So what light source back then and now were you using to judge the test prints?
The 8x10 print of the deer in my test image demo above was printed on a Fuji Frontier DL600 dry lab inkjet in sRGB and I didn't run any test prints mainly because the Fuji 8x10's cost $3 a piece. I understand in a pro lab scenario with larger prints a small test print is good insurance. I just wonder what looked off in your final prints that led you to make test prints and whether it was caused by the light or the ink or C-print dye fluorescing.
I've found not all printer's ink/paper combos reflect their colors the same depending on the formulation of pigments/filters used in various light sources regardless if it's technically daylight from some CRI number or prints viewed under the bluish flotubes at Walmart's Fuji dry lab. I've now seen enough of these variations to fully appreciate any new daylight LED innovation that attempts to reduce this fluorescing of ink on paper.
To your question - I believe I had mentioned that for many years I have been using fluorescent 5000K, CRI 90+ bulbs for viewing both the tests and final prints. Also mentioned that my background is in custom colour printing, which means producing the best possible print from the negative, transparency and now the digital file I am presented with. My start in the business dates back to the late 60s with a custom lab in Toronto where we took care of many professional/commercial photographers, film processing and printing. We also produced separation negs and dye transfer prints, a real PITA, but the final product was the best available at that time. Also some very large prints and display transparencies, all of which involved testing of course before hitting the final print/tranie. Back then the video analyzers for printing were just being introduced, but the price was almost prohibitive for many labs, and one could never rely totally on its ability to produce a first final print, hence the need for at least one test print of an indicative area of the image. Basically the same procedure that has followed me into the digital age of printing. However, as I mentioned previously, if the file I am presented with has been processed in a properly colour managed environment, it will likely only require only one test before the final full sized print. Again, it's not necessarily the colour temp of the lights that I'm concerned about as much as the intensity, meaning of course that in my opinion a 5000K +- light is still the way to go for such purposes. As far as the Walmart scenario is concerned, I would never advise anyone to get their printing done at such an establishment. Simply put, it is not even close to what most of the people on this site would be producing within their own printing setup, either amateur or pro. I'm not saying that the possibility isn't there, but the maintenance of the equipment and the knowledge of the operators is definitely sub-par in my opinion. As far as your Deer Print is concerned it's not bad, but could certainly be warmer when viewed on my calibrated and profiled NEC display, and that's taking into account the web issues involved in displaying such images."I've now seen enough of these variations to fully appreciate any new daylight LED innovation that attempts to reduce this fluorescing of ink on paper".
This is exactly what I am referring to, the variations in lighting, both colour temp and intensity. If we can't agree on some sort of average in both of those areas the field is wide open, anything becomes good enough. And as we all know, "good enough
" is never as good as it could/should be. The experience of cutting my printing teeth in a custom lab where 5000K was the standard for all commercial printing and reproductions gave me a background that has stuck with me to this day, and I too will be exploring some of the new innovations in LED etc. bulbs available now for such applications. For that reason I have found this thread a helpful start to my next bout of research.