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Old Dec 2, 2008, 12:50 PM   #1
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Hello, sorry to give you yet another my prints don't look right scenario. I have searched but can't find anything that looks as though it fits this.

I have a cheapo printer. It's and Epson R220 which had good results and generally pleases. I don't do a lot of desk top printing and when I do, "as-near-as-damn-it" is the standard I plump for! However at the moment, I am trying to reproduce, reproductions of paintings and fairly abstract paintings at that. The artist knows immediately what colour he's looking for and in fact, I have never met anyone with his "eye" for colour. We get them spot on in my RAW conversion but when I print them off, they are a little too dark and to me conisistently accross all images. Colour's good but brightness is a bit off. I would say that it isn't even a 1/2 stop but it is noticable - I'm talking between monitor and print rather than painting and print but it does translate to a real-world difference as well.

I have been through all the relevent advice from MC around proofing, colour management and so on but can't seem to get it. I have produced several profiles for my printer and monitor (I have Gretag Macbeth i1 Proof) which is such a chore when it isn't going well....

If you take it from me that all settings are as recommended, could it be that my little 6-colour, A4, R220 printer isn't up to the task? I'm not ruling out the possibility of user error but I have been over and over the settings.

Thanks

Martin
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 3:17 PM   #2
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Unfortunately there are a huge number of variables that could come into play here. Sure, the R220 may not be the best but my guess is that it wouldn't cause dark prints on its own. What type of paper are you using, and are you using Epson ink? A lot of times people will use something like matte paper and expect a little too much out of it. Glossy papers or semi-gloss papers offer the most dynamic range and matte papers are the worst. Really though, this could be anything from your printer profiles to the monitor being too bright. Sometimes an overly bright monitor will cause you to think prints are too dark when it's really the monitor being too bright. If the prints really are too dark and it isn't the monitor, you'd have to look into getting better printer profiles or yes, possibly even a better printer. Some of the lower end printers don't do that great at rendering shadows so if the colors you are talking about are already darker colors, getting a better printer may help. Hard to tell though as there are so many variables.

Mike
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Old Dec 3, 2008, 3:04 AM   #3
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Thank you Mike, for your trouble. Yes and yes to paper and inks. I have tried callibrating and recallibrating monitor and printer (should I say profiling or callibrating?) Is it possible the callibrator needs callibrating!

How can you test a profile?

Martin
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Old Dec 3, 2008, 9:53 AM   #4
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Part of the problem with the whole color management arena is that there really is no scientific way to "validate" a profile. Other than making sure you have the latest print driver, there's not much I can suggest. You already have printer profiling software and that should work. Maybe contact GretagMacbeth and ask about their i1 proof and see if they have any suggestions since it's really their product you are asking about in the end.

Mike
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Old Dec 5, 2008, 4:52 AM   #5
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Just in case you are remotely interested, I have had a chat to Gretag MacBeth. They advise servising anually if you're ISO registered - I'm not. Otherwise, they advise every three years and say the lamp can get weak which would lead to problems like mine. It cost £100 for a service and £165 for service + lamp.

Thanks for your help.

Martin
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