What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

Started Feb 8, 2016 | Discussions
Kumsa Regular Member • Posts: 407
What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

I've been printing in sRGB with good results on a Pro-100. I now have an Epson P800 and am slowing getting used to it. I haven't locked down profiles and papers, yet, but when I do, I'll start experimenting with test prints.

But, I'm curious, because I've read many photographers simply print in sRGB as it meets 99% of their needs. I've also read that current printers (pro-sumer and pro) can print much wider gamuts ?

If you are printing in wider gamuts, I'm assuming the subtleties are narrow and probably apply better to certain papers/textures than others.

Any experience on which gamut used for your printer ?

Thanks !

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stjarvis Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

I've got an Epson P600, it can print much wider then sRGB. I print out of Lightroom in the gamut of the paper profile.

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Howard Moftich Veteran Member • Posts: 9,216
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?
2

in a proper workflow, you edit in a big colorspace (most common being AdobeRGB or ProPhoto) and then the printer driver, using the ICC profile for the printer/paper combo maps it to that.

If you start w/ a small space like sRGB, you're really throwing away useful data that you can never get back.

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Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,584
The problem with that is.....
2

Howard Moftich wrote:

in a proper workflow, you edit in a big colorspace (most common being AdobeRGB or ProPhoto) and then the printer driver, using the ICC profile for the printer/paper combo maps it to that.

If you start w/ a small space like sRGB, you're really throwing away useful data that you can never get back.

your wide gamut monitor will show the edited colors more than what the printers are capable, and the printers can also print more colors than what the monitors indicate.  Someday we may have a match............................

Bob P.

OP Kumsa Regular Member • Posts: 407
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?
1

Thanks all, I shoot RAW and do all my work in ProPhoto RGB, and I work on a color calibrated monitor.

Up to now, I've only worked in sRGB--so the question is really should I complete my final image with a color space of aRGB or ProPhoto RGB ? I've never heard of the printer/paper profile being restricted to a gamut -- just the icc for softproofing the print for the colorspace I choose to use.

In any case, Arnaud Frich does a nice overview and concludes that there isn't any significant difference: http://www.color-management-guide.com/choosing-between-srgb-adobe-rgb-and-prophoto.html

Really, ProPhotoRGB prints the same out as sRGB ?

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Pete Berry Veteran Member • Posts: 3,486
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

Kumsa wrote:

Thanks all, I shoot RAW and do all my work in ProPhoto RGB, and I work on a color calibrated monitor.

Up to now, I've only worked in sRGB--so the question is really should I complete my final image with a color space of aRGB or ProPhoto RGB ? I've never heard of the printer/paper profile being restricted to a gamut -- just the icc for softproofing the print for the colorspace I choose to use.

In any case, Arnaud Frich does a nice overview and concludes that there isn't any significant difference: http://www.color-management-guide.com/choosing-between-srgb-adobe-rgb-and-prophoto.html

Really, ProPhotoRGB prints the same out as sRGB ?

I don't understand your conflicting statements: First "... I shoot RAW and do all my work in ProPhoto RGB...", then next, "Up to now, I've only worked in sRGB...".

At any rate, if you DON'T work in PP-RGB in your RAW work flow, it will do you no good to print in PP-RGB later, as Howard said earlier, colors outside sRGB's gamut have been discarded. If you do use PP-RGB, because of its enormous gamut you may have banding if you don't work in 16-bit rather than 8-bit mode. I have seen this in subtle sky gadations. At this point in time, 16-bit PP-RGB seems the ultimate "future-proofer".

You won't see any difference generally when printing in PP-RGB vs. sRGB because of printer and monitor limitations, but my iPF5100 definitely prints some colors outside sRGB gamut, and I see it most often in very saturated reds which can appear posterized on my sRGB monitor, but show nice gradations in the print.

Pete

Howard Moftich Veteran Member • Posts: 9,216
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

Kumsa wrote:

Thanks all, I shoot RAW and do all my work in ProPhoto RGB, and I work on a color calibrated monitor.

Up to now, I've only worked in sRGB--so the question is really should I complete my final image with a color space of aRGB or ProPhoto RGB ? I've never heard of the printer/paper profile being restricted to a gamut -- just the icc for softproofing the print for the colorspace I choose to use.

this is confusing.  you say you do all your work in ProPhoto but in the next sentence you say you only work in sRGB.  Which is it?

You use the largest sane *working colorspace* since most printers are larger gamut than either sRGB or aRGB.  Leave the work in ProPhoto and either print it (which will use the printer profile which defines it's gamut) or export it to jpg w/ sRGB or aRGB or whatever.

In any case, Arnaud Frich does a nice overview and concludes that there isn't any significant difference: http://www.color-management-guide.com/choosing-between-srgb-adobe-rgb-and-prophoto.html

Really, ProPhotoRGB prints the same out as sRGB ?

No, it doesn't.  For a large number of images it will print the same because the image doesn't stress the sRGB space boundaries.  You put a difficult image in and you'll see clipping.  See digitaldog.net

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OP Kumsa Regular Member • Posts: 407
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

Oh, yes, that is more confusing than I intended. All my post-processing work is done in ProPhoto RGB, but I save the print image in sRGB colorspace--which is what I've been using when I print.

Howard you pointed to Digital Dog, who point to TOP (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2015/07/andrew-rodney-on-the-importance-of-custom-printer-profiles.html) where Andrew Rodney states "our printers (P600, 3880) exceed Adobe RGB (1998) by quite a bit (I can provide gamut maps or gamut volume values if you wish)."

So, are you printing images to your printer with a ProPhoto colorspace ?

Thanks

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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 13,189
Run your own tests. For me, sRGB doesn't cut it by a long shot.

Kumsa wrote:

I've been printing in sRGB with good results on a Pro-100. I now have an Epson P800 and am slowing getting used to it. I haven't locked down profiles and papers, yet, but when I do, I'll start experimenting with test prints.

Good question! This video is perfect for you:

The benefits of wide gamut working spaces on printed output:

This three part, 32 minute video covers why a wide gamut RGB working space like ProPhoto RGB can produce superior quality output to print.

Part 1 discusses how the supplied Gamut Test File was created and shows two prints output to an Epson 3880 using ProPhoto RGB and sRGB, how the deficiencies of sRGB gamut affects final output quality. Part 1 discusses what to look for on your own prints in terms of better color output. It also covers Photoshop’s Assign Profile command and how wide gamut spaces mishandled produce dull or over saturated colors due to user error.

Part 2 goes into detail about how to print two versions of the properly converted Gamut Test File file in Photoshop using Photoshop’s Print command to correctly setup the test files for output. It covers the Convert to Profile command for preparing test files for output to a lab.

Part 3 goes into color theory and illustrates why a wide gamut space produces not only move vibrant and saturated color but detail and color separation compared to a small gamut working space like sRGB.

High Resolution Video: http://digitaldog.net/files/WideGamutPrintVideo.mov

Low Resolution (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLlr7wpAZKs&feature=youtu.be

You can download the Gamut Test File and run tests on your end to see the differences.

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Andrew Rodney
Author: Color Management for Photographers
The Digital Dog
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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 13,189
Re: The problem with that is.....

Petruska wrote:

Howard Moftich wrote:

in a proper workflow, you edit in a big colorspace (most common being AdobeRGB or ProPhoto) and then the printer driver, using the ICC profile for the printer/paper combo maps it to that.

If you start w/ a small space like sRGB, you're really throwing away useful data that you can never get back.

your wide gamut monitor will show the edited colors more than what the printers are capable, and the printers can also print more colors than what the monitors indicate. Someday we may have a match............................

Actually, no we will not (not if you use a sufficiently wide gamut working space like ProPhoto RGB). We'll never have a display with that gamut.

What you say about the mismatch is true. So you have to ask yourself this question: Edit in working space that is wider gamut than my display, providing some colors we can't see but can output, or funnel the gamut into the display gamut and clip colors we can capture and reproduce. The weak link is the display. If you want to use all the color gamut your printer can reproduce, you'll live within that limitation.

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Andrew Rodney
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The Digital Dog
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OP Kumsa Regular Member • Posts: 407
Re: Run your own tests. For me, sRGB doesn't cut it by a long shot.

Andrew, I did watch the video. Really impressive and very clear. You have a knack for explaining what is actionable from all the color theory. I'm excited about making the test prints.

I'm also guessing that when some people are satisfied with sRGB printing, it's because their images lack sufficient range, they don't know how to evaluate the distinctions, or maybe their soft-proofing maps well to their monitor and they believe that's the ceiling.

Very enlightening. Part of me was hoping that I could live in happy land just using sRGB and not changing anything in my workflow, and the other part of me was hoping that the P800 was a good excuse to up my game.

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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 13,189
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

Kumsa wrote:

In any case, Arnaud Frich does a nice overview and concludes that there isn't any significant difference: http://www.color-management-guide.com/choosing-between-srgb-adobe-rgb-and-prophoto.html

There's a lot of text there that's really incorrect! Maybe it's the translation but maybe it's confusion.

Arnaud writes:
So "small" sRGB only contains 2.5 million colors of the reference space that is L*a*b* space hence of the range of colors a human eye can see.

No idea where that 2.5 million color came from. ColorThink Pro can calculate what is called a Gamut Volume in Lab. It shows sRGB as 832478. To give you an idea, Adobe RGB (1998) is 1,207,520. The range of the triangle is the color space. The horseshoe shape you see plotted in is (pretty much) the range of human color perception.

Then:

Adobe RGB 98 is indeed broader than sRGB but please note that it's only true for greens, a bit for cyans and almost not for blues.

First mistake is only viewing the gamut 2D. But even as such, if you examine the plots provided, you see that saturated blues are far larger in Adobe RGB (1998) than sRGB. The triangle is larger and encompasses a lot more blue among other colors. .

The gamma encoding (and sRGB doesn't have a gamma encoding but that's another story) and White Point is really not pertinent at all!

THEORETICALLY, THE BROAD SPACE PROPHOTO ENABLES TO KEEP MORE COLORS BUT IF YOU NEVER SHOOT HIGHLY SATURATED COLORS OR IF YOU DON'T PURPOSEDLY SAURATE YOUR IMAGES IN POST-PRODUCTION THEN IT IS COMPLETELY USELESS!

Well if you use a larger gamut container and the data exceeds sRGB, you clip those colors. If you use a larger gamut container and the colors don't exceed sRGB, no harm (Arnaud even admits the colors are the same). Why take a chance you'll clip colors?

My analysis: You can clearly see that when you apply a +20 saturation in Photoshop to this sRGB image, it posterizes (tone breakings) in green areas.

And you've done nothing to increase the gamut! That's the problem. The edit was nonsensical. The sRGB container is still too small. You can't crank the volume to 11. It only goes to 10.

My conclusion: I can't wait for ProPhoto screens and ultrawide printing gamuts!

He'll be waiting a long time! Until we all evolve to the super human baby at the end of 2001: A space odyssey! There are 'device values' (numbers) in ProPhoto RGB that are not colors. We can't see them. They fall way outside that horseshoe shape that defines (again, more or less) the 'gamut' of human vision. Such is life when your working space is a triangle and the "gamut" of vision isn't the same shape! Like fitting round holes in square pegs. You need one shape that's way oversized to do so.

On the left photo (printed from a RAW file developed in sRGB/8 bits), the red part of the stained-glass window (5% of the photo, not more) is a red swath with hardly any shade. On the right photo (printed from the same RAW file but developed in ProPhoto/16 bits in Camera Raw) this same part shows the same saturation level and a bit more matter that should have been unsaturated even more to emphasize it on screen.

Problem, possible issue: he didn't plot the gamut of the two renderings in the different working spaces. They could have both fit within sRGB!

My Gamut Test File has imagery which is known (plotted) to be outside sRGB. So use that as a test.

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Andrew Rodney
Author: Color Management for Photographers
The Digital Dog
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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 13,189
Re: Run your own tests. For me, sRGB doesn't cut it by a long shot.

Kumsa wrote:

Andrew, I did watch the video. Really impressive and very clear. You have a knack for explaining what is actionable from all the color theory. I'm excited about making the test prints.

Thanks!

I'm also guessing that when some people are satisfied with sRGB printing, it's because their images lack sufficient range, they don't know how to evaluate the distinctions, or maybe their soft-proofing maps well to their monitor and they believe that's the ceiling.

That or they never had the opportunity to see the same output using a wider gamut working space to start!

Very enlightening. Part of me was hoping that I could live in happy land just using sRGB and not changing anything in my workflow, and the other part of me was hoping that the P800 was a good excuse to up my game.

You can live there. But is it an optimal workflow (for you)? I don't dictate workflows on others. I do try to give them some tools to test their workflows and make their own decisions. For me, output to a number of Epson printers (currently P800, 3880), sRGB is vastly suboptimal.

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mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,022
Re: Run your own tests. For me, sRGB doesn't cut it by a long shot.
1

If you're used to sRGB than that's the kind of image quality you've grown accustomed to. But if you print enough images you'll start to see the difference. But I suppose the simplest way to know is to do a comparison and see if you can tell any difference. I did that experiment and I could so now everything I print is using PP RGB.

Petruska Veteran Member • Posts: 8,584
Confusing......

digidog wrote:

Petruska wrote:

Howard Moftich wrote:

in a proper workflow, you edit in a big colorspace (most common being AdobeRGB or ProPhoto) and then the printer driver, using the ICC profile for the printer/paper combo maps it to that.

If you start w/ a small space like sRGB, you're really throwing away useful data that you can never get back.

your wide gamut monitor will show the edited colors more than what the printers are capable, and the printers can also print more colors than what the monitors indicate. Someday we may have a match............................

Actually, no we will not (not if you use a sufficiently wide gamut working space like ProPhoto RGB). We'll never have a display with that gamut.

What you say about the mismatch is true. So you have to ask yourself this question: Edit in working space that is wider gamut than my display, providing some colors we can't see but can output, or funnel the gamut into the display gamut and clip colors we can capture and reproduce. The weak link is the display. If you want to use all the color gamut your printer can reproduce, you'll live within that limitation.

FoR example, I take a photo of a solid light green rectangle, I load it in Photoshop in the ProPhoto color space.  Now my monitor can't display this light green hue so it clips it to a darker hue, but my printer has the gamut to print out the lighter hue and does so.  Thus when editing it is a crap shoot on what colors I captured, what I see on the monitor, and what gets printed.  We all know that there isn't a printer available that can print 100% of the sRGB color space.  As I stated before hopefully some day we will have a monitor and printer that can at least reproduce a 100% sRGB.

Bob P.

Flashlight Veteran Member • Posts: 7,808
Re: What gamut to you print in, for those that have their own printer ?

digidog wrote:

And you've done nothing to increase the gamut! That's the problem. The edit was nonsensical. The sRGB container is still too small. You can't crank the volume to 11. It only goes to 10.

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Philip

technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,168
Re: Confusing......

Working in ProPhoto brings significant benefits. All printable colors will be available in ProPhoto. However, it is more important in ProPhoto to use soft proofing than in any other color space.

This is because when you are working in ProPhoto RGB you can have colors that are well outside your monitor's gamut whether it's a standard, sRGB like gamut or a wide gamut display. What you see on the monitor are the colors in ProPhoto converted to the monitor's color space and that could be quite different and the conversion is a crude matrix based one that just clips high and low levels. Soft proofing avoids this converting and clipping to the monitor's colorspace and instead tries to render the color the printer would print. In many cases the printable color is within or close to the display gamut and the soft proof will be more accurate. If you are using a wide gamut monitor the large majority of colors that you print will be accurately rendered on the monitor. The main exception is in the cyans. Even so the soft proof will be a much more accurate representation of what gets printed than what you see directly in the working space.

So if you use ProPhoto for taking advantage of your full print gamut always soft proof. It will save a lot of ink.

(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 13,189
Re: Confusing......

Petruska wrote:

FoR example, I take a photo of a solid light green rectangle, I load it in Photoshop in the ProPhoto color space. Now my monitor can't display this light green hue so it clips it to a darker hue, but my printer has the gamut to print out the lighter hue and does so. Thus when editing it is a crap shoot on what colors I captured, what I see on the monitor, and what gets printed.

It's a crap shoot as to what you see on the display. What can be printed can be printed and those color that fall outside display gamut fall into that camp.

The decision is simple: clip colors you can reproduce on your printer to sRGB so you can see them (end result, poorer print) OR work with colors you can't see but can print. Many of us prefer the later.

It's simple: working space are synthetic "display" color spaces; simple and predicable. We have to live with a disconnect between the simple shapes of RGB working space and the vastly more complex shapes of output color spaces to the point we're trying to fit round pegs in square holes. To do this, you need a much larger square hole. IF the print is important to you, you'll be working with a large gamut working space and live with the limitation of the display technology.

We all know that there isn't a printer available that can print 100% of the sRGB color space. As I stated before hopefully some day we will have a monitor and printer that can at least reproduce a 100% sRGB.

I doubt that will happen in my lifetime if ever (ever is a long time...). This so called printer will have to print using light (backlit). And now we're back to a display of sorts.

If you want to see all of sRGB, use an sRGB like display. Today we have to live with the severe disconnect in sRGB and the output of pixels to a printer and many of those printers have color gamuts that greatly exceed sRGB gamut. So getting the two shapes to perfectly match up isn't anything I ever expect to see. Why clip those printable colors that greatly exceed sRGB to the gamut of sRGB?

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Andrew Rodney
Author: Color Management for Photographers
The Digital Dog
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Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,628
Re: Confusing......

digidog wrote:

The decision is simple: clip colors you can reproduce on your printer to sRGB so you can see them (end result, poorer print) OR work with colors you can't see but can print. Many of us prefer the later.

Not so simple. An unspoken cost of Pro Photo is exacted when you need several tries to get your print. Colors that exceed the display gamut of Adobe RGB for a good monitor make the print, funneled from Pro Photo to the gamut of the paper, look weird. You go back and edit for a pleasing compromise.

By the way, the oft-repeated argument about Pro Photo color space in a print workflow usually remains silent on perceptual versus relative rendering intent. The choice has more impact when using Pro Photo, and you wind up printing both ways to see what you get.

There is less of this expense of time and paper when you work in Adobe RGB on a NEC PA display, for example.

The aesthetic value of a photo rarely turns on extreme attention in workflow to the extreme colors.

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The comment above probably has an example in my photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/41790885@N08/

technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,168
Re: Confusing......
1

digidog wrote:

Petruska wrote:

FoR example, I take a photo of a solid light green rectangle, I load it in Photoshop in the ProPhoto color space. Now my monitor can't display this light green hue so it clips it to a darker hue, but my printer has the gamut to print out the lighter hue and does so. Thus when editing it is a crap shoot on what colors I captured, what I see on the monitor, and what gets printed.

It's a crap shoot as to what you see on the display. What can be printed can be printed and those color that fall outside display gamut fall into that camp.

The decision is simple: clip colors you can reproduce on your printer to sRGB so you can see them (end result, poorer print) OR work with colors you can't see but can print. Many of us prefer the later.

It's simple: working space are synthetic "display" color spaces; simple and predicable. We have to live with a disconnect between the simple shapes of RGB working space and the vastly more complex shapes of output color spaces to the point we're trying to fit round pegs in square holes. To do this, you need a much larger square hole. IF the print is important to you, you'll be working with a large gamut working space and live with the limitation of the display technology.

We all know that there isn't a printer available that can print 100% of the sRGB color space. As I stated before hopefully some day we will have a monitor and printer that can at least reproduce a 100% sRGB.

I doubt that will happen in my lifetime if ever (ever is a long time...). This so called printer will have to print using light (backlit). And now we're back to a display of sorts.

You are not only right in doubting that but in fact it will never happen. Turns out that a few sRGB colors are outside the MacAdam limits. These limits are physical ones because reflected light (prints) can only produce color by subtracting other colors.

http://www.munsellcolourscienceforpainters.com/ConversionsBetweenMunsellAndsRGBsystems.pdf

In particular, sRGB (0,0,255) can not be printed. Ever.

If you want to see all of sRGB, use an sRGB like display. Today we have to live with the severe disconnect in sRGB and the output of pixels to a printer and many of those printers have color gamuts that greatly exceed sRGB gamut. So getting the two shapes to perfectly match up isn't anything I ever expect to see. Why clip those printable colors that greatly exceed sRGB to the gamut of sRGB?

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Andrew Rodney
Author: Color Management for Photographers
The Digital Dog
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