New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions
jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Carolyn S, Feb 14, 2013

Carolyn S wrote:

I will run another calibration and use advanced. That should give me a better calibrated monitor? I also watched your video. Looks good!

I think the only way I will be able to do this and get a print that I think looks right will be with an adjustment layer. I did print a couple of black and whites yesterday and I am pleased with how they came out, though I did do some lightening to the image to get them to look the way I want the final image to look. So I see that adjustment layer as going to be necessary.

I will calibrate again and see what I get.

Carolyn

By doing an advanced method calibration using the setting of 80 which is the lowest possible, you are choosing the luminosity level and not rellying on the ambient light sensor.

Though it is possible reach the print you want using an adjustment layer, you have to also think about this.

I know you printer is working properly. You prooved that with you original test image you did a long time ago. Just like I spoke of and demonstrated in the first part of the printing section of my video.

Your personal images, you are sending to the printer though they obviously look correct on your monitor, are being interpreted by the printer ( Correctly ) as being darker, and therefore printer darker. So your monitor needs to be even lower in luminance so the image you see on it matches th image being printed on paper by your paper.

All of thius is assuming that you are indeed using the correct ICC paper for the paper which I know you are using Red River. And turning off color management in the Option Tab of your printer prefferences in the dirver. Just like on my video.

I'm going to email another test image. Print it with will color mangament out of PS using your RE ICC for the paper. Turn off color Management at the printer driver. DO NOT EDIT IT in any way.

You should have every step from Black to white on the step wedge. I am reffering of the Black to WIte Step wedge with indiviual steps. You should have the black step as black and the following one should be easily dissernible from the black one. The rest of the steps should follow all the way to white which should be as white as the paper bsae / border colors should look correct.

I hope this test produces a great print from this file.

Joe

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sporry
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Apr 29, 2013

Hi guys,

I been reading this thread just now as I have the same issue. Always had with tis printer. I'm about to purchase the datacolor spyder studio set to do my calibration, but thought best check here first.

I have an iMac and I heard/read that Mac displays are always too bright, is that true? If so, will I ever be able to perform an adequate calibration knowing that my monitor will never go down enough in brightness?

Using the build in Mac calibration technique (which is visual, and I don't think it considers brightness), just doesn't get me close. However, my problem is that I have this with the Epson R3000. I had epson printers before (Photo 4200, R1800, and others), and none of those printed darker than my monitor (using the same iMac), so how does that work? Doesn't that indicate Epson is just off with their printer and/or  accompanying paper profiles?

If the problem is related to brightness levels, then does calibrating using a monitor calibration device like the colormunky or the spyder, plus generating print profiles with a profiling device, resolve this darkness issue?

Let's face it, many people have reported this as an issue online, and i did not change color management settings between printers. So really, if people have to start changing their color management settings, including the use of calibration and profiling devices, I think Epson has done something wrong.

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Kryn
www.flickr.com/photos/ksporry

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Dan Montgomery
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to sporry, Jun 7, 2013

Adding another data point; I am also having the same problem. My R3000 is and has been printing too dark.

Windows 7, Photoshop 6.

I'm a long time Photoshop/Epson user, my calibrated monitor used to match the prints from my old 2200 printer beautifully, until that printer died 6 months ago. Using the same monitor and computer my R3000 prints are too dark. B&W, color, matte, luster and semi-gloss, all Epson papers. I've re-calibrated the monitor, played with all the profiles and settings I can find. I've manually turned down all the settings on my monitor to match the prints until everything else on the internet looks oddly dark and color shifted.

In frustration, I've had to resort to adding a lightening layer to the image just before printing.

Quoting from DPReview's own tests of this printer, "The overall print is darker than the original file, possibly equivalent to about ½ stop under exposure. The portrait of Sophie shows either a good suntan or generous application of a fake tan." " The B/W image is neutral but detail on the door in the far arch has become blocked up." "The black reel is far too heavy, individual strand detail has been lost. The brown reel is also far too dark"

DPReview concluded, "The quality of printing is first class, I calibrate my monitor before any printer review so I am confident that it is displaying accurate colours, however I still had to to lighten up the files with an adjustment layer before printing."

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plamensio
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Dan Montgomery, Jul 15, 2013

I have the same problem too.My prints are even darker. Probably 1F stop.

Monitor is calibrated. Windows 7,CS 5.1. I tried 15 types of paper with correct profiles -no difference.

Now I’m printing with Cone inks. They match 95% the Epson ones. Easy fix-adjustment layer.

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Bruce Oudekerk
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to plamensio, Jul 15, 2013

plamensio wrote:

I have the same problem too.My prints are even darker. Probably 1F stop.

Monitor is calibrated. Windows 7,CS 5.1. I tried 15 types of paper with correct profiles -no difference.

Now I’m printing with Cone inks. They match 95% the Epson ones. Easy fix-adjustment layer.

I understand that there are a number of possible reasons for ‘prints too dark’, but as you can read in many of the posts above, the overwhelmingly most likely candidate is that the monitor is too bright and the photo editor (in this case PS CS5.1) is managing the color.  That’s a deadly combination for us picky photographers.  I personally think that the printer itself is a remote culprit.

But here’s the rub…people calibrate their monitors and they are (apparently often) still too bright.  Their equipment is either calibrating monitors that are intrinsically not willing to come into compliance or the calibration equipment itself is trying to calibrate hue at the expense of luminance or the monitor is in an environment that doesn’t allow accurate calibration.  This is exacerbated by the very human tendency to not believe that they have spent hard earned money on faulty equipment and that some moron (me:) is trying to convince them of this without ever seeing the equipment itself.

For all those possibilities, I recommend trying to let the printer manage the colors on a known good evaluation image.  It bypasses the monitor, all adjustments and makes the setup somewhat simpler. If the printout is fine, this points very strongly toward a monitor issue.

In my estimation this should be the first step for troubleshooting, while ideally using Epson Inks and a conservative selection of Epson papers.  I don’t have anything against Cone inks but it’s just added another layer of uncertainty to the problem.

Bruce

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Dan Montgomery
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Bruce Oudekerk, Jul 19, 2013

As previously noted, one of the first comments about dark prints from the R3000 are found in Vincent Oliver's review of this printer on this website. He stated that his monitor was correctly calibrated.

I've found some settings that, while not perfect, work fairly well for me and often do not require a lightening layer:

Under Color Management, leave the default:

Printer Manages Colors

Under Media Settings, set:

Mode: Adobe sRGB, not the default Epson Standard (sRGB).

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jtoolman
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to Dan Montgomery, Jul 19, 2013

Dan Montgomery wrote:

As previously noted, one of the first comments about dark prints from the R3000 are found in Vincent Oliver's review of this printer on this website. He stated that his monitor was correctly calibrated.

I've found some settings that, while not perfect, work fairly well for me and often do not require a lightening layer:

Under Color Management, leave the default:

Printer Manages Colors

Under Media Settings, set:

Mode: Adobe sRGB, not the default Epson Standard (sRGB).

Do you Adobe RGB? On none of my EPSONs ( 13 of them = two Canon pro ) do I see Adobe sRGB. Not that I need to worry about that as I am not experiencing the "Dark" prints experienced by a lot of you.

Just wondering.

I do not let the printer manage colors, but print through Qimage with ICC profiles 99% of the time.

Joe

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Bruce Oudekerk
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Re: New Epson r3000 prints darker than old Epson 4000
In reply to jtoolman, Jul 20, 2013

jtoolman wrote:

Dan Montgomery wrote:

As previously noted, one of the first comments about dark prints from the R3000 are found in Vincent Oliver's review of this printer on this website. He stated that his monitor was correctly calibrated.

I've found some settings that, while not perfect, work fairly well for me and often do not require a lightening layer:

Under Color Management, leave the default:

Printer Manages Colors

Under Media Settings, set:

Mode: Adobe sRGB, not the default Epson Standard (sRGB).

Do you Adobe RGB? On none of my EPSONs ( 13 of them = two Canon pro ) do I see Adobe sRGB. Not that I need to worry about that as I am not experiencing the "Dark" prints experienced by a lot of you.

Just wondering.

I do not let the printer manage colors, but print through Qimage with ICC profiles 99% of the time.

Joe

Obviously, I personally think that having ‘printer manages the color’ as the best option when troubleshooting a printing problem.  We can debate how valid that is for an individual after they are successful with doing this.

‘Epson Standard’ is Epson’s version of sRGB while the driver’s Adobe RGB is the actual industry standard color space.   There is no 'Adobe sRGB' and I’m assuming that was was a typo and it was meant to be Adobe RGB.   I also have to assume that Epson Standard (essentially an Epson tweaked sRGB) exists because they believe that significant areas of their printer gamut exceeds sRGB and this is how they accommodate that fact (or not?).  On the other hand, the industry standard Adobe RGB (aRGB) has (more) areas that shoot out of the printer gamut and they feel that color space is adequate for their purposes.  FWIW, from a practical standpoint, almost all of the printer’s gamut falls within that aRGB color space.  That’s just a guess on my part but my homegrown tests show that to be true.  There are a number of color spaces that are not accommodated natively in the Epson driver.

But whatever, when letting the printer manage the colors it is important to note the color space of the image file at the time of printing and utilize that in the printer driver.  I would match sRGB to Epson Standard and obviously aRGB to aRGB because the crucial point here is using that same color space in the driver as in the file being printed.  Personally I think aRGB is the best alternative in this instance but that, too, is apparently debatable.   And if you are going to use aRGB…just bypass the use of Epson Vivid which tries to give more pop to the greens and blues.  Typically I would think that a color space mismatch would not be characterized as ‘too dark’ but depending on the rendering intent’s impact and the specific colors in the image…weirdness can happen and the lack of a common vocabulary can lead us astray.

I have a good friend of mine that does exactly what Dan suggests with his R3000 and has very nice output and has no ‘prints too dark’ problems and he prints on a multitude of different papers.  OTOH, for those anal retentive types like myself, I believe that letting the app manage the color offers better control.

Bruce

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