This thread seemed to take off in a few directions after my initial reply to John, and due to family and holiday issues I have not had a chance to jump back in.
First of all, John, after reading your other posts, you know what you need and it seems to require an output profile from your provider, and you'll be done. I have no argument with that at all. I merely initially tried to chime in that some printers may not give them out for a variety of reasons, and they shouldn't be judged as printers because of that policy alone, they may just not be your printer if that's your priority. Done with that.
In that same post I said this business has become brutal, and I choose protect myself from that to some degree, what followed proved my point better than anything I could have offered.
After stating I do not have a policy of handing out my output profiles, the immediate reply was a major player in this industry telling people to leave their printer if they do not provide profiles. The implication then, that my clients should leave me, is certainly no leap, and was not taken lightly.
Every printer that posted to this thread, and I know some of them, no doubt uses soft proofing and know it's value. Because we are involved in this work daily, we also know it's limitations. In some situations I have provided a profile to the artists, few have asked, few have calibrated monitors, I even go to them and calibrate theirs sometimes. We all do what we need to do to make the best possible prints for our artists.
Some work their file, what they see on the monitor is what they want, and simply want it reproduced. Others, like myself and the other printers I know here, are totally into the materials and are primarily concerned with the finished object, a paradigm carried down from the fine silver print, platinum, etc., traditions we took to heart. The soft proof got us to our first physical object, now we have new concerns. The first print, aided by softproofing, is not a "surprise", it might even be a final. Everything Walker said was on the mark.
Here's a good one-
"The profile is the key in showing you what the service provider is supposed to give you. If they can't calibrate and profile their devices (or are too lazy), you've got bigger problems here than what is being used as an excuse for not providing profile."
Nice, no one suggested anything of the kind.
My friend John, no doubt sensitive to the implied threat above, came out swinging. Then the tag teaming began. John does not find the forums to be the place to make known who he is and what he does at every turn, it's a place to exchange information and ideas, not promote. That some of us have better things to so than spend time on the internet filling in nice little profiles and myspaces does not make us anonymous or without "creds".
John has been "around here" in the printmaking community for a very very long time and is highly respected. He's just not shouting his name and accomplishments every chance he gets.
He is also one of maybe ten people in the country I would give a crap about what he thinks of my prints.
""We could just all download perfectly engineered ones from Epson's website couldn't we, and it would one big happy world.
"For Epson profiles, that's IS the case!..."
"with the choice of Sommerset Velvet, Ultrasmooth Fine Art, Luster or the new Exhibition Fiber Paper (EFP), I personally see no need to use any non-Epson papers anyway..."
Are ya getting it yet? Need to be any more transparent?
I've gotten myself in trouble on lists in the past with the occasional rant, posted while a bit too hot under the collar, but it's been a few days and I still feel like saying this and I'll no doubt pay. I've had the immense pleasure of meeting and learning from severel truly gifted masterful amazing people in the photographic community over the years. They were for the most part, intelligent, generous, demanding, and uplifting teachers.
This brand pounding, belligerent condescension certain falls far below the mark.
Sorry for the length. A lot of this is about having the last words, and I expect they will not be in short supply.
Excuse me while I go talk to my clients.