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Old Mar 26, 2004, 4:11 PM   #1
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Default Calibrating printer output to computer screen?

I'm just starting into digital and learning that my printer (a cheap Lexmark Z11) doesn't print the same colors or density as I see on my screen. It tends to print quite a bit lighter and with far more reds.

My questions is, can the higher end photo printers, say something like the Canon 9000 series calibrate to the computer screen? I'm thinking the Canon i9900 coming out in May might be good, but I sure like to have the printer output what I see on my 19" Dell Trinitron screen.

My first camera is the Sony T-1, and I'm planning on adding either a Canon 300D or Nikon D70 for more serious work. Sure love this forum and Steve's reviews. Can't wait for the D70 sample pictures and Steve's conclusion.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old Mar 29, 2004, 9:48 AM   #2
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are you using something like photoshop ? Do you convert your file to the printer's profile before printing?, and the most important, did you calibrate your monitor ?
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Old Mar 29, 2004, 9:56 AM   #3
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No to all of the above.

I'm using Photoshop 7.0. My monitor has some color temp selections, either 9300K (where it's set) or 5000K, plus some sort of an RGB slider.

Looks like I've got some learning to do.

Any tips on how to approach this procedure?

Thanks for the response.
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Old Mar 29, 2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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so you are using my photoshop. You wrote no to all of the above - confusing. Basically, in a nutshell do the following, load adobe gamma to calibrate your monitor. Second, make sure you are using the proper ink and paper for your printer, otherwise you'll have to create a profile for your printer for that type of ink and that paper. You would need to buy a program for that. If you want to know mroe and have more control over your result, buy a color managemnt book, but If you know ( and don't want to know ) nothing of color management, that should be enough for now.
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Old Mar 29, 2004, 2:58 PM   #5
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Thanks AMG. Sorry for the confusion on the Photoshop. My mind immediately went to the other questions and I skipped that one.

I just went through the calibration procedure for the first time and it sure is interesting.

Digital photography and things like Photoshop are new to me. I spent 40 years with Nikon film cameras as well as 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities of this "electronic" photography, but each step is learning from scratch. Love this forum and Steve's reviews.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 3:33 AM   #6
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One thing you can do to save some time and effort is to buy a better printer, either a Canon or Epson, both make very high quality mid-price printers which give much better and more consistent results than the Lexmark.
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 11:26 AM   #7
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You're right on the printer. It's a Lexmark Z11 which I paid $9.95 for with a coupon of some sort. For the money, it's been great for non-photographic stuff.

Now, with a new Sony T-1 in hand, and a Nikon D70 in the near future, I need something serious. I'm thinking of the upcoming Canon i9900.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 2:18 PM   #8
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well whatever you spend, remember the golden rule, the monitor can display colors that cannot be printed, so once you have the printer's profile installed, you can click on view - proof setup - proof colors, then view - proof set up - custom, pick the printer's profile, make sure preview is checked and change the rendering intent to whatever gives you rhe most desirable result, usually relative colorometric. What you are doing is letting the monitor show you what the print will look like before you actually print it.
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG
well whatever you spend, remember the golden rule, the monitor can display colors that cannot be printed, so once you have the printer's profile installed, you can click on view - proof setup - proof colors, then view - proof set up - custom, pick the printer's profile, make sure preview is checked and change the rendering intent to whatever gives you rhe most desirable result, usually relative colorometric. What you are doing is letting the monitor show you what the print will look like before you actually print it.
This *only* works if your monitor is calibrated correctly! The suggested method of using adobe gamma has room for large errors in monitor calibration. If you're concerned about the printer output being close to what you see on the screen, I suggest you get a better monitor calibration tool. For example a Spider (about $130). This is a a hardware device that will measure the light output of your monitor and create an ICC profile for it that Photoshop will use to display colors correctly.

Personally I didn't find it useful (yet) to also create custom ICC profiles for my Canon i960. The profiles built into the printer driver are very good in my opinion. I use red-river paper and they provide ICC profiles for canon printers. I found their profiles to be less accurate than leaving the color management to the printer driver. Anyways, your mileage may vary.

The most important thing in a color-managed workflow is a properly calibrated monitor combined with ICC capable software, like photoshop.

Barthold
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 11:53 AM   #10
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agreed barthold, 100%, but I still use adobe gamma because I am still getting the desried result for home use. But if I ever start to get unpredictable results or start proofing "work" related pictures at home, then I would upgrade to a proper calibration device. Just as a side note, there are people who don't calibrate their monitor at all and still get close to perfect results because they are simply importing their pictures, removing red-eye and maybe adjusting the brightness a little, and printing on an inkjet. The results are still better than 35mm printed from a local walmart type place, so for these people, they don't see why they should calibrate or color manage, and I don't blame them
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