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Author Topic: Colorchecker Passport and Fine Art Reproduction  (Read 18318 times)
bill t.
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« Reply #60 on: January 29, 2012, 07:15:56 PM »
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The 3 or so different brands of "gallery quality"  LED lights I have actually seen in use have had all the subtlety of disco lights.  Certain narrow ranges of colors in inkjet prints pop out like dayglow paint, others simply fade to murky grunge.

Anybody using those Hogarth lights?  The light looks decent so far as a web shot can represent.  As far as I can tell about $600+ to light a sofa sized piece.

I'll be seeing stuff like that tomorrow at a framing show in Las Vegas.  Will report if anything looks promising.  A good LED light source would certainly be welcome, electricity costs can be pretty stiff for a properly lighted gallery, not to mention challenging the air conditioning in summer (although helping the heating in winter).  But, cost would have to come down to no more than about $150 per large piece of artwork before any major adoptions at retail level.
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bwana
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« Reply #61 on: February 06, 2012, 06:15:37 PM »
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i found that using adobe's dng profile maker is a great timesaver. i shoot the color target and the dng profilemaker application has a tab labeled 'calibration'. you put four cross hairs over your photo of the target and it generates a color profile recipe automatically. the next step is to export the profile. dng is smart enough to export it to the correct folder of adobe camera raw so that when you open a raw image in LR or ACR in PS, the profile is right there. i do find that the target leads to more saturated colors.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2012, 03:47:00 PM »
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Update: Ordered the QP Card on Jan. 27th. As of Feb. 15th, I still have not received, and the QP company does not respond to emails. May have to take this to dispute with my credit card company. Even coming from Sweden, this is a long time.  I will update if this company shows any interest in responding to my emails or letting me know the status of my order.  At this time, I would NOT recommend ordering a QP Card from QPCard.com.
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2012, 04:45:15 PM »
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Update: Ordered the QP Card on Jan. 27th. As of Feb. 15th, I still have not received, and the QP company does not respond to emails. May have to take this to dispute with my credit card company. Even coming from Sweden, this is a long time.  I will update if this company shows any interest in responding to my emails or letting me know the status of my order.  At this time, I would NOT recommend ordering a QP Card from QPCard.com.

why not just call them - I guess all people in Sweden speak English...
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Roscolo
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« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2012, 05:32:07 PM »
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Update:

Never received my order. They responded to my email and sent my order again, and included a free add'l. smaller QP color card to compensate for the hassle. So, that has now arrived. Looking forward to using it, and will update here. I'll probably start a new thread as this is QP, not Passport.



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Roscolo
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« Reply #65 on: March 26, 2012, 10:23:11 PM »
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I do fine art reproduction for a living and have found that the Passport profiles are a little too vivid, plus the 24 samples are not very evenly distributed in the color spectrum, so there are some pretty big holes that the software has to guess at (I know MacBeth's motivation for choosing the colors they chose, but it doesn't help me much).  I've had better luck with the Qp card, and their free Qpcalibration software.  The 35 colors in the Qp chart are more helpful for art reproduction purposes, at least for me, and I find that I start with a closer approximation using that system than what I was using with a MacBeth chart and DNGProfiler (which I liked better than the Passport software).  Photo printing is so much easier to do than art reproduction, just because the standards are so high when side by side comparisons are as easy as they are with art.

Received the QP Card, and they even updated the software for me (that's what I call product support Smiley   ) because I had an issue with my camera profile not being "seen" by Photoshop (camera model name issue). So I have not used QP extensively, but on my first piece, a challenging watercolor, the QP Card camera profile was almost 100% perfect on the first proof! I should point out that the QP system has several settings, so you can build a profile using about 9 different presets, and it was one of these 9 that was dead on. Way better than the Passport! You'll likely have to order it from Sweden, but it is reasonably priced and worth the wait. Highly recommend the QP card!

HUGE thanks to Colorwave for the recommendation!
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Colorwave
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« Reply #66 on: March 26, 2012, 11:17:01 PM »
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Happy to hear that I didn't lead you astray, Roscolo.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #67 on: March 27, 2012, 08:23:40 AM »
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I'm curious why there hasn't been more discussion of the limited gamut of the paper/ink combinations as a 'culprit' in the lack of visual match.  Someone, forget who, mentioned it but then it just went away. 
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aaronchan
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« Reply #68 on: March 27, 2012, 11:34:20 AM »
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But how does the QP Card 203 compare to the ColorChecker SG?

I've used Qualux Vopho, it is really good but the color is a bit too saturated, which you can easily re-adj. the setting under the software and recreate a new one after your test

Aaron
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Dinarius
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« Reply #69 on: April 01, 2012, 11:35:35 AM »
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One problem I have with the Color Checher is its 4 x 6 grid format. In order to incorporate it into an image, I frequently have to pull back the camera. This can waste shed loads of pixels that would otherwise be capturing the artwork.

Ideally, I would like a 1 x 24 grid CC, available in large & small squares. In short, similar to the Kodak strips we all used in film days.

For me it is imperative that every image contains a chart since the files can often be used separately afterwards.

But, I would also like to be able to maximise resolution.

Great thread, by the way.

D.
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elolaugesen
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« Reply #70 on: April 01, 2012, 12:11:27 PM »
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Sent an email to QPcard to ask about their product referring to discussion on this site.
specifically I asked about capturing the right data for original artwork as compared to photos...

below is their second email...    I will be buying one of their charts as I find  passport colours too bright/gaudy in colours..  ( or is it me?)

Hi!

Lars already wrote a few things, but I though that some things were maybe still a bit unclear.

1) 203 is most probably better for you, since the 202 is slightly more sensitive to specular reflections. The 202 IS larger and easier to incorporate in larger works though, so as long as you have a reasonable control over lighting angles (and I guess you do, since you're into art-repro) 202 should not be a problem in your case.

2) The exposure has to meet those requirements:
-no colors overexposed in the raw file. When you open a file, no "blinkies" should be seen in the raw converter
-not severely underexposed. If you can add more than +2Ev exposure without getting blowing the "white" patch, you've probably lost some profiling accuracy.

There's a +/- 1Ev "window" of optimal exposure for the software to work with, and generally this is not very hard to satisfy. It WORKS with -3Ev exposure too, but the result is less accurate.

For your type of work (art-repro, of which I have done my fair bit...) often the exposure curve tends to mess things up a lot. The calibration gives you "accurate color" when everything is set to "zero", i.e no added contrast, no s-curve in the shadows and so on. When you add those things in, you oversaturate the midtones - where the exposure curve of a normal S-shaped type is at its' steepest.

steep curve - midtones - saturation increases
shallow curve - shadows and highlights - saturation decreases
When the RGB values has "one leg in the highlights and one leg in the midtones" you get a hue shift.

All of those things has to be adjusted for with human interaction, since there's no "perfect" exposure curve for any given type of art. But if you know the effect things have on your colors, they are quite easy to correct for. And when you have one good "oil, with semi-matte surface structure" setup, then this works for most pieces of similar qualities, regardless of artwork color constitution.

Feel free to as any more questions you might have, I will help you with setup of the calibration (via email of course...) :-) if you want some hints.

Greetings from Sweden
/Joakim Bengtsson
Senior developer, QPcard.com
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Dinarius
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« Reply #71 on: April 02, 2012, 04:12:04 AM »
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I shot fine art for reproduction for 15+ years. I used a SINAR 4X5 (vacumn back) with AM ED Nikon APO lenses. Voltage stabilized tungsten lighting, cross polarized in a blacked out studio and I used the standard GMB color checker. I ran the Sitte Tischer line myself and could tweek a bit there if needed. Large drum scans were run in L.A. by the best and presses were profiled. We got really, really close, but certain colors were never really true.

Pastels - tuff
Water colors - pretty easy
Acylics - artist seldom cared
Oil - a bitch

Today I use a SONY A850 and CZ glass with the same lighting setup. We start much closer to the end result we're looking for and the time saved in the camera is now used in PS. Capture 1 does the best for most everything. I still run through ACR and a couple others when I get a new client but it's rare that we use anything but C1.

In the end it's still all subjective.

Amen to everything you wrote above.

I use a multi-shot Hasselblad. MS files can only be processed using Hasselblad's own software. I use this set to what they call 'Reproduction Mode'. Straight out of the box colour is extremely good.

White balance is achieved using a http://www.basiccolor.de/basiccolor-gray-card/ Fantastic piece of kit!

Just wondering if anyone has made test comparisons of Adobe's Profile Editor vs. X-Rite's, using Passport for both? I also shoot art using a Canon 1DsMklll, so I'd be interested to hear.

Lastly, the input of the designer and the printer (and his knowledge of his printing press) cannot be underestimated. Best printing I've ever had done of my work was in Brussels. Don't ask me why.

Thanks.

D.

Ps. Just ran a test to compare Adobe Profile creator vs. X-Rite as follows:

Evenly lit image of large X-Rite and basiccolor grey card.

Created profile in both software products, then opened them in ACR. I then made a white balance using the grey card, set the white patch at 245, the black patch at 53/54 and adjusted the brightness slider to make the grey card 143/143/143 (its correct A1998 value).

This image was shot using the 1DsMklll and the blue and yellow patches are always a problem IMHO. In Adobe profile, blue is 44, 60, 139. In X-Rite it's 32, 56, 139. Not bad all round.

In Adobe, yellow is 246, 216, 58. In X-Rite it's 250, 217, 41. Again not bad all round.

The green patch was 104, 156, 81 (Adobe, very good) and 110, 166, 83, X-Rite - less good.

Finally, viewing the chart in a D65 lightbox, the Adobe created profile looks less saturated overall and more accuate than the X-Rite one.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 04:44:42 AM by Dinarius » Logged
Dinarius
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« Reply #72 on: April 02, 2012, 05:14:32 AM »
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Hence my disappointment in the Colorchecker. I've always used just my own eyes, and my eyes are better than the Colorchecker. My expectations for the Colorchecker were perhaps a bit high. I have ordered the QP Card, though, thanks to the recommendation on this thread, and I'll report back how it does vs. the Colorchecker.

Have to disagree. Used with ACR (LR, percentage readouts and Melissa (FFS!) RGB are a complete joke for serious colour work in my opinion - Prosumer, NOT Pro) and it 0-255 Adobe 1998 readout, I think that a CC has to be more accurate than the naked eye.

That said, if your clients are happy.......  Smiley

D.
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Dinarius
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« Reply #73 on: April 02, 2012, 05:19:02 AM »
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IMO I think you're better off fixing each color error by eye as you encounter with each fine art piece viewed under tungsten because I doubt you're going to have trouble with all the colors in all the pieces. But if this QP card gets you closer, then it may be worth the effort.

In an ideal world, yes. But, most of us who do a lot of this find ourselves in a situation where art is put in front of the camera and removed immediately after the shot. The client wants as much art as possible documented in the day/half day they've booked you for.

So, the only practical solution is to rely on accuracy of the captured ones and zeros back at the office, and hope that the designer and printer follow suit up the line.

D.
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