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Author Topic: How do you make you own ICC printer profiles?  (Read 4936 times)
johnbirch
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« on: January 04, 2013, 03:01:28 PM »
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What is everyone using to make your own printer ICC profiles?  In particular, what hardware are you using.  I use an Epson 4900 printer.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 07:27:42 AM »
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i1 Pro spectro with ArgyllCMS software (it's free!).
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afx
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 07:45:16 AM »
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ColorMunki with ArgyllCMS (the Xrite software for the ColorMunki is total cr.. for making print profiles).

cheers
afx
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Czornyj
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 08:08:50 AM »
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Due to my slight obsession I had been using i1Pro + i1match + Atkinson targets, i1Pro & ColorMunki + ArgyllCMS (also tested basICColor print in the meantime), upgraded to Spectrolino+Spectroscan + ArgyllCMS (Argyll generates very smart hexagonal patches for Spectroscan).

I ended up with i1Publish Pro2. I like it for convenience, quality of improved i1Pro2 spectrophotometer, nice perceptual rendering intents, ease of use, and - last but not least - a stylish carrying case.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 08:11:24 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Sal Baker
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 11:39:18 AM »
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I've been getting excellent results using ColorMunki Photo for printer and display profiles.

Sal
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jrsforums
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2013, 11:51:15 AM »
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What is everyone using to make your own printer ICC profiles?  In particular, what hardware are you using.  I use an Epson 4900 printer.

Thanks,

Jeff

I use Datacolor SpyderPrint.  Makes great profiles, easily, at reasonable cost.
http://spyder.datacolor.com/en/portfolio-view/spyderprint/

A review by Keith at:
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/profiling/spyder3print_sr.html#media_check

John
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John
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 12:17:26 PM »
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I use Datacolor SpyderPrint.  Makes great profiles, easily, at reasonable cost.
http://spyder.datacolor.com/en/portfolio-view/spyderprint/

The "problem" is sometimes it doesn't depending on a number of factors, mostly because it isn't a real Spectrophotometer like the ColorMunki which will also deal with display calibration (even odd display technology like LED or wide gamut).

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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 01:19:09 PM »
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The "problem" is sometimes it doesn't depending on a number of factors, mostly because it isn't a real Spectrophotometer like the ColorMunki which will also deal with display calibration (even odd display technology like LED or wide gamut).

That is BS, as Keith covers in his article(s)....and he is a user of xrite printer profiling products....primarily for the automated scanning.  

Andrew, you and others, have made this elitist, promotionally biased statement before.  I have NEVER seen it backed up by fact.  As Jeff would say....show me the facts...!!!

John

BTW...do not muddy a discussion of printer profiling with display profiling.  While colormunki does both, the SpyderPrint is dedicated to print.  A separate, dedicated Spyder offering is for displays.  Also, last I knew, xrite "crippled" any advantage the Colormunki hardware might have had by limiting the software provided...no upgrade to greater capability provided.  If you want that, you need to but the full xrite kit.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 01:25:41 PM by jrsforums » Logged

John
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 01:30:38 PM »
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Just went to the ArgyllCMS website to see howto use this software with my ColorMunki.  Wow way over my head. Command line interface?  Confused as to how this creates a profile?
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2013, 01:36:15 PM »
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Here is just one example, when i get to home base, i will provid others:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/ACCS/S3P/S3P.HTM

Sent from my iPhone
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Andrew Rodney
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Czornyj
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 01:50:49 PM »
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Just went to the ArgyllCMS website to see howto use this software with my ColorMunki.  Wow way over my head. Command line interface?  Confused as to how this creates a profile?

It's not as complicated as it looks. I had a good time learning how to cast a spell to create a profile, calibrate a display or check the OBA content in a paper Wink

Start here:
http://argyllcms.com/doc/Scenarios.html
http://www.argyllcms.com/FCMS2010_ArgyllTute.pdf
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 01:52:48 PM by Czornyj » Logged

jrsforums
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 01:55:07 PM »
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Here is just one example, when i get to home base, i will provid others:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/ACCS/S3P/S3P.HTM

Sent from my iPhone

This article is almost 4 years old.  Please read Keith article,recently updated, which covers the EZ  targets that provide self analyzing reading to reduce bad reads.

The way I read the article was that the problem was errors in reading....having nothing, other tan conjecture, to do with the hardware.
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John
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2013, 03:44:25 PM »
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Couple quotes from Keith's article: http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/profiling/spyder3print_sr.html#media_check

"...I've looked at the Spyder3Print system (and its predecessors) several time in the past and always found it easy to use, with a great deal of useful support and explanatory information.

If I'd had a minor quibble it would be the 'one at a time' patch measurement approach and its susceptibility to errors if you were not careful enough.

I realise that this is a personal quirk, not helped by the fact that I've got automated measurement equipment here, that is ten times the price of the Datacolor system.

The new SR sensor makes it a lot easier to take simple consistent measurements. you can use it in the previous 'patch at a time' mode if you like, or try one of the new scanning modes, where you move it across the paper.

That said, poor measurements make poor profiles, so it's nice to see the new 'EZ' print targets where the software will do its best to alert you to mistakes..."

"...You may see arguments on forums about the relative merits of different measuring devices - I take the view that if the results are good then that's the main feature. Also, like heated camera debates, a majority of those arguing won't actually have the devices in question. I've got examples of every device reviewed on this site and am happy to answer more detailed questions about anything I've written..."

Keith has been doing hands on, detailed, and fair testing and review of monitor and print calibration devices for years.  Read his reviews of x-rite devices, including ColorMunki. 

John
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John
johnbirch
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2013, 04:02:22 PM »
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

Jeff
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digitaldog
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 05:34:39 PM »
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That is BS, as Keith covers in his article(s)....

Wow, what crawled up your....

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BTW...do not muddy a discussion of printer profiling with display profiling.  While colormunki does both, the SpyderPrint is dedicated to print.  A separate, dedicated Spyder offering is for displays.

At what additional cost? How's that muddying the water?

On B&H the SpyderPRINT system costs $319. It doesn't have provisions to profile a display or projector. On the same site, the ColorMunki is $449. So right off the bat, you're saving money on the ColorMunki. That is mudding?

The ColorMunki is a true Spectrophotometer. A 10nm LED device that produces spectral data. The SpyderPRINT is said to be a Spectrocolometer (whatever that is, a colorimeter? A Spectrophotometer? A dessert topping and floor wax)? Does it really produce spectral data?

The SpyderPRINT package comes with profile tuning sliders, ask yourself why (lots of users apparently need to use them to get a desired profile, not necessary with ColorMunki). And does the edit affect both parts of the profile table? What's the cost in terms of time, ink and paper to tune a profile?

The SpyderPRINT seems to expect a 729 patch target, one patch at a time, the ColorMunki only requires 100 patches and it can measure in a scanning mode. Faster and as importantly, you're getting something like 100 samples per second, averaging the measured data. One patch at a time? I did that back in early 90's with a ColorTron and let me tell you, it's no fun. Yes, the ColorMunki requires two sets of targets (50+50) to be measured and perhaps someone who's really good at measuring a single patch could read 729 faster than someone could scan 100 IF you include the time you don't have to sit there waiting for the 2nd print to dry before you measure it. But if time is money, you can do something else while the 2nd target dries. Either way, you'll be spending far, far less time measuring with the Munki and getting more data averaging.

But how is the quality of the Munki? My friend George Jardine the Lightroom guy has a Munki and built profiles on two papers, asked me to build profiles using i1Profiler, an iSis XL, 1729 patches plus 2505 optimization patches and we compared the output from both. Mine was a little better but not by much. Of course you can't take MY word for it, ask George as he's got a set of prints too (http://mulita.com/blog/)

Look, if someone wants me to compare the 729 one patch a a time profile (ugh) to the iSis using the same process as I did for George, loan me a unit for a few days. I'll even have George print the same images.

Quote
This article is almost 4 years old.

What's the saying about those who neglect history? OK, more recent offerings, not that this has as high a bearing on the two products as the items presented above.

http://stonerosephotos.com/blog/2010/08/fun-with-spyder3print-sr/

However, the system is not without its pitfalls. I learned several of these the hard way. In fact, my initial efforts were absolutely abysmal; and I finally wound up raising a ticket with Datacolor, the suppliers of the S3P product.

http://www.sicip.net/articles/spyder3print-page1.htm

This is a tedious process which takes about 3 seconds per patch. A big target of 729 patches would therefore take around 40 minutes to complete. It is mind-numbing work but you have also to keep your wits about you. Initially we worked far too fast, missed patches and mis-read others. The resulting profiles were shown to be poor by examining a Granger Chart, using the soft proof facility of Photoshop (see screen grab). Suitably chastened, we slowed right down and worked very slowly and methodically. The yellow patches were the most difficult to align as there was little differentiation between them and their white, dividing strokes. The other problem to watch for is that you must make sure you do not scrape the feet of the colorimeter over the unmeasured portion of the target. The drag of the USB lead is a perpetual source of irritation when moving the instrument around. The measuring guide is one of the better ones we have tried but its roller feet were so sticky that they started by ripping the front of the print clean off!

Further (to be fair):
We tested the Spyder against our (very expensive) spectrophotometers and found it to be accurate enough for everyday professional photography use. The claim on the box of the Spyder being a tool for 'production professionals' is a little far-fetched.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1BYG69711BCT7/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R1BYG69711BCT7

Prior to purchasing this I had been using X-Rite's Pulse Color Elite System which was VERY EASY to use and made accurate printer profiles. Unfortunately, our unit has died out after 6 years, and so we opted to try this device from Colorvision. I cannot give good reviews for this device simply because reading the patches of the profile is tremendously difficult. One has to learn a very precise timing when reading the patches otherwise one gets it wrong. Even after getting a hang of the timing, and the patches seem to have been read correctly, one notices that some of the patches read are gray. In other words it registered some white spaces in between color patches and read it as a color. With the X-Rite model,reading patches was no problem at all and one could get the hang of the timing after a couple of tries. Also, the X-rite system was smart enough to know what was a color patch and what was the space in between the color patches. The spyder can't make a distinction. Ok, I know some people might say you need to take more time to get the hang of it. But the fact of the matter is, its supposed to be easy and you're supposed to be able to read patches in minutes. It has now been some hours of repeated trial and error and I have not been able to get one single row of patches that i am confident is accurate. With X-Rite I finished all the patches and created a profile in less than 10 minutes without a sweat. So far this device is wasting so much time. The only other option is to read it measure it patch by patch which will be so tedious.
I should have stuck with X-Rite.

Issues with blue shifting:
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34535290

I get the magenta shift in the blue skies but I do not see this shift in photoshops softproof (AR: seems the proofing table in the profile need some work!). I do see it in the print preview of the epson driver though, but I can never trust the driver preview because its never accurate. (AR, he's right, don't look there).

Of course this isn't their profile engine (or so they say) it's something about OOG colors (funny):

Sky blues are just easiest to notice because (a) they tend to take up physically large areas of images, and (b) we find it easier to visually accept a shift that's cyan.

David Miller (of datacolor)

No such issues with the i1P engine which ColorMunki uses… In fact, ask a few other color geeks who hang out here how they find the new i1P color engine.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 05:36:13 PM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2013, 06:51:24 PM »
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I spent hundreds of hours and probably 200 A4 sheets of Ilford Smooth Pearl trying (to no avail) to make a satisfactory print profile for my Canon Pro9000 using the Spyder Print 3. I could never get Blue/cyan right nor remove a magenta cast in greys.

On my fruitless journey I corresponded with Keith Cooper at Northlight and with David Miller at Datacolor.  The best David and I could come up with was that the Apple print path somehow screwed the printing of the targets (both EZ and earlier) - by applying a profile (was it 'Generic RGB', was it sRGB? was it ....?)  to the target image. 

I finally gave in and bought a Colormunki and produced an excellent profile and excellent screen print match immediately.  50+50 patches.  No print path problems there!  I've subsequently used an i1Pro with i1 Profiler with even better results on both the Canon 900 and my Epson 3880.

Given some users' apparent satisfaction, my conclusion was that my copy of the Spyder 'spectrocolorimeter' was stuffed, indicating relatively poor quality control on the Spyder Print gear.  An alternative explanation is that Datacolor's software doesn't play well with MacOSX - given that most of the folk I know who swear by Spyder seem to be Windows users, that is plausible, but hardly satisfactory if true.

Cheers

Tim

PS:  I've still got the thing in a box if anyone wants it!
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digitaldog
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2013, 06:56:31 PM »
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The best David and I could come up with was that the Apple print path somehow screwed the printing of the targets (both EZ and earlier) - by applying a profile (was it 'Generic RGB', was it sRGB? was it ....?)  to the target image. 

And this was printing through their application? If so, how is this Apple's fault?

Like the blue's shifting to magenta, it's not their engine, it's OOG colors or something else. FWIW, blues shifting magenta is a somewhat common occurrence or it was years ago. Good profiling engines shouldn’t be affected. I've seen none of this with the i1P engine (or earlier the Monaco engine).
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2013, 06:58:06 PM »
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Wow, what crawled up your....

What got at my "..."  was your total bias towards x-rite, with absolutely no acceptance of other methods...not just here, but over the years.  You will note that I did not bad mouth x-Rite products...only complained about your bad mouthing Spyder.  Lots of posts can be found where people express problems with any product.  Extracting them to bad mouth is bad form, Andrew

Quote
Issues with blue shifting:
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34535290

I get the magenta shift in the blue skies but I do not see this shift in photoshops softproof (AR: seems the proofing table in the profile need some work!). I do see it in the print preview of the epson driver though, but I can never trust the driver preview because its never accurate. (AR, he's right, don't look there).

Of course this isn't their profile engine (or so they say) it's something about OOG colors (funny):

Sky blues are just easiest to notice because (a) they tend to take up physically large areas of images, and (b) we find it easier to visually accept a shift that's cyan.

David Miller (of datacolor)

First, your reference post is not David Miller's, nor is the first paragraph of you quote.

In your last paragraph "quote" of David's was: "All printer profiles are affected, in different ways, in terms of handling out-of-gamut colors... and there are many colors which are out-of-gamut, including many difficult shadows when you're trying to profile fine art matte papers. Sky blues are just easiest to notice because (a) they tend to take up physically large areas of images, and (b) we find it easier to visually accept a shift that's cyan."  A lot different than the way you abstracted it.

Why didn't you include all of David's posts in this thread

such as....
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34542710
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34531925
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34472619
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34463950
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34463380
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34463364
http://connect.dpreview.com/forums/post/34332888

If readers want the truth, not your slanted quotes, they can see that Datacolor tries to give honest, unbiased support for the average user...

Some interesting (but not too long) quotes, that you "missed", are:

"...My guess is that you're printing through the Relative Colorimetric intent, or Perceptual, rather than the Saturation intent, which is what we recommend. I've discussed this in other DPReview threads in the past.

Use the Saturation intent instead, for both softproofing and printing, and I think you'll find that this fixes the issue, assuming that you've printed the target correctly and that the profile is built properly.

If you'd like, email a copy of your measurement file to me at dmiller@datacolor.com so that I can look at them directly. Use the File:Open Data command in Spyder3Print to open the folder that contains your measurement files (they're all small text files with .xml extensions)..."

"...Yes, for artificial gradients, this is how gamut mapping in Spyder3Print profiles works. There's some color mixing in the Perceptual intent, and even more in Relative Colorimetric, that results in some loss of saturation, and that's what you see happening in the color bars.

If you put the same color bars through the rendering intents in other, non-Spyder3Print profiles, you'll see changes and other interesting things happening there, too...:-)..."

"...I spent several days going over ElectronVolt's question (which was the start of this thread) in a support ticket on our web site.

One thing that should be set straight: there wasn't a "horrible purple cast in his blue skies at all. I was able to determine this by looking at sample images he sent me.

With his images: no matter which printer profiles he softproofed and printed with, there was always a -change- in the skies, because they were out-of-gamut light blues. He was comparing 3 different profiles: a Spyder3Print profile; the Epson standard profile; and also a profile built by Cathy's profiles (created with GretagMacbeth ProfileMaker according to the internal tags in the profile, which he sent me a copy of to examine). With the Epson profile and Cathy's profile, the color of the sky shifted noticeably towards cyan. The software that created the Epson standard profile, and Cathy's profile, both have an out-of-gamut mapping algorithm that pushes the skies, in these particular images, in that direction.

With the Spyder3Print profile, for these particular images, the shift is in a different direction; a bit more magenta, rather than cyan. In all cases, it's a question of what out-of-gamut mapping is doing, but there is always a change.

In ElectronVolt's case, we were able to change how the skies softproofed, and printed, by making a small adjustment in one of the Advanced editing sliders in Spyder3Print. That's one way to make a change, and for most people, it's going to be the easiest.

The concept of pre-shifting selected hues in the target images before printing them, which is technically more complex. You have to load the .tif versions of the target images into Photoshop; tweak them; and so there are more steps to go through, and more places where you can do something else wrong that would cause a problem..."

I will follow with another post on another item.

John
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John
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2013, 07:02:23 PM »
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And this was printing through their application? If so, how is this Apple's fault?

Like the blue's shifting to magenta, it's not their engine, it's OOG colors or something else. FWIW, blues shifting magenta is a somewhat common occurrence or it was years ago. Good profiling engines shouldn’t be affected. I've seen none of this with the i1P engine (or earlier the Monaco engine).

As you know more than most, improperly printing the targets via an application that cannot turn off all modifications will cause improper profile creation.

Still doesn't support your contention of the difference in the spectrometer vs Spyder.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 07:04:34 PM by jrsforums » Logged

John
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2013, 07:05:00 PM »
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What got at my "..."  was your total bias towards x-rite, with absolutely no acceptance of other methods...not just here, but over the years.

IF you want me to bitch about X-rite, I've got pages of text to follow. I let them have it here on my original review of i1P, and I've got plenty of negative things to say about their UI, some of the totally silly marketing moves they've made (search for my posts on ColorMunki Smile). How screwed up the iSis is in terms of changes in Revs to the hardware. What I will tell you is once you build the profiles, they are quite good.

Quote
"...My guess is that you're printing through the Relative Colorimetric intent, or Perceptual, rather than the Saturation intent, which is what we recommend.

That's pure BS. If you want to believe it, fine. A good profile should produce acceptable results with Saturation, or RelCol or Perceptual and this is something we have to look at to decide, image by image which to use. IF you are forced to use ONE rendering intent, someone isn't following ICC spec.

Quote
it's a question of what out-of-gamut mapping is doing

Yes, bad OOG mapping!
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Andrew Rodney
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