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Author Topic: Prints darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing?  (Read 18972 times)
ZoranC
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« on: March 07, 2012, 12:55:22 PM »
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I am having a problem with Epson 3880 that I can only describe as prints being darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing. If I take a photo of my work area and print it it ends up darker than what I am seeing around me. It takes print of photo taken +1 EV exposure to approximately match what I actually see.

What is going on and how to address it?
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AFairley
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 12:57:39 PM »
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How does the print look compared to what you see on your monitor?
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ZoranC
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 01:02:06 PM »
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How does the print look compared to what you see on your monitor?
Also much darker. Monitor is close enough to matching reality.
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Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 01:02:58 PM »
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I am having a problem with Epson 3880 that I can only describe as prints being darker than reality / what my eyes are seeing.

Read this and get back to us...Why Are My Prints Too Dark?
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ZoranC
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 01:30:52 PM »
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Read this and get back to us...Why Are My Prints Too Dark?

That article is talking about calibrating monitor. I know this kind of reply is automatic first reaction to any post that includes words "print too dark" but please notice I am not processing these pictures at all nor involving monitor into judgement are they too dark. I am comparing print of the room in front of me to the room in front of me itself. Print is much darker than room itself. I am not trying screend and print to match. I am trying to find why printer is not matching reality.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 01:32:55 PM by ZoranC » Logged
chichornio
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 01:38:02 PM »
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I would check the paper icc profile. Maybe your printer is inyecting more ink than it should.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2012, 01:42:20 PM »
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... I am comparing print of the room in front of me to the room in front of me itself. Print is much darker than room itself. I am not trying screend and print to match. I am trying to find why printer is not matching reality.

Zorane, one thing that comes to mind is that your camera is underexposing the scene? Hence the +1 EV exposure compensation you mentioned in your first post.
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Slobodan

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ZoranC
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 01:44:50 PM »
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I would check the paper icc profile. Maybe your printer is inyecting more ink than it should.

Paper is Epson Ultra Presentation Matte (I am using original Epson inks) and selecting profile with exactly same name. I also get same problem (print darker than reality) with other Epson papers and their matching profiles.

So I doubt it is profile.

_BUT_ it could be printer injecting more ink than it should because this matte paper comes out "warped" the way wet paper looks and once some time passes it is back to flat.
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Schewe
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 01:47:31 PM »
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I know this kind of reply is automatic first reaction to any post that includes words "print too dark" but please notice I am not processing these pictures at all nor involving monitor into judgement are they too dark.

Well, you are processing them somehow...don't know too many cameras that can print directly from the camera. (there are some...but even then the captures would get processed).

So, do you have a profiled display? How are you evaluating the image? What application? How are you printing?

From the sound of it, you're simply under exposing the scene in camera.
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ZoranC
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 01:52:03 PM »
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Zorane, one thing that comes to mind is that your camera is underexposing the scene? Hence the +1 EV exposure compensation you mentioned in your first post.

Slobodane, that is one of very first things I checked so I took series of exposures from 0EV to 1EV and 0EV looked exposed correctly when I checked it on monitor and checked it's histogram. 1EV was looking overexposed both on monitor and histogram wise. Also shots I have taken with different cameras before all look too dark when printed, and those shots are all SOOC. So that makes me believe it is not the exposure issue unless every single camera I had was underexposing.
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ZoranC
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 01:56:21 PM »
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Well, you are processing them somehow...don't know too many cameras that can print directly from the camera. (there are some...but even then the captures would get processed).

So, do you have a profiled display? How are you evaluating the image? What application? How are you printing?

From the sound of it, you're simply under exposing the scene in camera.

Unless every single camera I used over the years has been consistently underexposing by at least a stop it's not the correctness of exposure that is in question because every single shot I tried to print is coming out too dark.

I have tried printing from more than one applcation. Photoshop Elements causes darkest prints. They are VERY dark. Prints from QPrint are better than from Elements but are still too dark. Prints from QuickView match ones from QPrint. Prints I have started this thread about are ones done by QPrint/QuickView.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 02:03:43 PM by ZoranC » Logged
chichornio
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 02:18:08 PM »
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I have tried printing from more than one applcation. Photoshop Elements causes darkest prints. They are VERY dark. Prints from QPrint are better than from Elements but are still too dark. Prints from QuickView match ones from QPrint. Prints I have started this thread about are ones done by QPrint/QuickView.

I would try LR4 beta with soft proofing on. Works perfect for me, loading the paper profile and using perceptual rendering. Check the histogram (the output, not the monitor). Good luck!
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 02:19:15 PM »
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... 1EV was looking overexposed both on monitor and histogram wise...

Just speculating further: if the monitor is too bright, then a camera underexposure would be "corrected" and look ok. In my humble opinion, histogram can not be used to judge a "correct" exposure, just if there are clippings on either side (or both). Also, camera LCD screen can be too bright too.
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Slobodan

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Schewe
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 02:19:19 PM »
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...that is one of very first things I checked so I took series of exposures from 0EV to 1EV and 0EV looked exposed correctly when I checked it on monitor and checked it's histogram. 1EV was looking overexposed both on monitor and histogram wise.

Ah..so we get back to the display being too bright causing your prints to look too dark. Unless you correctly calibrate and profile your display, then you will prolly never get prints to match your display–which is what you want, right? To be able to evaluate your image on the display and have your prints have the proper tonality?
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ZoranC
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 02:24:00 PM »
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Just speculating further: if the monitor is too bright, then a camera underexposure would be "corrected" and look ok. In my humble opinion, histogram can not be used to judge a "correct" exposure, just if there are clippings on either side (or both). Also, camera LCD screen can be too bright too.

Once again, if this was a simple underexposure from single camera I would not be having number of shots taken over number of years with number of different cameras in all possible metering modes _ALL_ ending up underexposed.
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chichornio
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2012, 02:25:50 PM »
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Ah..so we get back to the display being too bright causing your prints to look too dark. Unless you correctly calibrate and profile your display, then you will prolly never get prints to match your display–which is what you want, right? To be able to evaluate your image on the display and have your prints have the proper tonality?

You are right, but sometimes this in not the only solution. I´m using the z3200ps 44", and only after re-profiling the paper (specially cotton matte paper, or high contrast papers like Canson Platine Fibre Rag) and telling the printer to inkject less ink, I would get a decent match with my monitor (and not blocked black areas, in the case of black and white prints)
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ZoranC
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2012, 02:29:10 PM »
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Unless you correctly calibrate and profile your display, then you will prolly never get prints to match your display–which is what you want, right? To be able to evaluate your image on the display and have your prints have the proper tonality?

I don't know how I can say this more clearly than I already had but I will try: No, shot is not underexposed and no, I am not using monitor as my reference point for judging, I am comparing print to scene itself.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2012, 02:38:31 PM »
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Then the only thing left to do is to adjust your image until you are happy with the prints. If you are lucky, the same adjustment may work on a group of images if they are all the same 'darkness' to which you object. The print is real, so you need to adjust until it matches what you see in the 'real world' with your eyes. Personally, I'd adjust my monitor until it matches your prints, so at least what you see on your monitor is what you will get out of your printer.

I hate to belabor this point, because you have made it quite clear that you are using a calibrated monitor. When I bought my HP 24" monitor I had to take the 'brightness' from 400 cd/m2 to 120 cd/m2 before it was fully calibrated. Colors were fine but brightness was crazy bright. My wife complains that the monitor is too dark. Oh well, that's the way it is, "use the laptop" is my response.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2012, 02:40:40 PM »
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It is possible that you are double profiling your photograph. That will usually make a dark print.

Sharon
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Schewe
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2012, 02:44:23 PM »
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It is possible that you are double profiling your photograph. That will usually make a dark print.
Actually, double color management makes lighter more red/magenta prints. Prints that are dark and green come from no color management...
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