Profiling monitor at D65 or D55 for printing

Started Apr 28, 2021 | Discussions
tsinsf Contributing Member • Posts: 876
Profiling monitor at D65 or D55 for printing

I just took a deep dive in trying to better understand color management for printing. Apparantly, real experts who make lots of prints have many different profiles for their monitor, changing K value (white point) depending on the paper and printer they are using. I don’t do enough printing and am not bored enough to actually want to do that. My monitor profile has been set to D65, but even with soft proofing I have to usually make many prints before I get the color right . The “my prints are too dark” is not the issue (fixed that by lowering the brightness of my monitor to 80 cd/m2). Quite a few people recommend two monitor profiles: one at D65 for web use, and one at D55 for printing. Do any of you have experience printing at D55 rather than D65 (or anything lower than 6500K)? Do you find that the soft proofed prints better approximate the colors on the monitor when the monitor profile is set to something warmer than D65, such as D 55?

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dRomano Regular Member • Posts: 321
Re: Profiling monitor at D65 or D55 for printing

Yes, I find 6000K is good for my OBA free or minimal OBA non-matte papers, and for my one (matte) rag paper I'm finding 5300K is good. But it's a tough call what is truly best. The lighting you use to evaluate the print is so critical to the process that it's virtually as important as calibrating your monitor.

But of course it's more complex than that. The matte rag paper needs a lower contrast ratio, and is better with sRGB gamut, while the baryta paper works best with AdobeRGB and higher contrast ratio. My monitor can store 3 profiles which makes life easier.

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RGBCMYK
RGBCMYK Senior Member • Posts: 2,466
Re: Profiling monitor at D65 or D55 for printing

In the very beginning of color management and printing I tried for sometime to work with a monitor at 5500K because I was preparing images to be printed and viewed under 5500 but the monitor always looked yellow.  I worked with it for at least 6 months and while I got used to it I don't really think my printing or workflow improved at all and what really happened was I got used to looking at a warmer monitor.  What really took time and seems to improve with time is I got good at looking at the image on screen along with the image histogram and numbers of highlights, midtowns, and shadows and knowing how an image was going to print.  It is relating the numbers of a highlight and knowing that it will print with just a hint of detail on the paper and realizing that if my shadows values fall below a certain point it will just be black is what made printing almost and enjoyable and easy process.  Printers only print the data you send them and really looking at just the numbers before hitting that print button is so important.  I know when I send a middle gray swatch to the printer it is going to print it middle gray but do you really know what middle gray looks like on your printer?  that is what took me a long time to comprehend.

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dRomano Regular Member • Posts: 321
Re: Profiling monitor at D65 or D55 for printing

I'm not a color scientist, but it has always been clear to me that the color temp and brightness of the emitted light coming from my monitor does not translate 1:1 to my prints. It seems that the monitor needs to be cooler than you'd think it should be. I can take the x,y coordinates of paper, and use them as the white point for monitor calibration, but the result is not satisfying. Same for contrast ratio. I'm curious but not obsessed with perfection here.

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panos_m Senior Member • Posts: 1,628
Re: Profiling monitor at D65 or D55 for printing

tsinsf wrote:

I just took a deep dive in trying to better understand color management for printing. Apparantly, real experts who make lots of prints have many different profiles for their monitor, changing K value (white point) depending on the paper and printer they are using. I don’t do enough printing and am not bored enough to actually want to do that. My monitor profile has been set to D65, but even with soft proofing I have to usually make many prints before I get the color right . The “my prints are too dark” is not the issue (fixed that by lowering the brightness of my monitor to 80 cd/m2). Quite a few people recommend two monitor profiles: one at D65 for web use, and one at D55 for printing. Do any of you have experience printing at D55 rather than D65 (or anything lower than 6500K)? Do you find that the soft proofed prints better approximate the colors on the monitor when the monitor profile is set to something warmer than D65, such as D 55?

It is very important the light you evaluate your prints under and where is that light (adjacent to the screen or to a different space).

If the light is next to the screen and you want a perfect screen to print match then you have to make different monitor calibration/profiling for different papers. In such a case IMO it is easier to reach the desired calibration values by trial and error and then proceed to the profiling step for every different paper.

My screen is calibrated to roughly 5700K and 130 cd/m and my evaluating light (solux 4700K halogen lamps) is in a different space (away from the screen).

I use the same monitor calibration/profiling settings for all the different papers.

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mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 9,336
Re: Profiling monitor at D65 or D55 for printing

I don't know of anyone who has 6500K lighting in their home or even office. I calibrate my monitor for who my audience is and most (including me) use 5000K led lighting. Conversely, if someone wants me to make a print for them and are using a calibrated monitor I ask them what they've calibrated it to then recalibrate mine to match. It's not that hard and doesn't take that long. BTW, my brightness level is usually set to 80.

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