Colormunki Photo color cast

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by john_ashby|2, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Hi,
    I'm using a Pixma Pro9000 MkII printer with a macbook pro. I just bought a colormunki photo with the intention of profiling the printer.

    I started by using it to profile the monitor and it gave me an unpleasant brown color cast. I tried several times, different versions of the software, positioning the sensor at different angles, etc. All with the same result. I decided to leave that issue aside and move on to the printer.

    I could not get the mac print driver to not attempt to manage the colors, so I used a windows computer to create the profile which worked well. I copied the profile back to the mac and printed my image. And it came out with a brown cast that perfectly matches the way my display was profiled.

    The thing is it's image that I've printed through WHCC before and it came back from them looking perfect and very close to my unprofiled display. I used photoshop CS6 autocolor and autocontrast and it looked pretty good without any profiling. The brown cast on my display makes everything including the background of this webpage look tinted. So I don't think it's supposed to be like this and I just have my picture too brown.

    Is this normal behaviour for a colormunki photo? Is it possible I have a defective unit or I'm missing a setting? I got the device from amazon through a 3rd party fulfilled by amazon, and I'm not that sure it's really a new unit even though it's supposed to be.

    Also, before I started this little exercise my printer had a strong red tint using non-oem ink. After profiling, as I said, it matches the screen very well using the same non-oem ink. (I know, I know, but the printer has aged to the point where OEM ink has more than doubled in price and it would be more cost effective to scrap the printer and buy a Pro-100 which I will do eventually -- if only I could use that mail in rebate in Canada).

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  3. The web link helps, I wasn't quite sure what to do with the image files.

    But I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out what to look for from the instructions, probably because my google translate of the PDF isn't very good. At max brightness (not the profiler's brightness) I can just barely make out the 3 squares in the black rectangle, and at no brightness can I see the 3 in the white.
  4. The monitor profiler has a crude gamma checker built in. It needs to be viewed at 100% magnification to work. The striped squares should match the solid grey area when viewed at a distance and should obviously be neutral grey.

    The print file should closely match the monitor file when printed. Although some printer colours may be out of gamut. The purple-blue swatch of cloth is almost impossible to match correctly, but a good overall visual match should be possible.

    I wrote this page ages ago, before hardware checkers were available; it might be of some use.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  5. HI John

    It does not sound correct that you have a brown tint for your image so not sure what is going on. It might help to provide your monitor information and verify that your OSD settings are all correct on the monitor for the best calibration/profiling.

    As a side note, you should be able to use the Color Sync Utility to print out test images directly to the printer per this link:

    Hope the information is helpful

    John Wheeler
  6. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Start here in terms of display calibration:

    Why are my prints too dark?
    A video update to a written piece on subject from 2013

    In this 24 minute video, I'll cover:

    Are your prints really too dark?
    Display calibration and WYSIWYG
    Proper print viewing conditions
    Trouble shooting to get a match
    Avoiding kludges that don't solve the problem

    High resolution:
    Low resolution:

    Use a color reference image for testing output of your printer!

    John is correct that the CS utility CAN (unlike modern versions of Photoshop) print out the targets without color management if correctly set but the ColorMunki software can too and you should use that for now (the CS utility isnโ€™t that user friendly).
  7. Rodeo_Joe: The print files do match the monitor, they just both look tinted too brown. I'm not sure how obviously grey the grey area looks. To me it looks a lot more neutral with the profile turned off.

    John_Wheeler: I'm using a 2011 Macbook Pro, so the monitor is the built in screen. I don't have any OSD controls besides brightness and the colormunki software suggests the brightness level to use. It looks like that utility is to print their charts? The colormunki prints one standard chart and calculates a second chart based on what it feels needs a more precise look. I don't think I can use any other utility to print it. I could not figure out how to disable all color management on the mac though, which is why I used windows to generate the printer profile.

    When I use the spot color feature of the colormunki, the sample patches also look too brown on my screen compared to the object I just scanned, but that makes me think the colormunki actually picked up the object correctly and it's showing too brown on my profiled display.

    Is it possible the colormunki is defective? Maybe the internal calibration tile is discolored? Even though it was advertised as new from the 3rd party amazon seller, the packaging looked a few years old and something about the seals made it feel repackaged. Inside it just felt handled and like everything had been sitting out for years even though it's all clean and in no way looks marked. It's hard to describe, just a vibe. It also includes a colorchecker card which is a nice bonus, but my understanding is that hasn't been bundled with the device for several years. I paid about $100 less than market price for a new unit. Maybe it's new old stock, or maybe its well used and worn out. Part of me thinks I should just return it, but then I'll never know if it was the device or me.

    DigitalDog: I do know that like most people I keep my display too bright for normal use, but I'm using it as set by colormunki for this effort. The print is not coming out too dark it actually very closely matches the display but both look way off. It's bad enough that I can show the print or screen image to a relative who doesn't know anything about photography and their first comment is why is it so brown. Since your test image seems to have the colorchecker grid which I just happen to have right now, it might be worthwhile to print your it and compare the grid.

    If it matters, I'm viewing the prints in sunlight from a window.
  8. I printed the color chart sample from DigitalDog and then photographed it with the genuine color chart right next to it so you can see how out the printer is. On my screen, the photo of the card is too brown compared to the card next to it and the photo of the printout is much more brown.

  9. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    IF you view the video, it covers both the disconnect in print to display brightness (and how to fix that) AND color. And how to view a print next to the display in an consistent and repeatable manner.
  10. Hi John

    This is not the main issue yet you need to keep in mind that the 2011 MacBook Pro did not have IPS displays so there is huge shifts in color and luminosity when you tilt the lid back or forward. This also means that the calibration/profiling only applies to a limited viewing angle to the screen. I found with the older Macs that the best shot was to view the image straight on or at an angle that is 90 degrees to the screen.

    For critical work I suggest a side IPS monitor cabled in or eventually upgrading the MacBook Pro to version that has an IPS display.


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