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Author Topic: What am I missing to get the colors right?  (Read 378 times)

hmendes

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What am I missing to get the colors right?
« on: May 22, 2020, 11:35:08 pm »

Hello everyone,

I started printing my photos last year on an Epson P-600 (a printer I really enjoy using). While for B&W the "advanced black and white" mode works really well, for color work I just don't seem to be able to get the colors right. I would kindly ask if you see anything obvious that I am missing to perform or check.

I use Color Navigator and i1 Display pro to create profiles for an Eizo CS 2730. I print on Hahnemühle Baryta Satin (I really like this paper). For less serious prints, I use the Epson Ultra Premium Luster. I use the profile that is provided by the respective paper makers for my printer. I am being careful to add the printer with the TCP/IP driver, not the Bonjour one. I'm on macOS Catalina and I use C1 to process RAWs.

Problem 1) From time to time, my prints would start coming out with a strong yellow-ish tone (major deviation from color). Maybe because the OS was auto-updating, and the driver configuration would then mess up as a consequence? I don't really know if that's the reason, but I realized that reinstalling the driver would fix the problem. After the last occurrence, I reset the whole printing system by wiping out everything from /Library/Printers and reinstalled all drivers. All printer-related configuration disappeared and I started from zero. I am hoping that this fixes Problem 1. I thought I'd report it anyway in case someone had a similar issue.

Problem 2) Even between driver installs, when the strong yellow-ish tone was not there, I can't get the colors right. I think that they are still a bit warmer (yellow?)... Blues are lighter, faces are warmer... I try to control my editing so the soft-proof is more accurate (I varied brightness [min/60%], white point [5000,6500], light sources around me [daylight, nighttime, my lamp]), but I cannot convince myself that any particular combination of these makes me see closer to what's been printed. Finally, the head nozzles are also all printing, so there is no clog going on (I had it once in one year, but the self cleanup worked then).

My question is: am I missing something obvious? The next thing that comes to my mind is to use these services where someone creates a custom profile for my printing combinations. Anyway, if that's the obvious thing I am missing, I would be impressed with how bad the profiles that the companies gave are... Another thing that comes to my mind is that the yellow channel of my printer is "off" somehow (it was the one that clogged last year), but I am not sure how I'd test this. A final one is that I am simply expecting too much from the hardware I have (which does not include a paper profiler or a printing booth). If that's the case, I understand, yet I'd still expect the soft proof to be a bit closer to the print after the monitor calibration. Well, I don't know what's going on and I ran out of ideas.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts. I've benefitted very much from my subscription to LuLa. The "Back to the Print" videos were very fun to watch. I also really enjoy the technical paper reviews that come from time to time (particularly those from Mark Segal). Thanks for all the information you share here - I really appreciate it!

Hammurabi Mendes
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Simon J.A. Simpson

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Re: What am I missing to get the colors right?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 06:48:03 am »

My advice would be to read some more about colour management.  There are some good and accessible books.  For free you can view Andrew Rodney's excellent articles and videos from his website.  Here:Digital Dog
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dgberg

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Re: What am I missing to get the colors right?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 07:15:21 am »

When you say nozzles are all printing you don't really say if your nozzle check is perfect with no breaks at all.

hmendes

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Re: What am I missing to get the colors right?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 03:43:14 pm »

Yes, the nozzle check is perfect. The pattern has no break in any point.

I will be glad to take a look at another book on the topic (yet I note that I have already gone through "real world color management"). Thanks for the suggestion.

If there are any other ideas, I'd appreciate! Thanks!
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kamma1

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Re: What am I missing to get the colors right?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 04:37:40 am »

Given your suspicions about the yellow, you might try Epson's ColorBase2 utility, which is supposed to calibrate your printer to the factory standard.  It's available for the P600.

Otherwise, custom profiles may help - it doesn't take much difference to shift the warmth of faces etc.  I found the Hahnemuhle generic profiles for my P800 relatively poor (in comparison to those from Canson and Fotospeed).  I now use free custom profiles from my paper supplier.

Jager

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Re: What am I missing to get the colors right?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 05:24:42 am »

If your colors are as overtly off as you describe, it's not the paper profile.  Almost certainly something in your color management chain is wonky.

A classic error is having both the print driver and the software one is printing from each managing color.  It has to be one or the other.  I'd double-check that first and make sure that's not your problem.
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