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Author Topic: Calibrate monitor and printer - what to buy  (Read 4249 times)
Rory
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« on: March 06, 2013, 02:51:58 PM »
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I would appreciate some advice on purchasing a new calibration system.  I currently have a Eye-One Display 2, Dell U3011 monitor and an Epson 3880 printer.  I shoot with a D800E and a D4.  The i1 display 2 is getting long in the tooth and I'm not sure how well it is working on a wide gamut monitor plus X-Rite are unlikely to support their Match-3 software much longer.

I've been through the X-Rite site and came away a little confused.  It appears the choice is between a Colormunki and the X-Rite i1Basic Pro UVcut Color Profiling Hardware & Software Package.  Have I got that right?  Are there any other options?  What would you recommend?

Thanks in advance!
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digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 03:40:45 PM »
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I'd skip the ColorMunki Display due to what I feel is crippled software. The i1Display-2 is the same hardware, with software that provides useful options.

Now if you are referring to the Spectrophotometer's, that's different. That be useful to build custom paper profiles. The newer i1Display-2 colorimeter should have no problems with a wide gamut display.
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Andrew Rodney
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Rory
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 05:46:43 PM »
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Thanks Andrew.  I want to be able to create paper profiles for my printer.  Is the i1Display-2 you mention the same thing as the i1Pro 2 Spectrophotometer described in the X-Rite site?  X-Rite appear to sell kits for various purposes.  It appears that what I want is the i1Basic Pro 2 kit, although they seem to have different names on the B&H site.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 05:49:13 PM »
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Is the i1Display-2 you mention the same thing as the i1Pro 2 Spectrophotometer described in the X-Rite site?  X-Rite appear to sell kits for various purposes.  It appears that what I want is the i1Basic Pro 2 kit, although they seem to have different names on the B&H site.

If it has Display in the name, it's a colorimeter and can't create those paper profiles. The i1Pro-2 is a Spectrophotometer as is the ColorMunki (whatever it's called without the word display). You could use either to build paper profiles although there are differences in cost and capabilities.
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Andrew Rodney
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Rory
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 08:32:43 PM »
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I appreciate the clarification Andrew.  I guess the choice is which Spectrophotometer:  ColorMunki or i1Pro-2?  Does anyone have any advice about the relative merits of the two systems? 
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 09:38:13 PM »
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I guess the choice is which Spectrophotometer:  ColorMunki or i1Pro-2?  Does anyone have any advice about the relative merits of the two systems? 

What are your expectations regarding making custom profiles? Are you planning on making a LOT of profiles? As in 10-20 or more? What is your desire with regards to profiles? Do you want to make profiles of 3rd party paper other than Epson paper? The reason I ask is that if you use EPson paper, the odds are real good your custom profiles will not be substantially better tan Epson's canned profiles. If you intend to profile a bunch of 3rd party papers, have you actually tried downloading the paper company's profiles?

Getting a spectrophotometer is a real investment of money, but learning to build really good profiles is a real investment of time. Excellent profiles don't just automatically pop out the back end of the software. Either ColorMunki or i1Pro-2 can make good profiles...the one you want to get is the one that satisfies your expectations. The shortcoming with the ColorMunki is really the software (correct me if I'm wrong Andrew) and the slightly tweaky nature of the ColorMunki hardware.

So, what exactly do you want to do?

BTW, I'm assuming you are only doing profiles for yourself, right? If you were doing profiles professionally, then it's a no brainer...i1Pro-2, i1Pro-2 + i1-iO or an iSis running i1Profiler. Of course, the iSis is a piece of change! About $3K....
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Rory
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 01:03:20 AM »
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I want to be able to capture subtle hues - for example, right now the reds are a little less saturated in my prints from both epson and ilford papers compared to my monitor, a Dell U3011.  Otherwise, the photos are a very good match for what I see on screen.  I am making prints for myself only, and I only expect to use a half dozen different papers.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 01:08:31 AM »
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If it has Display in the name, it's a colorimeter and can't create those paper profiles. The i1Pro-2 is a Spectrophotometer as is the ColorMunki (whatever it's called without the word display). You could use either to build paper profiles although there are differences in cost and capabilities.
The people who give the x-rite products names... what are they smoking? I am confident that they are loosing 5% of their sales simply because people give up dechifring the sillyness.

-h
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Schewe
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 02:23:59 AM »
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Do you know how to use soft proofing? I ask because before you condemn the profiles you are using I need to know that you are using those profiles correctly.

Making your own profiles may or may not meet your expectations...in the case of Epson supplied profiles, trying to make your own profiles and expecting better results is not really reasonable. Epson profiles are very, very good and I expect that you are not using them to their greatest potential. I can't speak to the Illford profiles since I don't use them.

Just understand that making BETTER profiles than what you already have isn't the holy grail...you may actually be better off having somebody (like Andrew, the Digital Dog) make your 3d party paper profiles for you. Just getting the software and hardware will not make you an expert. It takes a degree of expertise to use color management tools. I mean no disrespect, I'm just trying to explain why you might not be a good candidate as a custom profile maker...just sayin'

I tried to make profiles that were better than the canned profiles supplied by Epson. 6-8 years ago (the 9600/7600 printers), I could...in the last couple of years (with the recent printers and Epson profiles), I simply don't waste my time. I know the (many) of guys making many of the profiles for Epson and I know they know as much or more than I do about making profiles...

If you are using exotic 3rd party papers whose makers don't supply great profiles, then yes, you might be able to exceed the generic canned profiles.

You really need to understand what will be required to accomplish what you think you want...just doing it yourself is NOT always the answer.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 07:28:36 AM »
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Do you know how to use soft proofing? I ask because before you condemn the profiles you are using I need to know that you are using those profiles correctly.

Making your own profiles may or may not meet your expectations...in the case of Epson supplied profiles, trying to make your own profiles and expecting better results is not really reasonable. Epson profiles are very, very good and I expect that you are not using them to their greatest potential. I can't speak to the Illford profiles since I don't use them.

Just understand that making BETTER profiles than what you already have isn't the holy grail...you may actually be better off having somebody (like Andrew, the Digital Dog) make your 3d party paper profiles for you. Just getting the software and hardware will not make you an expert. It takes a degree of expertise to use color management tools. I mean no disrespect, I'm just trying to explain why you might not be a good candidate as a custom profile maker...just sayin'

I tried to make profiles that were better than the canned profiles supplied by Epson. 6-8 years ago (the 9600/7600 printers), I could...in the last couple of years (with the recent printers and Epson profiles), I simply don't waste my time. I know the (many) of guys making many of the profiles for Epson and I know they know as much or more than I do about making profiles...

If you are using exotic 3rd party papers whose makers don't supply great profiles, then yes, you might be able to exceed the generic canned profiles.

You really need to understand what will be required to accomplish what you think you want...just doing it yourself is NOT always the answer.

Jeff....or Andrew...

Could you take us through some of the "art" to making great profiles?  That is, what is done past the reading of the color charts to "tweak" the 'good' profile into a 'great' one.

Thanks....John
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John
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 08:41:33 AM »
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The people who give the x-rite products names... what are they smoking? I am confident that they are loosing 5% of their sales simply because people give up dechifring the sillyness.

I don't know but I wish they'd share. <G>.
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Andrew Rodney
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Rory
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 10:34:27 AM »
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Do you know how to use soft proofing? I ask because before you condemn the profiles you are using I need to know that you are using those profiles correctly.

I appreciate the help Jeff!  Yes, I've been using the soft proofing in Lightroom.  Your points about the quality of the Epson profiles is a good one and what I wanted to know.  It sounds like if I stick to Epson and Ilford papers then a paper profiler will be over-kill and may not even help.  It seems like my solution may be to get a better display calibrator than the Eye-One Display 2 I am currently using.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 07:35:58 AM »
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Jeff....or Andrew...

Could you take us through some of the "art" to making great profiles?  That is, what is done past the reading of the color charts to "tweak" the 'good' profile into a 'great' one.

Thanks....John

So.....

You guys are not willing to share the "secret sauce"?

Maybe the truth is that it is just plain old Russian dressing....Huh

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John
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 08:44:02 AM »
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You guys are not willing to share the "secret sauce"?

There's really no secret and it's not all that difficult to do. There are tricks like fooling an auto Spectrophotometer to read a target someone didn't print to scale (within reason). There are lots of tricks if you're working with a press or multiple presses and how you average data and build targets to fingerprint a process that can change over a sheet (not something you guys profiling a good modern ink jet need to worry about). There are tricks if you're building CMYK profiles and black generation settings come into play.
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Andrew Rodney
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benmar
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 09:53:59 AM »
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Just a quick note to clarify some of the confusing product names for the OP: It is the current i1Display Pro that is the same hardware (different software) as the ColorMunki Display. The i1Display 2 is an older model.  Smiley
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Rory
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 11:40:26 AM »
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Just a quick note to clarify some of the confusing product names for the OP: It is the current i1Display Pro that is the same hardware (different software) as the ColorMunki Display. The i1Display 2 is an older model.  Smiley

I was not aware of that - thanks!  Can you use the i1Profiler software with a ColorMunki?
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Schewe
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2013, 12:43:50 PM »
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You guys are not willing to share the "secret sauce"?

I never meant to imply any of tis stuff was "secret"...what I meant was that learning how to use the hardware and the software takes time and expertise. You don't just buy this stuff and start popping out profiles the same day (well, you can...but the odds are against that).

i1 Profiler is actually pretty easy to use in the "Basic" mode using the Default settings and an i1Pro spectro. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to take measurements and not get errors while reading. Sometimes it gets frustrating and I get really bored...which is why I prefer to use an iSis spectro that reads the strips automatically.

When you use the Advanced mode in i1 Profiler, there are a lot of options and unfortunately, some of the options don't seem to do anything (as Andrew will attest).

If you have specific questions on how to use either the hardware or software, ask away. But it's pretty hard to tell you what you think you want to know without knowing what level of experience you have and what equipment you are using. So, what exactly do you want to know?
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jrsforums
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2013, 02:50:09 PM »
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I never meant to imply any of tis stuff was "secret"...what I meant was that learning how to use the hardware and the software takes time and expertise. You don't just buy this stuff and start popping out profiles the same day (well, you can...but the odds are against that).

i1 Profiler is actually pretty easy to use in the "Basic" mode using the Default settings and an i1Pro spectro. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to take measurements and not get errors while reading. Sometimes it gets frustrating and I get really bored...which is why I prefer to use an iSis spectro that reads the strips automatically.

When you use the Advanced mode in i1 Profiler, there are a lot of options and unfortunately, some of the options don't seem to do anything (as Andrew will attest).

If you have specific questions on how to use either the hardware or software, ask away. But it's pretty hard to tell you what you think you want to know without knowing what level of experience you have and what equipment you are using. So, what exactly do you want to know?

Thanks to you and Andrew...

I wasa bit confused, as I did not think it was that difficult, but, as Andrew mentions, I am only doing for inkjet.  Xrite does not make it easy with their lack of good documentation and video examples leaning toward CMYK.

I have the iPro2 and believe it is quite an improvement over te prior version.  Not as easy as the iSis, but consistently good results.

I do have a question.  The iPro2 has both UV cut and uncut.  If I use dual pass, is it needed to do "optimization" of OBC papers if using standard D50?

John
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 04:25:35 PM »
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It appears that what I want is the i1Basic Pro 2 kit, although they seem to have different names on the B&H site.

My understanding of the differences between the "Basic" and "Photo" Pro-2 kits:
  • Basic comes with i1Profiler software that can generate monitor profiles.
  • Basic software can't actually generate printer profiles ... this is a big limitation ... accounts for the ~ $500USD price difference
  • Basic can control spectro devices to read test-charts for confirmations and probably Compare q/c, but not the next (Very Important) step to generate the printer profile.
  • I've got i1Profiler 1.4.2 demo, and can do scans with iSis, "just" can't make printer profiles. So as far as printer profile functionality, the Demo seems similar to Basic.
  • My understanding is that you can use ArgyllCMS in "legacy" mode with Basic Pro-2 to make profiles, or with ColorPort. There is an update that should support the Pro-2 sooner or later. The iSis isn't supported except indirectly through ColorPort. Learning curve?
  • My 2˘. Consider the source ... I've just got the demo of 1.4.2 ... above may be more or less correct
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« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2013, 10:04:15 PM »
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If Epson can create excellent profiles, how come some other prominent paper manufacturers cant seem to do this.

By the way, the stock Ilford profiles for the Epson 3800 seem very good to me.
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