I use an Epson 2400 and I'm about to print out some targets (the standard Gretag 918 pair of charts) to send off to have some custom profiles made.
I will order custom profiles for 4 papers (Epson Premium Gloss, Semi Gloss, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Duo 316gsm, and Lumijet Natural Art Two sides 216gsm).
I last had custom profiles made a long time ago (Epson 890), and back then it was argued that rather than using 'No Color Adjustment' in the Epson driver, it was better to select 'Color Controls', as this would lay down less ink and subsequently produce a better gray scale (though possibly a reduced color gamut).
Is such an approach still relevant for the Epson 2400?
I've been printing the 'printer evaluation' image that is available on the Dry Creek website. This image comprises of a 15 step grayscale step wedge, a color gamut map, spot colors for R,G,B,C,M,Y, and some fine crosshairs. The idea is to print this image using different driver settings, and to examine it to find the best settings for printing the profile charts.
I've tried different settings for the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, but I'm getting confused with all the possible variables (various matte paper choices using the rear feeder, different ink density settings, and then different gamma settings if you opt for 'color controls' rather than 'no color adjustment'.)
Using the Velvet Fine Art set and 'no color adjustment', the 3/4 shadow tones are dark and undistinguished (i.e. there's a jump from black 0,0,0 to dark grey 17,17,17 but then no difference at 34,34,34 and little difference at 51,51,51 and 68,68, 68.) Setting the ink density to -20 opens up these tones a bit, but not much.
Switching from 'no color adjustment' to 'color controls' makes a a big difference. The shadow tones open up and the grayscale looks evenly spaced. The black still looks black. But the spot colours look paler and less intense. (I've played with a few setting and Epson Vivid, Gamma 1.8 might be best.)
Am I wasting my time exploring these variables? Is it best just to print out the Gretag charts using 'velvet fine art' 'best photo' and 'no color adjustment', even if the patches in darkest column (column A, rows 1 to 17) are barely distinguishable?
Thanks for any tips