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Old Sep 23, 2007, 09:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto Ontario
Printer Calibration?

I have a Canon Pixma MP600 multi purpose printer, and I was wondering how can I calibrate my printer with out a fancy calibration kit like Spyder2Pro...
My printer just cannot reproduce the images that I see on my monitor! I tried ColorSync but it just doesn't do a good enough job..Is there a method for doing that with out coughing up a whole bunch of cash?
Mac Pro 2.66Ghz Quad 3Gb RAM,30"Cinema display, MacBook Pro 2Ghz 2Gb RAM, PowerBook G4 1.67Ghz 1Gb RAM, iPod Video 60Gb, Nikon D200,Pixma MP600

Last edited by Reciprocity; Sep 24, 2007 at 12:18 AM.
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Old Sep 30, 2007, 06:19 PM   #2
Hal Downing
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Welcome to the wild word of color "management!"

Subject to what others might tell, I must deliver some sobering news: you're going to have to spend some money.

First, the Spyder2Pro calibrates your monitor, not your printer, and you need to do this first. It comes with software that automates the process and you just follow the directions. The end-result of all this is a "profile" that gets put in your display settings (you can always return to your original settings). The Spyder comes in several flavors and there are other good hardware/software combinations (GretagMacBeth's come to mind) out there but the truth is, you get what you pay for and you're really paying for the quality of the device.

Once your monitor is calibrated, you must calibrate your printer. Essentially, this involves printing a test sheet and using a spectrocolorimeter (I may not have these device names perfectly correct) to measure the color of what's been printed. There are good ones out there but they're pricey too - expect to spend about $250.00 U.S. for one that's dependable. The same people who make the Spyder2Pro make one of these as well. When you're finished with the spectrocolorimeter, the software gives you another "profile" to use with your printer. You also have to do a profile for each different kind of paper that you use with your printer because each paper has different properties.

Confused yet? Don't be, the point is that your monitor and your printer are unique and have to be brought back to square. You might be lucky and your devices are close to where they should be but they can also be way off and until you calibrate each and use the resulting profiles, you won't get the results you want.

If you only use a couple of different papers, think about having a service create your printer profile. One that has been recommended to me is www.cathysprofiles.com. For much less than the cost of a decent spectrocolorimeter, Cathy will use her super-duper machine and send you back a file; her service usually runs about $35.00 per profile.

Hope that helps - this is one area where there's really not a good, cheap fix if you want reliable results.
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