Color management issues :-/

divamumdivamum Major grinsRegistered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
edited December 2, 2015 in Digital Darkroom
Ok, took the plunge and replaced my $29 Canon pixma ip2600 with an Epson 810. It *exactly* fits where I need it on the shelf. Paper printing looks great. Scan autofeed is AWESOME (software pretty good too). But photo prints look AWFUL - I mean really, really, REALLY bad, not merely "not good". Colour way off, dark, or oversaturated.

With the Canon, I just let it manage colour; I usually had to boost brightness a little before printing, but overall they were pretty nice. I've tried every option I can figure out including letting the printer manage colour, deselecting printer management, different profiles in lightroom etc etc, and they are all DREADFUL. This was printing from a tiff (should that be a problem - do they have to be jpgs?!) and it didn't get anywhere close.

Monitor calibrated with a spyderpro.

Suggestions? Bleah. Disappointing, to say the least. If I can't sort this out, it needs to go back, as it's useless for photos with this kind of colour.

Comments

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,658 moderator
    edited September 26, 2014
    Diva, what is your operating system for your computer?

    You did not mention your profiles for your paper. I wondered if there even were profiles for the Epson XP810 - that is your printer isn't it? What paper are you using?

    I do find profiles for the Expression series of Epson printers on the Red River paper site. I did not seem to come across profiles for the XP810 on the Epson site, for some reason...
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2014
    Thanks for chiming in.

    Win 7.

    When I select "color management profile" in Lightroom, I get a dialogue box allowing me to view what's available - it inclues adobeRGB, printer drivers, monitor profile etc. Nothing I've tried so far gets me close.

    You can see what I'm up against from the snapshot of the prints (lower photo): the top two were when I switched off the printer's color management and let Lightroom do it; the bottom two are variants on the printer's management after I played around with the gamma in the printer properties. Lower right is full auto, and the closest, but VERY saturated red, so it's still not quite there (original shot underneath the lightroom dialog). I'm using "generic" gloss paper while I'm experimenting (I have a pack of HP "everyday gloss") and selected what I thought was the appropriate paper option for that. I'm not running it at "high quality", since I don't want to burn an entire pack of ink on test shots, but dpi/res isn't the problem, color is.

    Advice welcome. There MUST be a way of doing this since it is clearly a color management problem, but I have no idea what to do!! This printer regularly gets raves for its photos (one of the reasons I chose it), and these are just ghastly.

    i-JTsLQck-X3.jpg

    PS Irony much? When I posted these shots here, everybody said they read too hot and a bit yellow.............. rolleyes1.gif
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2014
    I'm also currently updating firmware/drivers/software etc. I gave up last night I was so frustrated and came back to it this morning! lol
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,658 moderator
    edited September 26, 2014
    I can't see your list of profiles entirely, but you need a specific profile for the Epson XP810 for the Brand and Particular paper you are using. The profile should specify the type of paper - matte, glossy et al, and the specific name of the paper and manufacturer ideally.

    And Yes, turn off the printers color management and let LR take care of the color. But you MUST have the appropriate paper ICC profile. Then things should start to come together.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2014
    Here's the thing: I DID have the closest paper choice available selected (non-premium glossy, although a different brand), and I DID let LR manage it by switching off ICM and "color correction" in the printer software. That's what gave me the dark, muddy ones on the top row of the 4-up snapshot. So where do I go from there? Plenty of users are getting great prints out of this machine.... so what am I doing wrong?! I've been googling my fingers off for answers to no avail - I'm baffled. And frustrated. :bash
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,658 moderator
    edited September 26, 2014
    You cannot use a paper profile for a different brand of paper, without significant risk that it won't work out..... You need profile for the the specific brand of paper, and type of paper, that you are using. Otherwise the profile is not accurate. Or you could have a custom profile created for the specific paper you are using, at least one used to be able to find folks to create custom profiles. I think the digital dog used to do this, and may still.

    Are you using Epson paper, or something else?
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2014
    After stupid amounts of trial and error, I think I've got it to where I can live with it. Just. But I still say the 5yo, lowest-of-the-low Canon was a zillion times easier to use (and output was actually better).

    Changing paper to Epson stock finally got it in the ballpark; I then tweaked using LR's print brightness slider, and knocked vibrance down a tad (it seems to want to oversaturate).

    Next problem was that it started hanging halfway through a print, and then spitting it out only half printed. Google reveals this is a known problem with Epson, usually related to turnaround space for large files. Will have to work on that (wasteful!), but for now dropping ppi to 240 (from 300) seemed to solve it.

    Hopefully this thing will settle in better than it's started - it's been a long time since I've had a piece of equipment that was this much of a pain to set up and this aggravating!!!!!!!!!!!
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAAdministrators Posts: 11,678 moderator
    edited September 26, 2014
    Can you return it? The new Canons are absolutely amazing straight out of the box. Back a few months ago when there were rebates going on, the Pixma Pro-100 could be had for $79. Unfortunately, right now it's selling at its list price of $400. I got the Pro-10 which is the same as the Pro-100 except it has pigment inks which supposedly last for 100 years. However, the dye inks of the Pro-100 have their advantages as well. These printers come with a plugin for LR and PS called Canon Print Studio Pro which is fantastic. You just tell it which paper you're using and it just plain works. Prints are absolutely phenomenal and match my (calibrated) monitor perfectly. These are much larger printers than will fit on your shelf, so you'd have to find a different spot. Still, you're a pro shooter and if you're printing pictures for clients, this would be a worthwhile investment which you can probably write-off.

    You might want to look at this printer too, which is more of a bookshelf printer. No experience with it. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/542692-REG/Canon_1446B002_Pixma_iP100_Photo_Printer.html
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 26, 2014
    Yeah, I definitely thought about it!! The size limitation thing sounds so dumb, but in our very small space it is a consideration. I admit after last night's shenanigans I was considering the comparable Canon in case the paper switch didn't work, took measurements, and there is literally nowhere for it to go (have you seen the newest ones ? HUGE square footprint). The only model which would fit anywhere doesn't have a DVD print tray which is a must. So, reluctantly, I will stick with this for now I guess.......

    Btw, these are never client prints (I order those from pro labs when needed, and I don't really deal with prints that much anyway), so that's not a consideration - it's for general printing, occasional prints for myself, or "oh sh** I ran out of headshots" the night before an audition, and that sort of thing. So... basically I need a small home office printer with acceptable photo capability.



    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
  • AlexSharkAlexShark Canonizer Chicago, ILRegistered Users Posts: 198 Major grins
    edited September 27, 2014
    You seem to be missing paper color profiles. It's not the printer or the driver or the OS or Adobe that are deficient. None of your components know anything about the paper brightness, luminosity, tint, dye absorption rate of different inks, etc. The paper profile for your printer might (should!) be available at the PAPER manufacturer's website. It's an ICC file that needs to be downloaded and placed with the rest of the icc files on your system. It then becomes visible to your printer driver and should be selected for the job.

    Having said that, I admit that I am not all that hot on printing. I sort of, get by. For the gallery quality products -- McKennaPro and BayPhoto.
    Photography is about what does not meet the eye
    Be my guest: Alex Braverman Photography
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 27, 2014
    Yeah, I appear to have made it through this mess to paper being the bugaboo after all. From which I conclude that Epson is much fussier about paper than Canon, that's for sure! But, the paper is also a touch cheaper so yin/yan, I guess. Gonna stock up on their (very nice) semi-gloss and work with this for now. thumb.gif

    I do wonder, however, why a consumer-grade printer - which many end users WON"T use in anything but automatic - is quite so picky (and how those end-users who aren't color-managing their files atre getting such great shots out of the box)? Weird. For now, it stays. For $130 it will fill my needs for the time being, but you can bet Ill be watching future Canon offerings, since I'm sure in due course they'll come up with something comparable that isn't quite such a spaceship!!
  • AlexSharkAlexShark Canonizer Chicago, ILRegistered Users Posts: 198 Major grins
    edited September 27, 2014
    divamum wrote: »
    Yeah, I appear to have made it through this mess to paper being the bugaboo after all. From which I conclude that Epson is much fussier about paper than Canon, that's for sure! But, the paper is also a touch cheaper so yin/yan, I guess. Gonna stock up on their (very nice) semi-gloss and work with this for now. (y)

    I do wonder, however, why a consumer-grade printer - which many end users WON"T use in anything but automatic - is quite so picky (and how those end-users who aren't color-managing their files atre getting such great shots out of the box)? Weird. For now, it stays. For $130 it will fill my needs for the time being, but you can bet Ill be watching future Canon offerings, since I'm sure in due course they'll come up with something comparable that isn't quite such a spaceship!!

    No-no-no. Printers have nothing to do with it, they just place droplets as instructed. It's the "Paper Instruction Manual" for the printer that is missing.

    Here's where to find the profiles for Ilford paper: http://www.ilford.com/printer-profile-list

    Great paper, not outlandishly expensive, and the profiles are available most for anything that prints photos. Try Ilford Pearl, cheap and stunning.
    Photography is about what does not meet the eye
    Be my guest: Alex Braverman Photography
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 28, 2014
    Dunno about that - my old Canon worked on pretty much anything I put in it. It was better on Canon brand premium paper, but it wasn't actually *bad* using something else, and there were limited selections to choose from (a couple of specific Canon papers, and then glossy vs matte generic). The Epson is capable of producing quite nice prints on its own paper (although even that requires more image adjustment before printing than the Canon did) but the ones on the generic paper were, as demonstrated above, dire. So bad.

    Learning curve for me, obviously!

    PS No ICC profile from Ilford specifically for this printer, or even from the Epson XP line of printers (unless they call it something else in Europe -Ilford is, iirc, a British brand)
  • SamSam San Jose CA San Jose CARegistered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited September 28, 2014
    I have following this for a bit and in my grumpy opinion I think it's unreasonable to think a $130.00 all in one does everything will actually deliver good photo prints.

    My expectations would be OK scans for record keeping / internal use. CD printing OK but not stellar. Photo prints should be OK but your not going to get a good color match. It should do better printing photos on full auto.

    Try printing one or more of the print targets online. Follow the direction EXACTLY!! Do not use any color management at all!!! This will tell you what the printer will do on it's own without any additional color / paper input. It will provide a base. Let us know the results.

    If your serious about getting high quality prints you need to get your checkbook out and yes you will need space. Expect a learning curve.

    Sam
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 28, 2014
    Just to say.... I don't expect it it give me top notch pro prints. I do expect it to match the $29, 5yo Canon Pixma it replaced :D.

    Again, for client/ display prints, I send them to a pro lab - anything print at home is for personal or "emergency" use only thumb.gif. Now that I've figured out how to get them looking ok, it'll do just fine. :)

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,747 moderator
    edited September 29, 2014
    Hiya Sam wave.gif Regardless of cost, a color printer should produce a print that you can at least look at. Meaning the color ought to be good-especially if it supports profiles.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • SamSam San Jose CA San Jose CARegistered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited September 29, 2014
    ian408 wrote: »
    Hiya Sam wave.gif Regardless of cost, a color printer should produce a print that you can at least look at. Meaning the color ought to be good-especially if it supports profiles.

    Ian,

    I agree it should put out an acceptable (defined as something you might get from Piggly Wiggly, or as you said, "something you can at least look at")

    My experience with cheap dye based printers has been less than stellar. The fact that the printer interface accepts icc profiles does not mean the printer can actually use them well. The best results I have had are when I let the printer determine colors.

    I can't remember if color space was addressed or not. When faced with something like this it is best to start from scratch. Get a good print target from online download it. DO NOT put it in LR! Keep the taget color space as downloaded. Probably srgb, 8 bit. Print from Photoshop or other program and let the printer determine colors. If this doesn't give you a print"you can at least look at" then yes you have some serious issues.

    As a side note about a year ago I bought an Epson Artisan 810 all in one. I wanted it primarily to print CD's, but also for general text printing, internet info printing, document copying. Only general office use, and maybe printing CD / DVD covers, rather than fire up a 44" printer for 5" square print. :D

    While Epson may have a good name this unit was totally unacceptable, and I returned. From this experience I am very reluctant to consider another Epson product.

    Sam
  • AlexSharkAlexShark Canonizer Chicago, ILRegistered Users Posts: 198 Major grins
    edited September 29, 2014
    Perhaps converting the image into a flat sRGB jpeg and letting the printer manage the colors in a generic way would be an improvement.

    I looked at the printer spec, it is not defined by Epson as a professional photo printer. Not sure it can even take anything but sRGB.
    Photography is about what does not meet the eye
    Be my guest: Alex Braverman Photography
  • NewsyNewsy Major grins Vancouver, CanadaRegistered Users Posts: 605 Major grins
    edited September 29, 2014
    I very much prefer QImage for printing. Don't do much of it anymore but it was able to sort out paper profiles, do soft proofing, and more.
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited September 30, 2014
    Once again, just to be crystal clear: I wasn't looking for a pro printer, or pro printing results; that was not what I expect or demand from this particular machine. This was intended as a do-it-all home-office machine that could also print occasional photographs for non-professional, personal use.

    Now that's out of the way - here's another quick cellphone snap comparing the different results with the paper swap (and a few tweaks of brightness in LR). I still say the cheapo Canon printer took less effort to get to acceptable prints, is much more forgiving over what paper is being used, and if I make another printer purchase I'll do everything I can to go back to Canon brand, but for now.... this will be acceptable for the nominal amount of printing I do at home.

    NB: compare them to each other, not empricial color numbers - this was a snapshot taken with my cellphone and thus has its own color-cast. The comparison between them remains obvious, however, IMO. Top two are on the HP generic gloss paper - hideous (#1 LR managing colour #2 Printer on "auto" with added brightness). The bottom two are on Epson's semi-gloss, ICM/printer management off, LR handling everything (including a brightness boost). They're more than acceptable in person (and without question better than Walmart).

    i-STrjXgz-X3.jpg
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed G E O R G I ARegistered Users Posts: 3,403 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2014
    Diva, Newsy mentioned Qimage and with that Have you tried printing to a file instead of the printer? In other words saving that jpeg to your desktop and then choosing to open and print with different programs? You need to try that. I think you'll be amazed and the different results you CAN get.
    Also, just a thought. You haven't actually seen all these photos printed that folks are raving about have you?
    tom wise
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2014
    Gawd, I'm beginning to feel lik ethere's no end to this: I can now make pretty prints, but if I "print to file" in LR (to jpg) they are dark, over-contrasty and HORRIBLE - have no idea what setting I must've nudged in making it work for the printer, but it's messed everything else up. Oy. :bash rolleyes1.gif
  • AlexSharkAlexShark Canonizer Chicago, ILRegistered Users Posts: 198 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2014
    divamum wrote: »
    Gawd, I'm beginning to feel lik ethere's no end to this: I can now make pretty prints, but if I "print to file" in LR (to jpg) they are dark, over-contrasty and HORRIBLE - have no idea what setting I must've nudged in making it work for the printer, but it's messed everything else up. Oy. :bash rolleyes1.gif

    I don't want to make it even more difficult, I think this type of info will help you to understand what's going on: http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/profiles.htm

    If this little piece of info is inadequate, please google "printer paper icc profiles" or something of this ilk. There bound to be a simple explanation that you will like. Since you are getting some rather professional engagements as wedding shooter and so on, you would really benefit by understanding how color works in the digital world, and why there are so many "color spaces" and why misapplying them could generate horrible results.

    Or.... get Canon PIXMA (not all in one), use Canon paper, and use the built-in Canon setting for their papers. (I'd still try to understand these pesky color spaces!)
    Photography is about what does not meet the eye
    Be my guest: Alex Braverman Photography
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2014
    That's not the issue, really. Bottom line is: I made some adjustments to get the output for the printer looking good. Now, even though as far as I can tell I have reverted to the settings previously used before those adjustment with "print to file" (ie saving a print layout to a jpg), something is askew, I just can't figure out what. Not a problem I've had before, so I conclude that in the course of tweaking it for the new printer, I've changed something else.... I simply don't know what it was, and can't find it. No doubt I have colorspace conflicts buried somewhere in a menu, I just can't figure out where!
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,747 moderator
    edited October 7, 2014
    Have you looked at this from Adobe?

    Sounds like it might be good to just start over maybe?
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited October 8, 2014
    PS Alex, while it doesn't necessarily apply to my current snafu, that is a GREAT link. Thanks!

    Ian, I am just about ready to revert to defaults and start from scratch.... If I can figure out how to do that without losing all my presets!!!

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,747 moderator
    edited October 8, 2014
    Just follow the directions backwards and get rid of the printing stuff. No need to start from scratch.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Registered Users Posts: 9,021 Major grins
    edited December 2, 2015
    kdog wrote: »
    Can you return it? The new Canons are absolutely amazing straight out of the box. Back a few months ago when there were rebates going on, the Pixma Pro-100 could be had for $79. Unfortunately, right now it's selling at its list price of $400. I got the Pro-10 which is the same as the Pro-100 except it has pigment inks which supposedly last for 100 years. However, the dye inks of the Pro-100 have their advantages as well. These printers come with a plugin for LR and PS called Canon Print Studio Pro which is fantastic. You just tell it which paper you're using and it just plain works. Prints are absolutely phenomenal and match my (calibrated) monitor perfectly. These are much larger printers than will fit on your shelf, so you'd have to find a different spot. Still, you're a pro shooter and if you're printing pictures for clients, this would be a worthwhile investment which you can probably write-off.

    You might want to look at this printer too, which is more of a bookshelf printer. No experience with it. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/542692-REG/Canon_1446B002_Pixma_iP100_Photo_Printer.html

    YUP. See related (new) thread. I thought of this post of yours as I plugged it up and tried the first print yesterday and, sure enough, perfect right out of the box. No issues AT ALL. I've kept the Epson for office use (it's great at that), but I will never, ever use an Epson for photos ever again - what a pita that thing has been.

    The pixma is indeed huge but juuussstttt fits under my desk. Waiting on a small wheeled cart I ordered for it so I can actually get at it (and still have some room for my feet lol).
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAAdministrators Posts: 11,678 moderator
    edited December 2, 2015
    divamum wrote: »
    YUP. See related (new) thread. I thought of this post of yours as I plugged it up and tried the first print yesterday and, sure enough, perfect right out of the box. No issues AT ALL. I've kept the Epson for office use (it's great at that), but I will never, ever use an Epson for photos ever again - what a pita that thing has been.

    The pixma is indeed huge but juuussstttt fits under my desk. Waiting on a small wheeled cart I ordered for it so I can actually get at it (and still have some room for my feet lol).
    Congrats! clap.gif Glad it's working out for you, or my reputation would be shot. lol3.gif
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