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Author Topic: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles  (Read 1858 times)

brandtb

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2018, 06:38:37 PM »

Chromix makes excellent profiles  and has great customer service. Recently have been using one of their custom profiles for Epson P800/Canson Baryta Photographique. Could not recommend more highly.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 07:50:37 PM by brandtb »
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Brandt Bolding
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loganross

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2018, 12:30:50 AM »

I second these guys.  I have used them for epson and canon and they are excellent.


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smthopr

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2018, 06:13:44 AM »

I bought a used i12 spectro for another purpose,  but it came with a license for the EFI software. Itís limited for RGB profiles (980 patches, few options) but Iíve been very pleased with the profiles for printing on my Epson. And only $450, used.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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MHMG

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2018, 09:15:26 AM »

Chromix makes excellent profiles  and has great customer service. Recently have been using one of their custom profiles for Epson P800/Canson Baryta Photographique. Could not recommend more highly.

Just to be clear, Chromix measures the profiling target with M3 (polarized light) illuminant condition, because Chromix believes it produces superior profile performance (e.g. better shadow detail rendered to print). If you like the results you are getting with a Chromix-made profile it's hard to argue with success.

That said, the M3 measurement condition is not an industry-wide accepted practice for building ICC profiles and is typically reserved for media that exhibit strong specular highlights resulting from deep "toothy" texture, e.g. some canvas media.  Indeed, very few spectrophotometers on the market nowadays even have the M3 measurement feature. The no-longer-made Gretag Macbeth Spectroscan and some new Barbieri instruments can measure M3, but not any of the newer Xrite models like the i1Pro2 can do it.

I have a venerable old Spectrocan that I still use regularly, and was very curious to understand why Chromix chooses to deviate significantly from standard ICC profiling practice. So, I studied the M0 (the legacy illuminant condition) versus M3 (polarized illuminant) profiling performance in some detail. Note that M0 condition measurements are essentially the same as M2 (UV excluded illuminant) measurements for papers that have no OBAs. M3 is the "odd man out" condition.  What I found is that the forward transform LUTs of the ICC profile which determine what values get sent to the printer produced excellent quality with either M0 or M3 measured data sets yet with slightly better shadow detail separation as Chromix prefers, especially in matte papers. However, it comes at some expense to accuracy in other midtone and highlight colors, so no free lunch and definitely a matter of personal preference. Anyway, it was easy to see why some would prefer the initial print output from ICC profiles made with M3 data sets.

But wait, there's more... The big and very noticeable difference between these two profiling approaches occurs in the inverse transform LUTs which controls what we see on screen when soft proofing is invoked in image editors like Photoshop that can display a "simulate paper white" or "simulate paper black" soft proof mode.  To make a long technical story short(er), IMO, the industry accepted practice of using M0, M1, or M2 illumant conditions to measure the target can sometimes result in slight visually under corrected black and deep shadow values when soft proofing matte media. This result in turn encourages the enduser to work harder to open up shadows details while editing in soft proof mode, and an actual print will always exhibit a little more "pop" than the soft proof predicts. I personally consider that a good thing, i.e, if I can make the image on screen look good in soft proof mode, I know I will be pleased with the print.  In contrast, the M3 illuminant measurements like Chromix prefers result in a more visually "overcorrected" soft proof appearance, i.e the image already appears to have more "pop" on screen in soft proof mode than it's going to have when printed. Again, the issue is subtle when dealing with glossy/luster media capable of printing rich blacks, but becomes immediately apparent when printing to lower Dmax matte media.

The only way to visually correct the soft proof variance of an M3 generated ICC profile would be to use a profile editor to manually edit the curves baked into the inverse transform LUTs. Profile editing can, of course, be done, but it's tricky and rather subjective work, thus, almost no one making ICC profiles does it as a matter of course.

Bottom line: If a printmaker doesn't use soft proofing techniques to make any "edit-for-print" adjustments and prefers to base all final edits on an iterative hardcopy workflow, then ICC profile accuracy can be judged solely on the basis of the printed output without any concern to soft proof rendering accuracy.   If the printmaker does use a soft proofing approach, then beware/respect the  significant ICC profile softproof rendering differences between profiles made with M0/M2 data sets and those made with M3 data sets.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com


 
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 10:35:34 PM by MHMG »
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digitaldog

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2018, 10:13:06 AM »

Bottom line: If a printmaker doesn't use soft proofing techniques to make any "edit-for-print" adjustments and prefers to base all final edits on an iterative hardcopy workflow, then ICC profile accuracy can be judged solely on the basis of the printed output without any concern to soft proof rendering accuracy.   If the printmaker does use a soft proofing approach, then beware/respect the  significant ICC profile softproof rendering differences between profiles made with M0/M2 data sets and those made with M3 data sets.
+1, and I'll add, a printmaker should consider the soft proofing approach (as well as calibration of the display for that soft proof).
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Andrew Rodney
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