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[Definition] Metamerism

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  • [Definition] Metamerism

    With the popularity of Archival inks, I thought this was a good word to give meaning to.

    Metamerism is phenomenon produced when using Pigment based inks only. Due to the nature of all pigment based inks, unlike dye based inks, lighting conditions can affect the appearance of colors in the printed output. For example a sepia tone may appear a golden tone under incandescent lighting but will appear greenish under normal daylight. Adding more red to compensate for the greenish appearance in daylight will actually cause a burnt reddish tone under incandescent light. Even flourescent lighting will affect the way our eyes perceive the colors.

    Some colors will be affected more so than others but I think yellows especially when sepia toning is the worst. I've found this to be a noticable difference when doing a subtle sepia tone vs. the bright vivid colors of modern photography so I would say less saturation makes it more pronounced. (Personal opinion here)

    This should be taken into account when printing an image. If that image will probably be viewed under artificial lighting vs daylight you will want to compensate for this.
    DJ

  • #2
    Good one! I had no idea what that was. Is this why some black and white prints from inkjets look green to me?

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    • #3
      It is if they are using pigment or archival inks and not a straight black and white. Meaning, there is some color tint in it. When I print a straight black and white I get no color shifts at all. It's when I ad the slightest tint that I notice this.
      DJ

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      • #4
        DJ
        how do you compensate for Metamerism in your prints? Do you just print for the light you think the photo is going to be viewed under? I have 14 photos to print, all the same photo for team members. I know when the customers received the photos they will be in direct sunlight but they will probably be viewed under normal household lighting from then after. I don't like the thought of the colour appearing to change but I'm not sure if I should even try to compensate for it.

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        • #5
          Sometimes I will try for a medium point between the two lighting situations. I generally do my printing during the daylight and I have a lamp that has incandescent and flourescent lights in it so I can swith between them. It's less dramatic from daylight to flourescent. Say for instance I'm printing a sepia tone photo. In daylight it may appear more of a greenish hue where as under the light bulb it will appear golden. To adjust for this I generally run hue / satuation and adjust the hue a little more toward the red tones. That will take some of the greenish hue out of the daylight view and if I don't go overboard, I can keep it still in the redish gold hue under incandecesent lighting. I won't say it isn't agrevating at times but nothing I can do about that but try to work around it. Sounds like from another thread on the subject that the 2200 has done alot to correct this problem.
          DJ

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          • #6
            A related link:

            http://www.ledet.com/margulis/ACT_po...ColorTemp.html

            Regards,

            Stephen Marsh.

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            • #7
              Interesting reading Stephen. Thanks for the link. I think it really helps explain things.
              DJ

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