P900 ICC Profiles

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    Topic: P900 ICC Profiles Read 2497 Times
  • George Stark
    George Stark
    Participant
    Posts: 68
    Epson Printers
    on: January 26, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    I was curious to know if custom ICC profiles for Epson P900 using  both Epson & Canson papers make a noticeable  difference over the standard ICC profiles provided by the manufactures for their papers?

    I’m an old retired guy with a watchful CFO (wife) and its rather difficult to to divert money towards a custom profile on top of funds already used for paper and ink.

    Personally I feel I’m getting good results from standard ICCs  but one can’t help wondering if its greener on the other side of the hill.. Would I see a noticeable difference that is worth the cost?

    I’m assuming there are plenty of experts on this forum that have experience printing with both.

    Thanks in Advance

    George

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 392
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #1 on: January 26, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    Short answer: it depends.

    Long answer:

    Not all ICC profiles are created equally

    In this 23 minute video, I’ll cover:

    The basic anatomy of ICC Profiles

    Why there are differences in profile quality and color rendering

    How to evaluate an ICC output profile

    Examples of good and not so good canned profiles and custom profiles on actual printed output. 

    High resolution: http://digitaldog.net/files/Not_All_Profiles_are_created_equally.mp4

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

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    George Stark
    George Stark
    Participant
    Posts: 68
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #2 on: January 26, 2023 at 11:51 pm

    Andrew

    What an outstanding Video !

    I downloaded a couple of test files and will print them out soon…. I won’t have comparison obviously but curious to see how the Manufactures ICCs handle the test files on my printer.

    Thanks again .. appreciate the education!

    Cheers,

    George

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 935
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #3 on: January 27, 2023 at 2:04 am

    I wrote an extensive review of the SC-P900 for this website which deals with this question in detail.

    Bud James
    Bud James
    Participant
    Posts: 94
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #4 on: January 27, 2023 at 7:03 am

    I stopped fretting over ICC profiles for my P900 printer for a variety of non-Epson papers. My solution was to invest in Image Print Black. They have profiles for an exhaustive list of papers and the prints I produce are awesome. Well worth the expense and short learning curve.

    Regards,
    Bud James

    Please check out my fine art and travel photography at http://www.budjames.photography.

    George Stark
    George Stark
    Participant
    Posts: 68
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #5 on: January 27, 2023 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for the reminder of your thorough review of the P900…

    Upfront I have to say that I don’t have a great mind for all the dE values.. lines and graphs and how they relate to the physical print… I understand that for sure a custom profile brings the values more inline and closer to color perfection than the standard OEM profile. I’m just curious as to how much difference these values make when looking at the physical print? 

    For example if you printed the Onsight target  that is on pages 92 and 97 of your article with the OEM and the Mark Profile then shuffled the prints would you be able to immediately  pick out the custom profile print over the OEM? Is it a small subtle difference or one that just leaps out at the viewer?..

    I know … I know…ha… I’ll probably have to purchase a profile from Andrew to really see for myself….

    Cheers,

    George

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Silver Member
    Posts: 1289
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #6 on: January 27, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    George,  I’m more the practical guy.  First and most likley if you made a print with the OEM profile you’d be happy.  It’s not until you have something to comapre tothat you see differences if you even can.  And, then those differences may be very subjective and personal.  The OEM profiles are pretty darn good these days.  The profiles I work with with ImagePrint are the best I have seen and there are a lot of people out there that have come to the came conclsuion. ImagePrint comes at a cost.  I have always justified it because I get first run prints, great prints, good ink usgae, and a tool that scales inmages up or down with ease and keeps a log of what you have printed so you can print it again by just selecting the file in the log.

    Use the profile that comes with your paper selection.  Follow all the other guideliness of monitor calibration etc and you should be making great prints.  In our upcoming print workshop you’ll learn just how easy it is.

    For the record, I gave up making my own profiles.  I don’t have the time, or the patience for it and many times the IP profiles and OEM profiles were doing a better job.   If there is interest when we start these workshops for how to make profiles we will consider it.  My goal is to get your printing, realizing a few ways it can be done and to have as much fun printing as you had taking the original exposure.

    Don’t over think it.  Most of the time the the original file has more to do with how the print looks then the profile.  Just have fun!

     

    Kevin Raber
    Owner and Publisher of photoPXL

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 392
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #7 on: January 27, 2023 at 7:50 pm

    There’s not much subjective about saturated blues that print black (or shift Magenta) the later my experience, but in the past, with the ImagePrint profiles. Hopefully, John P fixed that after I bugged him about this.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Silver Member
    Posts: 1289
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #8 on: January 27, 2023 at 8:05 pm

    I’m doing a series of 17×22 inch prints on various papers printed with Epson Legay Profiles and then printed through IP as well as Lightroom.  We’ll see how that looks.  The proof is in the print.  I’ll share everything as we get into all of this.

    Kevin Raber
    Owner and Publisher of photoPXL

    George Stark
    George Stark
    Participant
    Posts: 68
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #9 on: January 27, 2023 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks Kevin… Perfect!

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 392
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #10 on: January 27, 2023 at 8:11 pm

    Yes, some proof is in one print. That print is not a comparison to another print of the same image with a different output profile (which kind of is the topic).

    Nor how one perceptual mapping differs from another. Like creating a transparency film stock, there are no rules on how a profile manufacturer’s engine produces a perpetual mapping. It is subjective. Further, better profile-creating tools have control over this mapping with options based on the subjectivity of the ouptut. And how well the two important tables in the profile (one for soft proof, one for output) sync up! A great output that doesn’t provide a good soft proof isn’t very useful for those of us who soft proof and then create output specific edits based on that rendering.

    So yeah, you can fall in love with a print you make, and that’s fine. It tells us (and you) nothing about the profile and its qualities compared to another one for the same paper and printer.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 935
    Re: P900 ICC Profiles
    Reply #11 on: January 27, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    George – I have nothing to add to answer your question about whether the numbers tell us anything about what kind of visual differences to see between  custom and OEM profiles. It’s all in my article, which I admit does require very attentive reading simply because this printer offers a panoply of printing options and to do it justice I needed to cover all that matter. I have gone to great lengths in this article and others to explain the derivation and meaning of the data I produce. It is up to interested readers to study and use as they see fit.

    In principle, when a dE(2000) result is greater than 1.0 you should begin to see a slight difference of a colour having dE>1.0 from its base value. By the time a difference gets up to dE2.0 and beyond, differences would become more visible, but not necessarily annoying – it depends on the colour and the viewer, and the context of where the errors happen within a complex photo having many thousands of surrounding colours.

    OEM profiles have become very good over the years and especially those for the Epson Legacy papers. That said, Epson makes them using one of their printers. A well-performing profile needs to properly characterize the printer you will be using. That means the behavioural characteristics of their printer and your printer need to be close. The same applies to ImagePrint or any other provider of profiles that does not use profiling targets printed with your printer. There is debate in the colour management/printing industry about how closely calibrated these printers are to each other. My understanding is that they leave the factory calibrated to a common standard, which would support an argument that if a custom profile and an OEM profile were made with the same quality hardware and software, their performance should not deviate much. But there will always be differences, and I know one serious printing software provider (name withheld to protect the guilty) who completely disagrees that printer performance is quite uniform from one machine to the next of the same model. If you happen to have a copy of a printer that is somewhat of an outlier, then a custom profile becomes more important. You’ll know that after making a few prints with OEM profiles on your printer.

    I agree there is no need to rush into custom profiles unless you are dissatisfied with the printed output using the OEM profiles. It is generally advisable to settle on a small number of papers – say two or three – that will suffice for most of your printing and get to know them well. So worst comes to worst you may need to invest in one or several custom profiles – not the end of the earth financially if it happens to be needed.

     

     

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