Color Calibration

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by WDodd, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so I recently bought an Epson R380 photo printer and am now trying to figure out this calibration thing.

    I already have a calibrated monitor and the color I am getting from my printer is pretty close but I can notice some differences and I am wondering how I would go about calibrating my printer further and if its worth it.

    I would like the color to be dead on what I am looking at from my screen. When I order from mpix it is pretty much dead on. I print using Lightroom and it automatically loads a profile for my printer that gets it closer than if I don't use that profile (its awful if I don't).

    So what does everyone think?

    I did some searches for ICC profiles but it seems to me that I would have to get a custom one made for my printer, paper, ink combination? I use Epson ink and paper for what its worth.

    Thanks for your help! :D
     
  2. AdamZx3

    AdamZx3 TPF Noob!

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    I would suggest dry creek photo, I have heard good reviews about their service, but havent tried it myself yet. Basically you just print out their target picture with your desired paper/ink settings and they send you a custom profile that you can proof with using photoshop.

    http://www.drycreekphoto.com/custom/customprofiles.htm

    Also when I bought my new lcd (Eizo 24" Coloredge) my prints where a lot closer than using my cheapy $250 lcd...the old one just didn't have the color gamut to produce the right colors.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I have heard a lots of good things about the Eizo lcds and would love to have one. I will check out their website more in-depth. Thanks!
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Have you heard good reports about Dry Creek recently? I used to get my profiles from them, but service became very very slow, and many people reported problems. Their website says "Note: Due to a backlog of profiling orders, our custom profiling service is suspended for the time being." If you search on 'dry creek' over on photo.net you will see a few threads about problems.

    There is also Cathy's Profiles.

    What profile does Lightroom automatically load? Do you know that it is the right Epson one for your printer, ink and paper? Before you spend $35 per profile I suggest that you make sure that Lightroom is selecting the correct profile.

    According to EJS in this thread on dpreview there are some profiles on Epson's Japanese site. The R380 is said to be the PM-D870

    Crispia = UltraPremium Glossy

    Photo Paper(G) = Premium Glossy

    Let us know how you get on. I use the same hardware and software as Cathy, and if you didn't want many profiles making I may be able to do them at a heavily discounted rate.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    According to dry creek a good profile for a printer would last you several years.

    When I open up Lightroom and go to print there is a profile drop down and it says Epson Stylus Photo R380. Which I would assume was automatically install with the printer drivers but I may be wrong. There is an option to add another custom profile but with nothing to add I haven't really messed around with that.

    I haven't had a chance to check out your links yet I will see what I can find out and get back to you.

    Edit: I may be premature in asking this before I read the information that you posted fully but what exactly is the Crispia/Photo Paper(G) stuff?

    Edit2: May seem silly but what do I do with the custom profile I downloaded from Japan site. I know how to use it in PS3 but what about Lightroom?
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but you might start using new papers as they are introduced, and you might add to your collection of printers.

    Those are the names used in Japan for the Ultra and Premium Glossy (now Premium Photo Paper Glossy instead of Premium Glossy Photo Paper).

    I don't use Lightroom, but here is a thread on Luminous Landscape about how to apply printer profiles in LR. I think that digitaldog is Andrew Rodney - the author of one of the better books on colour management.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  7. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much I will let you know how that works out.
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The true "proper" way to calibrate a printer is to use not only a hardware monitor calibrator, but also a hardware printer calibrator.

    http://www.vistek.ca/details/details.aspx?WebCode=222511&CategoryID=ComputerAccessories

    You make a print and use this hardware to create profile that works for that ink/paper combo.

    It's not cheap, but it is a wise investment if you are making lots of prints and selling them. It will help you get it perfect the first time.
     
  9. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    The Japanese profiles got it really close thanks a lot. A might still consider getting a custom profile made but for now I'm getting more bearable results. Thanks!!!!!

    I'd love to have one of those Matt, might have to add it to my long list of things that I need to get. What do you think about the profiles that you send away for?
     
  10. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I used to have a PrintFix Pro (what Matt gave the link to) until I decided to get an Eye One and ProfileMaker 5. The PrintFix Pro is much slower* and less versatile** than the Eye-One, and it appears to be limited in the number of patches it can use, but it does do a decent job that will not be far from a profile created with more expensive systems. The Eye One is available in a bundle with software that is cheaper than ProfileMaker 5.

    Best,
    Helen

    PS For readers outside the USA, the R380 is also known as the R360 (Europe) and the R390 (Asia, Middle East)

    *The PFP measures one patch at a time, the Eye One measures a strip of patches in the same time.

    ** The Eye One is a spectrophotometer, and it can do a more than just make printer profiles - such as doing a spectral analysis of a light source and measuring colour temperature. The PFP cannot analyse incident light, and it does not do a full spectral analysis of reflective surfaces. It was designed to be a cost-effective print profiling device.
     

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