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Old Feb 24, 2016, 11:30 AM   #11
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Is the difficulty in the prints? If so, it may be the printer is not (or cannot) print in the Adobe RGB color space, so the pictures are being forced into the sRGB color space, which will certainly give different results.
No, the issue is when I save a PSD as PNG or JPG.

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I think I'd look for other printers.
I said "Printer" to mean "company who does printing" and not "a mechanical device that converts a digital image to an analog image".

When I was getting prints done by Kodak, they accepted BMP, GIF and JPG on their web-upload. I'd get the prints in the mail 10 days later. I no longer use this service. None of the terminals I've found in stores, where you can "do your own prints", accept TIFF.

The print ALWAYS matches the file I print. My issue is that my edit (PSD) never matches the file I print (JPG/PNG). I need to find a way to make them equal, be it by changing the file format I print, or by changing how I edit.

Unless I can reduce the colour space while editing (so at least my edit matches the JPG/PNG I ship out), I guess my only option is to save as TIFF and find someone who can print them...

Thanks everyone!!!
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 12:49 PM   #12
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I think I'd look for other printers.
I said "Printer" to mean "company who does printing" and not "a mechanical device that converts a digital image to an analog image".
That's what I thought you meant.

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The print ALWAYS matches the file I print. My issue is that my edit (PSD) never matches the file I print (JPG/PNG). I need to find a way to make them equal, be it by changing the file format I print, or by changing how I edit.
Never gonna happen. When you go from a 16 bit color space to an 8 bit color space, you're constricting the color palette. There are fewer colors to choose from so gradients will be more pixelated and banded.

Some online printers can use TIFF files, but your best results will always come from your own printer, unless you're after something that you can't do yourself, like framing, large print sizes, photobooks, etc.
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 2:32 PM   #13
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Never gonna happen. When you go from a 16 bit color space to an 8 bit color space, you're constricting the color palette. There are fewer colors to choose from so gradients will be more pixelated and banded.
My PSD file is 8bit Adobe RGB

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your best results will always come from your own printer
How so? I'd expect that professional printers using high end equipment and paper should always be able to do a better job of the print than my $99 inkjet...


I've done a bit of testing.
1. The JPG I was originally complaining about looks correct in PS, but not in a browser
2. I can save a JPG (or PNG) as Adobe RGB (or as sRGB)
3. All JPG (and PNG) files look the same unless I open them in PS

I suspect that the problem is far simpler (than I originally assumed):
I work in Adobe RGB. Most viewers and editors do not understand Adobe RGB and default back to sRGB which causes the appearance of a loss of saturation.

I see three options:
1: Work in sRGB right at the beginning and ensure my colourspace stays the same through my entire workflow. Pro: easy web export; Con: loss of colourspace for prints
2: Use Adobe RGB, tweak saturation for files exported for web. Pro: better print colours; Con: added overhead for files targeting the web (though I have to do a sharpen due to resizing).
3: Continue current workflow and always use Adobe RGB. Pro: Easy; Con: imperfect web images.

.... of course, the main question is: Do printers understand Adobe RGB? If not, #1 is the only viable solution.

Last edited by conor; Feb 24, 2016 at 2:50 PM.
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 3:42 PM   #14
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I think some printers may be able to use Adobe RGB, but haven't looked into it for quite a while. Even if so, you ae only going to get accurate prints if you are working with a standard calibration for your monitor, and your workflow is completely color managed. If you send your files to be printed, the printer should be able to provide you with color profile to use in Photoshop to emulate the printer.
I ended up opting for #1. It is simpler, and there are no surprises. The color gamut difference is not great enough to matter to me or to people I've sold prints to, and, unless you have the original in front of you to compare to, you aren't going to know what it would look like to the naked eye, anyway. (extremely few photographs look much like the original)
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 4:14 PM   #15
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Never gonna happen. When you go from a 16 bit color space to an 8 bit color space, you're constricting the color palette. There are fewer colors to choose from so gradients will be more pixelated and banded.
My PSD file is 8bit Adobe RGB
PSD Files are either 16 bit or 32 bit. 16 bit PSD files are straight from the NEF (or other RAW) files, and 32 bit PSD files contain HDR images created from multiple RAW files. You can create an 8 bit file when you save a PSD file as a JPEG or PNG file, but the PSD file will stay a 16 bit file. That's what Save As... means.

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Some online printers can use TIFF files, but your best results will always come from your own printer, unless you're after something that you can't do yourself, like framing, large print sizes, photobooks, etc.
How so? I'd expect that professional printers using high end equipment and paper should always be able to do a better job of the print than my $99 inkjet...
A $99 inkjet? Probably, but that's not the kind of printer I'm talking about. Images are stored with RGB data (sometimes RGBA data), but printers print using CYMK data. Printers that have 5 or more inks (the more the better) will produce better prints than a $99 inkjet that only uses 4 inks. In addition, the quality of the paper contributes significantly to the quality of the print. A $99 4 color inkjet won't perform nearly as well on plain (cheap) paper as a $400 6 color inkjet on premium photo paper.

... or what you'll get from an online printer, btw.

And when you're printing a 16 bit PSD file on a high quality printer on high quality paper, the printer driver has 16 bits of color data to work with as it converts RGB to CYMK, so you'll get better images than when you're printing an 8 bit PNG file on a high quality printer on high quality paper.

I would also caution you that while Adobe RGB is better for printing because it has a greater range of colors, especially in the green/cyan area, monitors can't handle that range, most can only handle sRGB, and the total number of colors is the same. That means that while Adobe RGB has more greens, it has fewer blues and reds. And if you're adjusting color in an 8 bit Adobe RGB image on an sRGB monitor, you have absolutely no idea what colors you'll end up with.

... which is another reason for doing your own printing, and printing 16 bit PSD files instead of 8 bit PNG files.

... and for getting a wide gamut monitor.

The more stuff you do with the greatest bit depth and the highest quality output (both monitor and printer) the better your results will be. But be forewarned that PS will always display a better image than IE
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 5:44 PM   #16
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PSD Files are either 16 bit or 32 bit. 16 bit PSD files are straight from the NEF (or other RAW) files, and 32 bit PSD files contain HDR images created from multiple RAW files. You can create an 8 bit file when you save a PSD file as a JPEG or PNG file, but the PSD file will stay a 16 bit file. That's what Save As... means.
I'm aware that you can "save as" anything you want without impacting the original.
PSD files, according to the menu options in CS5 can be 8, 16 or 32 bit... perhaps the menu is a lie, and 8 and 16 bit are the same.

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A $99 inkjet? Probably, but that's not the kind of printer I'm talking about. Images are stored with RGB data (sometimes RGBA data), but printers print using CYMK data. Printers that have 5 or more inks (the more the better) will produce better prints than a $99 inkjet that only uses 4 inks. In addition, the quality of the paper contributes significantly to the quality of the print. A $99 4 color inkjet won't perform nearly as well on plain (cheap) paper as a $400 6 color inkjet on premium photo paper.
The only printer I have kicking around an old yet decentish Canon - likely worth about 100 bucks these days - was worth $300 a decade ago. 4 inks. I never even used up the original ink before I switched to having a professional print for me. For ~10 8x10 prints and ~50 4x6 prints per year, I will not spend a single dime on my own printer. It's not cost effective.

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And when you're printing a 16 bit PSD file on a high quality printer on high quality paper, the printer driver has 16 bits of color data to work with as it converts RGB to CYMK, so you'll get better images than when you're printing an 8 bit PNG file on a high quality printer on high quality paper.
The bitness doesn't seem to be my issue, the issue I have is the conversion between Adobe RGB and sRGB at the same bitdepth. I can *most definitely* see the difference on 3 different monitors I've tried.

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I would also caution you that while Adobe RGB is better for printing because it has a greater range of colors, especially in the green/cyan area, monitors can't handle that range, most can only handle sRGB, and the total number of colors is the same. That means that while Adobe RGB has more greens, it has fewer blues and reds. And if you're adjusting color in an 8 bit Adobe RGB image on an sRGB monitor, you have absolutely no idea what colors you'll end up with.
This is an amazing point that I completely missed. I know that the gamut of average monitors is about ~97% of sRGB; ~75% of Adobe RGB.

So... Unless I'm using a monitor with a wide enough gamut to cover at least 95% of Adobe RGB, I have *no clue* what the print will look like as my monitor is basically "rounding" colours. The fact that my current prints look closest to the 16 bit Adobe RGB PSD files I started with is likely a fluke (since my monitors cannot accurately represent Adobe RGB in the first place)

So... I should be doing all my work in a colour space that can be accurately represented by my monitor, and calibrate my monitor accordingly. This will ensure that WISIWIG, regardless of where I am "seeing" (print, web, ps, etc)

... TCav, thanks a ton for your continued input.

And I'm still at a loss as to why PS displays a 16bit PNG differently from *every* other viewer I've tried.
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 6:20 PM   #17
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Discovered something (that makes a lot of sense):
If I take my 16bit Adobe RGB file and do Edit -> Convert -> sRGB ... the sRGB and Adobe RGB versions are very similar, though not exact (as expected)
If I then save the sRGB version AS PNG or JPG, the file looks the same as the sRGB PSD.

So, Adobe RGB -> Save As PNG seems to result in a PNG that references the Adobe RGB colourspace (because Photoshop displays it right), but all other viewers seem to blindly use sRGB to display ...
But, Adobe RGB -> Convert to sRGB -> Save As PNG seems to result in a PNG that references sRGB colourspace and all viewers seem to display it right ...

Since the convert seems to leave the colours *looking* very similar (unlike how non-PhotoShop viewers seem to display Adobe RGB files), and since I can tolerate the minute visible differences between the sRGB and Adobe RGB PSD files, I think this becomes a fourth solution.

Work in Adobe RGB and actually *convert* to sRGB for web files... but this assumes that my monitor does a decent job of displaying Adobe RGB colours, even if it can only accurately display about 75% of them... I can easily test this by printing 2 versions of the same image using a service that will obey the colour profile of the images and comparing these two printed images to each other and to the digital versions displayed on my monitor.

My gear isn't the fanciest and I realize that I'm taking this about 100 times further than most people would, but I don't see any reason to "leave anything on the cutting room floor". It only makes sense to spend a bit of time to ensure that my workflow gets the absolute best out of the equipment I'm using...

Last edited by conor; Feb 24, 2016 at 6:25 PM.
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 9:15 PM   #18
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I suggest that you forget Adobe RGB entirely.

Switching from the native color space in your RAW files to Adobe RGB and then to sRGB, is more prone to errors than simply going from your RAW files straight to sRGB.
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 9:27 PM   #19
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See Wikipedia: Adobe RGB color space - Comparison to sRGB.

Until earlier today, you never mentioned Adobe RGB was part of your workflow, so I never mentioned it like VTphotog did. Otherwise I'd have cautioned you against it earlier.
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Old Feb 24, 2016, 10:10 PM   #20
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I would also caution you that while Adobe RGB is better for printing because it has a greater range of colors, especially in the green/cyan area, monitors can't handle that range, most can only handle sRGB, and the total number of colors is the same. That means that while Adobe RGB has more greens, it has fewer blues and reds.
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly. Are you saying that just the range is greater, or implying that there are more different colors in the green than in the red or blue?
As I understand it, you have 8bits of each color to work with., resulting in coarser gradations of green, but not more of them.
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