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Author Topic: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...  (Read 3627 times)

mg73

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Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« on: April 06, 2022, 10:43:05 am »

So I've had my NEC PA 301W monitor for 10-15 yrs.  I've calibrated it for years with the xrite Spectra Sensor Pro and Spectraview II that came with the monitor.  I print on 5 yr old Canon IPF 8400.  I use Photoshop CC to process.  I used a Canon for years but now shoot with a Fujifilfm 100S with Fuji GFX lenses.  I'm not a pro so I don't use the monitor 24/7 but I have used it a lot over the years. Not sure how many hours or if there is a way to check the hours on the monitor.  I'd say I'm somewhere around an advanced amateur level of photographer.  I've been calibrating monthly over the past 6 months using the following settings in a moderately darkened room:  White point: D50,  Gama 2.2, Intensity 90 cd/m2, Contrast 200:1, Color gamut Native.

I process in photoshop till I get what I like on screen.   Use factory profiles for printing.  My problem is that now the print is always significantly overall darker than what is on the monitor.  I usually have to go back and use curves to lighten up what I'm seeing on the monitor to where it's almost too bright on the monitor in order to get the print to come out at a reasonable brightness.  The darkness with the first print is most notable in the darker areas of the picture where color and detail are being lost, but it is also darker overall than what is on the monitor.  I've noticed this problem for years but it seems it's getting worse.

So I'm not sure if I have the calibration settings wrong?  Or is my monitor and/or xrite sensor getting too old to reproduce brightness accurately?  Any thoughts or suggestions?
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kers

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2022, 11:42:51 am »

To tackle these problems it is good to have a reference file - that you know from the past - printed fine.
There are some reference files out there, you could print one and see if these are too dark too.
if these print are fine you have to adjust your monitor. If these print too dark also- something is wrong with the printer, or more like likely the printing software between the computer and printer.
It could also be something you have done wrong using the printer software...wrong profile etc etc...

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digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2022, 11:44:41 am »

My problem is that now the print is always significantly overall darker than what is on the monitor.
Then calibrate the display for a visual match:

Why are my prints too dark?
Why doesn’t my display match my prints?
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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Alan Klein

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2022, 11:50:02 am »

Try Lightroom.  Aren't you paying for it in CC anyway?   It has soft proofing to use when printing. 

Also, lower the brightness - see quote below and link.  By lowering the CD, you will brighten the picture during editing so it won't come out as dark.

"The acceptable range is 80 cd/m2 to 120 cd/m2, with 100 cd/m2 being the most commonly recommended brightness for pre-press work. The brightness of the monitor is driven to a large degree by the brightness of the working environment. The brighter the working environment, the brighter the monitor will need to be."

https://www.dpbestflow.org/color/monitor-calibration-and-profiling#:~:text=The%20acceptable%20range%20is%2080,monitor%20will%20need%20to%20be.

digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2022, 12:05:33 pm »

Try Lightroom.  Aren't you paying for it in CC anyway?   It has soft proofing to use when printing.
So does the product he's using and asking about!  :o
Do you have Lightroom Classic and Photoshop CC Alan, like the OP clearly stated in his first post here?
Quote
"The acceptable range is 80 cd/m2 to 120 cd/m2, with 100 cd/m2 being the most commonly recommended brightness for pre-press work.".
Where did he say he's going prepress Alan? Are you doing prepress?
I drive my display at 150 Cd/m2. IF I followed your 'recommendation' my display would be far too dim for my print viewing conditions.
Quote
"The brighter the working environment, the brighter the monitor will need to be."
Seems you missed that.
"The reason there's so much ignorance on the subject of color management is that those who have it are so eager to regularly share it!” - The Digital Dog
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Frans Waterlander

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2022, 12:19:30 pm »

And he's off on another pi$$ing contest...
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digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2022, 12:21:15 pm »

And he's off for another pi$$ing contest...
Ah, the carpet pooper is back:
You've got to love the behaviour of someone who about once a month walks into the room, takes a dump on the carpet and departs, never to be seen again until next month.
https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=136697.msg1222178#msg1222178
See you in a month Frans? Give yourself time to come up with more excuses for your inability to take a photograph (at least Alan makes the attempt; what's your excuse today?). And post off-topic as you just did here.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2022, 12:27:45 pm by digitaldog »
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Frans Waterlander

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2022, 12:23:28 pm »

Yes, I was right: another pi$$ing contest.
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digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2022, 12:28:51 pm »

Yes, I was right: another pi$$ing contest.
Without stupidity and massive misunderstandings and confusions, we would have no one to laugh at (but Frans). Thank you for your contribution to the forums today.
It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.”- Anonymous.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2022, 12:34:56 pm »

Sorry I tipped my toe back in the water.  What a waste this forum has become. 

digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2022, 12:37:53 pm »

Sorry I tipped my toe back in the water. 
Maybe read the questions first, study the topic then dip your toe into the water.
All I did was point out what you missed and asked you to explain yourself; I fully understand you (and certainly Frans) cannot go there  :'(.
"For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" -H. L. Mencken
Quote
What a waste this forum has become. 
You are free to leave at any time sir.
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Frans Waterlander

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2022, 12:52:33 pm »

And more of the same.
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digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2022, 01:01:20 pm »

And more of the same.
Gotta get your last carpet poop laid before wondering what photography is all about Frans; understood.
And like photography, this topic you've hijacked is past your understanding and experience.
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Frans Waterlander

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2022, 01:22:49 pm »

And more...
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Doug Gray

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2022, 05:29:49 pm »

Geeze Louise, 150 cd/m^2 is right when soft proofing, w/o show paper white, under 500 Lux lighting which is what the ICC assumes prints will be viewed under.

That said, many people use lower illumination levels like 300 Lux, and those people will get the best match with 80-100 cd/m^2. So that's right for that viewing environment.

The reason is that perfectly white paper (which doesn't exist as even really good "white" paper only reflects 80-90% of the light hitting it) reflects the Lux level perpendicular to it at the equivalent of Lux/Pi cd/m^2.
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digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2022, 05:34:15 pm »

Geeze Louise, 150 cd/m^2 is right when soft proofing, w/o show paper white, under 500 Lux lighting which is what the ICC assumes prints will be viewed under.
I'm uncertain what ICC assumes. I'm not a big fan of assumptions anyway.  ;D
And of course, paper white simulation is more than about, Cd/m2; it's about the color too. Kind of important.
My print viewing conditions are fixed as defined for a GTI booth at a fixed level I can set. For primarily one print paper I use.
The OP is at 90 Cd/m2 and reports the display is too bright (prints are darker, no definition of viewing conditions), seems the solution is an adjustment to Cd/m2 OR print viewing conditions which is a possibility.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2022, 05:41:42 pm by digitaldog »
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Doug Gray

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2022, 06:11:54 pm »

I'm uncertain what ICC assumes. I'm not a big fan of assumptions anyway.  ;D
And of course, paper white simulation is more than about, Cd/m2; it's about the color too. Kind of important.
My print viewing conditions are fixed as defined for a GTI booth at a fixed level I can set. For primarily one print paper I use.
The OP is at 90 Cd/m2 and reports the display is too bright (prints are darker, no definition of viewing conditions), seems the solution is an adjustment to Cd/m2 OR print viewing conditions which is a possibility.



ICC viewing environment:

https://www.color.org/icc1-v41.pdf

Quote
1931 CIE standard colorimetric observer, and 0o/45o or 45o/0o reflectance measurement geometry. The
reference viewing condition shall be ISO 3664 viewing condition P2 using the recommended 20% surround reflectance. This is a graphics arts and photography print comparison environment using a D50 illuminant at an illumination level of 500 lux.
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digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2022, 06:21:59 pm »

I am aware of the ICC doc; how is that an assumption?
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Doug Gray

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2022, 06:32:50 pm »

I am aware of the ICC doc; how is that an assumption?

It's just a description of the viewing environment ICC profiles were designed for. D50, 500 Lux. To get a monitor to match side by side, you need about 150 cd/m^2 when using soft proofing w/o view paper white. When using "view paper white" you need need about 180 cd/m^2 so that the drop off after selecting view paper white gets you down to the actual, lower, reflectance of real life papers.

I tend to like "view paper white" when soft proofing. Mostly because it doesn't require changing monitor settings with difference paper's white points. That said, the "make my print look ugly" effect is pretty real and distracting w/o taking precautions as you have noted.
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digitaldog

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Re: Calibration issue with NEC PA301W. Prints too dark...
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2022, 07:03:24 pm »

Geeze Louise, 150 cd/m^2 is right when soft proofing, w/o show paper white, under 500 Lux lighting which is what the ICC assumes prints will be viewed under.

I am aware of the ICC doc; how is that an assumption?

It's just a description of the viewing environment ICC profiles were designed for. D50, 500 Lux.
Again, I'm aware of this recommendation but I'm totally lost about the bit about an assumption. If I'm a bit confused by your suggestions, what about the OP and do you have something to suggest for his issue: prints appear darker than his display?
Let me make it perfectly clear I am not suggesting any Cd/m2 settings (mine or otherwise) for the OP or anyone else; that's folly to do and can only be provided based on assumptions.
IF someone clearly defines they are using the same NEC PA as I do, the same software and colorimeter and viewing conditions, and the same paper I use, I could provide a recommendation as a starting point. We are not there.
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