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Author Topic: Wide Gamut Prints  (Read 4006 times)
dmerger
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« on: January 24, 2006, 06:13:15 PM »
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I have a few photos that I'd like to have printed very large.  They print fine on my Epson R200.  All areas of the photos are in the gamut of my Epson R200 or close enough that I see no bad effects when printed.  There is very little difference between the Epson soft proof and the regular aRGB file when viewed on my calibrated monitor or compared to the print.

I wanted to have the photos printed on Fuji Crystal Archive professional lustre paper.  I've used that paper before with nice results. When I soft proof some of the photos using the profiles from WHCC and ElCo, however, some of the bright colors get clipped.  It seems like maybe the Fuji paper just doesn't have as bright of surface as my Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper.  In any event, I don't know why the soft proofs just don't "print" the bright colors nearly as bright or otherwise lose detail in some bright saturated colors.  

Do I just need to look for some paper other than the Fuji?  What printing method and paper would give me as wide of gamut as my Epson R200 but print very large?

On the other hand, I'd appreciate any advice on adjusting a copy of my problem photos to retain the original look when printed on the Fuji paper.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 09:51:18 PM »
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The digital printers that print on Fuji Crystal Archive and Kodak Endura papers have a significantly smaller gamut than what you can get from your Epson. On certain saturated colors - especially bright oranges, yellows and reds, it's simply not possible to match with these printers. What you can try and do is to maximize the apparent color contrast and trick your eyes into thinking the colors are brighter than they really are. For example, if you're dealing with a weak yellow, make sure there is a strong cool color near it to make the yellow seem stronger. Other times, especially with strong sunset type colors, you will lose detail even with the best profiles. Blending good channels into the bad ones can reclaim detail at the expense of saturation, but having the detail almost always looks better than a solid blob of color. Or, you can have someone make large format Epsons for you. The new 9800 printers make some of the nicest prints I've seen.
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dmerger
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 11:46:07 PM »
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pfigen, you sound like you've seen my photos.  My problems are in bright oranges/yellows (sunset reflected off a cliff face in Utah) and magenta/red clouds at sunset.  Thanks for the advice.

Does your advice apply to Lightjet prints on Fuji paper by a place like Calypso?  How about Chromira prints on Fuji paper by a place like West Coast Imaging?  I'll check their web sites to see if they have some profiles that I can download to soft proof.

In any event, I'll look into Epson prints from places like WHCC, West Coast and Calypso.   Is the gamut of the Epson 9800 on fine art paper as as wide as my R200 with glossy paper?
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Dean Erger
dmerger
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 01:34:24 AM »
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I think I've found the answers to most of my questions.  I downloaded profiles from Calypso for their Lightjet and Epson 9600.  Neither has a gamut as wide as my R200.  The Lightjet gamut is similar to the gamut I see with WHCC and ElCo for their Fuji prints.  The gamut of the Epson 9600 with luster paper also showed some of the same problems as did the Lightjet.  The Epson was not as bad, however, especially in the oranges and yellows.  

The link on the West Coast Imaging web site for their profiles wouldn't work, so I wasn't able to soft proof with their profiles.  I expect that I'd get results similar to Calypso, however.  

On the other hand, is it likely that the Epson 9800 would have a wider gamut than the 9600 in the bright, saturated oranges, yellows, magentas and red?  Are there other options that may have a gamut as wide as my R200 but able to make very large prints?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2006, 01:53:16 AM by dmerger » Logged

Dean Erger
dmerger
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 02:32:48 AM »
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I was finally able to download profiles from West Coast Imaging for their Chromira and Epson 9800.  The Chromira is similar to the Lightjet.  The 9800, however, is fantastic.  It appears to have a gamut as wide, or maybe just barely wider, than my R200.  

All my observations are based solely on soft proofing in Photoshop CS and viewing on my calibrated LaCie electron blue IV.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2006, 02:34:12 AM by dmerger » Logged

Dean Erger
pfigen
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 04:25:41 PM »
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All the Lightjets and Chromiras I've profiled have very similar gamuts, whether it's with Fuji or Kodak paper. The Epsons are considerably better, especially in the dark saturated colors, but also in reds. Printing to my 9800 continually amazes me, but it does matter which paper you use. I really like the Premium Semi-Matte paper from Epson for a photographic looking paper. I think the only time I'll be using a Lightjet these days is when I need something wider than 44 inches, not a common occurence.
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 06:36:31 AM »
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As mentioned in another thread, I am trying to determine the papers and approaches that deliver the widest gamuts. At present I believe the Epson Ultrachrome K3 inkset delivers a much wider gamut than any lightjet paper, and a product with 2-3 times the archival properties. The cost is more , but if longevity and wide gamut are prioritities , then there is little choice.
This taken, there is considerable flux in the market with a vast range of new products coming on line.
It seems that to push boundaries using the excellent K3 inks or equivalents from Roland or others,
paper, paper coatings , profiles and RIPS are all critical.
With all these parameters in a state of rapid flux a state of equilibrium is still a long way off.
My current observation is that the results I am seeing today,in general, far exceed the quality of accessible analogue technologies.
Lightjet is a transitional technology that will persist  at the low end of the market  with  its low cost and acceptable visual qualities.In the long term it may be it's problematic environmental attributes that lead to it's ultimate demise.
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2006, 08:16:12 PM »
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No-one talks about Hewlett-Packard. Brian have you tested their archival products for the N130 and other large format professional printers they are now manufacturing to use pigmented inks? I'm very satisfied with my Epson 4800 but one sees increasing amounts of favorable commentary on HPs recent offerings.
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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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