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Quote: I don't adjust the monitor to match my prints Glenn; I don't adjust it at all.
Fair enough - isn't that Graham's suggestion? I thought you said you used the same method? Not that I usually bother questioning the methods of minimalists (you know the ones - usually they've remortgaged their house to pay for experimental paper and ink).
I know these labs are capable of churning out a decent print; that wasn't really the point. Personally I'm interested in trying to do things well and understanding what I'm doing; other people care less about that and just bounce merrily along.
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SO: How many of you have calibrated your eyes ?
Not that you can easily adjust them, but you can at minimum test them to see if you have any colour perception problems.
It's all well and good having everything "calibrated" but not a lot of good if what you look at to view your pictures looks "off" to your eyes.
Try testing your eyes and just see if it makes any difference to the way you think you see colour as being correct or not.
This is one from a company in the forefront of colour reproduction:
An accurate test with results and explanation can be done here:
This will show how quickly you can match colours but will drive you nuts
I've done all the color perception and ordering tests with a 100 % pass rate but I still use a hardware calibrator to set my monitors up. The calibrator works at a scale beyond those online color games.
Quote: I've done all the color perception and ordering tests with a 100 % pass rate but I still use a hardware calibrator to set my monitors up. The calibrator works at a scale beyond those online color games.
That's brilliant. You are the first to have ever achieved this, you are so lucky to have such perfect vision...
Yes the last one is a game, but the others are more serious and can simply identify issues that may well need to be considered and even investigated.
I get to see thousands of images while judging competitions, and the number of times I see colours that are "off" to my eyes (especially the greens) and comment on them, only to have people say - "They look right to me"... It's a lot like going into someones house and seeing their TV has been left in "GAMES" mode by the kids and they are watching the National Geographic channel.
Unfortunately our eye/brain is susceptible to all manner of influencing factors that can cause a colour shift in our vision. Ambient light being a major effect, yet we see people using a calibrated system next to a window with the late evening sun shining through. Something some calibration systems are also affected by.
I often use B&Q Paint charts and Paint manufactures colour strips to act as calibrators, by taking a shot of the strip next to the subject I want as best colour match as I can get. Much cheaper than a xrite card
As with all things photographic, there is no one way to do things and it's all highly subjective opinions as to the results. But at least consider the primary element in seeing an image...
Quote: That's brilliant. You are the first to have ever achieved this, you are so lucky to have such perfect vision.
I happen to know that I'm not. I've run these tests during lectures and seen more than the odd few stack color orders without any problem. Whether a green looks right to you is immaterial when applied to calibration.
Quote: I often use B&Q Paint charts and Paint manufactures colour strips to act as calibrators, by taking a shot of the strip next to the subject I want as best colour match as I can get. Much cheaper than a xrite card
I'm surprised, someone with colour knowledge would advocate the use of a B&Q test card as gospel for colour checking. There is quite some discrepancy between different print runs. If it hasn't changed, they were optimised to give the most consistent results under the fluorescent lighting in store (so the customer could see the paint / card side by side). You run the risk of metamerism, when you can get significant colour shifts under different light conditions.
I too had my vision checked years ago when I was responsible for colour matching in the print industry (and I too have 100%colour vision).
A large part of the population, particularly men where about 10% of the male population have red/green colour blindness.
Before using a lab download there soft profiling files and test your files before placing an order.
Ideally you should also have the freedom to convert to the profile, so you can choose rendering intent and actually preview the end result (providing the profile is current/relevant).
The suggested workflow of ProAm is an example.
Getting back to the OP, soft-proofing (previewing output) technique is described well in this PDF, albeit it's intended for CMYK output (methods are the same).
To do this, you need software that supports it, which includes Photoshop CS, Lightroom, Qimage, or Gimp. Then you need to cop hold of the printer profile and load it into the relevant folder in your OS. At that stage you can effectively 'see' the print colour on your screen. Calibrate your screen first -- preferably with a dedicated device rather than by eyesight (eyes can't produce a monitor profile, aside from anything else).
A lab that provides this service should send the file straight to the printer without corrections, but look for this option when using online labs.
Loxely offer this as well.
ProAm seem better to me in this regard. In the end you're just sending sRGB to Loxley, which is the same as any other lab.
They could also correct 'Device to Stimulate' (twice).
If you calibrate end to end and use a Printing Service which complies with that process you should have no problem. I calibrate my monitors using a monitor calibrator; you are deluding yourself if you think you can calibrate without a colorimeter. I have also calibrated my DSLR so that Raw files are accurately rendered in colour using the X-rite Colour Checker Passport and Adobe Labs software. For home printing, I have an excellent Epson R2880 and use Epsons inks and the correct profiles for the ink/paper combination. For external printing I use ProAm. For ProAm you download their printer profiles and ensure you convert a version of your final image to their profile before sending for printing. I have found that images printed on my R2880 are very similar to my monitor as are images from ProAm and consistently so. Lightroom 4/5 is excellent for printing in that you can use the Proof Printing and view the image using the printer profile. You can then make small tonal adjustments to suit and LR saves a virtual copy for that profile. If you do calibrate end to end, you will get good and consistent results.
The ProAm gamut is similar to Adobe RGB. Most consumer printing services assume that the input is sRGB. Also many consumer printing services monitor images in real time and can make small adjustments. This may be beneficial for the average member of the public and those who do not calibrate or require great accuracy. In comparison a professional Printing Service like ProAm do not take any responsibility for colour management and it is entirely under the customers control. If you calibrate end to end, this is a great advantage because I am in control and ProAm will not make any changes which is very important to me.
ProAm's service also assumes an sRGB input - hence the reason you can't send them an Adobe RGB file. I believe to make full use of their ICC profile the image would have to be printed in 'no convert' mode, otherwise any colour outside sRGB gets clipped. AFAIK most labs don't have that facility (perhaps they do?). Regardless, they offer an unusual degree of control.
Quote: ProAm's service also assumes an sRGB input - hence the reason you can't send them an Adobe RGB file. I believe to make full use of their ICC profile the image would have to be printed in 'no convert' mode, otherwise any colour outside sRGB gets clipped. AFAIK most labs don't have that facility (perhaps they do?). Regardless, they offer an unusual degree of control.
I am afraid that you are wrong, please read the instructions on the ProAm website. You are asked to convert your image gamut to the ProAM profile which you download from their site and install. In the past they have revealed that the Printer they use has a colour gamut a little wider than sRGB (similar to Adobe RGB). If you covert your Adobe RGB file to the ProAm profile as I do then your image will be in the correct colour space for their printer. You should not send them an sRGB or Adobe RGB image if you want accurate colours.
I have looked at several images in Proof Printing in LR and tried using various profiles from my images that are already restricted to Adobe RGB. If I use sRGB, in many images some parts of an image (usually green/cyan) are shown out of gamut. However, when I use the ProAm profile (KP_Fujii_570_Supreme_Gloss) there is rarely any out of gamut and it is clearly a wider gamut than sRGB. However, I have noticed and in other tests that sRGB can be a slightly wider gamut in a specific red hue but this does not make up for the poorer green/cyan performance. I would not want to suggest that differences are huge but tend to be very clear with test charts but not as visible with real images.
I have read the instructions Dave. They don't accept Adobe RGB, therefore they're not colour managed - maybe I didn't word my post very well. Last time I looked they accepted sRGB, and presumably they still do. I'm aware that proofing is theoretically going to give you a more accurate result.
Fuji Frontiers are always closer to sRGB than aRGB, even when they can reproduce colours outside of that colour space.
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