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Author Topic: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark  (Read 7670 times)

kyamon

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Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:50:04 PM »
I have a problem with calibration for print...
My prints always come out much darker than they appear on the screen. I realize that this is a general problem that is treated a gazillion times online, but to the best of my knowledge I do things right. Yet this is obviously not the case, and I am wondering where my problem might be - any help is greatly appreciated.

So, here is what I have and do:
1. Pixma Pro 9000 Mark II, using only original ink cartridges
2. Imac 24", running LR4
3. Mostly Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl with the according ICC profile (re-downloaded today)
4. Screen calibrated using Spyder4Pro
5. I do not have an ideal workspace with some outside light hitting my screen directly (but turning it away changes nothing).
6. Don't know if that matters, but I shoot mostly with a 7D, now also with a 5Diii, 95% raw; raw conversion, PP, and printing all in/from LR.

I don't print regularly (ambitious amateur), but I was never happy with what I got back from commercial printing services, so I decided to get myself a good printer. At first this worked out nicely, and the prints matched the screen well. But since a few months ago this is not the case anymore. Right around the time when I purchased the first boxes of paper after Ilford had changed the packaging of the Smooth Pearl paper, my prints started showing too much red (could be a saturation issue, or something else?). This now magically solved itself, but instead they look a lot darker than on the screen. For all I know the paper itself did not change with the packaging, nevertheless the dates almost coincided... The SpyderPro was sort of my last hope before getting a new screen and office, so I purchased that today. Unfortunately It made not enough of a difference (it did make one, but not enough).

My prime suspicion is the imac screen (I found online that these screens are not ideal), or my workspace. Are there other, simpler things that I should first try?

Many thanks in advance

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Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:50:04 PM »

John

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 01:21:59 PM »
make sure that u calibrate your monitor such that the luminosity is around 80 or 90 (cd/m2). this is critical. it is likely that your monitor will look too dark to you. that is ok. get used to it. this is the luminosity of paper. if the monitor brightness is set properly, then the images will look like what u c on your monitor. you need to adjust the brightness of your images to a properly calibrated monitor so that the brightness of what u c on the monitor is the same as what u c in print. ur prints will always b too dark until u do this.




Botts

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 02:11:22 PM »
make sure that u calibrate your monitor such that the luminosity is around 80 or 90 (cd/m2). this is critical. it is likely that your monitor will look too dark to you. that is ok. get used to it. this is the luminosity of paper. if the monitor brightness is set properly, then the images will look like what u c on your monitor. you need to adjust the brightness of your images to a properly calibrated monitor so that the brightness of what u c on the monitor is the same as what u c in print. ur prints will always b too dark until u do this.

John nailed it.  If your iMac display is set to full brightness, no printer could match the brightness.  Even my comparably dim (to your iMac) MacBook Pro is too bright at 332 cd/m2. 

One trick you can do, is pickup some 4x6 paper of the same type as your larger paper, that way you can print a hard proof before you go to your larger, more expensive  paper.
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kyamon

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 02:21:04 PM »
Thank you for the tip. I tried that just now, and with the screen set to 80 cd/m2 or less the darkness indeed looks better. However, the photo now again looks like it got a bit too much red. Is this a saturation issue or is it really red only that I get too much of?
I indeed made lots of test-prints today, using 4x6 paper. As a result, I ran out of one of the inks :( Will have to wait a couple of days now before I can make more tests, but I have a number of prints where I played with the settings in "print adjustments" (bottom options in the print section of LR4). But these do not really have the desired effect and seem to reduce the overall quality of the print.

Is the brightness why many pro's do not like apple monitors? Or is it because the calibration does not work properly?

Ladislav

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 03:08:29 PM »
I'm just fighting the similar issue when printing from LR 4.4 (prints are dark and partially desaturated) but my setup is Pixma MG 5450 + two DELL IPS screens (not Mac). I just thought that my screens are incorrectly calibrated and that using calibration probe could solve it. I'm surprised it doesn't.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 07:36:37 AM by Ladislav »
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hhelmbold

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 03:21:28 PM »

6. Don't know if that matters, but I shoot mostly with a 7D, now also with a 5Diii, 95% raw; raw conversion, PP, and printing all in/from LR.


Personally I think Lightroom is the problem. I have had this issue for a very long time and Adobe can't give me a solution. There is something about Canon printers and Lightroom that is not quite happy. Some prints will even print is a sepia tone from lightroom and I have considered that it might be because I shoot in Adobe RGB and not sRGB, but I could not nail the problem.

Easiest solution.... Install Canon's Easy Photo Print, save your photo as a TIFF file and print from there and print the same TIFF from Lightroom - this will tell you where the problem lies.

pete vella

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 03:40:33 PM »
hard copy to 4x6 works if it is the same paper. have tou tried easyprint pro plugin for L4. i may help.

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 03:40:33 PM »

hhelmbold

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 03:45:10 PM »
hard copy to 4x6 works if it is the same paper. have tou tried easyprint pro plugin for L4. i may help.

Who makes the easyprint Pro plugin? I would like to give it a shot too. I still think he should print from a completely different program first, just to take Lightroom out of the equation - but seeing that I have the same problems I can maybe experiment with this plugin so long  ;D

pete vella

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 03:53:28 PM »

pete vella

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 04:05:35 PM »
http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2012/pixma_pro1_color_mode_presets.htmlp better link on tutorial. its for the canon pro 1 but the software is the same

hhelmbold

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 04:15:01 PM »
Just for the record - I use a Pixma iP4940 printer and not the Pixma Pro series. This is a general Canon problem and not just on the Pro series. It has to do with the way Lightroom handles the printers. It is very difficult to explain exactly what the photos looks like and people will read "this guy battles with dark prints" but unless you actually see the results, it is difficult to convince people it is not just a wrong setting.

For example... I will print a series of 4x6 prints from LR, all prints taken the same day and same conditions. The first 2 prints might print fine and then suddenly the 3rd print will come out like Sepia and the 4th very dark. After that if I re-print the first 2 that was printing correctly will be very dark or the tonal range all mixed up.

It is a very annoying and hard to troubleshoot problem
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 04:19:49 PM by hhelmbold »

kyamon

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 04:50:14 PM »
hard copy to 4x6 works if it is the same paper. have tou tried easyprint pro plugin for L4. i may help.

Good idea. Will try that as soon as I can.
Does Adobe use the same print engine in all its software? If I print from Photoshop will I have the same issues as in Lightroom?

The print profile is from the Ilford website, for my paper/printer combination (and downloaded today...). The issues I have at the moment have been mainly on the small 4x6 prints, but also on the 5x7 version of this paper. THe 4x6 is a bit heavier, and Ilford provides a different profile for it, but I have always been comparing the same things.

Privatebydesign: Your point about the lighting is a good one. What I want, however, is a reference point. And I want that to be my screen and the photo that I take from the printer which is located next to the screen. From there I can then decide if I make a photo brighter or darker, depending on where it will hang. And at the moment the difference is simply too big. Granted, the photo that I have been using as a reference is a fairly dark portrait. It is dark on screen, and when printed it becomes completely useless.

Somehow I also have a weird feeling about ink usage - I had a warning that my PM ink cartridge was almost empty and that I should replace it. I had no replacement, and it was only _almost_ empty - could this lead to color distortions? I would find this quite bad, but is it possible at all? By now it is completely empty, and the printer refuses to print (which is what I would expect...)

atvinyard

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 04:54:25 PM »
I haven't used my Canon printer (it was a pretty cheap one)for a while, so I can't speak directly to Canons, but I know with Epson, when you go to print there are options about color management.  You have to make sure the printer is set not to do any color management, so that LR can manage everything.  I always print with perceptual intent, an appropriate ICC profile loaded, and color management on the printer turned off.  If you don't turn the color management on the printer off, it doesn't come out right. You may already know that, so hopefully i'm not wasting your time.  I thought it might be a good thing to check, though,  if you hadn't thought to yet.
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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 04:54:25 PM »

kyamon

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 05:01:53 PM »
Yes, this is set correctly. If the printer does the color management then the prints look way worse even!

I have a question about the comparison between Lightroom and Easy-Photoprint (which I have never used). In lightroom I can use the Ilford ICC profile that matches my paper. In Easy-Photoprint I don't seem to have this option, I can only tell it that I am using matte photopaper... Am I missing something? If this is correct, then the comparison with LR does not work since the issue could be with LR or with the ICC...


I haven't used my Canon printer (it was a pretty cheap one)for a while, so I can't speak directly to Canons, but I know with Epson, when you go to print there are options about color management.  You have to make sure the printer is set not to do any color management, so that LR can manage everything.  I always print with perceptual intent, an appropriate ICC profile loaded, and color management on the printer turned off.  If you don't turn the color management on the printer off, it doesn't come out right. You may already know that, so hopefully i'm not wasting your time.  I thought it might be a good thing to check, though,  if you hadn't thought to yet.

RendrLab

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 05:08:27 PM »
I have the Pro 9000 MKII and had the same problem (for the most part) that you are encountering. My fix was printing from Photoshop or LR by using the Easy Print Plug-Ins. They will still let you use custom ICC Profiles for the type of paper you are using, and they come out beautifully. I tried changing print settings in Lightroom and Photoshop, but for some reason, they always come out better with the Easy Print plug-ins.
Also, you do not have to convert RAW prints to TIFF prior to print as long as you have the Canon XPS Print Driver installed as it handles RAW prints with ease.
Go to Canon's website and download all of the updated software you need from there. You don't even have to have any of it pre-installed or the CD handy as you do with any of the EOS utilities.

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 05:08:27 PM »