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Thread: Custom profiles: Who's best?

  1. #21
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    Tom, just in case things are getting a bit confused .... RIPs and profiles for your most comonly used papers will both improve then final prints but one doesn't substitute for the other, they are complementary. If B&W prints are your primary interest then the advice on Roy Harington's QTR RIP is right on, it has a fw less features than the more expensive RIPs but should dramatically improve your output and the cost is absolutely right. For the 2400 the two other RIP choices tht I am familiar with are ColorByte's ImagePrint and the RIP from PowerX. ImagePrint is far more full featured than QTR but many blackand white printers are totally satisfied with QTR. Neither I nor the few others I hace talked with have had as much success wih PowerX as with the other commonly available RIPs.

    If you do decide to go with ImagePrint then you will also have available to you a fairly large library of paper profiles that ColorByte has developed specificaly for their RIP, profiles that are quite good. I have never used any of the professional profiing services but I believe they all have their champions and detractors. If you are going to be profiling more than 3 papers then you might want to consider "rolling your own." The necessary hardware for you own paper profiling is not inexpensive (figure ~1000 minimum) but balance that against the cost of commercially produced profiles, wasted paper and ink and it may not seem so high. One caveat though, it may not be completely an exact science, especially with the lower priced, handheld spectrophotometers.

    As we all know the entire world of digital printing, from commercial printing systems through our photo efforts, is in its infancy. As with any craft that is just developing there is much for all of us to learn. There is no more a single "right path" to the ultimate" digital print than there is to the "ultimate" print produced in a traditional darkroom.

  2. #22

    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    Tom,

    First pardon me if I restate anything thats been written, I just scanned since my last post and not read carefully everything thats been written.

    Your RGB setting of sRGB will cause you problems but it probably won't be the biggest thing here. I suggest you switch to Adobe 98 and do all your work there. Unless you are using a device that captures or outputs in sRGB only - stay away!

    What Tim wrote about maybe some part of your set-up using an incorrect profile is worth looking into. I can't help much with a PC though I bet you can figure it out if you read up on exactly how your system uses profiles. Make sure everything is in its correct location. You might even remove any extra profiles beyond the ones for the very devices you are using. (Save them in another directory for later)

    Adjusting the Epson driver may be a good move for fine tuning but I'd save it for last after the other profile things have been positively resolved.

    Just how much difference are we talking about? Can you quantify it in f-stops perhaps? i.e. - Are your prints 1/4 stop dark or?????

    Viewing environment is crucial. For you to judge colors on screen or on print you MUST have exactly the same environment each time. For critical prepress work I used to run only one bank of 5000 degree K floursecents in the room. The back of the studio was far enough from any window that I didn't have to close the blinds. This gave me a light level and color temp that was the same each session. You might be in a very different situation - most residential settings would require that you close the blinds or even black out the windows with black foamcore. Thats what I do here in my daylight basement work area - I cut black board to close over most of the windows.

    Once you establish a viewing environment be sure to use it exactly the same each time. and re-calibrate your monitor under your new standard conditions. Monitor drift is not that big a deal over a week or two or even a month for most users. Its a bigger problem in a prepress house with multiple shifts as the hours powered on and running really add up. And be sure to give your moniitor about one half hour to stabilize after you turn it on and before you start any critical work.

    Finally - until all the above conditions are satisfied I wouldn't bother with a custom profile.

  3. #23
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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    I think I found my problem. I started fresh with a recent scan and noticed that the scan file didn't have a profile assigned, so that may have started me off on the wrong foot. I switched color settings as Henry advised and assigned Adobe RGB to the scan file. I printed it (print w/preview) on Silver Rag using Crane's profile and it matched the screen image just fine, or close enough--I still need to see to my evaluation lighting situation.

    I'll try the RIP suggestion out, too. Sounds interesting.

    I'm working my way through the 'CS2 for Photographers' book by Evening, so I'll go away until I get finished with that--he should have put color management first!

    Thank you all!

  4. #24

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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    Note that the R2400 does not have a closed loop color management system (the 4800, 7800, 9800 do have this). This means every R2400 manuafactured will be slightly different. Therefore stock profiles, like the ones supplied by Epson, may work fine for on person but not another. If you buy a 4800, the closed loop system means that a profile should yield consistent results when compared to every other 4800.

    The screen print you provided is you Photoshop settings. Much more important is your Epson driver settings. You must set "no color adjustment" there. And you will need to specify your printer profile there too (unless you convert your imnage to that profile in Photo shop just prior top printing).

  5. #25
    J Michael Sullivan MJSfoto1956's Avatar
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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    As for Dry Creek -- I had the exact same experience, profile never arrived, sent endless email, finally got through and had him send it to another email address. Trouble really turned out to be my main email program flagged his email as spam. If he would manually send each email with a personal note, then I'm sure that the "spam problem" would go away.

    So I actually don't think he took anyone's money, but rather, there is SOMETHING in the way he sends his email that some (perhaps many) of our email programs think is junk mail. Hence we never get the profile he sent and come to a conclusion that may not be accurate.

    J Michael Sullivan
    MAGNAchrom

  6. #26
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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    One other question: Are you using an LCD monitor ? If so, then perhaps your viewing angle is not straight enough.

    Some LCD monitors are better than others in this regard, but on mine, the brightness varies, depending on the angle of view. Calibration tools like EyeOne attach to the monitor at angle "normal to" the screen, IE they look straight ahead.

    Some people still use CRT monitors for graphics work, because they are fairly immune to this problem. Perhaps some of our esteemed members can recommend an a suitable monitor (or brand of monitors) that is also affordable.

  7. #27
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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    It's a CRT--a Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 100e. It's a bit old, but it still calibrates OK.

    One odd thing that's puzzling me is that Crane advises using the proof set-up method for printing (see http://www.crane.com/museo/files/Eps...tructions.pdf), while most other papers I've used (not many I admit) use the document method. I'm referring to settings in Print with Preview under Color Management. Is it likely to make any difference which method is used?
    Last edited by Tom Westbrook; 16-Jul-2006 at 12:50.

  8. #28

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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Westbrook
    One odd thing that's puzzling me is that Crane advises using the proof set-up method for printing (see http://www.crane.com/museo/files/Eps...tructions.pdf), while most other papers I've used (not many I admit) use the document method. I'm referring to settings in Print with Preview under Color Management. Is it likely to make any difference which method is used?
    The "proof" (instead of document) setting definitely does not sounds correct. Generally you would only use that setting if you are trying to emulate some other printer (like an offset printer).

  9. #29

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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson
    Since no one is actually answering your question, I'll toss out two that I've had recommended to me, these being Andrew Rodney and Chromix. I've never used either.
    I've used both Andrew and Chromix. All profiles were top notch and both tweaked the proflies to my liking if needed. Chromix got a little slow responding as many people use them. Andrew Rodney responds to emails in a few hours. Tough choice really.

  10. #30

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    Re: Custom profiles: Who's best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Westbrook
    The Eye One takes general ambient light into account: it has a step early in the calibration process using a white diffusing cap over the colorimeter.
    Tom,

    This step is just an informative step and does not influence the monitor profile at all. The ambient light measurement step just tells you how far you are from the standard that Eye One Match likes to recommend for optimal ambient lighting conditions in both temperature and brightness. The profile is not affected by this step.

    Regards,
    DL

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