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Sunday, 26 July 2015


Ctein - never mind the rest of it - tell us about the Tesla!

[ Well, it... get this... it runs on electricity, not gasoline!

Remember, you can always rely on TOP for the most up-to-date technological news. -- pax / Ctein]

I became aware of printer profiles becoming 'good enough' a few years ago when I did a lot of printing on the Epsons. I found that no one would believe me! There a still a lot of people who are living in 2004, and woe be to the person that would suggest things have changed since then. Thanks for the confirmation!

[ Stephen, Dave's been telling me this for two years and I know he knows more about printing than I do, and it still took me this long to bite the bullet and check it out -- pax / Ctein]

Well now...
I have an Epson 7900 printer and (for large format scanning) the V750 scanner. Since I am planning to make some large prints, I just bought the Silverfast Printer Calibration package. Here's what I found, all tests using LR5.7 and Epson Semigloss 170gm. My normal high quality print paper is the Harman Baryta but the Epson Semigloss 170 is good for tests and much less costly:

1) Generic paper/printer profile downloaded from the web. Quality: Good. Nothing to be shamed of. I have made a number of prints using this combination on this paper and other papers (using the respective web-downloaded profiles) and definitely good enough.

2) Profile created using my own calibration. Quality: better, especially in the shadow area.

3) Printer Managed in LR, then Automatic setting in Epson driver. Quality: the worst of the lot. Dull looking.

4) Ctein's suggestion: Printer managed in LR, in driver: Color Control->Adobe RGB. Pretty much same as 3)

4) Use Adobe RGB in LR, then driver ICM with Adobe RGB as input ICM and "Epson Standard" as output. Quality: no discernible difference from using my created profile.

So, for my workflow, calibrated profile produces the highest quality and is similar to LR:Adobe RGB -> printer ICM: Adobe RGB/Epson Standard.


Great information!

Not having to make new profiles for every paper I experiment with will be wonderful. Thanks for the info!

Currently my home is being renovated and my Epson 3880 is under wraps so I won't be testing the no profile route until October. BTW, thank you for the informative post you made a while ago about lighting in your renovated home. More great information!

Peace - RR

One of my early mistakes in writing on the Internet was a piece I did where I tried to argue that most people should just be using sRGB for their work unless they can figure out how to tell you they need something else. I was always too lazy to fuss around with any kind of end to end profile, but then I don't print that much and my screens are all pretty uniform.

Anyway, all this reminds me of the first few minutes of this video:


Where Benson ruminates about "the controls" a bit. A nice sentiment, though clearly on the edgy side for the audience here. 😃

Looking forward to your expanded comments on the P800. I recently retired my canon ipf5000 after 8.5 yrs, and will most like replace it with the p800. That will have to wait till I get back from Australia ( not there yet) in a few weeks. No point getting it now, when I won't have time to use it.


I followed a Tesla S out of a parking lot ... for a moment. Then, it took off like a shot, with no evidence of effort. I lust after one, but my 2010 RAV4 will have to do until an unknown rich relative leaves me a fortune.

Kind of reading between the lines, my interpretation is that your printing advice works for a Mac environment, but has unknown effect for a Windows environment. I have been happy with custom profiles for my R2880, but at some point when I finally upgrade the thing, I'll give your ideas a try. (Thanks for addressing this topic. I've been wondering.)

The mid range acceleration of the Tesla S is enough to induce hysterical manic laughter in the most sensible, well adjusted person.

Just wish I could afford one.

Re: profiles

I never thought we would see this day. Imagine, devices working accurately, to some reliable standard, straight out of the box.

I look forward to getting back the many hours I have chased down the rabbit hole in search of accurate prints.

Heck I don't even print, the Retina iMac screen is so much better than a flat paper print. Less generational loss, the optimal viewing is a good, large, higher resolution monitor....

Uh, Scottsdale (Phoenix), the Bay Area, Seattle, Minneapolis and ***Houston.***

I can understand that people like the Tesla, because it's really techy and doesn't look too bad, etc., but Porsche now offers a hybrid plug-in Cayenne that will recharge from your home 220 line (a wall-hanging charger station is included in the price, along with a 20-foot-plus charging cable.)

I was told by a salesman that the user experience indicates that this powerful SUV gets ~50 miles per gallon of gas in typical use. When you leave home with a full charge, it will travel about 16 miles under average urban driving conditions on the battery power alone. If you want a big surge of power, you can drop your foot on it anytime, and the gas engine cuts in. If you travel cross-county with the gas engine, the battery is automatically recharged.

I'm not going to get one, but I like it better than the Tesla -- it seems like a more practical vehicle for hauling around photographic and printing equipment.

[ Oops, itinerary fixed. Thanks, John-- Ctein]

You have a Color Munki and you got it to work? Maybe it's different for a Mac, but for Windows I have a $400 paper weight. I can't get it to register. I had it working once a year or more ago on another computer, then I changed and it won't register again. There was something about changing the order that network drivers load, but I can't find the information again.

But why should I have to register every time I install the software??? I've bought and paid top dollar for this and I can't use it. grrrrr

I have a iMac retina and am thinking of a P800.
The P800 would be my first 'serious' photo printer.... so I'm standing on the edge of a large abyss next to a sign labeled 'printer profiles', and you just pulled me back.
Thank you very very much. I look forward to hearing your further thoughts on the subject, and the P800

Good to hear this from Color Man Ctein himself. I print mainly B&W and always use Printer Manages Color (where you have ample opportunity to set your own tint and contrast). According to (personal comunication by) PS author Martin Evening this has the additional advantage that only the very minimum of color pigments is used, leaving you with an extremely durable print as it consists for some 98% of carbon. I understand that using profiles in Photoshop or PS Lightroom tends to use/mix more color pigments to arrive at the same greys.
I still use an Epson R2400, but am eagerly looking forward to Ctein's testing of the P800.

Same experience for me - Printer manages colour for the P600 - gives perfect results with Canson Baryta. The Canson profile I downloaded initially was way off.

Thanks for the no-profile idea, Ctein, I'll certainly try it (Retina iMac, 3880). My old eyeONE display profiler is orphaned anyway.

I really love the electric BMWi3 that I share (sometimes) with my wife. It's much more high tech in the ways that matter to me than a Model S (very light, ultra efficient from plug to road).
It has a much smaller battery, so I have the version with scooter engine to extend the range for occasional long journeys (here in Europe the range extender is far more capable without coding than it is in N America).

Mike wouldn't like it, no stick shift, no shift at all, just forwards and backwards. Very smooth and quiet, but goes like a jackrabbit when floored and stops well too.

Tried it on Epson 4880, Windows 7. I don't use LR, but Qimage to print.

1) Qimage > Color management off >Epson driver > Custom > ICM/Adobe RGB > Advanced > Input image: Adobe RGB/ Output image: Epson standard.
Disappointed: colors are off, not much, but not acceptable.
2) Qimage > Color management off >Epson driver > Automatic > Adobe RGB.
Very disappointed.

I am back to the Agryll or Munki profiles.

PS: Nice to have you back Ctein!


PPS: One thing, which I didn't count, as I got too enthusiastic,is that my inc is 2012(most of it) and it has expired.
I believe, one needs fresh ink to render the test correct.
So, I think, I can declare my test invalid. :)


"Dave Polaschek had been telling me that there are newer printers for which paper profiles are simply obsolete". Which could be the final push for me to purchase a P600 (P800 is just too much).
You did not wrote which paper you used, but I assume a bouquet of what you use routinely (for instance the baryta paper you used for the "Lincoln memorial" I purchased).


I can understand that printer-managed color could be optimal for printing onto the printer manufacturer's own papers (i.e. those directly supported by the printer driver).

But if you are using a 3rd-party paper, one which doesn't respond to the inks in exactly the same ways as one of the OEM papers, then nothing in the printing pipeline is accounting for these differences in rendering, and the quality of the results is likely to be down to luck.

Isn't that pretty much where we were - for 3rd-party papers - prior to custom paper profiling?

I started printing without profiles almost out of accident, certainly out of laziness. Making comparative prints with and without profiles convinced me it was the way for me to go, but I thought it was probably some inadequacy in my skill with profiles that produced those results. That the Print King should make his prints this way has made me feel a heck of a lot better.

Geez, gotta try au natural printing, Ctein. The last time I tried this was the moment I learned that color has to be "managed" many years ago. Now many years and dollars later you're telling me it's better behaved? Well, ok. I use a 3880 and a color-managed work flow with a big NEC monitor that can display almost the whole ARGB gamut. Ending such a careful process with "Let printer manage color. " might require counseling and medication. But I'll give 'er a go!

Re:Teslas, I'm with you. I haven't had a car since 1979. But quite a few of my neighbors seem to have these silent beauties. The tempt me mightily with their silent siren song.

I love controversial good news like this. First you laugh at "expose to the right," now you thumb your nose at profiles (I exaggerate for effect).

The one thing I don't understand is how the printer adjusts for different paper qualities when you let it manage color, or are you (and others) saying that those differences in contrast and ink take-up really are not such a big deal these days?

[ John, you're still selecting paper type in the print settings panel ~ pax / Ctein]

Yes, this works. My first print, not using a profile, was of an image I could not print satisfactorily by the conventional method. The new print - colours managed by the printer - looked exactly like the screen image. I'll now try a few things which have already made nice prints using profiles, and see how they compare.

I've been faithful to printing profiles for over 20 years but they have let me down a few times, so this is a bit like doing something naughty - I'm feeling nervous and a little guilty - but it feels good, and it's fun!

[ David, what printer, OS, software, and paper are you using? Thanks! ~ pax / Ctein]

Though he retired the service in 2012, I had custom profiles made for all my favorite printers by Adobe Principal Scientist Eric Chan http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/faq.html The profiles were not only incredibly accurate, but inexpensive ($20 each, though he eventually raised the price to $30).

These profiles were superior to every one of the manufacturer-provided profiles, and even superior to the results I saw from inkjet printing shops I used here in NYC back then. (The exception was Epson papers -- the Epson profiles for their own papers equalled the quality of the custom profiles.)

One high-end shop was so impressed with my sample compared with their output that they ordered their own set of profiles from Chan.

However, I've never compared printing using my 3880's printer-managed setup. (I know that it does work beautifully for printing in Epson's Advanced Black and White mode.)

I'm eager to compare using your suggestion, Ctein. I hope to get to it later today, and I'll post my impressions.

Proof of concept. Canned profile (Epson Luster, new P600 printer), versus custom profile:


I guess if blues rendering black is your idea of an acceptable canned profile, so be it.

The entire image used for testing can be found here:

The reason high end reference display system from Eizo and NEC (SpectraView) provide the ability to produce multiple calibrations and profiles of which one can switch on the fly in the software is that one size absolutely does not fit all! A matt paper with a warm surface and a contrast ratio of 150:1 needs different display calibration than a glossy paper with twice that contrast ratio who's paper might have OBA's or appear much cooler under the same illuminant next to the display.

Displays are not stable devices, they need regular calibration, something again a high end device will provide (trending of dE differences over time, so you can see device drift if you don't calibrate often enough).

[ Dog! How ya doing! You've raised some good issues. Lemme get back to you... (For those who don't know, Andrew Rodney embraced color management back when most folks couldn't spell it. He's also known as DigitalDog ~ pax / PixelParrot]

We really are talking about “printer-managed color,” as Photoshop refers to it. Profiling is turned off entirely. No custom profiles, not even the canned profiles that get installed with your printer software.

To clarify, profiling isn't turned off entirely. Whatever profile the document is in (your working profile in Photoshop, or the document profile if you're not converting to a standard working profile, or ProPhoto RGB if you're working in Lightroom) is sent to the printer with the document, so the printer knows what the numbers in the document mean.

When using "Printer Manages Color" on the Mac, Photoshop will do its level best to send the document as-is to the printer. The caveat here is that the color-space the document is in needs to be something that the OS can turn into what the printer wants. In practice, this means any profiled RGB, CMYK or gray color-space, as well as La*b* (CIELAB) go from Photoshop to the OS without color conversion happening inside Photoshop. But all the printer drivers take (only) RGB input, so there's no reason to even think about the fact that they're using CMYK inks unless you want extra color conversions.

The OS then converts that color-data we've handed it into whatever color-space the printer driver wants (no conversion for profiled RGB, but CMYK, gray, and La*b* will probably be converted by the OS), and then the printer driver is in control. Since the OS is possibly doing a color conversion, the version of the OS matters, but since 10.4 or 10.5 things have been pretty stable (and good).

On Windows, GDI (and ICM2.0) uses sRGB as its interchange space, so if you use "Printer Manages Color" on Windows, all color information will get converted to sRGB at some point, possibly compressing your color gamut. If you can see a difference, use "Photoshop Manages Colors," but make a print first to see if you can see a difference.

Ctein, buy the Tesla Model S! There aren't many in this little corner of Europe, but I chance to see one every now and then in my turns. It never fails to make me stop and stare. It's a gorgeous car with fantastic proportions and the aggression of a sportscar, but it's also incredibly roomy, has luxurious fit and finish - and that touch-screen panel on the console is just... wow! It's easy to fall in love with this car, especially because it doesn't run on fossil fuel. Which makes it a much more interesting proposition than a similarly priced car such as the Audi A7.
Go for it - and then tell us all about it!

My 3880 fell ill before the P800 hit the store shelves so I took the opportunity to try a Canon Pro-1 for a while. All in, it was about half of what a P800 would be and I thought I might have less trouble with clogging ink. I rarely print larger than 13x19 so was willing to live with that limitation for a season. I expected my love/hate relationship with color management and profiling to follow me to the Pro-1. It did. Then on a lark, remembering your comment, I threw caution to the wind and set the driver to Auto and LR Profile to Managed by Printer. My test image was now 99.9% identical to my 3880 ICC Profile produced reference sample. I have to have the samples side by side to see the variation. It was also marginally truer to my calibrated monitor.

I use the Datacolor test image downloaded from http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/test_images.html

It was all too easy.

I'm delighted to hear that out-of-the-box accurate color management for high end inkjets may finally be here.

I bought an Epson 7600 waaaay back when it first came out, and despaired of ever getting a worthwhile print from it, until I was fortunate enough to attend Bill Atkinson's printing seminar at George Eastman House. Bill had generated some excellent profiles that managed to linearize the 7600's very non-linear behavior and make it usable. It honestly took me about 6 months to get prints I was happy with, but eventually the results were very good indeed.

The Canon iPF6300 I'm using currently gives very good results with 'canned' profiles, as it does a very good job of keeping itself calibrated. It still pays dividends to follow Charlie Cramer's recommendation to check the "L" values in image shadows with the Info palette in Photoshop, because anything lower than about 10-12 will tend to print so dark that print detail is only visible in *very* bright light.

I believe that Apple calibrates the monitors as part of manufacturing process


CTein, my 2880 gives me a very limited selection of paper types to choose from, so I generally use the best available (Epson Ultra Lustre) to stand in for papers like Canson Byarta or Epson Exhibition Fiber. It's either that or use a profile. It's long been a mystery why this is so, but even Epson recommended this paper setting when I called them to ask why I don't see all the Epson papers listed in my printer dialogue.

Ctein -

The missing info - Mac OS 10.10.4, Photoshop CS6, Epson 3880, Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Heavyweight Matt.

(I've sent a comparative image to Mike's regular email. I don't know if he will pick this up as he is busy - or maybe you have access? Whatever, the two prints are similar but slightly different, with the [smaller] non-profile print being slightly more contrasty, saturated, and stronger; and more accurate to the screen image.)

I ran an A-B test just now.

I ran a print using Photoshop's "Printer [Epson 3880] Manages Color" and one using "Photoshop Manages Color" (using an Eric Chan custom color profile) on one of my favorite and most difficult-to-print images (lots of dark gradations and detail almost lost in the shadows, skin tones, a mix of light sources, lots of fine detail, some blown highlights: bit.ly/1OwNQG4). I printed on my favorite paper (Museo Silver Rag) at the highest quality settings possible.

Except for the color management settings, the source images and other printer settings were identical.

The final output prints are incredibly close to identical.

Only after examining them under good light up close (both my 3500-degree K studio lights and a bright halogen desk lamp) can I see that the Printer Managed print is just a touch more magenta or maybe less yellow than the Photoshop Managed print. And the Photoshop Managed print might have just a tiny bit more contrast. Maybe. Otherwise, shadow details are identical, there's no banding anywhere, no difference in areas where highlights blow out -- no issues at all in either print.

I consider that a ringing endorsement of letting the printer manage color, especially for those papers where I don't have a custom profile.

Thanks for the suggestion, Ctein!

>>Proof of concept. Canned profile (Epson Luster, new P600 printer), versus custom profile:


To clarify after more testing. The above process, I picked "ColorSync" not Epson Color as you recommend. What picking ColorSync appears to do is just select the canned profile. And that's why the blue ball goes black, the profile isn't very good in that respect.

I then used what Ctein recommends when using Printer Manages Color; Epson Color Controls, Adobe RGB (1998). Blue balls don't go black, but absolutely not better than my custom profile by a long shot. Here's a view of that:


A JPEG, in sRGB, from a 5D (not using my preferred 105 Macro to show more balls) isn't ideal. But here's my profile (top) versus what Ctein recommends (Adobe RGB (1998) using Epson Controls). To my eye, nothing is superior on the output using your method. It's clear what clipping to Adobe RGB (1998) does here with Greens (ugly banding without profile). Look at how flat the upper blue ball is, no shape like that with the profile. Upper Magenta ball shows banding and more lack of smoothness. Dirty yellow bottom ball.

Other problems. You can't soft proof. All data clips to Adobe RGB (1998) which isn't ideal (both the P600 and 3880 have color gamuts that greatly exceed Adobe RGB (1998)).

Sorry Ctein, not working on this end either with my P600 or my 3880 which is very, very similar to your equipment. The custom profile is superior in every respect; smoothness, saturation, how the balls draw in terms of their shape. Clipping to Adobe RGB and not having the ability to soft proof are factors but the bottom line is, the output using Printer Manages Color produces inferior output and this is to an Epson paper (Luster). How can this process work with 3rd party papers of which the Epson driver knows nothing about?

Maybe you should output my targets and let me build you a profile, then compare. I'd be happy to provide this for you as part of the 'proof of concept' of how and why, a good custom profile is going to produce superior output than Printer Manages Color. Before the audience here decides profiles, custom or otherwise are obsolete.

[ DD— Well, now ain't that interesting! Yeah, that looks like crap. I've gotta ask the "is it plugged in?" question: That's printed out via Photoshop, not Lightroom, right? The reason I'm asking is because your test TIFF was created under Lightroom, and one reader has already reported that Lightroom doesn't do this trick well.

I've downloaded your test TIFF, and I'll print it out here after I run a few errands. Let's see if I get the same result at this end that you're seeing. — PixelParrot


Ctein -
What gamma do you use when you calibrate your monitor to D50?

[ Darel — 2.2 — Ctein]

But if you are using a 3rd-party paper, one which doesn't respond to the inks in exactly the same ways as one of the OEM papers, then nothing in the printing pipeline is accounting for these differences in rendering, and the quality of the results is likely to be down to luck.

This is my question. I do not typically use Epson papers with my R3000. So how do you account for differences in paper when using "Printer Manages Colors"?

Interesting article. Thank you.

What profile are you using for soft proofing? Or does Printer Managing Colours render soft proofing unnecessary too?

{ Jason — I don't find soft proofing especially useful for my work; it doesn't tell me well enough what a print will actually look like. So, I couldn't really say the best way to make use of it with this approach. — Ctein ]

I've been using an Epson R2880 running MK & a 4880 with PK & can attest to the accuracy of Ctein's statement - was using Canson Baryta Photographique on the 4880 & the difference was startling - much easier to get a good print when the printer was left to own devices. Have recently been using Harman by Hahnemuhle Matt Fibre Duo to print a limited edition book & again found the R2880's management spot-on. Anyway, back to sewing signatures...

All my print tests shown were printed out of Photoshop CC 2015.


Since you are reviewing the new Epson printer, do you know if they are planning to add a windows print feature for RGB? I am currently using Moonphoto in Seattle for custom printing and they do their work in RGB, not sRGB. Regarding the new ink sets, can they handle the pro-photo color space? I am interested in this color space but have not used it.

[ Mathew — Sorry, I don't do Windows, so I wouldn't know about that. There is no printer out there that can fully handle the ProPhoto color space. But, all modern quality printers can produce colors that fall a little outside of Adobe RGB. While Adobe RGB is a roughly good match for printer gamuts, it doesn't catch all the colors a printer can reproduce. Working in ProPhoto RGB does add usable hues to your workspace. — Ctein]

Ctein, a link for you: What it's like to own a Tesla Model S: A cartoonist's review of his magical space car.

Much bad advice and simply incorrect information in this thread - and not at all surprised to see someone who actually has worked properly in this area contradicting this advice (AR).

With actual, simple tests it's quite easy to demonstrate *really good* custom profiles still significantly outperform printer colour management (and as the machines, particularly the at-best mediocre retinas, drift over time - you will see greater screen <> print divergence of course if you fail to continue calibration). If you can't see this in your tests, your tests are not good enough. Or your 'custom printer profiles' are not good enough. Or, likely, both.

Custom profiles, properly made on high end equipment - and I don't include the ColorMunki in this (given it's the most basic consumer level device for profile making) - are still a lot better overall.

Of course it depends a lot on the particular image you're actually rendering - many simple ones will come out looking much the same, but you can't draw conclusions about every image from one image or even a few. Custom profiles really come in to their own with difficult images, and a lot of it is about separation and clarity of tones more gamut range etc. of course.

Honestly, if you don't use soft proofing (which is probably a strong reflection on the quality of the tools you're using, and profiles) - if you're using colormunki profiles, and you're comparing with mediocre screens rather than, say Eizo CGs and NEC PAs properly calibrated - then you're really not in a good place to be commenting on the efficacy of printer profiles at all because you're simply not using them to full effect (or even using what I would consider a custom profile at all).

If you're saying that printer colour management can sometimes perform as well as, or maybe even do better than, Munki profiles specifically - and on the Mac only given the sRGB PC PCS scenario - then sure, perhaps.
But drawing serious conclusions about custom profiles in general from that is a very long bow to draw.

BTW - working in ProPhoto because it can, in theory, hold tones a printer can reproduce that a smaller space can't - is utterly pointless (and potentially damaging due to less smoothness etc) - unless those tones actually exist in the capture in question. And your raw converter can show you this definitively on a per image basis.

Put simply - the smallest colour space that contains the actually captured colours completely (with a small amount of headroom for small tone edits) - is the best space to use for that particular image.

Dear Mike, Steve, John, and others,

All right, you want to talk about the Tesla.

Yes, acceleration. More than a sane person needs. It's the electric motor thing–– Electrics have incredible torque at low RPM; the opposite of an internal combustion engine. So, they can launch out of the starting gate like a bat out of hell. The low-end Tesla has more acceleration than I will ever need. The highest end upgrade, the “insane mode,” pulls about 1G until the speed maxes out around 130 mph.

Honestly, I totally don't care. I've never owned a muscle car in my life, never have had any particular interest in doing so. Now, Paula on the other hand. She likes muscle.

I'm much more interested in the all-electric part and the range. John, the range on the low-end Tesla S is enough for a round-trip to Sacramento or to Monterey (Carmel if you're willing to push it, but that's on the edge). We never go further than that unless we're taking off on a long road trip (happens much less than once a year). We rarely even go that far; maybe once a year. So a Tesla S will do us just fine. If we need to take a road trip, we will rent a car. (On the other hand, the Tesla X is worth considering because of the cargo capacity.)

The reason we haven't looked at any of the (relatively) low priced electrics, even though we both love electrics, is because they don't have the range. We may never go much further than 100 miles, one way, but we routinely go 50 miles. A car that doesn't have a range of at least 125-150 miles is just too iffy, and that kills the low-end electrics for us.

What I'm really interested in is the ergonomics and the smarts. Super smarts. I could spend a lot of space trying to explain what a nice job they've done with that, but the best way I can explain it is that it's like a well-designed Apple product. It's just right, and smart, and it's clever. And there are plenty of people out there who'll say, “Ctein, why did you blow 5K on a retina iMac when you could have built yourself a nice Windows box?” and I'll say “You just don't understand.”

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

This is a pretty funny essay written from the POV of an electric car owner encountering an internal combustion engine car for the first time: http://teslaclubsweden.se/test-drive-of-a-petrol-car/

I guess that I must be really confused. I run a Win 7 system with an Epson 3880 (that replaced a broken 4900). My monitor is calibrated regularly to D50 (the calibrator reminds me, biweekly). I print from Qimage, printer controls (recommended to me 5-6 years ago by a local custom lab manager), with color mode set to "Adobe RGB" - a choice in the print driver, under "automatic" - been there for the last two printers, at least. This workflow seems to work quite well (I just checked and the same choices come up going through PSCS6, following Ctein's directions as stated above). As a Windows user, what am I missing in choosing the printer color mode?

Also, I don't soft proof anymore as that never seemed to actually reflect the end results.

>>Also, I don't soft proof anymore as that never seemed to actually reflect the end results.

It doesn't match? That's due to how you've calibrated the display. See:

To see how differing profiles will affect the soft proof, load one for say Glossy paper, one for Matt, make sure you have the Simulate Paper Color and Black Ink check boxes ON. See a difference? Ideally, you'd have a calibration of your display for each paper based on this specific soft proof.

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