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Calibration - please help

Discussion in 'Printing Photos and Photo Software' started by strobemonkey, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Aug 23, 2010
    strobemonkey

    strobemonkey Getting Fingers Dirty

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    I am a photography hobbyist and I like to print my own pictures. I currently use Epson P50 and a Canon MP560 but I want to concentrate using my epson printer. I use Photoshop's color management, and I have no trouble with my prints when I use Epson OEM inks with Epson Premium Glossy paper with my calibrated monitor.

    My problem arises when I use IS inks (from Martin aka websnail - thank God we have a UK supplier of this ink). I don't seem to get accurate/acceptable prints. Specially when I partner it with Kirkland (blue sailor) paper (yes I have a local costco here).

    My question is, If I buy a monitor/printer calibration device like colormunki, will I see an improvement with my prints? Will the prints really match or at least nearly match what I see on my monitor? I know there is a question of print longevity using third party inks and paper but that's a gamble I am willing to take. My priority now is color accuracy with my prints.

    Here are some scanned sample prints, the top pics are the ones printed with Epson OEM inks, the bottom pics are with IS inks:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Before anyone asks, the ink tanks I used with the IS inks are virgin tanks so there's no mixture with other inks or flushing fluid. The pics with OEM inks were printed first, then the ones with IS inks next, but after I did about 6 cleaning cycles with the IS inks which nearly emptied the cartridges. These pics are roughly 3 days old so they are very dry. I used epson premium glossy paper, and the dvd's I used are waterproof.
  2. Aug 23, 2010
    qwertydude

    qwertydude Printing Ninja

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    The second DVD looks like it's banding but also it looks like you need to do a profile, you may be able to make gray appear neutral through color sliders but then other shades can still be off, I think maybe you should try Profile Prism as it's much cheaper than a color munki and for most hobbyists it does a fine job. It also has a pretty decent monitor calibration utility built in. After I profile my printer I simply printed out a sample picture with good shading and colors and adjusted the software til I got as close on screen as the print and now I can confidently know how a picture will turn out when I press print.

    I put in lots of different inks ranging in qualities from cheaper ebay inks, mid level stratitec "universal" ink, IS Canon inks and OEM and after a profile they all seem identical except Profile Prism tells me that the less dense Stratitec actually has a better dynamic range and better coverage of the Lab Space than either OEM Canon or IS ink. My theory is that the lighter shade of the universal ink acts like photo cyan and photo magenta, with the only drawback being after a profile you use ink at a slightly faster rate with a less dense ink. The profile simply tells the printer to print darker with lighter inks which is easier than printing really light shades with very dark ink. But there is definitely a color cast to that IS ink which slightly goes magenta which has been my experience with MIS inks from inksupply.com which is purportedly IS ink. So even with "factory matched" inks you're gonna have a slight variance. A profile tool like Profile Prism is really all most people need.
  3. Aug 23, 2010
    irvweiner

    irvweiner Fan of Printing

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    The Munki or any other decent profiler will improve your print quality when using 3rd party inks and/or papers. Epson is not going to give profiles for Canon paper and vice versa. Paper mfgrs will attempt to supply profiles for their papers and various printers assuming OEM ink is used. I certainly have not yet seen ink mfgrs supplying profiles for combos of 3rd party printers and papers (except Cone).

    It is up to you, the user to cross that gap. On my Canon i9900, I switched from OEM to MIS inks, colors were good but needed 'fixing'. The same is true now for my new Pixma Pro 9000, after verifying proper function, I replaced the carts with OCP ink filled carts. Printer profiling improved color performance both for the OEM ink and the OCP ink. It is important to realize when YOU profile your printer it is for YOUR printer in front of you and not a test unit in a mfgrs lab. However, when you submit printed test targets to a profiler they are profiling your printer, warts and all. Printers and carts will exhibit variations in printing performance with weather barometrics, humidity and temperature and lack of TLC. With the Munki you have the opportunity to update a profile any time and quickly.

    I presently use the Munki, it satisfies my needs (for monitor and printer). If I were engaged in professional photography I would upgrade to next level--the same for my printer, I would be using a pigment ink system.

    good luck irv weiner
  4. Aug 23, 2010
    tyamada

    tyamada Printer Guru

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    You need to get printer profiling software, it will control the output according to the inks you are using. Using a monitor profile won't change what's being printed.
    There are sites on the web that will build a profile according to your paper and ink combination.
    I use Profile Prism to build my ink/paper profiles, that way I don't have to pay for a new profile when I change Inks or papers.
    http://www.ddisoftware.com/prism/
  5. Aug 23, 2010
    martin0reg

    martin0reg Printing Ninja

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    Without profiling device you can try different paper and color settings in the driver.
    My manual setting for epson r285 and IS ink from oktoinkjet:

    colorsetting -5/8C +5m +5y +0/3sat
    papersetting matte


    Profiling is better - but visual estimation and manual setting can help (it can also be annoying and make things worse..)
  6. Aug 23, 2010
    msmart

    msmart Printing Ninja

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    strobemonkey, which waterproof DVDs are you using? I use JVC (TY) Watershields.

    The images printed on them vary slightly from the HP Brochure and Flyer (glossy) paper I use. I've resigned myself (so far) to live with the color change from what I see on the screen to what prints out on the flyer paper but I'd like to resolve the differences between the flyer paper and Watershields. I know that to do this I really need to invest in Profile Prism. Doing the visual estimation and manual setting is very annoying (as martin says) and frustrating. I usually have to throw a few away until I get it close (enough).
  7. Aug 23, 2010
    strobemonkey

    strobemonkey Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Thank you all for your replies and suggestions.

    @martin - I can't make any adjustment with the epson printer when I use photoshop to manage colors. I know this is possible with canon though.

    @msmart - I use generic TY watershiled. Disc prints on my epson printer are very close to prints with epson glossy paper. I never got satisfactory disc prints with my canon ip4700.
  8. Aug 23, 2010
    stratman

    stratman Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    I use Spectracal's Eye-One Display 2 with CalMAN software for monitor calibration. Won't help for printer profilling, though. They do have the ColorMunki paired with the CalMAN software.
  9. Aug 23, 2010
    stratman

    stratman Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    What do you mean by "generic"? Where do you get them?

    There's nothing generic about the Watershield price! :lol:
  10. Aug 24, 2010
    strobemonkey

    strobemonkey Getting Fingers Dirty

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    @stratman - I am currently using spyder for monitor calibration, but I'm looking to calibrate both monitor and printer.




    When I say generic, I mean its not rebranded like this one:
    http://www.svp.co.uk/technology/con...able-dvd-r-in-packs-of-50_50-blank-discs.html

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