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Arthur Nichols
14-Apr-2015, 11:58
Is it possible to get (closely) matching prints from printers from two different manufacturers? I have both a HPz3200 and Epson r3000. I am using Canson Photorag 310 in both printers. I ran the auto profile routine on the HP and it improved the quality of the output although there is very little difference between prints with the Canson ICC profile or the HP generated profile. I am using the Canson provided ICC profile for the Epson. There is some relatively small difference between the output on the two printers. Am I chasing my tail to try to get closely matching prints out of these two printers by creating custom profiles?
If so (I know that this can lead to a contentious discussion) has anyone done this successfully using either The X-rite Colormunki and the Datacolor Spyder Studio Bundle? It would seem that using the same device to calibrate my monitor and the two printers should help with the consistency across my system. Please share any thoughts you may have regarding this issue and which system you have had success with.
Thanks in advance for your input.

Ken Lee
14-Apr-2015, 12:13
Same paper, different inks ? If so, it's a matter of degree how close all colors will match.

If you spend the extra effort to make profiles for your individual printer/paper/ink combination (or have them made by an expert at cost) - rather than relying on "canned" profiles - you can reduce the differences to a minimum.

The cost of having real profiles made is negligible compared to that of a few boxes of fancy paper and/or replacement ink cartridges.

paulr
14-Apr-2015, 12:22
With good profiling, you should be able to get near perfect matches. Different ink sets have slightly different color gamuts. One manufacturer's inks may extend farther into the reds and purples, another's might extend farther into the teals and greens.

These differences typically only matter if you're printing an image with very bright, saturated colors. Tropical fish, orchids, neon, etc..

You can use a tool like the Mac's ICC Profile Editor to superimpose profiles for comparison.

There may also be subtle differences with gloss differential. This kind of thing usually disappears behind glass.

Tyler Boley
14-Apr-2015, 12:39
yes, I agree with Paul. Given the identical profiling application and paper for each, you should be able to get very close. Using Relative Colormetric all in-gamut colors should map extremely similarly, but you may see things you don't like at the gamut edges (image/color dependent). Using Perceptual there's won't be those problems, but you may see bigger overall differences between the two systems since all colors will be mapped to adjust for the gamut differences between the systems.
Theoretically this should apply to any profile made with any software, but color management always worked best theoretically.
In fact you might try those Canson profiles again on each, using Relative Colormetric, to see if results are closer. Make sure black point compensation is checked. That this might work assumes both profiles by Canson were made with the same software in the same manner, I know there have been some changes.

paulr
14-Apr-2015, 13:10
In theory, it makes sense to use relative colorimetric when the saturated colors are unimportant (a red light on an instrument panel in the background) and perceptual when they're important (you're shooting the Uniqlo catalog). In reality I find I have to compare. For most of my work it makes very little difference; when it matters, I'm often surprised by what's better.

Lenny Eiger
14-Apr-2015, 16:15
It depends what you mean by close. My answer would generally be no. You can't expect to print on one and then print on the other unless they are both in your own studio and you have your own profiling solutions that you have applied to both. Even then they won't match exactly. The question is why one would want to do this in the first place... Heck I don't even expect two rolls of the same paper to print identically...

Lenny

Arthur Nichols
14-Apr-2015, 16:51
Both printers are in my studio and I am wondering if I use a common printer calibration tool for both of them if I will get reasonably close prints. I understand they may not be exactly-exactly the same but would be happy if the differences were minor. The reason that I have the two printers being that the Epson R3000 is better for cut sheets and the HP is better for roll paper and I have a need for both. I didn't want to buy a large Epson because I don't print often enough and I was concerned about clogs. So far I have had good luck with both printers regarding clogs.

Arthur Nichols
14-Apr-2015, 16:58
I made two prints using the relative colormetric setting and they are darn close. I don't exactly have color trained eyes but these are closer than using perceptual mode.

andy
20-May-2015, 06:02
A couple of things--you're going to get more consistent results using relative colormetric across the two printers than perceptual. The perceptual rendering intent shifts the relationships of every color across the image to preserve their perceptual relationship as it brings the out of gamut colors into gamut. This allows for preservation of detail in out of gamut gradients, but causes the entire image to change. Relative Colormetric just squishes all of your out of gamut color into the closest reproducible color.

Second, in a perfect world, the way to ensure consistent printing across multiple platforms would be to utilize a RIP and to linearize both printers to the same baseline. The downside to this is that RIPs are expensive and to be as accurate as possible you'd need an x-rite i1pro and read a lot of color charts. If through profiling with the color munki and setting up your own workflow you're able to get acceptably close, then I'd leave it there.

paulr
20-May-2015, 06:38
Also, all this stuff about gamuts and rendering intents will make a difference if your image has out-of-gamut colors. If it doesn't, these details won't matter.

Greg Miller
20-May-2015, 06:42
In theory, it makes sense to use relative colorimetric when the saturated colors are unimportant (a red light on an instrument panel in the background) and perceptual when they're important (you're shooting the Uniqlo catalog). In reality I find I have to compare. For most of my work it makes very little difference; when it matters, I'm often surprised by what's better.

Rendering intents only affect colors outside the gamut of of the profile. So given a photo where all colors are contained within the gamut of the profiles, printing using Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual should yield an identical print.

Tyler's comment is accurate for images wheres there are out of gamut colors. Out of gamut colors will cause all colors (both in-gamut and out-of-gamut) to shift if using Perceptual, while using Relative Colorimetric will only change colors that our out of gamut (while leaving in-gamut colors untouched).

Tyler Boley
20-May-2015, 08:02
the profile conversion does not know if there are out of gamut colors. It simply sees (for example) something like ProPhoto source, and a smaller destination space like HP ink on RagPhoto... Perceptual will reduce all colors down to the smaller space in some proportionally subjectively visually pleasing manner, based on the difference between source and output space, irrelevant of image. Even if all the image colors are already in gamut. Colormetric matches source to destination colors (in a perfect world), simply clipping anything that doesn't fit the smaller space.. or in the reverse situation, not expanding color from a smaller space to a larger...
there is a slightly more complex matching process called cross rendering, used for press proofing, that may provide better matches, but at the expense of taking the full advantage of each output system. It's even easily available printing out of photoshop. Were it me I'd leave some wiggle room in the expectations of matching, and want the best most pleasing result from each system, given that each "feels" the same, if that makes any sense.... but I certainly had clients requiring a more particular result.

andy
20-May-2015, 08:12
the profile conversion does not know if there are out of gamut colors. It simply sees (for example) something like ProPhoto source, and a smaller destination space like HP ink on RagPhoto... Perceptual will reduce all colors down to the smaller space in some proportionally subjectively visually pleasing manner, based on the difference between source and output space, irrelevant of image. Even if all the image colors are already in gamut. Colormetric matches source to destination colors (in a perfect world), simply clipping anything that doesn't fit the smaller space.. or in the reverse situation, not expanding color from a smaller space to a larger...
there is a slightly more complex matching process called cross rendering, used for press proofing, that may provide better matches, but at the expense of taking the full advantage of each output system. It's even easily available printing out of photoshop. Were it me I'd leave some wiggle room in the expectations of matching, and want the best most pleasing result from each system, given that each "feels" the same, if that makes any sense.... but I certainly had clients requiring a more particular result.

I had a feeling that's how perceptual worked, but I've had trouble finding source info to back it up--thanks for the unwitting confirmation.

Greg Miller
20-May-2015, 14:04
Perceptual will reduce all colors down to the smaller space in some proportionally subjectively visually pleasing manner, based on the difference between source and output space, irrelevant of image. Even if all the image colors are already in gamut.

I've never seen this happen. I just did some testing converting images from ProPhoto RGB to sRGB where all colors in-gamut for sRGB. I'm not seeing any real world color changes or re-mapping.

Tyler Boley
20-May-2015, 15:04
there are no icc standards for mapping in perceptual, it's totally at the descretion of the profile making software designer. So, some map in gamut colors differently than others with perceptual. some may try to keep them as close as possible. Datacolor even said they try to make in gamut color map more like a colormetric intent, with color at and approaching the gamut boundary mapping more like saturation intent. There are standards for colormetric converions that software designers adhere to. I'm only stating the general theories, they may apply differently with different profiles from different manufacturers. I found in gamut colors remapped very differently depending on the profiler in StudioPrint, Monaco, DataColor, and Gretag. Monaco's was preferred by many with in gamut colors retaining a very pleasing level of saturation, and they carried that preference over to the perceptual mapping in Xrite i1 Profiler as well. But the nature of perceptual remapping is dependent on source and destination space, not image content.
There was talk of a "smart cmm" that could map differrently depending on image colors years ago, but it never came to pass and is problematic in concept. Pat from Chromix could state all this more eloquently than I should he chime in.