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Old 01-15-2006, 06:52 PM   #1
BobRoosth
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Default Epson R800: Where to start?

The is my first experience with a seriously good color printer. As might be expected, I am having trouble getting prints that look good. No color calibration tools, at least not yet. My last color printer was/is an Epson 1520. Recently I have printed most of my photos at the local Costco. Generally the results have been acceptable. So I think my display (Diamond Pro 900) is somewhere close to acceptable.

The paper is I have is Epson Glossy Photo Paper (S041141). Using it because I have a box of 120 sheets to use up. Following Epson's instructions, I had PhotoShop CS choose a Print Space Profile of SPR800 Photo Paper. I told the Printer Drive ICM Off and Premium Glossy Photo Paper. The result is rather dull, a bit low in contrast.

I know the colors will not precisely match the display, but I expected clearer yellows and greens.

Where do I start? Different paper? Specifically the newest Premium Glossy?

Different profile? Bite the bullet and purchase a calibrator/profiler?
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRoosth
The paper is I have is Epson Glossy Photo Paper …
I am not especially smart about printers, and perhaps you will need profiles. Terrie or one of the other bit-mavens here will know more about that.

But I did find with my Epson C84 that Epson’s glossy paper did not work well with photographic images (it is okay for solids).

Epson has an Enhanced Matte Paper especially for photos produced on printers that use Epson Archival, DuraBrite, or UltraChrome inks. They also have a double-sided matte stock, but I am not sure it has the same surface.

A couple of sheets of that came with my printer, in fact. And then I bought a package. Did not find it at Staples, though — had to order online.

   
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:39 AM   #3
Cristen Gillespie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRoosth
The result is rather dull, a bit low in contrast.

I know the colors will not precisely match the display, but I expected clearer yellows and greens.

Where do I start? Different paper? Specifically the newest Premium Glossy?

Different profile? Bite the bullet and purchase a calibrator/profiler?
I've had a devil of a time with both Monaco and Colorvision--without the spectro, which I haven't opted for yet. It's a long, frustrating process, at least depending upon how close you want your colors. Epsons seem just plain difficult to profile. Terrie was happy with a purchased custom profile and if you're going to stick with one or two papers, I think that could be the way to make your life easier.

The new spectrocolorimeter(?)system ColorVision is coming out with might be nice, but pricey. Terrie has a link to a review in another thread somewhere.

A third option you haven't mentioned is using Curves or Levels, Hue/Sat or Color Balance to get closer. It's more ballpark than precise, but I've used it successfully enough, adding the adjustment layer to my image just before printing. The reason I can get away with that often is my Epson, at least, is quite consistent in much too dark and magenta it prints, and I stick with the same two papers.

So how important is it to you to be very accurate? If you're using it as a proofing printer, it might be worth one of the spectro solutions. If for yourself, a purchased custom profile or an extra Adjustment layer just for printing might work.

   
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:42 AM   #4
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bob: Bite the bullet and purchase a calibrator/profiler?
I'd suggest considering getting a monitor calibrator...

Either the ColorVision Spyder 2 at $169 or their ColorPlus at $89...

I think this will go a long way to getting you screen to print match.

A few questions:

1. Is there a "no color adjustment" option in the Epson print options? If so, use that. If not try turning ICM to ON

2. What version of Photoshop?

3. What is your Photoshop working space?


Oh...before you buy a hardware calibrator, have you tried using Adobe Gamma? I used it for 2-3 years before getting my crt Spyder and it worked pretty well for me...


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Old 01-16-2006, 12:16 PM   #5
BobRoosth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie
I'd suggest considering getting a monitor calibrator...

1. Is there a "no color adjustment" option in the Epson print options? If so, use that. If not try turning ICM to ON

2. What version of Photoshop?

3. What is your Photoshop working space?

Oh...before you buy a hardware calibrator, have you tried using Adobe Gamma?
Terrie
I'll look at the calibrator options. I ran Gamma when I installed PS. Haven't redone it recently. This is CS, not CS2. Working space is sRGB.

Epson says to use Print with Preview: set the printspace profile and Relative Colorimetric. Then to enable ICM in the printer driver, but turn Off the ICM profile.

Cristen wrote that you purchased a profile for a couple of papers. From whom and how much? For that matter, which papers?

For whatever it is worth: In PS I went to Image->Mode->Assign Profile and selected one of the paper profiles. The image got a lot darker. Bringing up the midtones with Curves brought it back, more or less.

Do you know anything about the stablility of the Epson papers? Is it possible this package of paper is just too old for critical work?
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:54 PM   #6
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bob: I'll look at the calibrator options. I ran Gamma when I installed PS. Haven't redone it recently. This is CS, not CS2.
I'm still running PS7 so I'm not sure how (well) Gamma works or if it's available with CS2...


>>Working space is sRGB.

Ewwww!!! Don't use that! Use AdobeRGB98 for your Photoshop working space and when you open an sRGB image allow Photoshop to assign AdobeRGB98 via your Photoshop Color Settings (in PS7, see Edit > Color Settings...for "Color Management Polices" > "RGB", I have mine set to "convert to Working RGB" and for "Profile Mismatching" I have "ask when opening" and "ask when pasting" checkmarked, and for "Missing Profiles", "ask when opening" is checkmarked. Basically, I want to know when Photoshop is doing something...)


>>Epson says to use Print with Preview: set the printspace profile and Relative Colorimetric.

Relative Colormetric is good--I use that too--and yes, you want to set the paper profile on the Photoshop side.


>>Then to enable ICM in the printer driver, but turn Off the ICM profile.

The "turn off the icm profile" isn't clear to me. Turn if off where????

Ok...just went to the Epson site and pulled up the User Manual for the 800...and on page 23 of the User Manual (the pdf version), it shows a screen shot of the Advanced options which when you say "turn OFF the ICM profile", you do that by clicking on "No Color Adjustment" which is what you want to do--double-check that "No Color Adjustment" is selected.


>>Cristen wrote that you purchased a profile for a couple of papers. From whom and how much? For that matter, which papers?

I had 2 custom profiles done by Cathy's Profiles and they are excellent. One was for Hawk Mountain Art Papers Osprey Textured and one was for the Strathmore Creative Cards cardstock I use--this one was tricky because of the size (7x10" unfolded) of the cardstock and the fold.

In general, if you are using Epson papers, you probably don't need a custom profile as their standard paper profiles are better than they used to be.


>>For whatever it is worth: In PS I went to Image->Mode->Assign Profile and selected one of the paper profiles. The image got a lot darker. Bringing up the midtones with Curves brought it back, more or less.

Don't do that either...basically you end up double profiling the paper. Work and print from your Photoshop working space of AdobeRGB98--not srgb.


>>Do you know anything about the stablility of the Epson papers? Is it possible this package of paper is just too old for critical work?

I think they are pretty stable...I would imagine the paper is not more than a couple of years old and it should be fine but! it might be worth going out and buying a small packet of the Epson Glossy Photo paper to see if that might help...

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Old 01-16-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
BobRoosth
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Working space now switched. I could see some of the difference as I switched.

In general, if you are using Epson papers, you probably don't need a custom profile as their standard paper profiles are better than they used to be.


Understood. I think a package of new paper is called for. One of the issues is that there seem to be more Epson papers than profiles.

And the ColorPlus might be worth the investment. Have you used it? It would be especially helpful if it could help Photoshop adjust to my laptop screen. Adobe Gamma doesn't have much luck with it.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:49 PM   #8
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bob: Working space now switched. I could see some of the difference as I switched.
Good...I think you'll find that working space more useful in the end...it's become a bit of a standard. I use Bruce RGB which Bruce Fraser developed before AdobeRGB98 came out and have just stuck with it since. AdobeRGB98 is a wider color map/gamut than sRGB which was developed primarily for showing images on the web...


>>Understood. I think a package of new paper is called for.

I'd try a new package of paper...do let me know what you find with the new paper.


>>One of the issues is that there seem to be more Epson papers than profiles.

Well...it could be the old windows vs. mac problem. Traditionally, Epson has released multiple mac-side paper profiles while only issuing one 'master' paper profile on the pc side.

Can you list for me the Epson paper profiles you got with the software?

By the way...you did check the Epson site for the most current drivers didn't you? I don't think I've ever installed the drivers that come on the CD with the printer.

Many 3rd party paper makers will often have their own profiles for their paper so if you find another paper you like, always check to see if they might have a profile for the R800 available.

One option you might try is to specify AdobeRGB98 in the paper profile area in the Photoshop print window and then on the Epson side, select the paper type, ICM and No Color Adjustment. I used to use that combo (except it was BruceRGB) with some successful regularity on both my Epson 700 and my Epson 1160.


>>And the ColorPlus might be worth the investment. Have you used it? It would be especially helpful if it could help Photoshop adjust to my laptop screen. Adobe Gamma doesn't have much luck with it.

I have one of the original CRT Spyders so I've not used ColorPlus. I like ColorVision products and have always found them to have good customer service. The price is certainly right and if you found that it wasn't helpful, I'm sure you could return it and go with the Spyder 2...

Do keep me posted on how things are going...

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Old 01-28-2006, 08:30 AM   #9
BobRoosth
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Originally Posted by terrie
I'd suggest considering getting a monitor calibrator...

Either the ColorVision Spyder 2 at $169 or their ColorPlus at $89...
Do you know anything abou the Eye-One Display LT? One of my clients is a wholesaler for Pantone which now sells the Gretag products. He'll sell it to me for something between the two ColorVision products. I just don't know how to compare them.
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Old 01-28-2006, 02:23 PM   #10
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bob: Do you know anything abou the Eye-One Display LT? One of my clients is a wholesaler for Pantone which now sells the Gretag products. He'll sell it to me for something between the two ColorVision products. I just don't know how to compare them.
I don't know that specific model--the "LT" makes me think "light"??? And then there's the "Huey" which was recently mentioned on the Apple ColorSync Users list as an entry level monitor calibrator.

They are all probably comparable...here's a suggestion...

Email Pantone (the link is to their support page) asking them the difference between the Huey and the LT and see if you get a response in a reasonable amount of time.

Then email ColorVision (the link is to their support page) asking them about the differences between the Spyder2 and ColorPlus.

The reason I'm suggesting this is that there was a recent discussion on the ColorSync list about not only hardware calibrators but also about how responsive these companies are to questions. ColorVision came out very high (if not the top) of the list.

For me personally, given my good experience with my (now old) crt-only Spyder, I lean towards ColorVision products. I've always found their support to be excellent...

Hope this helps...

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