Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Adobe Lightroom Q&A => Topic started by: Robert Boire on January 01, 2013, 10:52:32 PM

Title: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 01, 2013, 10:52:32 PM
Hi,

...Sigh... I have really tried... but am still disappointed in my attempts to get a close match between my soft proofs in LR 4 and the printed image.


I have:

1. Read tons of books and articles
2. Profiled my monitor (Spyder 2 colorimeter, Dell 207WFP). Though I must admit that having performed many calibrations I have never seen much of a difference between profiles.
3. Selected the correct profile for my paper (Ultra Premium Photo Luster) and printer (Epson R2880)
4. Compared the printed image against the soft proof on the screen in a darkened room using only my Solux daylight bulb (MR16, 4700K)


If anything the printed image is a bit brighter and warmer than the soft proof.

Is there something else I should be trying? What am I missing? I have toyed with the idea of upgrading to a better monitor, one preferably with a built-ion colormeter, but I am not sure it will actually solve anything.

Does anybody have any useful suggestions?

I would appreciate any help.

Robert
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Tony Jay on January 02, 2013, 12:00:26 AM
Hi,

...Sigh... I have really tried... but am still disappointed in my attempts to get a close match between my soft proofs in LR 4 and the printed image.


I have:

1. Read tons of books and articles
2. Profiled my monitor (Spyder 2 colorimeter, Dell 207WFP). Though I must admit that having performed many calibrations I have never seen much of a difference between profiles.
3. Selected the correct profile for my paper (Ultra Premium Photo Luster) and printer (Epson R2880)
4. Compared the printed image against the soft proof on the screen in a darkened room using only my Solux daylight bulb (MR16, 4700K)


If anything the printed image is a bit brighter and warmer than the soft proof.
Is there something else I should be trying? What am I missing? I have toyed with the idea of upgrading to a better monitor, one preferably with a built-ion colormeter, but I am not sure it will actually solve anything.

Does anybody have any useful suggestions?

I would appreciate any help.

Robert

You don't mention monitor luminance - it actually sounds like the luminance is too low.
(Just for clarification: there is no one luminance setting for everyone - it really does matter what the editing environment is like.)
As for being warmer that may be an issue of the luminance or something else.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Schewe on January 02, 2013, 03:40:19 AM
Dell 207WFP

In 2006, this is what was said about your display:

The good: Inexpensive; HDCP-compliant DVI input.
The bad: Mediocre performance; height not fully adjustable; limited video connectivity.
The bottom line: The Dell E207WFP's low price makes it a worthwhile budget LCD contender, as long as you don't need high performance or extra features.


That was 6 years ago (6 FRIGGIN' YEARS AGO).

Face it bud, you have a shitty display...and the Spyder 2 colorimeter ain't what I would call "bleeding edge" either. You have a very, very poor display environment...not at all surprised soft proofing isn't optimal for you. Odds are, you really have no clue what you are looking at on screen-let alone when you turn on soft proofing.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: stamper on January 02, 2013, 05:35:42 AM
It looks as if someone didn't have a happy new year?
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: mac_paolo on January 02, 2013, 06:19:51 AM
It won't make a huge difference yet still you have to custom profile your printer in order to have an optimal matching.
It should have been mentioned in that ton of books and articles at least ten times.  8)
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: D Fosse on January 02, 2013, 06:25:01 AM
Aside from what has been said above, that monitor is standard gamut, meaning very close to sRGB.

You could say anything you see on that monitor is already soft proofed to sRGB. Your printer can probably print well outside sRGB, but you won't see that on screen. Just something to keep in mind.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 02, 2013, 10:37:37 AM
Hi,

Thanks for the answers. See below.

You don't mention monitor luminance - it actually sounds like the luminance is too low.
(Just for clarification: there is no one luminance setting for everyone - it really does matter what the editing environment is like.)
As for being warmer that may be an issue of the luminance or something else.

Tony Jay

I cannot adjust luminance (or temperature for that matter) on my "shitty display", just brightness and contrast. One of the reasons I was thinking of upgrading.


Face it bud, you have a shitty display...and the Spyder 2 colorimeter ain't what I would call "bleeding edge" either. You have a very, very poor display environment...not at all surprised soft proofing isn't optimal for you. Odds are, you really have no clue what you are looking at on screen-let alone when you turn on soft proofing.

Thanks bud, but please don't feel you have to hold back... :)

Perhaps I should have made it clear to everybody that the comparison between print and on-screen is not hugely different and that all colors for a particular comparison image are in gamut for the print. In fact if anything the prints are more satisfying (more contrast, less flat) than the soft proof display. Moreover the print is closer to the displayed image without soft proofing than to the soft proof.

But, help me please to understand something about the quality of the monitor before I throw a lot of money I cannot afford at a new monitor.

Even if the Spyder 2 is not bleeding edge, it presumably gave relatively decent results when it came out several years ago, given that it was a less expensive version of the Spyder 3 (which I think was geared toward professional use) ie its not entirely a wast of money.  I am able to adjust the RGB channels using the colorimeter to well within the specified tolerances of the colorimeter.  (Adjusting brightness and contrast is somewhat subjective, but then again when I played with these as an experiment while comparing printed image and soft proof it did not change much in terms of accuracy).

So given that I can create an "accurate" profile what is it about the "shitty display" that affects the accuracy of the colors themselves? Otherwise said, I would have thought it would not be possible to calibrate a shitty display to within the tolerance of the colorimeter....otherwise what is the point?  What is the combination of colorimeter/display that I am missing? This is not something I have found in the books.

BTW, can you recommend a reasonably priced display or display/colorimeter combination.



It won't make a huge difference yet still you have to custom profile your printer in order to have an optimal matching.
It should have been mentioned in that ton of books and articles at least ten times.  8)

True. But it depends on how old the book is relative to the technology. I have seen it mentioned several times in these forums that "canned" profiles available from the manufacturer for relatively high end printers are quite excellent these days and so do not want to go down the custom profile route until I exhaust everything else.

Robert
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: digitaldog on January 02, 2013, 10:51:10 AM
I cannot adjust luminance (or temperature for that matter) on my "shitty display", just brightness and contrast. One of the reasons I was thinking of upgrading.

You should because without that critical adjustment (among others), unless the star's all align just right, you'll never get a match from display to screen. You did read this right?

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on January 02, 2013, 11:27:07 AM

BTW, can you recommend a reasonably priced display or display/colorimeter combination.

I have a NEC P221W monitor with the Spectraview software and colorimeter option.  Profiles quickly and easily and is a wide gamut monitor.  I think this particular model has been discontinued but you can get a NEC 23 inch monitor with the package for about $750.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 02, 2013, 11:40:49 AM
You did read this right?

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml

Ya, but I guess I'll need to read it again.

I have a NEC P221W monitor with the Spectraview software and colorimeter option.  Profiles quickly and easily and is a wide gamut monitor.  I think this particular model has been discontinued but you can get a NEC 23 inch monitor with the package for about $750.

Thanks, I will check it out. Can you dial in a value for luminance as discussed above?
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Wayne Fox on January 02, 2013, 01:19:47 PM

2. Profiled my monitor (Spyder 2 colorimeter, Dell 207WFP). Though I must admit that having performed many calibrations I have never seen much of a difference between profiles.


If anything the printed image is a bit brighter and warmer than the soft proof.
Jeff's point is spot on ... if you are trying to get a really good match with soft proofing, you're not going to have much luck with a mediocre display.

But as far as "profiling" the display, In the color management workflow, there is only 1 place you easily vary or correct to get a "match", that's with the display profile. So the first step is to get a good reference print, print it out on your printer with a good printer profile, place that print in an evaluation situation with decent lighting, then go about modifying your monitor brightness and profile to get a match.  If you prints are too warm, then your white point is too cool (which is very common especially with consumer grade displays) when you create the profile. If your prints are too light or dark then your brightness needs adjusted.  You do this without using soft proofing, trying to get the white point and brightness to match.

after that, then soft proofing becomes easier, although it does take some practice and skill to "see" the display and interpret what the print will yield.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Ronald NZ Tan on January 02, 2013, 01:26:07 PM
Hi Robert,

I am curious if you re-calibrate your LR using ICC version 2 and Matrix, do you see any improvements? I read on the forums that LR has problems with LUTs AND ICC4 profiles concerning softproofing. I was just curious that was all.

It doesn't hurt to try and report back, if anything.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Tony Jay on January 02, 2013, 06:40:17 PM
If you want to replace your monitor then get one of the NEC's.
Do some research but ultimately these monitors are designed for high-end graphics and image editing.
You don't necessarily need a Spectraview spectrophotometer but check the list of compatible devices to pair with the monitor if you decide to go with somthing else.
You will be able control every aspect of calibration.

Just as an aside: a couple of posts have suggested that without custom paper/printer profiles you won't get good results. Apart from a couple of well known exceptions most manufacturer profiles these days are actually excellent.
You haven't mentioned what your printer is and what papers you are using but it is more than likely that the corresponding profiles are not the problem. Nonetheless, I would do some research just to check.

I personally use an NEC Spectraview monitor and I do get eerily and scarily representative prints when compared to the monitor (the limitations of comparing transmissive and reflective media accepted).
It did take some experimentation, but I eventually settled on a luminance of 95 cd/m2 to match my working environment.
I mention this because this is what I was initially referiing to and also what Andrew Rodney specifically reminded you about.
You will need to fine-tune the luminanace of the monitor to match you working environment so that the resulting prints are neither too dark nor too light.

Let us know how you go.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 02, 2013, 07:13:23 PM

You haven't mentioned what your printer is and what papers you are using but it is more than likely that the corresponding profiles are not the problem. Nonetheless, I would do some research just to check.

Tony Jay

Actually I did and here it is again for what its worth:

3. Selected the correct profile for my paper (Ultra Premium Photo Luster) and printer (Epson R2880)
Tony Jay

Thanks I am looking into the NEC monitors.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Tony Jay on January 02, 2013, 09:57:07 PM
You are right Robert - humble apologies for the oversight.
Epson's profiles are pretty good so almost certainly the issue is not hte profile.

Were you to end up with an NEC you won't regret it - they are the industry standard currently.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Vladimirovich on January 03, 2013, 12:51:59 AM
Even if the Spyder 2 is not bleeding edge, it presumably gave relatively decent results when it came out several years ago, given that it was a less expensive version of the Spyder 3 (which I think was geared toward professional use) ie its not entirely a wast of money.  I am able to adjust the RGB channels using the colorimeter to well within the specified tolerances of the colorimeter.  (Adjusting brightness and contrast is somewhat subjective, but then again when I played with these as an experiment while comparing printed image and soft proof it did not change much in terms of accuracy).

So given that I can create an "accurate" profile what is it about the "shitty display" that affects the accuracy of the colors themselves? Otherwise said, I would have thought it would not be possible to calibrate a shitty display to within the tolerance of the colorimeter....otherwise what is the point?  What is the combination of colorimeter/display that I am missing? This is not something I have found in the books.

it is was a cheap consumer level device and unit to unit variances were big, plus I 'd assume they do not work ideally forever, something inside is degrading, isn't it... some organic filters or so ?... and if you have no alternative device to check your calibration how you can be sure about it ?
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 03, 2013, 08:51:04 AM
Hi Robert,

I am curious if you re-calibrate your LR using ICC version 2 and Matrix, do you see any improvements?

Sorry, I overlooked your question. As far as I can tell I am already using version 2.


R
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 08, 2013, 07:06:50 PM

I have:

1. Read tons of books and articles
2. Profiled my monitor (Spyder 2 colorimeter, Dell 207WFP). Though I must admit that having performed many calibrations I have never seen much of a difference between profiles.
3. Selected the correct profile for my paper (Ultra Premium Photo Luster) and printer (Epson R2880)
4. Compared the printed image against the soft proof on the screen in a darkened room using only my Solux daylight bulb (MR16, 4700K)


Whoops...

Ya but what I forgot to do...embarrassing  admission coming up  :-[ was to turn off the printer's color management before I printed.  Now that I have done that (and in fact nothing else) and compared a number of prints to their soft proofs I find that ....pinch me I cannot believe this... that the comparison is tolerably close - notwithstanding my "shitty" display. So I can imagine I can expect even better results with a better display.

One thing though. I find that when "simulate paper and ink" is checked that the soft proof  really exaggerates the dingy, washed out effect of the paper. In fact the printed image more closely resembles the soft proof when the box is not checked. Not what I expected.

Thoughts anyone? 
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: digitaldog on January 08, 2013, 07:11:33 PM
One thing though. I find that when "simulate paper and ink" is checked that the soft proof  really exaggerates the dingy, washed out effect of the paper. In fact the printed image more closely resembles the soft proof when the box is not checked. Not what I expected.

That shouldn't be the case if all the profiles and settings are ideal. The simulate should be much closer (albeit possibility uglier) to the print.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 08, 2013, 08:35:38 PM
The simulate should be much closer (albeit possibility uglier) to the print.

Indeed...much uglier than the print.

But then what else is there to set? This does not sound like an issue related to the luminance of my display or viewing conditions (or does it?) and I am sure I am using the right printer profile for my paper....though it is admittedly not a custom profile.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: digitaldog on January 08, 2013, 08:37:29 PM
Indeed...much uglier than the print.

No, much uglier than the soft proof without the simulation on. The simulation should better match the print.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 08, 2013, 08:48:12 PM
No, much uglier than the soft proof without the simulation on. The simulation should better match the print.

I know I did understood your statement. However the soft proof without the simulation is a closer fit. The soft proof with the simulation is way to drab compared to the actual print.
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: digitaldog on January 08, 2013, 08:50:41 PM
Could be the display calibration, the preview table of the profile, all kinds of possibilities.

You've read this:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Tony Jay on January 08, 2013, 08:58:45 PM
Robert you do have to understand that there are certain differences that cannot be overcome when comparing the image on your monitor compared to your print.
The media are completely different, transmissive compared to reflected.
So while a close approximation is possible the print can never be identical to the monitor.

Perhaps you know of someone who prints professionally and you could observe the process and how closely the print approximates the monitor. This would allow you to 'calibrate' your experience.
The bottom line is that experience counts and at the end of the day the whole soft-proofing concept is all about getting reproducible results ie as long as you know what the result will be, based on the monitor appearance, that is all that counts.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: CASpyr on January 09, 2013, 05:31:49 AM

I cannot adjust luminance (or temperature for that matter) on my "shitty display", just brightness and contrast. One of the reasons I was thinking of upgrading.


You will need to adjust luminance via the brightness setting of your monitor, but to be able to do that, you need to have a calibration software that tells you the luminance that your calibration device sees. I can't recall the details of the Spyder 2 software and whether it shows you luminance values. If not, I can recommend the Argyll CMS-based DispcalGUI (http://dispcalgui.hoech.net/) which in any case is nice and flexible.

Kind regards
Christian
Title: Re: LR Softproofing disappointment
Post by: Robert Boire on January 09, 2013, 06:06:26 PM
Robert you do have to understand that there are certain differences that cannot be overcome when comparing the image on your monitor compared to your print etc etc.


Thanks Tony. I totally understand this. And you are right, it would be a good idea to find a way to "calibrate" my expectations which are based largely on what I have read.

That being said, I am reasonably happy with the latest results (with the paper simulation turned off) and can only expect them to improve with a better monitor.

But I do have a question... and perhaps the Digital Dog can chime in here as well... that is more motivated by curiosity and my recent (in fact quite decent) comparison results.

My understanding is that a printer profile is based on a specific combination of printer, paper and ink. Doesn't that mean that the printer profile implicitly takes into account whatever the "simulate paper and ink" button does? If not, what is the profile profiling when the option is not selected? How can the colorimeter that is used to create the profile possibly not take the paper into account? In other words am I not in effect double counting by selecting the option ? If I need both the profile and the paper simulation, why does LR make paper simulation an option and where does it get the information from if not from the profile?

Ok that's more than one question but its all the same theme.

Thanks for your help.