Recommendation for a great photo printer ?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
MOD Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 14,249
Re: To Calibrate/Profile or To Not Calibrate/Profile?

David1961 wrote:

Jerry-astro wrote:

Psssst... don't tell anyone ( ), but I haven't done any color calibration either when printing with my Pro-100 and the results have been superb, with very true colors. I would be willing to go to the trouble to do that if I had any evidence that it would make a difference. However, so far, at least, I haven't seen the slightest evidence of color rendering that wasn't 100% true to the original image (I work with an iMac 5K, if that helps).

I'm not out to upset anyone here but am just calling things as I see them.

When I see unconditional statements like this I just roll my eyes and shake my head in amazement because this type of statement always leads me to lose all confidence in the person's understanding of colour management and how printers work.

The reason I lose confidence in the person is because I would have thought that it is common knowledge that ink jet printers physically cannot reproduce all the colours a monitor can. That is why any reputable printing application will give you the option to choose a Rendering Intent in the print setup. So statements to the effect that someone claims they can get 100% colour matching between screen and print is blatantly not true. For example, ink jet printers generally find it difficult to produce all the highly saturated colours you can on a screen.

When I see someone claiming their prints look awesome, superb or whatever, I take their opinion with a grain of salt because what someone sees as being awesome or superb might not be in my eyes because my definition of awesome and superb might be significantly different to theirs.

Since setting myself up to print at home after going through the processes of properly calibrating my monitor and creating my own custom printer profiles, my criteria for a print to be "awesome" or "superb" is now much, much higher than what it was when I was using 3rd party print services for my printing and even before that when I was printing at home using uncalibrated monitors and no printer profiles.

When someone makes a print of an image without using a calibrated monitor and appropriate printer profiles for the printer/ink/paper combination, yes greens will still be greens, reds will still be reds etc on the prints but I have yet to see anyone post anything that leads me to believe any claims of 100% match between screen and print colours.

If anyone can post something that proves anything I have mentioned here is not 100% true then I am all ears. I would love to no longer have to calibrate my monitor or create my own custom printer profiles for my Epson SC P600 but unfortunately no-one has ever posted anything which proves I no longer have to.

I also don't think the wonderful people at places like Datacolor, X-Rite etc are currently shaking in their boots thinking their products are now obsolete.

Well, I've had my 2c worth of rambling so I'll step down from my soap-box.

Just some food for thought

There was nothing "unconditional" about my statement, nor do I in any way claim significant expertise in this area.  I simply "call them as I see them."  I visually inspected the output and [carefully] compared it to the original image, as rendered on my iMac 5K. I also printed a few smaller samples of different prints to check for consistency.  I found the color match to be as good or better than I could have expected and more than adequate (and I'm pretty picky about something printed large that I plan to put on my wall).  Would that level of analysis meet your definition of acceptability?  Possibly not, and people will have to decide whether the difference is sufficient to justify the effort and cost of taking it a step further.  I simply shared my own experience without suggesting that this was the way that everyone should go.

So, forgive me if I found your comments to be a bit on the defensive side and I certainly am not in any way suggesting that calibration is unnecessary.  I'm also not trying to suggest that doing so is a bad idea or a waste of time.  For my own purposes, I found it unnecessary, having done some initial evaluation and finding the color match to be more than acceptable for my own needs.  Obviously YMMV.

And... that would be my 2c on the matter.

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