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Author Topic: Camera - Screen - Print calibration question  (Read 1349 times)
MrJPH
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« on: December 11, 2012, 04:45:38 PM »
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Hello,

My first post!  :-)  After a couple years of debating, I have concluded that I want to go the printing of my own photographic prints myself, instead of sending them to a lab... I prefer the better control.  Also, read into that - I am a newbie, and going into this learning as I go.  :-)

Today, I am going to invest in Epson's R3000 printer, and NEC's 27" Wide-Gamet display, as well as sample packs of photo paper from Epson, Canson, Hahnemuhle, Museo, to see which paper I like the best (I wanted to try Ilford also, but they don't have a sample pack, and really only have one acid-free paper that I could see)...

My question is, after viewing Mr. Reichmann's awesome Camera To Print tutorial series, which was very helpful, I just had a question come to me, which I am curious about especially in investing in all this equipment -

Is acquiring a calibration system, outside and more than for the NEC monitor (meaning also a system to calibrate printers), really necessary if color profiles can be downloaded from paper manufacturers?

I guess I am just curious if, okay - color profiles have been created by the paper manufacturers themselves, for the specific brand and series of printer I will have... but, does and will each and every Epson R3000 printer print exactly the same?  And those paper manufacturers' color profiles be close enough, across the board, that will be fine and good enough for me to use?  Or, would it be a good idea to also invest in a more elaborate calibration system, so as to have a more precise, tailored to my specifically owned R3000 printer unit?  Or, would that just really be a waste of money?  Especially since the full calibration systems are A LOT of money... adding that, when all done and calibrated, I have really no further use for this expensive calibration system (or, would I?).

Really, some experienced advice and suggestions, I would really welcome and appreciate.  And thank you in advance!

All the best to you,
JPH

PS:  And if I go and acquire the NEC 27" with the SpectraView bundle to cover the monitor calibration side, what would be a compatible, only needed addition to do just printer calibration then?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 04:55:25 PM by MrJPH » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 04:59:36 PM »
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I can't speak for the 3000. For the 3800/3880/4900 printers, they behave close within their groups, maintain that behavior over time and the canned profiles can produce very good output. Worth testing with a sheet of paper and a good reference image. Custom profiles can and do improve things to a degree but start with the canned profiles, get printing and soft proofing down before you go off into another direction just to build some profiles. If paper manufacturer's canned profile is great while another isn't so hot, that says a lot about the paper and the profile <g>.
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Andrew Rodney
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MrJPH
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 05:14:30 PM »
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Thank you, Mr. Rodney, I appreciate your reply.

I am thinking I am going to go that route for now - I will go ahead and get the NEC 27" with the bundled SpectraView, to at least know that it is calibrated to the best of it's ability, and then just go from there and use the paper manufacturers' base profile of their papers with the R3000.

Which I agree, they want their paper's results to look the best with each given printer, so would think that the profile that they'd put out for their users, will be as good as they can be and get... so, will just use them, and see who comes the closest to the best in look and quality to me with their paper, from those base profiles, and the R3000... and if need be, can customize and tweak from there if need be.  Just kinda scary and exciting at the same time  :-)  I want to put forth the investment for quality, but just not unnecessarily if need be, as I am not a money-bags... but, if necessary and best, I will put forth the investment, because that is very important to me... just again, if not...

Thank you again for your time and assistance, sir, in helping out a new guy starting out in navigating these waters, I appreciate it.  All the best to you,
JPH
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Rand47
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 08:24:55 AM »
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JPH,

Don't forget to run some tests at different luminance values on your monitor profile parameters as you zero in on screen/print match.  I'd suggest doing this w/ a good reference image.  E.g. my NEC profile is as 95 cdm rather than the default.  There isn't one correct answer/setting as it is editing area ambient light dependent.

Rand

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MrJPH
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 10:50:54 AM »
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Hello, Rand -

Good point, and will be sure to do so, thank you.

All the best to you,
JPH
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MrJPH
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 06:22:23 PM »
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You know, I have a follow-up inquiry with all of this...

As for my camera, Nikon's D700, it is calibrated to shoot at Adobe RGB... and am just referencing Mr. Reichmann's awesome Camera To Print Tutorial series, where him and Mr. Schewe discuss color gamut and such...

So, I am capturing an image in Adobe RGB, but, have my workspace set to ProPhoto RGB - is that really pointless?  Because to put it in Mike and Jeff's terms, I am taking my Adobe RGB bucket and just going and dumping it into this much larger ProPhoto RGB bucket, which, since ProPhoto is a much larger gamut, the contents of my Adobe RGB bucket will like only fill up two-thirds of the ProPhoto bucket workspace.  As Jeff put it, to Mike's chagrin :-), the gamut of colors is cut off like in a sex change operation, in the Adobe RGB, compared to the fuller bucket of ProPhoto RGB - so why set one's workspace to ProPhoto RGB, when I'm bringing in an Adobe RGB file that's not going to have the full range of colors already coming in?

I can see if cameras could be set to capture in ProPhoto RGB, and obviously of course, you'd want to not lose any of the vast breadth of color gamut captured, and continue to work with all those colors in a ProPhoto RGB workspace.  But, if the most one can shoot with is Adobe RGB, then shouldn't really one's workspace be set at Adobe RGB also?

Seriously, I'm asking.

And really, what's the point anyway?  Because, either an image is going to be cut off even more and placed into a smaller bucket for display on monitors and/or devices, which for the majority, except for high end monitors, are only able to display sRGB at best and most.  Or, it's going to be sent to be printed on a printer that is only able to reproduce a color gamut of maybe Adobe RGB at best... correct and enlighten me please if I am wrong.

So, I guess - what's the point of ProPhoto RGB now, in this day and age?  Sure it's awesome and nice to be able to be able to work with such a huge bucket of colors, but when nothing captures in it (again, that my ignorant self is aware of, correct me if I am wrong), and work on monitors that can't display all of it, or all our end results being sent to devices, machines, printers that can't reproduce them all - is it really worth it, and just pointless to do so and use it?

Okay, just some curious questions that have been tossing around my head since watching the Camera To Print tutorials... and even more with my beginning this investment into getting monitors, printers, etc., and determining workflows.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 06:49:35 PM »
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You know, I have a follow-up inquiry with all of this...

As for my camera, Nikon's D700, it is calibrated to shoot at Adobe RGB...

If you are shooting raw, that's not the case. That setting applies to the JPEG.
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Andrew Rodney
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JRSmit
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2012, 02:43:28 PM »
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Huge bucket of colors?
to my knowledge the actual number of unique colors in most if not all images is way less than the number of possible unique colors in any of the sRGB, aRGB or pRGB. That is also not the point with colorspaces. Having a large colorspace as pRGB as working space reduces the risk of clipping during the transformations to and from. clipping is permanent and cannot be recovered. The colorspace of the image that is needed to prevent clipping can be quite large, think of very satured colors like flowers. The printer colorspace is different in shape again, and especially with today's inkjetprinters significantly exceed that of aRGB at certain parts. Yet aRGB exceeds on other parts that of those printers, for instance in the very light colors, the almost white colors like the very light green tints on the leaf of an orchid.
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