Need help wading through many layers of color mangling

Hi all. I’m just making my first attempts to calibrate my color pipeline. I have a GretagMacbeth i1 Photo and I’m using Mac OS 10.5.3.

My setup is decidedly consumer-level at the moment: a new 20" iMac and an HP C5100-series inkjet printer (my Epson R800 is out for service). And I have an Epson Perfection 1200U scanner and a Nikon CoolScan 2000 film scanner.

I created a profile for the monitor. Doing so for the printer is proving to be a major hassle. It’s not clear to me how I print the “purest” chart for sampling with the i1. My questions focus on two issues:

  1. What app do I use to print, and what combo of printer-driver and app settings? One major problem is that the printer-driver dialog presents different options that depend on the app that invoked it. For example, with the GretagMacbeth Eye One Match or with plain old Preview, the Print dialog offers “vendor matching” under the “Color Matching” settings.

When printing from Photoshop, ColorSync is forced on you in the “Color Matching” section. Doesn’t that make it impossible to make a “native” printout of the test chart?

  1. What to do about paper types? HP (and others) insist on using brand-specific paper descriptions and give us no way to specify the characteristics of the paper in general, a big problem as paper is discontinued or you’re using some other brand. I thought I’d pick one paper type in the driver and print test targets on each kind of paper I use, creating a profile for each one. But it looks like I need to use at least a special setting for glossy paper, since the “plain paper” setting created washed-out colors on glossy paper. But there’s no generic glossy setting in the HP driver.

Even worse, most paper types (even the HP-branded ones) are inexplicably disabled when you’re printing from Photoshop.

What are people doing about the paper-type problem?

Thanks for any insight!


I guess this forum is pretty moribund.

Can anyone suggest a more active forum for discussing issues like this?

I wish I knew a more active forum…

about your problem though.

There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to which print options to use when printing the profile sheet and color management in general actually. One is to maximize gamut at all costs, the other is to simplify the workflow.

Every layer of data manipulation layed on top of a printer’s native output causes some of the printer gamut to be lost. The idea is to disable as many of these layers as possible. This is not always practical though, as long as the internal color settings for the printer are consistent then it shouldn’t be a problem to profile it with these settings on. If, as in some cases, the printer has an internal ICC profile with the rendering intent set to perceptual, the printer will change the the color interpretation depending upon other colors in the file. You just need to make sure that the printer will print the data you send to it routed through your custom profile the same way as it printed the chart used to make the profile.

When it comes to subjective decisions like which paper type to choose, remember that the less adjustments the profile is making, the more accurate it will be. So choose a setting that gives you output close to what your profiling software is trying to create.

It’s not about getting “native output” it’s about getting CONSISTENT output, usually this is achieved by disabling all settings but sometimes that isn’t true, if you have to manually go into the driver everytime you print to change settings, chances are the inconsitency that causes in your workflow overrides just using the default printer settings.

Hope that helps!