Anybody else unhappy with Red River's R3000 profiles?

Started Mar 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
just Tony
OP just Tony Senior Member • Posts: 2,123
Scans of some test prints

Remember the lumpy gradients that showed up already in the CS6 Print dialog box? Well the printer is faithfully printing them. My conclusion is that the printer is not at fault at all. The fault lies either with a defect in the profiles, or a defect in my use of Photoshop.

There is one cautionary thing to note about these scans. My scanner is a business-class all-in-one device. As far as I know I have no option to profile it, and no option to control the white balance, exposure, or contrast. I certainly exercised no such controls even if they are available. So we'll have to confine ourselves to observations about really prominent color defects, and let's stay away from dissecting anything regarding nuances of skin tones or how delicious (or not) the strawberries look.

So, let's get back to those lumpy, non-monotonic gradients. This image will look exactly familiar to anyone who read my prior post:

Poor gradients and inappropriate convergence of color swatches

Notice that the lumpy gradients are the only "lumpy" distorted colors. The direction of the print head movement is vertical in this view of the printed page, but the faces and the near-white of the wall behind the shevles are unaffected. All of the color swatches are uniform with no banding. I believe we can discard any notion of the print head being at fault because a) the banding defects are oriented in the wrong direction, b) no other part of the image is banded, and c) the printed page is a superb replica of the problematic preview page.

The distorted hues in the columns above the marks "252" through "248" are also close matches to the color defects seen in the print preview I showed in my prior post.

Now let's look at a decent print which has vanishingly small gradient defects, and pretty nice distinctions between the color swatches:

Epson all the way (printer, paper, profiles). Pretty decent gradients, good swatches too.

One more thing occurred to me that I haven't mentioned yet. The famous test image above is provided in the Pro Photo color space. I did not convert it to any other space before printing. I wondered if this could be a problem, maybe letting Photoshop manage any required conversion automatically could be a bad thing?

I next tried doing the color space conversion from Pro Photo to sRGB within Photoshop, and then printing it. The printed page looks exactly like what came out when I did not convert.  I suppose this was an unnecessary test because failure to properly manage a Pro Photo image in an sRGB environment would produce really gigantic color errors, far beyond anything I've been struggling with here.

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