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Thread: Couple of Epson 3800 Question

  1. #1
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    Couple of Epson 3800 Question

    Couple of quick questions for 3800 users if I could:

    1. Anyone find 'preview' (prior to printing) with the 3800 essentially useless? color or B&W (tinting) via color printing or ABW using manufacturers' RGB paper profiles - washed out and far too bright vs screen proof.

    When doing B&Ws using ABW and the custom grayscale icc paper profiles available from

    http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan...low.html#color

    Preview comes very close to the screen proof and print (with some variance due to paper tint vs my iMacs ability to replicate that tint) when I convert image to grayscale 2.2 as part of proofing.

    2. What workflows are people using for printing B&W tinted, via the color driver and via ABW when using the CANNED manufacturer (RGB) paper profiles?

    Mine (B&W example):

    - open into Adobe RGB
    - convert to 16 bit
    - set proof to paper profile (say Fine Art Pearl), usually Perceptual, mimic paper color
    - convert to B&W using ____ method
    - USM, sizing (360 dpi), etc, etc
    - print stage:

    adobe RGB source
    CS3 manages color
    select paper profile (FAP)
    Premium Semi-Gloss paper type
    ABW selected if NOT tinted, Color if tinted
    If Color - NO color management checked
    If ABW all ink density, etc settings left to default
    2880 ppi, high speed, etc unchecked

    Now I do need to get a Huey or spider etc., to profile my iMac LCD (older matte screen, not gloss), but just curious what folks use.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of Epson 3800 Question

    I like Epson's preview as it helps me catch mistakes with paper size selection and image positioning. Wouldn't trust it for judging color.

    I still haven't loaded ink in my 3800 so I can't help you with workflow (was hoping to learn from your experience ). It sounds like you have your workflow pretty much nailed down to get consistent results.

    When it comes to display profiling, there is definitely a need for that. LCD displays don't age well. The CCFL tubes darken and shift in color (unevenly towards the edges), and the color mask over the lcd panel fades, causing loss of saturation and blackpoint. LEDs can fade over time as well, Apple's first batch of LED MBPs had some problems with yellowing. So... YES get a display profiling device. I use an Eye-One (or an Eye-One display), but any of the top-selling display calibration devices will be sufficient (RGB display profiling is not very challenging technically). Also, there is a huge difference between laptop and desktop LCD's - almost all laptops to date use technology that does not profile well.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Couple of Epson 3800 Question

    Lars,

    Thanks. After some research, have a WTB out for an eye-one mod 2 to see if I can save some pesos.

    The process is going well. Trying various papers (see other thread). Focusing on PK papers at moment. Primarily B&W but did first color print today on Epson Prem Luster and it came out very nice.

    The only thing I find is that Preview, when not using an Epson profile in color or a custom ABW profile in B&W looks washed out and plane 'ick' vs the screen proof and prints. No biggie as soft proofing does a good job.

    One trick I did stumble across is when B&W and intending to print via ABW, convert the image to gray gamma 2.2 (or 1,8 if that suits). Gives a much more neutral soft proof.

    Apparently since the ABW driver converts any data coming into tones of grey/black, PERIOD, any VERY subtle difference in R=G=B within the supposed B&W image can cause a slight difference between the tonalty of your print (post ABW engine conversion) and on-screen proof (which does not reflect ABW engine conversion).

    Verified it by sampling an points with the "info" dropper in what was a B&W image via say gradient map before and after grey gamma conversion. The gamma conversion took all samples points to R=G=B exactly vs. miniscule differences pre conversion. Proof also looked more neutral on screen.

    Split-toning using ABW can only happen within ABW using their X vs Y co-ordinate tinting 'color-wheel'. Would prefer the ability to enter RGB values, but...


    Get those ink carts in there. It's a hell of a printer.

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    Re: Couple of Epson 3800 Question

    Found answer to CS3 Print "preview" issue - "preview" under CS3 isn't color managed. Under Aperture it does appear to be (from tests I've done so far).
    Last edited by robmac; 10th December 2008 at 07:23.

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    Re: Couple of Epson 3800 Question

    Rob,

    Congratulations on the 3800. It is a very fine printer that is just large enough to be worth the expense...larger ink cartridges etc. I thought about a larger printer when I upgraded from my 2200 but after 18 months am very pleased with this printer.

    I second the Eye-One display as a monitor profiler...very easy to use and the software prompts me at the beginning of the month to reprofile all the displays...powerbook and Mac Pro monitor.

    I would recommend the added expense of Colorbyte ImagePrint. It does a phenomenal job with BW and toning...the profiles are very well done and the newer version 7 is easy to install and upgrade. It handles the printer via ethernet very well. I also use Photokit sharpener actions as they are variably based on print size paper type and dpi settings so that they do not tend to be overly sharp. It is well described in Bruce Fraser's Image Sharpening with CS2.


    Pay particular attention to the platen gap setting on the printer...usually wider is better for the papers you are using. If the power is lost or the printer is turned off you will need to reset it. I initially had concerns as a lot of the prints were smeared near the borders until I got this setting correct.

    One advantage of the 3800 over the larger printers is the ability to handle small sizes...makes it much more acceptable to my wife when I can run a batch of family visit photos on the same printer.

    Bob

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    Re: Couple of Epson 3800 Question

    Bob,

    Thanks for the great input. Love the 3800. May take a look at the trial version of CB IP - though the expense may need to wait for awhile. Very good point on the platen gap - always double-check it's set to at least 'wide' before printing. The only feed issue I've had so far has been with Hahnemuhle FA Baryta (head strikes) due to the curl and surface texture (using wide vs wider).

    Just now need to settle on some papers for ordering larger sizes. FB AL Gloss is spectacular for B&W. Color as yet undetermined - Premium Luster is nice as is Hahnemuhle FA Pearl. Want to try some Epson Exh Fiber and VFA and USFA but need to locate some small sample packs.

    Agonized over the 2880 vs 3800 and very, very happy I picked the latter.

  7. #7
    edwinb
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    Re: Couple of Epson 3800 Question

    I would recommend the eye-one rather than the eye-one display *** it has the ability to measure/profile the prints as well as the screen and with the light sensing head can callibrate light booths as well should you wish to extend your color management at a later date also they seem rugged and last very well.
    edwin

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