Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?

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New to DSC-World Junior Member • Posts: 42
Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?

I realise that the Pro-4100 has an internal densitometer to assist with calibration of the printer based on a "canned" paper profile from the manufacturer, and that this is different from a spectrophotometer (as the HP Z9+ has). My question: Do I still need to purchase a spectrophotometer to calibrate the printer (or more likely send out to somebody to do the ICC profiles for me)?

Canon in the UK tells me "No" (detailed response available if interested) and this video also seems to suggest "No.":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QRdJ-BgFWQ&t=859s

I see there are other current threads on here about custom ICC profiles, but this is specific to whether the Canon internal densitometer renders this process unnecessary.

Papers would be Hahnemuhle BTW.

Thank for your guidance!

Best regards,

Nathan

ColourPhil
ColourPhil Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?

New to DSC-World wrote:

I realise that the Pro-4100 has an internal densitometer to assist with calibration of the printer based on a "canned" paper profile from the manufacturer, and that this is different from a spectrophotometer (as the HP Z9+ has). My question: Do I still need to purchase a spectrophotometer to calibrate the printer (or more likely send out to somebody to do the ICC profiles for me)?

Canon in the UK tells me "No" (detailed response available if interested) and this video also seems to suggest "No.":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QRdJ-BgFWQ&t=859s

I see there are other current threads on here about custom ICC profiles, but this is specific to whether the Canon internal densitometer renders this process unnecessary.

Papers would be Hahnemuhle BTW.

Thank for your guidance!

Best regards,

Nathan

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ColourPhil
ColourPhil Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?

As you say, it's a densitometer and not a spectrohotometer. A densitometer measures the 'density' of typically 3 (4 with 'visual' or 'black') wide areas of the spectrum through 3 (R,G,B) colour filters. A 'spectro' measures the entire spectrum, probably across about 32 areas, each of about 10nm (or less).

The densitometer is used to 'calibrate' (probably 'linearize') individual CMYK channels.

The resulting proprietary calibrations will be used internally by the printer and/or its driver.

After this the combination of printer, paper, ink can be 'characterised', i.e. 'profiled' with a 'spectro' and appropriate software. This software isn't available for 'densitometers', to my knowledge. The resulting ICC Profile can be used by any ICC-aware software, such as Photoshop, to convert images to the printer/paper colour space while sending them to the printer. Profiles are also used for 'soft proofing'.

A bit of background info on Printer Profiling:

https://www.colourphil.co.uk/print-profiling.shtml

Cheers,

Phil

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OP New to DSC-World Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?

Thanks for this, Phil. It is indeed a small world, as yours is the site I was thinking of sending out my ICC profiles to!

So would your recommended sequence be something like:

1. Calibrate BenQ monitor with X Rite i1 Display Pro (happening this weekend)

2. Do calibration with each HFA paper on the Pro-4100 using its internal densitometer (will happen when the printer arrives, soon...)

3.  Send the strips from the printer on the various HFA papers printed per the instructions on your site ( I realise from your site that I should use the Canon PS plugin rather than PS itself to do this) in order to get the custom ICC profiles done.

4. Occasionally re-calibrate the printer with its internal densitometer for each HFA paper to prevent drift.

5. Repeat #2 and #3 any time I am adding a new paper.

Thanks for your help!

Nathan

ColourPhil
ColourPhil Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?

New to DSC-World wrote:

Thanks for this, Phil. It is indeed a small world, as yours is the site I was thinking of sending out my ICC profiles to!

So would your recommended sequence be something like:

1. Calibrate BenQ monitor with X Rite i1 Display Pro (happening this weekend)

2. Do calibration with each HFA paper on the Pro-4100 using its internal densitometer (will happen when the printer arrives, soon...)

3. Send the strips from the printer on the various HFA papers printed per the instructions on your site ( I realise from your site that I should use the Canon PS plugin rather than PS itself to do this) in order to get the custom ICC profiles done.

4. Occasionally re-calibrate the printer with its internal densitometer for each HFA paper to prevent drift.

5. Repeat #2 and #3 any time I am adding a new paper.

Thanks for your help!

Nathan

Hi Nathan,

Pretty much how I'd do it!

You may well need to recalibrate (fine tune) your monitor after getting new printer profiles, in order to match the display to the printer. You can't do it the other way round! The printer doesn't know what the monitor's doing!

Have fun!

Cheers,

Phil

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mikling Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?
1

This calibration has a number of purposes but creating ICC profiles is not one of them.

What this does is to ensure that your printer can accurately use an ICC profile made from another calibrated machine.

So once a machine is calibrated  (every machine SHOULD be calibrated prior to making profiles) it return the machine to a known and REPEATABLE condition. The profiles made on this machine and thus the output will be identical to other machines that are also calibrated and using the same profiles and requisite conditions.

The other reasons calibration is necessary is because 1. Inks can vary in how they "jet" from batch to batch and causes slight changes in printed output. The pigments can also slightly vary from batch to batch. Papers can also vary from batch to batch. Finally, as the printhead wears, its output can also vary. You should periodically recalibrate each time you replace a tank but not immediately. Its effects will not be felt until the new incoming ink has mixed sufficiently with the internal tanks.

So calibration takes care of all those above issues in one fell swoop.

Finally, if you were to have to replace a printhead. You can replace it yourself and using the correct inks and paper, with one press of a button, the machine will return to factory setting. For the person truly interested in this kind of accuracy this is excellent. Ask any Epson Service Center whether they can restore a printer to factory specs and listen carefully to the answer...provided you know the question to ask...Calibration on an Epson is a lengthy, precise drawn out process and most places and not equipped nor capable of performing it.

Just as a comparison, once experienced with profiles, you know that technically each time you receive a new ink ( even one tank) or batch of papers, the ICC profiles drift a bit should it not be identical to what it was before. This eliminates that technicality.

Enjoy your 4100. It is a technical masterpiece.

OP New to DSC-World Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?

Thanks for this!

Nathan

panos_m Senior Member • Posts: 1,608
Re: Canon Pro-4100 with internal densitometer: Sufficient for ICC profiles?
1

Canon internal calibration is for bringing the printer in a known state and use icc profiles made for this printer or others compatible Canon printers. At least that is the idea behind this. You can skip calibration and build straight away the icc profile but when the printer drifts you will have to make a new icc profile.

2. Do calibration with each HFA paper on the Pro-4100 using its internal densitometer (will happen when the printer arrives, soon...)

It is not necessary to calibrate every paper separately  (this BTW is called "Unique calibration" in Canon terms). You can perform one calibration for all the papers you are going to use. This is called "Common calibration". For this calibration you can use a Canon paper like Pro Luster.

3. Send the strips from the printer on the various HFA papers printed per the instructions on your site ( I realise from your site that I should use the Canon PS plugin rather than PS itself to do this) in order to get the custom ICC profiles done.

4. Occasionally re-calibrate the printer with its internal densitometer for each HFA

Again you update the calibration for all the papers using a Canon paper like Pro Luster. There is a program called Canon Device Management Console which monitoring the calibration status of the printer(s) and advice you when a recalibration is needed.

paper to prevent drift.

5. Repeat #2 and #3 any time I am adding a new paper.

Thanks for your help!

Nathan

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