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Thread: My prints turned out dark.

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    My prints turned out dark.

    I got a spyder 3 pro and calibrated my monitor and sent some pictures of to be printed at digital works. Overall they look great, the colours are spot on etc. Only thing is some of them turned out to be quite a bit darker than they appear on my screen, even with the brightness setting turned right down to 0 and after numerous re-cals.

    What can I do to fix this? The monitor is nothing special, it's a Hanns G 22" lcd.

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    before trying anything else or reaching conclusions, just go to another printing place and do some test prints tomorrow

    print quality and colours and settings always vary between printers

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    Ahh... I use my laptop for most of my processing. But I have a Hanns G 22inch HD monitor as well and the darkness and colour looks alot different from the laptop screen (I use a spyder 2). I don't like it at all and am about to upgrade as soon as I can find another moniter I like. I think it is just the brand.... mine was pretty cheap I think around $250 for HDMI input 2 years ago
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    That's a good idea I might fire up my lappy right now and see if the screen looks any different on that.

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    I have tried to calibrate to match but I can't get anywhere near the same result. I would be interested to see what you reckon.

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    are you using the same profile as your lab? that would be the first step.

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    Also check what gamma setting on your monitor you calibrate to (if it has that option), that turned out to be a problem for me, and ditto with checking the lab profile.
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    Well I just tried the laptop, the picture on the screen was still quite a bit brighter than the print even with the brightness down as low as it would go.

    The colour space is set to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 as suggested on the digital works website. The colours are correct the prints just look a little under exposed.

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    The spyder software says the gamma is set to 2.2. Is that what you mean? I'm using vista and don't have the Adobe Gamma in my control panel, just a colour management option where i can select different colour profiles. I'm not quite sure what it all is so i've just left it alone.

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    Well I opened up the nvidia control panel and reduced the gamma to 0% and the screen appeared to match the print fairly closely as far as the 'darkness' was concerned, but then the spyder software corrected it back to where it was before...

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    No, you have to set it up in the monitor settings as well( using the buttons on your monitor), I'm not familiar with your monitor, so not sure how you do it, but our samsung has mode 1,2 and 3....by trial and error we worked out mode 3 equated to gamma 2.2.
    first lot of prints did the same thing as you, fine on screen, just a bit too dark. So we set the monitor to the different gamma setting then calibrated to that...prints came back perfect.

    Hope this helps, bit hard when you're using a different monitor though. Good luck with it.

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    Ok I think i understand what you mean, I'll give it a go and see what happens.

    Cheers.

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    1. calibrate monitor as per instructions
    2. ask your lab for their print profile and load onto you pc
    3. get prints done

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    Ok I ended up calibrating the monitor using the RGB sliders in the on screen display menu to get the calibration correct. Then after I had done that I adjusted the brightness and contrast settings to get the monitor to match the prints as close as I could. After that I checked the calibration again and it's spot on according to the spyder.

    So now the pictures look correct, but my screen now looks rather dim when doing normal stuff like web browsing etc. I think I can live with this, if not i'll note down the values and adjust them and re-cal just before doing any processing.

    Hopefully this works.

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    you are not by chance loading the screen profile into Photoshop?

    So you haven't set photoshop to the spyder profile? Cause if you did, that could be the cause as well. The spyder is for screen calibration only, do not set it in photoshop as your colourspace.
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    No Photoshop is set to the colourspace the print lab specify on their website, I've also loaded their printer profile into Photoshop for the proof view. I've left all the windows control panel settings alone and calibrated the screen with the spyder.

    After that it was still too bright, I ended up setting it to 2.4 @ 6500k, then dropping the brightness and contrastcontrols on the screen until they were as close as I could get them to the prints they sent me. After that I put the spyder back on to check the calibration and apparently it's fine.

    My screen now appears to be a bit dark and I feel like I'm straining my eyes trying to read text off it. Do I just have a really dodgy monitor where the darks just aren't dark enough?

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    Sounds like it could be your monitor (re the darkness issue) - we have the spyder3 elite and the prints look exactly right from Digital works (whose print quality is fantastic by the way) I have only had one issue and that was when I accidently exported AdobeRGB rather than SRGB and the print was really dark (so this was my own user error, not Digital works)

    Our Spyder3 Elite Calibrated monitor(3) all look great (both Laptop and PC) for web browsing and photo editing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by joffa View Post
    My screen now appears to be a bit dark and I feel like I'm straining my eyes trying to read text off it. Do I just have a really dodgy monitor where the darks just aren't dark enough?
    Quite possibly. Try this, open a photo full screen, then go sideways and view the screen from the side on an angle, and keep moving out till you are almost of to the side, level with the screen,

    Once you get past about 45 degrees does the screen look really odd? If, so you have a very cheap LCD panel in the screen, and it could very well be the issue here. See this for more info, and more techo detail here about LCD screen types

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    Well I did the test you described and the image looks ok. The colours dont go wild when looking at the screen from an angle.

    What I did notice though is the files I sent to digital works had no colour profile assigned to them.



    The one on the right is the one I sent to digital works, notice it says 'Uncalibrated' under colour representation. The one on the left is the same file but after I manually assigned sRGB in photoshop. Could this be my problem?

    I had photoshop set to work in sRGB when I first processed these files, that is under the Edit -> Colours Settings -> Working Spaces -> RGB. Shouldn't it automatically assign an sRGB profile to it when I've finished processing and save the file to disk?

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