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Thread: Color of large prints

  1. #1

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    Color of large prints

    I have an Epson 9880 and have some profiles I made for it for various papers. It's usually fairly accurate with its colors, but today I made a 48x32 print and the colors were very different from an identical, smaller 8x12 print I made both earlier and later. The image is the same image. The color profiles are the same, same paper, same printer, same file (just resized), done through the same computer using all of the same settings and software.

    I printed the smaller file first to test it and liked what saw, so I blew it up and reprinted it and the turquoise sky came out magenta, the blacks came out darker, and yellows more intense. Then I took that enlarged file and shrank it back down, and got the colors I liked again, without making any other changes other than the size. Has anyone else experienced this issue, or have any ideas as to what could be causing it? I'm stumped.

  2. #2

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    Re: Color of large prints

    Did you agitate your ink cartridges before starting up the printer ? Ink settles over time and if you haven't made any prints recently you may get rather different results.

    Perhaps one of your nozzles is clogged: a cleaning cycle/head adjustment is always a good idea before wasting paper.

  3. #3
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Color of large prints

    Perhaps different lots of paper in the different sizes can cause some shift in colors.

  4. #4

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    Re: Color of large prints

    I thought that sort of thing only happened in a REAL darkroom. Just one more reason -- for ME -- not to go down the digital/non-darkroom route, since it won't solve THAT problem.

  5. #5

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    Re: Color of large prints

    Thanks for the suggestions, but I've been printing a bunch this week, including several before and after that one and all of the others came out fine. I also ran a nozzle check before (because I hate to waste ink on such a large print) and after (because I had problems) and both showed up fine. Plus I usually see banding, especially in the blacks when there's a nozzle clog. Also, I've been printing on the same roll of paper. So the prints that came out fine were printed on the same roll.

    I printed these from Photoshop and selected "Printer manages colors" and made sure the proper profile was selected in the Windows 10 settings. Is it possible that due to the large size of the file that the profile wasn't applied? I did have an issue with it dropping out on larger prints without giving any error messages in the past and had to turn off "Enable Advanced Printing Features" in the Windows 10 printer settings. But after turning that option off, it printed without issue, and the colors came out fine (and still do at smaller sizes).

    I'm using 42" roll paper, and usually print 4-5 8x10's at a time, lined up next to each other to conserve paper. I usually just open up a blank 42x13" file in Photoshop and place 4-5 photos along the artboard and print them all at once. It's never given me issues that way. But this time it started off printing in the wrong colors and continued throughout, suggesting that it wasn't a print head overheating issue or something physical like that. Rather, I'm really thinking it's a profile not being applied issue, due to the fact that the colors look shifted in multiple directions and not just one (like lack of yellow everywhere), but I could be mistaken. I guess I should print this photo without a profile and see what I get.

  6. #6

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    Re: Color of large prints

    Subtle differences I sort of expect and do a mag test, but large shifts would indicate an issue with calibration or profile I would think. Usually calibration on my HP 3200.

  7. #7
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Color of large prints

    Quote Originally Posted by jim10219 View Post
    I printed the smaller file first to test it and liked what saw, so I blew it up and reprinted it and the turquoise sky came out magenta, the blacks came out darker, and yellows more intense. Then I took that enlarged file and shrank it back down, and got the colors I liked again, without making any other changes other than the size.
    Could just be a perception problem. It's well known that small areas of a color look different than large areas of the same color. People find that out all the time when they paint rooms in houses.

    For this reason I was taught to make at least one full size proof print. Because the perceptions of the colors, their relationships to each other, saturation, and contrast all are influenced by size.

    This would explain your blacks getting darker and your yellows becoming more intense. But it may not explain a color shift like your turquoise sky that came out magenta.

    Just to be clear, everything was the same except print size? Small and large print came out of the same roll of paper? Printed on the same day?

    One other thing -- did you dry the prints? Inkjet prints are susceptible to changes as they dry (out gas). I started getting much more reliable results when I started drying prints with a hand held hair dryer. Low heat, high fan. The hand supporting the back of the print can feel the change from cool to warm indicating you've driven off most of the water / glycols.

    Drying prints visually (and measurably) changes Dmax and contrast on most papers in my experience.

    Bruce Watson

  8. #8

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    Re: Color of large prints

    I would try a section test using the "Photoshop manages colors" selection, applying your correct profile.
    r.j. phil
    www.rjphil.com
    N.E. Large Format Photography Collective

  9. #9

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    Re: Color of large prints

    I have had nothing but problems with Espon 9800 series printers. I have had massive color shifts that would drive me nuts. I finally just powered the printer off and back on and it fixed it. Kind of like rebooting a Windows machine to fix oddball problems. I have always found these printers inconsistent. As far a profiles, I never have the printer manage colors. I would get a custom profile made for your printer/paper (look at Freestyle Photo for this) and select it when you go to print.

    The real solution is to switch printers. Canon has dumped a ton of money into their fine art printers and are really beating up on Epson. In my opinion if both printers are profiled and working correctly either can produce beautiful prints. But the Canon printers cost less, the ink is less expensive, the print heads are user replaceable and cost less and most importantly they are far more reliable than Epson. I print on a Canon iPF9400 and a Canon Pro-1000 and couldn't be happier. I can't imagine owning an Epson after working on them.

    -Joshua

  10. #10

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    Re: Color of large prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Dunn View Post
    I have had nothing but problems with Espon 9800 series printers. I have had massive color shifts that would drive me nuts. I finally just powered the printer off and back on and it fixed it. Kind of like rebooting a Windows machine to fix oddball problems. I have always found these printers inconsistent. As far a profiles, I never have the printer manage colors. I would get a custom profile made for your printer/paper (look at Freestyle Photo for this) and select it when you go to print.

    The real solution is to switch printers. Canon has dumped a ton of money into their fine art printers and are really beating up on Epson. In my opinion if both printers are profiled and working correctly either can produce beautiful prints. But the Canon printers cost less, the ink is less expensive, the print heads are user replaceable and cost less and most importantly they are far more reliable than Epson. I print on a Canon iPF9400 and a Canon Pro-1000 and couldn't be happier. I can't imagine owning an Epson after working on them.

    -Joshua
    I won't disagree with you there, but I got this one for free from work when we upgraded to an Epson SureColor P9000 (which is much faster, more reliable, and better in just about every way). Since I couldn't even afford this one, I certainly can't afford to replace it. Besides, I've been using it for years at work and am quite familiar with most of it's quirks (outside of this one) and know how to repair it when it breaks.

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