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Author Topic: Soft proof - it doesn't "look like c**p"  (Read 3618 times)
kikashi
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« on: April 24, 2013, 01:28:46 PM »
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I have a new iMac, 27", calibrated with a new i1 Display Pro. I print with an Epson 3800, mostly on Ilford GFS. When I got the iMac a couple of months ago, I reinstalled the Epson driver from scratch, downloading it from Epson Europe's site.

When I enable soft proofing in either LR or PS, it doesn't make my image look like crap. In fact, it hardly changes it at all. When I print, though, the mid-tones are muddy and the colours seem muted and desaturated, even allowing for the change from transmissive to reflective medium. I've checked the print settings and I'm not double-profiling ("Color settings" are "off" in the print dialog).

I've tried downloading the profiles from Ilford's site again, just in case they'd been corrupted, but it's made no difference. Enabling other profiles (such as for a canvas) certainly has a highly adverse effect.

I can't think what to do next. Any ideas would be very welcome.

Jeremy
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 02:02:02 PM »
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Forget all the bullshit.

Make 4 x 6 work prints and keep a print notebook.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 02:19:00 PM »
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When I enable soft proofing in either LR or PS, it doesn't make my image look like crap.

That's good! But do you have the simulation for paper white and ink black on?
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Andrew Rodney
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kikashi
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 02:28:40 AM »
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That's good! But do you have the simulation for paper white and ink black on?

Yes.

Jeremy
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Schewe
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 02:41:44 AM »
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Forget all the bullshit.

Yeah, ya know, if you don't really care about final output image quality, it's fine of you want to stick you head into the sand...not optimal, but whatever floats your boat. Some people know how to use soft proofing, some people don't. Some people get what they expect in print, others, not so much.

If you have something useful to add, add it. So far, what you've added is suboptimal.
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 02:44:20 AM »
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When I enable soft proofing in either LR or PS, it doesn't make my image look like crap. In fact, it hardly changes it at all. When I print, though, the mid-tones are muddy and the colours seem muted and desaturated, even allowing for the change from transmissive to reflective medium.

So, my guess is that you are not soft proofing correctly...you might want to outline EXACTLY how you are soft proofing cause if the printed output doesn't match what the soft proof is telling you, you are doing something wrong. So, exactly how are you soft proofing?
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kikashi
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 01:55:41 PM »
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So, my guess is that you are not soft proofing correctly...you might want to outline EXACTLY how you are soft proofing cause if the printed output doesn't match what the soft proof is telling you, you are doing something wrong. So, exactly how are you soft proofing?

I'm sure you're right, Jeff. I'm not sure what I can add to my first post.I have a calibrated monitor and I'm using Ilford's profiles for GFS/Epson 3800. In either LR or PS, when I enable soft proofing, almost nothing changes: there's a barely perceptible loss of contrast and very slight muting of colours, but that's all. I've attached a screenshot of part of my LR display (the profile is called "GFS 3800" because I renamed it using the ColorSync tool: I find Ilford's naming system a little obscure).

What can I add that would be of use to you in helping me?

Jeremy
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 01:59:40 PM by kikashi » Logged
tho_mas
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 02:47:29 PM »
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I'm sure you're right, Jeff.
me not. I totally depends on how the respective paper profile was made. Does the paper contain OBAs? Is the profile made with or without UV-cut filter? Has it been manually tweaked by the vendor?
Softproofing is extremely complex and mismatches can have all sorts of causes. However, the very basic concept of softproofing is error-prone since a monitor calibrated to D50 mostly looks too warm/yellowish (mostly a white point around 5200-5800 will match much better). This is where it all starts ...
Many people prefer to calibrate their displays to match paper white and consequently do NOT use paper white simulation for softproofing (but may use "simulate black ink" for a better representation of the final print's contrast).

Neither of the workflows is really accurate (that's the nature of the beast) ... choose the one you feel confident with.
For really accurate prints you have to know the paper - so some kind of test printing is required anyway (at least when you use a certain paper for the first time).

Good luck!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 02:58:05 PM by tho_mas » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 04:10:02 PM »
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What can I add that would be of use to you in helping me?

Your print settings in LR/PS and the driver settings you used...if those are all correct, then the odds are the profile is just bad.

Soft proofing works and works very well in Lightroom if and only if, you have an accurate display profile and an output profile that accurately describes the printer/paper condition AND and accurate profile connection space to display space table...
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Hydrology
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 10:02:39 PM »
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It seems the theme Im hearing/reading in these color management threads is that the profiles supplied from vendors are bad. How could ALL of these vendors' profiles be the problem exactly? I understand there would be tolerances in every printer unit that comes off the factory floor, but surely these profiles would be FAIRLY accurate?
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 10:22:27 PM »
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With respect, with a lot of softproofing issues the problem lies neither with the ICC profiles nor with wide tolerances in the printers themselves.
There are poor profiles out there but most are surprisingly good.
Nearly all the time the issue lies with the user - particularly those who are new at the printing game - who in fact has neglected some part of the colour management chain and now wants to blame the ICC profile, or worse the printer itself.
If the profile is indeed in play as an issue with the OP, then my suggestion to Jeremy is to try the appropriate profile for Canson Baryta Photographique (Ilford GFS appears to be an almost identical paper), but my gut instinct is that the problem lies in someone who is, at present anyway, somewhat inexperienced with printing in particular and the nuances of colour management in general.
It is not unusual for individuals who appear to have good colour management practices to discover, on trying to print, that things were not as rosy as first supposed.
Jeremy is a fellow with lots of commom sense, who, perhaps with some help from the LuLa community at large, will reach his goal of achieving quality prints.

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 01:28:45 AM by Tony Jay » Logged
David Sutton
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 12:01:49 AM »
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Jeremy, Tony makes a good point about the Canson Baryta profile. On my Canon 6300 printer the Canson profile is significantly better for GFS than the Ilford canned profile. I've never used a Mac, but had a 3800. It worked well on GFS but sometimes took a bit of work to get everything correct. In the end I ended up using Qimage (that was before Lightroom improved its printing).
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jrsforums
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 08:41:43 AM »
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Kikashi...couple questions...

First, can we assume that you have followed all the Ilford suggested settings that come with their ICC profile....including selecting Semigloss paper.  I ask this as you mention trying canvas as a media setting.

Second, have you tried any other gloss/luster papers?  Do you get similar results?

Do other images, with GFS or other papers, have similar problems?

Have you done a nozzle check?

Have you tried an image you successfully printed before and printed it without any changes to see if it still prints the same.  If it doesn't, what settings are different?  If it does print OK....how does it look on your screen...OK or off...if off, suspect you monitor profile.

Not sure this is a thorough list, but some off the cuff things I would go through to try to narrow down where the problem might be.
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John
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2013, 09:27:55 AM »
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How could ALL of these vendors' profiles be the problem exactly? I understand there would be tolerances in every printer unit that comes off the factory floor, but surely these profiles would be FAIRLY accurate?

Some use products that don't build good profiles <g>. I just tested a suite of products, one from a big major company and the profiles were pretty awful. Or maybe they try to build their own software so they don't have to pay a steep licensing fee to say X-Rite. I'm not saying all 3rd party paper profiles suck, but some do. The tolerance of at least modern Epson pro printers are pretty tiny FWIW.
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Andrew Rodney
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2013, 09:35:31 AM »
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Or maybe they try to build their own software so they don't have to pay a steep licensing fee to say X-Rite.
Last time I looked, Ilford seemed to using Argyll somewhere along the line.
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kikashi
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2013, 01:29:34 PM »
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Your print settings in LR/PS and the driver settings you used...if those are all correct, then the odds are the profile is just bad.

Soft proofing works and works very well in Lightroom if and only if, you have an accurate display profile and an output profile that accurately describes the printer/paper condition AND and accurate profile connection space to display space table...

Jeff: I attach screenshots of a bit of the LR print page and of the print dialog.

I have tried using the Canson profile instead. There is no perceptible difference onscreen.

jrs, yes. I mentioned canvas only to show that some form of adjustment is being made when I enable soft proofing. Your suggestion of reprinting an old image is an interesting one.

Jeremy
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kikashi
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2013, 01:30:46 PM »
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Some use products that don't build good profiles <g>. I just tested a suite of products, one from a big major company and the profiles were pretty awful. Or maybe they try to build their own software so they don't have to pay a steep licensing fee to say X-Rite. I'm not saying all 3rd party paper profiles suck, but some do. The tolerance of at least modern Epson pro printers are pretty tiny FWIW.

I've read, here and I think elsewhere, that Ilford's canned profiles for GFS / Epson are pretty good. Is it so?

Jeremy
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2013, 01:57:20 PM »
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I've read, here and I think elsewhere, that Ilford's canned profiles for GFS / Epson are pretty good. Is it so?

Jeremy
I don't know how they are today but when I purchased my 3880 2 1/2 years ago the Ilford profiles were quite bad.  The colors were washed out.  This didn't bother me as I always do my own profiling using ArgyllCMS.  I don't know how they are today.

Alan
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2013, 05:22:51 PM »
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Jeremy, my suggestion is to buy, perhaps, A4 size Canson Baryta Photographique.
That should not be too expensive.
Use the appropriate profile.
Use your normal workflow.
If the results are good then perhaps it was the GFS profile all along.
If however, the results are not good, then I believe the problem lies elsewhere in your workflow, with specific reference to your colour management.
These profiles for Baryta Photographique are pretty good.

Tony Jay
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Schewe
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2013, 12:10:45 AM »
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Jeff: I attach screenshots of a bit of the LR print page and of the print dialog.

Yep, correct from what I see...if the soft proof and final print don't match, my guess it's a bad profile.
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