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Author Topic: Rendering deep shadow detail  (Read 19366 times)
Mark D Segal
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« on: November 30, 2005, 04:55:04 PM »
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I am using Version 3.1.07 of ColorEyes Display for monitor calibration and the Epson print driver for the 4800 printer and Enhanced Matte paper with Matte Black Ink. In general, the screen-to-print matching is quite reliable, except for deep shadow detail which is MUCH more visible on the monitor with soft-proofing active than it is emerging in the prints. I am wondering whether this an Epson profile issue, whether anyone else using this combination of hardware and software has experienced similar issues, and whether ImagePrint 6.1 would improve it.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2005, 04:55:45 PM by MarkDS » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2005, 05:11:29 PM »
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I am using Version 3.1.07 of ColorEyes Display for monitor calibration and the Epson print driver for the 4800 printer and Enhanced Matte paper with Matte Black Ink. In general, the screen-to-print matching is quite reliable, except for deep shadow detail which is MUCH more visible on the monitor with soft-proofing active than it is emerging in the prints. I am wondering whether this an Epson profile issue, whether anyone else using this combination of hardware and software has experienced similar issues, and whether ImagePrint 6.1 would improve it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52515\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I have noticed this with ColorEyes Display on my Eizo CG210, using various matte papers on the Epson 4000. Printing black gradient test strips, I find that the best of these papers is only able to distinguish black levels down into the teens, and some only into the high twenties. Adjusting the blacklevel in Photoshop seems the only alternative. I hope I am interpreting such test strips correctly.

Dan
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2005, 05:51:50 PM »
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Under what conditions are you viewing the print?  In my normal room viewing light I have the same problem, but under a 50 watt solux (I can't afford the fancy viewing station MR reviewed recently) it's not "as bad" - still not perfect.

Also I use an older Eye 1 to calibrate my LCD, but there isn't much in the callibration software/hardware to help manage brightness and contrast - your model may handle that better than mine.  My color balance is fine, but eventually I just printed a gray gradient test strip and adjusted the monitor to match that as closely as possible and re-ran the callibration.  

In the end you'll never get an exact match due to the difference in the nature of projected vs reflected light.  (I know you know that but other readers....)

It would be nice to get a hard copy print from a "model" system to have an accurate benchmark as to what can be realistically achieved/expected.

On a totally different topic, my 4000  is still not behaving, I'm looking at replacing 4 different ink cartridges over the next few weeks, and if I continue to have the kind of grief I've had in the past, I'll bite the bullet and do a power clean - and then it will have to go back to epson - yuk.  I read somewhere that sometimes the pump wouldn't work quite right in terms of managing any bubbles that might get introduced during the cartridge replace process and replacing the pump would solve the problem - probably another of many myths
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dandill
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2005, 06:11:54 PM »
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Under what conditions are you viewing the print?  In my normal room viewing light I have the same problem, but under a 50 watt solux (I can't afford the fancy viewing station MR reviewed recently) it's not "as bad" - still not perfect.
Tim, I should say, it is your gradient strips that I am using---thanks. I am viewing on a GTI PDV (D50 viewer)

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On a totally different topic, my 4000  is still not behaving, I'm looking at replacing 4 different ink cartridges over the next few weeks, and if I continue to have the kind of grief I've had in the past, I'll bite the bullet and do a power clean - and then it will have to go back to epson - yuk.  I read somewhere that sometimes the pump wouldn't work quite right in terms of managing any bubbles that might get introduced during the cartridge replace process and replacing the pump would solve the problem - probably another of many myths
From time to time, prints on my 4000 develop subtle casts. I finally determined that this is due to one or more intermittent nozzle clogs. Now, when the machine has been idle for a week or so, I run the autocheck. Usually this clears things, but sometimes---if it has been idle for more than several weeks, say---I have to go through two pages of checks befroe things clear. I am using Epson inks (best prices I've seen and free shipping from mpex.com).
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Dan Dill
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2005, 06:13:19 PM »
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I have found the IP 6.0 Hanemhule Photorag 308 profiles to be in a different league compared to the Epson Enhanced matte profiles.

I might be the paper itself, the quality of that particular profile, or the lucky fact that my printer does behave the exact same way as the one the Hanemhule profiles were made for, but the different is really stricking.

I am getting much better matching between the screen and the prints, as well as much better shadow details.

Regards,
Bernard
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dandill
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2005, 06:37:59 PM »
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I am getting much better matching between the screen and the prints, as well as much better shadow details.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52522\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Are you using Perceptual rendering?
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Dan Dill
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2005, 07:46:07 PM »
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Are you using Perceptual rendering?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52523\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I used to have to try both for Epson Matter on a case by case basis, but I find that I now rarely use perceptual rendering for the Hanemhule paper.

Regards,
Bernard
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2005, 08:00:12 PM »
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My experience is roughly equivalent, although unlike most users, my monitor is not profiled.  It is a very good CRT (ViewSonic P95f).  Same paper, same ink, Epson profile.  

The monitor displays deep into the blacks where my prints don't reach.  I can clearly see on-screen detail down to the low single digits, but prints seem to bottom out at about 10.  My gradient strips agree with this estimation.  I've just learned to live with it for now.

As I've been told a thousand times, "Without a properly calibrated monitor, you're flying blind."  

Peter
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2005, 08:39:41 PM »
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I have noticed this with ColorEyes Display on my Eizo CG210, using various matte papers on the Epson 4000. Printing black gradient test strips, I find that the best of these papers is only able to distinguish black levels down into the teens, and some only into the high twenties.

Dan
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52516\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
This is my experience too, and I'm sure I've read as much from experts.

"Adjusting the blacklevel in Photoshop seems the only alternative."

I tried several different approaches including that. What I find works best in conjunction with my 4000 plus the Epson driver is to leave the black point alone but instead to apply a correction curve that puts a slight rise in the first few zones. I have such a curve saved and simply add it as a Curves layer before printing. The curve has points (arrived at by trial-and-error) at 20/24, 36/47, 67/77, and 97/100 as well as 127/127, 154/154, etc. to tack down the rest of the diagonal.

I'd be interested to hear whether this works for anyone else.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2005, 11:10:51 PM »
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Dale, yes, loading a canned curve to brighten the quarter-tones is something I have tried - also tried a canned shadow in Shadow/Highlights. Both approaches are better than nothing, but they are somewhat hit-and-miss because of course not all prints respond to the same curve in the same way.

Bernard - do you use the Hahnemuhle profile with Epson paper or only with Hahnemuhle paper?

Tim - yes, just to confirm, the issue I raised includes due allowance for the difference between reflected and direct light. Re the printer, if I were you I'd get on the blower with Epson ASAP.

Cheers,

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2005, 11:23:06 PM »
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Bernard - do you use the Hahnemuhle profile with Epson paper or only with Hahnemuhle paper?
Mark
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Mark,

Sorry, I wan't very clear.

I use the IP6.0 Hahnemuhle profile for Hahnemuhle paper and find the result to be much better than what I get when using the IP6.0 Epson profile for Epson Enhanced Matter paper.

Regards,
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2005, 09:18:22 AM »
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Thanks Bernard - that is what I thought - just wanted to be sure I understood correctly. That being the case, you are of course aware that Hahnemuhle paper - excellent as it is - comes in over twice the price of Epson Enhanced Matte and buying IP is another 1000 or so. I was indeed hoping there is a way to eek-out more shadow detail in a reliable and systematic manner without consuming yet more money.

Interestingly, so far this thread has revealed other people have or have had the same issue, and the two solution branches seem to be a pre-print curves adjustment or buying IP and experimenting with different papers and profiles. There was one suggestion to try perceptual rendering. This is a treatment for out-of-gamut colour and is sometimes helpful, but not a self-evident remedy for luminosity issues.

Tim, I forgot to mention that my whole room is illuminated with D-50 (when I turn the lights on to examine the prints). I bought a Solux track and fixture system from Tailored Lighting in Rochester NY (www.solux.net). This was much cheaper than a state-of-the-art viewing box, but no dimming - so I replace dimming by holding the print nearer or further from the ceiling. Elementary Dr. Watson, but perhaps less sexy and scientific. It does serve the purpose of showing the print at correct colour temperature under any reflected light intensity you can choose from any 3-D spot in the room.

I'd like to get a sense of more peoples' experience with IP versus Epson printer profiles for addressing this particular problem. Based on what Bernard is saying, this is perhaps an investment I shall "need" to make, but would like to hear more lessons of experience if there are any out there.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2005, 10:03:58 AM »
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I believe what you are seeing can be explained by the paper.  I made some good custom profiles with an Eye1 system and the did some comparison printing on several papers.  The Epson paper show very muddy and poor shadow detail.  The only exception was the Watercolor Radiant white--this paper did well and the images had a very nice feel to them, but I do not have  word to describe the quality.  The papers by Moab, hanemule, breathing color and some others had beautiful shadow detail and put even Epson Ultrasmooth FIne Art to shame.

The Moab entrada is excellent and much less expensive than the other high end papers, but very close in quality--it has become my standard paper.  Of interest, the cost factor is there in the smaller sizes, but when you get up to the 24' in rolls the prices of all these papers are much closer together.

MDIJB
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2005, 10:28:32 AM »
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Thanks for the suggestion - I have a package of MOAB ENTRADA and a custom profile for it, so I shall make a direct comparison and see what happens.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2005, 10:50:06 AM »
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Mark.
I don't have 4800 (l might be buying a 7800  soon though)I have a 2100(2200 us)
I've got fully calibrated system and print using ImagePrint 6.1

Even though there are some things I'm not to happy  about with in IP.there is one thing I can say.
That is ,what I see when soft proofing in PS is what I get when printing.

I have no issues with shadows going darker when printed, than what they look like when sooft proofing.


Patrick.


EDIT: Why don't you just download the demo from colorbyte and test for yourself.
A tip to help you set up IP correct is.
When using relative intent set shadow point compensation to 100
When using perceptual intent set shadow point compensation to 0

These settings will print what you se in  PS soft proof  .
You can't use grayprofiles for softproffing in PS and there are different workarounds on this.

MY way is, when softproofing BW for IP in PS .I use a EDAY_profile(which is a color profile balanced for daylight D50)

That will(has this far) match my print  using a gray_profile for the same paper in IP.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2005, 05:24:56 PM »
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Thanks Bernard - that is what I thought - just wanted to be sure I understood correctly. That being the case, you are of course aware that Hahnemuhle paper - excellent as it is - comes in over twice the price of Epson Enhanced Matte and buying IP is another 1000 or so. I was indeed hoping there is a way to eek-out more shadow detail in a reliable and systematic manner without consuming yet more money.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52558\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Mark,

You are of course correct, the Hahnemuhle papers are indeed very expensive, and I did at first only intend to try them out, not expecting to see much difference. I was really impressed by what I saw.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2005, 06:21:28 PM »
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Thanks Bernard and Patrick. I received another suggestion today that I should try Perceptual rendering intent before opting for ImagePrint. That makes two people, so I'll give it a whirl - only a piece of paper and a bit of ink. The problem with the IP download demo is that one cannot print with it; however, my retailer has a set-up for doing hands-on comparison prints with versus without IP. If Perceptual and Moab Entrada don't do it for me, hands-on comparison testing of IP is the next step.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2005, 07:12:41 PM »
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A tip to help you set up IP correct is.
When using relative intent set shadow point compensation to 100
When using perceptual intent set shadow point compensation to 0

These settings will print what you se in  PS soft proof  .
You can't use grayprofiles for softproffing in PS and there are different workarounds on this.

MY way is, when softproofing BW for IP in PS .I use a EDAY_profile(which is a color profile balanced for daylight D50)

That will(has this far) match my print  using a gray_profile for the same paper in IP.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=52574\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I must say, though I've used IP successfully with my Epson 4000 for over a year, i find that rendering intents and shadow point compensation have been a source of misunderstanding and confusion. I guess i'm gonna have to dig through the ImagePrint application folder on my hard drive to find the documentation!

I suppose that with shadow point compensation set to zero, one would expect deeper blacks at the potential cost of lost shadow detail?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2005, 08:29:03 PM »
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I've done some experiments based on the above suggestions. I selected two problem photographs (deep quartertones) and tried combinations of MOAB Entrada Fine Art Natural 190, Epson Enhanced Matte, Relative Colorimetric and Perceptual Rendering Intents. Eight prints later, none of it makes a particle of significant difference.

I made sure my rendering intents were selected in both Print with Preview and Soft Proof, so I assume they did what I asked them to do (i.e. I do not believe it is necessary each time to go into Edit>Color Settings and change the Default rendering intent - Print with Preview and Soft Proof Set-Up should make the correct change each time.)

Unless there is something wrong with my testing procedure and settings, it looks as if I should now investigate IP6.1.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2005, 09:01:17 PM »
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Bernard, like you I fell in love with the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, although I use it on a Canon i9900, and print mostly 11x17 and some 13x19. I literally threw away my older prints .

BTW, this place has the best prices on them I've found so far:

http://www.digitalartsupplies.com
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