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Author Topic: Profile Making Products  (Read 1595 times)
John Caldwell
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« on: December 15, 2012, 10:02:33 AM »
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Until now, I've been sending out to Booksmart Studio for custom ICC profiles for our machines. Booksmart's process has revolved around two target images, with 1728 patches, each printed on letter size. Aside from some clerical mishaps, I've been satisfied with Booksmart's service and results.

Do I stand any change of creating my own profiles that are as good as those I've been getting from Booksmart? If so, what product do you suggest? I'd like a system that runs well in OSX, and a total investment not more than $1500. The Colormunki Photo gets discussion, but I wasn't confident that results would be on par.

Many thanks,

John Caldwell
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 10:37:51 AM »
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Maybe the question should be "Do I stand any chance of creating my own profiles that are better then those I am getting from the manufacturer"?
I spent some time with my Color Munki creating profiles and feel at best I still fell short of what I got from Epson and others.
If you have no profile for a certain media then buying or making your own makes perfect sense.
For me the time spent versus benefit seemed like a cat chasing its tail.
 I had some success with creating a profile for a canvas that did not have a profile from the manufacturer. (Had nothing to compare it too but looked good to me.)
I would give Andrew Rodney a shot before purchasing a Color Munki or i1.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 12:27:38 PM by Dan Berg » Logged

digitaldog
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 11:21:33 AM »
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I've been satisfied with Booksmart's service and results.

Can you be more specific as to the lack of satisfaction with the profiles?
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Andrew Rodney
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http://digitaldog.net/
John Caldwell
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 01:22:59 PM »
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PM sent. Thanks.
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 09:29:21 PM »
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Maybe the question should be "Do I stand any chance of creating my own profiles that are better then those I am getting from the manufacturer"?

Yes, Dan. This is simple and very well put.

John-
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Larry Heath
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 10:27:20 PM »
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Hello John,

Not knowing exactly what you are printing or on what paper and with what printer(s) is a bit of an impediment in making suggestions, but, never the less, I use the Colormunki Photo and for me as an amateur it works exceptionally well. The thing that I like the best with this system is the ability to update the profiles with and for specific images. The more images you update the profiles with the better the profile becomes.
Cost is about $450 so that is well within your stated budget. Building a first generation profile takes maybe 30 to 45 minutes, and that is with 20 minutes of letting the printed targets dry before scanning, hardly a time intensive endeavor in my book.

I have used a number of the canned profiles from Breathing Color for their papers, as well as Epson papers, on my Epson’s and produced quite good prints with them both color and B&W. On the other hand the profiles I have generated using the Colormunki are head and shoulders better and profiles updated using specific photo files are quite stunning, if I do say so myself.  I suppose that stunning in my book may simply be mediocre or subpar in yours or others, who is to say.  All things being equal, $450 doesn’t seem an overly large investment.  Finely from my point of view, no two printers are the exactly the same in their output, the enormous number of complicated and interrelated components and other variables make this a virtual certainty.  I therefore cannot see how one profile could possibly be optimized for all machines in all situations, this is a virtual impossibility.

I can’t see paying someone for profiles that I can produce whenever I need them; quickly achieving a what you see is what you get system between monitor and print.

With regard to Dan’s question, in my case, most assuredly I can produce profiles that allow me to make prints that are much better than those made with profiles provided by the manufacturer.

Later Larry
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Paris1968
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 01:28:17 PM »
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Maybe the question should be "Do I stand any chance of creating my own profiles that are better then those I am getting from the manufacturer"?

In my experience yes, almost every time.  My goal in profiling is twofold: (1) to get the same colors on the print that I see on my monitor's screen, no matter what combination of printer and paper I use, and (2) to get the best results my printer can deliver, as for instance, smooth gradation and detail in the shadows. I was never able to do either of those two things using the manufacturer's profiles. There were infrequently times when I could come close with one printer/paper combination, but if I used the same image on another printer with the manufacturer's profile for that paper/printer combination, the results would always be different.  I am very happy making my own profiles, and I hardly remember any longer all the time, ink, and paper I used to waste trying to get the colors on the screen to match to colors in my print.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 03:26:34 PM »
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Color Munki does a pretty good job at generating profiles that in some cases may be better than the manufacturer.  However, it's been my experience that I can get a better profile using an i1 Pro and the ArgyllCMS software package which is free.  It does involve a somewhat steep learning curve but can be customized in a number of ways.  It's important to remember that the manufacturer's profiles are based on an 'average' printer and yours might just be slightly different.  If you have settled on only a few different papers it's probably better to have the profiles done for you rather than making the investment in hardware and software (unless you are interested in doing this type of work and the money is not an issue).

Alan
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 05:14:46 PM »
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In my experience yes, almost every time...

Paris1968, What system are you using to generate profiles?

Thank you,

John Caldwell
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2012, 05:19:55 PM »
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...The manufacturer's profiles are based on an 'average' printer and yours might just be slightly different...

One of the points argued by some these days is that printer-to-printer variation has become vanishingly small, and therefore, the custom profile that was valuable ten years ago is less so today. I have no idea if this is true or false, and just what level of repeatability is possible between, say, Epson 7900 units. Interested in anyone who can comment on how much variation there is in current units...

Thanks for participating,

John Caldwell
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Paris1968
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2012, 05:49:12 PM »
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Paris1968, What system are you using to generate profiles?

Thank you,

John Caldwell

I use i1Profiler with an isIs.  I calibrate the monitor, an NEC PA241W, with the Spectraview II software, and I measure the ambient light with an i1 Pro.  I use the X-Rite generated charts with anywhere from 1600 to 3098 patches.  Everthing seems to work smoothly, just as it should.
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irvweiner
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 07:32:12 PM »
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John, I am not a pro photographer or pro printer, just a serious hobbyist. If I were a working pro, my income dependent on the quality of my work, I would not hesitate to use Xrite pro products. They would be a legitimate business expense.

I have owned both the Colormunki and the Spyder systems. For monitor profiling, I found both to be satisfactory--for media profiling the Colormunki was my choice. The Spyder3 reading of the target patches was frustrating, too many repeats and repeats.
The cost of the single Colormunki device or the 2 Spyder devices (for monitor and printer) were pretty equal. At present, the promo for the Colormunki is ~$350.

With regard to profiling performance, remember that your personal monitor, printer is a subsample. Not only will the profile vary because of this but its profile will vary with humidity and temperature. When profiling various media, I have found that my personal profile was always an improvement over the vendors--again for similar reasons. I'm profiling my personal sample of the media and my printer at this time--not an extended average.

As a serious photographer/printer person I strive for the best quality I can achieve--thus I profile and the 'one-piece' Munki has been more than satisfactory for my efforts.

irv weiner
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2012, 06:51:36 AM »
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Thank you, Paris 1968 and Irv.

John-
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Timein
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2012, 09:17:49 AM »
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Where can I get the colormunki on promo for $350. Thanks.
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sfblue
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 07:59:48 PM »
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"However, it's been my experience that I can get a better profile using an i1 Pro and the ArgyllCMS software package which is free.  It does involve a somewhat steep learning curve but can be customized in a number of ways"

Alan, in regards to the steep learning curve, are you referring to the ArgyllCMS software or just the i1 Pro in general?  I just switched from my now defunct Epson 7900 to the Canon ipf8400 and have a strong interest in using the True Black and White by Bowhaus per another thread here on LuLa.  I have been debating ColorMunki, I1Pro, or continuing to outsource profiles which might be limiting for TBW(?).   Thus the question about the steep learning curve in regards to the i1Pro and whether it is worth the time and money for me.

My only experience profiling was a few years ago with a Spyder, which fit my budget at the time.  I tried to assiduously follow directions, but made just lousy lousy profiles.  I ended up buying some from Eric Chan and a couple other sources which were very good.  I had a good workflow set up for the 7900 for the papers and printing that I did.  I may be starting from scratch with the Canon and thus am re-evaluating profiling again.

Thanks,

Dan
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 08:01:33 AM »
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"However, it's been my experience that I can get a better profile using an i1 Pro and the ArgyllCMS software package which is free.  It does involve a somewhat steep learning curve but can be customized in a number of ways"

Alan, in regards to the steep learning curve, are you referring to the ArgyllCMS software or just the i1 Pro in general?  anks,

Dan

Check you PM, I just sent you a response.

Alan
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