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Thread: Matching screen and print colours query

  1. #1

    Matching screen and print colours query

    Hello anyone,

    I have a Canon 50D camera and I love it and I will be contributing as much as I can, however I am having a heck of trouble getting my prints to match the colour on the screen.

    I have a Canon Pixma 4000 printer a couple of years old, I would love some advice on how to callibrate the printer if that is the cause.

    Thanks, Jim
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 7th February 2010 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Question trimmed and copied from Intro post

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Quote Originally Posted by potnpansman View Post
    Hello anyone,

    I have a Canon 50D camera and I love it and I will be contributing as much as I can, however I am having a heck of trouble getting my prints to match the colour on the screen.

    I have a Canon Pixma 4000 printer a couple of years old, I would love some advice on how to callibrate the printer if that is the cause.

    Thanks, Jim
    Look up Monaco Color Optix calibrator and also check out the X-rite.com website that has great tutorials on monitor calibration, color theory, and color measurement.

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Hi Jim,

    There's really three problems that need to be solved here

    1. Monitors don't display the exact colours that they're told to without a bit of help

    2. Printers don't display the exact colours that they're told to without a bit of help, and

    3. Since Monitors use an additive colour process, and printers use a subtractive colour process, each with a different dynamic range, there isn't a direct 1 to 1 co-relation between the two.

    In other words the answer you're seeking isn't a simple one - however - all is not lost; the answers lie in two things ... calibration & profiling - and to do that accurately you'll need a colorimeter and a spectrophotometer. At this point you're probably wondering what lab I've escaped from ... but it's not quite as bad as it sounds, although the two will cost a few hundred dollars.

    Basically what a colorimeter does is compare the colours that your monitor is giving with the colours that they're supposed to give (using a bit of hardware that you put on the screen) ... and then the software generates a file called a profile that translates the colour you would have got to the colour you want ... and the spectrophotometer simply does the same thing for printers ... and you can even get single devices that do both.

    Here are some links to things that can help ...

    1. Colormunki (combined colorimeter & spectrophotometer)

    2. Spyder (seperate devices ... these are what I use) (I use the Spyder III Studio Elite)

    3. Real World Color Management - THE Industry standard reference on learning colour management (it can make the brain hurt, but it's worth it) (well it was to this escaped lab rat anyway!)

    4. Color Confidence - Also a good book, but kinder on the brain!

    5. And saving the best for last, our very own Sean's tutorial

    Hope these get you started in the right direction!

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    And to be included, the human eye itself can also contribute to the false reading of color.

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    5. And saving the best for last, our very own Sean's tutorial
    Which is free and hardly hurts at all

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query


  7. #7

    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Thanks to all of you am giving ideas a try will let you know, I'm a bit slow I think its an age thing. Jim

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    That is a interesting test Shadowman.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Quote Originally Posted by hansm View Post
    That is a interesting test Shadowman.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Thanks Hans, How did you do? One thing that a few of my co-workers found out is that your performance is affected by the monitor you use.

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I have been looking for something like that for a long time! Finally I have proof that I precieve colors better than most people (at least those in my daily life). I got a score of 8 - how did you all do?

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    I Rule!

    Matching screen and print colours query

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Well my score was 16.
    I will give it an other try to get zero as Colin did!

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    I did the test about a week ago, same result as Colin, perfect, and I'm 65.

    Big tip when doing any colour work, including the test, every minute take your eyes off the screen and let them normalise. Eyes can be fooled.

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    I scored 12 - not bad; been up for almost 15 hours and I'm wearing my glasses that are 3 years old, and using a small laptop with a monitor that changes color/hue everytime you move it! (it's moving a lot as it's on my lap while I sit on the couch and watch tv too) ;-)
    I'm happy!
    This was fun! I'll tackle this again tomorrow morning with fresh non-tired eyes and contacts! Doubt I will get 0, but lower would still be nice!!!! =)

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    I did the test about a week ago, same result as Colin, perfect, and I'm 65.

    Big tip when doing any colour work, including the test, every minute take your eyes off the screen and let them normalise. Eyes can be fooled.
    I stand corrected ...

    ... Bill rules!

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    Re: Matching screen and print colours query

    Thank you. Thank you.

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