Chromira - poster size prints

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by leo, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. leo

    leo Guest

    What kinds of process does Ofoto (Kodak) use to print 20x30? dyesub,
    injet or chemical?

    I have found a cheap place which uses Chromira, which is a lot cheaper
    than WestCoastImaging. And they are just an hour from my home.

    http://www.connimage.com/

    Is the Chromira print much better than Kodak's or Epson's?

    They accept sRGB but also optional embedded profile. I think using sRGB
    defeats the advantage of using Chromira printers. So if I embed the
    color profile, does it mean I edit on Photoshop using the camera profile
    and never convert it to AdobeRGB? Or do I convert to AdobeRGB and embed
    AdobeRGB profile to the JPEG?
    leo, Dec 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. leo

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: leo

    >I have found a cheap place which uses Chromira


    Good for you. The Chromira is a very good printer.

    >Is the Chromira print much better than Kodak's or Epson's?


    Should be better than what you'll get from Ofoto (Kodak). Calypso uses both
    the Epson 9600 and a Chromira and if you're a customer you can get free sample
    prints of the same image on both printers ... I've done this and in a blind
    comparison the Chromira image was *slightly* preferrable to the 9600 one. So
    not "much better" but slightly better.

    >So if I embed the
    >color profile, does it mean I edit on Photoshop using the camera profile
    >and never convert it to AdobeRGB? Or do I convert to AdobeRGB and embed
    >AdobeRGB profile to the JPEG?


    You should work in an abstract "working space" like AdobeRGB or similar (if
    you've started off in sRGB I guess just stay in sRGB, unfortunately) and NOT in
    a device specific space like that defined by the Chromira printer/paper ICC
    profile. Once you have made the final edits and resized the image then run a
    soft proof with the Chromira profile (View > Proof Setup > Custom) to see how
    the final print will (hopefully) look ... this should give you a good idea if
    the Chromira profile is good and if your monitor is well calibrated and
    profiled.

    Once it looks right you want to make a new copy and convert it to the Chromira
    profile (Image > Mode > Convert to Profile) and send that to the printer.

    If you work in an abstract space like AdobeRGB you can then target the output
    to various devices (ie different printers or the web or CMYK or whatever).
    That's why you want to work in a neutral space instead of a device specific
    space, unless you are certain you'll only ever output to that one device.
    Bill Hilton, Dec 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. leo

    leo Guest

    Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>From: leo

    >
    >
    >>I have found a cheap place which uses Chromira

    >
    >
    > Good for you. The Chromira is a very good printer.
    >
    >
    >>Is the Chromira print much better than Kodak's or Epson's?

    >
    >
    > Should be better than what you'll get from Ofoto (Kodak). Calypso uses both
    > the Epson 9600 and a Chromira and if you're a customer you can get free sample
    > prints of the same image on both printers ... I've done this and in a blind
    > comparison the Chromira image was *slightly* preferrable to the 9600 one. So
    > not "much better" but slightly better.
    >
    >
    >>So if I embed the
    >>color profile, does it mean I edit on Photoshop using the camera profile
    >>and never convert it to AdobeRGB? Or do I convert to AdobeRGB and embed
    >>AdobeRGB profile to the JPEG?

    >
    >
    > You should work in an abstract "working space" like AdobeRGB or similar (if
    > you've started off in sRGB I guess just stay in sRGB, unfortunately) and NOT in
    > a device specific space like that defined by the Chromira printer/paper ICC
    > profile. Once you have made the final edits and resized the image then run a
    > soft proof with the Chromira profile (View > Proof Setup > Custom) to see how
    > the final print will (hopefully) look ... this should give you a good idea if
    > the Chromira profile is good and if your monitor is well calibrated and
    > profiled.
    >
    > Once it looks right you want to make a new copy and convert it to the Chromira
    > profile (Image > Mode > Convert to Profile) and send that to the printer.
    >
    > If you work in an abstract space like AdobeRGB you can then target the output
    > to various devices (ie different printers or the web or CMYK or whatever).
    > That's why you want to work in a neutral space instead of a device specific
    > space, unless you are certain you'll only ever output to that one device.



    I understand the basic workflow. Once convert the JPEG to the Noritsu
    printer profile before printing at Costco (ask for no adjustment), I got
    better color than I would simply send the sRGB files out. It's the fall
    color so I was very surprised that the color fidelity's quite
    acceptable, which is comparable to my Epson R200 print. However, I
    didn't look at both prints at the same time, so my judgement might be
    off a bit. Nevertheless, by converting to the printer's color space
    certainly beats using sRGB alone.

    I think I have to ask for the ICC file at the printshop. If they don't
    have the ICC files, are there generic profiles that I can use?
    leo, Dec 25, 2004
    #3
  4. leo

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: leo

    >I think I have to ask for the ICC file at the printshop. If they don't
    >have the ICC files, are there generic profiles that I can use?


    If they don't have them for you to use then they probably are not expecting the
    files to come to them converted, so I'd ask them in advance about the format
    and any profile conversions.

    > ... are there generic profiles that I can use?


    You can download the West Coast Imaging Chromira profiles here near the bottom
    of the page, but I'd mainly use them for soft-proofing since the cheapo place
    you're using may not use the same paper or may not be expecting to receive a
    converted file ...
    http://www.westcoastimaging.com/wci/page/services/colorprint/chromira/chro
    miraspecs.htm ...

    Hmm, just reading over the link they (WCI) say do NOT convert to these profiles
    since it's done automatically by the Chromira ... they recommend just using
    them for soft-proofing.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Dec 25, 2004
    #4
  5. leo

    leo Guest

    Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>From: leo

    >
    >
    >>I think I have to ask for the ICC file at the printshop. If they don't
    >>have the ICC files, are there generic profiles that I can use?

    >
    >
    > If they don't have them for you to use then they probably are not expecting the
    > files to come to them converted, so I'd ask them in advance about the format
    > and any profile conversions.
    >
    >
    >>... are there generic profiles that I can use?

    >
    >
    > You can download the West Coast Imaging Chromira profiles here near the bottom
    > of the page, but I'd mainly use them for soft-proofing since the cheapo place
    > you're using may not use the same paper or may not be expecting to receive a
    > converted file ...
    > http://www.westcoastimaging.com/wci/page/services/colorprint/chromira/chro
    > miraspecs.htm ...
    >
    > Hmm, just reading over the link they (WCI) say do NOT convert to these profiles
    > since it's done automatically by the Chromira ... they recommend just using
    > them for soft-proofing.
    >
    > Bill



    Would you send the files off using the editing color space, i.e.
    AdobeRGB? Or do I have to convert it to sRGB? You just reminded me that
    I read the FAQ of another shop that chose Chromira, over Lightjet is
    there's no need to convert the files to the printer color space. The
    price of the print at the cheapo shop is mere $10 more than Ofoto for
    20x30. I'm eager to give it a try. As the photos are not for artshows
    etc, I wouldn't want to spend a fortune in other high end printshops and
    they charge a setup fee for the first print, clearly not for
    individuals. I know you have an 1Ds MK II, but do you like the result of
    20D enlarged to that size? Do you do interpolation yourself? If so, how?
    leo, Dec 26, 2004
    #5
  6. leo

    Ryadia Guest

    "leo" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Would you send the files off using the editing color space, i.e.
    > AdobeRGB? Or do I have to convert it to sRGB? You just reminded me that
    > I read the FAQ of another shop that chose Chromira, over Lightjet is
    > there's no need to convert the files to the printer color space. The
    > price of the print at the cheapo shop is mere $10 more than Ofoto for
    > 20x30. I'm eager to give it a try. As the photos are not for artshows
    > etc, I wouldn't want to spend a fortune in other high end printshops and
    > they charge a setup fee for the first print, clearly not for
    > individuals. I know you have an 1Ds MK II, but do you like the result of
    > 20D enlarged to that size? Do you do interpolation yourself? If so, how?


    Hi Leo...
    I run a Digital Print centre in Australia. Maybe some of your aprehensions
    can be easiely overcome. Interpolation software varies in it's cost and
    usefulness. "Stair Interpolation" as used via Photoshop is probably the
    bottom of the barrel for quality but certainly capable of upsizing a 20D
    image to 20"x30" with quite acceptable results. The Chromira printers are
    right up there with the best of them. If the lab you are using only takes
    your file and sends it to the printer, you might be better off paying more
    for a complete service.

    If someone doesn't know a lot about the process, I tell them to give me a
    small print of what they expect the enlargement to look like and the
    original file. I do the enlargement work myself with an expensive,
    dedicated, program immediately before I print it. It is bad practice to edit
    an interpolated image. Much better to do any editing before you apply any
    sharpening or interpolation. If you are going to interpolate, don't sharpen
    at all. As for the colour space? Send sRGB unless they ask for different. If
    they use Photoshop to drive the printer they will convert the colour space
    as the file is opened anyway.

    Cheers,
    Doug
    Ryadia, Dec 26, 2004
    #6
  7. leo

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >From: leo

    >Would you send the files off using the editing color space, i.e.
    >AdobeRGB?


    Yes, if your file is in AdobeRGB send it that way.

    >Or do I have to convert it to sRGB?


    Only convert to sRGB for web images or for consumer-grade printers like the
    Fuji Frontier that are set up for sRGB and expecting it. You'll toss away a
    lot of shades of colors if you convert to sRGB before sending the file off to a
    Chromira. Don't do it.

    >The price of the print at the cheapo shop is mere $10 more than
    >Ofoto for 20x30. ...
    >
    >I know you have an 1Ds MK II, but do you like the result of
    >20D enlarged to that size?


    We have two 1D Mark II (8 Mpix) and a 1Ds (11 Mpix) but so far do not have the
    1Ds M II (16 Mpix) ... I've printed 20x30" with the 1Ds (LightJet) and they
    were excellent prints, and we've gotten some excellent 16x20" wildlife prints
    that sold at a museum from the 1D M II, which is the same pixel count as your
    20D. Haven't tried the 1D MII 8 Mpix at 20x30" yet ...

    >Do you do interpolation yourself?


    Absolutely ...

    >If so, how?


    If you have CS try the 'bicubic smoother' option in one step, if you have older
    versions of Photoshop try the 110% stair interpolation in steps instead. Note
    that the Chromira is a 300 ppi native rez printer but if you give it 200 ppi it
    will interpolate 150% with very little loss in quality. That's what I'd do if
    I were you, resample the 20D file to 20x30" @ 200 ppi, which means the final
    file is 4,000 x 6,000 pixels or about a 300% increase in file size (or a 1.7x
    linear increase). Then sharpen it aggressively but without oversharpening, and
    send them that. It should look pretty good.

    If you have a home printer that will let you print say 11x17" or so you can
    crop out a 2000 x 3000 chunk of the interpolated file and print it at 200 ppi
    10x15" to get an idea of what the final print will look like (the Chromira
    should do a better job since it has a better internal resampling algorithm than
    your desktop) ... you can even print four 10x15" slices and tape them together
    to get an idea of what the final print will look like, if you wish.

    Let us know how you did and how the print looks.
    Bill Hilton, Dec 26, 2004
    #7
  8. leo

    leo Guest

    Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>From: leo

    >
    >
    >>Would you send the files off using the editing color space, i.e.
    >>AdobeRGB?

    >
    >
    > Yes, if your file is in AdobeRGB send it that way.
    >
    >
    >>Or do I have to convert it to sRGB?

    >
    >
    > Only convert to sRGB for web images or for consumer-grade printers like the
    > Fuji Frontier that are set up for sRGB and expecting it. You'll toss away a
    > lot of shades of colors if you convert to sRGB before sending the file off to a
    > Chromira. Don't do it.
    >
    >
    >>The price of the print at the cheapo shop is mere $10 more than
    >>Ofoto for 20x30. ...
    >>
    >>I know you have an 1Ds MK II, but do you like the result of
    >>20D enlarged to that size?

    >
    >
    > We have two 1D Mark II (8 Mpix) and a 1Ds (11 Mpix) but so far do not have the
    > 1Ds M II (16 Mpix) ... I've printed 20x30" with the 1Ds (LightJet) and they
    > were excellent prints, and we've gotten some excellent 16x20" wildlife prints
    > that sold at a museum from the 1D M II, which is the same pixel count as your
    > 20D. Haven't tried the 1D MII 8 Mpix at 20x30" yet ...
    >
    >
    >>Do you do interpolation yourself?

    >
    >
    > Absolutely ...
    >
    >
    >>If so, how?

    >
    >
    > If you have CS try the 'bicubic smoother' option in one step, if you have older
    > versions of Photoshop try the 110% stair interpolation in steps instead. Note
    > that the Chromira is a 300 ppi native rez printer but if you give it 200 ppi it
    > will interpolate 150% with very little loss in quality. That's what I'd do if
    > I were you, resample the 20D file to 20x30" @ 200 ppi, which means the final
    > file is 4,000 x 6,000 pixels or about a 300% increase in file size (or a 1.7x
    > linear increase). Then sharpen it aggressively but without oversharpening, and
    > send them that. It should look pretty good.
    >
    > If you have a home printer that will let you print say 11x17" or so you can
    > crop out a 2000 x 3000 chunk of the interpolated file and print it at 200 ppi
    > 10x15" to get an idea of what the final print will look like (the Chromira
    > should do a better job since it has a better internal resampling algorithm than
    > your desktop) ... you can even print four 10x15" slices and tape them together
    > to get an idea of what the final print will look like, if you wish.
    >
    > Let us know how you did and how the print looks.



    They do offer 3 test prints. Obviously, I should let the printer do the
    resizing. I do need to inquire the shop how would I get the best gamut
    from the printer. Sending in sRGB isn't ideal. They do say optional
    color profile accepted in their instruction.
    leo, Dec 26, 2004
    #8
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