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Author Topic: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark  (Read 6898 times)

RendrLab

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2013, 05:32:08 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.

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2013, 05:32:08 PM »

kyamon

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2013, 05:38:22 PM »
Sure, nothing is absolute. But it makes sense to have a setup where I know that I get a certain correspondence if I prepare a picture on my screen and look at the printed version at the same desk, with the same light. Any modification I can take from there. If I have to make my picture look wrong on my screen to look right on the print (looked at under the same conditions), then it gets too complicated for me.

So what I am looking for is pretty much what you are telling me to do. Except that I have set the screen brightness low (as it has been suggested here), the screen is properly calibrated, the ICC profile for printer/paper are correct, etc. I simply can not find the issue.

But I have not yet tried EPP. I have the plugin installed now, so I hope to be able to test it soon.

I would also like to add (the obvious?) that "dark", as I initially chose it, is not a particularly accurate characteristic. There is, of course, much more to it like saturation or contrast etc. If I put the print under a bright light it looks brighter, but it still does not look like the photo on the screen. Same if I turn the screen brightness down.

What do you want a reference point to?

There are no absolutes in colour management, you can set "your" reference point anywhere you want. If you want your current screen calibration and luminosity to be your reference point and your prints are dark you need to put more light on them. If the luminosity of your screen and a piece of paper next to it (preferably in a viewing booth) are not the same you need to adjust the brightness of one or the other. Once you have that dialed in, along with screen calibration, if your prints are not the same as your screen then you are looking at printer/paper profiles, assuming all your colour workflow settings make sense.

Start at the beginning, how bright do you want your screen, take everything else from there.

RendrLab

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2013, 05:50:53 PM »
Try the EPP Plug-ins when you can and follow the link I posted on how to select the appropriate ICC profile for your paper inside the utility. Make sure you install the XPS driver if you are wanting to print RAW files from LR or else you will have to convert to 8-Bit TIFF prior to print. The XPS Driver will print 16-bit color files, which the regular driver will not. Easy Print also works inside of Photoshop & would strongly recommend using it for all printing to the Pro 9000.
I was so upset when I first bought mine and colors came out all dark, oversaturated and blah. But Easy Print definitely shows what the printer is capable of producing. Just don't expect miracles with B&W prints as they are definitely the weak spot of this printer.
If you do a bit of research, people say you can get the same results out of Photoshop & LR without EasyPrint, but Color accuracy is a huge part of my job and even I couldn't make them come out quite the same straight from PS & LR.

kyamon

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2013, 06:02:54 PM »
Yep, I will do that and report back. I have no clue though, how long it will take me to get the missing cartridge - I am in Switzerland and the shops I went to today do not have particularly large selection of photo-specific ink :(

About the XPS - these are windows printer drivers, right? I am using a mac, and I believe that I do have the right driver installed. But I will double-check that as well.

Try the EPP Plug-ins when you can and follow the link I posted on how to select the appropriate ICC profile for your paper inside the utility. Make sure you install the XPS driver if you are wanting to print RAW files from LR or else you will have to convert to 8-Bit TIFF prior to print. The XPS Driver will print 16-bit color files, which the regular driver will not. Easy Print also works inside of Photoshop & would strongly recommend using it for all printing to the Pro 9000.
I was so upset when I first bought mine and colors came out all dark, oversaturated and blah. But Easy Print definitely shows what the printer is capable of producing. Just don't expect miracles with B&W prints as they are definitely the weak spot of this printer.
If you do a bit of research, people say you can get the same results out of Photoshop & LR without EasyPrint, but Color accuracy is a huge part of my job and even I couldn't make them come out quite the same straight from PS & LR.

agierke

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2013, 06:09:41 PM »
i have also found that creating my own custom ICC profiles for the papers i use much more reliable than using each manufacturer's canned ICC profiles. the canned profiles will get you close, but if you have exacting expectations then you really need to create your own custom profiles.

i use the Color Monkey by X-rite to do both screen and print ICC profiles. it does a fairly decent job but i have never....NEVER....been fully satisfied with any print that has ever come out of an inkjet printer. there is always something that is just slightly off...but i end up just chalking it up to differences between the two different formats or the random and frequent printer errors that occur.

i absolutely loath desktop printing...its a horrendous task to undertake if you have the highest expectations. trouble is, making a print is ingrained upon my consciousness as "part" of the photographic process. my wife knows when i am doing prints by the stream of expletives coming from my office and she knows to steer clear of me for a few hours.

anyway....good luck. seriously.....
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kyamon

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2013, 06:17:06 PM »
 ;D
My wife knows that any time I complain about some technical aspect of my photos I am going to spend money... But in this particular case even a $2k screen or a Pro-1 printer would not do the job, I guess. So I did like you did, and switched to indecent language. And asked for help... (which I got, and am very glad about)


i have also found that creating my own custom ICC profiles for the papers i use much more reliable than using each manufacturer's canned ICC profiles. the canned profiles will get you close, but if you have exacting expectations then you really need to create your own custom profiles.

i use the Color Monkey by X-rite to do both screen and print ICC profiles. it does a fairly decent job but i have never....NEVER....been fully satisfied with any print that has ever come out of an inkjet printer. there is always something that is just slightly off...but i end up just chalking it up to differences between the two different formats or the random and frequent printer errors that occur.

i absolutely loath desktop printing...its a horrendous task to undertake if you have the highest expectations. trouble is, making a print is ingrained upon my consciousness as "part" of the photographic process. my wife knows when i am doing prints by the stream of expletives coming from my office and she knows to steer clear of me for a few hours.

anyway....good luck. seriously.....

wopbv4

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2013, 06:36:17 PM »
Hi,

it is also important to have colour accurate lighting to evaluate your prints.

I use:
http://www.imagescience.com.au/products/GrafiLite-Mode.html
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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2013, 06:36:17 PM »

TrumpetPower!

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2013, 08:51:17 PM »
i have also found that creating my own custom ICC profiles for the papers i use much more reliable than using each manufacturer's canned ICC profiles. the canned profiles will get you close, but if you have exacting expectations then you really need to create your own custom profiles.

i use the Color Monkey by X-rite to do both screen and print ICC profiles. it does a fairly decent job but i have never....NEVER....been fully satisfied with any print that has ever come out of an inkjet printer. there is always something that is just slightly off...but i end up just chalking it up to differences between the two different formats or the random and frequent printer errors that occur.

i absolutely loath desktop printing...its a horrendous task to undertake if you have the highest expectations. trouble is, making a print is ingrained upon my consciousness as "part" of the photographic process. my wife knows when i am doing prints by the stream of expletives coming from my office and she knows to steer clear of me for a few hours.

anyway....good luck. seriously.....

Closest answer yet.

Color management is...well, prepare for insanity. You'll be insane by the time you figure it out, so it doesn't hurt to be at least a bit crazy going into it.

The ColorMunki, by all reports, is a very capable instrument. The basic profiling software that X-Rite ships it with is not bad, all things considered, but leaves lots of room for improvement.

If you want the ultimate in quality, pair a spectrophotometer (such as the ColorMunki or its bigger brother, the i1 Pro) with ArgyllCMS. It's a free, open source, command line toolset. Awesome, awesome software.

There's also another factor worth mentioning. Even with the best color management, there are still limitations. All devices have limited color gamuts, and it's very common to want to do stuff with images and devices where the gamuts don't overlap. Generally, your camera will have the biggest gamut; your working color space probably won't be able to encode all the colors your camera can capture; your monitor certainly won't be able to display all the colors your working space can encode; and your printer will be able to print some colors you can't get on your monitor but it won't be able to print others your monitor can display. Oh -- and the paper you print on has a huge effect on the colors it can print. What to do with out-of-gamut colors is where the rubber meets the road...and where a lot of the problems happen in well-color-managed environments, and not something one can really answer in a forum post....

However, with the right equipment and skills, I can assure you, it is possible to, for example, photograph a painting and make a print of it such that the artist herself has trouble telling original from copy in a side-by-side comparison. But the road from where most photographers are to there is a long and steep and bumpy one....

Cheers,

b&

Quasimodo

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2013, 05:19:16 AM »
Very interesting thread. I have the pro 1 myself, but also struggle with the luminocity, even after callibrating with my x-rite i1 Display Pro. As with the OP it always get darker, and I will try to wing it on gefuhl :)
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marcel

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2013, 05:57:39 AM »
Hi, I have the pixma pro 9500. It is a problem of duplicate profiles. It is with these printers. I have solved the problem using the profile Pro Photo RGB in photoshop and profile of paper in the printer. The quality is very good and I sell lots of prints.
If you need to try the printer plugin is Easy Photo Print Pro, remember: PRO.
Check the paper profile, must be GPSPP11.
Another thing to consider is that if you have the printer to your side is enough testing on pieces of paper to get an idea of how to be in the paper. It is useless to calibrate the monitor with expensive equipment if the end result is on your side. If you send your work to someone far away, you have to be sure that he will see it as you see it, in this case you need to calibrate your monitor like the other person. But if this is not the case it is sufficient to test the printer, after all photos are equal. I spent 35 in the darkroom, and I can assure you it is a technique that never fails.
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hhelmbold

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2013, 09:42:18 AM »

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 think you have been bombarded with so many answers that you might be trying to fix everything at once too  ;D If the prints are indeed the same as the problems I am facing I would suggest you start to elimanate factors in order to get to the root problem. Forget about screen calibrations and custom ICC profiles and ILFORD profiles and start with basic settings.

Photoshop and Lightroom does not use the same print engines, so you can use Photoshop as your 2nd application for testing instead of the Canon Easy Photo Print. But what I suggest is you make a print in LR and in Photoshop where you use the same printer settings and paper type. This will tell you quick enough if LR is the problem or not. Once you have that answer you can go to step 2 and start calibrating your software of choice. Changing too many things at once is going to create new problems once it suddenly works... you won't know which of the 100 solutions or combinations of them actually did the trick  ;D

Leejo

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2013, 10:06:56 AM »
I unfortunately don't have one of these quality printers,
however I overheard recentlly on a podcast with Martin Bailey (MartinBaileyPhotography.com),
who currently uses an imagePROGRAF_iPF6350_Large_Format,
hat the printer driver configuration somewhere stored the Lightroom version,
and anytime there is an LR upgrade he needed to modify the config file to suite.

If you are seeing differences after some point in upgrading LR then this could be
an indication of a similar problem.


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jondave

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2013, 10:49:43 AM »
i have also found that creating my own custom ICC profiles for the papers i use much more reliable than using each manufacturer's canned ICC profiles. the canned profiles will get you close, but if you have exacting expectations then you really need to create your own custom profiles.

i use the Color Monkey by X-rite to do both screen and print ICC profiles. it does a fairly decent job but i have never....NEVER....been fully satisfied with any print that has ever come out of an inkjet printer. there is always something that is just slightly off...but i end up just chalking it up to differences between the two different formats or the random and frequent printer errors that occur.

i absolutely loath desktop printing...its a horrendous task to undertake if you have the highest expectations. trouble is, making a print is ingrained upon my consciousness as "part" of the photographic process. my wife knows when i am doing prints by the stream of expletives coming from my office and she knows to steer clear of me for a few hours.

anyway....good luck. seriously.....

+1

I never did trust the canned profiles... I used them once, uggh. Never again.

Customised ICC profiles for BOTH your monitor and printer is the only answer. I'm personally using an X-Rite i1, and the difference vs canned profiles is night and day. Colormunki is ok, but the best results can only be had with a spectro or having your profiles done through a color lab.

Another side benefit of buying your own spectro to create your own profiles is that you will be able to use 3rd party ink and paper (only the good quality ones of course). The money you'll save will more than make up the initial cost of the spectro, believe me.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 10:54:06 AM by jondave »

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2013, 10:49:43 AM »

kyamon

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2013, 11:26:41 AM »

Another side benefit of buying your own spectro to create your own profiles is that you will be able to use 3rd party ink and paper (only the good quality ones of course). The money you'll save will more than make up the initial cost of the spectro, believe me.

Interesting point - but I always assumed that cheap inks also have drawbacks with regards to longevity, resistance to sunlight etc.

In any case, thank you all for the interesting answers and suggestions I sure have a lot to try and play with now!

I did manage to obtain the missing ink, so I continued a few tests. The comparison between prints from LR, PS, and EPP is really astonishing - after seeing this I really wonder what the point of an ICC profile for a specific paper/printer combo is if the software in the end does what it feels like anyway! (on a side note - for the Ilford 4x6 paper I am using, which is 310 micron, the ICC is GPSPP12, not 11.)
The picture I was using yesterday most of the time (dark portrait, brown hair and a moderately pale face) turned out too dark in all three programs. Differences are barely noticeable, details in the hair are lost because it gets too dark, and the face turns red. The print is basically useless.
I now tried a different pic, this time a bird sitting on a black PVC tube with a green/white bg (completely oof). Here, the difference between print and screen are considerably smaller, making it in the end really only an issue about adjusting the settings to match where the photo will ultimately hang. If I compare PS, EPP, and LR with this pic, I see interesting color tone differences, in particular on the PVC tube. Ideally this should be dark-grey'ish, and what PS gives me looks pretty close. In contrast, EPP produces something that is almost purple while LR is slightly on the greenish side. But the differences are so small that I would probably not see that unless I have the prints on top of each other. Someone with a better-trained eye might notice (and unfortunately I can not quantify any of what I just said). But it certainly is something I could live with.
The problem is, of course, that I also have the other type of photos, and that with the current settings I just know that some types of prints come out bad.

I guess what this comes down to is a confirmation of what some of you said - in order to get things right one has to do it manually, with or without the help of a spectrometer. Very disappointing.
Just for fun I tried something new - I printed something directly from my camera, using PictBridge. Much to my relief it did not appear to produce better results ;) (who uses that anyways?)

TonyMM

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2013, 12:36:41 PM »
I may have missed it in reading this thread, but do you have the "Soft Proofing" box checked in the LR4 Develop module with the correct paper profile selected under "Create Proof Copy" ?  It is pretty clearly noticeable on my NEC Multisync PA241W monitor that my monitor image turns darker when I activate the Soft Proofing box. 

I am having pretty good monitor to printed image matching up on my Epson Stylus R1900 - but I do have to adjust Brightness and Contrast in the Print module to get a close match -- and the level of Brightness/Contrast needed varies between paper profile selection.  LR4 remembers the last settings you printed with for each profile and comes up when you go into Print module for printing after you select the appropriate paper profile above.

Tony M

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Re: Pixma Pro 9000 II prints are dark
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2013, 12:36:41 PM »