I shot fine art for reproduction for 15+ years. I used a SINAR 4X5 (vacumn back) with AM ED Nikon APO lenses. Voltage stabilized tungsten lighting, cross polarized in a blacked out studio and I used the standard GMB color checker. I ran the Sitte Tischer line myself and could tweek a bit there if needed. Large drum scans were run in L.A. by the best and presses were profiled. We got really, really close, but certain colors were never really true.
Pastels - tuff
Water colors - pretty easy
Acylics - artist seldom cared
Oil - a bitch
Today I use a SONY A850 and CZ glass with the same lighting setup. We start much closer to the end result we're looking for and the time saved in the camera is now used in PS. Capture 1 does the best for most everything. I still run through ACR and a couple others when I get a new client but it's rare that we use anything but C1.
In the end it's still all subjective.
Amen to everything you wrote above.
I use a multi-shot Hasselblad. MS files can only be processed using Hasselblad's own software. I use this set to what they call 'Reproduction Mode'. Straight out of the box colour is extremely good.
White balance is achieved using a http://www.basiccolor.de/basiccolor-gray-card/
Fantastic piece of kit!
Just wondering if anyone has made test comparisons of Adobe's Profile Editor vs. X-Rite's, using Passport for both? I also shoot art using a Canon 1DsMklll, so I'd be interested to hear.
Lastly, the input of the designer and the printer (and his knowledge of his printing press) cannot be underestimated. Best printing I've ever had done of my work was in Brussels. Don't ask me why.
Ps. Just ran a test to compare Adobe Profile creator vs. X-Rite as follows:
Evenly lit image of large X-Rite and basiccolor grey card.
Created profile in both software products, then opened them in ACR. I then made a white balance using the grey card, set the white patch at 245, the black patch at 53/54 and adjusted the brightness slider to make the grey card 143/143/143 (its correct A1998 value).
This image was shot using the 1DsMklll and the blue and yellow patches are always a problem IMHO. In Adobe profile, blue is 44, 60, 139. In X-Rite it's 32, 56, 139. Not bad all round.
In Adobe, yellow is 246, 216, 58. In X-Rite it's 250, 217, 41. Again not bad all round.
The green patch was 104, 156, 81 (Adobe, very good) and 110, 166, 83, X-Rite - less good.
Finally, viewing the chart in a D65 lightbox, the Adobe created profile looks less saturated overall and more accuate than the X-Rite one.