September 17, 2014, 11:56:31 PM

Author Topic: Optimizing your monitor for print production...  (Read 1848 times)

jdramirez

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Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« on: September 01, 2014, 01:44:29 AM »
So I just retired my old Dell 20 inch monitor and it did a more than adequate job of recreating the print color and and exposure I received from my printer of choice, Costco. 

I replaced the Dell with a vanity 39" Panasonic tvhttp://www.bestbuy.com/site/panasonic-39-class-38-1-2-diag--led-1080p-120hz-smart-hdtv/3730052.p;jsessionid=4F0EC0247B9821FA3FC38EE9E23ED333.bbolsp-app03-139?id=1219093275246&skuId=3730052&st=39%22%20panasonic%20led&cp=1&lp=2... which I don't expect to use for photo editing.  It is mostly there because I wanted a tv for my bedroom and I like playing really old school video games (Milon's Secret Castle) on a big screen. 

I also picked up a 23" Viewsonic ips screen which I did expect to use for photo editing... I turned down the backlighting a good deal on both, but the color on the panasonic seems better and more accurate than the color on the viewsonic (maybe too little red, and too much green)

So I need to fix it.  I was thinking about having a color wheel or vertical bars of color (no freaking clue what they are called) printed out from costco and then do my damn-dest to match the colors by messing with the settings.

So, since I basically rely on everything I do on ya'lls opinion, does this sound right?  Or is there a better cheap way to set up the monitor.  Ideally, I would like to have both perfect, but I know using a tv is a pipe dream. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« on: September 01, 2014, 01:44:29 AM »

Jim Saunders

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 02:04:39 AM »
Big can of worms there.  The idea seems to be to calibrate your monitor and your printer to the same ideal standard.  An i1 Display Pro can get your monitor sorted, but you'd need something like a ColorMunki to calibrate the output of your printer.

I'd buy the i1 Display Pro (or similar) and get your monitor sorted; after that if the prints you get back look good then you're done.  If not I'd borrow a Colormunki if you can and then try not to go mad printing patches for each paper/ink combo you want to use...  :-/

Jim
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jdramirez

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 02:20:15 AM »
Big can of worms there.  The idea seems to be to calibrate your monitor and your printer to the same ideal standard.  An i1 Display Pro can get your monitor sorted, but you'd need something like a ColorMunki to calibrate the output of your printer.

I'd buy the i1 Display Pro (or similar) and get your monitor sorted; after that if the prints you get back look good then you're done.  If not I'd borrow a Colormunki if you can and then try not to go mad printing patches for each paper/ink combo you want to use...  :-/

Jim

Costco... the big box store... they do my printing for me because I'm cheap.  So I'd like to match the monitor to the "known" printed image.  I was thinking about using something like this...
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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jdramirez

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 02:22:10 AM »
$250 for the i1... ouch.  Where can I rent one?
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Jim Saunders

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 02:29:15 AM »
I'm curious to see if someone knows how to adjust color calibration with a flat image, but I don't.

 Same for rentals, but one of those calibrators is something you could share with a group of friends - x-rite doesn't bother with DRM for the software because you need the device to accomplish anything with it.

Jim
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jdramirez

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 02:42:56 AM »
I'm curious to see if someone knows how to adjust color calibration with a flat image, but I don't.

 Same for rentals, but one of those calibrators is something you could share with a group of friends - x-rite doesn't bother with DRM for the software because you need the device to accomplish anything with it.

Jim

There is a local camera club... and I don't think EVERYONE hates me... so that might be a nice investment.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Hillsilly

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 03:14:30 AM »
Your plan sounds good.  In addition to your colour bars, I'd also get a few regular photos printed to work with, too.  But you're probably doing that anyway. 

Keep your eyes open for some good printer+Paper deals (such as the Pixma Pro 100).  Having your own printer is very convenient and helps with consistent output. 
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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 03:14:30 AM »

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 04:08:25 AM »
If you are serious about wanting correct prints then spend some money ...
I use a spyder to calibrate my monitor, but there are a number of systems out there.
You are working and looking at a back lit RGB monitor trying to match a reflected light CMYK printed image.
You can save a ton of money in the long run to spend that cash on a proper monitor calibration system.
It's as simple as that ... put your hand in your pocket, otherwise get used to printing out rubbish .. and don't think you can sell that rubbish or claim any sort "fine art printing"
You have to make sure you use the right printer profile for the printer and paper you use.
There is a whole world of hurt out there to get a correct print .. don't try and guess your way through it.
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jdramirez

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 11:54:28 AM »
Your plan sounds good.  In addition to your colour bars, I'd also get a few regular photos printed to work with, too.  But you're probably doing that anyway. 

Keep your eyes open for some good printer+Paper deals (such as the Pixma Pro 100).  Having your own printer is very convenient and helps with consistent output.

I'm going to pick up a pixima 100... but it is for my daughter and school projects. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

jdramirez

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 11:59:05 AM »
I looked at the a1... and evidently it sends feedback to the computer and tells the computer to output a different color level... which sounds freaking awesome... $250 is a price to pay, but maybe I can rent it out to others @ $25 a pop so maybe my personal cost can be lower.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2014, 01:27:06 PM »
I use a Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite for my screen color calibration. I am pretty happy with it and it is at lest 75$ less than the I-Rite. I know some pros find it does not provide as repeatable measurements as the I-Rite from Pentone, but to me it has done a wonderfull job. Just make sure you get the Pro or Elite as the software is much better.

Best of luck.
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JonAustin

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2014, 02:31:55 PM »
One way or the other, you need to calibrate your displays for color accuracy. The extent to which either can be corrected is largely dependent on the capabilities of each individual display, as well as whatever graphics capabilities your computer has.

There are some test patterns and other manual adjustment systems out there; I have a DVD that puts up test screens of various colors and allows you to fiddle with the adjustments on a color TV set, to get it as close to true as possible, but the automated tools are much quicker and more accurate. The better ones also measure the ambient light in the room during the calibration process, and factor that into the new settings (if you use this, you either need to keep ambient light constant, or recalibrate if ambient changes significantly). Other, seemingly trivial factors, such as the color of the screen bezel and the color of your walls, can have a surprisingly significant impact on the colors you perceive as you look at your display.

I have a ColorMunki Photo, and if you live in the Austin, TX area, I will gladly loan it to you.

Since you use Costco for most of your output, you should talk to the techs there, and ask them what you need to do to your images in post processing, to obtain the best possible output from their machines and on the papers they use. They may recommend one color space over another, provide or point you to specific color profiles, etc. There's not much you can do about the accuracy or gamut capabilities of their machines; providing them with the most color-accurate image to start with is all you can do, and you'll need a well-calibrated display to get there.

One more thought: Since you were happy with the color performance (consistency with Costco prints) of your old Dell 20" display, if you still have it, you could hook up both it and each of your new displays to your PC in turn, and -- using color test screens -- adjust the new displays to match your old Dell as much as possible. Here's a good place on the web for color test screens:

http://www.maccetera.com/screen/

Good luck!
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 02:38:47 PM by JonAustin »
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SoullessPolack

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2014, 02:47:03 PM »
Bro, the simple truth is, if you want to play in this league, you're going to have to sack up and invest a little bit.  I'm assuming, and truly hope, that when you print you turn off any color correction or management by the printing lab.  That means, if your print comes back not looking ideal, you're out the money and can't get a refund.  Hardware like the DataColor will easily pay for itself.  It's just one of those pieces of gear that you need, kind of like a tripod if you do landscape photography.

It's such a jaw dropping, amazing, and enlightening experience the first time you run the color calibration software on your monitor.  It allows you to switch back and forth between calibrated and uncalibrated at the click of a mouse button, and you just begin to wonder how you ever even edited photos on the vomit-like uncalibrated settings of the monitor.

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2014, 02:47:03 PM »

Famateur

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2014, 02:47:30 PM »
JD,

It's too bad your thread didn't come a few days earlier -- Amazon had the i1Display Pro on sale for $189.

Getting a tool to calibrate your monitor really is necessary if you want the best results. Another thing to keep in mind is that your monitor will need to be recalibrated periodically, as it will drift over time. I recalibrate mine every month or so.

Monitor calibration is just one half of the situation. The other is the printing side. Not sure if they will, but if Costco can provide you with an ICC/ICM profile for the printer/paper combination they use, you can load that in Lightroom to "soft-proof" your images before sending them out to print. I agree with others in asking their techs what colorspace to edit in for best results.

Just a side note, I have a Dell IPS display calibrated with the i1Display Pro. It's paired with the Canon PIXMA Pro-100 that I picked up from Adorama (with 50 sheets of 13"x19" paper) for $34, after rebate (I tell you this because they tend to do these deals a few times a year). As long as I turn OFF color management in the printer driver's advanced settings and then load the Canon profile in Lightroom and tell Lightroom to manage the color, I get beautiful prints that match my display. In fact, I was quite giddy at my first batch of prints (after figuring out to turn off the printer driver's color management -- it gave a magenta cast).

I hope this helps some!

jdramirez

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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2014, 05:10:23 PM »
Bro, the simple truth is, if you want to play in this league, you're going to have to sack up and invest a little bit.  I'm assuming, and truly hope, that when you print you turn off any color correction or management by the printing lab.  That means, if your print comes back not looking ideal, you're out the money and can't get a refund.  Hardware like the DataColor will easily pay for itself.  It's just one of those pieces of gear that you need, kind of like a tripod if you do landscape photography.

It's such a jaw dropping, amazing, and enlightening experience the first time you run the color calibration software on your monitor.  It allows you to switch back and forth between calibrated and uncalibrated at the click of a mouse button, and you just begin to wonder how you ever even edited photos on the vomit-like uncalibrated settings of the monitor.

Do you know the story of the Texas A&M Aggies' 12th man?  Well, a practice player is in the stands and there are some injuries in the game and they pull him from the stands and he sits along the sideline. 


He doesn't even get into the game... That's me.. I'm on the sideline... sure my gear is the same as the people on the field, but I don't really get to put it into action...

Maybe that's a bad analogy... but at the very least I don't want my family photos looking like crap... so maybe I do get to be the QB in the backyard football game @ Thanksgiving.
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Re: Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2014, 05:10:23 PM »