PS Printer Management vs. Epson Printer Management

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Empedocles, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Empedocles

    Empedocles Guest

    Why, on many of the prints I make, I must use Epson's color
    rather than PS's color management, to get a print that most closely
    matches my
    monitor? I have an Epson 1280 that I've profiled using GretagMacbeth's
    Eye-One system. I profiled it for Epson's Premium Photo Glossy paper
    and MIS inks.

    Too frequently, when I run a test on 4x6 Epson Premium Photo Glossy
    paper (soft-proofing is a waste of time for me), I find that, using
    profile & letting PS manage the printing,
    that the print fails miserably to match my monitor's image. (I
    recalibrate & profile my monitor monthly.)

    When I try letting Epson
    manage the printer, the print matches the monitor almost exactly. If I
    need to tweak the image, using the Epson system, I can do so in the
    Epson printer controls. With PS, I have to go back to the image in PS
    & guess & by gosh. This is very inefficient.

    I would use Epson color management exclusively if it were not for the
    fact that on some images, PS control is better than Epson control. So,
    you could say this is my workflow: If PS is best, use it. If Epson is
    best, use that. 4x6 paper isn't that expensive.

    I'm just curious why I can't standardize on one color management
    printer system. It's incredible to me that the Epson system, using
    Epson inks, can produce more accurate results than the PS system with
    my profile. Maybe some of you have run into the same situation & that
    what I have to do is all I can do. Maybe I should reprofile my
    printer, paper, and inks, altho my printer hasn't changed, my paper
    hasn't changed, and my inks haven't changed.
    Empedocles, Jul 12, 2008
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  2. Empedocles

    Mike Russell Guest

    This is the cris de cour of almost anyone who is very discerning about how
    well their printer matches their monitor. Millions of dollars have been
    spent on it, with no sure fire solution in sight.

    A problem that seems simple to understand, isn't simple at all. It's a
    problem that unravels as you chase it.
    Well, right there I would question the accuracy of your printer profile.
    There are a number of things you can do to assess the accuracy of your
    profile - one is to convert a grayscale gradient, and check the individual
    channels for blending. I provide an action that does this, then plots the
    components as a graph. See if your profile looks like the Frankenprofile
    Perhaps by Epson color management, you mean either the PhotoEnhance4 mode,
    or the mode with explicit color sliders. I've used both of these to good
    effect, and have to agree with you that it works.
    The choice probably depends on the subject matter of the image.
    This is key, I believe, to understanding what the basic flaw in
    over-reliance on color management and calibration is. That is the belief,
    that perfect calibration will produce excellent images - it will not.
    Calibration can produce OK images, but it will not produce great ones. It
    takes a person to squeeze the last 10, 20, or 30 percent out of an image.
    No profile alone can do that, even as well as a moderately skilled person.
    The fact that the inks match Epson's reasonably well is a testimony to the
    folks who made the inks. Epson, as well, has a great economic interest in
    providing a good out of box experience for people who purchase their
    equipment. Both of these companies have spectrophotometers and other color
    measurement instruments that cost as much as your house - or at least your
    car. The fact that they can accomplish this is a testimony to their
    collective calibration abilities.

    Can you accomplish the same thing with a minimum of training, and a device
    that clocks in at just over $1000? I don't think so. Can you recognize a
    good image, and adjust it to look better? Absolutely, and this is the key
    to why Epson's manual controls give you such an advantage over reliance on
    a profile.

    Color editing, over and above calibration, is the key to get the most out
    of your images. Whether you spend a few seconds, or hours on an image, you
    can improve your color, provided you trust your own eyes, color judgment,
    and make effective use of the all important numbers in Photoshop's

    OK, that was a bit long, but as of two minutes ago, it's my birthday, LOL.
    Mike Russell, Jul 13, 2008
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  3. Empedocles

    ronviers Guest

    I'm glad I never print.
    Happy birthday:)
    ronviers, Jul 13, 2008
  4. Empedocles

    Fred Guest

    Thanks for the great insight, Mike. I have the same problem and almost
    always use the Epson workflow.
    Glad I'm not alone :)
    Happy Birthday!
    Fred, Jul 13, 2008
  5. There are so many variables.
    Even though the inks and papers are made to a tolerance there are bound to
    be variations beteween batches.
    The printer caibration will also change over time wear and tear etc.
    We check the calibration each working day and on average recalibrate about
    every 3 months.

    Denis Fitzgibbon, Jul 13, 2008
  6. Empedocles

    hoffmann Guest

    I'm using a wide format Mutoh inkjet printer and the RIP Colorgate
    ProductionServer5. Calibration partly by ColorGate (Linearization)
    and partly by GMB ProfileMaker5 for the ICC profile.
    The calibration is rather stable, as tested by FOGRA/UGRA
    MediaWedge. There is really no need to re-calibrate the system
    each working day or every week.

    'Each working day' is IMO nonsense.

    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
    hoffmann, Jul 13, 2008
  7. Empedocles

    KatWoman Guest

    agree 100% I use the Epson color management with the rare mismatch (that can
    usually be fixed in curves)
    I wasted so much paper and ink on the PS color matching I gave up
    KatWoman, Jul 13, 2008
  8. Empedocles

    KatWoman Guest

    both worth saying twice

    Calibration can produce OK images, but it will not produce great ones. It
    takes a person to squeeze the last 10, 20, or 30 percent out of an image.
    No profile alone can do that, even as well as a moderately skilled person

    and happy Birthday to You
    and happy Birthday to You
    KatWoman, Jul 13, 2008
  9. Empedocles

    Mike Russell Guest

    Thanks - it has been!
    Mike Russell, Jul 14, 2008
  10. Empedocles

    Joe Guest


    1. Photoshop controls the color base on the monitor profile

    2. Photoshop uses the default printer mamanger

    3. Not only Epson's but many other printers don't share the exact same value
    (different setting, ink, paper etc..) as well as many Photolab don't share
    the same setting either.

    So yes, if you want to have more control of the result you can get from
    the photolab's, you may want to check with their web site's see if they have
    the printer profile available for customer to download. And you may need to
    check frequenly because they may change the setting once awhile.

    *If* they don't provide the Printer Profile (many don't) then you may have
    to find out the Name, Model of the printer/paper they use then try to match
    it using the similar setup from other Photolab, and hope they have similar
    or close setting.

    And about your Epson 1280 which was one heck of a photo printer many years
    ago, I read Epson has released many better printers and some even have 7
    colors instead of 6, and some uses separated ink cartridge for each color
    (or it may have 7 cartridges instead of 2)

    Almost forgot, Photoshop has the Ctrl-Y (I think it's the right command)
    to toggle between Monitor vs Printer (you have to setup the Printer Profile
    first before you can Toggle to see the difference).
    Joe, Jul 14, 2008
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