Printers??? and Printing Photos


ProAudio

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 08:36
I know that it is not always cost effective to print your own photos but realize there is a time and place for it just the same.

I don't always want to send it to the lab.

What really is the color or WB of my shots? Or another way of asking is why my LCD screen, CRT screen, printed photos all look so different from each other and which one reproduces the colors my eye knows best?(I do all of my color correcting on my computer crt display, not on my computer LCD display).


I do understand that printed color and digital colorometry get to the end result in vastly different approaches. There must be a platform that ties it all together?

There seems to be very minimal amount of discussion with regard to printing the excellent photos that so many amateurs take.

If you are are serious about printing what might be the best balance between printer type, cost and software to make it all work?

Ink Jet? What really is the difference in the inks (particularly the "photo color" that HP suggests).
Dye sublimation?
Do all ink jet inks still have tendensy to be vitually water soluble inks?
Are any inkjet printers producing archival (to me that means more than 5 years photos?

How about thermal wax printers? Xerox Phasor series for instance.

I use a color laser with good results as it is fast and cheap copy.

There are a couple of photo paper vendors that sell Laser Photo Paper..hmmm is it really so?
Have not tried it yet.

It just seems odd that there is so litle discusion about the printed end of our photo endeavors.

Metalic papers at the labs? Wonderful results.

Perhaps this is a subject that is only a concern for the professional photographer?

I still send out most of my better photos for production. It would be nice if I could do it in house without serious expense.
It was worth it years ago to set up for c-41 color. What do you think might be the equivelant digital setup to print today?

What are your thoughts and experiences?

Ron
Mt Pleasant WI
K-7 User, Pentax Me Super, Pentax K1000
Sigma 10-20MM Ultra Wide
18-55WR
Tamron 70-300
AF540FGZ Flash & AF360FZG Flash

womble

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 08:46
There is actually quite a lot on this if you look.

The two main issues are (a) making sure your monitor is colour calibrated and (b) making sure your preferred software is using the appropriate profile for your printer/paper/ink combination.

Personally, I send run-of-the-mill snaps to Bonusprint and the occasional high-end large print to the Siskin Press. I use Blurb for photobooks which has become my preferred way of doing lots of prints on one theme/for one purpose. It would be nice to be able to do prints in-house as Bonusprint sometimes mess up (mainly with dark low key images where they boost the brightness and spoil the intended effect) but currently I have neither the cash nor the space to devote to this.

Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

pink

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 09:14
yes this has been a real sore point for me until I went out and Invested in all the right hard ware and soft where.

I don't care what every one say's for me this is the only way to go

monitor has to be tft sorry but you really need it.
A constant light source ( I have a day light bulb and do all my editing at night)

I good printer I use a epson 1900 but you don't need a A3 printer

The most important product is a colourmunk after that you can play god with your photography and print to any printing medium

since I have had all this installed what I see on my monitor is what I get on my printer.

and if you want to go to the extreme lose the window light and paint you office a neutral colour grey my is a dull blue/green

James
My Fluidr

"To see in colour is a delight for the eye, But to see in black and white is a delight for the soul" ANDRI HERY
Last Edited by pink on 30/09/2010 - 09:14

simonkit

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 09:16
Unless you spend a lot of cash on buying high-end monitors/printers and have them all profiled then ultimately its all a bit of a compromise. Many photoshop experts suggest using Argb as the editing colourspace to make use of the wider gamut - the problem being that currently most monitors can't display it and most printers can't reproduce it.

Having initially tried different settings/options etc, with very mixed results I've decided that for me simplicity is the way to go....calibrated monitor is essential...I then use Srgb in Photoshop (and in-camera if shooting jpgs, which isn't often). I've found this produces pretty decent prints on both my home printer (Canon MP540) and from the labs I use (DSCL, Loxley & Photobox occasionally)

Simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

DoctorJeff

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 09:35
womble wrote:
Quote:
Personally, I send run-of-the-mill snaps to Bonusprint and the occasional high-end large print to the Siskin Press. I use Blurb for photobooks which has become my preferred way of doing lots of prints on one theme/for one purpose. It would be nice to be able to do prints in-house as Bonusprint sometimes mess up (mainly with dark low key images where they boost the brightness and spoil the intended effect) but currently I have neither the cash nor the space to devote to this.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been playing with a Tamron 17mm on my P50. Dropped the roll (Kodak) into my local Kodak Specialist processor (hey, the guy even sells Pentax)and said "This is out-of-date stock, shot under all sorts of lighting condition, I just wanted to get a feel for the lens. No correction needed, glossy paper, 24hr service will do." What I did not expect when I collected (on Tuesday) was that the whole film had been printed the wrong way round (transposed L to R).
Now I have used this firm for about 20 years, and had no problems before. I can only assume that he put the wrong end of the developed stock into the machine - can't see any other way of transposing the leader - but this is the first roll of Kodak I have put in there in years. Normally it would be Fuji, so this may have affected his visual checkup process.
Trouble is, this is the only game in town. He now has a bank of "Print your own" (from memory card, etc) machines, so maybe a shortage of processors will hasten the decline in Mass Market film use much quicker than the reduction in film suppliers.
Geoff
Water can wear away a stone - but it can't cook lunch
X-5
istDS
K2000
P50.
Lenses Digital: 50-200, 18-55 KAF: 28-80.
Lenses KA & K: SMC-KA f2.0, SMC-K f1.4, SMC-K f1.7 Tokina KA 28-70 , SMC Pentax 70-210 F4, Sigma KA 75-300 , Hanimex 500mm Mirror, and the Tamron Adaptall-2 stuff.
and then there's all the M42 kit, and the accessories ...

pentaxian450

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 09:57
simonkit wrote:
Unless you spend a lot of cash on buying high-end monitors/printers and have them all profiled then ultimately its all a bit of a compromise.

You don't need to spend a lot of cash. Most printers today do a terrific job. The important part is to make sure everything "talks the same language", i.e. use the same color space everywhere, and calibrate both printer and display. The Color Munki Photo is a good product that allows you to calibrate printers and display at a decent cost.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)

DoctorJeff

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 10:19
Quote:
pentaxian450 wrote
You don't need to spend a lot of cash. Most printers today do a terrific job. The important part is to make sure everything "talks the same language", i.e. use the same color space everywhere, and calibrate both printer and display. The Color Munki Photo is a good product that allows you to calibrate printers and display at a decent cost.

Price in UK equates to CDN$ 600. That is a whole lot of cash for an amateur to spend. Could get more lenses, etc, etc ... Must find my old colour test chart (on the back of an 18% Grey card) and do the job again, manually.
Geoff
Water can wear away a stone - but it can't cook lunch
X-5
istDS
K2000
P50.
Lenses Digital: 50-200, 18-55 KAF: 28-80.
Lenses KA & K: SMC-KA f2.0, SMC-K f1.4, SMC-K f1.7 Tokina KA 28-70 , SMC Pentax 70-210 F4, Sigma KA 75-300 , Hanimex 500mm Mirror, and the Tamron Adaptall-2 stuff.
and then there's all the M42 kit, and the accessories ...

simonkit

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 11:17
pentaxian450 wrote:
simonkit wrote:
Unless you spend a lot of cash on buying high-end monitors/printers and have them all profiled then ultimately its all a bit of a compromise.

You don't need to spend a lot of cash. Most printers today do a terrific job. The important part is to make sure everything "talks the same language", i.e. use the same color space everywhere, and calibrate both printer and display. The Color Munki Photo is a good product that allows you to calibrate printers and display at a decent cost.

Just to quote the original post "which one reproduces the colors my eye knows best", the OP sounds be be wanting the widest gamut possible so my thinking was that he needs to be printing from an Argb or even better Prophoto colourspace - the only chance of achieving this is by buying top-end/expensive equipment.

I agree that decent results can be achieved on a small-ish budget (I'm happy enough with mine) but you're limited then to using Srgb which doesn't make use of the more wider gamut range of the other colourspaces.
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

arto

Link Posted 30/09/2010 - 16:55
I am in the process of putting a simple guide to home printing on my website that I hope will answer most of your questions. The first page is here. (The next page, dealing with colour management issues, will be up in a few days.)

Here's the short answer: inkjet printing is the current gold-standard for fine-art photographic printing. Inkjet inks come in two flavours, dye-based and pigment-based. Pigment-based inks are waterproof and archival, lasting decades without significant fading (depending on inkset, paper and storage). Dye sublimation printing gives smooth, filmic results but isn't especially archival and offers only limited paper choices.

Your best bet for quality and longevity is either an Epson or Canon A3+ pigment-ink printer (HP have abandoned the quality desktop market for now). Ink is your biggest expense: buying a more expensive printer with larger ink cartridges can be cheaper in the long run than buying a smaller printer with small tanks.

Colour management is another issue, but it sounds to me as if you don't have agreement between your devices. You will need to calibrate your display (and printer, if you get one), and make sure you tag all your images with a large, device-independent colour space (Adobe RGB and ProPhoto RGB are recommended). The suggestion in this thread of an X-Rite Colormunki is a good one. Sure it costs money, but it calibrates both display and printer, and saves paper and ink.

For larger prints use a professional printing service. I can recommend one if you like
www.siskinpress.co.uk

pink

Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 17:54
I see Xrite has got another award for colour munki

James
My Fluidr

"To see in colour is a delight for the eye, But to see in black and white is a delight for the soul" ANDRI HERY

Anvh

Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 18:02
simonkit wrote:
Many photoshop experts suggest using Argb as the editing colourspace to make use of the wider gamut - the problem being that currently most monitors can't display it and most printers can't reproduce it.

That's a bit strange saying that after all, aRGB was specially designed to have all the colours CMYK colour printers can make or not?

pentaxian450 wrote:
The Color Munki Photo is a good product that allows you to calibrate printers and display at a decent cost.

Was thinking of getting that one but discover it doesn't work wit RCT screens

Here is a good site with articles about profiling and printing http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/features.html
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
Last Edited by Anvh on 02/10/2010 - 18:07

johnriley

Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 18:12
Monitors in general and printers in general will not show the full gamut of AdobeRGB. As time goes on of course, this will become less and less true.
Best regards, John

pink

Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 19:15
Just to put a fly in the soup how many people proof view their image in photoshop before printing ???????????


James
My Fluidr

"To see in colour is a delight for the eye, But to see in black and white is a delight for the soul" ANDRI HERY
Last Edited by pink on 02/10/2010 - 19:16

Anvh

Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 19:25
pink wrote:
Just to put a fly in the soup how many people proof view their image in photoshop before printing ???????????

Not me because I don't find it to accurate.
I most of the time do some small test prints and then chose the best looking one for full print.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

arto

Link Posted 02/10/2010 - 22:22
I nearly always soft-proof in Photoshop before printing. Why waste good paper on test prints? You need a decent display though, and to be meticulous about calibration. As you get familiar with the output of different papers it becomes less essential, but it's still a good habit to get into.

I also use gamut warning, and tweak colour saturation accordingly. It's helpful when tossing up between perceptual and relative-colorimetric rendering intents, as well.
www.siskinpress.co.uk
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