I have played with the settings, and if I adjust the monitor to match my photos, its much darker than would seem normal.
Is there a "relativlely" decent way to calibrate such things (without spending a ton of money on a spider and specalized software)?
Any help would be greatly appreciated....
Interested as well...
I've got an Epson Stylus Photo 1270 and everytime I go out and read about or hear about people trying to calibrate and I go out and try to understand it all, I seem to arrive at a headache!
I'd be curious to hear or find some very straightforward (if there is such a thing) and easy to use/follow steps.
I'm working on a dual-monitor setup as well, an NEC 19" MultiSycne FE991sb and a Sony Trinitron Multiscan 200sx, with most of the work being done on the larger monitor. So I'm also wondering how you split the difference with the 2 monitors or do you just try and calibrate with the primary one and the printer?
Listening for replies to your original request...
I have an Epson 2000p and I just started experimenting with every possible setting of the driver until I got prints that matched my screen...of course, I lucked out in that the default setting came pretty close! I would do some experimenting with different setting and record those setting on each print...The Epson drivers are very flexible so it pays to do some experimenting. Plus you can save each setting as you go.
Another simple workaround would be just to add a curves or Levels adjustment to each image right before you print. If every image is consistently dark you could come up with one adjustment layer to use on all images right before you print.
There are two general ways folk go about getting consistent colour between monitor and output.
As described previously in this thread the old fashioned methods of trial and error and 'mung and blur' are used by many. Monitors, printers and software settings are all juggled until some pleasing combination is hit on either with luck or with planning. It often works well for some images but fails for others, and if any variable in the chain varies then the whole process may need to be gone through again. What one saves on investment in calibration and charaterization hardware/software will often be spent in paper/ink/time.
The other approach is the more modern ICC approach, of calibration and characterization. There is considerable investment in learning and in getting hardware/software or using the services of consultants to produce output profiles, but in the long run this may be cheaper and more productive than the old hack methods.
Each device (monitor, scanner, printer) is calibrated to a known and repeatable state, which is ideally close to the optimum running condition for that device. When the device consistently performs at this level, it is then characterized (profiled).
A profile is produced for monitor, scanner/camera and output device/s. Then there is also the 'safe, neutral well behaved editing space' in use in Photoshop (presuming a ICC Photoshop workflow).
Photoshop knows how your monitor displays colour/tone via the monitor profile (created via eyeball or with accuracy via hardware and software). The input to Photoshop is described via a profile for the device which captured the data. A conversion takes place between the device space to the safe working space in Photoshop. Edits take place in this safe working space (such as sRGB or Adobe RGB). Softproof previews of output devices can be made while in this state. For output, the file is either duped and converted to print space or the working file is simply sent direct to the output device and Photoshop converts from the working space to the output device space 'on the fly'.
Try this link for more basic info on ICC methods and calibration and characterization:
Hope this helps,
I have a new computer/video card and new Sony Trinitron monitor with an older Epson 1270 printer.
I thought I was going to have some serious color matching problems because my old system took forever to calibrate.
The white point on the Sony was set to 6500K. The monitor came with a 65k ICC color profile that I associated with the printer and used it as my color setting in Photoshop. No Adobe gamma was used yet.
I opened Photoshop and created a new 8"x10" document at 250 ppi. I used the paintbrush tool to make a series of .7" various color dots from top to bottom. Then using the color profile I saved the image and printed it on some Epson photo quality ink jet paper. It came out amazingly close.
I then went through the Adobe gamma procedure and found that there was no difference between the before and after settings.
Gary, your setup is not exactly a 'textbook' procedure - but if it works for you, then it works! <g>
The generally accepted modern practice advocated by Adobe and others in the colour game is roughly as follows (not to say that this works for everyone):
Generally one calibrates the monitor to a good base level for that device, often 2.2 gamma with 6500 wp with a realistic black point. If using Adobe Gamma a base profile is loaded at the start of the process which generally describes the RGB phosphors and other base characteristics before the rest of the process is started. Calibration and Characterization/Profiling are then performed. If you have a puck and software then even better, as Adobe gamma relies on the input profile and eyeball considerations and is not very consistent in results.
The operating system CM is set with the ICC profile that Adobe Gamma or puck gererates. Smart apps know to look for this profile to get a handle on how the monitor is behaving.
Photoshop does not use the monitor profile as the image editing space since v5.x - that is what stadard idealised spaces such as Adobe RGB are for.
The reason that editing in the monitor profile was left behind was that the monitor is constantly changing, so you are trying to hit a moving target. Another factor can be lack of sensible or uniform grey balance when using a profile generated by hardware (as these describe the monitor too well). Ideally all the monitor profile is used for is to describe the monitor to ICC aware software.
One often converts from the input profile (scanner, camera or monitor if no other option is available) to the safe neutral idealised RGB editing space, where edits are then performed via softproofs using the output profile.
One of the best guides to eyeball calibration/profiling with Adobe gamma is in this link, it also has a fantastic gamma chart to aid in getting the brightness right:
I have had problems in the past using Adobe Gamma. In fact until I started using the Optical and the spyder I wasn't able to get a satisfactory monitor calibration. As soon as I got a good monitor profile all the workflow problems went away.
I have Profile Prysm to make scanner and printer profiles and have had good luck so far using the profiles I create with it. What I have found though is that the Epson drivers for the Epson 2200 under Windows XP are so acurate that I really don't need to use the profiles I have created when I use Epson papers. I found this accidentally because the Profile Prysm profiles sometimes have problems when printing some shades of blue. I understand that other profiling systems also have problems with blue but I can't say for sure because I have no firsthand knowledge of anyother system. Anyway I had a specific image I was trying to print that the blues printed purple, or magenta to be more acurate. The solution was to turn off the ICC managment and simply print using the driver alone. The colors were dead on. Since then I only use the ICC profiles when printing on 3rd party paper.
So that being said, I think the single most important part of the workflow is the monitor. That is assuming that all other areas of the workflow are working like they should. A bad printer profile or uncalibrated monitor can cause a lot of headaches.
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