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Archive 2012 · So is it worth the hassle?
  
 
JaneG
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p.1 #1 · So is it worth the hassle?


I have just written a piece on my blog about 'Custom' versus 'Canned' colour profiles for printing

http://thebeautifullight.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/canned-or-custom-profiles-for-printing.html







I had printed out my patches adn sent to my profile service at permajet. this week I received my matt paper profiles back and printed out some images, identical images using the bespoke (custom) and the canned profile.

I was hoping to see a difference but I was surprised how badly the print came out using the canned profile for the matt plus 240 paper. The whites were blown and colour was off, the bespoke profile looked just like the monitor screen ( calibrated).

As I mentioned previously in my blog, not all canned profiles are the same and many work well. Using parchment paper the canned parchment profile was almost up to the standard of the custom profile, but on close inspection the colours were more muddy.

Conclusion .. making the effort to make custom profiles for use in your printing is well worth it..

I will be bringing the prints to show at my 'beautiful light' lectures so club members can make more informed choices about their approach to printing. A well produced print is a thing of beauty and especially if you are selling your work, its always worth the extra effort.
These images aren't meant for serious comparison as I took them on an iphone in yellow light ... just a colourful touch to a rather dry subject.
The daisy on the left is the custom profile and the right print produced using the canned profile- this print bore little similarity to my monitor image.












Oct 13, 2012 at 08:48 AM
JaneG
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p.1 #2 · So is it worth the hassle?


People ... if you found this useful.. just give me a 'like' as a comment.. then at least I know it was worth my time posting it



Jane



Oct 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
davenfl
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p.1 #3 · So is it worth the hassle?


Thank you Jane, I think it was a worthwhile effort. I would however proofread your article a bit more closely, it's Epson not Epsom.

Dave



Oct 14, 2012 at 05:41 PM
JaneG
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p.1 #4 · So is it worth the hassle?


Thanks, feedback gratefully received .. 'I'm on it '


Oct 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #5 · So is it worth the hassle?


Jane - I've been making my own custom profiles for something like fourteen years now - first for the Chromira and Lightjet prints I had made at labs here in Los Angeles, and later for the series of inkjet prints I've owned myself. Without a doubt a good custom profile makes a huge difference in print quality and reduce the number of prints it takes to get to the final print to a point where the first print is usually the last.

There are a couple of issues I have with your write-up. One is that there is no mention that with the current versions of Photoshop, there is no way to properly print a profile target as you can't turn off color management. There is a utility call the Adobe Color Printer Utility, which is a one trick pony that does properly pass the files unadulterated to the printer, but it also apparently does not run in the latest operating systems.

The second is the vague referral to the Epson printing mode known as Advanced Black and White. My experience with Epson ABW printing is exactly the opposite as yours. It's been extremely predictable and stable and is again one where the first print is almost always the final one. ABW is not color managed, but does expect to be getting a gamma 2.2 tonal curve, so sending Adobe RGB even when it's a black and white image, is the easiest. Unfortunately, the interface has been bunged up in CS6 vs CS5 and it's more confusing, so printing ABW out of CS5 is preferred.

Epson, in particular, has been very good about supplying very good profiles for their own printers printing Epson branded media. Even so, I still see minor improvements making my own, and of course, always do for third party papers.



Oct 15, 2012 at 03:34 AM
JaneG
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p.1 #6 · So is it worth the hassle?


Hi

Yes I can include a mention regarding how CS6 photoshop users can print without ANY colour management ..I'll Include a ref to adobe utility ...That would be pertinent to many users as they usually print from photoshop ... It's been so long since I used anything other than Qimage it escaped me that the newest CS6 did not have that utility. Thats such a dumb thing to do, really useless . Thanks for the feedback .. It's why I posted on the forum.

Everyone should use qimage then they won't have this hassle

Not so keen on Epson papers so I'm always third party, hence my need for custom profiles.

People can print directly to their printer using the printing software of course.

Regarding proofing with ABW... it is necessary if you want to adjust the printer settings for fine art printing . I have some colleagues that will only print in advanced black and white and they modify the print settings to really get the best of the black and white print. Their prints are amazing but it does rely on printing adjusting and reprinting until they get the exact print they are after.. so after creation of the processed image they are happy with, the tweaking goes on in the printing settings...so proofing is required..

Best wishes Jane



Oct 15, 2012 at 06:33 AM
 

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pjbishop
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p.1 #7 · So is it worth the hassle?


There is a third way between canned profiles and profiles customized to one particular printer, and that is a good-quality RGB RIP. I've been very happy with the ImagePrint RIP, which provides a printing program and access to profiles for a large number of different papers.


Oct 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #8 · So is it worth the hassle?


ImagePrint is a very good product, but an expensive one as well. Don't think that all those profiles are really free. They're part of what you're paying for. I can make a LOT of custom profiles for $2500 - the price of IP for my sized printer. For the record, every single profile I've made for people using ImagePrint has been better than the canned ones from ColorByte.


Oct 21, 2012 at 09:03 AM
RHPS
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p.1 #9 · So is it worth the hassle?


JaneG wrote:
Everyone should use qimage then they won't have this hassle

Regarding proofing with ABW... it is necessary if you want to adjust the printer settings for fine art printing . I have some colleagues that will only print in advanced black and white and they modify the print settings to really get the best of the black and white print. Their prints are amazing but it does rely on printing adjusting and reprinting until they get the exact print they are after.. so after creation of the processed image they are happy with, the tweaking goes on in the printing
...Show more

Personally I've never felt the need to buy Qimage when the Adobe utility does the job (printing profiling targets) so simply and for free Anyway, think of the poor Mac people who can't run Qimage in MacOS

As for proofing with ABW, with a well calibrated monitor, taking care with the black point, I find that my ABW prints are very close to what I see on my monitor. However, I do use "ABW profiles" so I can soft-proof in Photoshop if I want to. The ABW profile improves the linearity as well as allowing the soft-proof facility so you can make ABW even better!

Eric Chan has a nice write up about ABW profiles here



Oct 22, 2012 at 09:21 AM
pjbishop
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p.1 #10 · So is it worth the hassle?


Peter Figen wrote:
ImagePrint is a very good product, but an expensive one as well. Don't think that all those profiles are really free. They're part of what you're paying for. I can make a LOT of custom profiles for $2500 - the price of IP for my sized printer. For the record, every single profile I've made for people using ImagePrint has been better than the canned ones from ColorByte.


So far as ImagePrint or other quality RGB RIPs go, as I said, it's a middle way. I don't doubt that Peter's profiles, customized to the specific printer, are superior products. At my cottage-printing level, with a 13-inch printer, and as someone who likes to experiment, I appreciate the access to quality profiles for lots of papers, which, as you said, is part of the package.

I have also experimented with paper-manufacturer profiles and compared them. I found the Epson profiles, including the 'premium' profiles issued several years ago, to be relatively crude. I haven't tried the newer Epson profiles - those for the art papers may have improved. The one Hahnemuhle profile I tried recently seems pretty good.

Eric Chan has built ABW profiles for a considerable number of papers for both the 3800 and 3880 and made them available for download - makes you wish you had one of those printers.



Oct 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Shutterbug2006
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p.1 #11 · So is it worth the hassle?


I count myself lucky to have been convinced in 2007 to buy an HP Z3100 GP series printer with the advanced profiling solution.

The printer has a built-in spectrometer so you can profile nearly any type of media you can get your hands on. It's fairly quick, and pretty easy to use.

It works outstandingly well.

I will never rely on canned profiles again.



Oct 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM





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