Printing in SRGB Color issues

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
D Sonnenburg
Junior MemberPosts: 26
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Printing in SRGB Color issues
7 months ago

Hi, I am having trouble with SRGB Color. I work with AdobeRGB (1998) and when I print at home on my own printer my color matches up very well. The problem is when I send it to a lab to have prints done my pictures come back too dark and does not match the color as well as I'd like. Before sending the file to the lab, I convert it to SRGB color space because the labs I print from don't except adobe and SRGB is a more common color space. My monitor is calibrated. How can I get my photos to look better when I get them back from the lab? Thanks!

PenPix
Contributing MemberPosts: 751
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Re: Printing in SRGB Color issues
In reply to D Sonnenburg, 7 months ago

D Sonnenburg wrote:

Hi, I am having trouble with SRGB Color. I work with AdobeRGB (1998) and when I print at home on my own printer my color matches up very well. The problem is when I send it to a lab to have prints done my pictures come back too dark and does not match the color as well as I'd like. Before sending the file to the lab, I convert it to SRGB color space because the labs I print from don't except adobe and SRGB is a more common color space. My monitor is calibrated. How can I get my photos to look better when I get them back from the lab? Thanks!

There could be a few variable working against you here.

First, output from different labs may not be the same.  Different printers will have certain characteristic, setup and balancing of printers may be inconsistent, and auto-correction enabled on some printers.  Also add in individual characteristics of paper ink or chemistry.   Even if everything is done right, you will still have some variation, though the differences shouldn't be so drastic.  Personally, I find auto-correction the biggest problem for anyone that does their own post production.

Second, you might have your monitor and home printer calibrated to match each other, but you may need to use different calibration settings for the outlab prints.  e.g.  I use a Spyder 4 Pro to calibrate my monitor and it recommends a brightness of 120 cd/m2, but I find 160 cd/m2 will bring my monitor to closer match the output from my outlay.  Some tweaking of the tint is also needed on my monitor or the faces turn out red!

Have you tried printing your work at a different labs and with a different machine?  If the results are the same you will have to adjust your monitor to match their output.  If they are different and one of the prints are close to your monitor, then one of the labs has a problem.

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Mark Scott Abeln
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Some questions…
In reply to D Sonnenburg, 7 months ago

D Sonnenburg wrote:

Hi, I am having trouble with SRGB Color. I work with AdobeRGB (1998) and when I print at home on my own printer my color matches up very well. The problem is when I send it to a lab to have prints done my pictures come back too dark and does not match the color as well as I'd like. Before sending the file to the lab, I convert it to SRGB color space because the labs I print from don't except adobe and SRGB is a more common color space. My monitor is calibrated. How can I get my photos to look better when I get them back from the lab? Thanks!

There are a lot of variables. Perhaps you could answer these questions?

What software are you using?

What process do you use to convert an image to sRGB? What is the name of the sRGB ICC profile? For example, my profile name is "sRGB IEC61966-2.1".

What paper are you printing on? What do you use at home versus what do print on at the lab?

How does your sRGB look when you pull it back into your software compared to how the aRGB image looks? Any significant differences?

Is there any other kind of processing you do to your sRGB images?

What size to you print at home? What size to you print at the lab?

 Mark Scott Abeln's gear list:Mark Scott Abeln's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Rokinon 85mm F1.4
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D Sonnenburg
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Re: Some questions…
In reply to Mark Scott Abeln, 7 months ago

For Software I am using lightroom 3 and cs5. When I export the image it simply asks the color space I want the new file to be in and I choose SRGB. When I look at the same files side by side it is very hard to find any significant difference. Paper really hasn't mattered. When I print at home I just pick the icc profile for the paper. When I ship to the lab I have no idea what they use. I assume they will pick the profile based on the paper as well. like I said my issue is not with my prints at home, it is when i send them to the labs. Also when i put the on a CD for client they appear darker than they should and not the correct color. I think it is just the color space because this is the only thing that i have changed what so ever.

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Mark Scott Abeln
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Re: Some questions…
In reply to D Sonnenburg, 7 months ago

D Sonnenburg wrote:

For Software I am using lightroom 3 and cs5. When I export the image it simply asks the color space I want the new file to be in and I choose SRGB. When I look at the same files side by side it is very hard to find any significant difference. Paper really hasn't mattered. When I print at home I just pick the icc profile for the paper. When I ship to the lab I have no idea what they use. I assume they will pick the profile based on the paper as well. like I said my issue is not with my prints at home, it is when i send them to the labs. Also when i put the on a CD for client they appear darker than they should and not the correct color. I think it is just the color space because this is the only thing that i have changed what so ever.

I don't own LR3, although I do own CS5 and LR5.

My version of LR does embed the sRGB profile in my image as I save, and I'd think that yours ought to also. In CS5, the Save for Web feature can save an image without a profile, which is not good, but if you pull it back into CS5, it will apply the right profile if none is specified — the printer may not do this.

 Mark Scott Abeln's gear list:Mark Scott Abeln's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Rokinon 85mm F1.4
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Larry Berman
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Re: Printing in SRGB Color issues
In reply to D Sonnenburg, 7 months ago

ask the lab to provide a color profile. Then convert your files to their (sRGB) profile.

Larry Berman

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tresise
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Re: Printing in SRGB Color issues
In reply to Larry Berman, 7 months ago

Calibrating your monitor is only one part of colour management, this presumes you have a colour monitor that provides a high % representation of the colour space. So you need to calibrate the whole system not just the monitor. Below is some good information to get you started.

Adobe info

eizo - good info

Hence as Larry says:-

ask the lab to provide a color profile. Then convert your files to their (sRGB) profile.

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