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Thread: "Dark" on printing

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    "Dark" on printing

    I have both an Epson RX 650 and Selphy CP 740 printers. After adjusting prints using Lightroom 3 / Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 ( they look great on my Acer monitor ), I have to adjust the brightness dramatically for them to print correctly or they print underexposed. checking the colour monitor it appears in order so I think there's another problem somewhere. I am at a loss to see why they should be readjusted (look wahed out on the monitor ) to print correctly. Has anyone any clues as to what may be wrong with the printers / monitor set ups ???

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    Member markjaffa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennito42 View Post
    I have both an Epson RX 650 and Selphy CP 740 printers. After adjusting prints using Lightroom 3 / Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 ( they look great on my Acer monitor ), I have to adjust the brightness dramatically for them to print correctly or they print underexposed. checking the colour monitor it appears in order so I think there's another problem somewhere. I am at a loss to see why they should be readjusted (look wahed out on the monitor ) to print correctly. Has anyone any clues as to what may be wrong with the printers / monitor set ups ???
    Sounds like a screen calibration issue. Do you use a calibrator on your monitor to ensure colour accuracy? Thats the easiest way to ensure your screen is actually depicting the colours within the image accurately. Another potential source of discrepancies could be the selected media differs from what you are actually printing on.
    Canon 5D Mk II - gripped, Samyang 14mm f2.8, Canon 16-35mm f2.8L, 50mm f1.2L, 100mm Macro f2.8L, 70-200mm IS II f2.8L, Gitzo CF tripod and Gitzo CF monopod, Acratech GP Ballhead, Manfrotto Video Fluid Head, Intervalometer, and lots of other stuff!

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    markjaffa's on the money here, monitor calibration is the first place to start investigating
    Cheers David.

    Canon 40D/EF-S 17-85 mm IS/Kenko Extenson Tubes/Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II (nifty fifty)
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    generally, your issue is most likely to be screen calibration, but sometimes it can also be a printer profile or driver issue, so don't automatically assume it's simply screen calibration.

    I've seen similar issues, where I've printed a few small 6x4's to test my printer, where they've printed very dark, but the same images have printed fine at the local photo kiosk.

    If you haven't calibrated your monitor.. ever!.. then you should do so, before wasting any more ink and paper.
    Also, try to use the recommended paper and ink for the printer(if you haven't already and if possible), as this will also help minimise any tail chasing problem solving.

    With screen calibration, you'll be surprised at how many standard consumer grade screens come out set too brightly from the factory.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Member fastr1red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    With screen calibration, you'll be surprised at how many standard consumer grade screens come out set too brightly from the factory.
    Indeed correct, mine was so bright it's now adjusted to absolute minimum brightness to get the correct colour balance and brightness. (Along with a slight gamma correction)
    Last edited by fastr1red; 01-07-2011 at 12:32pm.
    Currently using;
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    Sigmas 50/1.4EX, 17-50/2.8, 50-500 Bigma
    Tokina 11-16/2.8

    Lotsa other bits.

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Also remember that you're dealing with reflected and transmitted light. Prints will never appear as bright and punchy as an image on screen, and how you prepare a file for print is different to how you prepare a file for viewing online.

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    Member alanmill's Avatar
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    Screen calibration would be the starting point, but printer profiling / printer setup is the other main cause. Check with the paper to see if includes it's own profile, and instructions on how to use the paper with various applications.
    I use the Ilford galerie paper, and found that to get the correct result, i had to change not only the correct printer profile was used, but change it from absolute to relative colorimetric under renderig intent. Other things like turning off the colour management on the printer.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    An alternative to purchasing a screen calibrator, you could also get a nicely exposed image printed at a high quality printing service, making sure that you see the image on their screens before you actually get it printed. Their screens will be calibrated.
    If print output is a common final output result you're after for your images, it pays to do this.
    Once you have a nicely sized print of one of your images, and I reckon A4 would be the minimum size you want too, or better yet, the same size as your current screen is, and so once you have this print back at your PC with the screen on and the image on display, adjust the screen's brightness and colour levels to closely match that of the print.

    I've confirmed my screen's calibration by doing this using two distinctly different prints, and it should be close enough.
    Only caveat is to watch out for those dastardly 'warm' compact fluoro lights!
    Yeah! I was one of those that was forced into greenieness, in having to purchase a replacement globe and the only one that appeared to be close to incandescent looking was the warm CFL lighting type.
    BAD mistake, and I've since replaced them all with the cooler WHITE types, which give off a much more even colour spread. The warm types seem to give off this greeny tint, that makes it harder to judge colour accuracy.
    Some of the cooler whites also give off a tint(I've found red to be more predominant) but I recently found a brand of lighting that produces a better CRI index, than the off the shelf CFL globes from your local supermarket.
    Got them from a specialist lighting supplier, after chatting to him about CRI indexes AND affordable pricing(two mutually exclusive terms! ).

    The point is that; using a known baseline output level, you can still achieve a standard level of quality output.
    So don't simply 'calibrate' your screen and assume it's done and dusted and you're set to go. You may be happy enough with the comparative rendering of the two different output formats, but there may still be subtle differences(and there is a high likelyhood that there always will be).
    In the end, I made the slightest tone adjustment to my screen to suit the two prints.

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