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Author Topic: Spyder3 Print vs i1Pro/iMatch  (Read 4304 times)
nemophoto
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« on: May 16, 2013, 11:17:11 AM »
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Awhile back, I was experiencing some major issue with profiling my older iPF6100. (Turned out to be a complete failure of the CYAN heads, though it was only really obvious when trying to create new profile.) As a result, I bought a Spyder3 Print, thinking my i1 (v.1) spectro had crapped out -- I didn't want to blow $1500 on the new i1 (v.2). Make a long story short, I now have two devices to create profiles. I've never had any issues with the i1, and the little I used the Spyder3 Print, it seems pretty good. Has anyone done or read any comparisions of profiles between the two? I like the thought of the Spyder having a gray scale calibration built into some of the targets, but maybe i1 is just as good. As a side note, I find for my iPF8300, I have to create my own profiles since NONE of the canned profiles I get from paper makers seems to work well on my printer.

Any thoughts or experiences? I'd do some test myself but am swamped for the near future. Thanks for the input.

Nemo
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Stephen G
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 12:31:24 PM »
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I own a Spyder3Print system and I have a profile for Epson's Hot Press Natural White built with an i1 (also v.1) and I have the Epson driver profiles (which really are very good). I print on a 9900.

The Spyder profiles are nice. Not accurate, but nice. I use the custom one I mentioned above for Hot Press and the driver profiles for any other Epson paper. The only time I use a Spyder profile now is when I have to reprint something that I proofed initially through one of them.

I use the printer to reproduce artworks which I have scanned / photographed very carefully. If the colour is present in the file I need it to be present in the print. I don't want to be adjusting tone and colour to counteract the printer profile, which is what I had to do with the Spyder profiles. They introduce colour, saturation and brightness shifts that don't happen when I print through the driver or my custom profile. Blues pick up magenta and the yellow-orange-reds come out too saturated and bright, shifted to orange. There are other subtle shifts but those are the biggies.

What's more the Spyder profiles don't respond in the usual way to different rendering intents: Relative with Spyder is not like it is with an i1 profile, it's more like a perceptual rendering and BPC makes little or no difference to the output. Perceptual and Saturation are identical in output to Relative for in-gamut colour but out-of-gamut colour is dealt with differently. Saturation deals with OOG colour a bit more aggressively than Perceptual. Saturation with no BPC is the recommended intent for Spyder profiles! And it works! OOG colour is actually rendered quite nicely, albeit with the shifts mentioned.

If I was just printing my own photos casually and not trying to reproduce artworks then I would be very happy with the Spyder system. If I had known two years ago what I now know about the system I would not have bought it, but that's experience, right? The profiles are good, they give you good soft-proofing predictability, good shadow detail, pretty good BW output and a unique way of dealing with OOG colour. They do not do accurate colour, at least not accurate enough for me.
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nemophoto
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 12:51:52 PM »
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Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the comprehensive thoughts on the Spyder. I've only created maybe a couple of profiles with it, being very use to the i1. Maybe I'll sell it to someone who is not quite as critical as I might be, but who could benefit from it.

Nemo
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elolaugesen
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 06:51:09 AM »
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Re Spyder3prnt

Magenta shift/Blue Hue   You are right on.   Another forum covered this topic extensively.  page after page after page of comments.   One solution came out towards the end by Apotheker

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/2752960?page=3

not nice but I also do art printing and had a problem with the real true reproduction of colours.    this actually helped/resolved most of my issues.  I had major problems with the bespoke profiles made for using xrite software me and  bought Spyder3prnt.  could not cost justify the other systems.

cheers elo
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digitaldog
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 12:55:23 PM »
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Re Spyder3prnt
Magenta shift/Blue Hue   You are right on. 

Their color engine I suspect. Somewhat common years ago, not quite as common today. You'll see very little of this with the i1Prism color engine.

I have a very good synthetic test file for this built by Bill Atkinsion (Bills 23 Balls). Used to be up on his site but no longer. I don't think he'd mind if anyone wants a copy, it's just awesome for finding out color engine issues like this:

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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
silviuv
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 03:52:05 AM »
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Hello,

I have the the Spyder 3 Print for 3 years now. In these years I used it intensively, making over 200 profiles for different papers and printers (small or large, inkjet or laser). When I write about the Spyder I can say I know what I'm talking about. It is a nice tool to start experimenting with. Profiles are mostly accurate and give pleasing results.
Recently i bought the i1Publisher Pro2. The device/software is in a different league regarding quality. After using it to make some profiles for an IPF815, IPF8300S (both running on 3rd party inks) and an ImageRunner Advace C5030, I can tell you this:
- saturated blue and red are now correct
- overall less saturated colors, more natural looking (using perceptual)
- deeper black (very-very visible on low grade papers or uncoated stock)
- better gray neutrality and color accuracy
- better dark tones rendition
- better/accurate skin tones

With Spyder Print skin tones are too warm. In my opinion Datacolor chose those specific colors to give a pleasing look (even if it is not accurate at all); I suspect it's all for marketing.
When viewed as a 3d model, the profiles made with the Spyder seem to be a little brighter than those by i1. The prints are better with the i1 profiles ; printing the PDI test target i saw a decrease in reported ink usage. On this matter I have to experiment more to reach a final conclusion.
The Spyder gives better accuracy after averaging 2 measurements; even then the i1 (with no measurements averaging) is way better because of it's color engine.

The i1 makes profiling the IR Adv C5030 easy. Being a laser printer, it doesn't print uniformly on the sheets; not from left to right and not length-wise. The scramble patches function in i1 helps a lot. Previously with the Spyder I had to print the patches at 90 degree rotations (4 times) and the average the measurements to have an usable profile. That takes me about 45 minutes. With the i1 I printed the scrambled patches twice (180 degree rotations) and averaged the measurements. The result was the best I ever had until then.
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