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Author Topic: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?  (Read 303 times)

Brookie

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Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« on: January 24, 2020, 10:14:18 am »

I am using a Pixma Pro-10 and Canonís profile for their Premium Matte paper. When I try soft proofing the on onscreen image looks terrible (with or without adjustments). Yet a straight print (no adjustments made in soft proof) yields a much better result than the onscreen image. Not acceptable as a final print, but much better.  This makes it very hard to predict the resulting print.

I have tried using a profile for a different matte paper and the onscreen image looks much better (nowhere near as gray and muddy as Canonís profile looks). When I softproof using Canon Luster paper and their appropriate profile the results are fine. I have printed test images for a number of HahnemŁhle and Red River papers and when I look at those onscreen in soft proof the image also looks fine. It is only the Canon Premium Matte that I have noticed this problem with.

So my question is this - does anyone know if the paper profile for Canon Premium Matte is just a crummy profile?  Have other people run across this same problem?  And if so what have you done to work around it?
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digitaldog

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 11:57:03 am »

The issue could be the soft proofing table in that profile. More than likely, itís the display calibration which isnít aimed at a visual match WITH the soft proof.
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Andrew Rodney
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 01:37:47 pm »

Thanks, forgot to mention that monitor (BenQ) is recently calibrated (SpyderPro5). Also, not sure why other matte paper soft proofs donít look anywhere near as bad on screen? 

Maybe somebody else knows of an alternate paper profile that works well with this paper?
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Doug Gray

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 02:39:56 pm »

I am using a Pixma Pro-10 and Canonís profile for their Premium Matte paper. When I try soft proofing the on onscreen image looks terrible (with or without adjustments). Yet a straight print (no adjustments made in soft proof) yields a much better result than the onscreen image. Not acceptable as a final print, but much better.  This makes it very hard to predict the resulting print.
I checked the Canon Pro10 Prem. Matte paper profile. It's fine with an L* min of 16. It's normal for a matte paper to have much lighter blacks than luster or glossy paper. Profiles simply show the difference. However, there are several factors at work that can make soft proofing look poorer than the normal screen image. This is especially the case with matte papers. It's normal for a matte print to look worse than the screen image but better than the soft proof screen image. 
Quote

I have tried using a profile for a different matte paper and the onscreen image looks much better (nowhere near as gray and muddy as Canonís profile looks).
What profile did you specifically use? You have to compare apples to apples. Some "matte" papers aren't really matte and are closer to semigloss and these will look better soft proofing and print better as well. These so-called matte papers have a sheen that can be seen if you hold them at an angle and have a light on the opposite side. True matte papers have no sheen and look the same at any angle.
Quote

 When I softproof using Canon Luster paper and their appropriate profile the results are fine. I have printed test images for a number of HahnemŁhle and Red River papers and when I look at those onscreen in soft proof the image also looks fine. It is only the Canon Premium Matte that I have noticed this problem with.

So my question is this - does anyone know if the paper profile for Canon Premium Matte is just a crummy profile?  Have other people run across this same problem?  And if so what have you done to work around it?

Luster paper blacks reflect about 4 times less light than matte papers so that's why the soft proofs look much better.

As a starting point, when soft proofing matte paper you should use a Photoshop surround that's light gray, not dark gray or black. This is a closer match to how you view a print which isn't against a black or very dark background.

You need to set up a side by side comparison with a proper light booth. You will find that soft proofing works quite well against a print viewed properly. See Digitaldog's videos on this subject. They are quite good - some of the best on the web.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 02:54:08 pm by Doug Gray »
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 06:56:19 pm »

The issue could be the soft proofing table in that profile. More than likely, itís the display calibration which isnít aimed at a visual match WITH the soft proof.

Thanks Andrew,
My monitor is calibrated (BenQ with Spyder5). So hopefully that isnít the issue. Is there any way I can determine if it is an issue with the soft proofing table in Canonís profile?  And what can I realistically do about it if thatís the case?

I should note that, in case itís not obvious, I am still a relative newbie when it comes to digital printing. Iíve got soooo much to learn.............
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digitaldog

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 07:18:19 pm »

Calibrated how? That's key:

 Why are my prints too dark?
A video update to a written piece on subject from 2013
In this 24 minute video, I'll cover:

Are your prints really too dark?
Display calibration and WYSIWYG
Proper print viewing conditions
Trouble shooting to get a match
Avoiding kludges that don't solve the problem

High resolution: http://digitaldog.net/files/Why_are_my_prints_too_dark.mp4
Low resolution: https://youtu.be/iS6sjZmxjY4
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Andrew Rodney
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 10:19:08 am »

Andrew,
Thank you for directing me to your video - it is very informative and I see that you have many more videos I need to watch!

That said, my situation is not that the print is too dark. Perhaps my OP did not clearly express the issue, so I will give it another try:

1 - I am using a BenQ 2700 monitor calibrated within the last 2 weeks using a Spyder5
2 - I am viewing my prints after drying using an Ott desk lamp near my monitor
3 - I am printing known test prints - Datacolorís for color and Northlightís for B+W
4 - I am printing from Lightroom
5 - I am initially viewing the image in LR Develop mode with soft proofing turned on and selecting the appropriate paper profile and I am NOT making any adjustments to the test images, just looking at them
6 - I am printing from LR Print mode after selecting the appropriate paper profile and I am NOT making any adjustment (e.g., the brightness and contrast sliders you point out as being kludges)
7 - when I Bought my printer I also bought some Canon paper - Pro Luster and Pro Premium Matte to get myself started
8 - I can make nice prints using the Luster but not the Matte
9 - So I decided to try some other papers and purchased a couple of sample sets from HahnemŁhle and Red River
10 - to be sure I am comparing apples to apples I have been making test prints as described above for each of the papers in the kits
11 - I am getting good prints to evaluate the various papers including Canonís Luster and Premium Matte papers
12 - So I know from this that it is possible to make a good print using my Pixma Pro-10 and OEM inks on all of the papers tested

OK, so that is the background. My issue is that when I try to make a print using several of my own images using soft proofing in LR and the proper profile for Canon Premium Matte the onscreen image looks terrible - overall low contrast, muddy, and hazy. If I just make a straight print (i.e., after editing in LR but without any changes made in soft proofing) I get a print that is much closer to the LR screen image in Develop mode with soft proofing OFF. So, while the resulting print may not be anything Iíd consider finished and worthy of wall hanging, it is not a terrible print - it just doesnít look like the screen image in soft proofing which is much, much worse.

This only appears to happen for Canon Premium Matte among the matte papers I have tested thus far. For other papers, take Red River Polar Matte for instance, the straight print (using no adjustments, as described above) and the on screen soft proofing image and print are very comparable.

This lack of correspondence between the soft proof screen image and straight print for the Canon Premium Matte makes it very hard for me to know what my output print will look like if I make any adjustments to the master file in soft proofing. I bought about 150 sheets of this paper when I bought the printer - in retrospect and given the problem I am having, that was a foolish mistake, but what is done is done.  Using the current combination I canít realistically use this paper to learn to print, it is just too unpredictable. Still, having bought so much of it, Iíd like to try and make use of it rather than pitch it.

So, in the spirit of experimentation I tried printing using Canon Premium Matte paper but with the profile for Red River Polar Matte (straight unadjusted test prints). The result is: a) better than the soft proof screen image when the Canon profile is used, and b) a better print than the straight test print where I used Canonís appropriate profile.

To restate my questions then:
1 - is Canonís profile for their Premium Matte paper just a lousy profile?  And hence am I beating my head against a wall trying to get it to work?
2 - is there something I may be doing wrong with this one matte paper that I could easily fix and then get better results with it?
3 - Has anyone else encountered the same problem with this paper and profile and if so, how did you correct the issue?
4 - Has anyone found an alternative profile for this paper that works better for them?

OK, sorry for such a long winded post, but I wanted to be sure I provided as much info and clarity as I could think of. Thank you for your input. I look forward to watching more of you videos Andrew!
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 10:30:40 am »

I checked the Canon Pro10 Prem. Matte paper profile. It's fine with an L* min of 16. It's normal for a matte paper to have much lighter blacks than luster or glossy paper. Profiles simply show the difference. However, there are several factors at work that can make soft proofing look poorer than the normal screen image. This is especially the case with matte papers. It's normal for a matte print to look worse than the screen image but better than the soft proof screen image.  What profile did you specifically use? You have to compare apples to apples. Some "matte" papers aren't really matte and are closer to semigloss and these will look better soft proofing and print better as well. These so-called matte papers have a sheen that can be seen if you hold them at an angle and have a light on the opposite side. True matte papers have no sheen and look the same at any angle.
Luster paper blacks reflect about 4 times less light than matte papers so that's why the soft proofs look much better.

As a starting point, when soft proofing matte paper you should use a Photoshop surround that's light gray, not dark gray or black. This is a closer match to how you view a print which isn't against a black or very dark background.

You need to set up a side by side comparison with a proper light booth. You will find that soft proofing works quite well against a print viewed properly. See Digitaldog's videos on this subject. They are quite good - some of the best on the web.

Doug, thank you for the reply.  Please see my response to Andrew above for more information.

Regarding L*min = 16 - I am afraid Iím too much of a newbie to digital printing to know what that means or how to use your info. Can you please clarify it?

I use a gray surround for editing but when I check soft proof the surround goes to white - I will change that to 50% gray to match my editing. Thanks for the suggestion!

Do you have any further suggestions given the additional detail I provided to Andrew above?

Just to reiterate I do not see this discrepancy with other papers and their appropriate profiles, including other matte papers. The problem only occurs with the Canon Premium Matte and its profile.

Thanks again for your input.
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digitaldog

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 11:34:51 am »

The video, despite the name does not ONLY address dark prints and in fact cover calibration aimed at matching a properly illuminated print next to the display.
The print and display don't match. Most likely due to incorrect display calibration.
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Andrew Rodney
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 12:55:38 pm »

I understand that Andrew, but as I mentioned in my posts, Iím not having the same problem with other matte papers. The problem really only shows up with the Canon Premium Matte. At least for me.  Because this only happens with the one paper I am wondering why?  I would think that if this was just a lighting problem that it would happen with other papers too, right?  And I am wondering what I can do about it so that I can get more use out of this particular paper that I have about 125 sheets of. Thanks for your comments!
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digitaldog

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2020, 12:59:21 pm »

I understand that Andrew, but as I mentioned in my posts, Iím not having the same problem with other matte papers. The problem really only shows up with the Canon Premium Matte. At least for me.  Because this only happens with the one paper I am wondering why?  I would think that if this was just a lighting problem that it would happen with other papers too, right?  And I am wondering what I can do about it so that I can get more use out of this particular paper that I have about 125 sheets of. Thanks for your comments!
Itís a different paper so you shouldnít expect ONE calibration to be ideal for all outputís. But again, it might be the soft proof table and output table are way out of sync. In which case a custom profile might solve the issue. But the ideal process is using a smart reference display system whoís calibration is targeted for each paper contrast ratio, paper white etc.
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Andrew Rodney
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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2020, 02:35:10 pm »

Itís a different paper so you shouldnít expect ONE calibration to be ideal for all outputís. But again, it might be the soft proof table and output table are way out of sync. In which case a custom profile might solve the issue. But the ideal process is using a smart reference display system whoís calibration is targeted for each paper contrast ratio, paper white etc.

In general, when softproofing images in Photoshop, where the print will be a matte print with low contrast, the soft proof raises the blacks until the contrast ratio matches the print.  Rather than lowering the white until the the preview matches the print contrast.

I'm not sure this is the best approach, but this is what we have. Even with printing on glossy papers, I find it best sometimes to view the soft proof with a white or near white surround to give the "proper" impression of the actual print.

As an alternative, you might create a display calibration/profile with low contrast (raise the blacks a bit, lower the white point) and skip the soft proof, and this might just do the trick for you with this paper.  Some experimenting required :)
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Bruce Alan Greene
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Doug Gray

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 02:45:57 pm »

Doug, thank you for the reply.  Please see my response to Andrew above for more information.

Regarding L*min = 16 - I am afraid Iím too much of a newbie to digital printing to know what that means or how to use your info. Can you please clarify it?

L* stands for Luminance and goes from 0 to 100 where 0 is perfectly black and 100 is a perfect white. The scale uses a curve so that it looks visually linear, for instance, L*=50 corresponds to middle gray or the third square from the bottom right of a standard ColorChecker. A min L* of 16 indicates that deep blacks can't be printed. It's the limit of how black a print on that paper can be. It's quite typical of matte papers.
Quote


I use a gray surround for editing but when I check soft proof the surround goes to white - I will change that to 50% gray to match my editing. Thanks for the suggestion!

This was unexpected since a white surround should make the limit on blacks less apparent. However, I recalled something that happened when I was checking the OEM profiles against my custom profiles on the Canon 9500 II. It turned out the Canon profiles were not correctly made. Or rather, they are V 2.0 specs. which had significant areas that were poorly defined. Different companies would interpret them differently. Specifically, Relative Colorimetric tables to the printer had black point compensation baked in. This interpretation was corrected in 2003. This is unlike the Canon Pro1000 profiles which  are correctly made. So I checked and the problem is also there for the Pro10 OEM profiles. The impact is particularly severe on matte papers. It's there on the non-matte papers but has much less impact because the L* min is much lower.

Other profiles from places like Red River are correctly made but may be a little different since they didn't use your printer to make the profiles. You could have custom profiles made for the Pro 10 and you should see much more consistent soft proofing and should be quite close to those from other paper suppliers.

There may be issues as well with the display/soft proof setup but this problem accounts for the differences you see between matte profiles.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 02:53:38 pm by Doug Gray »
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2020, 05:39:15 pm »

Itís a different paper so you shouldnít expect ONE calibration to be ideal for all outputís. But again, it might be the soft proof table and output table are way out of sync. In which case a custom profile might solve the issue. But the ideal process is using a smart reference display system whoís calibration is targeted for each paper contrast ratio, paper white etc.

Thanks Andrew, I have other HahnemŁhle and Red River Paterson order. Iím probably better served working with them and the Canon Luster where I donít have the issue. Once I get more comfortable with my prints maybe Iíll come back to the Canon Premium Matte just so I can get some use out of it. But since the other papers worked fine and didnít give me the headache I think my time and efforts are better spent working with them. Thanks again for your comments!
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2020, 05:42:51 pm »

As an alternative, you might create a display calibration/profile with low contrast (raise the blacks a bit, lower the white point) and skip the soft proof, and this might just do the trick for you with this paper.  Some experimenting required :)

Bruce thanks for your comment. Given that digital printing is still pretty new to me, I think I need to put my efforts into other papers where Iím not having this issue. I can always come back to Canon Premium Matte at a later date if I want to deal with it.
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2020, 05:49:02 pm »

Other profiles from places like Red River are correctly made but may be a little different since they didn't use your printer to make the profiles. You could have custom profiles made for the Pro 10 and you should see much more consistent soft proofing and should be quite close to those from other paper suppliers.

Doug,
Thanks for your comments. Red River actually provides profiles for their papers in combination with the Pixma Pro-10. Which explains why I am having good luck with soft proofing their matte paper. I think I need to stick with some of the economical Red River papers to get myself going and just back burner this Canon Premium Matte until I get more conversant in printing. Thanks again for your input.
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Doug Gray

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2020, 09:44:22 pm »

Here's a bit more info on Canon's Profiles for Pro10 and Pro1000 for PM-101 Premium Matte as well as a custom profile for their MP-101 (this paper has a lower white point) on the Pro1000.

The graphs demonstrate the incorrect behavior (first graph) of the Canon Pro-10 profile v the correct behavior of the same paper on the Pro-1000. The charts show the actual printed L* (Y axis) reported by the profile for a requested L* (X axis) using Relative Colorimetric Intent. The Pro-10 profile incorrectly shows a line that changes slope under about L*=43. The correct response should be a straight line towards the origin from the paper's actual white point down to the paper's minimum L* (max black) where it plateaus limited to the paper's darkest black.  The second (correct) profile shows this behavior and  is close to the X-rite custom profile which was made with a MP-101 (a paper not quite as white as the PM-101). Responses for Luster and glossy type papers are similar but the plateau on the left is much closer to the Y axis.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 11:08:52 pm by Doug Gray »
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Brookie

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Re: Soft Proofing Canon Premium Matte - Poor Profile?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2020, 10:18:21 pm »

The graphs demonstrate the incorrect behavior (first graph) of the Canon Pro-10 profile v the correct behavior of the same paper on the Pro-1000.

Very interesting a Doug, thank you for posting!
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