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Calibration !

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Old 07-25-2006, 05:04 AM
petercook80 petercook80 is offline
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Calibration !

HI, I am unsure on what to expect with system calibration and printer profiling. I have a Epson Photo R200 printer and use Epson Inks and Paper, Photoshop Elements 2 and an LCD monitor which is calibrated with ColourWizzard software, I also have a piece of software called Nova DigiColour which helps to remove colour casts from my prints.

My prints come out OK , I don’t get any wild differences in colour from the screen to the print, but it is never exactly the same, and I do get subtle differences more in tone and ‘brightness’ (ie:my prints are always a little darker than the screen).

My Question is – Can you get exact matches in a fully calibrated system or is that expecting to much or do you always have to allow for a subtle differences even in a fully calibrated system? and if you can expect exact matches would a printer profile help?
What are peoples experiances on this issue.

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Old 07-25-2006, 11:30 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Color Management

If you arem using a workflow which respects color management, and you have all the proper settings in your Epson Printer options (Printer Color Management turned on with no bias adjustments), the prints should be close enough that you can not easily distinguish any differences on sight.
The issue I have found time and time again, is that most LCD moniotrs do not accuartely represent what you are editing in PS and most LCD monitors can not be properly calibrated. There are many exceptions, notably the VP series Viewsonics as well as other high end makes. If you can borrow a good quality CRT monitor to run a test, you may see the difference. If you have a high quality calibratable LCD, then you will need to look at other parts of your color managed workflow. The most other common reason for non matching I found is improper setting in the Epson driver.
Regards, Murray
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:30 AM
petercook80 petercook80 is offline
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Thanks (plus)

Hi, Thanks for that. I have also since found that I had the Colour Settings in Photoshop set to No Colour Management. I have now changed that to Full-Optimised for Print and things are now better. They are not identical but very close.
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:11 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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welcome to RP.

printers are almost always going to print slightly darker than what you see on the monitor. it's just the nature of the beast. if i'm going for a perfect match i almost always run the brightness up just a smidgen on the image before printing.

the other big reason, aside from the lcd issue mentioned already, is gamut. ignore this if you're already familiar with gamut and correct for it. gamut is simply the range of colors/hues/shades that a printer can NATIVELY print without translation. on your monitor it's the same thing only monitors can NATIVELY handle a much larger range of all this. thus, when your image falls outside the printer's native gamut it has to translate what is out of range into something it can handle. your drivers and/or other printer software are what do this translation when necessary.

as an example of this i use a printer that normally does excellent printing but every once in a while i get an image that is almost all the same color but lots of different hues of that color. this most often happens when i run an image with a lot of blues. when i first ran into this i thought the printer had broken, but it still printed other images just fine and i was perplexed as to what was going on. the print would come out with some of the blues but others were quite far off being almost gray or greenish. the printer just couldnt properly translate these out of gamut colors that were all so close to each other. it tended to mottle them all into a muddy gray. yet on other images it could handle the blues by themselves mostly ok.

now paint shop pro, which i use, doesnt really have a gamut checker. and it wasnt until i could get ahold of a copy of photoshop that had a checker that i was able to find out what was going on. when i altered the image to put my blue hues more into the gamut range then the print came out much better, much closer to what i could see on the monitor.

now, i dont think elements 2 has a gamut checker either. i know elements 4 doesnt, per se. photoshop does. if you could get your hands on a copy of that and check your printing that way it might show some things up.

color profiles can also make a difference. i'm not sure what elements 2 uses but the common ones these days that most printers will recognize are sRGB and adobe RGB. if you're using one of those then this probably isnt the reason for your problems.

also, i dont know many ink cartridges your printer is using, but generally, if it's a 3 color system then you're always going to be a little off. a lot of the newer printers are going to a 6 or 7 or even a 9 cartridge system and i even saw a Canon advertised recently with 12. the extra cartridges basically extend the gamut the printer can handle natively and that reduces the amount of translation that has to be done.

basically, the problem with digital is that printers grew up in the cmyk world while monitors and computers grew up in the rgb world. the two are slowly coming together and i believe you can even get printers now that natively work in rgb but dont take my word for that one.

if you're doing a lot of 'serious' printing, i'd upgrade from elements 2 and start looking at web sites that review printers objectively. also one word on elements in general. i have 4 and never use it. i find it very lacking in some of what i would consider the basics, printing and gamut being one of those areas. but then psp is missing some of this also so that leaves the expensive photoshop. so, you'll have to figure out what to do there.

hope some of this helps.

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