Low cost printer/ink/paper profiling?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
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ManfredM
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Low cost printer/ink/paper profiling?
9 months ago

Dear all,

I'm trying to use a Canon iX6500 series printer, with "Durafirm" branded ink, and Inkpress Glossy paper, to print some of my photos in a quality suitable for framing and hanging on my walls.

The problem is that the colors are way off the truth. Basically I get far too little green, and slightly too much blue. The lack of green is so much that moderately dark green turns out completely black. Skin looks a rather dark violet.

When I print out a test image downloaded from the web, I can see that the color range and saturation achieved is pretty good. So I think that with the proper ICM profile for this combination of printer, ink and paper, I should be able to get results good enough for my need. The question is: How can I make such a profile, using means that are freely available? For my very occasional hobby use, buying specialized software, buying a spectrometer, or hiring a professional profiling services is obviously out of the question. Also I'm located in Chile, where the mail service takes 3 months to deliver anything, so sending test prints to a profiling service overseas would make me grow old before getting any results.

I'm thinking something in this line: Take a specific test image, print it with everything set up as neutrally as possible (no printer profile, printer driver set to manual, high quality, neutral, and so on), then make a photo of this print using my camera, also with everything set to neutral and with manual white balance for the light shining on the test print, and then use some software to compare the original image to the printed and photographed image, and make the ICM profile from the difference.

It is this software what I need, or else some description of how to manually create an ICM file from color differences measured on those images.

I have already done this printing and photographing process, and the photo of the print looks on screen very close to how the print looks. I have also measured the printed colors, by using the color picker tool in image processing software to see the color values for R, G and B.

My monitor is supposed to be "factory color calibrated", and in fact it seems to do very well. Both my own photos and those downloaded from good web sites look very natural on it. Anyway the above method should not be dependent on monitor calibration, although of course a calibrated monitor is essential to make corrections to my photos.

I have tried to simply correct the prints by adjusting the gamma by color in the image editing software. This is clearly able to fix most of the problem, but it would take too many iterations of printing, measuring and retrying, to get really accurate results. Also when using that method of course the photos look incorrect on screen, which is unpleasant and distracting.

So, can anybody hint me about a suitable software, or a method to manually create a printer ICM file, from printed and photographed test images?

Manfred

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