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Thread: Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

  1. #1
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    Stig Morten

    Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

    Hello folks.

    I was just wondering if any of you guys have a "quick and dirty" way to make the prints look more like what's showing on my screen. Last year I got me a Datacolor Spyder 4 PRO so that I should be able to calibrate my monitors. It worked like a charm and all of a sudden colours and brigthness and so on looked just right.

    After having editet and post processed a couple of pictures it was time to print. I currently own an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW and I use some third party photopaper which name I cannot remember (I think it's either Canon or Kodak...) The prints (of course) looks a bit different from what's showing on my screen. I've already been through the tutorials on this site regarding calibration.

    Now I'm wondering if any of you guys out there has some kind of a "best practice" list when it comes to minimize the difference between printed copy and screen, using the equipment I already have (or at least not having to invest a fortune in expensive calibration equipment for the printer)? Somewhere in this process I suppose that there's some kind of printer profile, paper profile and so on included, I just don't know exactly how, where and when...

    Any help, tips or tricks will be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards

    Stig M.

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

    Stig the prints will always look different, even in a colour managed system. You are comparing the output of a transmitted light RGB image with a reflected light CMYK image. The dynamic range of your monitor is far higher than a print.

    If you use Photoshop, select the <View> <Proof setup> menu selection and select the colour profile for your printer. You wll need to save a duplicate of your file if you what to compare the Photoshop versus the profiled version. You can try to tweek the profiled version to get it closer to the version you have edited, but that is the best you can do.

    Remember that even a cheap monitor can display about 16million colours, but even a professional 8-cartridge printer can only produce somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 distinct colours.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 25th September 2012 at 08:02 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

    Hi and thank you for replying.

    I'm well aware of the reflected versus emittet light/colour-stuff. I was just wondering if it might be possible to even out the two a little bit more than they are now, since the printer is still "out-of-the-box"-configured.

    I'm currently at work, so I don't have access to my home-computer where Photoshop's installed, so please bare with me when it comes to remembering what the different settings/dialogue boxes and so on says word by word.

    I've noticed that you can choose to let Photoshop handle colours or let the printer manage the colours when printing. I think I've read somewhere that it's a good choise to let Photoshop handle the colours. If so, you should disable printer-colour-management in the print dialogue box. (I've chosen to let Photoshop handle the colours, but I can't say that I've ever found a place to disable the printer from managing colours, so to be honest I'm not 100% sure who's behind the wheel when it comes to colour management on my system).

    I was kind of hoping that there would be some way to make your own printer profile based on a test print. I guess the process could be something like:

    1. Install some software (suggestions?)
    2. Print a test picture from this software
    3. Scan the print
    4. Let the above mentioned software compare the original test-image and the print
    5. Create a printer profile for the actual paper and printer-combination

    (I guess there might be an issue with calibration of the scanner as well involved in this process?)

    How do you guys handle it if, let's say, the printed picture is more red than you want it to be? It can, of course, be handled to a certain degree in post processing, but don't want to alter the on-screen-image too much just to make it look good in print. I want it to match as close as possible, with minimum hassle. (I know, I'm asking a lot here )

    Best regards

    Stig M.

  4. #4
    victor's Avatar
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    Re: Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

    Stig,

    I use a color monkie photo to profile both my screen and printers. The print profiles are produced for each paper I print on. It works well and I am happy with the colour management in my work flow.

    The colour monkie photo was expensive but should last my lifetime.

    You can find them on the web but remember what Manfred has advised re screen and print.

    I also only use manf. inks.

    Regards

    David

  5. #5
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    Re: Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

    Thank you for your reply.
    Your solution sounds very much like what I'm looking for. I was hoping that there maybe was a solution where I could use the Spyder 4 PRO I already own to do some of the same, maybe with a little help from some kind of third party software? I've sent a mail to Datacolour and asked them for advice. Maybe - with some luck - I'll get the answer I'm hoping for?

    Best regards

    Stig M.

  6. #6
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

    The first thing I would do is to see if there are online icc profiles for the printer / ink / paper combination that you are using. I can certainly find them for my printer (Epson 3880), and as you have a photo printer, I would hope that Epson would support them for their own branded paper. Third party papers may or may not provide them; you'd have to check on their websites. That is by far the least expensive solution, as these manufacturers can and do have professional level tools to develop the profiles. While I have used some third party papers, I generally stick with Epson papers; they are really quite good and that way I don't have to be too worried about profiling. There is a bit of a trick with Epson too; they are not a paper manufacturer, so they have external paper suppliers manufacture their papers. Every so often (and this happened over the last year), they do change paper suppliers, and end up renaming their papers. I had to update my drivers / profiles from the data on the Epson website.

    If you cannot find the profiles online, or you want to use ink from third party manufacturers, you can either use a third party profile service provider (you'd have to do an online search) or buy yourself a profiling tool that does paper profiling.

    As for your question on letting Photoshop or the printer manage colours, for my printer, I let Photoshop manage the colours when printing in colour (although the built in printer colour management system does a very good job too). For doing black & white prints, I use the printer manage colours as I find the Photoshop managed ones have a slight colour cast.

  7. #7
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    Re: Calibrating an Epson Stylus Photo PX800FW

    Thank you all for your replies. I searched "all over the web" last night and I found one ICC-profile I'm going to try out. That said - there weren't too many relevant icc-profiles for my printer out there. This may be because my printer isn't a dedicated photo-printer, but more of a multi-function-thing. The way I see it, I'm either going to have to stick with my printer "as is" and be happy with the - after all - quite good photos I'm able to print with it. The other option is to invest in either a new dedicated photo printer, or some kind of preofessional profiling tool. Time will show

    Wishing you all a happy photo-day.

    Best regards

    Stig M.

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