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Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB
  
 
Peter Figen
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p.2 #1 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Maybe I should't have used Galen as an example. Apparently they got so many negative comments about the neon colors in the gallery that they set up a display, unfortunately using dupes of the originals, to show that the prints were only faithful copies. Well, anyone knowing anything about that process would immediately know looking at dupes would not be a valid comparison, and anyone who had both been in the high Sierras and shot well exposed Velvia slides, would know what the film was capable of and what the actual scenes looked like. Out of the hundreds of prints in the gallery there, maybe a dozen were problematic, but, boy are they hard to look at, and that's why they got so many complaints, or maybe just negative comments. And they are so sensitive about that there.


Mar 12, 2014 at 08:52 PM
skibum5
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p.2 #2 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Peter Figen wrote:
Yeah. Whining was the wrong word. Too many people are way too concerned about arguing minutiae, and for people that have to ask about what color space to use, the best and safest bet is definitely sRGB. Are there images you can take that have colors that exceed sRGB? Sure. But the real question is, does it really matter all that much. If you have a wide gamut printer, and you have an image that fits into its parameters, and you're using the right paper, then you may be able to see a difference, but then again, maybe not.
...Show more

I don't agree, making everything the simplest, most dumbed-down common denominator isn't necessarily the best advice.




Mar 12, 2014 at 08:57 PM
skibum5
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p.2 #3 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


JayCeePhotog wrote:
So after reading everyone's input, now my question is...

what is the best output for web ?


Tough question. If you care that those on tablets might not see images remotely correctly or if those on desktops might be using an old version of a browser then sRGB. If you want to allow the relatively few, but ever growing, number of people who have wide gamut images to see things at their best, then wide gamut, when needed isn't bad.

For something like a commercial web page for a store or a major internet portal and so on, sRGB is the way to go.

For a photo gallery, I'd almost lean towards going wide gamut, when needed, at this point, as pretty much any current browser version can handle wide gamut images these days. The one tricky thing is that a lot of people use tablets these days too and those are not color-managed for browsing at all yet. I've started trying to make two sets of galleries now. It would be easy if photo-hosting sights allowed for this in an automatic fashion though. Sadly two of the best ones Smugmug and Zenfolio don't even allow anything other than sRGB which is really holding back the photographic world. So if say you want to use Zenfolio but also want to show wide gamut images you get stuck having to use something totally different like Flickr to make a second gallery, which is a real drag.

Since you don't have a wide gamut monitor though it would be a bit tougher going though. Your choice of photo hosting site might also make the decision for you, some automatically convert all images to sRGB (even when you don't want them too).

I upload wide gamut to Zenfolio in case one day they allow for dual handling. I won't have to upload them again. Maybe you lose a trace in that they convert in 8bits when you could do it yourself in say 15-16bits, but mostly it's not that big of a deal.



Mar 12, 2014 at 09:07 PM
Hendrik
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p.2 #4 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Without reading all comments, I would:

Use sRGB as my working colorspace. Convert all RAW pictures to sRGB. Do my normal edits and send these sRGB images to my print lab. With this method, you have the best guarantees all colors look great and no miscommunication with the lab. sRGB is also for web display the best option.

If you shoot highly saturated objects, like yellow canaries, then sRGB can be too small to hold your colors. Clipping can occur, this will give lost details. You can desaturate your image and work normally in sRGB, but you can consider using a larger colorspace, like Adobe RGB or ProPhotoRGB. Do your normal edits and …think what you now want to do?
- For web: desaturate to avoid clipping when you convert to sRGB colorspace. You need sRGB for web.
- For printing: talk to your printing lab and ask if they can handle Adobe RGB/ProPhotoRGB images and how you need them to send. Better is if you can get there printer profile, so you can see what colors are out-of-gamut and needs extra attention.

AdobeRGB/ProPhotoRGB needs extra attention. I recommend getting a good book on Color Management if you don’t understand everything.



Mar 14, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Jeffrey
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p.2 #5 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Just because your camera is now set to sRGB does not mean it has to stay there.

I shoot in Adobe RGB, work in ProPhoto RGB and make a lot of excellent color prints.



Mar 14, 2014 at 06:53 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #6 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


"Just because your camera is now set to sRGB does not mean it has to stay there.

I shoot in Adobe RGB, work in ProPhoto RGB and make a lot of excellent color prints."

Here's another bit of confusion for those who are still at the beginning of their learning curve. Setting your camera to "shoot" in Adobe RGB only means that the in camera jpegs are being converted on the fly to Adobe RGB (and the LCD Histogram reflects an Adobe RGB color space) but has no bearing on the raw files produced by the same camera.



Mar 15, 2014 at 12:45 AM
leethecam
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p.2 #7 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


True, aRGB has a wider gamut than sRGB - but here's more to it than that...

Firstly your monitor needs to be able to display the colourspace you want to work in - otherwise you're just guessing about colours it can't display accurately.

Secondly, your printer / Lab needs to be able to print the colours you supply - so if their capability is sRGB then a conversion will need to be made if you've supplied in aRGB, at which point there's the guessing game as to what the outcome will be.

Thirdly, if the output is for the web then converting to sRGB from aRGB will employ... guessing as to the outcome...

So unless you can be very sure the prints can be processed from aRGB with a printer that can fully replicate the full gamut of colours, then I'd recommend sRGB.

Converting RGB to CMYK is more fun, and there is a mode of thought that suggests initial aRGB files are best to work from as you're starting with more colour information - but CMYK has enough limitations to make that argument a little moot, so I stick with the sRGB workflow.

I use a calibrated Eizo CG211 (100% sRGB) monitor with profiled Epson 3800 printer and use GF Smith in the UK as my lab for album work. I prefer to work within the slight limitations of sRGB to achieve a final look on screen that I like - but one that I can guarantee will be replicated perfectly.

In Lightroom I have it set to softproof as sRGB with perceptual conversion. I output as sRGB files to PS and final files are saved as sRGB. Lightroom will natively work in ProPhoto - which is next to useless as there's nothing out there that can display or print with this huge colourspace.

No point in working with lots of colour information if you can't replicate it later.

I used to engineer audio in recording studios and some of the places I worked in would have some amazing speaker systems - built into the wall, costing £30,000 a pair. We'd use these to record the raw sound because we wanted to hear every nuance of the spectrum. But when it came to mixing the album we'd use a neutral, but lesser set of "nearfield" monitors. These would have a reduced spectral range, (they would go as low or as high as the main system,) but they would give a better idea of how it would reproduce in a "real world" environment. No one would be thanking us if we thought the 20Hz sub bass was great - but no one at home could hear it...!

One other thought... aRGB requires more information (more colours to think about,) so you may often get smoother colour graduations when dealing with 8-bit files when using sRGB.



Mar 15, 2014 at 09:42 AM
hugowolf
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p.2 #8 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


leethecam wrote:
True, aRGB has a wider gamut than sRGB - but here's more to it than that...


There is an AdobeRGB, AdobeWideGamutRGB, and AppleRGB, but no aRGB

Color space profiles are simple matrix-based, at least for version 2. So they don’t have perceptual rendering tables. Conversions from one color space to another are always done colorimetrically.

I know of no printing machine in existence that can replicate all the colors in sRGB.

The reason for working in a larger space than the intended destination space is to minimize hitting clipping boundaries while working on an image.

Lightroom uses ProphotoRGB (but with a linear gamma) as its working space, but doesn’t as its default display space.

You could always try working in the space of the output device (pick your favorite paper/printer profile), and see how well that works out. I think you would soon realize why no one does that.

Brian A



Mar 15, 2014 at 05:21 PM
Mirek Elsner
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p.2 #9 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


leethecam wrote:
Firstly your monitor needs to be able to display the colourspace you want to work in - otherwise you're just guessing about colours it can't display accurately.


It only impacts saturation. You are only guessing if you will see more saturation nuances in the final print or not. There are tools that help in the guessing, like gamut clipping preview.


Lightroom will natively work in ProPhoto - which is next to useless as there's nothing out there that can display or print with this huge colourspace.



Glossy prints on current printers can print colors that are outside AdobeRGB. So you need ProPhoto RGB to preserve them.



Mar 15, 2014 at 07:49 PM
philhill
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p.2 #10 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Mirek Elsner wrote:
Glossy prints on current printers can print colors that are outside AdobeRGB. So you need ProPhoto RGB to preserve them.


But then you can lose subtle nuances in the transitions, because the individual colors that can be represented are farther apart. ProPhoto isn't larger than sRGB, it's wider. The storage size for the spaces (and individual colors) is the same, so it's a tradeoff.




Mar 16, 2014 at 01:52 AM
 

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Bifurcator
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p.2 #11 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Peter Figen wrote:
Yeah. Whining was the wrong word.



Nah, "whining" works just fine!




Mar 16, 2014 at 07:09 PM
skibum5
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p.2 #12 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


philhill wrote:
But then you can lose subtle nuances in the transitions, because the individual colors that can be represented are farther apart. ProPhoto isn't larger than sRGB, it's wider. The storage size for the spaces (and individual colors) is the same, so it's a tradeoff.



With a 16bit file I don't you'll ever notice though and even if it did get converted at the very last step to 8bits by some drivers I think that loss of nuance is rather subtle compared to the loss of shades of colors in images that need more than sRGB, especially since many files are high MP sourced and natural dithering goes far. Although with the somewhat restricted in some dimensions gamuts of inkjets I'm not sure how much the adobergb vs prophotorgb is on them.


Edited on Mar 17, 2014 at 11:51 PM · View previous versions



Mar 17, 2014 at 07:43 PM
hugowolf
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p.2 #13 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


skibum5 wrote:
With a 16bit file I don't you'll ever notice though and even if it did get converted at the very last step to 8bits by some drivers I think that loss of nuance is super ultra subtle compared to the loss of shades of colors in images that need more than sRGB. Although with the somewhat restricted in some dimensions gamuts of inkjets I'm not sure how much the adobergb vs prophotorgb is on them.


16 bit vs 8 bit is 2^24 vs 2^48 or 16,777,216 vs 281,474,976,710,656. 16 bit processing fills in more than a lot of gaps.

AdobeRGB covers most of what modern inkjets and modern displays can cover, but that should be no reason not to edit in ProPhotoRGB.

There have been many discussions of this for many years:

http://schewephoto.com/sRGB-VS-PPRGB/
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/prophoto-rgb.shtml#
http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles1203/mh1203-1.html
http://www.outbackphoto.com/color_management/cm_06/essay.html
http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/prophoto-rgb.html

Brian A



Mar 17, 2014 at 10:31 PM
Hendrik
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p.2 #14 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


With ProPhoto RGB, the steps between the colors can be not enough, even with 16-bit. I wrote about it years ago. Especially with delicate skin tones, the transition can be visible.


Mar 19, 2014 at 07:01 AM
jjlphoto
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p.2 #15 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Output for websites is now an even worse moving target. I do work for a business that manufactures and sells interior furnishings. Customers now us a myriad of mobile devices for shopping. All I can do for them is deliver in sRGB and punt. I believe most on-line print labs will accept AdobeRGB or sRGB files so long as you save the file with the embedded profile. Their preference of profile is usually in the labs' FAQ's. If you can't find it, contact them.

If you are using a calibrated monitor, you can use Photoshops Soft Proof feature to approximate what the image will look like printed. They always look deader because a reflected print doesn't have the same amount of HSB values as a back-lit display (your monitor). Once you get a handle on color management, you can goose colors in soft proofing, experiment with rendering intents, etc., but will ultimately be limited to what the printed medium can deliver.

Edited on Mar 19, 2014 at 05:16 PM · View previous versions



Mar 19, 2014 at 05:08 PM
jjlphoto
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p.2 #16 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


Hendrik wrote:
With ProPhoto RGB, the steps between the colors can be not enough, even with 16-bit. I wrote about it years ago. Especially with delicate skin tones, the transition can be visible.


I get the best results with skin tones processing RAWs into ColorMatchRGB, editing there, and then converting to whatever space the lab prefers. Something about editing in a gamma 1.8 space that is gentler and smoother regarding the subtle transitions of skin. I believe ProPhotoRGB is also a 1.8 gamma space, albeit much larger.



Mar 19, 2014 at 05:12 PM
skibum5
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p.2 #17 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


jjlphoto wrote:
I get the best results with skin tones processing RAWs into ColorMatchRGB, editing there, and then converting to whatever space the lab prefers. Something about editing in a gamma 1.8 space that is gentler and smoother regarding the subtle transitions of skin. I believe ProPhotoRGB is also a 1.8 gamma space, albeit much larger.


I think some editors use gamma 1.0 internally. Pretty LR, at the least does.



Mar 19, 2014 at 07:00 PM
FullHousePhoto
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p.2 #18 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


hugowolf wrote:
For all but the best custom labs, sRGB is certainly the way to go. In fact I don't see many online labs that accept anything but sRGB. It is one of those ‘if you have to ask, then sRGB is the way to go’.

On the other hand, it is interesting to see just how much you stand to lose with a decent printer.

Here is a gamut plot of sRGB (wireframe) against an Epson 4900/7900/9900 with a baryta paper:

http://www.dpreview.com/files/g/TS535~R0~2863190.jpg

While there is much the printer and its ink doesn't cover in the magneta/purple/violet areas, there is a massive amount of greens, blues,
...Show more

For a total outlay of around $2K, I can get an awful lot of very very nice looking prints that 99.9% of people I show won't know I didn't print with that printer on that paper.

The truth of the matter is, that while the human eye can see an amazing amount of detail, even in color, getting into color management with photography borders on the ridiculously extreme. There will be those that claim there is a difference, but I wonder if they truly can, given a "blind" test of prints (pardon the terrible pun!)

A while back, I tried the whole aRGB/ProPhoto "thing", but I simply wasn't ready to plunk down thousands for a monitor able to display (only) 85% of the colors displayed, or thousands more for a printer able to print "most" of the colors in those color spaces.

Only you can decide what's best for you and your clients or final usage, but I think that for most of us, good ole sRGB and good ole standard print labs do a fine job for the $$$...



Mar 20, 2014 at 05:24 AM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #19 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


"The truth of the matter is, that while the human eye can see an amazing amount of detail, even in color, getting into color management with photography borders on the ridiculously extreme. There will be those that claim there is a difference, but I wonder if they truly can, given a "blind" test of prints (pardon the terrible pun!)"

While color management can be incredibly overwhelming if you try and digest it all at once, it's really not that difficult if you take it a little bit at a time. You start with calibrating you monitor and controlling your ambient and viewing light.

I've been doing custom profiles for everything from inkjet to offset for close to fifteen years now and I can say without a doubt that it really does make a difference, provided you go about it in a scientific manner and use quality hardware and software and learn how to use it. Trust me, it's so much easier than it was when I started that it really doesn't seem fair. The software was way more expensive and so was the hardware, but it was also that little (well not so little) something that gave an edge over competitors and helped save clients time and money. Sometimes the difference is just more accurate colors overall, but often it's the effect on the overall output that having a really neutral gray response in combination with color accuracy that makes things pop off the page, no matter what kind of page it is.

"A while back, I tried the whole aRGB/ProPhoto "thing", but I simply wasn't ready to plunk down thousands for a monitor able to display (only) 85% of the colors displayed, or thousands more for a printer able to print "most" of the colors in those color spaces."

You don't have to have a wide gamut screen to test the output between color spaces. I've done it several times and while, on some images, you can see a very small difference, that difference really isn't as much as all those 3-D plots out of ColorThink would have you believe. Still, it's good to know if you happen to have a problem child that won't behave. The most important thing to remember is that even though color spaces like ProPhoto contain virtually all the potential colors you could ever imagine (and some you can't), most images just don't contain that much or that much important data at the edges of the spectrum. That's the reason in most instances, you'll just don't see much of a difference in color spaces, if at all.



Mar 20, 2014 at 07:41 AM
Shutterbug2006
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p.2 #20 · Printing - Adobe RGB vs sRGB


BruceF99 wrote:
Do you have a calibration device? If not, get one.

Are you printing yourself or sending the files to a lab? If you are sending them to a lab, check with the lab to see what color space to convert to. Most take sRGB, but more are adding in aRGB. You, generally, want to edit in as large a color space as possible and then convert for output. If you are printing yourself, consider getting a calibration system that will do the prints as well.

When shooting it RAW, color space is irrelevant. The camera tag is just for the JPG or,
...Show more

Selection of color space is not irrelevant inasmuch as the camera may use those settings to display something to the user on the camera. Certainly the selection of AdobeRGB can affect the RGB histogram and the saturation of colors displayed on the camera LCD screen at the very least, impacting choices the user might have made if sRGB had been selected instead.




Jun 28, 2014 at 08:16 PM
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