Prints 1/2 to 1 stop dark?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kentamcolin, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. kentamcolin macrumors newbie

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    Jun 25, 2009
    #1
    My prints are consistently 1/2 to a full stop darker than what I see on screen. Is this likely a monitor calibration issue or printer issue?
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #2
    Most likely it's a monitor calibration issue. For print work, it's best to calibrate your display with a lower luminance than what you get out of the box. 100cd/m2 works well for me. You will need a hardware calibration package to do it properly (and a good photo editing display, of course).
     
  3. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #3
    I've heard the number 80cd/m^2 quoted by pro photographers, although when I've tried calibrating to that luminance it makes the display too dark for other uses - I personally am using 120, and just (in those rare cases I print) adjust the image so on the display it looks a bit brighter than I really want.

    Most LCDs nowadays seem to get sold simply based on brightness - everyone seems to think the brighter, the better no matter what.
     
  4. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #4
    Who does the printing? You, or a printing house?

    Reasons can be, as said, that you haven't calibrated your display.

    Another reason is color space. If the printer wants sRGB and you send him the file in Adobe RGB, the colors would look different.
     
  5. kentamcolin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 25, 2009
    #5
    I'm still learning about monitor calibration. I have an "eye-one display 2" monitor calibration tool, and I do my own printing on an Epson pro 3880. As a long time film shooter recently changing to digital, I honestly don't know some of the terminology. 80cd vs. 100cd? sRGB vs. Adobe RGB? I have a Mac Pro and 23" Mac display, using Aperture 3 to edit photos. In system preferences my monitor brightness only has a slider with no numbers. Is there another way to set the brightness, or is this automatically calibrated in the calibration process? How do I know if I'm sending sRGB or Adobe RGB to the printer and what does the Epson want?

    I think I need to find a local community college class.
     
  6. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #6
    The software that came with your Eye-One Display 2 should give you the option to choose a target luminance value when you do your calibration. I have that same device, but I'm no longer using the free software that came with it (I'm using the ColorEyes Display Pro software instead). So I don't recall where in the Eye-One software you set the luminance, but you should be able to find it.

    As for sRGB vs Adobe RGB: most printers prefer Adobe RGB, since it has a larger gamut and is better suited for print. sRGB is mostly for screen viewing. Your editing software will have Color Settings in which you can see which color profile your image currently has. If you are shooting JPEG images, then you'll have to choose in the camera which color space you want to use. If you are shooting raw, then you make that decision in the conversion process. I recommend using Adobe RGB for printing and sRGB for web display.
     
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #7
    A local class or workshop would certainly be of great benefit.

    80cd/m^2 refers to the brightness of the screen. In the software for the i1 display2 you should be able to tell the software what brightness you want it to be set at. Then, one of the steps in the calibration process it displays a white square on the screen and the colorimeter measures it and tells you the brightness. You adjust the brightness up and down until it is reading the value you want.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    Are you also using printer profiles? What are you printing from?
     
  9. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

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    #9
    Calibration certainly might be the problem, but....... I had a problem with inconsistent colors and exposure. It turned out that I needed to change color management settings and printer profiles in print shop and choose a different media type in the print dialogue box. It's now perfect without having to calibrate.
     
  10. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    Nov 30, 2003
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    #10
    Spending time sorting through these various options also solved my printing problems.

    Letting the software (Lightroom in my case, though that shouldn't matter) handle color output, and selecting the right profile for ink + printer + paper has made a world of difference. This is the advice you read every time the topic of printing comes up, but it's too easy to ignore until you've seen the results yourself.

    Having experimented with all the settings on my (not very fancy) Canon printer, I finally got output I was happy with (using good quality Ilford paper, and selecting their recommended Canon-supplied profile). Things were a bit too dark, and a bit too warm, but I figured that was about as good as could be expected.

    A couple of days ago I finally decided to try the Canon paper that actually matched the profile I was using. What a difference. All of a sudden everything looks pretty much bang on. It's really satisfying to see these things come together, so it's well worth the time experimenting with the options.
     
  11. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #11
    Display 2 can measure screen luminance. use expert mode and set a target luminance, and then you'll mess with your brightness to match that. the typical recommendation is 100-120 candelas.
     
  12. kentamcolin thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 25, 2009
    #12
    Wow, lots of great advice. I've got some work to do now, thanks everyone!
     

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