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Author Topic: Profiling 3rd party papers, is finding the media setting simply pot luck?  (Read 11510 times)
sectionq
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« on: June 14, 2011, 10:58:58 PM »

Hi guys,

always with the questions...

Anyway, I recently got a custom profile made up for a HP Everyday Satin paper on an Epson 7900. The media setting I used was 'Premium Luster 260' to print off the targets which looked kind of ok and until a couple of days ago I was happy.

I was trying to figure out the black and white points so I printed out the targets which consisted of blacks from 0-50 (or there abouts) in incrememts or 2 and also in increments of 1 for fine tuning. When I printed it out there was so much mottling that it was impossible to see any difference in shades. I checked a few other prints that I'd made previously and on some of the darker prints there was the same problem (I'd just put it down to being a noisy image at the time). Although other than the shadow mottling the colours match my monitor really well.

Just to be sure it was just a problem with this paper I managed to find a genuine epson premium luster paper to see how that looked. I printed this letting the driver manage colours (as I don't have an icc profile) and apart from the black point being way up in the 30s (I'd have expected a bit better for photo paper) the blacks were perfect with no mottling at all.

So, the question is... When I prepare a 3rd party paper for profiling is it just a question of pot luck as to the media setting I use? What I assume I would do is pick a similar media setting and then print off some solid blacks (like the black point target) and then adjust the density until there's enough ink going down. When I've got this right, print off the colour targets (using the q target printing job preset) and then send the profiling guys my exact settings media/density etc. I assume that there was mottling on the original colour targets I sent but the boxes weren't big enough to really notice.

Is this right, or is it something else? I've read a couple of times that hp paper doesn't print properly on epsons bit surely this doesn't sound right?!

I certainly won't be using hp media again after I've got through this roll as it's been a pain to even get this far as there's of course no info about settings unless I had a hp printer.

Thanks in advance.

Jamie
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Fred A
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 09:20:22 AM »

Quote
So, the question is... When I prepare a 3rd party paper for profiling is it just a question of pot luck as to the media setting

Jamie...
I think you have the right idea.
I used to profile my own using Profile Prism, and then look for bargain papers from Office Depot and even at Computer shows where the package of paper was cellophane, no name.
The game was on!
The plan was to try different settings, and write down what I was doing each time.
I tried for the No Color Management setting in the driver, using Epson Prem Glossy. I found that used the least ink. Usually came out the cleanest.
Nevertheless, try Luster, Glossy, semi matte.... mark the target prints, and let your "guys" decide which one will produce the most accurate profile.
 
As for the other question, I couldn't swear for it, but in my heart, I believe that Canon biases their papers and their printers to match, and try to make a Canon printer use Canon paper.
I don't know about HP.
Best I can offer.   All guesswork, I'm afraid.
Fred
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sectionq
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 10:18:13 AM »

Thanks Fred,

I'll have a go with your other suggestions, see if they bring it closer, definately going to use supported papers in the future, makes life so much easier! As for what you [believe] about Canon, makes sense that HP (and Epson) would all do the same. Mind you, it also seems a bit bizarre as I thought that the consumables were where these guys made their money. But it's not like I'm going to buy a hp printer just because I've got a roll of paper that doesn't print too well on my epson, just not going to buy hp paper again. Still, I'm a pauper and they're a huge corporation so I guess they've got it figured.

What about platten height and paper thickness and the other settings, do you think that they would figure any when it comes to printing a 3rd party paper target. And would a profile created with a target printed with 'finest detail' be off if I then printed at a different quality setting later on?

Thanks again.

Jamie

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Fred A
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 11:03:13 AM »

Quote
What about platten height and paper thickness and the other settings, do you think that they would figure any when it comes to printing a 3rd party paper target. And would a profile created with a target printed with 'finest detail' be off if I then printed at a different quality setting later on?

Thanks again.

The rule is that the driver settings when printing should mirror the settings when the target-for-profiling was printed.

The answer to your second question is "YES".
I base that on the fact that Epson provides me with separate profiles for 720 ppi input and 360 ppi input for both the Luster and the Prem Glossy.
Of course, that's what ticking Finest Detail does; changes the required input from 360 to 720.
I just looked and there are more papers showing separate profiles for the two settings.

Fred
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sectionq
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2011, 12:04:28 PM »

That's brilliant!

Thanks mate, actually when I printed the original colour target I hadn't figured that max quality didn't mean 'max quality' and that the finest detail setting was buried a bit deeper in the settings. I tried printing the black point target at both settings and the max quality setting was definately less mottled than the finest quality setting though still bad, so all fairly logical I suppose if I use me little 'ed.

When I get a chance I'll have a little play, still worth doing as I've got about 15m left of the hp stuff. Fortunately I only really print on canvas and the brand I use came with all the appropriate settings to make a good target so we're mostly good. The photo paper is just nice to have though I think I'll probably look around for some better (more compatible out of the box) in the future. Never was convinced by the look of this stuff. Live and learn I suppose.

Thanks again, most helpful as always!

Jamie
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sectionq
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2011, 03:51:50 PM »

Hey guys,

I emailed my profiling guy before I posted on here and he's just got back to me this morning, this is what he said...

"If you experience “mottling” on the surface it is usually not the profile but the compatibility of the ink on the paper surface. As far as I am aware, everyday satin is a cast coated media (not microporous) which means it is a lower grade and reacts badly with pigment inks exhibiting a mottled effect. Tweaking the density will not help with this issue. It should work fine with dye based inks."

I've been experimenting a bit and although I've managed to find better settings (semi-gloss) the mottling is still there although less obvious. What I've noticed is that they mostly seem to look perfect straight out of the printer (although some look awful straight away) and then the mottling tends to take a couple of minutes to appear. So it sounds like he's probably right I'd say. The different settings I tried tended to either change the size of the mottling or shifted it to the darker or lighter areas. Best I can do is choose the least noticable really.

What's most annoying is that I was sold this paper with the printer by an epson dealer and they only stock hp papers. Just a bit shoddy really, about 2 months ago one of their reps called me and asked me if I could run off some test prints for a potential customer. This I did, no problems and I used the premium satin that they'd sold me. Now I've only just noticed this mottling problem, but if I was looking to replace my pro printer  and I had some test prints done, I'd make sure I studied them and the mottling is something you'd notice! Point is, I bet they lost that customer, so everybody loses. 

Anyway, enough ranting, stick to canvas.

jamie
 
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