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Printer profiling

gg1904 8 6 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2010 9:48PM
Hi Folks can you help a photographer at the end of his tether. Like lots of other photographers I have a problem getting decent colour reproduction between my monitor and my printer. I have read many articles about this and decided that the only way to correct this was to buy the calibration gear. I now have the Eye One display 2 for profiling my monitor and I have just recently purchased the spyder3 print SR. MY monitor seems to be profiled very nicely using the information that I gleaned from the many experts on the web and I have produced the printer profiles as described in the Spyder instructions. The problems is that my prints are now worse than when I started (very dark) , so once again I took to reading up what the problem is and I cannot get a sensible answer in English that a mere mortal like myself can understand ( I only have a masters degree in Engineering and am unfortunately not a brain surgeon). The truth is that my head hurts with all this unhelpful information and I am getting very tired of it, in fact it's so painful that I am considering giving it all up as it's just too much bother. I used to do wet darkroom printing and that was easy compared to all this.

Anyway I am working on a Mac I have calibrated my monitor in line with all the experts advice, i have run my printer profiles just like it says in the accompanying spyder instructions but the result is dreadful. I am currently using a professional printer for my prints but I cannot afford to go on like this.

Thanks in anticipation



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JohnParminter 11 1.3k 14 England
10 Nov 2010 10:47PM
What monitor luminocity have you calibrated to, I have mine set at 90 cd/m2, my prints are faithfully reproduced at the same brightness as what is displayed on my monitor.

Are you using an HP printer by any chance with their profiles for their paper? I am and might be able to help further if you are.

Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
10 Nov 2010 10:58PM
For what it's worth . .

I'm no expert at all on this subject but when I print from CS5 using my Epson printer, set to the chosen CS5 colour profile, which looks fine on the screen, the prints come out way too dark.
This has been discussed on here before and I'm not the only one to have this problem with CS5.
If you're using CS5, there's a posibility that it's nothing to do with your hardware at all.

Or I could be completely wrong!

GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
10 Nov 2010 11:31PM
It'd be useful to know more specifically how the monitor is calibrated. Dark prints are frequently caused by too high a luminance level, which generally requires physical user-intervention at the calibration stage to adjust. A process of elimination might be helpful - how do prints look when a canned/generic paper profile is used?
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
11 Nov 2010 1:19AM
One reason I like the Spyder display calibration device, It works without all that nonsense, That is however on Windows 7 machine....Grin

In fact my Spyder 3 Elite calibrates 7 different systems, With a variety of monitors from very high end NEC & HP models, To average workstation models.

We use several Canon printers, That use genuine Canon inks and papers, The prints from the dedicated image only desktop machines always matches that of the displays.

When I say matches the displays, You do have to allow for the fact that " Paper " and " Back lite " LCD/TFT displays do not share the same " Kelvin " temperatures, So a true 100% faithful match is going to be near impossible, Unless you can find some paper that has the very same temperature as that of the monitor.

That said you should get something fairly pleasing......Smile

Personally I'd flog the iOne device and buy yourself a Spyder 3, That oddly enough are now being recommended by " Eizo " which in my book, Is very high recommendation indeed, Or someone at Eizo is taking a bung from Colorvision, Take your pick.

Last option might be to find out what monitor you have, If by some strange coincidence its a Mac item, You might want to find out who made it for them, Many of the major panel suppliers, Produce " Firmware " upgrades as well as base monitor profiles, Its important for any calibration tool software to have the correct display profile when making the first calibration, Its this base figure that supplies details like " White Point " & " Black Point " data, Based on these hardware details, The calibration software in charge of the calibration tool, Makes its final and custom profile.

If you are dealing with a Mac display, Good luck asking them " Who makes the actual panel " I doubt you'll get a straight answer.

You can mess with the luminosity values, But your calibration gear should do that for you, Otherwise you just taking a stab in the dark.

Whatever, Good luck with it, Colour management problems can be a nightmare for sure......Wink
RoyBoy 13 285 2 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 7:41AM
I have been using a Spyder for many years and can recommend them. I currently have a Spyder 3. I. I have tried profiling the printer/paper in the past but found that, having got the monitor correct, I got better results using generic profiles supplied by the actual paper manufacturer. In my case I use Permajet almost exclusively.

One other thought! I assume that you printing properly (printer colour management turned off, etc)

Good luck

swanseamale47 10 124 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 9:01AM
Theres a lot of factors at play here, are you sure your monitor is callibrated correctly? what software are you printing from lightroom, photoshop etc? is the printer using it's profile or the softwares or something else? are you using the proper printer settings for the paper etc etc, theres so many variables it's nearly impossible to give an easy answer here.
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
11 Nov 2010 9:09AM
Calibration gear does not typically adjust luminance by itself, because it's data that the user needs to fine-tune to meet his/her own requirements. Hence the potential in the Spyder for instance to input your own luminance target by adjusting monitor controls.

If you leave your monitor at its default setting, it'll stay that way and the profile will be built around it. So even if the profile 'looks' good, it's no indicator that your monitor is calibrated particularly well - the two things are related but different. If your prints are dark, it's probably the first port of call.
gg1904 8 6 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 12:27PM
HI Folks and thanks for all your comments which I will digest and come back on. However for general information I am using a Mac and when calibrating the monitor I set the following

White Point 6500K
Gamma 2.2
Luminance currently 120 but I have also tried 80 cd/m2.

My photos look pretty good on the monitor. I assumed that when I ran the test strips for the Spyder and then basically read them in as per the wizard, then that would be the end of my problems and I would get prints that closely resembled what I was seeing on my monitor. I appreciate that you can't get perfect matches but I certainly expected to get a bit better than what I am geting at the moment.

I am printing from Photoshop CS5 and when printing i let photoshop manage the colours. I am using a Canon MP980 which gives pretty good results when you use the Canon papers and Inks but although I do use the Canon photo paper I have a continuous flow ink system as the Canon ink cartiridges are far too expensive as this is only a hobby. However I understand that by using the Spyder it should take account of all this and give me some pretty acceptable results.

The reason I am using the Eye One for my monitor and the Spyder3 print is that during my research most of the information that I read advised that the Eye One was the best tool for monitors and the Spyder was the best for printers.

Anyway thanks again for your advice it is appreciated.


strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 12:55PM
Ah very dark, that is possibly due to your display brightness. try reading this article. IT may help you understand and fix the problem.
davidbailie 14 457 7 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 1:11PM
I undertsand your deductions re calibration should be compensating for the fact you are using 3rd part inks -

when I have used other than canon inks the results have been truly awful - some geezer some while back pompously contradicted my assertion that 3rd party inks are hopeless, saying I knew not what I was talking about - and who to say he's wrong ! ... but as he failed to recommend any others he considered worthwhile - I left him in his comfort zone ....................

SO -

I would suggest your inks as a starting point - get some genuine cannon ones and you'll soon get an idea whether my assertion applies!

I do use third party papers and the results are satisfactory! ............. and I used 3rd party inks prior to getting into calibration

Good luck

strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 2:11PM
I did read of some known problems with colour profiles on the MAC for printers, I think the on-line photographer had quite a bit on it. From memory the Mac OS was not allowing the printer profiles to be used. also look at ink density as it could be your printer is putting too much ink down. Again using manufacturer inks, at least to get things started, could be better.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 5:36PM
OK Found the OSX problem with colour profiles I was thinking of. It could well explain your problem. In short try getting/generating V2 ICC profiles for your system

Quote:First, Snow Leopard has a bug in it that screws up rendering if you're using a version 4 ICC profile (this bug appeared in MacOS 10.6.2; it didn't exist in 10.6.1). That's going to be any profile that's been generated recently. Color Utility will tell you information about your profiles. You might have some that go back to version 2. If you don't, you are hosed until the 10.6.3 release (we hope).

Doesn't matter what software you use, what printer you use, and what hoops you jump through: If you attempt to color manager output using a v.4 ICC profile, it is not going to work. The print is going to come out horribly wrong.

The full article is here
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
11 Nov 2010 8:06PM
There is, of course, an easier (if somewhat rough and ready) way of getting acceptable results.

Use the ICC profile for your chosen paper and printer. (Most paper manufacturers make these available online).

Print an image with a good tonal range, wide dynamic range and a selection of both vivid and muted colours covering most of the visible spectrum.

The adjust your monitor, using the bog standard front panel controls, to match the image on screen to that produced by your printer.

The only real problem with that is that, while it will give good results in terms of matching your prints to what you see on your monitor, it does not guarantee that if you use the images online, other users will see the same as you.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
11 Nov 2010 10:42PM

Quote:Use the ICC profile for your chosen paper and printer. (Most paper manufacturers make these available online).
If it is the problem I linked to then the OS may not work with the profile correctly. And even if it is not that issue, if you do not have the standard inks then the generic paper profiles will almost certainly be wrong. And if the ink density is wrong you may not stand a chance of getting the screen to match. It would be better to go into the print driver and adjust that.

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