Photoshop manages vs printer manages

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by paul_soohoo|2, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Like David T. I have gone through Ian Lyons nicely written tutorial and several references but am confused as what is causing the difference in output. Background: I'm printing off of a Mac G5 running the latest version of Leopard using Photoshop CS3 with a recently calibrated LCD monitor using Spyder2. All of my epson drivers are up to date and I worked my way through the craziness of Apple trying to be helpful with their print drivers as a default. I'm printing from an epson r1800 nozzle check shows all cartridges are firing correctly. When I print using Photoshop manages colors using say Spr 1800 EnhMatte BstPhto.icc the output is very close to the LCD monitor except it is slightly darker. When I print using Printer Manages colors (see settings) the output is just about dead on and good enough to work from. Questions: 1. Any idea what is causing the difference in output? Clearly I should stay with Printer manages color. But Ian Lyons says, "This option produces by far the best print quality." but doesn't explain why. From my perspective the best print quality doesn't help me unless it matches my monitor as closely as possible. Where this darkness is problematic is in subtle shadow detail. I am aware that on an LCD shadows will show my more detail than a reflected light print but when I use "photoshop manages colors" subtle shadow detail is typically lost but "Printer manages colors" maintains this detail on printed output. 2. In the printer dialog box there is a high speed option. I've tested it both ways and can not perceive a difference. Do you typically leave this checked too or do you see a difference? Could be me or my printer since every printer is slightly different. 3. I'm guessing a way to resolve this issue is to get a custom profile of my paper/ink combo (yes I'm using real epson inks). Have you gone this route and did it resolve your printer/monitor differences? Thanks in advance for any suggestions or insights.
    00QbWA-66413584.jpg
     
  2. 1. Any idea what is causing the difference in output? Clearly I should stay with Printer manages color. But Ian Lyons says, "This option produces by far the best print quality." but doesn't explain why.
    If you're happy with the results of "printer manages color," by all means continue to use it. The difference between the two options is that the printer's essentially guessing how it will respond when using Printer Manages, whereas a profile takes into account how the printer will actually respond using Photoshop Manages.
    As for the differences in brightness you're seeing... Often if the prints are coming out darker, it's because your monitor backlight is too bright relative to your viewing environment. When the printer's in control, it seems to lean toward assuming your display environment is going to be fairly dark.
    You can try turning down the monitor backlight, or putting more light in your workspace, or just keep doing what you're doing if it gets the results you want.
    2. In the printer dialog box there is a high speed option. I've tested it both ways and can not perceive a difference. Do you typically leave this checked too or do you see a difference? Could be me or my printer since every printer is slightly different.
    Epson has improved the high speed option with every batch of printers, to the point you can often get away with using it seamlessly now.
    Under some circumstances, you can still tell the ink was laid down in two different directions, though, and in those cases you can remedy the problem by turning it off. High speed is also more sensitive to proper alignment (but obviously that's easily remedied by running through an alignment). I typically leave it turned on these days.
     
  3. Paul, Photoshop vs. printer manages? They should look exactly the same if you do it right. They do for me. If you're using printer manages like in your screen captures, you also need to select "colorsync" in the epson driver and choose the paper selection that matches exactly the paper you're using.
     
  4. I don't think you want to use "printer manages output." In the print window, after correctly setting up your printer via "Page Setup," set it to "Photoshop manages colors." Leave the upper setting (Document and Profile: Adobe BGB) as is if that is the color space you work in. Under printer profile, select the printer/paper combination you are using. The other settings in this dialog could be as you have them, as long as that is what the paper manufacturer recommends. Just because one person says that you'll get the "best print quality" with a particular setting - especially one that differs from typical practice - you should not necessarily assume that this is the case. There is a lot of witchcraft, smoke, and mirrors when it comes to advice for printing. The fact that _you_ don't think you are getting better print quality from this approach should suggest something to you - that it may not, in fact, be producing better quality output. I've read that there is no significant difference when using the high speed option... though I don't use it. Someday I'll have to print two versions of the same print and see what differences, if any, I can see. I guess I'm just not in a hurry to have the print emerge from the printer - it will be done when it is done. :) Finally, in my opinion, the notion that the monitor and the print are ever going to look precisely the same is really just a hopeful myth. There are a whole bunch of reasons for this - ink on paper will never look the same as light projected from behind glass, etc. Using the soft proofing settings can help, but even these only give you some sort of idea about the direction in which the print quality will change with different papers. My approach - and that of others I've talked to or read - is to go ahead and work with profiled monitors and good print profiles, but recognize that getting the precise effect on paper that you see on the screen is a dream. Sometimes you do get very, very close - and sometimes the result is just fine. Other times the on-screen view gets you close but you still must make test prints, analyze these results, make adjustments, and try again. My process goes, very broadly, sort of like this. First I get the on screen image to look pretty much the way I want and before printing I make sure to view it with "proof colors" activated for my paper/printer setup. I may make some adjustments at this point. Then I make a small print in inexpensive paper, say Epson Premium Lustre if I'm going for a glossy finish. I inspect this and make adjustments if I think they are necessary - and perhaps make another test print if necessary. If this looks pretty good I'll make a small print on better paper if that is my end goal - I like Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk for some and Museo Silver Rag for others. Once I'm sure that the small test print on the final paper looks good I'll make a "real" print on a larger sheet of the good paper.
     
  5. Guys, Thanks for the input and quick response. One more observation/question. When you go to say the Epson site and get their latest profiles where are these installed? The reason I ask is I was investigating my profiles with the colorsync utility and notice this (see screen shot). I have several versions of icc profiles scattered in different paths. In particular the bottom ones listed under "other" has me scratching my head. When I go to that path under finder spr1800_A.profiles and look under Kind is see the words Microsoft Excel bundle ... huh? What the heck is that? Anyone have any idea what the calculator does in the colorSync utility? Furthermore, I notice that the creation dates are different by a few months. Under User there is EnhMtte BstPhoto.icc and under computer there is one with a slightly different spelling EnhMatte BstPhto.icc and a different creation date so perhaps I've been pointing to the wrong profile? BG, When I go to the printer dialog box and go to color matching dropdown (when printer manages colors) both colorsync and Epson Color Controls radio button options are greyed out. Is it suppose to be. I certainly have no control over that unless I set something incorrectly in the other dialog boxes.
    00QbZv-66437584.jpg
     
  6. I'm using the Epson R1800 with Vista and PS3. I Just did a comparsion (printer vs photoshop) using Epson Enhanced Matte with that paper profile. My results were identical.
     
  7. I'm using the Epson R1800 with Vista and PS3. I Just did a comparsion (printer vs photoshop) using Epson Enhanced Matte with that paper profile. My results were identical.
     
  8. I see that you have "simulate black ink" checked when the printer is managing color. Do you have "Black Point Compensation" checked when PS does the color management? It might make a difference. Try it both ways. You can find out where to put your profiles by copying the name of one that you see in the list, and search for it in the Finder. When the Finder locates the profile, put your new profile in the same place. That will probably be HD > Library > ColorSync > Profiles. Peter
     
  9. Hi again, Paul. My understanding is that with high speed printing, the nozzles spray in each direction. That is, they're spraying when the head goes left to right as well as when it goes right to left. When you don't have high speed checked, the nozzles only spray left to right, or it might be right to left, but not in both directions. I cannot tell the difference between the two. When I first set up my printer and I was trying different things out, I also got good results having the printer manage the color settings. But I did see that sometimes one of the colors wasn't quite right. For example, the overall photo looked fine, but a blue object would have the wrong shade of blue in it. When I switched back to having the ICC profile manage the color, the blue was perfect. So I always use the ICC profiles now and have never had a problem again. I think Epson allows you the option of having the printer determine the colors to make it simpler for some people. Since you've calibrated, Paul, and are knowledgeable about ICC profiles, I would think you're better off using the profiles.
     
  10. I'm not a color expert and I certainly agree with the concept that whatever works best for you is best for you. But the source you quote (Ian Lyons) is the first one I've seen in which someone recommends using "printer control color" rather than Photoshop. Everything I've read has said the opposite, i.e. let Photoshop control color, for whatever that's worth.
     
  11. "BG, When I go to the printer dialog box and go to color matching dropdown (when printer manages colors) both colorsync and Epson Color Controls radio button options are greyed out. Is it suppose to be. I certainly have no control over that unless I set something incorrectly in the other dialog boxes." On my Epson 3800 driver, under "color management" I have the choice of color controls, colorsync, or no color adjustment. If you choose the paper profile in photoshop and have photoshop manage color, you need to choose "no color adjustment". If you let "printer manage colors" you should choose "colorsync" in the epson driver. Why they are grayed out, I have no idea.
     
  12. Brian, Sorry, on rereading my post it was unclear. Ian Lyons says, "This option produces by far the best print quality." but he was referring to Photoshop Manages colors. Obviously Lyons knows his stuff so it was my fault for posting it in the wrong context. Diane says this and that is my goal. Here's what is frustrating. When I print using Printer manages colors the shadow detail is maintained properly but as Diane points out the colors are just slightly off. When I use Photoshop manages colors subtle shadow detail is lost but the colors seem a bit more accurate. If I could take the average of the two outputs I'd me a happy camper. I've got test prints all over the place and have been writing notes on them but I'm starting to lose track given the number of permutations of factors. Haven't tried the black point compensation suggestion yet.
     
  13. the main difference could be that you wont be able to use custom profile if you decide to use the printer managed color (i think). You like ot maintain the shadow with proper color? simply do a small curve that remove 5_8% of the total ink in Ps, and print with it. good color / good shadow : )
     
  14. Patrick, "simply do a small curve that remove 5_8% of the total ink in Ps, and print with it. good color / good shadow : )" I'm familiar with curves but am not sure by what you mean by remove 5-8% total ink. Please expand or perhaps a curves example/screenshot. I assume you don't mean to simply make the on screen image "lighter" in curves so the output becomes lighter. I've done maybe 20 test prints. Printer manages vs Photoshop manages are very close but certainly not identical. What I've discovered is which output is superior and more closely matches my LCD output depends on the photo. Of course this makes no sense but that's what I'm left with. Perhaps as someone pointed out and Ian Lyons even states this in his tutorial is that print output never matches projected (lcd) output. The only reason I started all of this is I got some surprise prints when subtle shadow detail got blocked up but I could clearly see the detail on my LCD. Also Patrick thank you for clearing up the media type mystery on another thread i.e. when you download a paper profile from a vendor say Red River Premeium Glossy.icc this name only appears in your print dialog box on the print dialog box (assuming you choose Photoshop manages colors). The printer dialog box is loaded by Epson/HP/Canon with just paper types which always confused me because if you are feeding the printer a paper profile you'd think the printer has all the information it needs. Why you need to select a media type in the Printer dialog box doesn't make sense to me. For example, if you select SPR1800 Enhmatte bstphoto.icc as a paper profile and under Media type accidentally selected Premium Glossy would your print get all screwed up? I assume the paper profile has information like this is a matte paper so I need to lay down more ink than usual since the paper will absorb it.
     
  15. There is an issue with the combination both you and I have... a brand new MAC running Leopard, CS3 and Epson printers (I have the R2400). For whatever reason having Photoshop manage color, and using paper profiles (while technically the correct approach) produces output that is distinctly inferior to letting the printer manage the color. With previous operating systems letting Photoshop manage color always proved best... but for now it isn't working. I'd bet that within a few months at the most there is a fix for this.
     
  16. a friend of mine have the same setup and all work fine because; 1_he have the latest driver download from the web 2_use the corrected icc profile.
     
  17. ..I know that this is an old post but unless you know what you are doing I suggest sticking with the printers settings. The Adobe colors came out much darker than I expected..not what I was looking for at all.
     

Share This Page