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Author Topic: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!  (Read 7472 times)

digitaldog

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2018, 07:57:14 PM »

That was the Epson 9800 that allows printing using ICC profiles. To print a ProPhoto image you have to select the ProPhoto profile as source in the driver, then select the printer profile and intent also in the driver. At least on my Win 10 x64.
If it isn't a hassle, love to see a screen capture as the bit about selecting ProPhoto as the source isn't AFAIK an option on Mac. Which could be one of the issues.
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Can't tell any difference between a print made that way and the usual Photoshop managing color. It prints all the way to the printer's gamut edge
Wild! That seems different than what is happening on the Mac. But as at least three of us posting here know, over the years, printing with Epson drivers/Photoshop on the Mac has been often buggy and problematic.
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Andrew Rodney
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Doug Gray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2018, 08:38:03 PM »

If it isn't a hassle, love to see a screen capture as the bit about selecting ProPhoto as the source isn't AFAIK an option on Mac. Which could be one of the issues. Wild! That seems different than what is happening on the Mac. But as at least three of us posting here know, over the years, printing with Epson drivers/Photoshop on the Mac has been often buggy and problematic.

Here you go:
I selected the wrong profile for the Epson (a canon 9500 profile). I meant to select a 9800 one.
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digitaldog

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2018, 09:13:31 PM »

Here you go:
I selected the wrong profile for the Epson (a canon 9500 profile). I meant to select a 9800 one.
Thanks! Nothing like that on my Mac.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

GWGill

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2018, 07:12:57 AM »

What I'm trying to understand is what the printer OEMs think the part of their market, probably pretty sizable, that doesn't use color management considers "good."  One presumes the defaults are set to what most like since otherwise it's a sort of commercial suicide. It differs considerably from properly color managed processes and I'd like to know why.  The only explanation that makes any sense at all, other than gross incompetence, is that they are somehow applying a CAM (Color Appearance Model) to the images.
If what the TV manufactures do is anything to go by, then accuracy is not high on their list. Being eye-catching, attention grabbing,  eyeball-popping, hyper-real, dramatically contrasting and retina searing is likely to be closer to the mark! The first thing anyone after accuracy does with a modern TV is turn off all the "show room mode" gimmicks. The second thing would be to calibrate it to meet Rec.709 and similar relevant standards.
Judging by the type of example prints used to demonstrate even high end large format printers, I don't think the art of selling your printer to the average consumer is any different. And I rather doubt that a color appearance model has much to do with it either - my impression is that the traditional mode of operation amongst Asian printer manufacturers is extensive hand tuning to make it "look good", although there have been a series of technical reports over the years on methods to tweak images to "optimize" the appeal of memory colors etc., so it's certainly possible that this type of thing has been applied as well. Setting up a printing system to be technically accurate seems to be a rather foreign concept, except perhaps as a base for optimizing a prints appeal.
(But to be fair, is this much different to the development of photographic film reproduction ? The whole process wasn't optimized for accuracy, but for reproducing images the way people like to remember them, by increasing contrast and saturation etc.)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 07:30:48 AM by GWGill »
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Dave Rosser

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2018, 08:18:20 AM »

Speaking for all others or speaking for all hobbyists? People and professionals often differ. A good definition of a professional: you can't pay or convince them to produce anything but the highest quality possible.
Don't just learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade. That's another difference between pro's and amateurs.  ;)

A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it.
-Alistair Cooke
Please, an amateur is someone well versed in the art who chooses not to make a living using that knowledge. I am an amateur of photography and proud of it.

digitaldog

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2018, 09:47:49 AM »

Please, an amateur is someone well versed in the art who chooses not to make a living using that knowledge. I am an amateur of photography and proud of it.
Some absolutely are and strive for as equal quality/knowledge. Some (one) by example earlier; not so much if at all by admission (a lack of being well versed/knowledgeable).
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 09:51:23 AM by andrewrodney »
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Andrew Rodney
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Dave Rosser

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2018, 11:18:13 AM »

Some absolutely are and strive for as equal quality/knowledge. Some (one) by example earlier; not so much if at all by admission (a lack of being well versed/knowledgeable).

Agreed.  8)

digitaldog

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2018, 12:42:53 PM »

Tested the P800 today. As a side note, haven’t used it in many months, did a nozzle check, all clean!

First, using PMC with what *appears* to be a default in Mac when selected is equally awful as the 3880. That is, setting the ColorSync Radio button to be on and profile set to Automatic. Maybe this automatic selection is broken and maybe I need to manually select "other profile" but the Epson installed profiles don't show up in the list. I could select a custom profile. None the less, this setting doesn't work!

What is interesting is what the Epson driver tells the user in Advanced Color Settings as seen below. The data provided to the user is updated in the newer driver (outlined in red).
Next I set the radio button from ColorSync to EPSON Color Controls. In the main printer dialog (Basic) there are two possible options for Color Mode: EPSON Standard (sRGB) or Adobe RGB (1998). I picked Adobe RGB (1998). The print is MUCH better! Acceptable without any of the ugliness I provided in my shots off the iPhone. How does it compare using a custom ICC profile and a full color managed path? Not as good and not close (enough) or otherwise for me. First, the ICC profile path provides greater saturation and better tonal distribution. Somewhat expected from ProPhoto RGB source data. There's more banding in PMC seen on gradients and Bill's Balls! Skin tones are better from the ICC Profile (man in boat); too magenta on PMC. The dark but saturated colors in the cloth image is easier to see (again, better tonal range or what one might call DR) than PMC. But PMC when properly set here doesn't suck at all! But for anyone who wants the best possible print quality, I'd be hard pressed to recommend PMC over a good ICC profile. Something most of us here who've actually tested this should know. But overall, worth half a dozen piece of paper to come to a conclusion void of assumptions.  ;)
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Andrew Rodney
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Stephen Ray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2018, 09:49:18 PM »

A comparison study of test print snapshots from Andrew against a commercial Epson Surecolor. Comments are noted in the image attachment.
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Doug Gray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2018, 09:57:56 PM »

That's pretty awful!  What "commercial Epson Surecolor" did that an what were the settings?
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2018, 10:41:13 PM »

Wonder how images that aren't cranked to 11 in the saturation department print. None of those test images I would want hanging on my wall, but I do see that printing is a performance no matter how ugly the image.

I don't understand why I don't get those garish colors and crappy color transitions on my $50 Epson "All In One".
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digitaldog

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2018, 10:47:32 PM »

I don't understand why I don't get those garish colors and crappy color transitions on my $50 Epson "All In One".
So much to not understand.
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Andrew Rodney
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Stephen Ray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #52 on: April 02, 2018, 12:44:53 AM »

That's pretty awful!  What "commercial Epson Surecolor" did that an what were the settings?

I think this iPhone photo I made a couple years ago from a test of an Epson "S Series" machine (from an array of 6) about 1 year old at the time using only 4/C S Ultrachrome GS2 ink (solvent.) This series is now also available as a "photo" setup with more inks. 

Is it understood that the two upper panels in my posted image upload is Andrew's examples, and the bottom panel is my example of the commercial machine?

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Doug Gray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #53 on: April 02, 2018, 01:06:35 AM »

I think this iPhone photo I made a couple years ago from a test of an Epson "S Series" machine (from an array of 6) about 1 year old at the time using only 4/C S Ultrachrome GS2 ink (solvent.) This series is now also available as a "photo" setup with more inks. 

Is it understood that the two upper panels in my posted image upload is Andrew's examples, and the bottom panel is my example of the commercial machine?
Ah, I misunderstood.

Looks like the full set of "Bill's Balls" on the bottom. It turns out that Bill made the ball images intending them to be used in "printer space," not Lab or ProPhoto, as a way to visually check the smoothness of the printer driver. They should be printed with color management off just like one prints a profile target. Abrupt banding that shows up in device space can't be fixed by profiling and rapid, but not abrupt, changes at any point over the radius indicates that the profile may need a higher number of patches to track these colors.

When printed in device driver RGB space they are, by definition, in gamut. So a good printer design won't produce sharp banding on any ball.

However, they can and will look different on different printers but that's what profiles correct quite well.
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Stephen Ray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #54 on: April 02, 2018, 01:07:37 AM »

Wonder how images that aren't cranked to 11 in the saturation department print. None of those test images I would want hanging on my wall, but I do see that printing is a performance no matter how ugly the image.

I don't understand why I don't get those garish colors and crappy color transitions on my $50 Epson "All In One".

What do tests of the 2 files look like from your $50 Epson "All In One"?
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Stephen Ray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #55 on: April 02, 2018, 01:20:02 AM »

Looks like the full set of "Bill's Balls" on the bottom. It turns out that Bill made the ball images intending them to be used in "printer space," not Lab or ProPhoto, as a way to visually check the smoothness of the printer driver.

Yes, and that's what you see in the labeled "v No color mgmt but calibrated v" panel and under that is a single row of "color managed" balls. In this machine's environment, "no color mgmt" is otherwise known as "All Profiles OFF" in the RIP. The machine requires upstream RIP settings however to control ink restrictions and at least some sort of calibration curve. From looking at Andrew's first panel, it seems to me his machine is completely out of sorts when using whatever settings used at the time of his test. It certainly doesn't not appear to be PMC.


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Doug Gray

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #56 on: April 02, 2018, 02:18:21 AM »

Yes, and that's what you see in the labeled "v No color mgmt but calibrated v" panel and under that is a single row of "color managed" balls. In this machine's environment, "no color mgmt" is otherwise known as "All Profiles OFF" in the RIP. The machine requires upstream RIP settings however to control ink restrictions and at least some sort of calibration curve. From looking at Andrew's first panel, it seems to me his machine is completely out of sorts when using whatever settings used at the time of his test. It certainly doesn't not appear to be PMC.
Yours look pretty reasonable. At least as far as one can see from the snapshot. They vary quite a lot printer to printer. Good idea to check them with a soft proof. For images in device space, Photoshop->View Proof-> and select preserve numbers and the printer profile. Should match what's printed.

Andrew's test file is in ProPhoto and is designed to stress profiles. It's good at evaluating profiles handling of highly saturated colors, many of which are at the ProPhoto extremes. Images often have colors that are outside what can be printed so handling these smoothly (pleasingly) can be useful. I use several images for checking profiles. Andrew's stress test and the classic Kodak PhotoDisc is the opposite of Andrew's stress test having few colors that push printers but a nice selection of faces and odd's and ends. The third one is in Lab space I synthesized in Matlab. It's a set of circles with L* at 5 unit intervals and a*, b* coordinates that go from neutral in the center to about 120 in saturation. It's identified some rather odd anomalies in I1P Perceptual Intent tables. I do a quick soft proof on that but don't often print them. When I do it's to check smoothness for in-gamut colors.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 02:22:09 AM by Doug Gray »
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #57 on: April 02, 2018, 03:17:07 AM »

What do tests of the 2 files look like from your $50 Epson "All In One"?

Oh, I'm sure they'll look like shit with Printer Manages Color.

I'm having to assume of course because I have no interest in printing garish colors in images like Bill's Balls or the over cranked green boat image I wouldn't hang on a wall. Also I no longer have a working Epson "All In One". I now get my prints on a Fuji Frontier at Walmart.

It's clear advertising and graphics pro's need to use custom profiles and Photoshop Manages Color to insure Bill's Balls smooth gradient transitions in electric eyeball popping color, but that's not the market intended for a $50 printer. You want to turn printing into a horse race that's fine. You win. I concede.

How about do a comparison print of a picture of an animal or landscape with realistic looking colors?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 03:21:24 AM by Tim Lookingbill »
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digitaldog

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #58 on: April 02, 2018, 09:17:59 AM »

Oh, I'm sure they'll look like shit with Printer Manages Color.
Wrong again; can’t you read? They don’t look too bad when PMC (figured out what that means?) setting is one way, but not another. But not anywhere as good as AMC with a good ICC profile.
You should not be sure of anything. That I am thus far sure of based on your comments here.
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I'm having to assume of course
A nasty habit.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 09:23:18 AM by andrewrodney »
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Andrew Rodney
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digitaldog

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Re: A Visual Examination of Printer Manages Color - Oh My!
« Reply #59 on: April 02, 2018, 10:56:08 AM »

Oh, I'm sure they'll look like shit with Printer Manages Color.
If you've only imagined it, you haven’t' experienced it. I however have experienced it.
Below is a close up of some of Bills Balls, printed using PMC on the all in one, Epson XP-860 on Luster paper. Doesn't look like crap as seen when using the WRONG PMC settings (default) on Mac. And you can't make that mistake on this all in one. There's only one set of settings (No ColorSync Radio button, no Automatic, no Epson sRGB etc).
Once again we see that Tim, with his undefined All In One isn't testing anything before assuming and posting here. Sad! But consistent. He tells us he can't using ACM on such a printer (I've proven that wrong). He assumes Epson all in one would print awful from the Gamut Test File he hasn't taken the time to download or print (sad again).

It's clear advertising and graphics pro's need to use custom profiles and Photoshop Manages Color to insure Bill's Balls smooth gradient transitions in electric eyeball popping color, but that's not the market intended for a $50 printer.
Well at least one advertising and graphic pro has proven that wrong! Another quick and dirty iPhone shot under the GTI booth. Apples to Apples view of the various output.

I never assume. It is a shocking habit -- destructive to the logical faculty. -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Andrew Rodney
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