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Author Topic: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles  (Read 1852 times)

denalilap

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Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« on: May 23, 2018, 07:34:07 AM »

How much would I have to spend to get a good to high-quality package for doing my own printer profiles? I read posts on the web from people using entry level profiling package and seems like the results were not great.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 08:12:06 AM by denalilap »
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Panagiotis

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 08:18:10 AM »

How much would I have to spend to get a good to high-quality package for doing my own printer profiles? I read posts on the web from people using entry level profiling package and seems like the results were not great.
Around 1500$:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/854477-REG/X_Rite_EO2PHO_11_Photo_Pro_2.html

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Mark D Segal

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 08:56:01 AM »

That's more like 1600. But if you are not in a hurry, periodically they hold sales and knock 300 off this price. While kind of expensive, you can do a lot with it and the results are generally very good. Its main problem is the absence of documentation. X-Rite has not provided a manual for the software and the interface is less than intuitive - two major downsides considering how much money these cost, plus the added cost of getting them recalibrated periodically. There is a learning curve. Let me ask though - have you tried the profiles supplied by the paper or printer companies? They can be quite good - to the point that in some instances one may ask whether investing the time and money in such a profiling kit is worthwhile. It's particularly useful for printer/paper combinations where there are no supplied profiles - for example it happened when I wanted a profile for a Canon paper used in an Epson printer. Needless to say, Epson doesn't make profiles for Canon papers and Canon doesn't make profiles for Epson printers. So there was a gap that only a custom profile could overcome.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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pikeys

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 09:39:05 AM »

+1 on Marks reply;

I use a few Epson papers,and have had custom profiles made,with excellent results,on both my canon printers.
In my case,prices ranged from $25.00,to $100.00.

MikeS
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NAwlins_Contrarian

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 09:59:07 AM »

How much would I have to spend to get a good to high-quality package for doing my own printer profiles? I read posts on the web from people using entry level profiling package and seems like the results were not great.

IMO the biggest problem is that everyone has a different, often much different, idea of what is "good to high-quality". I am frequently surprised at the color-accuracy and other issues that other people don't see. On the other hand, I'm sure that many here would see problems that I fail to perceive. So, with the simplifying assumption that by "a good to high-quality package" you mean 'something capable of providing me with good to high-quality profiles':
(1) sometimes the profiles that the paper manufacturers supply provide what are IMO high-quality results, and they're almost always free.
(2) If you're unhappy with the profiles that the paper manufacturers supply, or they don't supply one for your printer + ink combination, but you don't need a lot of different profiles and can wait a week or two to get the ones you need, I have been quite happy with the profiles I've gotten for $25 each from Profiles by Rick (http://profilesbyrick.com/).
(3) You can get your own hardware--not as nice as Rick's, but nice enough that some people find it a clear step up from manufacturer-provided profiles--for about $450 to $500, something like the new X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer, or the just-replaced version, the ColorMunki Photo.
(4) If you like the idea of something like an X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer or a ColorMunki Photo, but aren't sure, then you can rent one (e.g., https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/other-photo/accessories/calibration).
(5) If you want higher-end profiles built by someone else, my understanding is that your step-up is to profiles for somewhere around $100 each from places like Chromix or (forum member) Andrew Rodney.
(6) And then of course there's the $1600 kit already discussed. My gut suggests that your asking this question means you probably ought to try one or more of the foregoing options before spending $1600 or even $1300 on this option.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 10:23:01 AM by NAwlins_Contrarian »
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 09:59:54 AM »

+1 on Marks reply;

I use a few Epson papers,and have had custom profiles made,with excellent results,on both my canon printers.
In my case,prices ranged from $25.00,to $100.00.

MikeS

Yes indeed - outsourcing custom profiles is also a viable option for many. Just looking at cash, at the 100 price tag you'd need to make more than 16 before it pays to buy an i1 Photo Pro kit.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2018, 10:06:44 AM »

I should add a point to this discussion - here on LuLa we haven't rigorously tested the lower cost profiling kits that Nawlins mentions here. We probably should, as there may be a community of people who could be interested in getting into their own profiling at a lower cost of entry if they could be assured that the quality of the results would be satisfying. Rigorous testing would be preferable to assumptions about results.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Panagiotis

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2018, 10:12:11 AM »

That's more like 1600. But if you are not in a hurry, periodically they hold sales and knock 300 off this price.
There is already a 100$ mail-in rebate on that 1600$ price :)
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rdonson

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 10:12:35 AM »

Great point, Mark!

i've always wondered how well a X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer performs for creating print profiles.  At under $500 from B&H its quite tempting but not if its crap. 
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Regards,
Ron

Mark D Segal

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 10:22:54 AM »

Great point, Mark!

i've always wondered how well a X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer performs for creating print profiles.  At under $500 from B&H its quite tempting but not if its crap.

Thanks.

I'd be surprised if it's outright "crap" - more likely the questions would be how good comparatively based on several criteria, and differences of features. Knowing that would put potential purchasers in a position to make better decisions about what to buy based on what they need.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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nirpat89

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 10:24:22 AM »

How much would I have to spend to get a good to high-quality package for doing my own printer profiles? I read posts on the web from people using entry level profiling package and seems like the results were not great.

Do you have one of those extended-gamut monitors that costs more than $2000?  If so, $1600 for price of "entry" sounds about right.... :)  Otherwise, for someone like me, a Colormunki Photo for $350 is good enough.  I have made 2 profiles so-far with one, both better than the manufacturer provided profiles, judged with my eyes at least. 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 10:45:20 AM by nirpat89 »
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NAwlins_Contrarian

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 10:33:53 AM »

Mark, I suspect more than a few of us would be interested to get an expert opinion--or better yet, expert opinion including and based on instrumented comparison test results--for the various calibration hardware and software. The discussions I've seen more often cover choosing a display calibration device from among the $90 to $250 range of X-Rite and Datacolor options, but it would be interesting to learn how results from a $450 printer profiling device compare to results from canned profiles and $1600 devices. I also wonder how sensitive the results are to operator skill and experience.

Ron, if you're that tempted by the X-Rite i1Studio, why not rent one from LensRentals and test it? That is on my summer to-do list. I figure $73 including insurance and shipping for a long weekend should give me a decent idea.

(Really, I'm baffled why renting isn't a much more common precursor to buying even moderately-expensive gear.)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2018, 10:47:42 AM »

Mark, I suspect more than a few of us would be interested to get an expert opinion--or better yet, expert opinion including and based on instrumented comparison test results--for the various calibration hardware and software. .................

The idea has surfaced before, but there are practical considerations to deal with in getting it going. Maybe something could be arranged, we'll see.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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rdonson

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2018, 01:14:16 PM »


Ron, if you're that tempted by the X-Rite i1Studio, why not rent one from LensRentals and test it? That is on my summer to-do list. I figure $73 including insurance and shipping for a long weekend should give me a decent idea.

(Really, I'm baffled why renting isn't a much more common precursor to buying even moderately-expensive gear.)

That's a great suggestion!!!  Thanks!!!

FWIW these days I have a recent iMac 5K that I'm quite happy with and an Epson SC P800. 
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Ron

rdonson

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2018, 03:39:27 PM »

just FYI $47 for a 7 day rental.  You have to download the software on your own.
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Ron

Joe Towner

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2018, 04:15:37 PM »

ColorMunki rental from LR is on my to do list as well.  Too cheap to not at least try it out.
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denalilap

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2018, 04:16:45 PM »

IMO the biggest problem is that everyone has a different, often much different, idea of what is "good to high-quality". I am frequently surprised at the color-accuracy and other issues that other people don't see. On the other hand, I'm sure that many here would see problems that I fail to perceive. So, with the simplifying assumption that by "a good to high-quality package" you mean 'something capable of providing me with good to high-quality profiles':
(1) sometimes the profiles that the paper manufacturers supply provide what are IMO high-quality results, and they're almost always free.
(2) If you're unhappy with the profiles that the paper manufacturers supply, or they don't supply one for your printer + ink combination, but you don't need a lot of different profiles and can wait a week or two to get the ones you need, I have been quite happy with the profiles I've gotten for $25 each from Profiles by Rick (http://profilesbyrick.com/).
(3) You can get your own hardware--not as nice as Rick's, but nice enough that some people find it a clear step up from manufacturer-provided profiles--for about $450 to $500, something like the new X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer, or the just-replaced version, the ColorMunki Photo.
(4) If you like the idea of something like an X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer or a ColorMunki Photo, but aren't sure, then you can rent one (e.g., https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/other-photo/accessories/calibration).
(5) If you want higher-end profiles built by someone else, my understanding is that your step-up is to profiles for somewhere around $100 each from places like Chromix or (forum member) Andrew Rodney.
(6) And then of course there's the $1600 kit already discussed. My gut suggests that your asking this question means you probably ought to try one or more of the foregoing options before spending $1600 or even $1300 on this option.

Great suggestions, especially renting. After reflecting a bit, I think I will start by purchasing some custom profiles. At the moment, I'm only using around 4-6 different papers, so a $1600 investment doesn't make sense.
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mearussi

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2018, 08:41:08 PM »

There are a few paper manufacturers that will make custom profiles for you for free. I've had several made for me by Breathing Color that were far superior to their canned profiles. I also had one made for me by Hahnemuhle that really helped. There are a few more companies as well, just call and ask. Canson unfortunately is not one of them as all their profiles are made in France, but so far I've had no reason to complain as their canned profiles have been very good.

You might also want to read Mark's excellent article on RR's new way of making profiles from a company that uses a very expensive $9,000 polarizer. I'd be willing to bet that's way beyond what anyone here would want to spend just to squeeze that last bit of detail from their print.

And on visiting their website I found this, which looks like a really good deal:   http://www.chromix.com/colorvalet/pro/printVspro.cxsa?cvpro=true&-session=SessID:42F94F890f24138A58rYu3AF51D2
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 08:48:46 PM by mearussi »
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denalilap

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2018, 09:27:11 PM »

There are a few paper manufacturers that will make custom profiles for you for free. I've had several made for me by Breathing Color that were far superior to their canned profiles. I also had one made for me by Hahnemuhle that really helped. There are a few more companies as well, just call and ask. Canson unfortunately is not one of them as all their profiles are made in France, but so far I've had no reason to complain as their canned profiles have been very good.

You might also want to read Mark's excellent article on RR's new way of making profiles from a company that uses a very expensive $9,000 polarizer. I'd be willing to bet that's way beyond what anyone here would want to spend just to squeeze that last bit of detail from their print.

And on visiting their website I found this, which looks like a really good deal:   http://www.chromix.com/colorvalet/pro/printVspro.cxsa?cvpro=true&-session=SessID:42F94F890f24138A58rYu3AF51D2

That deal seems too good to be true. I wonder if anyone has had any experience with their service. Two hudred dollars for unlimited profiles for 18 months makes it is worth giving it a try.
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John Caldwell

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Re: Price of entry for making custom printer profiles
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2018, 02:23:22 PM »

Booksmart Studio, in Rochester NY, has made my profiles for Epson and Canon for several years. Booksmart charges about $30/profile when you buy 4 or more. Agreement between my screen and printer output is very good *to my eyes*

Not only would I have been a long time in recovering my investment on a good profiling system, I'd be many hours invested into that system before I was competent in making profiles - not the way I wanted to spend my time. Others may delight, however, in learning such systems and profiling science.

John Caldwell
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