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Author Topic: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?  (Read 259 times)

philipmccormick

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I trust this is the best section to ask this in and I wonder if anyone can help me.

I want to have books published (POD) with Bob Books in the UK using their Layflat option. In this case they take the digital images and do the actual processing using traditional silver halide/C-Type/chromogenic methods, with photo sensitive paper and chemicals. I thought they wanted sRGB files as POD services usually do and so converted to sRGB (I found later they seem to be saying my original ProPhoto RGB file would have worked fine too but my question would also apply there as well.) I have used Blurb a few times before and soft proofed the sRGB files they required in PS, with generally good results, but they were using the ink and CYMK printing method and not silver halide.

So my question is, do I need to soft proof the images using the sRGB preview/simulation as usual, at least for those images where the preview is showing a big difference from the ProPhoto originals, or will this mess things up? I can't get my head around the idea of soft proofing for a chemical print, it doesn't sound right, but at the same time I can't see how sending a ProPhoto file would turn out exactly the same as an sRGB file.

I can't get through to their technicians directly and have been waiting 8 days for an answer to my question which I need urgently. Can anyone help?

Thanks.
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Philip

JRSmit

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 08:12:58 AM »

Why not download a c-print profile , and softproofing in Photoshop?
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elliot_n

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 09:15:28 AM »

Yes, download a c-type profile and and then soft proof to see how the c-type printing process will effect your images. The c-type colour gamut is quite narrow, so if your images have bright saturated colours (especially reds), they will get knocked back significantly. On the other hand, if your images have no saturated colours, they will print with very little change. Soft-proofing will prepare you for the gamut limitations of c-type, but there's not much you can do about it. In your situation I would simply convert my ProPhoto images to sRGB and cross my fingers.

You can download c-type profiles here (link at top of page):

https://www.theprintspace.co.uk
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philipmccormick

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 09:24:12 AM »

Why not download a c-print profile , and softproofing in Photoshop?

Thanks for your reply. I was just about to ask where can I find a C-Type profile, and would it be of any use, when elliot-n replied below!
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Philip

digitaldog

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 09:31:08 AM »

Why not download a c-print profile , and softproofing in Photoshop?
That indeed is the only profile worth considering for soft proofing.
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Andrew Rodney
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philipmccormick

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 09:33:39 AM »

https://www.theprintspace.co.uk


Thanks very much for that. I'll have a look, but as you say I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet, send them sRGBs, and hope for the best.

cheers.

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Philip

digitaldog

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 11:13:29 AM »

https://www.theprintspace.co.uk


Thanks very much for that. I'll have a look, but as you say I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet, send them sRGBs, and hope for the best.
NOT if they will take ProPhoto RGB sRGB is about the worst working space possible for output to print and one should only do so when forced by labs that don't implement sound color management to do so.

The benefits of wide gamut working spaces on printed output:

This three part, 32 minute video covers why a wide gamut RGB working space like ProPhoto RGB can produce superior quality output to print.

Part 1 discusses how the supplied Gamut Test File was created and shows two prints output to an Epson 3880 using ProPhoto RGB and sRGB, how the deficiencies of sRGB gamut affects final output quality. Part 1 discusses what to look for on your own prints in terms of better color output. It also covers Photoshop’s Assign Profile command and how wide gamut spaces mishandled produce dull or over saturated colors due to user error.

Part 2 goes into detail about how to print two versions of the properly converted Gamut Test File  file in Photoshop using Photoshop’s Print command to correctly setup the test files for output. It covers the Convert to Profile command for preparing test files for output to a lab.

Part 3 goes into color theory and illustrates why a wide gamut space produces not only move vibrant and saturated color but detail and color separation compared to a small gamut working space like sRGB.

High Resolution Video: http://digitaldog.net/files/WideGamutPrintVideo.mov
Low Resolution (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLlr7wpAZKs&feature=youtu.be
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Andrew Rodney
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Ethan Hansen

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 11:21:16 AM »

Does Bob Books supply a color profile for their printer(s)? (Tell them to get with modern printing if not!) Unfortunately even if you know what type of printer and paper they use, a generic profile is of questionable use.

The most common c-type printers today are Fuji Frontiers. Color response varies significantly depending on the machine settings and configuration. Additional variation depends on the printer itself. We have over a thousand profiles from such printers on our web site and output differs between all.

The comment from Bob's that ProPhoto images would work as well suggest that they convert customer images to their profile when printing. This begs the question of why not release the profile to customers...

smthopr

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 12:19:56 PM »

I trust this is the best section to ask this in and I wonder if anyone can help me.

I want to have books published (POD) with Bob Books in the UK using their Layflat option. In this case they take the digital images and do the actual processing using traditional silver halide/C-Type/chromogenic methods, with photo sensitive paper and chemicals. I thought they wanted sRGB files as POD services usually do and so converted to sRGB (I found later they seem to be saying my original ProPhoto RGB file would have worked fine too but my question would also apply there as well.) I have used Blurb a few times before and soft proofed the sRGB files they required in PS, with generally good results, but they were using the ink and CYMK printing method and not silver halide.

So my question is, do I need to soft proof the images using the sRGB preview/simulation as usual, at least for those images where the preview is showing a big difference from the ProPhoto originals, or will this mess things up? I can't get my head around the idea of soft proofing for a chemical print, it doesn't sound right, but at the same time I can't see how sending a ProPhoto file would turn out exactly the same as an sRGB file.

I can't get through to their technicians directly and have been waiting 8 days for an answer to my question which I need urgently. Can anyone help?

Thanks.

I made such a book last year with a company that insisted on sRGB (I won the book in a raffle so I couldn't complain about not being able to send ProPhotoRGB).  I asked the company for a profile for their printer and they got one from their lab to send to me and I used this for the soft proofing.  It worked out very well.

The book company also offered to make sample prints of a few pages before I committed my files for printing the book.  I found this reassuring and then submitted my files and received a lovely book!
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digitaldog

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 12:40:59 PM »

I made such a book last year with a company that insisted on sRGB (I won the book in a raffle so I couldn't complain about not being able to send ProPhotoRGB). 
No, you can't. Nor can anyone tell you the difference in print using ProPhoto RGB might have provided.  ;)
If the images were all very small gamut or 'grayscale' (B&W) no difference. But if the images contained saturated colors you can capture and print, but by virtue of clipping them to sRGB for a lab's demands, seems a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
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Andrew Rodney
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philipmccormick

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 01:33:53 PM »


High Resolution Video: http://digitaldog.net/files/WideGamutPrintVideo.mov
Low Resolution (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLlr7wpAZKs&feature=youtu.be

Thanks for those links and the heads up on the the wider colour gamut - I knew about the wider gamut of ProPhoto in general, of course, but didn't know whether this would make a difference here or not, i.e. in trying to soft proof for a print that will go through the C-type process.
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Philip

philipmccormick

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 01:47:44 PM »

Unfortunately even if you know what type of printer and paper they use, a generic profile is of questionable use.


The comment from Bob's that ProPhoto images would work as well suggest that they convert customer images to their profile when printing. This begs the question of why not release the profile to customers...

Yes, that was what I was thinking. My own printing on my wide format inkjet (ipf8400) involves bespoke profiles for each paper used in combo with my particular printer. My only experience of POD books was with Blurb, using and proofing to their requested sRGB, which turned out fine for the most part (3 different books) except for one image with very wacky colours.


Yes, I have asked them for their ICC profile but can only get to them via customer care and have got zero back after 8 days except apologies from customer care.
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Philip

smthopr

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 05:13:58 PM »

No, you can't. Nor can anyone tell you the difference in print using ProPhoto RGB might have provided.  ;)
If the images were all very small gamut or 'grayscale' (B&W) no difference. But if the images contained saturated colors you can capture and print, but by virtue of clipping them to sRGB for a lab's demands, seems a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
True.

But it was a very lovely and free book :)

I only had a couple of images that suffered from this sRGB limitation.  But, free is free :)  And I was able to softproof the outcome fairly well.
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Czornyj

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Re: Soft proofing digital images for C-Type, silver halide printed books?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 04:39:47 AM »

Most minilabs like Noritsu QSS or Fuji Frontier controllers use devicelink profile that links sRGB color space to c-print color space using very aggressive perceptual rendering. You can softproof it using generic ICC profile with "preserve RGB numbers" option for sRGB rendered images (using other synthetic color spaces is useless in such case).

You should also ask to disable automatic color correction for your prints - an uncorrected print shold have a couple of zeros imprinted on the back.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 04:47:30 AM by Czornyj »
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