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Color Differences Between Monitor and Printer

Discussion in 'Printers, Monitors, and Color Management' started by tipsord, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. tipsord


    Sep 17, 2007
    I have a MacPro with a Samsung monitor and an Epson R2400 printer. I calibrate my monitor with the Eye One Display 2. Have found that my monitor is much more colorful/vibrant than my printouts. I wouldn't say my prints are bad, but there are very noticeable differences. I took a photo of a lightning storm. On my monitor, the sky is a deep/vibrant purple. On the R2400 print, the sky is more black with hints of purple. Is that "normal?" Is there anyway to get the monitor and printer more closely calibrated, without having to get a PhD in color management or spending a ton of money?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. TomaS


    Aug 3, 2006
    Corrales, NM
    short answer: monitors and paper are inherently VERY different display mediums, so an image will never look the same on both. a monitor image will ALWAYS look more vibrant than a print.
    long answer: there are entire books written on this topic. the good news - it is possible to predict how a print will look using the 'proof' option of your software.
  3. Yes, soft-proofing is important, but correct printer profile usage is critical. Are you sure you're using the exact profile for your printer/paper combination? Make sure you're using the best available generic profile, and failing that, you may need to get a custom profile made.

    Also, what targets did you calibrate your monitor to? If your luminance setting is too high, you'll be looking at unfeasibly bright images on screen, and you're bound to be disappointed. Ignore the Eye-One's recommendation of 140 for LCDs, and choose 100 instead. It'll look dull for a day or so, but you'll soon get use to it, and be more satisfied with your prints. Having said all that, this doesn't seem to be the complete problem in your case - like I said, it's probably more of a printer profile issue.
  4. tipsord


    Sep 17, 2007
    Thanks for the thoughts. I will check into the "proof" option. Have not used that before. I just started using Aperture 2 (from CS3 Bridge). I will check into that tonight. I did download the paper profiles from Epson, so should be OK there. I calibrated my monitor with Eye One 2, but I used all the system default presets. I probably need to dig into this a little more. If I decide to go down the part of a printer profile, how do I approach that?

    Thanks again, I'm a learnin'! But with 2 kids under two and a half, and as this is "just" my hobby, I don't have as much time as I'd like. That's why everyone here is so helpful and appreciated. Thanks!!!!
  5. W6PJJ

    W6PJJ Guest

    Color differences between Monitor and Printer-Response


    I must agree with the respondents comments regarding the printer profiles. It may seem strange, we do not use a calibration tool to set up our monitors at work, it's not so easy to fool the human eye. We pay very close attention to the lighting in the areas where we view photos on the monitors and prints. The lightning can play havoc with your perception. There is a significant difference between Incandescent, Fluorescent and Natural Light. When in doubt, use the Sun to check it out, it's the best lightning you'll get for free.

    We worked through much frustration setting up the computers and printers. Most of it came down to the proper profiles, And of course you can always do as the others suggested bring up the proof option. It took a great deal of time, paper and ink to perfect it, but once we reached that point we had gallery quality material. We use a number of Epson printers up to the 9800 and they all produce excellent work. The only difference is the larger the number the bigger the task capability. The R2400 is capable of great work when it's fed the right Data... Good Luck to you..
  6. If I lived on the same side of the world as you, I'd probably go to this guy - he's very good.

    Don't rush into it, though - make sure you're doing everything right with your generic profiles first.

    If you can wade through this thread, you'll find all the info you need about printing and soft-proofing.
  7. Greg, have you downloaded the custom profiles from the Epson website specific for the 2400 and paper type? I used the canned profiles first, the ones that came with the disk, when I bought my Epson R1900, but then downloaded the custom ones from Epson for the R1900 and glossy papers and there was quite a difference.

  8. tipsord


    Sep 17, 2007
    Thanks for the respone Nancy. Yes I did. As a short term fix, I slightly over correct everything. Make it a little brighter, a little more saturated, a little sharper. For what I'm doing - printing 8 x 10's of my kids - it's close enough for now.

    Thanks again to everyone!
  9. Tibian

    Tibian Guest

    I duplicate the image. Soft proof it. Tweak it in PS CS3. Let Photoshop handle the colour. Print it on an Epson Photo RX610 with "No Colour Management".
    The print is close to what I see on my monitor.
  10. Color management should be done by either the printer or your software (CS3 in your case). If both are set up then you get double profiling. Remove one or the other, I'd suggest letting the printer run color management. Every commerical printer I know and the one that does my oversize work says let Epson do it if you have an Epson printer. I trust mine to the point that I rarely make a test print.
  11. I dunno if it's just my particular Epson 2400 or if this is a common issue to all of them, but I find that my prints off my macs (which all have color calibrated displays at 2.2 gamma) print too dark unless I decrease the ink density by 10-12% in the final settings box that shows up before the print. Once I do that, they match beautifully.
  12. It seems to be a common problem to all the Epson "pro" printers. Mine does it too. Though I had it custom profiled and that eliminated most of the problem
  13. Tibian

    Tibian Guest

    Hi MParker! Thanks for your info. I've been round and round in circles printing via PS CS3. Inconsistencies galore with prints resulting in being darker than on my calibrated monitor. However, I'll give "printer run color management" another go and hopefully will see the benefits.
    "Lang May Yer Lum Reek".
  14. Rapman1959


    May 7, 2005
    Dubois PA
    I can tell you what Mac Hoilbert and John Paul Caponigro would tell you as I just finished a print workshop with them. First you have to have a calibrated monitor and paper profiles. Epsons profiles work great. Once you have your file set up you need to soft proof. This will get you most of the way there. Printers tend to over ink and the difference between reflected light (Print) and transmited light (monitor) will also add to darker appearance. Rather than guess you can do a bracket print. Make a new curves layer. In the mask add a gradient then move the curve to a point that the image is very bright. Print this file and you have a print that has a gradient of lightness. Turn off the new curves ;layer and Look at this print and compare to your monitor. you should find an area on your print that matches the monitor in terms of brightness. Turn your curves layer back on and with the eye drop tool sample this area then use edit fill comand and fill the mask with this sample ( mask will turn a shade of gray). Now with this layer turned on make your print. It should look just like your monitor in terms of brightness.
    As to who manages color. Other than black and white you let photoshop manage color every time. If the print driver manages color the soft proofing and tweeking you did is worthless. On the print driver you need to turn off color management every time or you double manage and it looks like crap. I hope this helps

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