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Author Topic: PrinTao 8  (Read 17563 times)

Ranger Rick

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2016, 01:06:33 pm »

Mark,

thanks for your thoughtful review.  It is appreciated.

Rick
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Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2016, 01:44:31 pm »

Mark..... I can appreciate your limitations.  Obviously you can't begin to use/test the software with numerous printers.  My approach was very simple, though.  From a simplistic approach I should/must be able to tell the printer where to start, where to stop, the size of the paper and the margins.  So far, I have been unable to do this with PrintTao 8.  They tout the features that I want such as manual cutting, applying cut marks but those features are unavailable to me.  I have started a case with them and will post when I hear from them. 

Victor

That's good Victor - I'll be most interested to hear of the outcome.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2016, 01:49:30 pm »

This is absolutely not a "key point". Read the paragraphs in the article under the "Test photos for PrinTao 8" illustration and you will see that there is no problem using your usual custom paper profiles in PrinTao 8. As for the rest of aaronchan's questions, I invite him to read the first sentence under "Philosophy of PT8". I would also invite readers to visit the PrintTao 8 website, which has lots of information.

Mark, you are making an assumption that PrinTao 8 lays down ink "exactly" as the Epson native driver does.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  My only point is that if you use a profile made using the Epson driver "there could be slight differences between hue and color density" which means a profile might not be interchangeable.  Say you grow dissatisfied with IGFS as your standard paper and want to move to a new one that is not supported by PrinTao 8, how do you profile that paper?  Do you do it using the Epson driver or does PrinTao 8 have a feature to print out a patch set using their driver.  In looking at the PrinTao website it appears that they provide profiles for the supported papers (which of course adds cost to the product as each new paper that is added requires someone to create a profile).

Were I to use this product I would want to make certain that the profile works as intended (rather than comparing patch sets, I would probably just re-profile the paper just as if I were moving to a new printer).  Maybe the PrinTao driver is 'equivalent' to the Epson driver as you note in comparing LR to PrinTao prints.  You do note a couple of differences in LR vs PrinTao in your review.  What is not intuitive to me is the behavior of a profile between the two drivers.

Please don't think that I'm taking anything away from the quality of the review, it's just that for the price of this product there are questions that would need to be answered for prospective purchasers.  In my case is just an academic exercise as I am on Windows and won't be using this product and were I to switch, Qimage appears to do everything that PrinTao does for Windows users.

Alan
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Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2016, 02:47:59 pm »

Mark, you are making an assumption that PrinTao 8 lays down ink "exactly" as the Epson native driver does.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  My only point is that if you use a profile made using the Epson driver "there could be slight differences between hue and color density" which means a profile might not be interchangeable.  Say you grow dissatisfied with IGFS as your standard paper and want to move to a new one that is not supported by PrinTao 8, how do you profile that paper?  Do you do it using the Epson driver or does PrinTao 8 have a feature to print out a patch set using their driver.  In looking at the PrinTao website it appears that they provide profiles for the supported papers (which of course adds cost to the product as each new paper that is added requires someone to create a profile).

Were I to use this product I would want to make certain that the profile works as intended (rather than comparing patch sets, I would probably just re-profile the paper just as if I were moving to a new printer).  Maybe the PrinTao driver is 'equivalent' to the Epson driver as you note in comparing LR to PrinTao prints.  You do note a couple of differences in LR vs PrinTao in your review.  What is not intuitive to me is the behavior of a profile between the two drivers.

Please don't think that I'm taking anything away from the quality of the review, it's just that for the price of this product there are questions that would need to be answered for prospective purchasers.  In my case is just an academic exercise as I am on Windows and won't be using this product and were I to switch, Qimage appears to do everything that PrinTao does for Windows users.

Alan

I am not making any assumption about what goes on under the hood in respect to how ink gets laid down in either the Epson driver or PT8. I don't have such inside technical insight into their secret sauces, so don't make such inferences. Just read what I said about comparative print quality - the bottom line that matters.

I try different papers all the time because distributors send me sample packs to work with and report on as I see fit. My standard procedure is to start with their profiles and then do my own custom profiling. To assure that there is no colour management lurking in the background I use the Adobe Color Print Utility for generating the profiling target pages, read the patches, generate the profiles and store them where they belong. I can load these very same profiles into PT8 and use them successfully, a judgment based on the results - i.e. prints of standard printer test images and real world photographs, not inferences about stuff under the hood of which I know nothing useful. Nothing I've seen in PT8 allows one to create printer/paper profiling targets with complete assurance of their being no colour management. The application was not meant for colour management geeks - it was meant for people who just want to make (really good) prints easily. If I am wrong about this, Jan Rossee can jump in and correct me.

As for "questions that need to be answered for prospective purchasers", there may be that need in your mind, but were it me I'd be rather hesitant to project that mindset onto the general clientele for this product. Prospective purchasers can download a demo, try it in their own environment for their own needs, testing it in whatever way that shows them what they want to see and decide whether or not it's for them, without getting into matters that are arcane to a very high proportion of the people out there who just want easy but high quality printing.

That's really all I can say about this particular issue Alan, so I won't be engaging further on it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2016, 03:35:43 pm »

Mark,

thanks for your thoughtful review.  It is appreciated.

Rick

You are welcome. Glad you found it useful.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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TheDocAUS

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2016, 06:44:08 am »

"The most striking thing about the comparison is how difficult it is to tell them apart... I fail to see any meaningful or systematic difference between the two sets of results... In sum, I’m a happy camper with the results from PT8 – anything that resembles LR quality so closely is fine for me."

I am I missing something? There does not seem to be any compelling print quality reason to use PT8. So it is really about the other features it brings like improved work-flow?
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vjbelle

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2016, 08:07:02 am »

Mark, as a follow up to my earlier post I did submit a ticket to PrintTao and actually got a phone call.  I ended up talking to Darin who was very knowledgeable and very helpful.  There is a bug in the software that won't allow for the 'Cell' size to be independently adjusted without also adjusting the image size.  There is a workaround which hopefully will be eliminated with a software fix.  I need to adjust the Cell size to allow me to have leading and lagging space for canvas wrapping (I print Museum wraps).  There is also a simple way to tell the printer not to cut and also a way to apply cut marks - although not as simple as my Canon software.  I have yet to actually make a print but intend to do so this weekend.  I was very impressed to see the willingness of PrinTao to make sure their software works as intended. 

Thanks much for bringing this software to my attention.

Victor
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Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2016, 08:32:43 am »

"The most striking thing about the comparison is how difficult it is to tell them apart... I fail to see any meaningful or systematic difference between the two sets of results... In sum, I’m a happy camper with the results from PT8 – anything that resembles LR quality so closely is fine for me."

I am I missing something? There does not seem to be any compelling print quality reason to use PT8. So it is really about the other features it brings like improved work-flow?

No, you're not missing anything - the fact that it produces competitive quality output in a much simplified workflow with numerous automated layout options, as well as its independence of Colorsync and printer drivers are the most technically significant attractions.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2016, 08:34:17 am »

Mark, as a follow up to my earlier post I did submit a ticket to PrintTao and actually got a phone call.  I ended up talking to Darin who was very knowledgeable and very helpful.  There is a bug in the software that won't allow for the 'Cell' size to be independently adjusted without also adjusting the image size.  There is a workaround which hopefully will be eliminated with a software fix.  I need to adjust the Cell size to allow me to have leading and lagging space for canvas wrapping (I print Museum wraps).  There is also a simple way to tell the printer not to cut and also a way to apply cut marks - although not as simple as my Canon software.  I have yet to actually make a print but intend to do so this weekend.  I was very impressed to see the willingness of PrinTao to make sure their software works as intended. 

Thanks much for bringing this software to my attention.

Victor

You are welcome Victor and glad you are receiving the necessary support.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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vjbelle

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2016, 03:39:52 pm »

I printed my first print with Printao using Epson Exhibition Canvas Gloss Natural using my profile.  This is one of my favorite papers as it has no OBA's and yet has a very white base.  It is easy to handle and goes through my Canon iPF 8400 with '0' adjustments for canvas stretch.  I followed with a print using the print plugin from Canon.  They were, to my eyes, indistinguishable when viewed in a GTI executive work station.  They were both printed to 34 inches in width.  The image I selected has lots of subtle pastel tones which would be very easy to tell apart if there were any color shift.  This isn't taking anything away from Printao as I really expected it to match the Canon Plugin - if there were color differences then I would have had to figure out a way to profile from within Printao which I don't believe is possible.  I also couldn't distinguish any difference in sharpness - even after checking with a 10X loupe.  It really is easy to use and would even be easier if there weren't the current layout bugs.  It may make more sense for someone who prints smaller prints but I would consider it after the bugs are fixed.  From a network attached printer point of view it is truly plug and play.  All in all very nice software. 

Victor
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drsuppan

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2016, 01:46:02 am »

Mark,

thank you for your review, I have to admit that I was unaware of the existence of PrinTao. I bought a licence for the Epson P800 and it works well. I would like to understand the export from LR a little bit better. At the moment I have the feeling that I should export as TIFF so that I have full control (I didīt test that). I understand that you donīt want to enter into a comparison with other tools but unfortunately that would be the most critical part for me. I am using Imageprint on a 4880 and I am struggling to convince myself to by a licence for the 9900, the price is just too high. And the use of that bloody dongle is a pain in ... . I bought Imageprint because on the 4880 it has a quality advantage over the standard LR/Epson driver. At least on Canson Baryta and Illford GFS. So if you donīt want to enter into a comparison - I understand this - maybe one of the other readers has done that or has seen such a comparison (I couldīt find one). It would safe me a lot of time and paper.

Looking forward to read the other upcoming articles on printing.

thanks again
Jurgen
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Kevin Raber

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2016, 06:51:49 am »

We will be running an article as well as a video on ImagePrint.  They are two different applications yet the end result is pretty much the same.  We hope to have the IP article and video in March.
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Kevin Raber
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IanBarber

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2016, 04:12:52 am »

I have been testing PrinTao 8 for several days now on the Epson R3880.


The supplied profiles for the papers I have used work very well but I still have some unanswered questions such as...


It appears on first glance that the supplied profiles are actually colour profiles and therefore when printing black and white, you are actually printing through a color managed workflow, much the same as "Letting Photoshop Manage The Colors" and choosing your desired profile.


I understand IP do supply grey profiles to ensure neutrality and then we have the Epson ABW (Black Box)


Has anyone compared these for comparison against Printao 8

Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2016, 08:17:00 am »

Ian, I discussed B&W neutrality in detail in the article, but the comparison was with printing out of Lightroom which uses the Epson driver and standard ICC RGB profiles. I don't use ImagePrint so I could not make that comparison. Kevin Raber does use ImagePrint, so he may wish to comment on this aspect if and when he can. However, in light of the grayscale values I posted in the article I am quite confident that a seasoned observer would have a hard time distinguishing the relative perceptual neutrality of B&W prints whether made from Lightroom, ImagePrint, PrinTao 8 or the Epson ABW driver (which I don't normally use because it is somewhat of a Black Box from which I have never noticed any tremendous comparative advantage). Some people will take exception to this remark, but I think we need to be mindful of the possibility that there may be a point beyond which chasing a "holy grail" of neutrality takes us from perceptual reality into the realm of the obsessive.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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IanBarber

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2016, 01:29:46 pm »

Thanks mark for the reply.


I will and study your findings again in the article you wrote.

IanBarber

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2016, 07:15:48 am »

Interesting article Mark and good read.


I have been delving further into the workings of PrinTao 8 and doing lot's of testing.


Initially, I thought the paper profiles you loaded from their interface were actually their own profiles but after further inspection, it appears that the profiles are identical to the ones from the paper manufacturers website which is even more interesting if they use their own print engine.


This is also probably why I am not seeing any significant difference between the output from Photoshop and Printao 8 in terms of quality on the 3880 at least.

Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2016, 07:48:41 am »

I have not discussed with LSI where the profiles come from, but yes, using the same profile in alternative applications would contribute to similarity of results. In the case of PrinTao, two other key components also contribute to image quality:both the CMS and the printer drivers are LSI developments bespoke to this application, contributing to the consistent, high quality results it produces.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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IanBarber

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2016, 08:31:09 am »

I agree entirely Mark. If LSI could produce their own gray profiles I think they would be on the road to giving Image Print a run for their money at a much more affordable option.

Mark D Segal

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2016, 08:36:00 am »

Are you certain - and if so how determined - that special grey profiles are needed to produce neutral B&W prints from files that have no toning in the file numbers?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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IanBarber

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Re: PrinTao 8
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2016, 08:47:04 am »

Are you certain - and if so how determined - that special grey profiles are needed to produce neutral B&W prints from files that have no toning in the file numbers?


I am only going by the fact that the more coloured inks we add to the mix, the more likely chance we have of introducing some colour into the final print. (Maybe wrong here but please correct me if I am )
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