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Author Topic: photo imaging tools  (Read 1557 times)
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Zeke
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« on: May 27, 2009, 06:57 PM »

what is the name of the device that allows you to compare the color of the image on your monitor and the output of your printer and make adjustments so that they are the same?  anyone recommend a brand or model?
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EnergonCube
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 07:21 PM »

what is the name of the device that allows you to compare the color of the image on your monitor and the output of your printer and make adjustments so that they are the same?  anyone recommend a brand or model?


The technical word is Spectrophotometer. Otherwise known as a calibrator. If you're looking for a one that will read a printed grid of colors and then calibrate your monitor and/or printer accordingly, you'll be in the $500+ range easily. For that, I would recommend the ColorMunki Design (http://www.pantone.com/pages/products/product.aspx?pid=711&ca=2). There are less expensive (and more expensive) options out there. The less expensive options will only calibrate your monitor and will not read a printed grid or calibrate the printer. The more expensive options do everything. But honestly, those are best left to the color management junkies out there (i.e., serious pros) as the learning curve is intense.

The ColorMunki Design is an intermediate model.
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 07:57 AM »

Might check some professional photo studios or photo supply stores in your area and see if you could borrow/rent/hire to calibrate your equipment. Once it is calibrated and you have the numbers you can re-calibrate if your system crashes and is restored
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DD
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 08:02 AM »

i would search the web and espcially the printer manufacturer, alot of them have in house software to calibrate the rpinter to the screen
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2009, 10:18 AM »

i would search the web and espcially the printer manufacturer, alot of them have in house software to calibrate the rpinter to the screen

Unfortunately, those rarely make for a great match with the screen and they typically recalibrate the printer to the kind of paper being used. The best option is to use a calibrator to scan the prints and then the screen. The color processes are too far apart to ever fully reconcile without it.

What software you're printing from (whether or not it's able to override the printer's standard ICC color profile) and what paper you're using will also make a difference.

I could get very technical on this subject, but I'll stop my nerd-speak here.  Wink
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mikenchico
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 11:52 AM »

Grabbing a gamma correction program for your monitor (there are some free ones available) and some trial and error test prints to your printer is about the best a home user without the equipment and experience can do. You'll have to fiddle around a bit and have some knowledge of color mixing but you can find enough on the web to make a noticeable improvement in matching your monitor to printer output. As stated even different papers will make a difference, it is true that you should use only paper & ink from your printers manufacturer, they have setup your printer for those, changes to those media will usually require correction.

Having an off color, contrast or brightness monitor can really mess up a print if you play with your photo's colors before printing. In that case it's best to trust the color to the camera and limit your editing to cropping, red eye removal & the like.

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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 01:20 PM »

Color management is a tricky topic, but you might find http://www.cathysprofiles.com/ helpful in providing a custom printer color profile for your chosen media. Every printer is different, even within the same model line. Many photo clubs own a spectrometer for members' use, might be worth checking out, for monitor calibration.
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