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Old Apr 3, 2011, 4:41 AM   #1
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Hi There,

By way of a quick intro: I live in Thailand (UK ex-pat; been living here for the better part of the past 21 years) and six months ago I began in ernest the journey toward my lifelong goal of becoming a professional wildlife photographer.

Although I plan of having larger prints of my work developed at a professional lab in Bangkok, I'm aiming to do as much printing of smaller images (up to A3 size) here at home. In line with that, I just purchased the Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II, which was delivered yesterday.

Thing is, the guy that installed it didn't seem to understand what I meant when trying to explain what I understood as the necessity of calibrating my iMac desktop to the printer; he simply installed the software that came with the printer and said I was good to go!

I'm using Hi-jet Print-Plus Semi Glossy Paper, but I'm not able to access the Hi-jet.com website for some reason, so I haven't been able to find or download the correct profile, which I also understand is necessary.

Having said that, the few prints I've prepared (in Adobe Lightroom 3) and printed up so far don't look too bad; perhaps a little darker than I see the images on my monitor, but other than that the colour quality seems pretty close to how I developed them.

Going by the philosophy that if something appears too good to be true it usually is ;^p something about this seems far too easy, especially seeing as from the research I did prior to buying this printer I was a little daunted by the idea of having to try and get my head around technical jargon and instructions, which frankly is not my strong suit ;^.

Anyhow, don't want to make this opening thread too long, so I'll sign off now in the hope that someone with knowledge all this might be willing to respond with some much needed help and advice ... in the most simplistic terms possible please ;^)

Thanks in advance to anyone that might :^)

Kind regards,

Ashley
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 11:21 PM   #2
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I'd move you post to the printer forum towards the bottom of the forums menu list and see if people there can help you out.

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Old Apr 3, 2011, 11:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion Dave :^)

Not sure how to move a thread from one forum to another, so probably best for me to post up the same one again over in the Printer Forum.

Thanks again :^)

Kind regards,

Ashley
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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i moved it already for you.
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Old Apr 3, 2011, 11:41 PM   #5
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Thanks Hards80, saved me having to copy and paste ;^)
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Old Apr 4, 2011, 6:12 PM   #6
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Hi,
I'm not sure if this will help you. But, I can share my experience with using Canon's Pro 90o0MKII to print photographs and note cards. The Pro 9000MKII is connected to my IMac 21 with Mac OSX 10.6. I use Photoshop CS5 and Adobe ACR v6.3.

Like you, I've read many articles about the importance calibrating the monitor properly. Quite honestly, I've never done it simply because, as you have experienced, I find the differences in what I print vs what I see on the screen so minor that I've never pursued it. If I run across an image that simply has too great a color difference from what I'm after, I just make a color adjustment in CS5 and save it to the file. When I print the image in the future, it's already color corrected, so needs no adjustment.

I do have to say, that I have downloaded all the profiles for the papers I use. In my case, I get all my paper from Red River Paper located in Texas. I use their color profiles and find that - to my eyes- they are fine.

Canon has done a wonderful job of putting together photo printers that really output outstanding images.

As a comparison, I also use an Epson Stylus 2200 printer. Now, admittedly, this printer is long in the tooth, as it was released in 2001 but, even after downloading the color files for that printer, I can tell you that it takes a lot of work to get that printer to output properly. It was my primary reason for wanting to calibrate the monitor. Until, that is, I got the Pro9000MKII.


good luck with your new printer.

One last point that I wanted to make. Although you might be tempted, I would suggest you NOT introduce low cost competitive ink into the printer. Besides not giving you the image quality that Canon's ink does, I've found that competitive ink fades quite quickly when introduced to any kind of light. You'll also have to deal with the potential of head clogging. something you just won't want to deal with.

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Old Apr 4, 2011, 7:23 PM   #7
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Many thanks for taking the time to address this issue for me Zig, much appreciated :^)

What you write of your own experiences actually lifts a good deal of the weight I was carrying about all this from my mind ;^)

Thanks also for the tip regarding better off sticking to Canon's own when it comes to ink cartridges.

I'm actually heading up to Bangkok this morning to check out a professional print lab, that I may want to use for any images I'd like to have larger than A3 size as well as see what they have to offer by way of mounts and frames. I'll be taking along a number of photos as well, as I'd like to see how their prints on A4 come up compared to the ones I've printed so far on my 9500 MKII.

Much the same as you, so far I'm quite content with the colours (I also work with PS CS5, but do my print layout and actual printing by way of Lightroom 3 using 16 Bit Output, which I find easier to work with for this), and probably the only thing I'm not 100% satisfied with is that the the prints look so much darker than they do on my monitor.

Obviously I understand that the monitor (I'm using an iMac, not sure of the exact model but definitely OSX Snow Leopard, bought new only six months ago) has strong lighting to it and prints aren't going to come out nearly as bright, but I am wondering whether there's any way to ensure the prints come out at least a little lighter than they currently are without me having to add more exposure to the file before printing, which I've already tried and seen horrible results ;^.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this Zig?
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Old Apr 4, 2011, 8:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avl369 View Post
Many thanks for taking the time to address this issue for me Zig, much appreciated :^)

What you write of your own experiences actually lifts a good deal of the weight I was carrying about all this from my mind ;^)

Thanks also for the tip regarding better off sticking to Canon's own when it comes to ink cartridges.

I'm actually heading up to Bangkok this morning to check out a professional print lab, that I may want to use for any images I'd like to have larger than A3 size as well as see what they have to offer by way of mounts and frames. I'll be taking along a number of photos as well, as I'd like to see how their prints on A4 come up compared to the ones I've printed so far on my 9500 MKII.

Much the same as you, so far I'm quite content with the colours (I also work with PS CS5, but do my print layout and actual printing by way of Lightroom 3 using 16 Bit Output, which I find easier to work with for this), and probably the only thing I'm not 100% satisfied with is that the the prints look so much darker than they do on my monitor.

Obviously I understand that the monitor (I'm using an iMac, not sure of the exact model but definitely OSX Snow Leopard, bought new only six months ago) has strong lighting to it and prints aren't going to come out nearly as bright, but I am wondering whether there's any way to ensure the prints come out at least a little lighter than they currently are without me having to add more exposure to the file before printing, which I've already tried and seen horrible results ;^.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this Zig?
Sounds as if your images are not nearly as close in color to what you are seeing on the screen. I'm printing mostly on matte finish, textured stock and the colors are very close to what I see on the screen. And, I did no monitor calibration when I purchased the IMac.

My suggestion is that since you're going to a professional print lab this week, it would be wise to ask them for their thoughts on the subject. My suspicion is that they use Macs there and would have light years more experience than I in helping you to properly optimize your system.

Don't be at all surprised if they tell you to calibrate. Please post the results of your meeting. It would be good information for future reference.

Zig
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 3:01 AM   #9
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Hi Zig,

Thanks again for your thoughtful response :^)

Just got back from Bangkok and, I'm pleased to say, the trip was a an excellent investment in time :^)

The print lab we went to appears to be professional enough as far as producing large, good quality prints on a consistent basis, although I still harbour reservations about the integrity of all print labs in Thailand, insofar as being able to trust them to delete my images from their hard drives once a job is complete, instead of keeping the ones they like the most and printing copies for their own purposes, something I've unfortunately experienced here before and know of others that have experienced the same.

Still, we left three photos with them to print on their best paper; one on semi glossy, another on fine art, and one on canvas. There's a public holiday here today, and we had to return home to pick up our daughter, so the lab is sending those prints down to us within a few days.

The only computers I saw there were Windows, as opposed to Mac, and they're using Epsom printers, so they weren't able to offer a whole lot by way of advice, however, the best recommendation they gave was for us to visit the Canon Service and Customer Support Centre, which just happened to be in easy walking distance from where they were located :^)

The Canon staff were extremely helpful, friendly and, of course, knowledgeable about their products. Looking at some of the photos we brought along with us that I'd printed up on Hi-jet paper, they immediately confirmed my initial impression that the colours weren't nearly vivid enough, which left the images looking rather flat.

Having several of the same images with us on a thumb drive, they soon set to work printing them up on Canon inkjet paper with the same model of printer we have, i.e. the Pixma Pro9500 MK II. The first example they showed us was on the one closest to the Hi-jet paper used for the prints we showed them, theirs is called Photo Paper Plus Semi-gloss Satin SG-201 260 gm A4.

The difference in finish was truly remarkable! The first thing they pointed out was the strength of the black in the frame around the image I'd added; the same black in the Hi-jet version appeared quite faded by comparison. Then looking at the the subject (which happened to be a beautiful Hoopoe!) we could see much more vivid colours and crisp detail, perhaps not identical to what we can see on a light enhanced monitor (they too were using an iMac desktop), but certainly a marked improvement from the Hi-jet version and something that brought smiles all round :^)

They printed up a number more on different types of Canon paper for us to compare and contrast, and while they'll all very good, the two we felt will be best for our purposes is the Semi-gloss mentioned above and their Fine Art Paper “Museum Etching” Fine Art FA-ME1 350 gm A3.

Their Semi-gloss is double the cost of the Hi-jet equivalent, but in our opinion worth every penny. That said, come the time we're ready to present my work for sale, we may well offer prints on both Canon and Hi-jet paper, to make our prints perhaps more affordable for our local market.

As to the necessity of calibrating our iMac monitor to our Pro9500 MK II, they said it really isn't necessary, as the top-end Canon models are pre-calibrated to work particularly well with Mac computers. Truth be told, I'm probably not relating their explanation all that accurately, but the main point is that they seem confident that further calibration won't offer us any appreciable benefit, which, frankly, I was more than pleased to hear ;^)

Hope you didn't find this post too longwinded Zig, and if you have any more specific questions related to this please feel free to ask in the knowledge I'll be back in response, though as you can see I do have a bit of a challenge with writing in brief ;^p

BTW, although of course this won't show you anything of the quality in the printed versions, in case you're interested I'll try and attach one of the photos they printed up on the A3 size Fine Art paper that we're now having framed for a gift to a friend who's opening a new health spa in our area. Although I haven't had much time so far to look through all the galleries on your website, I was able to look through some of your wonderful bird images, so I thought this one might also hold some appeal for you ;^)
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 2:43 PM   #10
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Hi,

Glad to hear your visit to the Canon support center proved to be a very positive experience. It sounds like your experience there, more closely approximates my general experience to date with using their higher end printers tethered to a Mac.

Glad you solved the mystery of replicating image/color quality. I know that various papers do give you different results. Just didn't realize it would be that significant.

Great photo of a bird that I've never seen before. Do you happen to know it's name.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my galleries. And, much appreciate the kind words.

Zig
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