need to find and use drivers embedded in the OS or overcome contentions in the software when producing profile targets.  For my own purposes (landscape and architecture) IP solved all of these problems in one fell swoop.  I get very high quality and most importantly consistent results from both my 3880 and my 7900 printers - consistent between printers and from print to print -and I do not have to waste hours and hours generating new profiles  and setting up the OS/driver combinations.  IP bypasses all of the OS and application drives so there is no issue with colour management contention coming from the OS or the application.

In addition I do not use any Epson papers as I favour Hahnemuehle PhotoRag smooth and Canson Baryta Photographique so the Epson profiles are really of no use to me.  The IP profiles for these papers work very well indeed. 

Yes it is expensive to buy but it is a one-off cost and compared to the aggregate cost of quality papers and inks, not to mention the high cost of digital MF and lenses, I think it is affordable.

I agree completely and I print via PCs.
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Kirk Gittings
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eronald
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« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2010, 06:52:43 PM »
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Ok, so Mac printing is broken. That we all know.

As to whether Imageprint is really better than a *functioning* properly profiled native driver, I have my doubts. But then there is no profiled printing on the Mac these days.

 For the record, the best results you can get from your Epson if you are not a genius you will get by switching Photoshop to "Printer Manages Color" and supplying an Adobe RGB or sRGB file and telling the printer driver which. Anything else on the Mac is broken, these days, in spite of what Andrew or Jeff may tell you.

Edmund



I agree completely and I print via PCs.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2010, 07:54:20 PM »
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For the record, the best results you can get from your Epson if you are not a genius you will get by switching Photoshop to "Printer Manages Color" and supplying an Adobe RGB or sRGB file and telling the printer driver which. Anything else on the Mac is broken, these days, in spite of what Andrew or Jeff may tell you.

Yes, it's amazing. Fortunately Qimage seems to run well on a Mac under "Parallels". Suddenly nesting, quality upsampling, multiple sizes of a single file, etc., is unleashed for a very modest price (even if one also needs to buy Parallels).

Cheers,
Bart
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MHMG
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« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2010, 09:42:41 PM »
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 For the record, the best results you can get from your Epson if you are not a genius you will get by switching Photoshop to "Printer Manages Color" and supplying an Adobe RGB or sRGB file and telling the printer driver which. Anything else on the Mac is broken, these days, in spite of what Andrew or Jeff may tell you.

Edmund


I have to admit that I've had no success yet taming the beastly combination of PSCS5 and Snow Leopard. Odd behavior indeed. It seems like it works, sort of, but not really. Alas, Photoshop used to be the color managed workflow I could always count on.  Now in an ironic twist, it's Indesign with Snow Leopard that gives me predictable color management.  Maybe the Indesign team and the Photoshop team at Adobe should compare notes to figure out what the PS team broke (or didn't get fixed) with Snow leopard!

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Schewe
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2010, 10:11:49 PM »
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For the record, the best results you can get from your Epson if you are not a genius you will get by switching Photoshop to "Printer Manages Color" and supplying an Adobe RGB or sRGB file and telling the printer driver which. Anything else on the Mac is broken, these days, in spite of what Andrew or Jeff may tell you.

You trying to be provocative or do you really NOT have a friggin' clue?

I have no problem printing from either LR 3 or PS CS5 on Mac running 10.6.4. Yes, I use the Eric Chan work-around to print targets...(not that I have to re-profile Epson papers mind you, just non-Epson papers).

So, Edmund, you need some help printing?

You could hire me (well, naw, you couldn't afford me cause I would charge so much to put up with your pissant attitude)
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2010, 10:25:26 PM »
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You could hire me (well, naw, you couldn't afford me cause I would charge so much to put up with your pissant attitude)

Alternatively, one could hire me (for a more decent fee), and get a useful answer, regardless of attitude ...

Cheers,
Bart
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Schewe
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« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2010, 10:33:56 PM »
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Alternatively, one could hire me (for a more decent fee), and get a useful answer, regardless of attitude ...

Ah...so you don't have any issues printing from Mac 10.6.4 either?

Funny, I got the impression you're a Win 7 user...
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