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Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

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  #1  
Old 01-17-2008, 10:38 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

My monitor is calibrated & profiled w/ Eye-One Photo. My 1280 is profiled for the paper & ink it uses. The paper is Epson Premium Glossy & the ink is MIS. My system is a G5 Mac running PS CS on OS 10.3.9.

I get the attached image as I like it on the monitor, but the print is far darker than it should be. I understand you can't get a perfect match between monitor & print, but on other prints I've gotten closer matches than this one.

I suspect the problem is with the red because on other photos with a lot of red, I get similar results. With Gamut Warning on, I have a lot of out-of-gamut in the red, but when I desaturate it, the image goes blah.

Another curious thing is, in Print Preview, the preview shows exactly what the print will look like because the print matches the preview, and it doesn't matter how much I lighten the image, the preview doesn't change. I know the print will be what the preview shows, so I don't print. (Why waste paper?)

I suppose I should scan a print & provide that as a comparison to the attached image, but I think this is enough to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. What you see in the attached is not what I'm going to get as a print. I've tagged the other problem images for taking them to my local print shop, as they don't have a problem giving me what I want.

But, I would like to do it myself & if any of you have suggestions, I'm all ears. One mystery is why Print Preview does not reflect changes made to an image before printing.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2008, 11:00 PM
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Sweetlight Sweetlight is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

Just a suggestion. I have multiple Epson printers but get my best prints from my R320 (81/2 x 11) prints. If this is your case too my solution when I add new printers such as my 2200 is to just drag the printer profile from my R320 into the profile folder of my new printer and it works perfect.
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:21 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

The 1280 will give you very accurate prints. False color usually has to do with the settings. And oh by the way, the preview window in the Epson drive is NOT color managed so it actually should look quite different from you monitor - you just need to ignore it.

You have two options of output flow.

1. In the Print settings fialog box Output, under Color Management you select Printer Manages Color. If you choose this option then you click the Page Setup and click the Custom Button. Then click Advanced Tab and in the color management box you click Color Control (top button) BUT leave all the sliders set in the center to 0. Don't mess with them.

This method tell the printer driver to take the image output from Photoshop and to convert the numbers from whatever color workspace PS is using to values that Epson will use to recreate the equivalent colors in the printer.

2. You other work flow option is to let PS be in control. In that case what you need to do is Edit>Convert to Profile and select the color profile for the media you are using (Premium Glossy etc). So what you have done is converted you image color data to the exact values for the printer. Now in the Print dialog box you select PS Manages Color. But now in the custom>Advanced tab you need to click the button called No Color Adjustment. This prevent the Epson driver form doing anything but taking the data it is fed from PS and following instruction to print those colors.

Normally you would use method 1 because you don't need to worry about remembering to make the conversion in PS and you dont have to convert back to your orig workspace or save two versions of the same image.

Method 2 does come in handy if you are using ICC profiles which you obtain from 3rd parties other than what came with your printer. The other time you would use method 2 is if you are sending files out to print at a lab like Costco. Costco (through Dry Creek PhotoP provides wonderfully accurate free color profiles for the Noritsu printers they use at eack location. You simply convert the edited image to that profile and when you upload your online order you click the button "No Auto Adjustments". This turns off the printers color management forcing it to print exactly what you feed it. But guess what, you already made the conversions for that printer so your prints come out dead on (assuming that you monitor is moderately well calibrated).

Unfortunately the Epson functioning was never well explained in its literature (try downloading the most recent driver it is enhanced somewhat and better docs). Many people waste a lot of ink and paper till they figure out the correct color management settings.
Good luck
Murray
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:16 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

Thanks, Murray. However, I'm having trouble following your advice. Remember, I'm using a Mac, not a Windows machine. My flow is: Page Setup, Print Preview, and Print (Print Settings: Automatic), (Color Management: No Color Adjustment, which is your method #2, I think.) I'm aware that in method #2 that I want PS to control colors going to the printer, and not the printer driver to control them. When I turn over control to the printer driver, I get the same results.

If you care to restate your workflow advice in light of what I've just said, I'd be glad to listen. Thanks for your trouble.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:33 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

Shouldn't matter whether PC or Mac the fundamental screens still need to be there.
When you first do a print command you should see something like sceenshot 1 (If you are not using PS CS3 the screens look different). The 1st screen is there to let you select the Printer that you want to print to and it defines who manages color. In teh attachment 1 I have selected the Epson 1280 as my printer and then from the pull down menu selected Printer Manages Color.

Next you should have a Page Setup Button somewhere so you can select the media, orientation (landscape / portrait), media size etc. When you click the page setup button you should get a screen similar to box 2 (top left). The mode is usually set to Auto but you need to click the Custom Button. After doing so you need to click the Advanced Tab. After clicking the Advanced Tab button, box 3 will pop up. Here is where you need to click the Color Controls button (if you have chosen Prinetr manages Color). Unfortunately Epson did a really poor job when they wrote this drives 6 years ago. Because it is too easy to firget to go to the advanced tab. If you click the No Color Adjustment, then what you have done is told the printer to manage color but you disabled it ability to do so. Your prints will look pretty bad. while you are in the Advance window be sure to select your print quality. Unfortunately Epson default is 720 ppi but you should select 1440. You can select 2880 but it prints very very slowly.

If you choose to turn off Color Managemnt, then as I pointed out in the earlier post, you need to manually convert your image to the profile of the paper you are printing on and in the advanced tab you need to check NO Color Adjustment. However, since the Epson profiles are very accurate for Epson papers, I recommend you leave Printer Manages Color on.
Regardsm Murray
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:19 AM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

I followed your advice re: letting Epson handle the colors & the print is much closer to the monitor. Much better than letting PS handle them. Now, I'm wondering why I spent all that money buying Eye-One Photo & the time custom-profiling the 1280, when I already had a printer profile for free.

I'm going back to those other photos I had problems with in the reds & try them, too. I'm going to try these settings on all other photos, as well. I still have a problem with a better rendering of the red because the monitor image is more on the orange side while the print is redder. But, it's a heck of a lot better than what I was getting. I'm going to let the print cure & tomorrow view it in daylight. It may be as close as I'm going to get.

I use PS CS, btw, & had to do some comparisons between that & your screenshots, but got it figured out & thanks so much for providing those screenshots. I have several books on color management. They point out the distinction between printer control & PS control, but suggest letting PS handle the printing. That's why I went to the expense of buying Eye-One Photo, but like I said, this image & ones like it were the only problems I was having.

Thanks very much, Murray.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:36 AM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

I want to add that these books emphasize that you need a different printer profile anytime you change paper or ink. I'm using a non-Epson (cheaper) continuous flow ink system & get great results. I believed that a custom profile was necessary, but it looks like it's not.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:56 AM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Red face Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

Forgot this important point: The key was selecting "Printer Color Management" in the Print Space>Profile drop menu in the Print With Preview dialog box, as you pointed out. In the past, when I decided to try printer control, I left this selection at my custom profile, rather than changing it to Printer Color Management, thinking that printer control would be in the Print>Color Management section: Either Control Colors (printer) or No Color Adjustment (PS).
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:39 PM
One4UAll One4UAll is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermonday View Post
However, since the Epson profiles are very accurate for Epson papers, I recommend you leave Printer Manages Color on.
However, I find that printer control works best on some images & PS control works best on others. I don't know why this is so.

I'm also at the point of ignoring soft-proofing, because when I print, the print is neither close to the monitor nor to the soft proof. When I soft-proof, it's like a pale curtain drops over the image. I don't know what to do about it.

I print proofs on 4x6 paper to keep down the cost. In some ways I'm right back in the wet darkroom, fiddling with color packs and running test prints. So, if a print doesn't look good with printer control, try PS control & vice versa. I realize there is a compromise between print & monitor.

I've posted in another forum re: this, & one response was to understand the difference between the monitor & the print, then adjust the PS image on the monitor so that the monitor may look odd, but the print will look ok. This is extremely difficult for me. I haven't tried this approach because I don't have that amount of PS expertise. Maybe I should get that expertise. My monitor is calibrated & reprofiled monthly.

I don't know if you or others have any response, but, thanks, Murray, for your input.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:55 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Epson 1280 Prints *Much* Darker Than Monitor

Another place to check...

I leave mine set for Perceptual...
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