Calibrating and Profiling it correctly. Use Argyll CMS.


Print Addict
Sep 27, 2010
Reaction score
S.E. England
Printer Model
Epson Pro3880
In the case of the printed image, it would be for making prints for galleries and/or for sale. OK, add some off of the norm combination of ink and paper.
One more pop and then I'm outta here......

First let me declare an interest. Much of what I print (for other people) does end up in galleries or art fairs and is sold. So, I am obliged to keep consistent colour. Every print in a limited edition has to be indistinguishable from the next, and this can be over a period of a few years. So, @Paul Verizzo you're absolutely right there.
The typical hobbyist has no need to spend hundreds of dollars for hardware, nor hours of time, nor levels of angst that a professional should, indeed, suffer. Indeed, modern photo electronics and science has made what we used to call a "straight" print all but failure proof.
This is where I think we must be talking at cross purposes. Until April last year I was printing on a Pro3800 using a combination of OEM and Inkjetfly inks - with custom profiles of course. In April I switched to a new Pro3880 running all OEM inks. In the first two days of ownership I profiled the five papers that I use. From printing the targets to verifying the accuracy of the profiles took less than two hours of my time. All five profiles produced prints that were visually indistinguishable from the Pro3800 prints. I regularly check my colour accuracy by printing a control image, but I have not yet needed to re-profile. Do it once, and do it right.

I cannot afford to spend "hours of time" fiddling, nor do I feel the need to suffer angst. Profiling a printer is a bit like a musician having his piano tuned - you do it when it's necessary, and get it done as efficiently as you can.

Finally(!) I should declare another interest; I make printer profiles for other people. These are predominantly amateur photographers, many of whom are using third-party inks. They don't want to fiddle with colour sliders any more than I do. They just want to hit "Print" knowing that what they get is a good match to their monitor. I know, from lots of feedback, that this is what they usually achieve. And what does it cost them? About the same as the price of an OEM cartridge.

Now, the very existence of this forum proves that there are people that love to "experiment". Some are re-inventing ink sets, or trying to transplant an ink set from printer A into printer B. Some are trying to find the best "slider settings" to correct nasty colour casts. Others are trying to find the most efficient way to calibrate monitors and profile printers; how many patches, how many sheets of paper? All good experimentation. But they all spend hours of time, and I suspect that many suffer considerable angst as a result of their experimentation.

Then there are those that care more about the finished print than about the experimentation. They are usually the ones that have a fully colour-managed workflow, simply because they can't afford not to.