Calibrate a wide gamut monitor, profile each printer/ink/paper combination to be used, soft proof in software such as Lightroom, you WILL smile at the results.
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At the risk of being full of nonsense, here's my take on colors and printing.
With my previous Monitor/PC/Printer set ups, all I ever got when printing was frustrated and poorer due to the expense of wasted paper and ink.
So I built a new Monitor/PC/Printer set up specifically with as near to total control of color as I could learn to do.
My conception of current high resolution displays is that they excel at pixel peeping tasks, unless they also display wide color gamut, high res by itself is not all we need, seek or wish for.
So, #1 monitor spec to seek should be wide gamut, there are a number of currently available displays from several vendors capable of 99%+ aRGB.
Then we want to add color calibration capability to/for that aRGB color space.
We also need to consider ambient light while viewing our calibrated aRGB monitor.
A self quote from a previous post in another thread, Custom ICC Printer Profiles
I'm liking it a lot. It's the last link in the color managed workflow chain.
I soft proof in Lightroom using the icc profile specific to the paper/printer/ink I'm using, prints match what I see on screen close enough that I usually only print once.
I use downloaded icc profiles only to get a general idea of how a particular paper will print, a paper shopping aid. I'll soft proof and print with downloaded profiles only when I've bought a sampler pack and only have two sheets of a particular paper to work with.
I find the printer profiling process tedious, time consuming and very gratifying in the end. I consider it time and money well spent.
I calibrate the monitor just prior to print proofing and printing.
Monitor thoroughly warmed up for at least two hours, done at night with room lights off, I start the X-Rite process, come back in ten minutes or so when it's done.
Print profiles are essentially error files.
The profiling software sends a print job to the printer of a couple of pages of specific colored squares.
The spectrocolorimeter is then used to read/measure the actual colors printed, software knows what colors it told the printer to print, it now knows what colors the printer actually printed and generates an error correcting icc profile.
Softproofing then corrects to monitor's display to show what the printer will do.
Take thoughtful care when naming your custom profiles descriptively, don't just date them or number them sequentially.
I include a printer designation as well as paper name, if I was switching inks around, I'd include that too.
The monitor I chose is an NEC PA242W-BK-SV http://www.necdisplay.com/p/desktop-monitors/pa242w-bk-sv
It's got an extensive list of specs and features (much of it beyond me), its included and model/type specific x-rite/Spectraview II color calibration solution means that when the PC tells the monitor to display #000000, I'm assured that the red I see is really red and, um, it is really really red, so red it literally hurts to look at for long periods.
This particular NEC also has the capability to use icc printer profiles, negating the need to soft proof in software such as Lightroom.
In practice, the procedure of switching from the calibrated monitor LUT to an icc profile modified view is tedious, time consuming and frustrating, snappy A<>B comparisons are just not possible.
Further, in NEC's own words,
“About ICC Profile EmulationMultiProfiler uses industry standard ICC (InternationalColor Consortium) color profiles to emulate the output ofa particular device. ICC profiles contain data representingthe color characteristics of a device, such as a printer, film,or display. MultiProfiler uses this information to create aninternal 3D LUT to emulate the selected device, and thisis saved to a preset in the display. While this preset is notquite as accurate as a soft proof in professional photo orvideo editing software, it does provide quick access to anemulation of the ICC profile.”
So, I suggest an emphatic NO
to using MultiProfiler for softproofing, softproofing in Lightroom is far preferable.
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I spent rather large both in expense and research time assembling my current Monitor/PC/Printer set up plus switching away from my worn out Nikon crop gear to 6D kit + 40mm pancake + 2X 600EX-RTs + ST-E3-RT + Pro-100 plus a raft of associated what nots, I can barely describe my delight when my very first print came out exactly as I desired, no waste, no tweaks, no disatisfaction.
No part of this particular color management system hands any part of color management to the PC's operating system. The display is handled by NEC's Spectraview II and hardware LUTs, icc error files are used for softproofing in Lightroom. For me, it all now just works.
I feel I'm now at the point I can step up to a large format roll printer and a MF Pentax 645Z and confidently expect gratifying results.
Now to convince my budget.......