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Thread: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    5

    monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    I'm using an iMac, 24" screen. Photoshop CS3. I've calibrated the monitor with an i1.

    Printing to an Epson Stylus Photo RX595 just for note cards and quick small prints (haven't found the time to start up the HP B9180 yet).


    Prints are way too dark. To get a print that fairly well matches the monitor I have to adjust the brightness up about 50 on b/w and about half that for color, and with color I also need to open up the shadows +10 to 15.

    I use the profiles for the paper, I make sure to set it so that color management is set to "Photoshop manages color" and I turn off color management in the printer menu...I've done about everything I've read about trying to solve the problem and nothing has really worked.

    I'm usually printing on matte paper--it's not quite as bad with a glossy finish. But by choosing the matte profile, that should eliminate that issue, shouldn't it?

    I'm wondering if the problem is the monitor--if this monitor is capable of being calibrated as well as it should be? Perhaps the only way to solve the problem is to invest in a second, more photo friendly monitor (or simply remember to brighten all pictures before printing)?

    Thoughts, advice, further questions...thanks.

    I'm trying to learn all this stuff in sort of a crash course style, but sometimes...it just doesn't work that well.

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Tech Support, Chromix, Inc.
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    109

    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    All of your settings and choices are good.

    When prints are darker than the screen, the most common reason for that that I've found among our customers is that the display is brighter than it should be (relative to the paper and illuminant.)

    Since you are trying to match your prints to your display, first take a look at how a blank white sheet of your printer paper compares to a blank white document in Photoshop. If the white on the screen is brighter than the print paper - then your prints are naturally going to look darker.

    Newer LCDs like your iMac are capable of getting pretty bright (lums of 300 or more). Don't be surprised if you have to turn the brightness down to less than 50% or even down to 0% to get close to what you need. With i1 Match, choose the Advanced profiling mode and at the third screen, it will allow you to choose a luminance point to aim for. "120" is a good place to start.

    The other alternative is to brighten up your "illuminant" - your light source for viewing your images - more lights, brighter lights, color adjusted lights, a light "booth".

    -Pat Herold

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Melbourne Australia
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    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    I also have a iMac 24 inch and it's calibrated very well but I had to use a little program to get the screen brightness down. Unfortunately the iMacs are really better suited to video and dvd and are bright because of this. My screen brightness is turned all the way down and then down some more using this program

    http://www.charcoaldesign.co.uk/shades

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
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    7,797

    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    Monitors continue to get brighter and contrastier. Paper has its limits.

    Chromix had a nice series in their newsletters, concerning Monitors.

    "The Luminance setting you choose depends a lot on your viewing environment. General guidelines are 100 - 120 for a moderately lit room, 100 or less for a dim room. If you are trying to adjust your screen to match your printer output, then adjust your luminance so that a white screen will be as bright as a blank piece of paper."

    On my Apple PowerBook, I do this by turning down the brightness until I get the desired effect.

  5. #5

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    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    Keith - Thanks so much for that link !

    Shades gives much more control than the standard buttons, which only deal in large increments.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    1,217

    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    Did you calibrate your printer yourself or did you use a canned profile? I don't know if that would make a difference, but it is something to consider. If you don't want to lay out the cash for a print reading device such as the i1 photo, you can have someone else make a printer profile for you at moderate cost.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonard Evens View Post
    Did you calibrate your printer yourself or did you use a canned profile? I don't know if that would make a difference, but it is something to consider. If you don't want to lay out the cash for a print reading device such as the i1 photo, you can have someone else make a printer profile for you at moderate cost.

    Like I said in my post, I've calibrated the monitor with an I1.

    I'm not sure it makes all that much difference with a monitor that doesn't have a way to adjust settings--which is a reason I'm considering the purchase of a second monitor.

    Thanks!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    I also have a iMac 24 inch and it's calibrated very well but I had to use a little program to get the screen brightness down. Unfortunately the iMacs are really better suited to video and dvd and are bright because of this. My screen brightness is turned all the way down and then down some more using this program

    http://www.charcoaldesign.co.uk/shades

    Thanks for that. My screen brightness is turned to zero, and the monitor is calibrated towards 5000 kelvin (hey, there are only 3 choices, lol)--but the monitor is still a ton brighter than the paper.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    1,217

    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by a.paul View Post
    Like I said in my post, I've calibrated the monitor with an I1.

    I'm not sure it makes all that much difference with a monitor that doesn't have a way to adjust settings--which is a reason I'm considering the purchase of a second monitor.

    Thanks!
    You also need a printer profile, if you are comparing what you see on the monitor with what you see when you make a print. It wasn't clear to me where you got the printer profile.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Re: monitor calibration, print colors...$*%&...LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonard Evens View Post
    You also need a printer profile, if you are comparing what you see on the monitor with what you see when you make a print. It wasn't clear to me where you got the printer profile.
    Exactly right. Every printer is different. Canned profiles can get you a certain distance, but to really tune it - you have to profile your own printer.

    That said, I am not a fan of matching to the monitor, or spending that much time with it. Sure its important in certain instances like going to offset. However, I don't bother much with the monitor - I look at the print. If I haven't printed for a little while, I am always a little off in what I imagine the monitor is showing me vs what happens in the print. then I tune my "conversion" a little bit in my brain and I end up making better choices.

    The monitor is a transmissive medium and the print is a reflective one - and never the twain shall meet. There is a conversion that is required - in the brain - that isn't unlike the ability of a b&w photographer to view a shot outside and know immediately what the print will look like.

    Once you've calibrated a monitor and are using good print profiles it's up to you to tune the understanding of how things translate. That said, it sounds like you could use a better print profile.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios

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