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Author Topic: Matte Paper poor results and a few general questions first  (Read 480 times)
dimz
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« on: March 29, 2024, 11:23:33 AM »

Hi all,

Our photoclub has been printing on an Epson SC-P7000 for a few years. The only paper we have been using so far is the Permajet Oyster with a custom ICC profile. After tweaking the profile it gave us overall great results. Initially I tried the Permajet ICC profile but the colors on our prints where always too blue. We then had a custom profile made (by the company who installed the printer) and while the colors were much better, our prints where consistently too dark. I resolved that issue by setting the gamma to 1.8 in the driver (setting under color controls). I never quite understood why I had to do that though. So I guess my main questions regarding that are:

1. Is it common for the ICC profile provided by the paper manufacturer (for that specific printer) to give poor results?
2. Is it normal to have to activate color controls and set the gamma to 1.8 in order to get a correct brightness in our prints (while using a custom made profile)?


Further on, recently I wanted to experiment with some Matte Paper and bought a roll of Permajet Matt Plus 240. For lack of a custom ICC profile I downloaded the provided ICC profile from permajet, and switched the ink to "Matte Black" and the results are really bad. The colors seem to be ok, but the prints, especially in the dark parts are very faded, lacking overal contrast. I'm not sure what is happening exactly and what I should be looking for.

  • Would it be better to make a custom profile? (we are thinking of buying a profiling device, colorchecker studio or the one from spyder)
  • Do I need to adjust something on the photos (curves, levels)?

I did not soft proof before, but afterwards when I did, I actually noticed I have the same result on my screen, (very faded and lacking contrast) and when I check the gammut, it seems that the darkers parts are consistenly out of gammut with that paper/ICC profile. I guess I'm looking for some tips and advice and perhaps a methodology on how to tackle this issue.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2024, 11:25:16 AM by dimz » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2024, 02:34:36 PM »

Start with the basics.  Most "dark prints" complaints come from having your monitor too bright which causes you to develop (edit) your images so they are too dark.  Put an Epson paper (say photo paper pro glossy) in the printer and use Epson's included profile to print on that: how does that look?  This is an easy way to get a calibration and it is proof that your printer and editing are working as they should.  Only after that would you start playing with custom papers and profiles.

When you say you are using custom profiles, did those profiles come with instructions on how to use them with the driver: which settings in the driver to pick like media type, quality, etc?  Also, using color controls in the driver along with a profile will not work: when using a profile, the driver needs to be set to "no color adjustment".  Switching it to "color controls" will cause double profiling.

Regards,
Mike
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dimz
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2024, 12:37:31 PM »

Hi Mike,

The monitor is a calibrated EIZO CS2730, so I suppose the issue is not here.

I'll follow you advice and start from scratch. I'll buy some epson sheets and try them out with the Epson ICC profiles.

The custom profile we use now was made by the company who sold us the printer. I sent them one of those color checkers printed with our printer on permajet oyster paper and they sent us an ICC profile back. Unfortunatly, our prints came out too dark. To solve that issue, I fiddled around in the printer driver and found out that by setting the gamma to 1.8 our prints came out perfect. So yes, as you mention it's double profiling to correct what I suppose is an ICC profile that is not correctly made. It always bugged me that I had to set that gamma setting, but since we didn't have the need to change papers and the results were very satisfying I just left it like that.

The issue somehow resurfaces now, because I'm experimenting with other papers types. I bought some Permajet Matt Plus paper, that I use with the ICC profile from their website but the results aren't satisfying.

Their profile only mentions "EAM" which is Epson Archival Matte (which according to some is equal to "Ultra Premium Paper Presentation Matte" and "Enhanced Matte", the driver doesn't list Epson Archival Matte in the media types). There's many information on their website, so perhaps I missed something regarding the driver settings.

I'll do some more test and eventually get back with some results.

Cheers,
Dimitri

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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2024, 01:17:14 PM »

It doesn't matter whether your monitor is calibrated, custom profiled, etc.  No calibration can account for brightness and viewing conditions so your monitor could still be too bright.  So the right way to do this is to get some of that Epson paper and print with an Epson profile for that paper.  Then adjust your monitor to match the print (not the other way around).  The focus being: get a baseline using an Epson paper for which you already have an Epson profile, then compare that baseline print to the monitor.  Unless there is something wrong with the printer (or profile), the key is to adjust your monitor so it matches the print... and most important, when you print this baseline test, use an unmodified test print that was designed for print evaluation and not an image you have edited.

Regards,
Mike
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