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Author Topic: Printing With Epson Driver  (Read 4512 times)

Wilkinson

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Printing With Epson Driver
« on: January 11, 2017, 02:14:12 pm »

I am wondering if there are any comments regarding Ctein's and others articles on printing with Epson printers managing colors. The original article was with a 3880 with a Mac retina profiled managed work flow. The claim is there is no real difference using the printer option vs paper profile option. I have always used the paper profile but I tried his approach on my Epson R2880 with using the Epson sRGB and Adobe 1998 RGB. Comparing my print profiled on Epson Exhibition fiber. There was no descernable difference from the paper profiled print.
I don't know why this is, but it has certainly simplified my printing. (I do use LR to soft proof for rendering intent and brightness compensation) I have also tried this with other papers (Red River) with the same results.  This seems to be as straight forward as using there ADV B&W print option on Epson printers.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 02:27:24 pm »

Any time in the distant past I've let the printer manage colour I've been underwhelmed with the outcome, but if time permits (not just now) I may give it a whirl again and report back. It's been a long time since I made such comparisons.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ferp

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 06:45:57 pm »

As you might imagine, C'tein's posts on printer-managed color were extensively discussed here at the time.  If you search you'll find several threads.  The best place to start is probably Mark's (MHMG) comprehensive debunking of C'tein's final conclusion:

http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=104307.msg857415#msg857415
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Wilkinson

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 11:47:26 am »

Appreciate everyones reply on this. as i said I have always used paper profiles up to now, and didn't expect much. Lens Work's Brooks Jenson has also experienced this with one of the current Epson printers in printing a color portfolio of Huntington Witherill for Lens Work publication. He wasn't sure why this was working either as Witherill has all custom profiles. I did not expect this to work as I have an older printer but it did. I do have a new iMac and have noticed there is very little change when profiling it compared to my previous early 2009 desk top. C'tein did allude to the fact that these new Mac displays are almost dead on to 6500 and 2.2 profiles. It may mean that many manufactures (computers, printers, paper manufacture) are getting closer on a standard profile settings?
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Garnick

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 12:42:08 pm »

I remember reading this thread from C'tein quite a long time ago in two locations, and I believe there was a video of him describing his "findings" as well.  I'm almost certain I ran tests then, but not sure.  However, when I'm in rush to get a print job tested and finished I do occasionally make a mistake and forget to chose PS to control colours.  I immediately know where the mistake is and rectify it for another test.  I have just printed the Atkinson comp on Luster with both printer managing colour as well as PS managing, and both with Perceptual Intent.  As expected, there is an absolutely HUGE difference between the two prints.  The one managed by the printer is severely lacking in saturation, most notably in the reds, oranges and yellows.  The strawberries are extremely low in saturation, and appear far beyond edible.  The skin tones of the children are very low saturation and most definitely not appealing in any manner.  This might pass for an old, faded print effect, but in no way does it approach what a proper print should look like. 

Conclusion:  Printer managed = dark, higher contrast, very low saturation etc.

Printed on Epson SP9900 with all channels firing at 100%

Gary   
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Gary N.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 01:40:49 pm »

OK, good Gary, you've saved me the trouble.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Garnick

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 02:43:43 pm »

OK, good Gary, you've saved me the trouble.

My pleasure Mark.  We'll get together once I'm all set up at home.  I be in touch.

Gary
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Gary N.
"My memory isn't what it used to be. As a matter of fact it never was." (gan)

Mark D Segal

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 02:51:41 pm »

Sure, looking forward and good luck with the move.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ferp

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 05:11:14 pm »

Lens Work's Brooks Jenson has also experienced this with one of the current Epson printers in printing a color portfolio of Huntington Witherill for Lens Work publication. He wasn't sure why this was working either as Witherill has all custom profiles.

Link?

One of the challenges in using Printer Manages Color from recent versions of Photoshop is that there can be silent profile conversions en route to the driver, which may explain some of the reported experiences of undersaturation.  The comments section to the various TOP threads discusses this, although IIRC this particular issue was mainly on Windows (PS on OS X also has problems of silent conversions, but in different circumstances).
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 05:15:45 pm »

Link?

One of the challenges in using Printer Manages Color from recent versions of Photoshop is that there can be silent profile conversions en route to the driver, ............

Well, as far as I'm concerned, that says it all. Why be "challenged" by incomprehensible conversions when everything is easily under one's control using a conventional application-managed print process that provides for predictable outcomes 9.9 times out of 10?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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JeffS

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 05:31:44 pm »



One of the challenges in using Printer Manages Color from recent versions of Photoshop is that there can be silent profile conversions en route to the driver, which may explain some of the reported experiences of undersaturation.  The comments section to the various TOP threads discusses this, although IIRC this particular issue was mainly on Windows (PS on OS X also has problems of silent conversions, but in different circumstances).

Whether printer managed or software managed, this is why I prefer to use ImagePrint 10....avoids issues with the Apple/Adobe/Epson/ chain, avoids the need to set or check printer settings (IP controls everything once paper and profile are chosen), provides terrific profiles for virtually all papers, each with multiple lighting options (gray scale, daylight, tungsten, etc), and is in constant soft-proof mode so WYSIWYG.  Not inexpensive, but worth it for me.

Jeff
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Ferp

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 06:10:26 pm »

Well, as far as I'm concerned, that says it all. Why be "challenged" by incomprehensible conversions when everything is easily under one's control using a conventional application-managed print process that provides for predictable outcomes 9.9 times out of 10?

To be fair, IIRC C'tein was on a Mac and last I heard you could happily print from PS on a Mac using Printer Manages Colors.  The Mac problems I alluded to in my last post related to printing B&W using alternative software, such as QuadToneRIP. 

On Windows however, you'd need to use QImage to print color using Printer Manages Colors.  Despite these qualifications, it's not a workflow that I'd ever use.  I agree with both the Marks.  I just wanted the OP to be aware of the issue, in case he was tempted and is on Windows. 

Whether printer managed or software managed, this is why I prefer to use ImagePrint 10....avoids issues with the Apple/Adobe/Epson/ chain

Yes it does, but at a hefty price and not everyone can justify or manage that.  Qimage can also deal with most of these issues, in that you can save printer settings, job settings, etc, but at a much lower price. 
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 12:15:07 am »

I run across many who seem to hobble together a workable solution to getting the color they expect from the printer, only to find it break when they change something, like a new paper or a new printer.

Ctein's printing is a little unique to what most do, and if I remember right what led him to this experiment and his conclusions were struggling with a particular color (sort of a midnight blue color in a dark sky) when printing from scanned transparencies.  the Epson managed color solved that particular problem and worked fine for the images he tested. His evaluation I believe was printing one each way and determining he liked the results of Epson managed color more often.  I'm not sure the source of the files, the amount of work that was done, the quality of the monitor used and all of the other factors.  He comes from a background of testing and correcting, I believe with Epson managing colors that's the workflow that would be required.

I want to get predictable and matching  results from many papers and between printers.  You can't do that using Epson managed color, especially if you use something other than epson paper.  If you are printing sRGB files you may get acceptable results ... some of the time.

I have 4 different papers I like to use.  I print preliminary test prints on 13x19" Epson luster paper on a p800.  Once I'm happy with the results, I print the final test print on 24x30 Epson Baryta (recently switched from Exhibition Fiber) on my p9000.  I also occasionally use Platine.  the prints match.  When I switched from a 9900 to a p9000, I remade my profiles, and my prints matched.  Final sales prints are on Baryta, or many are on Espon Premium Semi-matte (which is face mounted to TruLife Acrylic.)  They all match.

I also soft proof everything, if only to determine which rendering intent appears best.  You can't do that with Epson managing the color.

I just don't think you can get the control needed for consistent output if you try to take a color management shortcut.
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Garnick

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2017, 08:58:39 am »

To be fair, IIRC C'tein was on a Mac and last I heard you could happily print from PS on a Mac using Printer Manages Colors.  The Mac problems I alluded to in my last post related to printing B&W using alternative software, such as QuadToneRIP. 


Concerning your first sentence, I have no idea where you found the information that one can obtain quality prints on a Mac using printer management.  In my previous post I mentioned that I had read the original post from C'tein when it first hit the forum, and also that I wasn't certain I had done the tests then.  Well, considering the curious being that I am, I know I would have tested his "findings" then, and continued using the same workflow as always, PS manages Colours.  I mostly use canned profiles for the work I do and they fit the bill very nicely.  For a customer with special needs I will often refer to a custom profile for the paper being used for that job.  Again yesterday I did the tests on Premium Luster on my "Mac Pro" as always, with horrible results when letting the 9900 manage colours.  I would love to be able to print through Qimage, but unfortunately it is not available for the Mac OS.  I know I could run it through Parallels or another app, but I'd rather not have to start each day downloading the latest virus to be aware of.  So far the Mac OS has very seldom been targeted by the virus writing scums who lurk the net and pray upon those who choose to use a computer to handle their business and personal lives.  That may change at some point in the future and the Mac may become more of a target, but I'll deal with that if and when it happens.  And by the way, I am NOT trying to start another boring Windows/Mac war here, only stating my own preferences and the reasons for them.

And concerning your second sentence, I'm not sure what problems you are referring to with QuadTone Rip and B&W.  I have often printed B&W on fine art papers with QTR, and obtained excellent results.  It's true that there are no B&W profiles for "photo" papers such as Luster etc., but it will do a very acceptable job on fine art papers.   

Gary   

   
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 10:28:53 am by Garnick »
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Gary N.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2017, 10:05:05 am »

I run across many who seem to hobble together a workable solution to getting the color they expect from the printer, only to find it break when they change something, like a new paper or a new printer.

Ctein's printing is a little unique to what most do, and if I remember right what led him to this experiment and his conclusions were struggling with a particular color (sort of a midnight blue color in a dark sky) when printing from scanned transparencies.  the Epson managed color solved that particular problem and worked fine for the images he tested. His evaluation I believe was printing one each way and determining he liked the results of Epson managed color more often.  I'm not sure the source of the files, the amount of work that was done, the quality of the monitor used and all of the other factors.  He comes from a background of testing and correcting, I believe with Epson managing colors that's the workflow that would be required.

I want to get predictable and matching  results from many papers and between printers.  You can't do that using Epson managed color, especially if you use something other than epson paper.  If you are printing sRGB files you may get acceptable results ... some of the time.

I have 4 different papers I like to use.  I print preliminary test prints on 13x19" Epson luster paper on a p800.  Once I'm happy with the results, I print the final test print on 24x30 Epson Baryta (recently switched from Exhibition Fiber) on my p9000.  I also occasionally use Platine.  the prints match.  When I switched from a 9900 to a p9000, I remade my profiles, and my prints matched.  Final sales prints are on Baryta, or many are on Espon Premium Semi-matte (which is face mounted to TruLife Acrylic.)  They all match.

I also soft proof everything, if only to determine which rendering intent appears best.  You can't do that with Epson managing the color.

I just don't think you can get the control needed for consistent output if you try to take a color management shortcut.

I agree with your technical principles and criteria in all of this, your outcomes are as expected on this basis, and I agree you would not have the necessary control and not expect to get that kind of consistency across machines and papers with printer colour management.

As for Ctein scanning blue skies and seeking the right hue, if that's the issue as presented here, I would suggest that the first place to correct sky blue is in the scanner software if it provides for such refined corrections (SilverFast I know for sure does), and the next place - if one prefers not to bake such corrections into a scan - is in image editing software (e.g. Lightroom or Photoshop). I would not recommend as "best practice" to adjust for such issues in the printer driver, regardless of whether it works in one particular instance. 
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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HSakols

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2017, 10:40:17 am »

Yet, we do allow to the printer to manage color when we print in B&W. This has always baffled me because papers are so different.  How does the driver know what to do? Will we ever need profiles for B&W or does profile only apply to colors.  Threads like these make LULA the best! 

Hugh
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2017, 10:56:28 am »

Yet, we do allow to the printer to manage color when we print in B&W. This has always baffled me because papers are so different.  How does the driver know what to do? Will we ever need profiles for B&W or does profile only apply to colors.  Threads like these make LULA the best! 

Hugh

When you use the Epson ABW driver, you still need to specify the Media Type and that is how the printing systems know how to manage the inking. There are in-built, under-the-hood profiles for doing this. Profiles are used all the time. It is just a matter of whether you make and/or select them, or the printer does.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Doug Gray

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2017, 01:09:31 pm »

Every now and then I've looked at how printing using the printer's device driver to manage color differs from the application managing color. Generally, Perceptual driver printing tends to increase saturation beyond sRGB which is the limit in Windows. Often prints look better than just printing the images in a color managed app with perceptual. This is probably intentional since the majority of consumers probably use that path. It's similar to sending images off to a service and letting them determine the color repro.

But soft proofs don't match well when printing with the drivers managing color which makes it difficult to intelligently work on the image prior to printing.

I value repeatability and decent soft proofing to work with an image before printing it. So, for me, printing using the drivers is something I can't trust.
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Ferp

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2017, 06:22:17 pm »

In trying to write a brief post I ended up bring too cryptic.  Let me clarify.

Concerning your first sentence, I have no idea where you found the information that one can obtain quality prints on a Mac using printer management.

I didn't mean to suggest that you'd get good prints doing that, or prints that matched the screen or whatever.  I was only addressing one issue - whether you'd get a silent profile conversion when printing from Photoshop.  Photoshop does this on both Mac and Win, but in different circumstances on each OS.  If you print on Windows using printer managed color, then Photoshop will do a silent conversion to sRGB if the image is not already in sRGB.  I'm fairly sure that this won't happen in OS X. 

There were several Lula threads in which C'tein's views were discussed.  He first advocated printer managed color, then recanted, and finally went back to it.  In the comments section to those several threads there was an Adobe software engineer called Dave Polaschek who outlined when and why Photoshop does these silent conversions.  Not easy reading, and his comments were scattered around the comments sections to C'tein's various articles.  If you want to understand further, you'd have to locate his comments.  Some of them are in the comments section to the post I linked to in my first post in this thread, but there were others as well.

I don't print using printer managed color, not do I recommend it, for all the reasons discussed in this thread. If the OP is on Windows then he should be aware of the silent conversion to sRGB, which will add to the problems of printer managed color.  I only mentioned Qimage because it allows you to use printer managed color without a silent conversion.

And concerning your second sentence, I'm not sure what problems you are referring to with QuadTone Rip and B&W.

A common workflow with QuadToneRIP is to have the image in Gray Gamma 2.2.  Since OS X 10.6.8, if you print such an image direct to QuadToneRIP from Photoshop then you'll get a silent profile conversion.  I'm fairly sure that this is also discussed somewhere in Dave's comments.  It's a fairly well-known 'feature' of recent versions of Photoshop & OS X.  It's why the author of QuadToneRIP wrote a companion program Print Tool - to give OS X QuadToneRIP users back control over color management and profile conversion.  It shouldn't be hard to find references to all this, perhaps on the QuadToneRIP support forum.

This is not an issue on Windows as you can't print direct from Photoshop to QuadToneRIP, and QTRGui is not a color-managed application.

I hope this clarifies things.
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Ferp

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Re: Printing With Epson Driver
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2017, 06:49:23 pm »

Yet, we do allow to the printer to manage color when we print in B&W. This has always baffled me because papers are so different.  How does the driver know what to do? Will we ever need profiles for B&W or does profile only apply to colors.  Threads like these make LULA the best!
When you use the Epson ABW driver, you still need to specify the Media Type and that is how the printing systems know how to manage the inking. There are in-built, under-the-hood profiles for doing this. Profiles are used all the time. It is just a matter of whether you make and/or select them, or the printer does.

There are two controls over the tonality of ABW printing - the Media Type, as Mark noted, and Mode, where you can select Custom and then the Advanced option and in the Color Controls box you can vary Color Toning and Tone (five settings from light to darkest).

The trouble with any of these options is that they're trial and error.  Hugh's question hints at a partial solution.  It is possible to create ICC profiles for ABW using some of the tools that come with QuadToneRIP and an i1.  These ICC profiles enable you to print using ABW using the same sort of workflow that you would for color - you can use Photoshop manages color and specify the profile.  The profiles are only a partial solution, in that working out what Media setting to use and how to set the Mode options is still a trial and error process, but for a given mix of settings you can get a good screen to print match and you can soft-proof.
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