ColorVison (Pantone) PrintFix Printer Profiler and the Spyder2Pro - Mini Review

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BobS, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. BobS

    BobS Guest

    Two weeks ago I had asked if anyone had any experience with ColorVisions
    PrintFix profiler scanner and software. No responses at that time but I went
    ahead and ordered the suite that comes with the new Spyder2Pro. It arrived
    this past Tuesday and I've been playing with it as time allows.

    The Spyder2 and it's software appear to work just fine and my 19" monitors
    (LCD primary, CRT secondary) look good - especially the LCD. Takes about 15
    minutes for the software to go thru it's paces to calibrate the monitors.
    You must initially set the monitors to the factory defaults prior to running
    the calibration. For LCD's it's pretty straight forward but for CRT's, it
    can get about as picky as you want using a more manual mode - setting
    adjustments as the program progresses. I chose the fully automatic settings
    for my CRT monitor since it's a secondary and I don't do any photo editing
    on that one anyway. As for the LCD (ViewSonic), it's about as good as I can
    expect for it's price range. Not great - but very good indeed and the test
    picture that comes on the CD looks super on the LCD.

    As for PrintFix - I'm having a bit of a problem with the scanner and the
    plastic sleeves they provide to hold your calibration prints while they're
    put thru the scanner. Maybe I have a bad unit but research of some past
    reviews show this particular problem to be a thorn in their side since it
    came out in May 2003. Appears they haven't been able to solve it either.
    Basically, with a print in the sleeve, the sleeve will skew after scanning
    about 1 or 2 inches, then either continue on thru skewed to one side or it
    will jam. Placing a calibration print (dried for 24hrs) thru the scanner
    without the plastic sleeve works better and you have about a 50-50 chance of
    it not skewing. I had made calibration prints for 5 different papers - all
    standard weights (~10mil), so nothing extra heavy that could possibly cause
    the jamming.

    One point that doesn't make all that much sense is that these calibration
    prints must be made on 8x10 paper and then cut from that with a final size
    of 4"x6" to be scanned? So if you only have paper in a 4x6 size,
    ColorVision say's the print you make on that will not turn out properly but
    offered no explanation why. I'll play with that later.

    Not being able to get a single good calibration scan while using the plastic
    sleeves, I finally just scanned the prints in without the sleeves. Again,
    lots of putzin around to get a scan that was not skewed in some fashion. I
    used those to build the profiles and then made some test prints.

    I have a Canon i9900 and use Photoshop CS as well as having Elements 3. I
    used CS and followed ColorVisions instructions to the letter in building the
    profiles - no problems. I then printed the test image they furnish on the
    CD. I used the profile I made for Kodak Ultima paper as my first test since
    I also have a profile I downloaded from Kodak for the Canon i9900 and the
    Ultima paper. The PrintFix profile looked good but the reds were more
    towards the orange and the blues were slightly saturated. Certainly
    acceptable but on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I'd rate it a
    7.

    Printing the same picture using the Kodak profile and recommended
    adjustments came out much better. Again but not as noticeable, the reds
    tended to be orangish but the blues were not as saturated and I would rate
    it a 9. Very subjective in my rating but without a scientific method of
    actually measuring the prints - you'll have to settle for these old eye's.

    I've been swapping emails with ColorVision on this and so far it's just been
    there questions and my answers. My problem appears to be a mechanical type
    problem and not software and I haven't played around enough with the
    profiles to see how close they can be tweaked using the other plug-in
    (DoctorPro) they supply for directly tweaking the profiles.

    I don't expect either the hardware or the software in this price range
    (~$400 USD) to give the same results some high-end solutions can provide but
    I do expect it to work reliably. If things don't work out, I have 30 days
    to return it - no questions asked they say.

    I've been reading a couple of comments about the "Monaco Optix XR" but
    haven't looked into - yet. Anyone have one and using it?

    If there is any interest shown in the above, I'll post a follow-up but it
    appears that not many are using the PrintFix profiler package and that may
    be the message I should be listening to - there must be a reason why....

    Bob S.
    BobS, Jan 20, 2005
    #1
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  2. BobS

    bmoag Guest

    What kind of scanner causes skewing?
    Is this with a flatbed scanner or some kind of sheet fed scanner?
    bmoag, Jan 20, 2005
    #2
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  3. BobS

    BobS Guest

    BobS, Jan 21, 2005
    #3
  4. Re: ColorVison (Pantone) PrintFix Printer Profiler and the Spyder2Pro- Mini Review

    BobS wrote:
    > The PrintFix profile looked good but the reds were more
    > towards the orange and the blues were slightly saturated. Certainly
    > acceptable but on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I'd rate it a
    > 7.
    >
    > Printing the same picture using the Kodak profile and recommended
    > adjustments came out much better. Again but not as noticeable, the reds
    > tended to be orangish but the blues were not as saturated and I would rate
    > it a 9. Very subjective in my rating but without a scientific method of
    > actually measuring the prints - you'll have to settle for these old eye's.


    What kind of lighting are you evaluating the prints under?

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Jan 22, 2005
    #4
  5. BobS

    BobS Guest

    6500K fluorescent

    Bob S.


    "Gary Eickmeier" <> wrote in message
    news:n3iId.253206$...
    >
    >
    > BobS wrote:
    > > The PrintFix profile looked good but the reds were more
    > > towards the orange and the blues were slightly saturated. Certainly
    > > acceptable but on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I'd rate it

    a
    > > 7.
    > >
    > > Printing the same picture using the Kodak profile and recommended
    > > adjustments came out much better. Again but not as noticeable, the reds
    > > tended to be orangish but the blues were not as saturated and I would

    rate
    > > it a 9. Very subjective in my rating but without a scientific method of
    > > actually measuring the prints - you'll have to settle for these old

    eye's.
    >
    > What kind of lighting are you evaluating the prints under?
    >
    > Gary Eickmeier
    BobS, Jan 22, 2005
    #5
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