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Author Topic: Help with Profile Prism  (Read 19822 times)
Francois
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« on: November 24, 2009, 03:11:31 PM »

Hi everybody!

I acknoledge that this might not be the place to post this, but I'm stuck and I need help!

I've been working with a Canon MP750 which has proven to be fast, reliable and cheap to operate. I'm a serious photographer, and I've used it, for e.g., to print 4x5 quick prints for my clients who wanted bulk rather than that single 13x20 print of their weddings.....  Roll Eyes But the color profiling from Canon just ain't working.... Especially with Lightroom. It drives me NUTS!!!!! It's just sooooo off.

I've been looking at solutions for this. There is obviously the expensive solution, the Spyder3 Studio, from Datacolor, at $600!!! Nothing less!

And then, there is Profile Prism, for $80...!!! Sounds like a pretty cheap alternative, but is it worth it? How well does it work, with Lightroom 2.3 and Photoshop CS4? I'm also running Vista 64bits, will it run on this? Is the scanner of the MP750 going to be good enough for this? How reliable is it? Will it be just marginally better than the Canon ICC profiles for the paper, or will it actually show reliable color?  I mean, $80 is cheap for something that works well, but kinda expensive if it's working only marginally....

I'm fully aware of the CYMK vs RGB difference, and that we can never expect color to match absolutely perfectly. I don't want them to match perfectly, I want them to match reasonably!!!!! Right now, they're missing yellow, too dark, I frequently end-up changing each of them manually, wich kind of defeats the purpose of using a tool such as Lightroom.

BTW, my screen is calibrated, using a Spyder2 from Datacolor. Any compatibility issues?

Thanks for your help! If you want to email, please feel free: frangagn@yahoo.ca
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Terry-M
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 04:07:05 PM »

Quote
But the color profiling from Canon just ain't working.
Dump the Canon scanning software and use Vuescan - recommended for Canon scanners with Profile prism. PP Help gives recommended settings for Vuescan.
http://www.hamrick.com/
It'll be another $80 for the Pro version but you wont regret spending the money, it's the best scanning software out there with free upgrades for life - sound familiar  Wink

Quote
I've been looking at solutions for this. There is obviously the expensive solution, the Spyder3 Studio, from Datacolor, at $600!!! Nothing less!
I hate to say this in the PP section, but there is: X-Rite ColorMunki Photo, about $350 on US Amazon.
PP is still a bargain  Grin

Terry
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Francois
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 04:37:18 PM »

Quote
But the color profiling from Canon just ain't working.
Dump the Canon scanning software and use Vuescan - recommended for Canon scanners with Profile prism. PP Help gives recommended settings for Vuescan.
http://www.hamrick.com/
It'll be another $80 for the Pro version but you wont regret spending the money, it's the best scanning software out there with free upgrades for life - sound familiar  Wink

Quote
I've been looking at solutions for this. There is obviously the expensive solution, the Spyder3 Studio, from Datacolor, at $600!!! Nothing less!
I hate to say this in the PP section, but there is: X-Rite ColorMunki Photo, about $350 on US Amazon.
PP is still a bargain  Grin

Terry

Still..... $350, you can get another printer at that price! I'm trying to save this one, maybe it's not worth it?

So, after spending $$ on Vuescan and on PP, will this work?

BTW, it's the color profiles for printing I'm having problems with.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 04:55:22 PM »

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BTW, it's the color profiles for printing I'm having problems with
Yes, I understood that but I misunderstood the fact that you do not already have Profile Prism, am I right there?
Back to original problem, poor colours from a Canon printer, with Lightroom.
I know nothing about setting up LR for colour management (a different story for the best printing program: Qimage  Wink ) but are you sure all the settings in LR and the driver are correct and match the requirements of the profile? By requirements, I mean things like (Epson speak) ICM, No Colour Adjustment in the driver and the correct paper type selected. Is your monitor calibrated and therefore has an associated icc profile? All basic stuff I know but ....
Tell us which printer model it is, there are probably other owners here; also what paper and who's profile are you using? In what way are the colours off?
Terry.
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Francois
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 05:06:17 PM »

Thanks for your help Terry.

When printing using Lightroom (and photoshop, for that matter!), I'm using "Software managers color", using the Canon supplied ICC for the paper I'm using, and disabling all printer color management within the printer driver. I'm using the type of paper that matches the color profile (double checked that with Canon tech support, who were pretty useless btw...)

Monitor profile working correctly and correctly loaded.

I do not have Profile Prism yet. I'm wondering if it will make any difference at all. I used such a "scanner/print target" based systems years ago, when using Corel Photopaint. It did nothing much... so I'm a bit skeptical, but who knows....

My printer is a Canon MP750 (click the link to see).
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Terry-M
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 05:13:43 PM »

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"Software managers color", using the Canon supplied ICC for the paper I'm using, and disabling all printer color management within the printer driver. I'm using the type of paper that matches the color profile
That all sounds good. If you are using a Canon profile with a Canon printer with Canon inks there should not be a problem.
You did not say whether you are using genuine Canon inks, if not, that's likely to be the problem.
If you are, check the nozzles are clean and not blocked, run a check to be sure.
Other than that, I've no more ideas. Sad
Terry.
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Francois
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 05:15:40 PM »

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"Software managers color", using the Canon supplied ICC for the paper I'm using, and disabling all printer color management within the printer driver. I'm using the type of paper that matches the color profile
That all sounds good. If you are using a Canon profile with a Canon printer with Canon inks there should not be a problem.
You did not say whether you are using genuine Canon inks, if not, that's likely to be the problem.
If you are, check the nozzles are clean and not blocked, run a check to be sure.
Other than that, I've no more ideas. Sad
Terry.

Genuine Canon ink, Canon paper, and even a Canon Camera.....  Huh

Nozzles checked... tried that too!

But, you didn't say anything about Profile Prism. What should my expectations be?
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rayw
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 05:29:08 PM »

Hi Francois,

A few years ago I bought a colour laser printer - OKI c5400. I spent a number of days emailing images to and fro to their tech  support - I and they knew nothing about colour management. I bought profile prism, it took me a couple of hours to understand what all this icc stuff was about, and then applied it to the printer. Astounding results. I have used it to profile any brand of paper, or inks, on any printer I own. It takes just a few minutes (but wait a day for the ink to 'mature'), and the resulting profile is easily edited if needed. I use a pretty cheap epson scanner, without vuescan, my previous better model was not supported in windoze xp. If you get pp, try it and see. If the canon scanning software does not work well, get Vuescan, as others recommend. I think, provided you have some control over the basic scanning operation, and the illumination is even enough, you will get it to work good enough for your requirements.

Now, it may seem a low cost solution, but in truth, the others are ripping off the gullible public. (Or put it another way, their financial model is different than Mike's.)

btw, I get no commission, but I have recommended pp to everyone who has a problem similar to yours, and it has always produced a good result.

Best wishes,

Ray
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 05:30:41 PM by rayw » Logged
Terry-M
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 05:48:41 PM »

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But, you didn't say anything about Profile Prism. What should my expectations be?
Well, PP does a competent job. Much depends on the performance of the scanner and certainly a Canon scanner needs to be used with VueScan, I have a Canon scanner.
As I said, the Canon profile should be ok so I still wonder if there's something else giving a problem.
However, one other suggestion. If you use a limited number of paper types, buying a custom profile is a cheap option. There are plenty of outfits around that do this; you download & print their target and send it off; They e-mail you the profile. I pay the equivalent of $25 in the UK and get a top class result. I'm sure there's someone on the forum who can recommend a profile supplier in your area (US?)

One possible problem, I've been told it's not possible to print targets with Lightroom because it always assigns a profile to an image, a no-no for a target. Just save up and buy Qimage  Grin
Terry
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rayw
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 06:01:24 PM »

IrfanView, and other image viewers are not colour managed and foc. Using IV can run the scanner (if a twain device) and save the image as a tif which profile prism recognises, and use it to print too. (Faststone tifs do not seem to be recognised by profile prism/qimage, at least for me)

Best wishes,

Ray
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Francois
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 07:29:23 PM »

Thanks Terry and Ray. I just purchased a licence. Now, I need to wait for it in the mail.

I'll give it a try and follow-up in this tread!
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Steve W
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 09:19:04 PM »

Let me jump in here with my two cents worth. I use both Profile Prism and Qimage Studio.

First - although I am not familiar with Lightroom I am also surprised that you are getting poor results with Canon ink, Canon paper and the canned Canon profiles. Sounds like double profiling to me although you said you had it set up correctly. You should really try Qimage for printing - it is so easy to select a profile and get good prints. I also have Photoshop Elements for complex photo editing, but my prints from it using the same profile as I use in Qimage never come out quite the same. Am sure it is the settings I am using in PE but I am not sure what I set wrong. So - I edit in PE and print from Qimage.

Second - Profile Prism. I have both a Canon LiDE 60 and more recently a LiDE 200. Until a week or so ago I used the CanoScan software that came with the scanners with fairly good results especially with glossy papers. I use third party inks (Image Specialists dye based) and Costco Kirkland Glossy Photo and Staples Matte papers with my Canon ip4500 printer. When Mike hosted this forum on Yahoo there was a File that described how to use CanoScan SW with PP to get 48 bit scans and obtain profiles. Don't know if those files from Yahoo are available here - maybe Mike can tell us. It was a complex method of different settings and scans and answering yes or no to the "linear (gamma 1.0) image" question, but it worked and I got good profiles on glossy paper. Not so good with matte papers. Just started using VueScan Pro and what a difference in ease. Using the LiDE 200 with scan passes set to 4, Color to None, and output Raw I get very few (3 to 5) X's on both the Prism target and Printer target analysis and almost perfect profiles. Only adjustment I make in VueScan is adjusting brightness to correct dark or bright X's. The profiles come out very good for both glossy and matte papers. The only adjustment I made on the glossy paper profile was a slight increase in brightness. Colors on the prints I have made are good and the gray scale is correct with no color tint to the grays.

Just wanted to state my experience with Qimage and PP. Also just bought new IT8. 7/2 targets from Wolf Faust (coloraid.de). My original target was over four years old and Faust recommends new ones every two years. Guess I could have gotten a new one from Mike, but I wanted to try both the Fuji paper and Kodak paper targets Faust offers.

Steve W.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2009, 09:50:27 PM »

Quote
You should really try Qimage for printing - it is so easy to select a profile and get good prints.
Steve, I dropped several hints on that in my earlier posts, and I don't get commission  Wink
Terry.
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crenedecotret
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2009, 01:40:21 AM »

Hello Francois, you are from Canada aren't you?

I honestly wouldn't mind printing one picture without a profile and one with a profile I made with Prism and a Canon LIDE60 scanner.
It'll probably just cost me a loonie to send them off by mail.

I don't know what kind of setup you have, but here is mine:
Printers:
Epson R220 now used by my wife, with Image Specialists ink
Canon IP4500 used by myself, with Hobbicolors Ink.
Papers used:
Costco Glossy, Staples double sided matte.
Scanner: Canon LIDE 60, used with Canon original software. I downloaded Vuescan
trial, saw no improvement. Try your Canon software before you spend anything
else....

I've profiled both papers on both printers and everything matches up pretty close.
(of course there will be difference between matte and glossy papers).

Before the profiling, my R220 used to have a slight green tint and the ip4500
had a reddish tint.

I'm in the process of re profiling my IP4500 now, because i've switched from
Windows to Linux. Now this might be a plus for you or not, but PP works fine under
Linux using WINE emulation. I had no problem re-profiling my scanner with the
open source XSane driver.

Overall, I'm verry happy with the purchase I did a couple of years ago! It saved me a
ton of money (I can use whatever ink/paper combo I want). And, on my system, with
my printers, there was a noticeable improvement vs the manufacturer's profiles.

EDIT: I forgot to mention I also calibrated my screen with a Spyder2, so we have pretty
close setups, except for (recently) my major OS/driver switch
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 01:42:45 AM by crenedecotret » Logged
Eljae
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2009, 09:22:39 AM »

Hi Francois,

Long story short because we are in PP.  I have a wedding photography business and cannot afford to get unacceptable prints. I’m a new Qi user but thanks to Terry and Fred's help, Qi has eliminated my printing issues and I am getting excellent results.  As far as the price, the product is an incredible investment because the forum here is by far the fastest and best support I have ever experienced, and the product outperforms anything I have ever used.
 
I am also a LR user.  I don't recommend printing with LR for a multitude of reasons.  After switching to Qi, using any printing product other than Qi just doesn’t make much sense to me anymore, for another multitude of reasons.
  
However, in response to your question and if you still feel that you must print with LR, you will need to keep your color space consistent. LR uses ProPhoto RGB color space, so make sure you are not embedding the profile and getting mismatches.   Here is a link that can give you a quick overview of LR and color management.

Be sure to look at "set print color management".

http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/Lightroom/1.0/help.html?content=WS0F7BFFFA-CE53-4ceb-B3D3-9D6256B8917D.html



Hope this helps,

Eljae
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 04:56:30 PM by Eljae » Logged
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