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Setting up a printer & monitor so that the printout looks like the image on screen

Hi I have a Epson Photostylus 1200 printer, the OS is Windows 98, I have photoshop 5.5, the monitor is an ADI Microscan 6p, and a voodoo banshee video card (does this matter) ??When I go through the set up for Adobe Gamma and it asks for the Phospors, I have no idea what they are,  and the booklet that comes with the monitor can't tell me either. Has anyone had success calibrating this monitor to the this printer or vicee-versa?  and does anybody know what the "phospors" should be? In the help file for photoshop "One of the methods Photoshop can use to manage color is based on the use of ICC profiles" What is an ICC profile? does it matter? The normal routine that I use when printing is...360 dpi (most of my images are digitized onto photocd from 4x5 negatives the res.  is 2048 by 3072, currently trying to make 8x10 prints, but I'd like to go larger once it's figured out, I use an unsharp mask, print/"high" quality , "space" sRGB - (there are many options under "space" I don't know if I'm using the right one) under set up/"properties" I choose and use Epson photo paper and customize settings again sRGB. there are many options in this menu I don't know what do with screens, transfer, background, ...what should I do with these? My prints are entirely blocked up in the shadows. I use doutone as my "image mode" in images that are black and white and they end up looking like very heavy split toned prints, also the images aren't sharp, The negs and traditional prints made from them are fine. What can I do? Thanks for your help.
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pwinans
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pwinans
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weedCommented:
Hokey smokes...entire books have been written about color matching. Exactly what youre after. I might recommend that instead of getting a rather short answer from some of us that you find either a photoshop or "prepress for beginners" book that describes all the ins and outs of color matching. Photoshops and Apples web page have info on colormatching as well.
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I have a photoshop book I'll look into a prepress book and true there's lot's of info in the help pages, it's just that I don't know how to take the steps to get where I need to go. In the case of callibrating the monitor I can't find a record of how many "phosphores" I have (whatever they are) - so, in that arena I can't get by step one. every other "help" has a similiar hurtle. I taught  photography for over 10 years. Imagine what would happen if I walked into a class and said "Develop your film using this list of steps".  The students have no idea what the chem does, where it is, or how to use it or why they have to load their film in the dark.- When they look at a sign that says "develop 1:1"  they don't know to mix h2o with the developer. know what I mean? I do want the short answer. Maybe it would help me to formulate better questions. I sincerely appreciate your help and thank you for your patience. I look forward to hearing from you.
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weedCommented:
Well as far as phosphors thats something that your monitor vendor will have to tell you. They may even be able to give you exact custom settings for it. However in the mean time you can probably choose one of the built in models. If youre using a trinitron monitor obviously you want to use the trinitron setting. Ive never heard of ADI so i dont know whether theyre trinitron or not.

Ah yes BTW i forgot to address the ICC profile bit. The ICC profile is a method of keeping track of which peripherals produce which range of colors and provides for accurate translation between them. You usually create a profile for each of your devices. ColorSync Profiles are even better but i dont think theyre available for PC yet (could be wrong).

Again I do recommend a book for this stuff. Ive got pages and pages of useful info here in my Photoshop Bible which is a great book to have anyway. Its just that its WAY too much to paste into a message such as this.
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kencamCommented:
First of all, lets not worry a lot about what you cannot control.  If you don't know the phosphors there is little you can do.  

Just accept the defaults that Adobe Gamma presents to you and the sRGB color space should be just fine.  

Use the wizard in Adobe Gamma, and use the gamma correction where you get a red, blue, and green choice.  

Save the resulting ICC profile as pwinans.icm and it will be saved in the c:\windows\system\color directory and loaded each time you start windows.  This will cause your monitor to color match what will print out on your printer.  

Let me know if this helps..
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kencamCommented:
You can start an Adobe Gamma session by opening Control Panel and choosing Adobe Gamma.

kencam
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weedCommented:
Yikes...whatever you do dont use sRGB. It was adobes proprietary color space and it sucked. Even adobe has abandoned it as the default color space in 5.5 because it infuriated so many artists.
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kencamCommented:
This is not an appropriate forum to debate the qualities of color space preferences.  Adobe certainly has not abandoned sRGB as it is the default color space when you run Adobe Gamma under PS 5.5.  I really don't want to argue about color spaces.  If pwinans wishes to choose another color space, he can do so.

kencam
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weedCommented:
Well, sRGB has been abandoned as the default. It had a severely reduced gamut to the point where it represented fewer colors than a typical CMYK printer. It was a really horrible color space. The space you will want to use is either ColorMatch RGB or Adobe Gamma (1998). Those spaces are recommended by Apple, the Photoshop Bible, and now Adobe. They left sRGB as an option so that people who had used it with version 5 could continue to use it without messing up their color profiles.
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Sorry I've taken so long to reply. I guess I was hoping someone out there was using the same system I was, and I that they could share their solutions. I'll look into a prepress book I guess - I was just hoping to save a lot of time. I've followed all the manufacturer's guidlines, and still no luck. The defalt settings for the gamma don't help me. Making a custom color space is beyond me at the moment - my monitor and my printer aren't communicating well. I'm hoping to get over that hump first.  At any rate, I haven't the slightest idea how to make one work. So far, no luck in making a decent print, and now I have the added pleasure of terrible banding. Thanks again, Mary
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weedCommented:
If youre going to be doing alot of color reproducing and its vital to your work you might want to consider investing in a monitor that has colormatching capabilities. Radius monitors usually come with software/hardware that will allow you to make a profile. Or you could invest in a mac with colorsync (windows is notorious in the prepress world for having poor color matching capabilities). Neither are recommendations unless reproducing colors accurately is absolutely essential.

You might want to wander down to your local kinkos or service bureau and see if they have any ideas. They might be able to show you on-screen how they set up their systems. Might give you some ideas.
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kencamCommented:
I know Weed won't like this because he obviously is more concerned with whether you are using sRGB or some other color space.  This is advice I got from the newsgroup I subscribe to, the homepage of which is at http://lists.lyris.net/photoshop/ and it helped me considerably.  It is long, so cut and paste it into your favorite word processor and print it out.  

The first thing to do is to calibrate/profile your monitor.

Calibration/profiling should be done under your normal lighting conditions.
Those should be: no exterior light (use black out shades if necessary),
interior light should be as close to daylight as possible (Fluorescent Grow
light or daylight bulbs - My TrueValue Hardware store has them)

This can be done from Photoshop 5.5.

1. Help menu, choose Color Management. This will open the Adobe Color
Management Wizard. Click the "Open Adobe Gamma" button.

2. In the "Description field", load the .icm profile that describes your
monitor. If there is no profile for your monitor (probably not) then load
"Adobe Monitor Settings.icm or something else very generic. This will
serve as a neutral starting point.

3. Adjust your monitors "contrast control" to 100% then adjust the
"brightness control" until you can just see a difference between the black
squares and the not so black squares in the top line.

4. Leave the "Phosphor" setting alone unless your monitor documentation
tells you what the setting are.

5. Click OFF "View Single Gamma only". Adjust the RGB sliders as you
squint at the image. If you wear glasses - it helps to take them off for
this. Adjust the sliders until the small interior square appears to merge
into the larger square.

6. White Point - click on the "measure button".
Click on the most neutral looking gray patch. If you pick a patch on the
left or right, that becomes the center patch for the next set of three.
Keep picking patches until the center patch looks the most neutral i.e. no
tint of blue, green or red. When the center patch is best, click on that
patch and move on to the next step.

7. Okay the Adobe Gamma dialog box

8. Re-name the profile. I call mine "kencam.icm". Save as type:
ICC profile.

9. Click on the "next" button in the Adobe Color Management Wizard.

10. From what you wrote, your best choice is the First option: Use Default
Photoshop 5 setting.

You are using low cost/quality printers and scanners. You have just
picked the settings for your situation.

Click on the "Finish" button and then read the information in the dialog box.

Your monitor is now calibrated and profiled. That process should be
repeated monthly or whenever your lighting environment changes.

Now to try to get the monitor to simulate the printer.
1. Check the Color Management settings by clicking on the "File"
menu/Color Settings/RGB Setup.

That setup should indicate your RGB space is sRGB. Do not change the
Gamma, White Point or Primaries settings.

It will also list the "Monitor" profile in use "Adobe Monitor Profile
(creation date)

There should be a check in the "Display Using Monitor Compensation". This
is the little gem that will tweak your monitor to look like your Epson
printer.

2. Check the "CMYK setup" (File/Color Management/CMYK Setup)

In the "Profile" area see if there is an Epson profile. If so choose that
one. If not choose the first profile.
"Engine" built in
"Intent" Perceptual (Images)
Check "Black Point Compensation"

3. In the "Profile Setup" Embed profiles should be checked on
"Ask when opening" are the safest settings for the rest

4. Open Flowers.psd from the Samples folder supplied with PS5.5.
There should be no profile mismatch and it should just open.

5. Print a this file to your Epson without making any adjustments i.e. as
a RGB file. Use you normal printing settings. Printer Color Management
should be checked on.

6. When the print is done, put Photoshop in the CMYK preview (Ctrl Y)
Compare the monitor image to the printer image. Are they close?
If not - select the next printer profile in CMYK Setup and compare that.
You don't have to close out. You should see some shift in the monitor
image after you make the CMYK setup change. Keep selecting different
profiles until you find a profile that best represents what you are getting
from your printer.

That's as close as we can go without spending any money. You should see a
improvement between monitor and printer output though it will not be exact.
The monitor is an additive color source using RGB light and the printer is
a subtractive device using CMYK pigments. The print will never match the
monitor for vividness of color though you should now be closer.



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weedCommented:
That sounds like a good start. However considering that the color space you choose makes a BIG difference in your output i still say dont use sRGB. For further reference have a read of http://macweek.zdnet.com/1225/nw_photoshop.html
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kencamCommented:
Well, if you wish, you can choose another color space when you begin the Adobe Gamma Session.  

Pwinans, will you tell us if you intend to try this fix or have you given up?  

It is worth the effort, and you are allowing the fact that you don't know anything about your monitor get in the way of setting up a controlled color space.  It won't matter enough to notice.

kencam
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Thanks weed and kencam for your replies and suggestions - and your patience. I seem to be the only person I know in my field (photography) using a PC and I do buy that a Mac would be far less of a headache, but I have a PC and I'm stuck, at least for the moment - so, I followed kencam's suqqestions for Adobe Gamma. The only change between the method I used and the one that the newsgroup recommended was that I checked off the "view single gamma only" button and Checked R,G,and B seperately.  thanks for the tip. Essentially it seemed to make the monitor brighter and since the prints are darker than the monitor (even accounting for monitor using an additive color source - RGB light/and the printer is using subtractive CMYK pigments.) I don't know if changed anything for the better, because when I moved on to " try to get the monitor to simulate the printer" I was stumped early on when I went to - "CMYK setup" (File/Color Management/CMYK Setup) and there was no profile area, and no profile setup. I'm afraid to mention that, because it seems like I've missed something that's quite obvious, but there it is. Stupid question or not,  I can't go farther.  Thanks again for your continued support, and please except my appologies for my delayed responses. P.S. about this comment "You are using low cost/quality printers and scanners."Are Kodak Pro CD's considered low cost/quality scans?! and the printer - I know it's not an Iris, but I've seen gorgeous results that friends have gotten with the same printer.
                   
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weedCommented:
As far as "low cost" your printer is a marvelous proofing printer. Certainly not the best but most of us cant spend $8000 on "the best". For that price range youre in youve got the best printer for the money. From my experience Kodak Pro CD's are pretty good. They sometimes need a little color adjustment here and there but generally good. Every scan is going to need a little adjustment anyway. You can automate it by making a profile for your scanner but lets not go there yet..heh
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kencamCommented:
You cannot use CMYK with an inkjet printer.  Even though the printer uses CMYK inks, it interprets RGB output from your computer.  If you set up an image to print CMYK, your printer will first convert it back to RGB and then reconvert it to CMYK.  

Just work within RGB space for computer to Ink Jet printing.

I need to know where you got lost in my instructions.  Also, if this is not working for you, there must be some vital information that we are not picking up on here.

Are you using glossy paper to print to?  You will not be able to get acceptable results with anything less than photo quality paper on an inkjet.  The ink disperses into the paper on untreated paper, and mixes all together.  You get an overall dark result that looks like (crap)!..

Waiting to hear more.  This problem is solveable...Have you visited the Epson.com website and downloaded and installed the latest drivers for your printer?

Kencam
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weedCommented:
Oh yes speaking of epson drivers...Ive found a few tricks with epson printers. Sometimes you can use the drivers from printers higher up on the food chain that give you more options as far as color enhancement etc. This trick certainly works with the lower end printers. You could give it a shot with yours.
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Thanks again to both of you for your generosity. You've been a great help. kencam, I went through your instructions again today, and managed not to get lost the second time around. The print quality is much improved; it's quite magenta though. Should I compensate by making the screen less green in the Adobe gamma set up? or under print/setup/properties/advanced/color adjustment - add green there? weed, is this what you were talking about when you warned me about sRGB color space? - And as far as the brightness goes, prints are still a good deal darker than screen - still accounting for monitor using an additive color source - RGB light/and the printer using subtractive CMYK pigments.  I haven't gone to Epson.com to download the latest drivers yet, but I will. great suggestion - On the down side, now that things have significantly improved, I've been made aware of a sporadic vertical lines that resemble perforation marks. I guess that's one for Epson. Again, thanks so much for all your help. I can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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weedCommented:
Prints will generally always be darker than the screen because the screen is projected light where the page is reflected light. Not to mention that the number of colors that your monitor can represent is a great deal larger than the number of colors that your printer can represent. This is one of the reasons that I and many others stay away from sRGB. It severely limits the colors on screen and they are then reduced even further when you go to print. It certainly doesnt help in the persuit of vibrant printed pigment.
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kencamCommented:
pwinans,

I fear that Weed is not well informed about sRGB or the other color spaces.  The darkness you are seeing is unrelated to the color space you are using.  Believe me, black is in every color space......

Quoting from Barry Haynes book, "Photoshop Artistry", "...THis color space is good for people who are primarily working on Web images and want to see what they are going to look like on a typical PC monitor...."  It is a limited gamut color space, and I recommend it to those who are just beginning to learn about color space and are just trying to get things working right for them in Photo Shop.  So much of what is out there is sRGB primarily because it is Adobes default, and most do not bother to change.  Personally, I use ColorMatch RGB, and am happy with it, but I have to convert those items I want to use on the Web to sRGB, and that can be a confusing pain when you are just starting out in Photoshop.  Do what you feel most comfortable with, but as a default, sRGB is a great choice until your learning curve gives you enough knowledge and experience to KNOW why you are choosing the color space you want.  Sorry Weed.....

Now, to your prints.  How dark are we speaking of?  Are you using regular printer paper or coated or glossy stock?  If you are using regular bond paper, you will get dark generally unsatisfactory prints.  You must AT THE VERY LEAST use coated paper.  I recommend a glossy paper for any serious printing you wish to do.  I cannot stress enough how important the paper is.  Bond paper will disperse the ink by absorbing it.  Just place a drop of water on a kleenex and see what happens.  Then drop that same drop of water on a hard smooth surface, and you will get an idea of what happens to an inkjet ink drop when it hits uncoated paper.  Think of that kleenex if you dropped a yellow drop one place and right next to it a red drop.  Would you have well defined yellow and red?  Only on the opposite ends of the drops.  In the middle you would have orange.  If there was no orange in your picture, it would show up with uncoated paper.  

If you are really interested in learning about sRGB color space and its positives and negatives, read the definitive work at:
http://www.w3.org/Graphics/Color/sRGB.html

I wish I could see your monitor and your prints to see what you mean by a great deal darker.  

Regarding the magenta, I would recommend tweaking the color correction in the printer if that is available, rather than doing so in the monitor gamma.  Just an opinion.  Someone may have a better idea about this than I.  Be sure to clean your printer nozzles, make sure you check to see that they are aligned properly, the printer should have built in tests for this.  If you have adjusted the monitor properly, any color cast is likely being introduced by the printer.

kencam
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weedCommented:
I cant especially say im "not well informed about sRGB" considering i spend a great deal of my time in prepress (preparing images for offset presses). You even said it yerself. "It is a limited gamut color space" meaning youre not getting the full range of colors that you could achieve. Why would you willingly limit yourself to a color space that cant display all the colors? Maybe if you were working for web and gearing it toward PC monitors which are traditionally darker than Mac monitors, sure but when you could so easily have MORE colors, why not? The people who generally use sRGB are people who dont know any better, which is why im letting pwinans know now so she knows better for the future.
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Thanks again for your help. It's really made a big difference. When I say significantly darker, I'm just being picky. It's really only about 30% darker (or less) - and just a little too magenta, not so bad, but I would like a more varied palette.  - I have done a great deal of color printing (manual c-printing) and have output on other more expensive printers,- and taken a digital imaging class, and a great PhotoShop class, so I'm not totally a neophyte. I can understand how my questions may make it seem that way. - and obviously, I'm no expert.  Most people would be satisfied with the results I'm now getting, but I'm a photographer and I know that better results are possible. I'd really love to know how to get them - I'm using the right paper etc. - One thing I haven't noticed in all this talk about color space is what weed would recommend for one. kencam, I assume you advocated sRGB because I seemed so desperate - and in that you were exactly right. Your suggestions have made my prints passable. - and starting from the beginning was/is the right thing to do. Really , I can get away with the colors I'm now getting, I just want better - or the best I can get. You've been extremely helpful, you're a great teacher. Thanks very much -  your help is extremely valuable and I appreciate it a great deal. I look forward to hearing more. Mary
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weedCommented:
I think i mentioned using either Adobe RGB (1998) or ColorMatch RGB. The best results usually come out of ColorMatch.
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Sorry weed, I missed that - and thanks. I'll try those both out. -  When I go to print, (print/set-up/properties/custom) my only option seems to be sRGB - according to what I've read about the other options. Is this relevant? or is changing the color space enough? What is my best option for adjusting the color? Thank you for your help. I sincerely appreciate it.
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weedCommented:
In photoshop go to File/Color Settings...you should have 4 submenus. RGB Setup, CMYK Setup, Greyscale Setup and Profile setup.

RGB Setup: Select your profile-ColorMatch RGB, leave the rest at default. Dont display using monitor compensation.

CMYK Setup- CMYK Modem-ICC, Profile-Generic CMYK Profile, Engine-Apple ColorSync is the best but since thats usually not an option on a PC go with Built In. Use Perceptual Intent. No black point compensation.

Greyscale Setup- For Web use RGB but for print use Black Ink.

Profile Setup- Embed all profiles, Assumed Profiles: RGB-Your monitors profile...if you dont have one custom made use generic. Use generic CMYK and Greyscale. Profile mismatch handling is your call.

This should give you different options when you go to print.
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kencamCommented:
pwinans,

Perhaps you might want to choose an answer and accept it.  We all work for points you know?

Kencam
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Hi. Thanks for your help. Weed, please find the question "For Weed" & answer that to get your points.
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ArtGCommented:
pwinans'
I am not an expert but I have printed a lot of photos with Epson printers (900 and 1160). I use an Hitachi 811 superscan 21" monitor. I also went through the same crap you are dealing with, I thought I would go insane. Here's the first thing to do. When you print from Photoshop your first printer dialog box will give you the option to turn OFF printer color management in the bottom left corner, DO IT! When you use printer color management it changes everything you worked for in Photoshop. You can work on your image for hours or days and get everything just the way you want it and then when you are ready to print it the printer color management changes it. Then you can spend hours and page after page of printouts trying to retweak it back with the printer controls.
I have expensive software, Monaco Profiler, Lasersoft Silverfast etc that I have uninstalled, I do not use it. My color matching is virtually flawless everytime on both printers.
Epson's color matching is better at higher resolution 14440 is much better than 360. Always use Epson inks and paper (Buy.com has best prices).
Set your Adobe gamma at 1.8 to 2.0 then adjust your monitor to make the gray lines blend. When you adjust the Adobe color profile use default or generic options and adjust it by eye.
Make sure your scanner is set at 1.8 to 2.0 gamma. Scan at high res, very high (1200 dpi) if your enlarging for 8x10 printout or larger (2800 to 3200 for negs). If you don't have a 36 bit scanner capable of 1200 dpi or higher get one. I reccomend Epson.
I think you will be amazed at what your Epson printer can do with a good Photoshop image. With a little practice you can always make your printout better than the original photo.
Do not disregard what the real experts have offered here, I learned a lot just from reading this string.
Hope this helps,
Art
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pwinansAuthor Commented:
Thanks Art! I'll give your suggestions a try. Mary
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