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Author Topic: Printer Profiling with Argyll  (Read 13509 times)

aderickson

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Printer Profiling with Argyll
« on: July 28, 2015, 12:02:06 am »

I had asked the question in a previous post whether my "low end" printer profiling system was holding me back and not giving me all my Epson R3000 could deliver. Low end meaning the software that came with my Epson V750 scanner: X-Rite's Monaco EZColor which uses the scanner as the sensing instrument. Currently I'm using only Epson paper and thus can avail of the paper profiles they provide. What I found was that my own built profiles gave more accurate color than Epson's but the Epson profiles provided smoother shading (Bill's Balls on Andrew's test image). So the question I asked myself was whether it was possible to do better with a higher grade instrument/software combination. I decided to see if I could do better.

I already had a working installation of Argyll on my computer for monitor profiling. I rented the Colormunki Photo from LensRentals (4 days: $40 + $20 shipping). There were three different tutorials for reference on the web and I am well acquainted with command line programs from the old DOS days. By the time the unit arrived I had my targets printed and dried. While some sources recommended up to 3000 patches for Epson printers I didn't think my patience was up to that. I settled on 784 patches which printed on 4 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. I only use two papers: Epson Ultra Premium Glossy and Epson Ultra Premium Luster.

The first thing I learned was that measuring the patches with the instrument is a skill that requires some practice. I think it helps not to have too much coffee that morning and perhaps even a shot of Kentucky Bourbon may help settle the nerves. My first attempts, while having low average error, had excessive max error and that was apparent on the printed tests with the profile. When I had mastered a smooth, consistent stroke over the patches my max error went down and my printed output tests improved.

While the Argyll docs cautioned on using only the medium quality setting for the -h parameter when using colprof to build the profiles all the tutorials used the high quality setting so that's what I used. I got some rippling in the lower (darker) portions of the green and right hand red bands of the Grainger Rainbow in the Printer Gamut Test File. By rippling I mean alternate light and dark bands. Curiously, in the green they were horizontal but in the red they slanted up about 60 degrees to the left. I tried the medium setting for the -h switch and bands became farther apart. Then I decided to go whole hog and tried the "ultra" setting. Wow! Shades of number crunching back in 1990 on a 386 processor! While previous builds took on a few minutes to run, with the ultra quality it took 16 hours! The bands were less apparent but still there.

In conclusion, was it worth it? Was there improvement? Yes. Colors became even more accurate. Cyan was more cyan. It had been a bit green on my previous profile. Colors were more saturated, richer. The blue tarp behind the fish in Andrew's test file is bluer, less cyan. And finally the shading in Bill's Balls is improved but inconsistently better. Some balls in the Epson profile are still better but some are worse. Bottom line is I have improved printer profiles for my papers now. Maybe someday I'll run 3000 patches but not soon.

Allan
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StephaneB

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Re: Printer Profiling with Argyll
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 11:03:04 am »

I also use Argyll. For those interested, this article helped me immensely:

The profiles I get are very, very good. I now use the same workflow for colour and B&W printing, allowing me to apply subtle toning that I can see before printing.
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St├ęphane  [url=http://www.lumieredargen

torger

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Re: Printer Profiling with Argyll
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 01:27:41 pm »

Here's a similar article I wrote when testing out Argyll for printer profiling. I also got very good results.

http://www.ludd.luth.se/~torger/photography/argyll-print.html
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sgwrx

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Re: Printer Profiling with Argyll
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 08:49:00 pm »

Here's a similar article I wrote when testing out Argyll for printer profiling. I also got very good results.

http://www.ludd.luth.se/~torger/photography/argyll-print.html

that sir, is a fantastic piece of work you did!  i'm getting my colormunki photo tomorrow. thanks!
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sgwrx

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Re: Printer Profiling with Argyll
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2015, 10:36:02 pm »

the colormunki photo arrived. perhaps a good point to mention for newbs is that with preconditioning, one has to copy and paste the .icc file from the spool\drivers\color (win) folder into the bin folder of argyll :) 

Here's a similar article I wrote when testing out Argyll for printer profiling. I also got very good results.

http://www.ludd.luth.se/~torger/photography/argyll-print.html
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