Photography Printers for use with Linux

jonjt

EOS T7i
Jul 19, 2012
53
0
Hello folks,
I've recently disposed of my Windows licenses and switched over to Ubuntu. While I've found suitable alternatives for just about every other part of the photography process, I have not found a suitable printer. Does anyone here successfully use a relatively affordable photographic printer along with a Linux-based photo editing computer? If so, which model?

Thanks!
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
1,806
62
I don't know of a specific model of printer, but pretty much all modern ones are CUPS standardized.
The problems will, be...what open source drives will support all the features on each printer. Basic printing, likely not a problem, but photo...hmm, well I dunno.
I do linux server admin as one of my main occupations, but these are servers and not used for printing.

You'll have to do a good bit of research on this...I'd start in the various ubuntu discussion groups over there and ask around, I'm guessing they likely have a dedicated forum to printers and/or photographer types.

But I guess pick a couple models you like based on specs...and from there, start researching the Linux support for them, that might be a good approach.

I love open source OS and software, but in last decade or two, for some things, I have gone back to the commercial OS'es and application offerings.

I'm on OSX for that and my video work for now.

I'd be interested in what you find out tho....please answer back on this post if you don't get more info here...I'd be VERY interesting.

By the way, what tools are you using?

IN the meantime, here's a couple of interesting articles I found:

Open Source Photography Workflow

Choosing a Printer for Linux

Finding Linux compatible printers

I saw a few other links out there, about open source color photo management/printing...so, info is out there, but you gotta dig a bit.

HTH,

cayenne
 
Reactions: stevelee

jonjt

EOS T7i
Jul 19, 2012
53
0
Hello Cayenne,
Thanks for the response.

To move from the bottom up, I'm making use of the following software:

DigiKam for management of my photo collection
Darktable for editing
GIMP for other things like stitching (Though GIMP needs to mature before it will be able to do what I want)
Blender for a little video editing
DSLR controller for control of the DLSR body

I used to use:
Lightroom
A student license of PS
Topaz Denoise

That first link you shared I've also found through googling. What a huge list of printers it has! Coupled with your mentioning of CUPS, I definitely have a lot to learn. That last link also seems to be a good summary what I would need to consider when choosing a printer for a Linux machine, particularly if I want to use all of the available features for photo printing.

That recommendation to find a specific Linux forum seems to be a great place to start. I will consider that as the first option. Note that I've also considered making use of one of the two Windows licenses and an old MS Surface Pro I own just for printing. The idea is to do all of the processing on my Linux desktop and just transfer the file to the Windows machine so that I can print. Of course, that's a stop-gap option, since since the different editing and library-management programs I have used seem to handle .xmp extensions differently.

I'll try to do some research this weekend and see what I can find.

Thanks!
 

jonjt

EOS T7i
Jul 19, 2012
53
0
Also, if it is of any relevance, I was quickly glancing at the Epson P800, as it can print panoramas and is currently discounted at B&H. Of course, use of this printer with a Linux OS isn't explicitly supported by Epson, hence my question.
 

jonjt

EOS T7i
Jul 19, 2012
53
0
Hey Cayenne,
So, because I'm a bit lazy, and because of a sale at B&H, I think I'm going to use my laptop (it is setup to dual boot with Ubuntu 18.04 and Windows 10) to print tiff files from my Linux desktop. Of course, I'm assuming that an exported tiff will appear the same on both machines (ignoring the impacts of screen configuration), since the tiff/jpeg2000 export will be made after the image has been processed correctly. I suppose the only consideration would be how the Epson software reads the tiff/jpeg2000 exports. I will do some investigating.
 

LDS

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 14, 2012
1,465
89
Hey Cayenne,
Of course, I'm assuming that an exported tiff will appear the same on both machines (ignoring the impacts of screen configuration), since the tiff/jpeg2000 export will be made after the image has been processed correctly.
It will work only if both systems have been properly color-profiled and calibrated, so when you process the image you get what you want to print close enough. Matching monitors so images look the same on both systems is another issue - depending on the monitors can be quite tricky to match them, and may not be the best solution anyway.

TurboPrint offers Linux printer drivers for printer, especially photo ones, you may not find otherwise, but it's not free. You'll also need paper/printer profiles.

Photo editing in Linux is a minefield, especially if you also need to print, good luck...
 

jonjt

EOS T7i
Jul 19, 2012
53
0
Hi LDS,
Thanks for the response. Concerning printing, I wasn't planning on using another photo editing program to feed directly to the printer. Instead, I wanted to print directly from the printer's software. But, since I have not actually looked at the provided software (should any be provided), I cannot confirm that this is actually possible.

Thanks for suggesting TurboPrint. The cost associated is trivial when considered next to the cost of the other hardware needed to take and edit photos. That said, I would still need to see if this program works with the Epson P800. But, the ability to print directly from the same monitors where I edited the photos would be wonderful!

Thanks for the recommendations.
 
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LDS

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 14, 2012
1,465
89
he cost associated is trivial when considered next to the cost of the other hardware needed to take and edit photos.
I noted that because some people choose Linux because they "hate" closed source commercial software and wants to use only "free and open software". The SureColor P800 is supported: http://www.turboprint.info/printer_Epson_SureColorP800.html

If you're interested, I would suggest you to try the 30-day trial version and if it fits your need, buy it.

Instead, I wanted to print directly from the printer's software.
What printing software is provided with the printer - if any - depends on the printer - some are too basic for good prints. Often the good software is implemented as plug-ins for Photoshop/Lightroom/etc because it simplify the workflow, as you don't have to switch to a separate application.

Under Linux you may not use the printer-provided software (Windows ones might work under Wine). A RIP could be used instead, but I don't know what's available in Linux.

Take into account that printing will need, at least, besides image-specific tweaks for the target paper and inks:

* Output sharpening - what looks good on video may look soft on print (because they are different display technologies)
* Resizing and resampling the image for the target output size and ppi
* Apply the ICC profile to convert the image to the output color space

Usually, it's better to apply this changes in the application which will handle them best - If you printed from Lightroom, it applies the first two automatically, and optionally the third, while sending the data to the printer. In PS there's more manual work (or specific plug-ins)

Anyway in most editors is possible to prepare and export a specific output file for a specific size and ppi, and then print it.
 

jonjt

EOS T7i
Jul 19, 2012
53
0
I noted that because some people choose Linux because they "hate" closed source commercial software and wants to use only "free and open software". The SureColor P800 is supported: http://www.turboprint.info/printer_Epson_SureColorP800.html

If you're interested, I would suggest you to try the 30-day trial version and if it fits your need, buy it.
Having worked in the adtech industry, I can tell you that the latest closed-source software do share a ton of information about you. That's a big reason why I left.
Thanks for the note about the trial period.



What printing software is provided with the printer - if any - depends on the printer - some are too basic for good prints. Often the good software is implemented as plug-ins for Photoshop/Lightroom/etc because it simplify the workflow, as you don't have to switch to a separate application.

Under Linux you may not use the printer-provided software (Windows ones might work under Wine). A RIP could be used instead, but I don't know what's available in Linux.

Take into account that printing will need, at least, besides image-specific tweaks for the target paper and inks:

* Output sharpening - what looks good on video may look soft on print (because they are different display technologies)
* Resizing and resampling the image for the target output size and ppi
* Apply the ICC profile to convert the image to the output color space

Usually, it's better to apply this changes in the application which will handle them best - If you printed from Lightroom, it applies the first two automatically, and optionally the third, while sending the data to the printer. In PS there's more manual work (or specific plug-ins)

Anyway in most editors is possible to prepare and export a specific output file for a specific size and ppi, and then print it.
Thanks for the information. Having TurboPrint in mind, I did a quick check and I think Darktable has a feature that allows for additional sharpening, resizing/resampling and ICC profile application specifically for printing. I would need to confirm that, however.

The information you have provided has been quite helpful!
 

LDS

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 14, 2012
1,465
89
Darktable has a feature that allows for additional sharpening, resizing/resampling and ICC profile application specifically for printing
IIRC you can apply a "style" or something alike that can apply additional changes while printing. The drawback it's you have to find the right sharpening for your output device.

Tools like Lightroom, Nik Collection Sharpener Pro, and others can compute that from the output device characteristics - output sharpening is quite deterministic, as it depends on the output device technology (inkjet, half-tone, etc.) only.

That depends on what sharpening workflow you use also.

Lightroom, for example, is based on the three-step workflow advocated by Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe and others - where the three steps are "capture sharpening", "creative sharpening" and "output sharpening" (i.e. see https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/image-sharpening.htm). The first restores the softness introduced by the capture medium, the second enhances/hides details as the photographers likes, and the third takes care of optimizing the sharpness for a given output device.

Another approach is a single sharpening step done before output - but that's need to be done for each image and different output.
 
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jonjt

EOS T7i
Jul 19, 2012
53
0
Hmmm, thanks for the information. Could you tell me why a photographer would like to hide details?

Thanks
 

LDS

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 14, 2012
1,465
89
Hmmm, thanks for the information. Could you tell me why a photographer would like to hide details?
I wrote "hide", but "reduce" could be more meaningful.

For example portraits, weddings, fashion photography, fine art, whenever you may want to "enhance" or anyway alter something's or someone's look.... i.e. sometimes you may want to blur the background more too. Not always maximum sharpness everywhere is what you may be aiming for.