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Adventures in printing

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by Zou, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Feeling a wee bit excited to see my first 'proper' image print, for which I dropped off the file at the lab earlier. Going for a 24"x20" of one of my pinhole images on Hahnemuhle (is that the right spring?) Bamboo paper. Had fun going through samples and finally picking the one which would work best for the image. When it's ready it'll be a visit to the framer to mount and frame. Fun times!

    Given my ongoing home printing issues I've come to think that rather than buy a home printer it may be cheaper and more cost effective to buy a monitor calibration device, as that would give more confidence when ordering prints from a lab. Any thoughts on good ones for casual use, under £100 ideally?
     
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  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I am finding it hilarious that my keyboard autocorrected "spelling" to spring. Irony is dead.
     
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  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Depends on how much processing you do on the image. If you are using raw and adjusting colours according to what you see then it is wise to calibrate. I think most of the systems are similar. If the printer provides profiles for you to softproof against than a colour managed workflow is important.
     
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  4. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I use a DataColor Spyder 5 to calibrate my two monitors. I am very happy with the picture they give...... However...
    The results I get back from my processing lab, whilst good, do not really match the image I see on screen as one being back lit and the other front lit they rarely won't.

    If you look at video's produced by the printing company Marrutt their method is to make a print (I suppose home or lab will do) and then make adjustments to your monitor until it matches the print under the same lighting conditions as you usually work.
     
    Zou likes this.
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Is that where the printer/paper profiles come in? Calibrate monitor for accuracy at creation stage and then match to output? Ilford/Harman offer a sample print which you can compare to the same image on screen. Makes sense for black and white but surely ambient light can affect perception of colour...
     
  6. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Exactly. When people say that their prints exactly match their monitor, if it were true, it could only be so under certain lighting conditions. Light falling on a print will indeed affect its colour. To know if a prints colours are accurate you must be able to match the print against the original scene under the same lighting conditions and at the same time as it were taken. Of course this is impossible so a best guess is all you can do. Certain colours look 'wrong'. Take grass for example. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of shades of grass. You may not know if the printed shade is correct, but you will know if it's wrong. We've all seen badly Photoshopped images and said "I've never seen grass that colour...!!"

    For all the rest..... If it looks right, it is right.

    Companies such as McDonald's, Coca Cola etc spend millions on their logo's showing the correct colour under various lighting conditions. What chance have we got?
     
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    For full colour management both the light environment around the monitor and in the viewing booth need to be controlled.

    A print needs to be 'lit' for best effect.
     
  8. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I should have added unless you use instant film, which I presume you're not.
     
  9. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    If a lab doesn't supply a profile for your use (most don't), you're not that much better off with a calibrated monitor than you are without one.

    Most labs rely on an approximate sRGB match between a typical uncalibrated standard gamut monitor and their printer output. You need two profiles to improve on that - one for your monitor (created during calibration) and a printer profile that you can load onto your machine. Otherwise, there's still a break in the chain and the colour remains outside of your control.
     
    EightBitTony likes this.
  10. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    No , Marrutt doesn't work like that. Marrutt will send your a test file, this is printed using " no colour adjustment to A4 size. You then send them the print, they produce a profile to suit your printer and Email the file. . Of course this is intended to work with their paper and ink.

    John Reed, MD of Marrutt is firmly against over reliance re monitors, he reckons anything between camera output and printer is a nuisance. His philosophy is to get the best out of the camera, in JPEG, then send to a properly profiled printer......some would be amazed how good the results can be.

    For fine tuning go back ton the old days and make some small test prints.

    Come on, how on earth could they make adjustments to compensate for your usual lighting conditions.....John is good, but he ain't that good.
     
  11. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Thanks Brian
    This is the YouTube video I saw. The mention of adjusting the monitor comes at around 4mins 40seconds

     
  12. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Indeed Dangie.

    What John is advising is that a correct print is produced, then the monitor is " manually" adjusted to match.

    Quote from John.

    Mistake 2: Trying to print what you see on screen
    Never assume that your computer monitor is accurate for colour and density; apply for our free accurate colour calibration print/JPEG image, then if your printer is accurate, visually adjust your monitor to agree.
    If your printer is producing inaccurate colour, check that all printer colours are functioning, then repeat your test; if your printer still produces inaccurate colour, a custom printer profile usually cures the problem. Always adjust your monitor to agree to an accurate printer, never the other way around!

    Marrutt Advice: Do not trust your monitor!
     
  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    He said also that this applied to prints viewed in controlled lighting conditions (5000k he recommended). Indeed is is best to profile your printer. Messing with the monitor is likely to lead to grief unless you are blessed with accurate colour judgement and monitor calibration by instrument is the best way for those that are not. Adjusting the monitor only matters if you are going to edit the images on the computer. If you do as he advises and use adobe 98 RBG in the camera then that needs some care in printing because the camera does not attach a profile to say that the image isn't sRGB. The printer has to be told. On Canon the file name is changed from, say, IMG0001.jpg to _MG0001.jpg as a warning to the user.
     
  14. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Most people won't be able to see Adobe RGB on their monitor, so quite how you'd mitigate for that difference using only your eyeballs for weapons is unclear to me. I know it's less romantic, but the conventional method of soft proofing using profiles and rendering intents seems simpler and more efficient. Moreover, it doesn't make your monitor a slave to one device and one inkset.
     
  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Trying to remember back to before colour management was standard in web browsers, I think an Adobe RGB encoded image looks flat if interpreted as sRGB and an sRGB image looks garish if interpreted as Adobe RGB especially on a wide gamut monitor. With colour management the extent to which the difference are apparent depends on the monitor but indeed colour management requires a standard calibration if softproofing is to work. I think the main message in the video was "expect to proof-print" and that it helps if the monitor image looks something like the printer output and, if you want your print more red, you can get there by nudging the monitor image to be more red and not by making the monitor image more green.
     
  16. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Matching monitor colour to print colour is an arse-about-face way of doing things, but each to their own I guess. You won't find it recommended in many vaguely respected quarters. A monitor that is profiled and calibrated to a known standard is a versatile device that can replicate the colour of multiple outputs (not perfectly, but generally it works). Enslaving its colour to a specific set of inks is handy for the guy selling you those inks.

    The reason Adobe RGB is recommended (not in the least bit controversial) is because most inkjet printers print outside of sRGB. Because of this, if you hold a test print up next to a standard gamut screen and try to match the two, there will be some colours that cannot physically be matched. The very process of fiddling with monitor colour limits and adversely affects its performance.
     
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