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Author Topic: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler  (Read 24013 times)

nihil

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Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« on: January 09, 2012, 08:56:43 am »

Hello,

has anyone compared the icc-profiles from Profilemaker and i1Profiler? I consistently get visibly lighter blacks with i1Profiler, across many different papers on Epson Pro 4900, 7900, 11880 and 3880 printers. I prefer the colors from i1Profiler but the poor blacks is a deal breaker for many images. PS: It's not THAT poor, I probably wouldn't have noticed unless I compared the same test page, in which the difference is clearly visible.
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Erlend Mørk
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 09:22:16 am »

Have you measured the density of an all black patch to see what the % difference is?  Theoretically a profiling program if properly implemented should not change the black point from what the native printer driver can deliver.  I don't use either program, preferring instead to use ArgyllCMS and I know that the black point is not altered by the profile.
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pfigen

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 11:12:17 am »

So far that's something I have NOT noticed in comparing side by side prints made with profiles from both apps. Using Relative Colorimetric on a good photo paper, you'd be hard pressed to see ANY difference between the two. If anything, the ProfileMaker profiles are actually better, and the difference is in blue skies, which are ever so slightly more magenta in i1Profiler. The Perceptual tables seem, so far to be better in Profiler, but I haven't tested them extensively yet, or on enough images on matte media, where it's likely to be more of a problem.

I'm printing my targets through the Adobe Color Printer Utility and measuring with a Spectroscan and a UV filter on both.
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nihil

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 11:24:54 am »

Here are some measurements made with BabelColor CT&A:

The paper is Permajet Portrait White, printed with Perceptual. I had two profiles made with each program, measured 5 times each and then averaged:

Profilemaker 1:
C: 1,56
M: 1,59
Y: 1,62
K: 1,57

Profilemaker 2:
C: 1,56
M: 1,59
Y: 1,62
K: 1,57

i1Profiler 1:
C: 1,49
M: 1,48
Y: 1,46
K: 1,49

i1Profiler 2:
C: 1,48
M: 1,48
Y: 1,46
K: 1,49

From these data it appears that i1Profiler tries to make a neutral black, sacrificing dmax, while Profilemaker simply gives the darkest black possible.
Judging by my eye (which is all that matters to me) - The Profilemaker ones seems to be neutral, or too black to really know what tint it is. (or by stretch ever so slighly warm) The i1Profiler blacks seems dark grey with a blue/cool tint. Tints aside, the Profilemaker blacks definitely looks nicer.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 11:25:32 am by nihil »
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Erlend Mørk
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Scott Martin

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 12:01:01 pm »

From these data it appears that i1Profiler tries to make a neutral black, sacrificing dmax, while Profilemaker simply gives the darkest black possible.

Yes, that's consistant with my findings as well. That's always been one of the differences between PMP and Monaco Profiler (MP) and now PMP and i1P. In the long run, I've seen several instances where I've visually preferred the results from MP and i1P profiles.

The other thing that might effect your results are your measurements. Have you compared results with and without UV filtration, or with other instruments?

Another thing that's hard to discuss with words is the "shadow contrast". I've seen instances where the shadow contrast was nicer with MP and i1P which lead to more visually pleasing results, more "punchy blacks" if you will, even though the Dmax values we're a little weaker. In the end I think it's important to let the visual results supersede the numbers.
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Scott Martin
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Scott Martin

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2012, 12:09:17 pm »

The Profilemaker ones seems to be neutral, or too black to really know what tint it is. (or by stretch ever so slighly warm) The i1Profiler blacks seems dark grey with a blue/cool tint.

Of course your numbers suggest that the i1P blacks are neutral and that the PMP blacks are yellow. It's all relative right? Of course UV filtration can effect the entire gray axis is perceived and, in turn, how the shadow values are perceived relative to the rest of the gray axis.

Feel free to download my color evaluation image at http://www.on-sight.com/downloads/ and use the image in the lower left corner to evaluate the extreme shadows. How the lower densities are handled from 94%-100% are perhaps more important than the 100% black itself.

"Better DMax" could be defined a number of different ways. I prefer to define it, in part, by how the entire 94%-100% density range is handled, not just the raw numbers for 100%.
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digitaldog

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 12:15:30 pm »

You may also want to try an optimization of the profile in i1P. The 2502 target at the URL works quite well (or email offline, I also have a 900 patch version).

http://www.i1upgrades.com/2011/08/how-to-use-the-tc-2502-gray-optimization-chart/

Be interesting if this makes a difference. It might point to the original target used (number of patches, where in color space the patches are generated). You do know you want to create the targets in i1P and then use it there AND ProfileMaker Pro right?
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nihil

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 10:02:47 am »

Of course your numbers suggest that the i1P blacks are neutral and that the PMP blacks are yellow. It's all relative right? Of course UV filtration can effect the entire gray axis is perceived and, in turn, how the shadow values are perceived relative to the rest of the gray axis.

I use an eye-One Pro. I don't know if it is UV-sensitive or not. Any insight about this would be appreciated! Is there any settings regarding this that might make i1Profiler behave more like PMP regarding shadows?
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nihil

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 10:27:28 am »

"Better DMax" could be defined a number of different ways. I prefer to define it, in part, by how the entire 94%-100% density range is handled, not just the raw numbers for 100%.

In terms of separation, smoothness and general quality of the shadows (except max black of course) I'd say the i1Profiler and PMP profiles are pretty comparable.. Which wins slightly seems to vary by printer and paper.

For most images I'd say deepest possible black is not that important. But have a look at mine and you'll understand how crucial deep blacks are to me .)
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Erlend Mørk
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pfigen

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 10:56:42 am »

You may need then, to run a few tests with the ink density option in the Epson driver to see if running at +5 percent or +10 percent or something like that make a visible difference to your images. Some papers need a little bump to get the most out of them in terms of highest d-max. Print the target with, say, +5, +10 and +20 percent settings, read and profile all three, make test prints and then repeat with intermediate settings if desired. Just remember to make any subsequent prints with the same settings you printed the best target with.

You may very well find that that method gives you more pleasing prints for you individual style and preference. You can also try a modest edit in ProfileMaker's edit module to bump the blacks as well.
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nihil

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 01:10:38 pm »

You may also want to try an optimization of the profile in i1P. The 2502 target at the URL works quite well (or email offline, I also have a 900 patch version).

http://www.i1upgrades.com/2011/08/how-to-use-the-tc-2502-gray-optimization-chart/

Be interesting if this makes a difference. It might point to the original target used (number of patches, where in color space the patches are generated). You do know you want to create the targets in i1P and then use it there AND ProfileMaker Pro right?

I will try your tip about the gray optimization chart soon, but something tells me that it will only optimize grays, and not really do anything about the pure black? For the record I made all my i1P-profiles with 1720-patch targets.

I didn't know you could use i1Profiler targets with Profilemaker, but I managed to figure it out. I exported the targets and measurements from i1P and created the icc-profile with PMP. The result is a profile almost exactly like the ones i made with PMP alone in every regard. Blacks as deep PMP too.

So the problem remains. i1Profiler for slightly better colors or PMP for much better blacks. As for i1Profiler trying to neutralize the black (into "neutral dark grey"), I experimented with the "Neutralize gray"-slider: With either minimum(0) or maximum(100) the results are identical to my eye. Perhaps because the paper (Permajet Portrait White) is already pretty white.
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Erlend Mørk
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digitaldog

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 01:28:56 pm »

The target contains pure black, so it may.
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nihil

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 08:29:56 am »

The target contains pure black, so it may.
I measured the gray optimization charts and here are the results from BabelColor CT&A (again 5 times each and averaged)

Profilmaker TC9.18:
C: 1,66
M: 1,69
Y: 1,73
K: 1,68

i1Profiler 1720 patches
C: 1,59
M: 1,59
Y: 1,57
K: 1,60

i1Profiler 1720 patches + 2520 patches gray chart
C: 1,60
M: 1,62
Y: 1,62
K: 1,61

So there is a slight improvement. Now at least the blacks don't have that blue tint (to my eye). But that's a lot of work for not getting even half-way to the Profilemaker ones.. Thank you for your tip though.
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Erlend Mørk
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MonsterBaby

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 06:13:43 pm »

not really this topic.. but i just read the 4096 patches target yesterday with my DTP 20 for harman baryta glossy.. and used the same data to build 2 profiles with PM (color and crome) and one with the APS of HP and get totally !!! different colors using perceptual.. even the extreme colors are viewable different!.. the shadow detail is visibly best with PM crome..
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Jalok

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2012, 06:05:21 pm »

Hello,

has anyone compared the icc-profiles from Profilemaker and i1Profiler? I consistently get visibly lighter blacks with i1Profiler, across many different papers on Epson Pro 4900, 7900, 11880 and 3880 printers. I prefer the colors from i1Profiler but the poor blacks is a deal breaker for many images. PS: It's not THAT poor, I probably wouldn't have noticed unless I compared the same test page, in which the difference is clearly visible.

Sorry to be late on this subject. I recently purchased a new desktop printer (a Canon iP4800 series) and, because most pictures I will print with it does not justify paying OEM-ink extra costs (I don't sell prints and many of them are just to be shared with friends and relatives), I was waiting for some ordered non-OEM inks to arrive. After the initial profiling round, I unfortunately noticed that the i1Profiler generated profiles render too light blacks for most papers I use. For some of them (Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl 290g, Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Duo 276g, plain offset paper) this is not a deal breaker problem, as black, while lighter than what I get with Canon OEM ink and i1Profiler combination (or with non-OEM ink and PM5 combination), is acceptably dark enough. But for the rest, the achieved blacks are too light to live with. The images become dull, almost no punch and the overall contrast (not only at the shadows) is unacceptable. I could simply go back to PM5 for those papers and no more questions about this subject. But as many of you may agree, it's easy to get used to the qualities of i1Profiler: gradient smoothness, gray axis neutrality and natural transitions and saturation. On these things, i1Profiler has a clear superiority over the the old PM5. Unfortunately, i1Profiler has also an exaggerated tendency to inclination to neutralize all the gray ramp, throwing out even those deep shadows with casts that would be unnoticeable by naked eyes.   

Justice must be made, and according to some additional tests I have done, I discovered that it's not all fault of i1Profiler though. The OCP dye-based black ink (the IJBK-124) and Canon drivers for the iP4800 printer have parts of them. Canon iP4500 printer with CLI-8BK OEM cartridge produces a raw black patch of Lab = (3.97, -0.61, -2.12), while the newer iP4800, also with an OEM black cartridge, gets a black patch of Lab = (5.65, -1.22, -1.59). Also, the IJBK-124 OCP ink is not only lighter than CLI-226BK OEM ink but also less neutral than the latter. It gets a raw black patch of Lab = (9.92, 3.70, -10.25). These scores were achieved with the same media settings and the same paper. As I already said, I could live with these L/Dmax scores (I get even darker black Lab of (6.52, 7.85, -6.96) with Ilford GS Pearl) but i1Profiler simplies throw them out because of they're too much off the gray-axis, so it rises the rendered black point to an unacceptable L value for most papers I have. As for the small part of papers I achieved almost neutral raw black with non-OEM inks (Hahnemuehle Rag Duo and plain offset papers), i1Profiler profiles gave me almost as good/dark black as PM5 ones did.

I'm currently tempted to mix the Canon OEM dye-based black with the other OCP dye inks, or try to find another OCP compatible black darker and/or more neutral than the IJBK-124 one, or even other non-OEM brand of ink. Before going on with this, does anyone know how to edit i1Profiler profiles so they could render shadows nearer to a not so neutral raw black? Or is it feasable to mix parts of profiles tables? What tool would do it?
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nihil

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 08:33:44 pm »

[....]I could live with these L/Dmax scores (I get even darker black Lab of (6.52, 7.85, -6.96) with Ilford GS Pearl) but i1Profiler simplies throw them out because of they're too much off the gray-axis, so it rises the rendered black point to an unacceptable L value for most papers I have[....]
It's sad i1Profiler doesn't offer us the choice to neutralize/lighten blacks or not. If you or anyone else figure out a solution some day, please let me know.
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Erlend Mørk
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Jalok

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2012, 09:59:32 am »

It's sad i1Profiler doesn't offer us the choice to neutralize/lighten blacks or not. If you or anyone else figure out a solution some day, please let me know.

Yesterday I printed some targets on a cheap RC paper with the combination of cyan, magenta and yellow OCP inks and black Canon OEM ink. Profiling it today, those deep blacks came back but, because gamut grows a bit decentralized at the Lab diagram (although black is as dark as L=7, 1st and 2nd quadrants are only populated at L>=17), dark reds and dark greens (L<17) are badly printed. But it was the best result after profiling that printer/paper combination with all Canon OEM cartridges. It's now clearer than ever to me that the black ink darkness is not the only factor of the light black problem, but also its neutrality. While the OCP black ink is only 4 L units lighter than the OEM one, i1Profiler produces with the former a profile 10 L units lighter than with the latter. Maybe a better solution (besides using PM5 Chroma+ ou Colorful Paper-colored Gray) is to purchase non-OEM inks with hues as similar as possible with the Canon OEM inks, even their black were not so dark. Or to use a RIP which would control, at ink level, the balance between those inks. I expected PrintFab would do this for the desktop printer I use, but unfortunately the only controls that work before applying a colorprofile to the driver are "type of paper", "print quality" and "ink saturation limit", second to the response to an inquiry I posted at their website.
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Jalok

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2012, 09:14:10 pm »

I've done some additional tests with the mixing of OEM and non-OEM inks and should say it has some problems that forced me to abandon this attempt. Surely the OEM black gave me a darker and more neutral black. But, as the other inks do not converge into this "black", there are some smoothnessless problems into transitions between shadows and pure black. So, the best solution is profiling with PM5 and choose Colorful Paper-colored Gray rendering indeed. PM5 PcG solves another problem with Canon dual pigment/dye black cartridges. As i1Profiler throws the absolute black out, its profiles never lead to usage of pigment black when printing on plain paper. There's no black ink, even for text. PM5 profile, otherwise, triggers the pigment ink when printing texts or even part of pictures with black ou very-near-black tones.

Hope one day X-Rite implements an option in i1Profiler that would imitate the Paper-colored Gray we have in PM5.

Another update: I downloaded yesterday a trial version of basICColor Print 3, which let me experiment all its features for 14 days. I reprofiled two papers (among them the most problematic ones regarding to the black lightness) using the i1Profiler data, which was imported seamlessly. I was impressed with some extraordinary features, like the possibility to implement a rendering similar to the relative intent with black compensation in place of perceptual intent (nice to be used with software without native BC). Also, it has a variable setting for OBA compensation, from 0 to 100, that could be finetuned better than the PM5 on/off feature. And best of all, basICColor Print 3 renders colors and gradients something like i1Profiler. Unfortunately, for both papers I worked on, its profiles produced a subtle yellow cast and the grayscales had some problems between midtones and shadows. Maybe it would have better performance if I used its own targets. I was afraid basICColor Print could magically solve everything because I wouldn't have 1,200 EUR to spend on that beast! Until now, the king of not-so-good combinations of printer, ink and paper is Profilemaker indeed.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 04:58:42 am by Jalok »
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narikin

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2012, 11:04:25 am »

You may also want to try an optimization of the profile in i1P. The 2502 target at the URL works quite well (or email offline, I also have a 900 patch version).

http://www.i1upgrades.com/2011/08/how-to-use-the-tc-2502-gray-optimization-chart/

Be interesting if this makes a difference. It might point to the original target used (number of patches, where in color space the patches are generated). You do know you want to create the targets in i1P and then use it there AND ProfileMaker Pro right?

Interesting link, thanks Andrew.

But... back to the OP - I too have noticed far better DMax in all colors with older PM profiles than i1 profile. its dramatic and clearly visible to the untrained eye.  Both in profiles made professionally (by 'experts') and by me with iSis XL and i1profiler, so its not my spectro being out.

Amazed this is not getting more commentary.

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Jalok

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Re: Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2012, 04:08:57 am »

It's sad i1Profiler doesn't offer us the choice to neutralize/lighten blacks or not. If you or anyone else figure out a solution some day, please let me know.

Yesterday I have the idea of playing with CMY adjusters at Color Adjustment tab of printer driver settings. I do not know if those adjustments are applied at an ink level or just at RGB level (as the raw 0,0,0 black does not change), but I decided to go on with this experiment anyway. I printed raw (color unamanaged) sets of 100%, 90%, 70%, 50%, 30% and 10% gray patches with different CMY adjusting values until I find the numbers which produced the most neutral raw grayscale after a reasonable curing time. A kind of preprofiling calibration. For example, the settings found were CMY = (-12, -4, 26) for a given paper. So I reprinted the usual set of targets, waited overnight and then reprofiled it using i1Profiler. The result was a black almost as dark as the one I have got with ProfileMaker/Paper-colored Gray and default printing settings. PM5 profile has still a bit more punch, but now i1P one has enough contrast combined with its native smoothness, natural saturation and color precision qualities. Also, I have got bigger gamut through all L scale, mainly at shadows. I think additional playing with Brightness, Intensity and/or Contrast parameters before printing targets would produce even darker black and better looking profiles, but for now I have not enough time to test all those possibilities.

So, the problem with i1Profiler is, indeed, its insistence to neutralize the grayscale at all costs. When the paper/ink combination naturally prints not-too-high a/b values for gray raw patches, i1Profiler is ok. But when this is not the case, i1P absurdly rises, without limits, black point until it finds a neutral one. I wish i1Profiler neutral-gray dimmer for perceptual rendering could produce more visible difference between 0 and 100 values, not only for lighter shades of gray but also for those near-black ones -- something like the differences we get between PM5 Neutral Gray and Paper-colored Gray settings.
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