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Author Topic: B&W printing options  (Read 118781 times)

Garnick

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #80 on: December 10, 2014, 10:15:52 am »

Alan, I see that you use ABW (Advanced B&W mode) on a Windows computer. I currently use it on my MacPro, but am running an older OS -- 10.6.8.

I have not updated my operating system for fear that I will not be able to use Advanced B&W mode. Since I work in B&W 90% of the time, I need the ABW mode. Does anyone know whether ABW will be gone if I upgrade to OS 10.10 (code name Yosemite)?

Hello Jan,

I haven't been in here for a few days and just read your post.  I share your hesitation to upgrade the OS.  My business is centred around my 9900 and any downtime due to OS issues etc are not at all productive.  For more years than I care to admit I have maintained at least three clones(SuperDuper) of my OS and Apps partition on my main drive(Mac HD).  These clones all reside on separate drives and it takes only a couple of minutes to reboot and be working again should there be an issue with the main drive partition.  I also create a fourth clone of the OS and Apps when testing a new OS or update.  That way I can test all of the apps I normally use on a daily basis to make sure everything is working correctly.  The clone method is also very useful when testing, since all of my apps are cloned as well.  The testing can be done after hours or any other convenient time.  I will usually set up a schedule and check off each app as tested and ready for the new OS.  I can then go ahead and install the new OS Upgrade on the main drive and be confident that everything will run as expected.  In your case I would not advise upgrading to OS X 10.10.x directly from 10.6.8.  As a matter of fact I believe Apple suggests running Lion at least before upgrading to Yosemete.  You might want to look into that.  I'm on Mavericks and of course ran the Clone tests before upgrading from Lion.  As usual I will wait for a few months before entertaining the possibility of jumping on the Yosemete bandwagon, even though I have already downloaded the upgrade installer.  As usual, I'll follow the input from the great folks here at Lula concerning Yosemete and the Epson Pro Printers, and then initiate my own clone test procedures.  Hope perhaps some of this is helpful Jan.

Gary

     
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Mark D Segal

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #81 on: December 10, 2014, 10:54:12 am »

Hi Gary,

Very prudent and sensible advice. My procedure isn't quite as deep as yours, but similar in approach and then again I have lighter requirements. I have Snow Leopard on one drive and Mavericks on another. Then I have an external 4TB G-Tech split into two partitions for clones of the two operating systems. I use Bombich Software's Carbon Copy Cloner to up-date the clones every day that anything significant is added to the system, be it software or documents. Like you, I adopt a conservative approach to system upgrading. I am not an early adopter, in fact only do it when some piece of software or other requires it. This is based on the leave well enough alone philosophy, but if you buy a camera which needs LR5 to demosaic the raw file and LR can't operate on Snow Leopard, bingo, upgrading becomes a necessary part of progress. Anyhow, I'm pleased to report that I have had ZERO problems operating all the usual stuff in Mavericks - the Adobe Suite, Lightroom, the Epson 4900, SilverFast, LSI PrinTao, etc. etc.
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cortlander

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Re: B&W printing options - printing from LR to QTR
« Reply #82 on: December 10, 2014, 05:16:35 pm »

I have been using Lightroom 5 ABW mode to print and had not considered QTR until I read this thread. I downloaded and installed the software and installed profiles for Epson 3880 on a Mac OS X 10.9 system. I printed a sheet, no problem. However, I cannot find where in Lightroom one can adjust the curves. All documentation, including my Digital Print book, shows this happening in Photoshop. So how do LR users adjust the three QTR curves?

Thank you.
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TylerB

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #83 on: December 10, 2014, 08:32:37 pm »

lower left in LR- "Print Settings", will bring up the print dialog, select the Quad3880 printer, make sure little arrow to the right is up (click on it), where it says layout scroll to QuadToneRIP.. there you will find all your controls. Selct and save, then back in LR go ahead and print...
You'll also find more informed users here-
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/QuadtoneRIP/info
good group to join
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cortlander

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #84 on: December 10, 2014, 08:46:14 pm »

lower left in LR- "Print Settings", will bring up the print dialog, select the Quad3880 printer, make sure little arrow to the right is up (click on it), where it says layout scroll to QuadToneRIP.. there you will find all your controls. Selct and save, then back in LR go ahead and print...
You'll also find more informed users here-
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/QuadtoneRIP/info
good group to join

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I googled and searched and could not find it anywhere. Thanks a million!
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #85 on: February 02, 2015, 06:40:55 pm »

On the original topic, here's an interesting read: http://www.bwmastery.com/blog/2015/abw-vs-qtr
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dhodson60

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2015, 11:07:26 am »

I'm new to B&W printing so I really appreciated all of the information - thank you.  I don't want to steal this thread but I'm wondering if available paper profiles would impact a decision. Someone using ABW for instance, would be able to download and use the paper manufacturers profile and therefore have ready access to way more paper profiles than an a Piezography who needs a specific profile for the inks.  Or would you create custom profiles anyway.

I recently converted a 3880 to a piezography ink set (Selenium) and I'm still on the learning curve.  I'm in northern Canada however.  I don't have access to a lot of papers and shipping is expensive for the ones I can get.  Chalk it up to inexperience but I didn't understand the impact of available paper profiles at the time and now I'm finding my paper choices are limited to the profiles supplied in QTR (which isn't necessarily what I can get).  If I want a paper that doesn't have a profile in QTR I can get one custom made by Ink Jet Mall for a fee but other than that, my choices are limited to the supplied profiles.

Knowing this wouldn't have changed my decision - once I know more, I'll settle on a combination that works.  I'm just curious what the more knowledgeable users are doing.

Thanks
Dave
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Ken Doo

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2015, 11:19:20 am »

Dave it takes some digging around, but depending on your Epson printer model, the curves for piezography can be "shared" amongst those with similar models.  So for example, your 3880 can also utilize curves from the 3800, 7880/9880, 9800, etc....  There are different papers available in the curves folders; you just need to find them, and then try the curves on the various papers.  If you feel you like a paper after that point, then you can consider a custom curve if you need it.  I "discovered" this on my own with a K7 converted 9800, after determining that some of the 9800 curves were bad for some papers, yet when I "borrowed" curves for the 7880 or others, they looked fine. 

I'm now using a converted K7 B&W 9890. For me I've found it best to select the papers that I like best, and stick with those.  I consistently find myself reaching for Cone 2 and Cone 5, though I really like the papers from Canson as well.  PM sent.

ken

Some Guy

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #88 on: February 04, 2015, 12:35:41 pm »

You can create your own piezo profiles if you have a spectrometer that can give you a Lab value.  You just need the L number though.
On Inkjetmall's piezo website there is a Linearization chart that you plug in your L values and see if it is linear or not over a 21 step chart.  If it is off, you can open that *.quad file under QuadToneRIP>QuadTone>Quadxxxx-K7 with Notepad++ and take the 255 numerical values for any ink color and import the range into a spreadsheet and apply a plus or minus percentage value to raise or lower that particular ink to move the linearization error up or down into being a straight line.

QTR shows the 7-8 inks as colors and if the middle needs a boost, you concentrate on the inks shown in the middle and work on the 255 numbers in the *.quad file to shift it up or down applying something like a 0.90 times whatever value ink is in that range, or a 1.10 times whatever to move it the other direction on the curve.

Sort of hard to explain and it takes some time to do.  Maybe easier to pay them them the $100, but you can do it in an evening and probably straighter than they can do if you keep working it.  I've made about twenty 21 step panels on one sheet of 8.5x11 inch paper and altered the ink densities for each to make it about as straight as I could.

Basically you read the L value.  Put them into the IJM Linearization spreadsheet.  See where the highs or lows are.  Examine the colors in QTR curves.  Open the QUAD file used in Notepad++ (Freeware).  Import it as text into a spreadsheet.  Look for the ink to shift like C.  Apply a pos/neg. multiplier to all the 255 values in that ink range. Save the file.  Put it into the QuadTone folder.  And try again in QTR and see if it is closer to the IJM Linearization straight line.

SG
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #89 on: February 04, 2015, 03:49:47 pm »

SG have you floated this on the IJM forum?
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dhodson60

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #90 on: February 04, 2015, 04:56:00 pm »

Thanks Ken - that'll give me a few more options while I sort this out.  Cone papers are expensive to get shipped here so I'm trying to find the best locally available alternative that works.  I checked out the Inkpress Pro Baryta but both ITSupplies and Vistek were out of stock when I looked.

Dave
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dhodson60

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #91 on: February 04, 2015, 05:15:53 pm »

SG - As Jeff mentions, you might want to check about creating profiles for piezography inks on the IJM forum.  I know that Jon Cone has indicated in past posts that paper/ink profiles need to be created by them.

If you find out differently, I'd be interested to know.

Thanks
Dave
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #92 on: February 04, 2015, 06:02:40 pm »

Dave,

You can also ask on the IJM forum. This week I asked about Harman FB Matt, and had no luck. Today, I asked about Canson Rag Photographique and Dana provided a profile.
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Some Guy

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #93 on: February 04, 2015, 07:38:21 pm »

Fwiw, here is a linearization I did some time ago.  In the upper right is the chart with the 21 steps in RGB that is read into the piezogrpahy linearization spreadsheet post in IJM piezo site.

The black line under the pink line is mine corrected.  About as linear as I could do after maybe 15 changes in the quad file in Notepad++ that I worked between QTR Curves (The color bar chart in QTR that shows the color ink humps) and the spreadsheet with the values transferred from Notepad++ and back into a QUAD file.

Once you understand what color ink occurs on the pink line in the linearization, you can work the values up or down in the QUAD in a spreadsheet and save as another QUAD text file file.

No, I have not mentioned it in their forums as they make money doing the profiles.  I just don't want to wait.  Wasn't too crazy from the canned K7 profiles since my printer wasn't all that linear from them so a bit of experimentation was in order.  All you are doing is moving the ink up and down in the Y-axis in the QTR colors and not left/right on the X-axis (unless you want to shift the values of "0" in the quad file).  All I do is take some value of say Magenta Ink at line 1,500  that shows 10,000 and make a multiplier of some value like 0.9 to make it 9,000 or 1.1 to make it 11,000 which is less ink at that point or more.  Of course you do it to all values around it too, just not the zero values at the extremes within the 255 range of the Magenta numbers.

Of course you need to read the chart valures and plug those into the linearization chart and see if it matches the pink line.  I use an i1 PhotoPro 2 head with the spot attachment.  Haven't had much luck in doing a auto-sweep into ColorPort though, but 21 steps manually read isn't too bad.

I also attached an image of a bad one prior to correction where you can see the black line waver.  You need to guesstimate which color you attack in the curve from the QTR Color Curve and apply percentage change corrections to the values in the Quad file.  Does take a while, but you can get to making it as linear as the image with the 21 step chart.

SG

Opps... Corrected image with 21 step image didn't upload.  Corrected - I hope!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 08:22:12 pm by Some Guy »
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dhodson60

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #94 on: February 04, 2015, 07:54:18 pm »

SG - just goes to show you how far down the learning curve I am.  So much to learn, so little time.  Nice work, hopefully I'll get there some day.

Thanks
Dave
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Jeff-Grant

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #95 on: February 04, 2015, 07:58:56 pm »

Me too, Dave. I started this thread a while back. It has been quite an interesting read.
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richardboutwell

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #96 on: February 06, 2015, 11:49:49 am »

Jeff, first off, thanks for linking to my post. I've been getting a small exhibition together for the last few days and haven't had a chance to respond sooner. As I mentioned in one of the comments, I am working on getting a comparison posted of prints made with QTR, QTR with MIS Eboni-6- and with Piezography K6 and K7. In doing so I found that my two printers that I have cone inks loaded in are so out of whack that it wouldn't make an appropriate comparison (one is an older 3800 and one a brand new 1430).

About SomeGuy's method for altering the .quad file: Yes that is doable, but that method involves too much trial and too much error for what I would want to do. Applying a "global" % correction to one channel at a time where you think the problem is wont fix possible reversals or bumps in the curve—you would just be moving those bumps up or down the scale—If you made measurements of the 51 step target or created an 86 step target I bet you would see little bumps where the printer might be out just a little—if you print a smooth gradient or bullseye target it would make those problems with the printer/profile more apparent. If you are going to go through all that trouble, you could just make QTR curves from scratch the way people do with the MIS inks—it would take the 1/10 the time and would probably be smoother and more accurate, although it wouldn't have the exact shape of the Piezography curves.

I've been testing a prototype of something that does an automatic .quad correction in one shot and with just one measurement file (well, an average of one to three samples of one target). It is meant fix those kinds of nonlinear/bumps/reversal problems, because that is exactly what my printer was doing, and because those kinds of problems prevent the QTR linearization function from working with the standard QTR profile creation workflow. Without getting into too much detail, I was able to fix the issues and reprinted my show with new Cone Carbon K6 inks and these modified .quad curves. If anyone is in the Bethlehem, PA area this Saturday (2/7) from 6-10PM and wants to see prints made with this method, here is the link: http://www.richardboutwell.com/blog/2015/1/25/objects-of-our-discontent


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Some Guy

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #97 on: February 06, 2015, 01:12:33 pm »

Jeff, first off, thanks for linking to my post. I've been getting a small exhibition together for the last few days and haven't had a chance to respond sooner. As I mentioned in one of the comments, I am working on getting a comparison posted of prints made with QTR, QTR with MIS Eboni-6- and with Piezography K6 and K7. In doing so I found that my two printers that I have cone inks loaded in are so out of whack that it wouldn't make an appropriate comparison (one is an older 3800 and one a brand new 1430).

About SomeGuy's method for altering the .quad file: Yes that is doable, but that method involves too much trial and too much error for what I would want to do. Applying a "global" % correction to one channel at a time where you think the problem is wont fix possible reversals or bumps in the curve—you would just be moving those bumps up or down the scale—If you made measurements of the 51 step target or created an 86 step target I bet you would see little bumps where the printer might be out just a little—if you print a smooth gradient or bullseye target it would make those problems with the printer/profile more apparent. If you are going to go through all that trouble, you could just make QTR curves from scratch the way people do with the MIS inks—it would take the 1/10 the time and would probably be smoother and more accurate, although it wouldn't have the exact shape of the Piezography curves.

I've been testing a prototype of something that does an automatic .quad correction in one shot and with just one measurement file (well, an average of one to three samples of one target). It is meant fix those kinds of nonlinear/bumps/reversal problems, because that is exactly what my printer was doing, and because those kinds of problems prevent the QTR linearization function from working with the standard QTR profile creation workflow. Without getting into too much detail, I was able to fix the issues and reprinted my show with new Cone Carbon K6 inks and these modified .quad curves. If anyone is in the Bethlehem, PA area this Saturday (2/7) from 6-10PM and wants to see prints made with this method, here is the link: http://www.richardboutwell.com/blog/2015/1/25/objects-of-our-discontent



I agree with some of this, however I doubt using 8 inks 'that overlap' in QTR's curves with the QUAD files that you will visibly see it providing it is linear with as few as 21 steps.

If a target had 255 steps and the printer had 255 different shades of black, maybe one black not working would show up in the 255 steps.  However, as it stands with the K7 quad profiles in QTR, they overlap ink-to-ink so the chance of something going visibly off is unlikely.  More likely the printer will not print an "exact" copy print-to-print due to nozzle mis-firing, random clogs during a run, air pressure, ink separation, etc.  This is really not an exact science, imho, and even same models of printers differ, sometimes day-to-day too for whatever reason.  Even the hardware that reads it may drift in a few hours of use.

What I do does require a lot of trial and error and it gets tedious until you get in the grove of learning the curves.  Take some time to learn how much percentage to change and to what color ink too.  A percentage change shows the curves and density changes somewhere and it can be tailored to make it as linear as you like.  Plus, you can flatten out the shadows for more detail, or do the opposite for the highlights.  The percentage moves the black line in the above examples up or down on the Y-axis, just applying more or less ink of that channel to the print.  The peak of the curve for that ink color remains at the same spot on the X-axis.  Only way to change the X-axis is to alter the peak numbers on each side of the peak in the Quad file and specific ink channel.  For the most part, they overlap each other adjacently (or more) as shown in QTR's color curves.

However, the problem I find is that once one gets the thing bang-on linear with a 'perfect overlap' of the pink line and black line, a subsequent run of the same step tablet might differ slightly and may not match on a subsequent run of the same tablet and settings.  Close, but it's not exact and a slight black line in the above posted images may creep out.  Probably why a tolerance is needed somewhere.  I doubt if going to 51 or 100 steps will improve on a curve of 21 steps for B&W.  A linear line is a linear line for as few inks as we use.  Can't really improve on linear even reading 5000 steps with 8 inks unless you want to look at a pixelated line which probable will not matter out of a normal printer, and I doubt if you will see a visible change in a B&W print either.

SG
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richardboutwell

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #98 on: February 06, 2015, 02:29:06 pm »

I agree with some of this, however I doubt using 8 inks 'that overlap' in QTR's curves with the QUAD files that you will visibly see it providing it is linear with as few as 21 steps.

If a target had 255 steps and the printer had 255 different shades of black, maybe one black not working would show up in the 255 steps.  However, as it stands with the K7 quad profiles in QTR, they overlap ink-to-ink so the chance of something going visibly off is unlikely.  More likely the printer will not print an "exact" copy print-to-print due to nozzle mis-firing, random clogs during a run, air pressure, ink separation, etc.  This is really not an exact science, imho, and even same models of printers differ, sometimes day-to-day too for whatever reason.  Even the hardware that reads it may drift in a few hours of use.

What I do does require a lot of trial and error and it gets tedious until you get in the grove of learning the curves.  Take some time to learn how much percentage to change and to what color ink too.  A percentage change shows the curves and density changes somewhere and it can be tailored to make it as linear as you like.  Plus, you can flatten out the shadows for more detail, or do the opposite for the highlights.  The percentage moves the black line in the above examples up or down on the Y-axis, just applying more or less ink of that channel to the print.  The peak of the curve for that ink color remains at the same spot on the X-axis.  Only way to change the X-axis is to alter the peak numbers on each side of the peak in the Quad file and specific ink channel.  For the most part, they overlap each other adjacently (or more) as shown in QTR's color curves.

However, the problem I find is that once one gets the thing bang-on linear with a 'perfect overlap' of the pink line and black line, a subsequent run of the same step tablet might differ slightly and may not match on a subsequent run of the same tablet and settings.  Close, but it's not exact and a slight black line in the above posted images may creep out.  Probably why a tolerance is needed somewhere.  I doubt if going to 51 or 100 steps will improve on a curve of 21 steps for B&W.  A linear line is a linear line for as few inks as we use.  Can't really improve on linear even reading 5000 steps with 8 inks unless you want to look at a pixelated line which probable will not matter out of a normal printer, and I doubt if you will see a visible change in a B&W print either.

SG


What you are recommending is the effectively like shooting from the hip until you hit some target. You might actually get very good at shooting from the hip too, but having good technique, knowing what you are trying to hit, and exactly how much to correct for a printer that is out of spec will get you there on the second shot every time. What you are doing might work for you, but I'd rather correct for it once for each paper and then be able to make perfect prints rather than measuring and reprinting 21 step targets and messing with text files all day.

As for how many steps and how many break up the gray scale: there are 256 (255+0) steps with a possible 65536 tones at each step. You might be able to see those tones, but they can be perceived in smooth gradients.  Printers don't spit out ink linearly (nor does the dot-gain on paper respond linearly) for all the reasons you mentioned and more, so if you are measuring and adjusting based on only 21 of those 256 steps then there is a whole lot of wiggle room there that you might not be able to observe or correct for. If you can slice the grayscale up in smaller pieces like with 51, 86, or 128 (or even 256) step charts and then average out any variation in the printer or measurement device then you have more control on how you correct for variations in the printers' native response.

Without knowing how IJM makes their custom profiles, I imagine they use 256 steps is so they can do an exact lookup of each of the 6 or 7 16-bit ink% values at each of the 256 grayscale steps. It takes out any need for interpolation and possible variation from a single 5% gray step to the next. I made my QTR profiler prototype using 51 steps and interpolating the in between values—I tried it with only 21 steps and it didn't work. I will try 86 steps next, but for now I have something that works and I can tweak it further from here.

Take a look at the screen shot and see how much wobble there can be when using 51 steps. If I measured with 21 it would be nice and smooth—maybe not linear, but smoother.

Richard

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Some Guy

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Re: B&W printing options
« Reply #99 on: February 06, 2015, 05:22:20 pm »

Fwiw, I never could get the i1 PhotoPro head to auto-scan to generate a decent set of numbers for linearization with Windows and the QTR linearization ordeal so I had to resort to trial and error.  There was some prior talk in maybe the Color Management forum here on discrepancies between manual spot reading and slide-scanning a chart.  Mine was off enough I gave up on ColorPort for slide-scans so I went to the arduous spot reading of 21 steps and manually entering the data into the spreadsheets.  Doing 50 steps manually would be too much and very doubtful if it would make it any more linear than I get now.  Would be nice if I could feed the info quickly and trusted the numbers from the i1 head, but for now I don't.  Nothing canned or supplied was as straight as I can do now, although it might take me a sheet of two of paper (The 21 step above is about 3/4" tall and 8" wide and I just move it down the page in QTR for a different quad profile so about a dozen tests per sheet.).  ColorPort is sort of a finicky software that x-rite should improve on, and supply some scanable targets as much out there doesn't read right or written for older Profiler or ColorPort software.

I suspect some of Cone's calibration is also for the look and color of the K7 inks.  Maybe expand the X-axis of the cyan for a selenium with the dark black inks (for whatever they choose for the selenium ink carrier), and maybe a warmer yellow highlight in the lighter inks.  Don't really care as I don't shift the X-axis all that much, just the Y-axis so the print color I'm left with I live with.

For now I can pretty much improve on any supplied profile's linearization for my printers, and have.  Just it does take a lot of time to do it in spot-reading mode with Notepad++ and a spreadsheet.

SG
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