Monaco Ezcolor

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Taisun, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Taisun

    Taisun Guest

    I have just started my own digital darkroom, with a Canon FS4000 and Canon
    i9100 printer. I am looking at calibrating my digital workflow and one of
    the products that caught my eyes is the Monaco Ezcolor software.

    For those who are familiar with this software, i have a few questioms:
    * Does this software allow me to calibrate or generate an ICC profile for my
    film scanner?
    * Do i need to purchase any hardware accessories with this software?
    * Do i really need this software if all i want is to get accurate prints
    from my scans?

    For the last question, i mean can i rely on adobe gamma for monitor
    calibration, and then download ICC profiles for my scanner and printer? Will
    this be accurate?

    Thanks
     
    Taisun, Oct 26, 2003
    #1
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  2. Taisun

    Rafe B. Guest



    ICC based color management requires professional grade
    tools. The scanner-based profiling packags are all crap,
    IMHO --- I've tried almost all of them. You might get lucky,
    or you might (more likely) waste a lot of time, money and ink
    getting nowhere.

    None of these will profile a film scanner, except maybe
    Monaco, with the IT8 transparency target, and even then,
    for slide scanning only. There's really not much point to
    profiling film scanners anyway, IMHO.

    Adobe gamma is a good starting point for profiling a
    monitor. Monitor calibrators aren't too expensive, but
    lots of folks get by without them. Some folks say they're
    wonderful and can't get by without them.


    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Rafe B., Oct 26, 2003
    #2
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  3. Taisun

    Ted Johnson Guest

    I have just started my own digital darkroom, with a Canon FS4000 and Canon
    Well, I bought a bundle from Monaco that included OPTIX which is a
    colorimeter to adjust your monitor (which includes its own software).
    Calibrating my monitor was probably the most important benefit of the
    package.
    The answer to this is, unfortunately, it depends. I never could get close
    enough using Gamma for that to work. When I got OPTIX my monitor looked
    entirely different (and it tended to match my prints).

    As to using downloaded profiles, again it depends. I have had pretty good
    luck with Adobe's profiles on Adobe paper. I have also had some luck using
    Adobe's enhanced mat profile on other mat papers. However, I generally get a
    better print using the profile I have made with Easycolor. Then there are
    the exceptions (such as Hahnemuhle Mat). The only way I could get anything
    to work on this paper was by making my own profile...

    In short, I think you will get decent results if you stick with the papers
    produced for your printer and the manufacturer's profiles. If you like to
    try a variety of papers, I'd recommend the full color profiling kit.

    Just one man's point of view!
    <TED>
     
    Ted Johnson, Oct 26, 2003
    #3
  4. Taisun

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Taisun"
    Yes. You'll need to buy an IT8 target too but once you have it you can
    generate a scanner ICC profile.
    You'll need the colorimeter to properly calibrate your monitor (which is a key
    step in the ICC flow). I already had the Sypder from Colorvision so didn't buy
    the Monaco one, but you'll want one from somebody. You can get 'better than
    nothing' results using the Adobe Gamma utility, but this still relies too much
    on your eyes instead of taking measurements like the colorimeter and you will
    probably be disappointed in the results.
    Try it and see. It depends on how accurate the profiles are for your
    printer/paper/ink, and on how well you can profile the monitor using Gamma.
    I'd try this first, then if you don't like the results buy the monitor
    calibration tool next and make sure the monitor is correctly calibrated.

    If you're still not getting good results with a good monitor profile then
    probably the printer profiles are off (a common occurrence with consumer grade
    printers since there's a lot of deviance between units). Your choices at this
    point are to buy a custom profile specifically for your printer (ie, print the
    target and mail it in with a check) from one of the vendors who offers this
    service (for about $100 per paper), or to try to build your own profiles.

    Some people claim good results with the Monaco EZcolor printer profiling
    software, but the main problem is that you're using your flatbed scanner as the
    measurement tool and a LOT of people don't get very accurate results. Moving
    up to the next level (buying a better device to make the measurements) puts you
    around $1,000 pretty fast.

    As for the scanner, I profiled mine and get better results quicker (ie, with
    fewer moves in Photoshop) but it only works with slide film and you cannot use
    the scanner software options (you have to scan with default settings every time
    for the profile to have meaning). The resulting scans are always flat and low
    contrast and have to be tweaked in Photoshop, but the resulting colors look
    very good. You won't get great results just by scanning and applying the
    profile (or at least I don't).

    I'd say an accurate monitor profile is absolutely critical or you're working
    with a blindfold and accurate printer profiles are almost as critical (you can
    always tweak the prints a bit and re-print if they aren't), but you can live
    without ever generating a scanner profile if you are good in Photoshop,
    especially if your scanner software is good.

    If you're REALLY interested in color management I highly recommend the book
    "Real World Color Management" by Fraser, Murphy and Bunting. If you're not
    quite ready to read a whole book on it then the "Real World Photoshop" books by
    Blatner and Fraser cover it pretty well, though of course not as fully.

    Here's a review of EZcolor and a couple other packages by one of the authors
    mentioned. Note that most of the reader responses disagree with him :)
    http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/5708.html (the article is pretty old
    by now but the concepts are unchanged)

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Oct 26, 2003
    #4
  5. Taisun

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Ted Johnson"
    Ted,

    Did you really mean to say Adobe (they make papers now?), or was it Canon or
    Epson?

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Oct 26, 2003
    #5
  6. Taisun

    Taisun Guest

    Thanks for the excellent responses. Really appreciate it.

    I haven't done any prints on my new "toys" yet, so i'll give it a try and
    see how the results come out.

    Thanks!
     
    Taisun, Oct 27, 2003
    #6
  7. Taisun

    Lionel Guest

    Word has it that on Sun, 26 Oct 2003 08:29:28 -0500, in this august
    I also find Adobe Gamma pretty useless. I found that I actually got
    better colour matching by holding a reference print up next to the
    screen & adjusting by eye. I've bought a Colorvision Spyder since then,
    which is a major improvement. It was definitely a wise purchase, & has
    probably already paid for itself in time & money I would've otherwise
    wasted on bad prints.

    Sidenote: the LCD version doesn't give me results anywhere near as good
    as the CRT version. I don't know whether it's harder to measure colour
    on LCDs or whether it's just harder to control colour accurately on
    LCDs. Either way; I get good print matching with my CRT, but not with my
    LCD.
     
    Lionel, Oct 28, 2003
    #7
  8. Taisun

    Trabajador Guest

    * Does this software allow me to calibrate or generate an ICC profile for
    my
    I'm using an older Nikon LS30 (Coolscan III), and was having real problems
    with colour accuracy until I bought a copy of Silverfast with an IT8
    transparency target. It's not terribly expensive, and has made a tremendous
    difference. Here's their link:

    http://www.silverfast.com

    HTH
     
    Trabajador, Oct 29, 2003
    #8
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