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Author Topic: Colour management problem  (Read 2521 times)
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« on: May 08, 2005, 04:11:45 PM »
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It would take a book to answer all of these questions. In fact, consider buying Mastering Digital Printing, Second Edition, by Johnson. This will answer all your questions, and then some.

But quickly on the points that you've raised: throw away Printfix. It's a toy, and will produce more problems than it solves.

Use the Epson supplied profiles, or better yet have a custom profile made for your printer, paper and inks. These cost less than $50 most places.

When you print, use Print with Preview, turn Color Management OFF and use the intended printer profile.

DON'T PLAY WITH SLIDERS!!!!

When you shoot a JPG the camera is doing all of the processing that you would normally do to a raw (NEF) file. If you shoot NEF then YOU have to do the work. But the trade off is that you get a better job done. Different raw converters make different starting point assumptions.

Michael
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Pete Johnson
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 04:33:54 AM »
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Thanks for the advice so far.

I have been through the Computer Darkroom tutorials, and I've set Photoshop up accordingly. I turn off Colour Management when using profiles, unless its the Epson 2100 profile supplied with the printer. In this case it needs Colour Management sliders on, but set to zero to give anything reasonable.

I don't want to get into playing with sliders - and I agree (now!) that Printfix is not a good purchase and causes more problems. Their support team is not much better either.

My Epson 2100 didn't install many different profiles - I got about 5 when it installed. Is there a place where I can download profiles for the printer - preferably with a good selection of papers too ?

I still need a solution that will give me good colour and Blackand White prints straight off (I know that's probably a contradiction so I'll settle for a good compromise betweent them). Is the best option a professional profile then? Can anyone recommend a good profiling service (I'm in the UK so a UK based one would be most helpful).

Thanks again for your help, and please keep the ideas coming I have a lot to learn here.
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Pete Johnson
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2005, 12:35:28 PM »
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I use a Nikon D100, Photoshop CS, Epson 2100 combination.
I have been trying to calibrate my system so I have colours that match my original view of the scenes I shoot (or close to it). I have "calibrated" my monitor with a Spyder2 colorimeter and used printfix to profile the printer... BUT....

...it isn't working right. Details given below, or just skip to my questions at the end of this post.

My monitor colours look ok ish. My prints come out with a magenta caste. After profiling! I'm working in Adobe RGB (1998) for camera and photoshop work spaces. I contacted the Printfix support people who said "play with the sliders till you get it right". This is very hit and miss and is wasting ink and paper. If I get the colours right for portraits my landscapes are too green - consistent with reduced magenta.
I've tried Epsons own printer profile (which should be close to reality) with no colour management, and with colour management but each slider set to zero (I get very different colours for the images, and neither are close to reality!).

Normally I work in CS, especially because it can open D100 NEF files directly. Today I opened a NEF image of a waterfall in CS and in Nikon Capture 3. I used Capture 3 to save the NEF as a high quality jpeg. No changes were made to the images other than open and save as. The images when opened in CS were very different. The jpeg looked much clearer. The NEF file was opened with the CS RAW converter defaults (I didn't alter anything) but came out with a compressed histogram compared to the jpeg, with duller colours. I tried auto levels on both images, NEF and jpeg. The jpeg didn't change, the NEF file turned blueish! This adds another variable to the colour problems - maybe my images are more magenta in CS!

OK - Questions I need help with:
1 - what am I doing wrong?
2 - how can I correctly profile my system so it prints realistic colours for all my images without wasting hours on test prints each time?
3 - why and how does CS produce such a different image from a NEF file (compared to Capture 3)?
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2005, 04:28:30 PM »
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Most of the time people complain of getting a magenta cast, it's because they're erroneously "double-profiling", i.e. having both PS and the printer provide profile-related corrections, each not knowing that the other one is, so it gets done twice (which always makes things too magenta).

The "Computer Darkroom" web site has some good tutorials on exactly how to set all the print-related settings:

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/ps7_print/ps7_print_1.htm

You might check the Computer Darkroom's instructions and see if you're accidently double-profiling somewhere. I believe that's why Michael suggests, "turn Color Management OFF".

Also, different raw conversion methods produce different-looking results because each assumes a different set of defaults for all the available settings. When one produces "duller" colors than another, it's usually because the first has been optimized to show you all the available color/brightness gamut to allow you to decide for yourself if you want to throw out any, while the less dull one is trying to make something that looks better "straight out of the box" at the risk of making changes that can be tough to undo later if you don't like its results.

Lisa
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 11:04:06 AM »
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Re profiles:

I would try the Epson web site to look for more profiles for your printer.  I haven't checked in a year or two, but I believe they at least *used* to update the profiles now & then and have them available for download.

Re your B&W problems:

At least when I got my 2200 (your 2100's American cousin) just after they became available, the European version of the printer came with a little side program called "Grey Balancer" (which was downloadable from some European web site at the time).  The Grey Balancer had you print a target with various shades of almost-gray, and you chose the one that most closely matched a neutral gray card, and then the Grey Balancer would tweak the printer profile to make it as neutral as possible based on which shade you chose.  It worked quite well for me to get neutral B&W prints (other than the slight metamerism issue, in which grays that look slightly magenta under incandescent lighting look slightly green under sunlight).  Did yours come with it?  If so, did you try it to get more neutral B&Ws?  If it didn't come with it, you might do a web search to see if it's still available somewhere.

Lisa
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