Profiled output colours do not match calibrated monitor


I’m having problems getting the results I would like using a Fuji D-Lab 2+ printer profile.

I copy artwork and oil paintings for local artists. An exact match is not critical, but close would be nice! Currently, the colours, when compared to the originals, are looking very overexposed, washed out and lifeless. I’m getting complaints from customers.

I copy the artwork in my studio and included a Kodak 18% grey card in the image for calibration. My camera is a 21Mp Canon 1Ds Mk III.

My workflow then takes place as follows:

Open images in CS3 RAW converter, use auto settings
Open levels in CS3 and use midtone eyedropper on grey card
Save this JPG as master copy
Resize to 18x12 and 402ppi
Convert to profile using rendering intent relative colorimetric
Write image to CD
Mark CD, order form and envelope as “new profile”

My monitor is calibrated using Spyder3 Pro. On the screen the images look great - the colour match compares very well with the original side by side, yet the prints are still washed out.

Any comments on where I might be going wrong?

Robert Slade


Just to clarify, below are you referring to diminished quality on your monitor or on your printer?

Also, to fill in the blanks… what printer do you use? and what monitor do you use and how old is it?


oRick Hatmaker, CHROMiX

On May 1, 2008, at 1:58 AM, robertslade wrote:

Post generated from email list


The printer is a Fuji Dlab2+ belonging to the printing company, I convert my image files to use their profile.

My monitor is a Dell LCD - it’s about 3 years old.

It’s the prints which I’m unhappy with.

I was wondering if it’s my workflow which causes the problems (e.g. using the CS3 eyedropper or applying the profile last)?



I’m assuming you mean Agfa’s D Lab 2, right?

My guess is you either have the incorrect profile or there is additional color-management at your lab. Have you tried sending unconverted files? As a Fuji Frontier owner I prefer to receive unconverted files. There’s really no way for an external user to know the current profile in use unless they specifically ask for it. And even then I would consider it fleeting. Soft proofing - fine, converting files - not so fine.

Not to knock your workflow as I know it can be a touchy topic and not entirely related to your problem, but you will probably get better results prepping the image in Camera Raw as much as possible. It is less destructive working on the raw file versus the gamma encoded file in Photoshop. If you left the profile conversion to your lab you could in theory handle the file entirely within Camera Raw.

Let us know what your preferred working space is. Also, you obviously don’t see the shift at soft-proof or after conversion, correct?

Mickey Patrick


Don’t worry about criticising my workflow - that’s why I posted it here!

Yes, you’re right, it’s an Agfa DLab 2, sorry for the confusion.

The lab doesn’t do any further colour management on the files. They insist the user downloads their profile and converts the images themselves. It’s definitely the correct profile.

So if I send an unconverted file, it will be printed with just an assigned (rather than converted) profile.

I will try your suggestion on doing everything in RAW converter. Do you have any suggestions or links to tutorials on how to make the changes using RAW converter given that I have a grey card in the image for reference?

Many thanks,


Well, if the printer is color-managed then it will get “converted” at some point…with or without a profile assigned to it by you. My point was that sending an unconverted file would limit the possibility of an errant conversion from your end on down.

Is this an online printing service, and if so, can you share the link?

As for ACR, there are as many opinions on raw workflow as there are ways of achieving the same result. The basics would at the very least be setting white balance (Temperature and Tint sliders,) white clipping (Exposure) and black clipping (Blacks) rather than using ACR’s auto settings. The gray card will be ok for a visual reference but it will not help much otherwise. It is too dark for use with the auto white balance tool in ACR. The gray card’s spectral characteristics are not that reliable either. There are better in-scene references available, see below.

For really consistent copy work you could probably go through the settings once then save them as a preset and/or camera calibration. At that point simply apply the preset in Bridge and export.

Mickey … oNr20BAB0A
(This forum’s host…)