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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Still having color problems with an Epson 4000
will kirk, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | usa | Posted: 10:13 AM on 08.15.05
->> Hi, folks. I feel pretty comfortable that I've searched most of the color problem related threads here, and I'm still having some difficulties (my monitors and Epson 4000 are calibrated using Monaco E-Z Color):
-Black and White prints have an overrall green cast (with a hint of magenta in the shadows) if we use the full range of inks, and they have a warm and nearly brown cast if we use black ink only.
-Prints from one calibrated monitor do not match those from another calibrated monitor.
-Certain prints seem to have a bit less yellow in anything on the screens and a bit more cyan.

Another question: the Epson 4000 has cmyk inks, but I do not seem to be able to use it as a cmyk printer without Postscript programs. Should I bother with that or with RIP software? I was told by a colleague that I should use sRGB as opposed to AdobeRGB (which I currently use as my color space) with images that are meant to be printed on the Epson 4000 due to the Ultrachrome inks. Either way, would this affect the black and white prints? Not sure. Please help. Thank you.

Will
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 10:32 AM on 08.15.05
->> Will

Are you on Windows or Mac?

I had color casts on my 2200, and not really printed any B&W on my 4000.

When you print are you using photoshop or another ICC type program?

Are you following the 4000's guide about settings, which suggests you use the proper paper profile, select custom and then select no color correction.

What paper are you getting the cast on?


Ed
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Guy Rogers, Photographer, Assistant
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:51 AM on 08.15.05
->> Like Ed said, paper can be a huge issue. Especially if it's not epson paper. The other thing, make sure all of your inks are firing. If one is clogged even partially, some crazy things can happen with color. (Your black maybe firing, but your light black could be clogged.) I usually run this before any big print job. The machine just has a tendency to get clogged.

We currently use colorburst rip.
http://www.colorburstrip.com/
for mac. It has some great profiles with it and I would recommend it. The rip put out by epson is a slightly watered down version of the program. The rips do a great job of converting RGB to CMYK for you.
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Guy Rogers, Photographer, Assistant
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:52 AM on 08.15.05
->> Thers a demo on the colorburst site. It never hurts to try it out.
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Jim Comeau, Student/Intern, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 10:55 AM on 08.15.05
->> Will,

I have a 4000 at work, and it took us forever to get neutral prints, but the only way to do so, we used ImagePrint. It's pricey for the 4000, but nails the prints dead on. Black & white are perfect, the color prints are perfect.

Just my $0.02
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 10:56 AM on 08.15.05
->> Could you explain your workflow? That might help.
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will kirk, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | usa | Posted: 1:50 PM on 08.15.05
->> Thanks for the quick responses, folks.
We use Windows XP.
My workflow, slow though it may be, is as follows (note that this is just my printing workflow; if I'm sending a cd to a client, I process the raw files as jpgs):
-Shoot uncompressed raw images with d2h, d100, or d1x
-Transfer images using Nikon Transfer
-View images using Nikon Browser
-Process raw images using Nikon Capture (I don't have my Camera Raw calibrated, so I stick with Capture) as 16-bit tiffs, Normal Sharpening, Normal Tone, AdobeRGB
-Open processed tiffs in CS2 and perform necessary tasks (Noise Ninja, Unsharp Mask, retouching, etc.) and view the proof colors in the profile that we created for the particular paper to be used
-Print tiff
*source: Adobe RGB
*color handling: Let Photoshop determine, [our profile for the paper], perceptual, black point compensation yes
*In the printer settings, we turn off color management, set the quality to the highest (2880dpi), and turn off high speed.
*We use Epson Premium Luster and Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl and Smooth Glossy and have set up profiles for each using the Monaco E-Z Color system.

I ran a nozzle check, and we are firing on all cylinders.
Again, thanks for the help. I'll check out the Color Burst demo and Image Print and see what might be workable.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 3:22 PM on 08.15.05
->> You shouldn't be printing in the Adobe 98 working space, it's NOT suitable for printing. After editing, you need to CONVERT to sRGB or a print profile supplied by Epson.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 3:44 PM on 08.15.05
->> Do not do not convert to sRGB color space. PERIOD.

sRGB was invented by Microsoft as an internet color porfile when using older style CRT monitors. sRGB does NOT match the Epson 4000 color space. You'll cheat yourself out of the full range of colors the 4000 can reproduce if you use sRGB.

Simply work in RGB 1998, and then print with the Epson profile for the paper you are using.

Frankly, it doesn't matter what your image looks like on the monitor, so long as it looks great when it is printed.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 4:10 PM on 08.15.05
->> There is no RGB 1998 output device only sRGB. While leaving it in this greater GAMUT and then using a color profile for a printer is proper or you can go from the sRGB to the color space for the printer (EPSON 4000).

Working in ADOBE 1998 or RGB 1998 is really splitting hairs you cannot see. Almost identical. The issue is being sure from start to finish each device knows what color space it was shot in and what color space it is in to give you the best output.

Calibrating the monitor does help you predict your output rather than "so long as it looks great when it is printed."

Just remember when you cannot see all the color space on any monitor and the output device can have a wider gamut of color space than the monitor, so you can get a surprise if not careful.

One last thing Michael, is your monitor calibrated? Maybe it is the problem.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 4:13 PM on 08.15.05
->> Will I see your monitor is calibrated. Just remember even in the best scenario you are limited as to what the monitor shows and what a photographic print can deliver.

Michael: I just am encouraging you to calibrate--trying to stay positive.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 4:23 PM on 08.15.05
->> Stanley, yes my monitor is calibrated, why do you ask?
Walter, the sRGB color space and ANY print profile are going to be about the same size, which is considerably smaller than the working space of Adobe 1998.
And there is no such thing as matching profiles, that's why you CONVERT to map the numbers to the closest representation. So long as you have a saved copy of the file in Adobe 1998 there is no reason why you CAN'T use sRGB. If a canned or custom print profile is NOT available, sRGB is always the BEST choice.

Period.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 4:42 PM on 08.15.05
->> Michael:

"Frankly, it doesn't matter what your image looks like on the monitor, so long as it looks great when it is printed."

This made me wonder--that's all.

I would be very careful at using "Period." I am not sure many experts are willing to say there is no other variables.

Hey, I am open to more possibilities.
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 4:55 PM on 08.15.05
->> Here is a question.

Why convert if you are assigning a ICC paper profile for use for printing?

Just wondering out loud, because I do not convert BUT choose the proper profile (usually epson, ilford, or yikes Kodak) for the print color space in PS

I am using ps7 and PS CS, not printing with CS2, although I have it.

My workflow may be flawed, but it is as follows

copy from the cards, burn RAW copy to DVD, color correct in PS, usually shoot in Adobe RGB, if I send to a lab, I convert to SRGB (trick learned from WHCC), if printing on my hardware I do the assigning the ICC profile at print time.


Am I bad to not convert does the output lose something by not converting?

I do softproof using my color space of the paper profile, after correcting in Adobe RGB 1998.

Ed
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 4:57 PM on 08.15.05
->> "Frankly, it doesn't matter what your image looks like on the monitor, so long as it looks great when it is printed."

Walter is the one who said that. That's ridiculous to say the least.
Having a properly calibrated monitor, able to display what you're actually working with, is essential to the color management system. Otherwise you're just chasing your tail.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 5:09 PM on 08.15.05
->> Ed, because assigning does nothing to change the numbers. When you've made your corrections, converting maps the numbers to the closest printing profile space.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 9:44 PM on 08.15.05
->> Most all images out of Canon camera do not have any profile assigned to them, even tho they are shot in sRGB.

So when you open an image which you know what the correct profile is, but it is lacking an embedded ICC profile you can assign it the correct one.

However, if you work on an image in ADOBE 98 and only assign it sRGB then this is the equivalent of assigning ADOBE 98 to the Canon image. It is putting the wrong ICC profile name on an image.

If you want to take the Canon image and first assign it sRGB then you could convert it to say ADOBE 98 and work on it. Then you send it to the Epson 4000. It is best to convert it to the ICC profile for the Epson save as a different name than the ADOBE 98 color space and then output for correct color.
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Ed J. Szalajeski, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 10:12 PM on 08.15.05
->> If I print from Adobe PS 7.0 (for instance), if I have an image in a Source Space of Adobe RGB (1998) and I assign the Print Space profile to "Pro4000 Velvet Fine Art" you are saying I would get better results if I converted the image before?

I was under the impression that this is what PS did programatically at printime, so you would not need to convert the image file prior to printing.

If I go into View, ProofSetup, and select Custom and select my ICC Profile, I get a good idea of what will come out of my printer without the need to save the image with a ICC profile, that I am only using for one print.

I guess I need to learn more about ICC profiles, and waste some ink testing again.

Ed
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 8:49 AM on 08.16.05
->> ED:

If you were sending this photo to a printer then you would definitely convert and then do a "save as" for the file to be correct for the output device.

The difference between assign and convert is really big! If you have a red crayon with no paper wrapper, you can put a piece of wrapper on it and say it is red. This is what assigning does.

If you have a red crayon and you assign it black it is still red.

Now for the “convert” explanation—if I have paint by the numbers picture and I need whoever paints to get the same colors as I intended then we use the paint by numbers for control. However, this paint by numbers assumes you have your own paints rather than supplying them.

How will you know what numbers match which colors? Lucky for you your paint set has a number for each color. Your paints are made by X-company. The person painting has Y-company paints.

Now if before you print out the Black and White drawing with the numbers for each paint on the sheet you were to tell the software to convert from X-company painting numbers to Y-company numbers then the person would be able to match your painting because the numbers while different will tell the artist the correct colors using their paints.

If you follow what I am saying then you should understand how assigning and converting works. If the printer can read ICC profiles and adjust automatically (converts the file) then you just need to be sure the photo has an ICC profile.

If the output device doesn't look at the file for a profile and just prints according to the numbers (this is what every photo is at this point--just numbers) then you need to convert before printing--(not assign) so the printer will use the correct colors.

Why would you want a photo without an ICC profile embedded you might ask? Well, once a photo is converted to sRGB you can then strip the ICC profile from the photo and this means the file of the photo is smaller. It is easier to use on the web for example, because it will now load faster.

So, I don't know without knowing more about if the printer is controlling the color space to answer your specific question. If I knew this I could. But hopefully my explanation will help you answer this for yourself.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 7:27 PM on 08.16.05
->> You can have a prefectly calibrated monitor (all mine are) and still get terrible results.

I don't print according to how the image looks on my monitor. The monitor can never reproduce the colors in a print. I print according to how my image looks in the histogram and PhotoShop's color information window using the color sampler tool. The monitor can be purple and I still get great results.

As far as sRBG, don't use it. Period. Unless you're simply needing your images to look good on the internet.

Yes the printer space is smaller than Adobe RGB 1998, but at least all the printer color numbers fall with in the gamut of the Adobe profile. sRBG DOES NOT. Period. Why do I know this? The great PhotoShop author Martin Evening told me so in person. If it is good enough for Martin, it's good enough for me.

But the bottom line is you must start with as much information as possible before the convertion to the printers numbers. That's why I follow what the best printers do in the business. I work at 16-bit in Adobe RGB 1998 for all corrections and manipulations before I ever print. The second to the last step is converting the image to the printer profile for your type of paper, inks and image size. The last step is sharping.

Call me rediculous, I don't care. Just don't call me late for dinner.

Anyway, I'm sure all photographers on SportsShooter are using a $1600 color correct viewing booth to judge the final print. Right? That's what a friend of mine uses, who use to be a staff photographer for an internationally know magazine published in Washington DC with a yellow border. He only works in 16-bit Adobe RGB 1998 too. I just saw his new Epson 7800 and 4800 printers today.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 12:08 AM on 08.17.05
->> I'll re-iterate. As long as you save an original copy of the UN-converted file (in the larger Adobe 1998 space) for your archives, a file converted to sRGB will print fine on practically ANY printer and I'll defy anyone to spot the differences between a print printed out of sRGB and any other space. Sure it's a smaller space but the human eye would have a hard time picking up on it.
Period.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 9:56 AM on 08.17.05
->> Walter:

While you have a point, you are missing the bigger discussion.

Most people do not know the differences between color spaces. People need to know if they take any ADOBE 1998 photo to any photographic output printer (1 hour or commercial) they will get crap. Those printers only print in sRGB and do not typically do any converting. You must do it before taking it to them.

So you are incorrect when saying "As far as sRBG, don't use it. Period. Unless you're simply needing your images to look good on the internet."

If you want good prints from a lab, you better be using sRGB.

While there are those who will print on ink jets which often do read the profile of the ICC profile your photo labs do not.

I would always base my knowledge not on just what you heard someone say, but from first hand experience and testing.

To make my point go and take your ADOBE 1998 file and have it printed at a one hour lab and also convert it to sRGB and print this one at the same time. You will change your mind about color spaces.

In the ideal setting it is always best to shoot in the widest possible color space, which would be ADOBE 1998. The problem for most people is knowing how to get this file to output correctly. This is the core issue of the discussion.

If you do not know what color space you are shooting/capturing the image you are already off to a bad start.

Each step of the process the photo needs to be identifiable as to the color space it is and this is where the ICC embedding makes the difference.

So many people do not know the difference between assigning a profile and converting a profile.

While I at times will shoot in ADOBE 1998 color space in 16bit RAW and work in Photoshop as long as possible in this color space I will need to be sure the output device is aware of the proper color space for output.

However for the majority of my work I have found if you nail the exposure properly to begin with and the white balance, the amount of gain has almost no perceptible difference to a sRGB 8bit captured image for high end magazine or annual report work. Therefore most of the time I shoot in sRGB 8bit and save all the time at the computer and use it to either shoot more or market myself.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 10:27 AM on 08.17.05
->> Well said, Stanley!
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 11:05 AM on 08.17.05
->> Lots of people don't know lots of things, me included.

We as professionals can't sit on our backsides and say "I don't know." That's like saying I don't want to know about f/stops and shutters speeds.

I take a much bigger picture: educate yourself.

So here you go, if you really want to learn about color space and printing, you will never learn it here on this forum.

Read these books: Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2, by Bruce Fraser; The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers, by Scott Kelby; and, Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Photographers, by Martin Evening.

After you're done you will know more than everything written here.

sRGB still sucks. My two cents that I will take to the bank.

Enough said. Now go out a learn.
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Michael Hickey, Photographer
Kokomo | IN | United States | Posted: 12:17 PM on 08.17.05
->> My gosh, Walter, let it go!
Nobody ever said sRGB was the best color space, far from it. The fact is 95% of the worlds computers, point and shoot cameras, consumer home printers and mini labs are optimized for sRGB, simply because of Microsoft's dominance.
If anyone's doing PROFESSIONAL four-color publishing and not using Adobe RGB 1998 I'd say you were crazy, but the fact is, the original question pertained to a consumer model Epson ink jet printer. We're not talking about 16 bit work heading for a heat-set SWOP that prints National Geographic!
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 4:49 PM on 08.17.05
->> The original question was for an Epson 4000, which is not a consumer model printer. Making files for a commercial lab or a cheapy printer was not the question.

There, I've let it go.

Wish others had before me.

Will - I hope you get a chance to read the books I suggested. They did me a world of good. Amazon is a good source if your local bookstore doesn't have them.

Will - I also use the ColorBurst RIP with my Espon 4000. The people at ColorBurst are wonderful, and will work their tails off to answer any of your questions. I believe they make an excellent product worth the extra money.

http://www.colorburstrip.com/
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Thread Title: Still having color problems with an Epson 4000
Thread Started By: will kirk
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