P600 printing too dark

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by mike, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. Hello There,

    I have just purchased an Epson P600. All my prints are coming out too dark, whether I have Photoshop or the printer manage the colour.

    This is my configuration:
    Windows 10 Pro
    3.60 gigahertz Intel Core i7-4790
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 [Display adapter]
    Samsung S27D360 monitor

    I have profiled my monitor using Spyder5. One problem is that my monitor does not allow me to directly set the Gamma, just Mode1, 2, or 3. I have tried all three settings and then re-profiled and it made no difference.

    For instance the photo below has the beautiful bright green ferns in the foreground, which for me is the interesting feature of the photo. No matter what I do, those ferns are a dull dark green.

    The white or near upload_2017-6-26_15-27-55.png white sections of my B&W photos are a grey. I like to use the B&W for candid shots of people and their faces are washed out. This is driving me crazy. Does anyone have any suggestions? My monitor only covers 75% of the Adobe RGB Gamut - could it be that?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Mike Doyle
  2. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Use a color reference file who's RGB numbers are known to be correct and will not print too dark by virtue of those numbers:
    Is it really too dark or darker than the display? View the print in a well lit area! Then view this:
    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: http://digitaldog.net/files/Why_are_my_prints_too_dark.mp4
    Low resolution:
  3. "The white or near white of my B&W photos are a grey"
    How do they look like on a histogram?
    Do you use paper icc profiles when printing?
  4. Yes I always use paper profiles. Here is one B&W image. You can see that there is some detail in the face highlights of the third girl from the left. In the print her face is an amorphous grey. upload_2017-6-27_10-27-35.png
  5. Your post was helpful. After looking at my prints in the full light of my window, I can see that they are not as dark as I originally thought. Still could be lighter to match though. I am going to keep working with things the way they are. Thanks so much. Also I also, from your links, learned that I have to wait several hours for the inkjet prints to dry, at which point they do become somewhat lighter.

  6. Image270617.jpg The photo looks ok, so it should work.
    "her face is an amorphous grey.": this is different from being too dark. With a P600 you should see small differences even in dark grey.
    Here is the face after a lot of darkening (see the transversal line on the histogram, the histogram results are before moving this line)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  7. I, too, suffered from my P600 making prints too dark when I bought it this past January, despite having a good, properly calibrated monitor. I wound up taking a workshop on "Fine Art Digital Printing" to help me sort out my problems. Printing is a complicated chain, with opportunities to screw up at every step. The key to me (after obviously calibrating my monitor and using the right ICC profiles) was to make my workroom relatively dark--much darker than OSHA requires for normal offices--so that the monitor, set to 140 cd/m2, becomes the dominant light in the room. And as noted above, examine your prints under D50-D65 lights or sunlight for comparison purposes. You can get prints from your P600 to match your screen image; mine now do. Good luck!
  8. Last time I used an Epson printer -(never again!) - I found its default was to squirt far too much ink for whatever paper was chosen. A deliberate ploy to sell more of Epson's expensive ink I suspect.

    "I have to wait several hours for the inkjet prints to dry" - That definitely sounds like too much ink is being used.

    Anyway, I cured the issue by using the advanced section of the driver and reducing the CMY amounts equally.

    I still got rid of it in favour of a Canon printer and haven't looked back.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  9. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Ridiculous. And one can control this and one doesn't need to worry about this using sound color management and good ICC Profiles. And yes, all ink jet prints need to dry a bit (Pigmented inks more but dyes as well). Maybe you'll make a gofundme page to get the OP one of your Canon printers, otherwise, the fix is to simply implement good color management. The norm for the huge number of Epson print users isn’t too dark prints or they would have gone out of the printer business years before Canon entered the market.

    Nice that Epson spent a lot of money educating photographers on how to use their products a few years ago with the Epson Print Academy. I was at ever one, didn't see one dark print from the output of people such as Greg Gorman, JP Caponigro, Art Wolfe, Douglas Dubler, Vincent Versace, to name a few pretty darn good photographers and print makers.

    Now back to actually trying to help the OP with his problems....
  10. Oh yes, Epson are well known for their philanthropy in being the first company to fit the now ubiquitous chip to their cartridges, and implement mandatory cleaning cycles every time a cartridge is changed.

    And I suppose attendance at their print academy was free of charge?

    Go ahead then Dog. Fix the OP's problem for him. The floor's entirely yours.
  11. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Like no one else does this....
    Doesn’t dismiss your misinformation about ink delivery or the FUD and conspiracy theories about the inks in terms of too much, too dark.
    The reason there's so much ignorance on the subject of printing is that those who have it are so eager to regularly share it! - The Digital Dog
    For some yes.
    That's been my goal and the goal of most others posting here with politically free and accurate advise on the subject. To aid the OP, not sell him another printer. But again, do setup a Gofundme page if your idea is, his Epson issues cannot be fixed unless he buys a Canon printer.
  12. I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'm having a similar issue off and on, so we may be having the same problem. Windows 7 Ultimate, Photoshop CS6, Datacolor Spyder color management, and a craptastic Epson WF 3540 (I think that's the number, it's my wife's all-in-one that I'm using until I can get to my printer which is in storage).

    When I printed a batch of images, the first five or so came out pretty nicely (considering the crappy printer and the crappy paper I'm using. After that, they started coming out very dark, like 2 full stops dark. I made sure that I was having Photoshop manage color, and I started playing with the various color management settings, but nothing helped. On the other hand, I printed the same files through MS Paint as a test, and they came out fine (as good as the first few had printed, at least).

    Given those results, I think it has to be a Photoshop issue, although I can't state that categorically until I can get to my printer and see if I'm getting the same results with it. The printer CAN print acceptably, so there's something else going on.
  13. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Not really, but perhaps a setting or the use inside that product. Again, make sure the display is properly calibrated (the Spyder isn't a very good product), that when you use good ICC Profiles in color reference images, they do not print too dark (they should not when everything is properly configured).
  14. I don't think it's a Photoshop problem. I'm having the same problem with some prints from the P600, but only those originating from scanned negatives, using an Epson Perfection V850 scanner with Silverfast 8.8 software. Digital images processed in Photoshop are no problem. Both the scanner and the printer are fairly new, and I'm still stuck on the learning curve for both, so maybe I'll find a solution...
  15. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Is the display calibrated and profiled, if so, could it be that the image doesn't have any embedded profile (or a wrong one)? Odd that only scans would print but not appear to dark. Might want to upload a low resolution version we can download and examine.
  16. Sorry, should have mentioned that: Displays are calibrated, ICC profiles match the paper, Photoshop controls printing, etc. I think I'll dig around a bit more....

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