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Thread: Screen calibration and printing

  1. #1
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Screen calibration and printing

    I thought I was so clever - but obviously I'm not as I need your help please!!

    I decided to do the job properly and purchased a Spyder4Pro - I calibrated my screen, and a second monitor and judging by the before/after, they have both benefitted from this.

    My workflow is as follows:

    Shoot - Adobre RGB
    Import to Lightroom
    Print on an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 (using 'Use printer color profile')

    I'm now getting some really nice, muddy colors - nothing like what I see on the screen - PLEASE what am I missing?
    Last edited by darkslide; 10th February 2012 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    I thought I was so clever - but obviously I'm not as I need your help please!!

    I decided to do the job properly and purchased a Spyder4Pro - I calibrated my screen, and a second monitor and judging by the before/after, they have both benefitted from this.

    My workflow is as follows:

    Shoot - Adobre RGB
    Import to Lightroom
    Print on an Epson Stylus Photo 1400 (using 'Use printer color profile')

    I'm now getting some really nice, muddy colors - nothing like what I see on the screen - PLEASE what am I missing?

    Ian
    When you say "printer profile" I assume you mean Profile: "Managed by Printer". If that's the case, and assuming you're using Epson papers, and Epson inks, and you have chosen the correct paper in the print settings dialog, prints should not be too bad. The printer driver should choose an appropriate profile.

    If you're not using Epson papers and inks that method won't work because the inbuilt profiles and routines were made on that assumption.

    It's not the very best workflow.

    Better is to choose the precise profile for the paper and inks you are using (under the Profile: dropdown, and then ensure in the printer dialogue that colour management is set to OFF. IOW don't allow the driver to repeat what you've just done or the profile colour adjustment will be made twice and you'll get junk. In this method you can use the profile provided by the paper manufacturer for your printer and ink (which again assumes the appropriate Epson ink), make a profile yourself (but you'll need more gear than your monitor calibrator), or have a profile made.

    In the colour management pages of www.fromcameratoprint.com I've tried to give a bit of an explanation of what's behind this.

    Cheers

    Tim

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Many thanks Tim

    I'm printing using Epson Claria Inks and Ilford Gallery (smooth pearl) paper - for which I have installed the Ilford ICC profile.

    In the Lightroom Colour Management I chose the Ilford ICC Profile, and in the print dialogue box under 'Colour' calibration is disactivated.

    It just seems to me that the print is considerably darker (Than what is displayed on the screen), but it's obviously impossible to say exactly what doesn't match.

    As I don't have Ilford Paper showing up in the 'Paper' dialogue box, I have to choose an Epson equivalent - so I choose mat. I'll try with glossy...

    Thanks again for your help - I'll read the linked pages.
    Last edited by darkslide; 10th February 2012 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    Many thanks Tim

    I'm printing using Epson Claria Inks and Ilford Gallery (smooth pearl) paper - for which I have installed the Ilford ICC profile.

    In the Lightroom Colour Management I chose the Ilford ICC Profile, and in the print dialogue box under 'Colour' calibration is disactivated.

    It just seems to me that the print is considerably darker (Than what is displayed on the screen), but it's obviously impossible to say exactly what doesn't match.

    As I don't have Ilford Paper showing up in the 'Paper' dialogue box, I have to choose an Epson equivalent - so I choose mat. I'll try with glossy...

    Thanks again for your help - I'll read the linked pages.

    Ian
    Ian

    Two things:

    1 I checked Ilford's site for their recommended media setting for Gallerie Smooth Pearl (also my paper of choice as it happens!) and they suggest "Epson Ultra Glossy" and Print Quality "Photo" as the appropriate settings for the IGSP on your printer. See http://www.ilford.com/profiles/index...kedmediatype=0

    2 The whole "my print is too dark" thing is another issue again. There's an awful lot of forum coverage on this one. Essentially, the main culprit is not the print but the monitor brightness. If you're comparing the print to the monitor, then unless you have a really brightly lit office, the light that's reflecting from the print (i.e. what you are seeing) is probably not as bright as the luminance of the monitor. Most monitors are set with a very high value for luminance because they look good and bright in shop displays. I find setting my monitor to something less than 100cd/m2 gives me a reasonable brightness comparison with print. Your mileage may differ depending on how your viewing area is lit. See http://fromcameratoprint.com/Referre...ml#prints2dark

    Good luck

    Cheers

    Tim
    Last edited by Macmahon; 8th February 2012 at 10:50 PM. Reason: spelling!

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Calibrating a monitor without the same consideration given to the printer may negate some of the usefulness of the former. I don't print at home but one thing I do recall reading is the dissatisfaction with some results when using aRGB on some programs or equipment. Dull and flat were the words they used. Worth a check or compare against sRGB?

    My 2 cents.

  6. #6
    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Again many thanks for your input Tim

    Sadly I still can't help thinking I'm missing something. I tried Ultra Glossy as part of my tests (and the 'Photo' setting is automatic) and whereas I have a light blue sky on my monitor, I have an almost chocolate fudge on the print.

    With regard to the brightness of the screen - I'm going by what as recommended in the calibration exercise with the Spyder - from what I can see from the luminosity slider, I'm halfway.

    My principle screen is a 27" iMac and the secondary a 24" Cinema display, if this is any help...

    I'll go through the link you gave me and report back tonight.
    Last edited by darkslide; 10th February 2012 at 10:52 AM.

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew1 View Post
    Calibrating a monitor without the same consideration given to the printer may negate some of the usefulness of the former. I don't print at home but one thing I do recall reading is the dissatisfaction with some results when using aRGB on some programs or equipment. Dull and flat were the words they used. Worth a check or compare against sRGB?

    My 2 cents.
    Now there's a thought - thanks Andrew.

    I have generally followed "sRGB-Web, Adobe RGB-print" but I'll give anything a try.

    I'll try this tonight!!

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Another suggestion of a step I used when I bought my monitor calibrator. Select what you think is a well exposed, good white balance image and have it printed uncorrected at a reputable photo printer. It's nice to have so you can compare it right against the monitor for confirmation of the calibration and to help isolate the problem you are having. FYI the first few times I calibrated my monitor I did not like the results which were worse than what I was able to do manually with the process I used. The calibrator was automatic and required very little involvement so there were no options to mess up. For some reason I've had no problem since. Good luck with the printer.

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    This is good advice - however, when you compared the uncorrected print with your monitor, what did you have to do to 'correct' the monitor?
    Last edited by darkslide; 10th February 2012 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    The differences were easily taken care of with a small adjustment to both the brightness and the contrast. When I did that though I also lost some in the gamut range of the top end whites. Since the problems disappeared after a few re-calibrations I had to assume there was some colour cast in the ambient light reading that threw the measurement off. I still do the calibration monthly however I no longer write over the last profile stored. I keep the one I felt was correct just in case there is a problem and I can go back to the proper one.

  11. #11
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Hi Ian,

    Andrew suggested getting your print done at a local printer shop. The flip side to this is to print someone else's image on your printer. This will test your print workflow without testing you development workflow. Have a look at this page for a large number of test images to pick from:

    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/a...st_images.html

    Try one of the composite images that contains a range of things (skins tones, sky, grass, saturated colours from clothes and flowers, etc). There are also black and white images too. Perhaps it is these that are muddy? This is common with printing because the printer does not have a range of black inks, it mixes the three subtractive primary colours to make a muddy grey.

    Also note that you should use the best quality paper. The rubbish gloss photo paper you buy at the stationary store will produce muddy colours all day long.

    If this comes out wrong then you can start to look at your printer workflow. If it looks fine then you can concentrate on how your development is wrong.

    Alex
    Last edited by herbert; 9th February 2012 at 07:48 AM.

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    Again many thanks for your input Tim

    Sadly I still can't help thinking I'm missing something. I tried Ultra Glossy as part of my tests (and the 'Photo' setting is automatic) and whereas I have a light blue sky on my monitor, I have an almost chocolate fudge on the print.

    With regard to the brightness of the screen - I'm going by what as recommended in the calibration exercise with the Spyder - from what I can see from the luminosity slider, I'm halfway.

    My principle screen is a 27" iMac and the secondary a 24" Cinema display, if this is any help...

    I'll go through the link you gave me and report back tonight.

    Ian
    Ian, the chocolate fudge where there should be blue suggests to me a problem with ink. Did you try nozzle checks and head cleaning etc?

    The suggestion to try printing a 3rd party image like one of those from Northlight's site is a good one: that will eliminate any possibility of something awry in your image. Actually there's an image on the Datacolor (Spyder) test chart that shows an adobe church against a deep blue sky that I always found a good test for blues.

    BTW, as you are using Lightroom, I'm assuming you are processing RAW images rather than JPEG. If so, it won't make any difference whether you've set the camera to AdobeRGB or sRGB the setting doesn't apply to RAW files: Lightroom will convert the RAW to (a variant of) ProPhotoRGB anyway for internal processing. If you are recording only JPEGs, and if you want to print images rather than only display them on the web, then the AdobeRGB setting is the right one: sRGB clips too many saturated colours that could potentially be printed correctly (if it's all working).

    Tim

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    @Alex
    I'm using Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl for color and Hahnemühle Smooth Photo Rag for B&W (and yes, the B&W could be better...) so I'm inclined to think I might have the paper part ok but many thanks for the suggestion of a 3rd party image - brilliant idea.

    @Tim
    No, up until 30 seconds ago (hmmmm) I hadn't thought of cleaning the heads - on the 'to do' list now...
    I am indeed processing RAW, but I do print the odd JPEG from time to time.

    I'm off to download a test image - I'll report back later - many thanks to you guys, the ideas are much appreciated.
    Last edited by darkslide; 10th February 2012 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    @Alex
    I'm using Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl for color and Hahnemühle Smooth Photo Rag for B&W (and yes, the B&W could be better...) so I'm inclined to think I might have the paper part ok but many thanks for the suggestion of a 3rd party image - brilliant idea.

    @Tim
    No, up until 30 seconds ago (hmmmm) I hadn't thought of cleaning the heads - on the 'to do' list now...
    I am indeed processing RAW, but I do print the odd JPEG from time to time.

    I'm off to download a test image - I'll report back later - many thanks to you guys, the ideas are much appreciated.

    Ian
    Ian
    I just saw another post in another forum where someone had been printing well for a long time then there was suddenly a previously non-existent colour cast. His problem was fixed following nozzle check and head clean.

    Good luck!
    Tim

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Well I've cleaned the heads and aligned the cartridges etc. - no visible change. I have also downloaded one of the Datalcolor test images - but of course this is a JPEG.

    I tried printing it with various settings - sadly nothing looked like the image on the screen - there was either a bias to blue, a bias to pink/red...

    I'll have more time to 'play' this weekend - but I must admit it's getting frustrating and Epson cartridges are not the cheapest...

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Hi Ian,

    It should not matter that the image is a jpeg. The fact that a test I age still comes out wrong points to your printer being the problem. I wish you luck it trying to find an answer.

    Alex

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    darkslide's Avatar
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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    It's quite funny, in retrospect. I bought the screen calibration tool because I've always known that it needed to be done, but now I seem to be in a bigger mess than before!!

    I mean, before I calibrated the screen, I happily printed my stuff, letting the printer control everything - if ever I thought there was a slight adjustment to be made, I did this in the printer controls that show up just before printing, but it was never that far off.

    Now that I have calibrated the screen, have the correct ICC profile for the paper and even use the settings that Ilford suggest for paper type etc. I simply can't get realistic colours!!!

    I'm at work at present, so I can't play - but this weekend I'm determined to lick this into shape otherwise it's just too hit and miss and I can't afford the paper or ink.
    Last edited by darkslide; 10th February 2012 at 10:53 AM.

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide View Post
    Well I've cleaned the heads and aligned the cartridges etc. - no visible change. I have also downloaded one of the Datalcolor test images - but of course this is a JPEG.

    I tried printing it with various settings - sadly nothing looked like the image on the screen - there was either a bias to blue, a bias to pink/red...

    I'll have more time to 'play' this weekend - but I must admit it's getting frustrating and Epson cartridges are not the cheapest...
    Ian
    I don't know whether I'm interpreting your description of a "bias to blue. a bias to pink/red" correctly or not. If you mean these colours are over saturated, that suggests that there's some double profiling going on. Are you sure that you have "No colour management" set in the printer driver (because you have already done your colour management by selecting the proper paper profile in LR). The dialogue in the printer driver should look something like in this screenshot. The important line is Color Mode "No color management"
    Screen calibration and printing

    BTW, what versions of LR and MacOSX are you using? FWIW I'm using LR3.6 and MacOS 10.7.3 with no problems!

    oh. A last thought. What happens when you print that test image using "printer manages colours"?

    Tim

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Tim

    Now I feel we're getting somewhere. Oh and I'm using LR 3.6 and MacOSX 10.7.3 like you.

    I 'imported' the Datacolor test image to Lightroom (to benefit from the print options) - the settings are all as you suggested - no color management, and the correct ICC profile for the Gallerie Smooth Pearl (IGSP11_EP1400). As mentioned earlier, I chose 'Epson Ultra Glossy' as media type, and as such had no choice over which color to use (Ilford suggest Epson Vivid, but I can't select this)

    The result: very good - but with an overall slight brownish cast. It's also true to say that this is fading away as the paper/ink dries. Possibly the only thing lacking (now) is the print could do with a very slight increase in luminosity.

    This is the closest so far - I'm going to try the same settings except for 'normal paper' to see what comes up...

    Wow! Amazing - ok, the paper hash't dried yet, but the correspondence with the screen is the best I've seen - possibly a little lighter though.

    One more test with a different paper setting...

    This last one was 'Epson Mat' and it's really very close - the B&W part of the test chart are (finally) black and white rather than blue/grey or warm/grey and white (depending on paper chosen)

    I've also tried one of my RAW images with a lot of sky etc. - this is certainly not as luminous as the screen, and has an overall brownish color cast to it.

    This is the original image

    Screen calibration and printing

    Which now I come to look at it here looks remarkably like the print...
    Last edited by darkslide; 10th February 2012 at 08:27 PM.

  20. #20

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    Re: Screen calibration and printing

    Fantastic!
    Nice shot, btw!
    Cheers
    Tim

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