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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Print Preview problem in PS CS2

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2006, 09:52 AM
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Michael Smith Michael Smith is offline
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Print Preview problem in PS CS2

I have a LaCie 22" monitor which I calibrate and custom profile with a Monaco OPTIX-xr colorimeter and print on an Epson R2400 printer. Steep learning curve! I've gone to a lot of trouble and expense to get my color management just right and I'm almost there. My prints are just sightly darker than the monitor image, and I assume that tweaking the monitor brightness control downward is the final solution (I'm trying to match the monitor image to the printed image). However, when I select "Print with Preview" in CS2, the preview image is WAY too light! There are no controls to adjust the appearance of the image that I can find. Anyone have any suggestions on adjusting the appearance of the Print Preview image?

Mike
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:28 AM
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MisterJP MisterJP is offline
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I would highly recommend NOT altering your monitor brightness to fix the darkness issue! In you're using the Monaco software like you should, you are setting a white luminance value before calibrating, which is directly tied to the monitor brightness. Therefore, altering the brightness is affecting your calibration in ways you can't necessarily predict. The recommended way is to edit the calibration curve using Monaco and saving an edited monitor profile.

Print with preview was not meant to soft proof your pictures before outputting. You should use View/Proof Setup/Custom and choose your printer profile to simulate. Just print a colorful picture and use it as a guide onscreen to adjust the proof view settings. You may find that paper white/ink black gets you closer, but much of that depends on the profile chosen and if it created using the same paper and inks you are.

Hope this helps!

JP
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:29 PM
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Hi Mike, as JP points out, the preview window is not color managed and was never intended to be by Adobe. It is there for orientation and print area confirmation. The answer to your problem may not lie in the monitor calibration but in some of the Printer Option settings. Printer Color Management versus Photoshop Color Management. If you are using the former, then watch out for some of the subtle options in the Epson Print options dialogs. If you are using the latter, then the print media profile will need to be an accurate one.
Regards, Murray
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:03 AM
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Michael Smith Michael Smith is offline
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Thanks, JP and Murray -

I absolutely agree that dimming the monitor after calibration and profiling would be a bad idea. My factory default sets brightness at 50% and contrast to 100%. When I use my Monaco OPTIX to calibrate brightness, it reports that the difference between lightest and darkest black is too little to measure, so I have to use their "visual" technique where you select one "clearly visible" of several letters, and then decrease the brightness level until the selected letter "disappears". Since both of these criteria ("clearly visible" and "disappears") are subjective judgements, I think that decreasing brightness a little beyond the "disappears" threshold when calibrating might help.

Having said that, when I view my prints in direct sunlight, they are just fine - it is only when viewed in room light as wall art do they seem to be a little too dark. I calibrate my monitor color temp to 6500K and wonder if I should use a different one to accomodate the viewing environment.

I tried the Epson Print Academy Online procedure to calibrate my monitor, but they recommend turning the Red channel to 100% and then adjusting Green and Blue. When I do that, every image edge on my screen bleeds badly to the right - it happens with Green and Blue also - so I just reset to factory default and adjust the Blue channel only, which gives me 6500K on the nose. Can the bleeding be adjusted? I have tried horizontal converence to no avail.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:23 PM
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Michael, 6500K is balanced for daylight. If you view the image indoors with less ambient light, warmer light or tungsten light, the image will likeky look darker. Often, the human brain will compensate for it but only partly. I would recommend you try a lower temperature calibration - like 5600K.
The reduced brightness on your monitor will force you to compensate by make the image proportionately brighter.
The print process is a bit of a compromise. Because the colors you see are determined by the color temperature of the light passing through the ink layers and and being reflected back by the paper, the image in daylight will not look exactly the same as the one in indoor lighting.
Regards, Murray
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:53 AM
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View/Proof Settings

MisterJP -

Thanks very much for your advice about View/Proof settings - please bear with me - I may be breaking the code on my too dark print images. For example, I have an original image which looks fine on my monitor, but prints too dark on my printer with no View/Proof selections made. Are you saying that I should go into View/Proof, select the appropriate printer/paper profile, check simulate paper, and then make further levels/curves, brightness/contrast, etc. adjustments to the image until it looks right again, save it as a new version of the original image, and then print it? That does make sense if I have several different printer/paper combinations. But, if I intend to use only my Epson R2400 printer and Premium Glossy paper at BestPhoto quality settings, shouldn't I start out my workflow by selecting those specific View/Proof options at the outset?

Thanks very much for your help,
Mike
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