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Thread: Spyder 3 Studio SR - very mixed impressions

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    Spyder 3 Studio SR - very mixed impressions

    Yesterday I picked up a Spyder 3 Studio SR calibration kit for both my monitor and printer. I was unhappy with the quality of what I was seeing on the screen and what I was printing out. There was a great discrepancy between the two and I had no trust that either were correctly reproducing colours.

    I know there will never be a complete parity between screen and printer due to the different methods of displaying colour and the limited gamuts, but the printer was not producing the contrasts I was expecting.

    I figured that if I was serious about printing my photos I would need to calibrate both to get the best outputs and the Spyder 3 Studio SR looked like a good choice. I got it for $659 which seemed a good price.

    The monitor calibration was simple and effective. When comparing the before and after I could see I had my screen way too bright (apparently a common user error) and there was a horrible green cast that I hadn't noticed before. So, the monitor calibration was a big tick.

    The printer calibration has not gone so good. My first attempts last night were a disaster. After about 2 hours of playing around with printing review sheets (on expensive photo paper) and then scanning them a number of times, the results were abysmal. It was so bad I knew I must be doing something wrong.

    I tried again this morning and took note of a couple of things that improved the situation somewhat:

    1. I plugged the scanner into the computer USB port rather than a USB hub;
    2. I downloaded and installed that latest version of the software - 4.1.1;
    3. I took care in making sure the confirmation tones from the software started on the first colour and finished on the last;
    4. I only used the colour version of the review sheets, not the colour and grey shades.

    The results were much better than last night but were actually worse than the standard printer driver. I am definitely lacking contrast and vibrancy.

    At this stage I feel I have wasted $400 for the printing component but will persevere because I'm pretty sure I'm not doing something right.

    If there is anyone out there who has used this hardware/software to calibrate their printer, I would love to hear from you and get some tips. For example, do I have to be in a brightly lit area (which I wasn't as I thought the scanner would produce it's own light to scan by)? Stuff like that. Thanks a lot.


    Cheers
    Alan
    Canon 7D

    24-70mm f/2.8 L USM : 400mm f/5.6 L USM : 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L USM : 100mm f/2.8 macro : MR-14EX Ring Flash : Kenko 1.4x TC

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    I use a Spyder 2 to calibrate my monitor. I haven't calibrated a printer, but I'm about to get an Epson 3880, so I'm interested in seeing how you get on with this.

    What program were you printing from? I've seen some tutorials covering the printing process, and it does seem that even after calibrating, you need to softproof your images prior to printing to really get good results.
    Alan

    Canon 5DII, 40D, some lenses, and some other stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkingClassHero View Post
    I use a Spyder 2 to calibrate my monitor. I haven't calibrated a printer, but I'm about to get an Epson 3880, so I'm interested in seeing how you get on with this.

    What program were you printing from? I've seen some tutorials covering the printing process, and it does seem that even after calibrating, you need to softproof your images prior to printing to really get good results.
    I was printing from PhotoShop CS4. I'll have to research a bit more I think.

    I still believe a proper calibration with the printer and the type of paper used should give a much better result than I am getting. I'm just concerned that my initial scanning and calibration process was flawed.


    Cheers
    Alan

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    ...... the printer paper stock must have 24 hours to dry before reading by your calibration device I am lead to believe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pix View Post
    ...... the printer paper stock must have 24 hours to dry before reading by your calibration device I am lead to believe
    The manual says 30mins but the second attempt had at least 12 hrs to dry as I used the same printout to read from.


    Cheers
    Alan

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    ....... are you using CS4 in sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998......

    and is the computer set up in a bright room......

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    I tried both but my concern is that the calibrated drivers were so much worse than the standard drivers.

    Should the set up be in a bright room, cause it wasn't? I was concerned about that.

    Cheers
    Alan

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    Soft dull light, I understand to be better....... just trying to help, as I use an Eye One...... all I can offer would be to reload the software...... and start again..... sometimes it is quicker

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    Did you softproof the images in CS4?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkingClassHero View Post
    Did you softproof the images in CS4?
    No I didn't. But considering I treated both the calibrated driver the same as the standard one, the issue still exists that the calibrated one performed worse than the standard one.

    I am sure I can do a lot to improve my printouts by tweaking all the various options, but I spent an extra $400 to get a print calibration system that would at least give me a better baseline to start from. I am thinking I should be able to fix up the calibrated profile so that it prints better than the standard profile before I get into the other software tweaking.

    I really do appreciate everyone's help though.


    Cheers
    Alan

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    G'Day adilucca, I know the post is a little old, have you changed your mind on the spider 3 studio?

    Thinking of getting one to go with the new printer.

    thanks

    Andrew
    C&C are welcome on everything I post
    If you always do, What you have always done, You will always have, What you have always had
    Canon 400D - Canon 5D Mark II - 70-200 2.8L - 100 -400L - 1.4 Extender - 100mm 2.8 Macro - Kit Rubbish - 580EXII - and the machine that goes "PING"

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    Same Problem

    I know this thread is a bit old but did you ever find a solution to your problem?

    Sorry, first time poster here, usually at the LF forum, just discovered this forum.
    I've just bought a 3880 and Spyder 3R Studio and have the same problems: the resultant output (on screen) is far duller than the original (also on screen) after calibration. The problem is reflected also in my prints. Monitor is pre-calibrated with the same kit.
    Because the comparison is veiwed within the software before exiting the calibration process there shouldn't be any colourspace or profile mis-matches.
    I'm wondering if it could be an issue with ambient light contaminating the scans?
    Thanks for any help
    Steve

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    I've given up the printing calibration as a waste of money. I improved my printing by hunting down the proper ICC profiles for my printer on the Internet. I've had no problems with the monitor calibration though. It does dim the screen but once I get used to the change, I'm happy with the results. It doesn't help that I have a crap screen tho'.

    Cheers
    Alan

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