color calibration

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by carolwrite, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. carolwrite

    carolwrite TPF Noob!

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    I just received a new batch of digital photos which i had 'tweaked' before i sent them to be printed. The printed colors do NOT match what showed on my screen. I understand I may need software like Spyder2 to calibrate the colros on my monitor.

    The question--i work with a laptop w/o separate monitor. Will this software be effective on my laptop screen? It seems logical that there should be no difference, but then software is often not logical.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, Spyder2 is compatible with CRT and LCD (flat panel & laptop) screens.

    I got Spyder2 Express and installed it just minutes ago...so far, so good.
     
  3. kelox

    kelox TPF Noob!

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    i was just looking at these tonight. yes they will work with your laptop.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Spyder 2 installed here too.... 2nd month since installed. Works pretty well except the version I have doesn't support dual head (monitor). No big deal, secondary monitor is used as additional desktop space for the tools in photoshop anyways.
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    The problem is that you need to profile the printer also.

    http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/profiles.htm

    Calibrating the monitor ensures that it shows the image acurately when on the screen, but all printers print differently. You need an ICC profile so that you can soft-proof the image in Photoshop. You might have to make additional adjustments based on what printer you will be using. Some print shops provide ICC profiles for the printers they use, or if you have a scanner that's also calibrated, you could create one yourself by having a print made. In my case, when I bought my quadtone inkset, I sent the company a print from my printer and they scanned it with a colormeter and sent me the ICC profiles for each type of paper I used.
     
  6. carolwrite

    carolwrite TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for that input. I had noted that recommendation where I picked up the spyder2 info, but I don't print my own pics. I want archival quality and those printers are a bit pricey.
     
  7. carolwrite

    carolwrite TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input!! I look forward to my next prints being better quality, and since I make them at 40-100 ft. underwater and can't run just back to remake them, I want them to be GOOD. Also, I just bought a new digital just for this and expect great pics from it. Furthermore, I want to make my friends envious of all I get to see down under.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a question for you Mark...

    Now that I have properly calibrated my monitor...should I set my Photoshop working color space to the new Spyder profile? And then should I change the color space (to sRGB) before I upload or send out for printing? Or should I keep the working space the same as the files from my camera (sRGB)?

    I set my printer to use the same profile as well. I haven't tested it yet but it should be close enough. I'm not that picky about prints I make at home.
     
  9. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    This color stuff can get complicated. The monitor should be using it's profile from when you calibrated it. PS working space: I work in AdobeRBG, which has a larger gammut and my camera is set for, and convert to sRGB only when saving a JPG for the web. Some places might require sRGB for printing, so you would convert if that's the case. If you get your printer profiled, you would use that ICC for softproofing. Don't set your printer to your monitor's profile.
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/techcorner/September_2005.html
    http://www.inkjetmall.com/store/cm/icc.html
    http://www.imagescience.com.au/ColourControl/customProfiles.html

    When you profile a printer, it's not just the printer, but the combination of printer, ink, and paper.

    Here are some profiles of labs around the country: http://drycreekphoto.com/icc/
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Mark (sorry carolwrite, for hi-jacking the thread).

    Yes, this color stuff is complicated...that's why I want to keep things as simple as possible (at least until I understand it a lot better). So I've calibrated my monitor and that profile is now my display setting. And that is the only place I need to use that profile?

    I know that Adobe RGB has a wider gamut but in the interest of keeping things simple...I'd use sRGB right from start to finish so that I don't have to change it.

    So I'll use sRGB as my workspace...and should I set my printer to sRGB as well? I know that it is (or should be) set so that Photoshop decides the color and not the printer drivers...

    I'm not going to go through the trouble of getting my printer profiled. Partial because, as you say, it's a combination of printer, paper & ink.
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    At least I think this is answering his question. It's a big subject.

    As I understand it, yes. An image is stored as color data. An ICC profile is a translation that tells something how to produce that color data accurately. The monitor profile makes certain adjustments so that the monitor displays that color data correctly.

    For example, if the monitor naturally tends towards blue, white will have a blueish tint to it. The profile tells the computer to take some blue out before sending it to the monitor, that way white will show as white.

    The printer itself doesn't get a profile, again as I understand it. The printer profiles you get are translation maps that you use in software so that when you softproof, you can see what the image will look like when it is printed using that printer, ink, and paper.

    As an example, some paper is warmer than others. If you use a paper that is a little yellow, when you softproof, white gets a translation that makes it somewhat yellow, and all the other colors become more yellow too. If you don't want as much yellow in the final print, you would do a color adjustment to the source image data. The white will still be a little yellow, since that's the paper. There's nothing you can do about that. But you can pull yellow out of the the rest of the image. If you then print that image data on white paper, it will lack yellow in the color. Different ink sets have different color gammuts, so you need to take those into account too. That's why it should really be called an output profile rather than printer profile.

    So the end result becomes:

    Image data -> printer profile adds yellow (and other stuff) -> monitor profile removes blue (and other stuff) -> monitor shows what the print will look like.

    That works. If you do a lot of print at home, I'd use AdobeRBG, though. sRGB will limit the number of colors the printer will output. The printer has it's own color gammut, so you only get colors where the two overlap.

    I'm no expert, but I think the printer gets nothing.

    And it's expensive. I did it because I was showing and selling my prints.

    A lot of paper companies will offer more generic profiles. They will be tuned to the ink and paper and a non-specific printer of a certain model. Each Epson 1280 (for example) will be different enough that a pro may want to have their own profiled, but for general use, having the company profile the ICC to the Espon 1280 sitting in their shop is close enough.

    Here's Ilford's: http://www.ilford.com/html/us_english/prod_html/galerie/IJPROFILES/default.asp

    I'm sure a search will reveal more profiles for other papers.
    http://www.serendipity-software.com.au/support/download/icc/printer/
    On the Epson site, they have some links to ICC profiles. Not every combo is there, but there are some on both the printer pages and paper pages.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Mark :thumbsup:
     

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