Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?

Started Nov 12, 2012 | Discussions
kreidberg
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Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
Nov 12, 2012

I am trying to get the best quality prints possible printing from a Macbook Pro to an Epson 3800.  I have been using Photposhop CS5, sometimes the NIK plug-ins, and Adobe Camera raw.  I have read a lot about Qimage and that there is no equivalent for Macs.  I know I can use Parallels and windows on my Mac if I want to use Qimage but I would like to know what other possibilities are out there before I go this route.

I am curious if most professional photographers or others producing very high quality images are using Macs and printing directly from Photosphop, using some other applications, or using Windows.  Has anyone found that CS6 or other versions of photoshop work better than CS5?

thanks very much

Jordan

rpenmanparker
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 12, 2012

I hops you can ontain some value from comments made by a Windows user. I print from Paint Shop Pro X4 and find it has all the functionality I need for excellents prints as well as layouts and other more complex stuff. I do own QImage Ultimate but never use it. I find it crude, clumsy and amateurish from a software point of view. So many folks swear by it fervently that it is hard to dicount its  value. Compared to printing from my editing software, however, it offers me nothing. I have never printed from PS, Lightroom or Elements so I can't compare to them.  PSP works great for me.

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Hugowolf
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 12, 2012

The only real alternative would be a RIP, such as ColorBurst or ImagePrint. QImage isn't a RIP, it still uses the printer's native driver, but it has some of a RIP's functionality.

I don't think CS6 will offer you any print quality differences over CS5. I think Lightroom offers better printing than Photoshop.

What print quality problems are you having with Photoshop? The only real problems I have with Photoshop for printing are the need to manually up rez to the printers native screening resolution, and the fact that it is set up for single image printing.

Brian A

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kreidberg
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to Hugowolf, Nov 12, 2012

Hugowolf wrote:

The only real alternative would be a RIP, such as ColorBurst or ImagePrint. QImage isn't a RIP, it still uses the printer's native driver, but it has some of a RIP's functionality.

I don't think CS6 will offer you any print quality differences over CS5. I think Lightroom offers better printing than Photoshop.

What print quality problems are you having with Photoshop? The only real problems I have with Photoshop for printing are the need to manually up rez to the printers native screening resolution, and the fact that it is set up for single image printing.

Brian A

I am doing all the color management steps I have read about, calibrating my monitor  with a Spyder2, and using profiles from the paper company specific for my printer, but I feel the colors are more brilliant on my monitor.

Jordan

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Howard Moftich
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 12, 2012

reality is that the print is NEVER going to 100% match the screen.  One is reflective and the other is transmissive.  That said, you can get really quite close.

You also need to get a grip on how bright the monitor is.  Many folks use a value of 120 cd/m2 but you'll probably find a better match in the 90-110 zone unless the place you view your prints is pretty bright.  Other problems may be the inkset and paper you're using and the overall gamut available to you w/ that combination.

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Hugowolf
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 12, 2012

Like Howard says, you will never the brilliance of the transmissive colors on a monitor with the reflective colors on paper.

What papers are you using?

Brian A

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kreidberg
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to Hugowolf, Nov 12, 2012

Hugowolf wrote:

Like Howard says, you will never the brilliance of the transmissive colors on a monitor with the reflective colors on paper.

What papers are you using?

Brian A

I mostly use PHoto Rag Pearl from Hahenmule.  Sometime Silver Rag from Museo.

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Voyager7777
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 12, 2012

Check out mirage from dinax

http://mirage.dinax.de

It pretty much does what qimage does and comes in windows and mac versions, but it only works with large epson printers. (including your 3800)

Then again, if you're only doing one print at a time, you should be able to get just as good a result printing from photoshop.

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Howard Moftich
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 12, 2012

IMO, you're going about it the wrong way.  Some new piece of software added to the workflow isn't going to magically make your prints 'match' better (or whatever metric you're using).  If you have time to kill, setup a virtual machine (if you have a Windows license) and try out QImage.

Remember the old computer biz saying:  garbage in -> garbage out

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Robgo2
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 13, 2012

If you really want the best printing software, then ImagePrint is the one. It uses a superior proprietary printer driver and comes with outstanding profiles for just about any paper that you can think of, and that includes both color and grayscale profiles. Also, you can soft proof grayscale images, which is not possible with Epson's ABW driver.  The only drawback is the price, which may or may not be an issue for you.  In my view, using IP on a Mac makes much more sense than running a virtual Windows program and having to buy the Windows OS on top of that, just to be able to use Qimage (which still locks you into the Epson driver).  When you think about it, $895 for the "best" print quality may not be such a bad deal.

Rob

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ronzie
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to rpenmanparker, Nov 13, 2012

Another win user comment:

I started with QImage Pro because PSPPX3 while giving a soft proof would not color manage the printer. In other words you had to set the printer profile in PSPPX3 and insure the same profile was set in the printer driver. In QImage Pro or better you set the monitor and printer profiles, set the printer color management to none (just like PS and PSE) and it drives the printer for CM and also gives a verifying soft proof. In addition the print sharpening option works very well without introducing noise or artifacts even on images already sharpened in your image editor.

Although it is not a current product and only supported by a knowledgeable user community it is still available.

I just upgraded to QImage Ultimate for its RAW processor because of its new sharpening algorithm and am getting used to it. I crop, size, adjust color and toning, and sharpen, output to tif, finish pp in PSE10, and take it back to Q for printing.

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Ron Ginsberg
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Land of 10,000 Puddles

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ken henke
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ImageNest
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 13, 2012

Considering you want to print out of a Mac, I would suggest you try a demo of ImageNest. Although not as robust as Qimage, it has some technology to improve upon the Epson drivers. Be aware it still does use the Epson driver so it is not a true RIP program. I certainly found it printed better than from Aperture, clearly. Since I already have Parallels, I use Qimage. Since I have used it for over 10 years, I am used to it's interface. For the buck,it IS the most amazing software ever written in my humble opinion.

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rpenmanparker
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to ronzie, Nov 13, 2012

PSP X4 manages my Canon 9000 Mk II. Quite well. The soft proofing is outstanding providing you choose the right rendering intents. I get nearly identical prints to my proof view excepting the fact that I am running my monitor too bright.

Robert

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Robgo2
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Re: ImageNest
In reply to ken henke, Nov 13, 2012

ken henke wrote:

Considering you want to print out of a Mac, I would suggest you try a demo of ImageNest. Although not as robust as Qimage, it has some technology to improve upon the Epson drivers. Be aware it still does use the Epson driver so it is not a true RIP program. I certainly found it printed better than from Aperture, clearly. Since I already have Parallels, I use Qimage. Since I have used it for over 10 years, I am used to it's interface. For the buck,it IS the most amazing software ever written in my humble opinion.

I tried a Beta version of ImageNest.  It was full of bugs, but it was easy to use, and the output was very good, although not in the same league as ImagePrint.  Hopefully the final version is bug-free.  My guess is that its print quality is on a level with Qimage, since both use the Epson driver.  If that is what you are looking for, download a trial version and compare it to your previous prints from Qimage.

Rob

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kreidberg
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Re: ImageNest
In reply to Robgo2, Nov 13, 2012

Robgo2 wrote:

ken henke wrote:

Considering you want to print out of a Mac, I would suggest you try a demo of ImageNest. Although not as robust as Qimage, it has some technology to improve upon the Epson drivers. Be aware it still does use the Epson driver so it is not a true RIP program. I certainly found it printed better than from Aperture, clearly. Since I already have Parallels, I use Qimage. Since I have used it for over 10 years, I am used to it's interface. For the buck,it IS the most amazing software ever written in my humble opinion.

I tried a Beta version of ImageNest. It was full of bugs, but it was easy to use, and the output was very good, although not in the same league as ImagePrint. Hopefully the final version is bug-free. My guess is that its print quality is on a level with Qimage, since both use the Epson driver. If that is what you are looking for, download a trial version and compare it to your previous prints from Qimage.

Rob

there seems to be a mix of opinions on this query.  Some think a RIP will not provide a better print than photoshop, some suggest ImagePrint or ImageNest and there is a suggestion that Lightroom produces a better print than photoshop.  With regard to RIPs, the issue for me is not speed or multiple prints, just getting the best print possible.

One additional question- does anyone think Perfect Resize produces a better large print than resizing within photoshop?

thanks very much

Jordan

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Robgo2
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Re: ImageNest
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 13, 2012

kreidberg wrote:

Robgo2 wrote:

ken henke wrote:

Considering you want to print out of a Mac, I would suggest you try a demo of ImageNest. Although not as robust as Qimage, it has some technology to improve upon the Epson drivers. Be aware it still does use the Epson driver so it is not a true RIP program. I certainly found it printed better than from Aperture, clearly. Since I already have Parallels, I use Qimage. Since I have used it for over 10 years, I am used to it's interface. For the buck,it IS the most amazing software ever written in my humble opinion.

I tried a Beta version of ImageNest. It was full of bugs, but it was easy to use, and the output was very good, although not in the same league as ImagePrint. Hopefully the final version is bug-free. My guess is that its print quality is on a level with Qimage, since both use the Epson driver. If that is what you are looking for, download a trial version and compare it to your previous prints from Qimage.

Rob

there seems to be a mix of opinions on this query. Some think a RIP will not provide a better print than photoshop, some suggest ImagePrint or ImageNest and there is a suggestion that Lightroom produces a better print than photoshop. With regard to RIPs, the issue for me is not speed or multiple prints, just getting the best print possible.

One additional question- does anyone think Perfect Resize produces a better large print than resizing within photoshop?

thanks very much

Jordan

I have printed extensively from Photoshop both in color and ABW, but my experience with ImagePrint leaves no doubt in my mind that it is superior.  Now whether IP's superiority is worth its price is up to the individual user.

Rob

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Vernon D Rainwater
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to Robgo2, Nov 14, 2012

Robgo2 wrote:

If you really want the best printing software, then ImagePrint is the one. It uses a superior proprietary printer driver and comes with outstanding profiles for just about any paper that you can think of, and that includes both color and grayscale profiles. Also, you can soft proof grayscale images, which is not possible with Epson's ABW driver. The only drawback is the price, which may or may not be an issue for you. In my view, using IP on a Mac makes much more sense than running a virtual Windows program and having to buy the Windows OS on top of that, just to be able to use Qimage (which still locks you into the Epson driver). When you think about it, $895 for the "best" print quality may not be such a bad deal.

Rob

Rob, in my opinion; $895. is completely rediculous and could be compared to "Inverse Robbery"

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Vernon...

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Robgo2
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to Vernon D Rainwater, Nov 14, 2012

Vernon D Rainwater wrote:

Robgo2 wrote:

If you really want the best printing software, then ImagePrint is the one. It uses a superior proprietary printer driver and comes with outstanding profiles for just about any paper that you can think of, and that includes both color and grayscale profiles. Also, you can soft proof grayscale images, which is not possible with Epson's ABW driver. The only drawback is the price, which may or may not be an issue for you. In my view, using IP on a Mac makes much more sense than running a virtual Windows program and having to buy the Windows OS on top of that, just to be able to use Qimage (which still locks you into the Epson driver). When you think about it, $895 for the "best" print quality may not be such a bad deal.

Rob

Rob, in my opinion; $895. is completely rediculous and could be compared to "Inverse Robbery"

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Vernon...

Just to refresh your memory, the OP asked for the best printing software, and he did not specify a price range. Getting the best print quality requires custom profiles, not the canned ones provided by the paper manufacturers. If you factor in the cost of high quality, professionally made profiles, the price of ImagePrint is less exorbitant than it seems at first glance, unless you plan to use only one or two papers forever. Also if you make your own profiles, the requisite equipment is not cheap. (ColorMunki costs over $400.) So I stand by my opinion that ImagePrint is the best software for Epson printers. I, too, wish that it were less expensive, so that more people could use it. I also wish that the price did not rise along with the size of the printer, but there may be technical reasons beyond my understanding that justify that pricing scheme.

Rob

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Sal Baker
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to kreidberg, Nov 14, 2012

I still don't understand what is lacking in your PS prints.  Color matching the screen to print is really not a PS issue.  I use PS CS6 with an Epson 3880 and don't find anything lacking in the final prints.  For color my screen to print match is near perfect, and I've learned what adjustments I need to make to a file before sending it to ABW.  I only make single prints per sheet, usually 17x22 and I have stellar results.

My prints show me everything I expect to see so I don't understand what the issue is with print quality using PS?

BTW, I use Nik plug-ins too and love them.  They really open up the digital flexibility of photography.

Sal

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Vernon D Rainwater
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Re: Best software for printing from a MAC, alternative to Qimage?
In reply to Robgo2, Nov 14, 2012

Robgo2 wrote:

Vernon D Rainwater wrote:

Robgo2 wrote:

If you really want the best printing software, then ImagePrint is the one. It uses a superior proprietary printer driver and comes with outstanding profiles for just about any paper that you can think of, and that includes both color and grayscale profiles. Also, you can soft proof grayscale images, which is not possible with Epson's ABW driver. The only drawback is the price, which may or may not be an issue for you. In my view, using IP on a Mac makes much more sense than running a virtual Windows program and having to buy the Windows OS on top of that, just to be able to use Qimage (which still locks you into the Epson driver). When you think about it, $895 for the "best" print quality may not be such a bad deal.

Rob

Rob, in my opinion; $895. is completely rediculous and could be compared to "Inverse Robbery"

-- hide signature --

Vernon...

Just to refresh your memory, the OP asked for the best printing software, and he did not specify a price range. Getting the best print quality requires custom profiles, not the canned ones provided by the paper manufacturers. If you factor in the cost of high quality, professionally made profiles, the price of ImagePrint is less exorbitant than it seems at first glance, unless you plan to use only one or two papers forever. Also if you make your own profiles, the requisite equipment is not cheap. (ColorMunki costs over $400.) So I stand by my opinion that ImagePrint is the best software for Epson printers. I, too, wish that it were less expensive, so that more people could use it. I also wish that the price did not rise along with the size of the printer, but there may be technical reasons beyond my understanding that justify that pricing scheme.

Rob

Rob, my memory needs refreshing but NOT for the reason you indicated.  I read (but failed to refrain from posting) since the inquiry was for software "specifically" for the Mac.  I am a PC user and never used a Mac and even though I am aware of Qimage being used with a Mac, I also have not done this so I should not have responded since hopefully others that use or has used Qimage on a Mac would respond and have details if needed or requested.

I have been using Qimage for over 10 years (on our PC's) for all my Photo Printing.

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Vernon...

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