Epson 3800 dull prints

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by wayne_d'eon, May 12, 2009.

  1. I am printing using Windows Vista with a Maxart PX-5800 (which is the Japanese version of the 3800). I am printing with Epson Crispia Glossy paper (no idea if they sell it elsewhere but it is a high grade gloss), chose Epson Crispia glossy as the media type and am also using the Crispia profile. Colour management is set to allow Photoshop CS4 (version 11.0.1) to control and is turned off in the printer box. I set the print to high quality 2880. In soft proof I set the custom to Crispia and it does show as duller than my calibrated Eizo monitor. The colours on the actual prints are even duller than the proof and have no pop where the non-proofed image just pops.
    I am wondering if there is something I may have forgotten to check or uncheck which might be the reason for the lack of pop. That, and if there is a way to make the image print more as it appears on the monitor.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. genuine epson ink?
     
  3. Yes, Patrick. Newly bought printer.
     
  4. then do you have a calibrated monitor with a hardware device?
     
  5. Yes, Eizo calibrated with a Spyder2pro.
     
  6. then i cant say;
    genuine ink, good profile, epson paper, calibrated monitor...all seem good. sorry
     
  7. Thanks. I will have a photo printed at a photo lab I trust, compare it with a 3800 print I just made, and go from there.
     
  8. dont forgte to export your image for the lab as sRGB and ask them not to color managed your image, so you can see the real thing : )
     
  9. Already done;) They don't colour manage my prints.
     
  10. Hi Wayne, I hope the attached will help you. It did for me. Prints are as per monitor. Peter
    http://www.naturescapes.net/072007/ec0707.htm
     
  11. Thanks, Peter.
    I gave it a quick read. Most of it I have seen on Eric's 3800 page. I will look at the parts I haven't seen before in more detail tomorrow. Getting on bedtime here;)
     
  12. Oh, one thing I failed to mention.
    In "print preview" colours are way off, though the actual prints are as described.... somewhat duller than the softproof. In "Print Preview" the reds turn magenta for example.
    Not sure if it shows I have slipped up somewhere or not but it is something else that struck me odd.
     
  13. Wayne, the phtoshop settings near mid to bottom of the article helped me the most. Peter
     
  14. I never soft proof nor use the print preview..as both are lot of time way off than the reality i get printed..
    Using my calibrated monitor to see the outcome is a pretty good acurate thing to do for me.
     
  15. AGREED -- my Print Preview looks horrible too -- it NEVER matches my final edit in CS4, nor the print itself (Epson R2400). However, the print does match my edited image file always.
     
  16. Could it be that with dull you mean dark?
     
  17. Frans has a good point because I've been getting dark looking prints with my current ambient light setup.
    However, if I view them under say a 50 watt Solux lamp about a foot away, then they look very close to my monitor which has a calibrated luminance reading of 104 cd/m2.
    The image below shows the difference between the actual print lit under a 50watt Solux desk lamp at one foot away and the original AdobeRGB file it was printed from on my $75 Epson NX400 "Three In One" printer, scanner, copier. Its software is limited and so I get better results choosing "No Color Management" in CS3's Print With Preview dialog box and choosing AdobeRGB in Epson's Color Control section of its driver.
    Note the two different versions of the print. The top one is using Epson's Contrast and Brightness slider to lighten the image without blowing out highlights which as you can see it does on the image of the goose and the one on the bottom is without. The images look dark unless I'm viewing them under bright light such as the Solux.
    Are the differences you're getting more severe than what's shown in the posted image? If so then you have something going on internally with the software within Vista, Photoshop and Epson. Solving this is going to take some troubleshooting on your part that maybe someone familiar with Vista can help out on.
    00TKn9-133959684.jpg
     
  18. Try "Printer Manages Colors" rather than "Photoshop Manages Colors"... t
     
  19. Frans has a good point because I've been getting dark looking prints with my current ambient light setup.​
    I wonder how many people have a mismatch between their monitor brightness and the brightness of the lighting used to view prints and how many more times I have to suggest they take a serious look at it.
     
  20. I know you soft-proofed, but did you correct the on-screen dullness with SP turned on (with simulate paper colors)?
    Also they'll never be identical, just like a slide vs. print. The monitor's backlight will always cause more 'pop', but you can get close.
    I suggest correcting to the soft proof and going a little bit farther without blowing anything out. That works for me on my 2880, and I'm getting used to doing actual proofs with a sheet of the paper cut down to 5x7. For a dark scene I use 89 cd^m luminance on my monitor, otherwise the prints are too dark. But usually it's at about 110 (thanks Patrick!). I edit in a very dimly lit room.
    I use the Pro Photo color space. The Epson print preview indeed does not know how to handle higher color gamuts.
     
  21. Oh, and don't forget your 'rendering intent'. Dullness can be caused by the color shifts.
    For saturated wide gamut images, perceptual is best (black point off). But images with limited colors look more punchy with relative colormetric with black point comp. on. You can see the difference while soft proofing.
     
  22. For a dark scene I use 89 cd^m luminance on my monitor, otherwise the prints are too dark. But usually it's at about 110 (thanks Patrick!). I edit in a very dimly lit room.​
    There's something basically wrong when you change the monitor brightness depending on the subject. Your monitor should match the lighting used to view your prints and, assuming the lighting doesn't change, you shouldn't fiddle with the monitor brightness.
     
  23. Yeah Brad, all was fine with the thanks until you said you use sometime 89cdm2 and sometimes 110cdm2..glad my 110 is the usual number : )
     
  24. There's something basically wrong when you change the monitor brightness depending on the subject. Your monitor should match the lighting used to view your prints and, assuming the lighting doesn't change, you shouldn't fiddle with the monitor brightness.​
    I agree. When I'm doing usual edits on a well exposed image I find I can do them with a myriad of lighting situations at 110.
    But when I'm doing a dark image to be printed out intentionally dark, it's best for me to edit in dark room at 89. Otherwise the tonal balance is off in the print, and I lose detail in the brights and darks. This works best for me to get screen->print matching.
    DataColor recommends differing monitor luminences for different ambient lighting situations. It'll report that with its ambient sensor. 120 for a normal room, 89 for a dim room, etc. (5 levels).
     
  25. My need for 89 on these darker prints may have something to do with the very bright and high Dmax qualities of Ex. Fiber paper.
     
  26. I used to get into the technical stuff using ICC Profiles with different papers, but always found that the colours in Print Preview were way off but did exactly match the print in terms. I stopped. Now I make all adjustments in Photoshop and set Photoshop Manages Colours, Pick the MEdia Setting for the particular paper and print Mode Automatic Adobe RGB with my colourspace Settings also as Adobe RGB (1998). Works perfectly (or as close to) each and every time on any Epson Paper. Getting great results without ICC profiles on my Pro 4800. Colour settings in CS4 arre as follows:
    RGB: Adobe RGB 1998
    CMYK: Euroscale Coated V2
    Gray: Dot Gain 20%
    Spot: Dot Gain 20%
    RGB: Convert to Working RGB
    CMYK: Convert to Working RGB
    Gray: Off
    Check Profile Mismatches - Ask When Opening/Ask When Pasting
    Missing Profiles -Ask When Opening
    Engine: Adobe (ACE)
    Intent: Relative Colourmetric
    Check 3 boxes
    Desaturate Monitor by 20%
    Blend RGB Colours using Gamme 1.00
    With a calibrated monitor everything works as it should with no bad prints.
    Ciaran
     
  27. Thanks for the help and suggestions. I could never have gotten all this help in English where I live in Japan. I will do more printing and compare to photos I have that were printed at a photo lab (and not colour managed).
     
  28. Ciaran,
    All those Color Settings parameters have nothing to do with the print unless you accidently assigned AdobeRGB to an untagged sRGB image when first opening in Photoshop which I doubt you've done.
    I'm amazed at how well Epson can accurately reproduce color just using their Automatic settings as you've done. It looks pretty much what I did with my cheap Epson NX400 only I make sure I switch to "No Color Management" in Print With Preview. I'm sure you probably get better results using your more expensive Pro 4800 than what I showed in that posted image from my NX400.
    I don't see why other printer manufacturers can't reproduce color as close as Epson in AdobeRGB. It's no longer a mystery knowing what RGB color should look like on a calibrated display. Those other printer manufacturers and I'll include minilabs among them must not work in a vacuum in knowing what RGB color should look like. They act as if they're using some special display that shows color so differently compared to the rest of us that they intentionally get it wrong and blame the software. It's now a no brainer and there are no excuses as far as I'm concerned when it comes to reproducing RGB color correctly on a print.
     
  29. Ciran,
    I too, continue to have dark prints from my 3800. I have calibrated my monitor. I use basically the same settings that you describe above except for the following (whiich I will now try):
    Desaturate monitor by 20% and Blend RGB colors using gamma 1.00
    I do have a question about another one of your settings you describe above. You state:
    Now I make all adjustments in Photoshop and set Photoshop Manages Colours, Pick the MEdia Setting for the particular paper and print Mode Automatic Adobe RGB with my colourspace Settings also as Adobe RGB (1998).

    What is the 'print mode automatic'?​
     
  30. Hi Pat,
    Sorry for my late reply. "Print Automatic Mode" or more accurately "MODE: o Automatic o Custom" can be found in the Printing Preferences dialogue box, with a Drop Down menu beneath. I click the Automatic box and choose Adobe RGB from the Drop down menu beneath. Sorry for any confusion due to my inaccurate description. I hope this helps.
    Regards Ciaran
     

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