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Author Topic: X-PROOF COLORBURST , IMAGEPRINT COLORBYTE OR PRINTER DRIVER ?  (Read 3388 times)
Idololab
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« on: March 05, 2011, 11:34:37 AM »
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Hi all
I would like to ask you, what do you consider as a better solution for Fine Art color printing: X-PROOF from COLORBURST or IMAGEPRINT from COLORBYTE?
My prime concern are: print quality and a good match between print and display.
I, also, would like to ask if someone knows, in which way Imageprint manages the lack (if I am not mistaken) of control on the inks that X-PROOF got ?
George
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 01:07:57 PM by IDOLOLAB » Logged

George Marinos
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 12:27:18 PM »
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Which printer will you use?

RIPs don't function on all printers.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 12:36:42 PM »
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For Fine Art printing I'd keep it simple and forget about a RIP, unless you need the long printing dimensions or nesting capabilities that RIPS provide. Todays printers have printer drivers that delivery quality that equal or better than RIPs.

I'd focus instead on your choice of paper, using correct driver media selection, and making excellent custom profiles with exceptional perceptual rendering characteristics.
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Czornyj
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 04:03:58 PM »
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I'd focus instead on your choice of paper, using correct driver media selection, and making excellent custom profiles with exceptional perceptual rendering characteristics.

Are these "exceptional preceptual rendering characterisics" simlpy better, or can be tweaked to a larger extent?
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Marcin Kałuża
Idololab
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 04:07:24 PM »
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I use Epson 9900 and 4800, with latest drivers, and Mac OS X 10.6.6.Monitor: EIZO CG221.I use the drivers normally , but i had some very interesting results with X-photo in demo mode so I would ask for the opinion someone's who has already worked with either the one or the other rip in order to be more certain about my conclusions.
Thank you
George
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George Marinos
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digitaldog
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 05:49:33 PM »
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I just worked with a client using ImagePrint 8 and the Epson driver and saw some differences. We tried to build custom profiles for both, were successful with Photo ink (Luster) but not with Matt Black for Canvas which appears to be a bug or issue with IP. Anyway, the printers were 11880 and 3880. The IP output from the Luster profile was a bit more open in shadows than using the Epson driver. When looking at the values from the two identical patch targets in ColorThink, its clear that IP lays down less ink, is more linear but has a smaller gamut! My client was perfectly happy with the Epson output but has to use IP because of the driver size limit for his 11880. Plus for IP, it can make a huge print when the Epson driver poops out. But the UI and this issue building profiles for matt ink was very frustrating albeit, IP tech support was superb. Frankly, if there were no size limitation, my client would not be using IP even with the slightly better shadow detail. He likes snappy and saturated prints. I can’t comment on the difference between the two to Canvas because we finally had to use the IP canned profile.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 10:14:41 PM »
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Quote
Are these "exceptional preceptual rendering characterisics" simlpy better, or can be tweaked to a larger extent?

Some profiling apps simply have better perceptual rendering but also also for tweaking of the behavior. For fine art printing, exceptional perceptual rendering is super important. It can hit a sweet spot that allows for excellent edge gamut saturation without losing detail along with excellent gray balance, shadow detail and black approach handling. IMO, MP and i1P are clear winners here.

I use Epson 9900 and 4800, with latest drivers, and Mac OS X 10.6.6.Monitor: EIZO CG221.I use the drivers normally , but i had some very interesting results with X-photo in demo mode so I would ask for the opinion someone's who has already worked with either the one or the other rip in order to be more certain about my conclusions.

I've had literally hundreds of ColorBurst and Imageprint installs in demanding fine art environments over the last decade and am super familiar with the quality differences. As Andrew said, IP offers ink and gamut conservativeness while the driver and CB can each equally achieve a greater gamut and DMax. Again, the role of an excellent ICC profile plays a more important than the RIP or driver itself. If you're working with eccentric materials like silks or handmade Japanese papers, CB's custom ink limiting and linearization lets you customize to the material better than the driver (if you're up to the task of mastering the process). I'd go with CB over IP for it's ink limiting, linearization and gamut capabilities. If you're just working with common RC, fiber base and cotton rag materials the driver does the same job with less fuss and greater simplicity.

7+ years ago RIPs had distinct quality improvements over printer drivers. Things have changed to the point where you'd be crazy to use a RIP unless you absolutely need the features that they offer that drivers do not (long print support, nesting, tiling, layout, customized calibration for eccentric media, etc). Whatever you do don't buy the hype that "you have to have a RIP to do great quality fine art printing." For top notch fine art printing I'd suggest focusing on the media, profiles, print sharpening technique, localized contrast technique, noise/grain enhancements and other fine details worth mastering.

It sounds like you've already made some conclusions. Why don't you tell us more about the results with CB that you found "interesting"? Give us all the details and let's discuss them. Be thorough and precise and give us the specifics. What papers, what profiles, what type of imagery, what are you looking for...
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 08:40:37 AM »
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I use Epson 9900 and 4800, with latest drivers, and Mac OS X 10.6.6.

For several years I used ImagePrint to drive my Epson 9600.

  • ImagePrint works very well with only Epson printers, hosted on Macintosh computers. If you ever migrate to another brand of printer, it will not function.
  • ImagePrint made an announcement years ago that they were developing the RIP for Canon's iPF printers and never produced anything. The very least they could've done was rescind the statement so as to not mislead ImagePrint users waiting for a Canon version.
  • ImagePrint uses a dongle for security.
  • ColorByte's support is good, but you must use the dongle number for all communications.
  • The manual is adequate, but not in-depth.
  • It takes several months for new papers to get profiled, but they do keep up on it.
  • ColorByte used to profile niche papers for a fee. I don't know what their policy is now.
  • It's expensive, and upgrades are available as long as you keep paying their licensing fee.
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Idololab
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 09:06:44 AM »
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Thank you very much all of you. Since English is not my native language I have some problem to describe my thoughts in a precise way
so it will take my a bit longer to do it
George
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George Marinos
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Idololab
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2011, 11:23:41 AM »
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Hi
I am sorry for the delay . Most of the time I use Fineart Baryta, Photorag 308 and Photorag Baryta Hahnemuehle papers. Sometimes Epson PSPP and Velvet Fine art (which I prefer from Photorag 308 because of the deeper blacks it has). I print normally through the latest epson driver with the canned profiles every company offers for its own papers. However, in order to have a good match between monitor and print I am obliged to use additional (printing) adjustment layers,more often a curve and a Hue/Sat layer. By this way I dare to say that I have very good results on all these papers except for Photorag 308 and Velvet Fine Art (with Matte Black ink). The problem with those papers is that they do not always have well balanced blacks. I, also, have noticed that they have a very important desaturation in the very dark and saturated areas of blue and orange tones (If someone is interested, I can post some photo examples next week). Here comes Colorburst . Almost "out of the box" using the colorburst profiles and playing a little with the ink limits I could produce  those tones, much better, having at the same time a close match with my monitor. I have to say that I have tried to build several times my profiles with EyeOne Match and I1 pro. The results were equal but not better to the canned profiles for the Photo papers and unacceptable for the Matte black papers. I have even tried a few times Profilemaker with similar results. So my query after all this is:
1.  is it possible for a Printer like me to produce better quality custom profiles from those companies like Epson and Hahnemuehle can produce and
2.  how important is for a Printer to have the possibility to control the Ink Limits (so to work with a RIP)
I have to notice that I consider myself as a fine art Printer so my basic concern is rather an esthetically than a colorimetrically(?!) balanced print.
I want also to add that I have a  30 years experience in wet darkroom but only 6 years in inkjet printing.
Thank you
George
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 01:05:03 PM by IDOLOLAB » Logged

George Marinos
http://www.idololab.gr/
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Czornyj
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2011, 04:31:44 PM »
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I'd try to:
1) linearize the Epson with ColorBase
2) use larger Bill Atkinson's profiling targets:
https://public.me.com/billatkinson
http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/i1BigTargets/index.html
3) test other profiling engines (i1match is a limited ProfileMaker):
www.argyllcms.com
www.basiccolor.de/basiccolor-print-3/ (14 day demo)
...or wait next few months for i1profiler
4) play with Color Density slider in Paper Config
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Marcin Kałuża
Idololab
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2011, 07:39:07 PM »
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I have already tried Eric Chans' method without succes I admit , maybe it is my fault . If i can understand  well you think it is better to go with a profiling
software than with a rip, trying  to linearize with Colorbase and fine tuning with Color Density.Am I right ?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 03:34:38 AM by IDOLOLAB » Logged

George Marinos
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2011, 07:30:05 PM »
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I dare to say that I have very good results on all these papers except for Photorag 308 and Velvet Fine Art (with Matte Black ink). The problem with those papers is that they do not always have well balanced blacks. I, also, have noticed that they have a very important desaturation in the very dark and saturated areas of blue and orange tones (If someone is interested, I can post some photo examples next week).

You're using soft proofing right? There are going to be inherent differences between matte and glossy papers, so using soft proofing to see those differences is critical.

Here comes Colorburst . Almost "out of the box" using the colorburst profiles and playing a little with the ink limits I could produce  those tones, much better, having at the same time a close match with my monitor. I have to say that I have tried to build several times my profiles with EyeOne Match and I1 pro. The results were equal but not better to the canned profiles for the Photo papers and unacceptable for the Matte black papers. I have even tried a few times Profilemaker with similar results.

I think the differences you are seeing there are differences in profiling technology and *not* ColorBurst. ColorBurst's SpectralVision software is along the MonacoProfiler (MP) and i1Profiler (i1P) family of products which, IMO, has significant advantages over the ProfileMakerPro/EyeOneMatch family of products. I think you're liking the results of that family of products and would see the same thing if you used them to profile the driver with these papers. 

1.  is it possible for a Printer like me to produce better quality custom profiles from those companies like Epson and Hahnemuehle can produce and...

Yes, although the differences can be small to most users. Knowing what combination of software/hardware/settings or what remote profiling service to use can be the key.

2.  how important is for a Printer to have the possibility to control the Ink Limits (so to work with a RIP)

With the papers you're talking about, I'd say it's not important because your driver already has media settings that produce excellent results. Try making some MP/i1P profiles with the driver and go from there.
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Idololab
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2011, 01:57:21 AM »
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Thank you very much Marcin and Scott
You was very helpful . I will be back maybe  with some more questions
Have a nice week
George
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George Marinos
http://www.idololab.gr/
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2011, 03:25:32 AM »
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If print length issues are the reason to use IP or another RIP then Qimage (Ultimate) + Epson drivers can solve that part of the problem. Even for MAC users. I have seen IP used a a solution for Mac color issues, that's solved with Qimage too. That solution doesn't cost more than IP and keeps its value in time and with printer changes. A cheap/dumb PC printer server hooked up to a Mac can do the dirty work while the Mac user can enjoy the Mac's magics fully. Windows running on an emulator wouldn't be the same experience I think.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst


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