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Author Topic: Confused about ink density settings.  (Read 13876 times)
sectionq
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« on: December 28, 2010, 11:32:10 PM »

Hi,

I'm using an Epson 7900 and I've got myself some custom profiles done which have made a lot of improvements to my results but I'm still not totally convinced by the shadows, I'm finding that often I'm missing a lot of detail that was originally there on screen, I'm pretty much exclusively printing on canvas. I'm still learning at the moment and have had a lot of problems initially due to the screen being too bright (not used to LCDs) but I think we're getting close now. Anyway, I'm rambling a little, just wanted to know if changing the ink density slider in the print driver would make any difference? In fact, could someone explain when you would use the ink density slider as I assume that a custom created icc profile would sort any problems out if there was too much ink being layed down? Am I right in assuming this?



Thanks in advance.

sQ
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rayw
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 02:23:42 AM »

Hi,

A couple of links which may give you some ideas wrt ink density - http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=10486

http://sourceforge.net/projects/gimp-print/forums/forum/4359/topic/3368316

If your monitor is not calibrated, then you may well not get the print to look like the monitor. When I calibrated my monitor, I set its white point to match, as near as possible, the white of my most used canvas (by holding the blank canvas by the screen, and judging by eye).

You need to wait a few hours for the inks to thoroughly dry, then look at your prints in bright daylight. Is the shadow detail there?  Use an icc profile inspector to compare your printer icc profile with the monitor profile (srgb),  you may well find that the printer profile does not cover the range of the monitor in the areas in which you see problems. For some images you may get a better result by changing the rendering intent. Generally canvases do not have a wide colour gamut capability, compared to a gloss paper, for example.

You can use the test strip facility of qi to save wasting too much time and materials.

hth.

Best wishes,

Ray
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sectionq
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 08:46:06 AM »

Thanks Ray,

I'll look into that when I get a chance and let you know how I get on.

sQ
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Fred A
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 10:08:58 AM »

Quote
I'm using an Epson 7900 and I've got myself some custom profiles done which have made a lot of improvements to my results but I'm still not totally convinced by the shadows, I'm finding that often I'm missing a lot of detail that was originally there on screen, I'm pretty much exclusively printing on canvas. I'm still learning at the moment and have had a lot of problems initially due to the screen being too bright (not used to LCDs) but I think we're getting close now. Anyway, I'm rambling a little, just wanted to know if changing the ink density slider in the print driver would make any difference? In fact, could someone explain when you would use the ink density slider as I assume that a custom created icc profile would sort any problems out if there was too much ink being layed down? Am I right in assuming this?

I just want to jump in here for 2 cents worth, and back up Ray's thought!
Let me explain by example. if you are using a monitor that you admit is too bright, then you are working with a screen image that is forcing the brightness to make shadows appear with detail, and you like what you see.
If you profiled the monitor first, which includes setting brightness down *first* before profiling, you might then find that the images are dark and need added Fill light or brightness. That would make the shadows improve in the print.
I would not mess with the ink density unless a specialized paper requests a change.
The profiles you had made for you are worthless if you change ink density. (think about that)

Too add to the confusion, you had to supply a printed target to use for making your custom profiles. Were they printed properly?

I would turn the brightness down on the monitor to at least 50%.......... ask some of the folks on here what a cross section of their brightness settings might be.

I would (temporarily) use the Epson 7900 profiles that came with your printer. They may not be perfect, but I could bet Ray's hat they are close to excellent.

Printer driver settings are Correct paper choice to match the paper, Set the quality to at least a 4, with a check in FINEST DETAIL, which will give you 720 ppi.

Next, use all of Ray's suggestion: Test strips, including checking the rendering intent to match the instructions, or experimenting with an alternate using test strups.

You do the brightness adjustment first, and go from there.

I have that Canvas Epson profile handy. I can email it if you wish.

Fred

« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 10:13:36 AM by Fred A » Logged
sectionq
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010, 04:39:09 PM »

Cheers, I thought that would be the case. I've got my monitor at about 20% brightness now calibrated to 5500 and it looks pretty close I think under a so called full spectrum white light, I think I need to inspect the soft proof a lot closer in future to check for problem shadow areas, it's amazing how much you lose when you change from the rgb view.

You're probably right about the epson profiles being excellent but unfortunately my epson suppliers only stock HP papers (very strange) so that was where my biggest headaches were initially trying to get the epson profiles to work with these, also hp don't supply canned profiles for anything other than hp printer so that's why I had to get the custom profiles done.

I also read somewhere that viewing your softproof at 50% gives you a good idea of the detail you might lose when you print so I'll give that a go too.

I'm planning on selling canvas prints next year so I'm wondering how it's going to work for me when people send me their own digital photos to print, your average monitor is going to be too bright so I wonder if I'll get lots of disappointed people when their print arrives and it's really dark (or actually exactly how it should be). How do other pro printers explain this to their customers I wonder (assume the customers monitor is bright and brighten the heck out of the image before printing maybe)Huh?

Anyway, thanks for your help guys, plenty to be getting on with. Bottom line though, leave my density alone!

Cheers

sQ
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