Author Topic: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?  (Read 14078 times)

Offline jonbarber

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off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« on: April 01, 2007, 01:03:44 PM »
I'm having trouble getting good-looking printed contact sheets.  I've processed a group of selects in PS, so that they look fine, and saved them into two sub-folders, containing .psd and .jpg versions.  I'd like to print out a contact sheet of these selects, but my efforts so far have crummy color and density compared to the originals; otherwise I like them much better than the contacts I can print with PhotoShop CS. It doesn't matter whether I print from the .jpg's or the .psd's; the results appear the same.  But the PhotoShop contact sheet images match the appearance of the original file much better than the PhotoMechanic sheets.

I have selected the paper and printer that I use in the Print set-up box.  When PM hands the job over to the printer driver, I set that up just as I would to print from PhotoShop. 

What am I doing wrong?


Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2007, 02:59:46 PM »
Jon,

I'm having trouble getting good-looking printed contact sheets.  I've processed a group of selects in PS, so that they look fine, and saved them into two sub-folders, containing .psd and .jpg versions.  I'd like to print out a contact sheet of these selects, but my efforts so far have crummy color and density compared to the originals; otherwise I like them much better than the contacts I can print with PhotoShop CS. It doesn't matter whether I print from the .jpg's or the .psd's; the results appear the same.  But the PhotoShop contact sheet images match the appearance of the original file much better than the PhotoMechanic sheets.

I have selected the paper and printer that I use in the Print set-up box.  When PM hands the job over to the printer driver, I set that up just as I would to print from PhotoShop. 

What am I doing wrong?

What OS are you running?

-Kirk

Offline joncrispin

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 06:32:39 AM »
Hi Kirk,
Another Jon here.  I too love the look of PMs contact sheets, but am having some problems.  Mac OS 10.4.8, PM version 4.4.3.3, Epson R800 printer.  They look very dark.  Color is ok.  And even if I go into page setup and reduce the % to 90% the outside images still run off the edge of the printable area.
I especially love the draw border around image feature.  Any suggestions?  Thanks,  Jon Crispin

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 06:52:50 AM »
Jon,

Another Jon here.  I too love the look of PMs contact sheets, but am having some problems.  Mac OS 10.4.8, PM version 4.4.3.3, Epson R800 printer.  They look very dark.  Color is ok.  And even if I go into page setup and reduce the % to 90% the outside images still run off the edge of the printable area.
I especially love the draw border around image feature.  Any suggestions?

If you have PM set to do color matching, then turn it off.  For some reason Epson drivers ignore the fact that CM has been done already and do it all over again which doesn't look very good.

As far as your margins are concerned, are you using smaller paper than the usual full size paper for your printer?

-Kirk

Offline joncrispin

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 07:37:50 AM »
Kirk,  no, I am using regular 8.5 x 11 epson paper.  I'll try your suggestion about turning off color matching.  (That's the icon in the upper right corner of the contact sheet, right?)

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2007, 08:06:05 AM »
Kirk,  no, I am using regular 8.5 x 11 epson paper.  I'll try your suggestion about turning off color matching.  (That's the icon in the upper right corner of the contact sheet, right?)

No, in the Print dialog.  There are some interface elements near the bottom of the dialog.

-Kirk

Offline jonbarber

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2007, 10:30:23 AM »
Hi:  Forgot to click "Notify," so I didn't realize answers were coming in---thanks!

Both of us "Jons" seem to have similar problems, and gear.  I'm using an Epson R1800, OS 10.4.8, and trying to print on Epson paper.  My PM contact sheet images are perhaps a bit dark, and somewhat off-balance, but too much contrast is the main issue. The shadows are completely blocked up.  The advice to turn off color matching sounded promising; my results looked like a double-manangement problem. But it didn't help!  I get exactly the same results as  before. So, is there something else I can do? In PM preferences, how should color management tabs be set?

A further note, clue, and suggestion: I had been testing on small paper (4X6) yesterday.  One time, I managed to get a promising print with good enough color and density.  But I couldn't replicate the success in a larger size.  And this happened before I was aware of the no-color-matching advice!  I must have done something right by mistake, once, and now can't remember what!

While testing, I left the layout for the reduced-scale tests unchanged from full-size standard. As a result, PM thought the thumbnail size was too small, and grayed-out the print button.  After many minutes of puzzling over why the print button was un-useable, re-trying, etc. I finally noticed the modest little error message that appeared much higher up in the PM print dialog box.  I suggest that a future release changes these error messages to red.

Sure would like to fix this problem.  The PM contact sheets are far nicer and more informative than the Photoshop CS ones.  Except for how the images look.....


Offline jonbarber

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2007, 09:58:42 AM »
 ??? Still hoping that Kirk or someone else more knowledgeable than me has a solution.  I have made sure that:

• in the PM print dialog, color matching is off.
• in the Epson driver, color management is off, and proper settings are selected for Epson Premium Semigloss.

Further, my images are coming into PM tagged as Adobe 1998 from Canon 20D cameras.

Despite all this, images are: warmer, darker, and too contrasty---low print values swallowed into black. Not flattering.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2007, 10:07:36 AM »
??? Still hoping that Kirk or someone else more knowledgeable than me has a solution.  I have made sure that:

• in the PM print dialog, color matching is off.
• in the Epson driver, color management is off, and proper settings are selected for Epson Premium Semigloss.

Further, my images are coming into PM tagged as Adobe 1998 from Canon 20D cameras.

Despite all this, images are: warmer, darker, and too contrasty---low print values swallowed into black. Not flattering.

Have you tried the PM 4.5 beta to see if it prints any differently?

-Kirk

Offline jonbarber

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2007, 10:11:35 AM »
Thanks for the response, Kirk.  I can tell things are busy.

No, I haven't tried the beta yet. I will do so and report.

Jon

Offline jonbarber

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2007, 10:53:29 AM »
I'm afraid the 4.5 Beta changed nothing for the better, though it's no worse.  Tested with two different Epson papers, two sizes.  All produced the same result as 4.3.3.3.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2007, 10:56:24 AM »
I'm afraid the 4.5 Beta changed nothing for the better, though it's no worse.  Tested with two different Epson papers, two sizes.  All produced the same result as 4.3.3.3.

What happens if you print some images with Apple's Preview application?
What happens if you print from PM to a PDF?  Does the color issue occur there when you view the PDF on-screen?

-Kirk

Offline jonbarber

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2007, 11:52:04 AM »
Assuming I understood your question, I opened an image in Preview, saw that it looked fine on-screen and printed it.  Same problem as with PM:  the print is too dark, and warmer than the original.  I have noted the same thing if I use Preview to check the PM contact sheet before printing---good on-screen, not on paper.

I opened the same image in Photoshop, and printed it as is, allowing the printer to scale it to fit the paper (4X6 Epson Premium Glossy).  The print is a normal good match to my screen, and much better than the Preview print.

I set up a PM contact sheet including this same image and others from that job. Again, no color matching, then saved the sheet to a .PDF in the Epson Print box.  Viewing that sheet in Acrobat Reader, it looks good. Printed, it looks no better than the others; I tested it on two letter-sized papers, Photo Qual. Inkjet and Premium SemiGloss.  The latter is slightly the worse of the two.

By contrast, my test print from the file from PhotoShop is an excellent match to that image's reduced rendition on PS's Contact Sheet II.

Ah well. I'd use PS's Contact Sheet for this job, but since I use it so rarely, I'm flummoxed by the fact that it mysteriously changes the last 7 digits of the filename before the extension.  So unless I can stop that from happening, I can't send out those contacts.  Aaaaack.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2007, 12:26:47 PM »
Assuming I understood your question, I opened an image in Preview, saw that it looked fine on-screen and printed it.  Same problem as with PM:  the print is too dark, and warmer than the original.  I have noted the same thing if I use Preview to check the PM contact sheet before printing---good on-screen, not on paper.

I opened the same image in Photoshop, and printed it as is, allowing the printer to scale it to fit the paper (4X6 Epson Premium Glossy).  The print is a normal good match to my screen, and much better than the Preview print.

I set up a PM contact sheet including this same image and others from that job. Again, no color matching, then saved the sheet to a .PDF in the Epson Print box.  Viewing that sheet in Acrobat Reader, it looks good. Printed, it looks no better than the others; I tested it on two letter-sized papers, Photo Qual. Inkjet and Premium SemiGloss.  The latter is slightly the worse of the two.

By contrast, my test print from the file from PhotoShop is an excellent match to that image's reduced rendition on PS's Contact Sheet II.

Ah well. I'd use PS's Contact Sheet for this job, but since I use it so rarely, I'm flummoxed by the fact that it mysteriously changes the last 7 digits of the filename before the extension.  So unless I can stop that from happening, I can't send out those contacts.  Aaaaack.

Here is how printing works in PM on the Mac: (same as for Preview)

The Cocoa printing system gives us a graphics context to render into.
We create CGImage objects and tag them with the color profile of the source image.
We draw into the graphics context that the printing system gave us.

As far as I can tell we're doing the right things.  Maybe it would be better to not tag the images at all with a profile.

Once 4.5 ships, I'd be happy to try different options in some test versions if you're willing to work with me on this.

-Kirk

Offline jonbarber

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Re: off color/density in printed contact sheets---what to do?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2007, 12:53:30 PM »
Sure, happy to help.

I don't often have the need for printed contacts, but that could change.  Now that I know how what a good format and labelling system PM uses, I'd like to use them.

Thanks for listening.