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Old Jan 25, 2005, 9:21 PM   #1
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What is the correct configuration for the Canon driver when Qimage is set up to use the included Canon driver profile with Canon PPP paper? In particular should ICM be on or off?
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Old Jan 28, 2005, 9:40 AM   #2
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Whenever you have an ICM profile, that profile is useless unless it came with instructions on how to set up the driver. That's why most ICM profiles that come with printers (like Canon's "CNBJPRN" profiles) are of little use for true color management as they are simple matrix shaper profiles and are not designed for any specific paper type. If you want to try them and you have no instructions, it is probably best to just activate the profile under the "ICM" setting of the driver itself and hope for the best.

The best profiles are "real" profiles that are specific to your printer, ink, and paper type. You can get these profiles by having them custom made or making them yourself using a profiling tool. These profiles are very accurate because they are specific to one paper,ink, and printer and they normally are activated in your printing software with the print driver set to do no color adjustment itself.

Mike
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Old Jan 30, 2005, 11:11 AM   #3
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I am still perplexed by this whole printer profile subject. Before I started trying Qimage with my Canon i960, I would print from photoshop Elements 3 with Printer Color Management set under Print Preview, or from Canon Easy Photo Print. The Canon driver came with 5 (I think) profiles installed, whichI had Canon identify: CNBJPRN2 = Adobe Photoshop generic profile; CNB5CCA0 =Canon Photo Paper Pro, Quality 1; CNB5CCB0 = Photo Paper Pro Perforated, Quality 2; CNB5CEA0 = Photo Paper Plus Glossy; CNB5CDA0 = Matte Photo Paper, Quality 1. I assume that the program I am printing from picks the correct profile, especially since I set the paper type, paper size, quality, etc from the printer set up before printing. I also have one more color profile for my printer downloaded from Kodak for its new Professional Paper, which i have to "lock in " as the default profile if i want to print on that paper.

Leaving the Kodak paper aside for the moment, I can't figure out whether I am supposed to load one of the Canon profiles in Qimage when I print or not. I printed a few shots without loading any profile, and they looked good, even though I am still trying to figure out the Qimage sharpening.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 1:33 PM   #4
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Im starting to think that this whole colour management thing is a load of crap. I know most serious sources all recommend hardware calibration devices and custom profiles but I'm more interested (as I suspect most people are) in getting pleasing results that are close to the original photo even if they don't pass the exact match criteria of a pro...most of us would never know (or care). What is frustrating is that a couple of idiot proof settings in Canon Easy Photo Print produces far superior results than can be obtained in either Qimage or PSCS, skin tones that resemble living people and vibrant colours. If Easy Photo Print had a bit more flexibility in custom print sizes and layout, I would not use anything else and PSCS only for photo editing.

Jbruceb, you hit right on what my original post was asking, ie what the correct settings are for the use of the Canon profile with Qimage. Mchaney did not answer this at all. There are two issues here, adjustments can be made to the selected Canon profile or left at Auto, what should be done? The second issue is whether to enable or dissable the "ICM" option?
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 3:08 PM   #5
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I love Easy Photo Print, but as you say, the layouts are limited. I printed out some 5Mp photos on both Easy Photo Print and Qimage, and upon VERY close comparison, the Qimage prints were sharper; however, as you surmised, the EPP prints were perfectly acceptable. The Qimage upsampling and sharpening is showing some advantage, I think.

As far as color management, one of my favorite authors, Richard Lynch, who wrote "The Hidden Powers of PhotoShop Elements 3" advises the reader to forget about color management, and in Elements (and I presume in the full PhotoShop also) to turn color management OFF. I think that he knows that the whole subject gives one a headache.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 4:20 PM   #6
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Sounds like you two just need to bite the bullet and decide which way you want to go and commit to it. If you think that color management is some sort of government conspiracy and it makes you tempted to join a cult, why mess with it? Just take the Canon defaults in the driver leave "ICM" off, and fiddle with the "Effects" tab to get a look you like. If you decide to do color management though and you want any real level of accuracy, do it right and don't mess with the silly profiles that Canon provides with their printers. Either way you go, here are some pointers:

- No color management: if you are just looking for something that looks good to your eyes, you'll have to experiment a bit since if you aren't interested in accuracy, beauty will be in the eye of the beholder. Most people like to click on the "Main" tab, Click "Manual" under "Color Adjustment" and then select "Photo" as the printing type, leaving "ICM" off and all other controls in the middle. You can also click the "Effects" tab and check "Vivid photo" if you like. Again, your choice.

- Color management: if you want to mess with the generic profiles that Canon gives you, just check "ICM" in the driver and then set your Printer ICC profile (Prtr ICC) in Qimage to sRGB. You're done. If you want to do truly accurate color management, you'd turn off all color corrections in the driver and create your own profile (or have one created for you). Which way you go will depend on the level of accuracy you want.

The Easy Photo Print software isn't really doing anything other than one of the suggestions above as all it does is control some settings in the driver. Take some time to try the above settings and see which you like best.

P.S. Anyone who would write a book advising people to forget about color management is obviously writing to a specific type of reader: people who just want to print and don't care that much about quality/accuracy. If you are one of those people, you are probably not your average Qimage user anyway because most people who use Qimage use it not only to make printing simpler, but also (and often times mainly) to get higher quality prints. If high quality and/or accuracy are important to you, I certainly would not recommend listening to advice like "forget about color management"!

Mike
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 7:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for your comments and suggestions, Mike. The problem with full color management asI see it is that custom profiles are required for EVERY different type of photo paper used, not to mention inks, different cameras, the scanner and the display. Too expensive, especially if you try different photo papers often. As a hobbiest, I'm happy if I can keep my monitor in calibration and get a print looking close to the colors on the monitor.

Of far more importance to me is the clarity (focus?) and tonality and sharpness of the print. This is where Qimage comes in.

I admit that I have always left unchecked the "ICM" box in the Canon because I thought that selecting the paper type, quality, etc would tell the driver which Canon profile to use. I see that I have to do more experimenting.

I think that you may have misjudged Richard Lynch's intended audience for his book. Almost the entire book is about color and tones, and I am confident that anyone who studies it (too dense for a casual read), will know more about color when they are finished.
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 8:39 PM   #8
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I pretty much echo what jbruceb has said in his post as my expectations are pretty much the same, I do appreciate your input Mike, and your suggestions have shed a lot more light on the use of the "ICM" setting in the Canon driver and the sRGB printer profile to be used in Qimage. I agree that Qimage does indeed produce sharp prints, I just could not get the color matching to work well up to now. I'll go try a few of Mike's recommendations.
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 8:17 AM   #9
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jbruceb wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for your comments and suggestions, Mike. The problem with full color management as I see it is that custom profiles are required for EVERY different type of photo paper used, not to mention inks, different cameras, the scanner and the display. Too expensive, especially if you try different photo papers often. As a hobbiest, I'm happy if I can keep my monitor in calibration and get a print looking close to the colors on the monitor.
It's really not as complicated or expensive as some people make it out to be. These days, all professional digital cameras and many of the consumer models have their own color space settings built in. Just select sRGB or Adobe RGB and shoot away. If they don't have a selection for color space, they are designed loosely around sRGB so that's what you can use.

Printer profiling is very inexpensive and the rewards are tremendous! Just talk to anyone who has done it and 99% of those people will tell you that they didn't realize how much they were missing until they went the way of color management. It's like putting on a pair of new glasses. You didn't think you needed them until you look through the new ones! For $79 you can have what is generally considered the best scanner based profiler on the market: http://www.ddisoftware.com/prism and even if you don't have a scanner and you need to buy one of those, you can get a Canon LiDE 80 which is excellent for the task for about $80. That's a total investment of about $160 starting with nothing and now you can profile any combination of paper, ink, printer that you so desire. And yes, it is important to profile each one because that's why so many people have problems with color: they don't take these specific things into account. Think about it. People waste that much on a full set of inks or a few packs of premium paper. Then consider the time you waste trying to get it right manually without ICC profiles, and still wasting time, paper, and ink when that one blue sweater just doesn't look right or that red car looks too orange.

If you want to go a step further, you could buy the Spyder Pro to profile your monitor, but those are more expensive ($270) and are usually less necessary because monitors don't have the wild color shifts and limited gamuts that most printers have.

In the end, to each their own. Talk to anyone who has really taken a stab at color management though, and they will sing it's praises... and I think that includes Mr. Lynch as I really doubt he has any experience with it or has really given it a try. He sounds like a lot of people who look at it and say, "That looks too complicated. My prints look fine." That is, until they see what their prints can really look like! Your camera, monitor, and printer all produce color very differently, and the only sensible thing is to measure these devices to characterize their color. It's the only way to guarantee accurate results and avoid things like the dreaded blue sweater that looks cyan, the occasional magenta face, and other "random" complaints that come from not really having a handle on color.

Mike
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 11:46 AM   #10
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Mike, your scanner/prism solution is something that I had never thought of, and it certainly sounds like an easy answer. Two questions on using Qimage:

1. Before I am able to implement custom profiling for my Canon i960, should I enter the Canon supplied profiles in Qimage, or just leave it blank?

2. I also have a HiTi (dye sub) 4x6 printer. Does Qimage bring any benefit to this?

I still think that you are selling Richard Lynch short. Quoting from Sybex, the publisher of his latest books "Richard Lynch is the author of Special Edition Using Photoshop 6, and Adobe Photoshop 5 How-To, as well as numerous articles on Photoshop, scanning, digital photography, and imaging for various magazines. He is the editor of more than 30 photography and digital imaging how-to books. His Photoshop work has appeared in print and on the Web, in website design, magazines, books, music CDs, trade-show installations, and as logos. He currently teaches Digital Rendering at Daemen College and works for a New York software company as a documentation specialist".

I suspect that he knows more about color management than 99.99% of professional graphics artists or photographers.


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