Printing too dark

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gordon MacPherson, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Hi,
    I have a Canon 350D, PSPX2 and an Epson R1800 printer. Mainly use Epson
    Premium Glossy paper. Computer is a Dell Latitude hooked up to a Dell
    monitor, calibrated with Pantone Huey. Photos look fine on the monitor and
    on other monitors. Problem is that prints come out very dark.
    I normally have colour management in PSP turned off and have tried the Epson
    "Best photo" with no improvement.
    Similarly, if I use the Epson ICM with input profile sRGB IEC61966-21 and
    printer profile SPR1800 Premium Glossy prints come out too dark.
    At present I am using the Color Controls but have to have the Brightness at
    +20 and Contrast at -13 to get the print looking OK.
    One thing I cannot seem to change is the Color Mode. I use sRGB on the
    camera but the Epson seems locked into Adobe RGB - how can I change this?

    Thanks for any suggestions,

    Gordon
     
    Gordon MacPherson, Aug 29, 2008
    #1
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  2. Gordon MacPherson wrote:
    > Hi,
    > I have a Canon 350D, PSPX2 and an Epson R1800 printer. Mainly use Epson
    > Premium Glossy paper. Computer is a Dell Latitude hooked up to a Dell
    > monitor, calibrated with Pantone Huey. Photos look fine on the monitor and
    > on other monitors. Problem is that prints come out very dark.
    > I normally have colour management in PSP turned off and have tried the Epson
    > "Best photo" with no improvement.
    > Similarly, if I use the Epson ICM with input profile sRGB IEC61966-21 and
    > printer profile SPR1800 Premium Glossy prints come out too dark.
    > At present I am using the Color Controls but have to have the Brightness at
    > +20 and Contrast at -13 to get the print looking OK.
    > One thing I cannot seem to change is the Color Mode. I use sRGB on the
    > camera but the Epson seems locked into Adobe RGB - how can I change this?
    >
    > Thanks for any suggestions,
    >
    > Gordon
    >
    >


    I think you'll find (my experience with 3 of the things) that Epson
    printers all deposit ink on the heavy side of normal. You can knock back
    the ink saturation in the control panel a surprising amount before it
    becomes too washy.

    As for printing from Photoshop...

    Let Photoshop decide on the appropriate mode to use based on your choice
    of ICC profiles. Just be sure to turn off the printer's colour
    management altogether from the printing preferences in control panel of
    Windows. If you don't and try to let Photoshop manage the colour, you'll
    get double correction and dark prints.

    Your camera may well be set to sRGB but this has no effect if you shoot
    in RAW mode. Also Photoshop (CS3) defaults to adobeRGB as it's default
    workspace - or at any rate, my copy did. So naturally the printer will
    need to get the wider colour information to print nice colours.
     
    Shon Kei Picture company, Aug 29, 2008
    #2
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  3. Gordon MacPherson

    Roy G Guest

    "Gordon MacPherson" <> wrote in message
    news:g98b2n$6fa$...
    > Hi,
    > I have a Canon 350D, PSPX2 and an Epson R1800 printer. Mainly use Epson
    > Premium Glossy paper. Computer is a Dell Latitude hooked up to a Dell
    > monitor, calibrated with Pantone Huey. Photos look fine on the monitor and
    > on other monitors. Problem is that prints come out very dark.
    > I normally have colour management in PSP turned off and have tried the
    > Epson "Best photo" with no improvement.
    > Similarly, if I use the Epson ICM with input profile sRGB IEC61966-21 and
    > printer profile SPR1800 Premium Glossy prints come out too dark.
    > At present I am using the Color Controls but have to have the Brightness
    > at +20 and Contrast at -13 to get the print looking OK.
    > One thing I cannot seem to change is the Color Mode. I use sRGB on the
    > camera but the Epson seems locked into Adobe RGB - how can I change this?
    >
    > Thanks for any suggestions,
    >
    > Gordon
    >



    Hi

    From what I can gather from speaking to people, it is very common to get
    prints which are darker than on flat panel screens, even when the screen and
    the printer have both been calibrated and profiled using a hardware device.

    Depending on the Hardware device, it can be possible to adjust the Printer
    Profile in order to eliminate this difference.

    Otherwise it is necessary to use an adjustment layer, just before printing,
    to lighten the print. The same adjustment layer can be saved and re-loaded
    for every image, and then deleted once printing is finished.

    Your Printer Inks have a Colour Gamut which is very close to AdobeRGB, so
    using ARGB as your Working Space Profile, instead of sRGB, would seem
    sensible.

    Roy G
     
    Roy G, Aug 29, 2008
    #3
  4. Gordon MacPherson

    Me Guest

    Gordon MacPherson wrote:
    > Hi,
    > I have a Canon 350D, PSPX2 and an Epson R1800 printer. Mainly use Epson
    > Premium Glossy paper. Computer is a Dell Latitude hooked up to a Dell
    > monitor, calibrated with Pantone Huey. Photos look fine on the monitor and
    > on other monitors. Problem is that prints come out very dark.
    > I normally have colour management in PSP turned off and have tried the Epson
    > "Best photo" with no improvement.
    > Similarly, if I use the Epson ICM with input profile sRGB IEC61966-21 and
    > printer profile SPR1800 Premium Glossy prints come out too dark.
    > At present I am using the Color Controls but have to have the Brightness at
    > +20 and Contrast at -13 to get the print looking OK.
    > One thing I cannot seem to change is the Color Mode. I use sRGB on the
    > camera but the Epson seems locked into Adobe RGB - how can I change this?
    >
    > Thanks for any suggestions,
    >
    > Gordon
    >
    >

    If using an LCD, most have backlight too bright, and pantone huey is
    perhaps not the best for calibrating this. DPReview's forums used to be
    a good place to get advice on this, but these days it's full of fanboys
    and other wankers who will tell you that you really /need/ a $3000
    monitor, or should dump the epson printer for a lexmark or HP.

    PSP isn't a good program to print from in a colour managed workflow.
    PS/Elements/QImage are better. Nikon's CaptureNX seems okay - I don't
    know about Canon's DPP.

    If using Epson paper/ink, then the plain old epson defaults using epson
    papers and epson printing software (Darkroom Print or Easy Photo Print)
    are generally quite okay (you don't even need to look at driver settings
    etc to get a reasonably well matched print). If you can get a screen to
    print match "about right" using this software, then your monitor
    calibration /might/ be about right too.
    If doing that the result is okay but way different from what you get
    using your current workflow with PSP, then that workflow with PSP is
    clearly wrong. If it's the same as what you get from PSP, then your
    monitor isn't calibrated.

    Best is to use Photoshop/Elements/QImage to "manage colour" with ICC
    profiles and "ICM - Off" selected in the R1800 printer driver. Sorry -
    but from what I've seen, PSP and most other programs just don't cut it.
    I've d/l various versions of PSP, and haven't even been able to see
    any viable way to use a colour managed workflow, nor proper soft proof,
    gamut warning etc. I've even asked the question on PSP forums "how to
    damn well do it" - and had no sensible response.
    I use an old version of PS (7) - that's fine for printing (no need for
    later versions for that), and displays accurate gamut warning and
    soft-proof based on ICC profile loaded.

    If not using OEM Epson Paper and ink, then you're on a hiding to nowhere
    unless using good ICC profiles and workflow.
    Epson have updated ICC profiles for the R1800, so make sure that you
    have the latest - IMO they have improved them from what they shipped at
    first. Third party paper manufacturers usually have profiles available
    for download.
    If you need help for the correct workflow, Epson's Australian site has
    some good downloadable pdf instruction files for using most common
    software, win and mac. I haven't seen the files for d/l on other Epson
    sites.

    For photo prints, you /should/ be using either "RPM" mode or "best
    photo" - the highest selectable setting for paper type selected (ie RPM
    for premium glossy). If using ICC profiles, it's also critical that the
    setting is made the same as was used to generate the ICC profile - ie if
    the ICC profile was made using "Photo RPM", then plain "Photo" will be
    wrong. Read the instructions. Lower settings will be faster, but
    (except for draft mode) don't use less ink, and don't look as good.

    As far as sRGB / aRGB goes, if you're using software (PS etc) to manage
    colour, then it doesn't really matter - it will convert it
    automatically, so long as you load the image properly (ie don't not
    convert sRGB to aRGB or vice versa to workspace colour when opening the
    file. aRGB offers a piffling advantage over sRGB, but some people obsess
    on such detail. Sticking with sRGB through your workflow might save far
    more in drama than the very small advantage aRGB (or other) may have.
    Someone will disagree with this.

    I don't know if this helps. I've used an R1800 for 3 years. The last 2
    years I've been getting perfect prints. The first year was at times an
    exercise in frustration.
     
    Me, Aug 29, 2008
    #4
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