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Author Topic: Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?  (Read 1725 times)

aderickson

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Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?
« on: May 30, 2015, 12:46:40 pm »

I have been digitally processing my photos for almost ten years now, but because I am just an amateur and photography is just one of several hobbies I have I'm probably not as "intense" about it as many of you are. Nonetheless I do learn and try to apply my new knowledge to my work as I go along and I notice a gradual improvement in my photographs.

My color management tools are decidedly "low end" but in fact they give me satisfaction in that "my prints match my monitor". My monitor is a Dell U2311H and is calibrated with a Colormunki Smile using DispcalGUI and Argyll software. My printer is an Epson R3000 and I have made printer profiles for it and my papers using an old program that came with my V750 scanner called Monaco Ezcolor. The profiles I have produced with it give me a better match to my monitor than the ones Epson provides.

Being curious, I downloaded a trial of Gamutvision to look at some of my profiles. I compared my printer/paper profiles with the stock Epson profiles. The Epson profiles look much "fatter" and indeed show greater numeric volumes. My profile for glossy paper is 557031 in volume on Gamutvision and Epson's glossy profile is 732248.

So finally to the question: despite the fact that I prefer the results of my profile, is the Epson profile of higher quality and I just can't see it because I have a low end monitor or I don't have enough experience evaluating prints? If I had a better hardware/software combination would it produce a larger volume profile? Am I missing colors my printer could produce with a better profile?

Allan
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2015, 12:50:29 pm »

Allan - try making a variety of prints having different tone and colour characteristics with both profiles and see what you like better.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Iluvmycam

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Re: Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2015, 02:27:56 pm »

Allan - try making a variety of prints having different tone and colour characteristics with both profiles and see what you like better.

Yes, that is how you do. Don't overthink it...all that matters is the final print.
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digitaldog

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Re: Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2015, 07:58:56 pm »

Allan - try making a variety of prints having different tone and colour characteristics with both profiles and see what you like better.
Yup, and be sure to test both rendering intents; Perceptual which vary per profile product and RelCol.

Allan, here's a file to use for testing that may help:
http://www.digitaldog.net/files/Gamut_Test_File_Flat.tif
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aderickson

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Re: Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2015, 10:31:14 pm »

Yup, and be sure to test both rendering intents; Perceptual which vary per profile product and RelCol.

Allan, here's a file to use for testing that may help:
http://www.digitaldog.net/files/Gamut_Test_File_Flat.tif

Well, I just ran this test on your file and my built profile with rel col was the clear winner in terms of accurate color: looks spot on with my monitor.

The Epson profile, however, was superior in representing the gradations of tones in Bill's Balls, especially in the second row with the black shading. My profile showed clear banding in the black shading. The Epson profile did not.

Allan
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digitaldog

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Re: Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 12:11:28 pm »

Well, I just ran this test on your file and my built profile with rel col was the clear winner in terms of accurate color: looks spot on with my monitor.
At this point, I'd skip the display and it's match or lack thereof, and concentrate on the output.

Check out this post concerning the Epson profile and "Bill's Balls" compared to a good custom profile:
http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=100642.msg824756#msg824756
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aderickson

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Re: Is my "low end" printer profile holding me back?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2015, 12:39:41 pm »

Well, the good thing is these differences show up clearly and accurately in the soft proof so my display is matching the output.

I can at least choose accurate color or, if banding in the shadows is a problem, choose the Epson profile.

Allan
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