Colour Management / Photo Printing


Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#1
Hi all,

I have a set of photos that I'd like to print for a friend.
I have been advised to first calibrate my monitor before printing the photos.
After which he assured me that the prints would be about 90% close to the what I see on screen.

However, upon further reading, I understand the the printers have to be calibrated as well. How to I ensure that this is done? I do not wish to print the photos by myself. Instead, I would like to get it done by professionals.

Eg: Photohub etc. Btw, Photohub Raffles City did a splendid job the last time I sent my photos for printing with them. But the technician said he had to adjust the colours for each photo. Which makes me wonder, do I even have to bother with the post-processing, since its gonna be changed by the technician?

My questions are:
1) How do I ensure that the photos I see on my monitor are printed exactly (as as close to exactly as possible) like that?
2) I will be going to purchase a monitor calibration device. Should I get a Spyder 3 pro or Spyder 4 pro?

Additionally :
I am using a DELL S2340L IPS Monitor.
GeForce 9300M GS Graphics card which comes with my old lenovo laptop. Don't even know how many bits it is. And the Spyder 4 requires a 24 bit graphics card.
I shoot in RAW. Canon 6D.

Appreciate any and all help.

Regards,
Norman
 

Last edited:

tonyep

New Member
Mar 22, 2012
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#2
1) How do I ensure that the photos I see on my monitor are printed exactly (as as close to exactly as possible) like that?
First, you need a good monitor, capable of viewing full sRGB or even better, Adobe RGB. Next, calibrate it.

What the tech mean was that he had to soft proof the image in order for the print to not be out of gamut. Professional printing services do that for you. In order to make their life easier, give them a well prepped file.

1. Size your file between 180 and 300 DPI at the desired print size.
2. Files should be in as TIFF, PSD or RAW format for optimal quality.
3. Clean up dust and scratches.
4. Flatten layers and remove any alpha channels. (Save it as a print file, not your master file.)
5. Don’t sharpen your files for printing. You still apply the usual capture and local sharpening. (You may want to ask their tech whether do they apply an output sharpening before printing.)
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#3
2. Files should be in as TIFF, PSD or RAW format for optimal quality.
RAW? Will you submit the sidecar file then? I'm not sure if all these print shops can support the respective camera raw file types.
TS: In Digital Darkroom there are several threads about printing.
 

tonyep

New Member
Mar 22, 2012
315
0
0
#4
RAW? Will you submit the sidecar file then? I'm not sure if all these print shops can support the respective camera raw file types.
TS: In Digital Darkroom there are several threads about printing.
DNG has sidecar embedded in the file, it is still a RAW format. Re-read the sentence, what it means was of equivalent format, to achieve optimal quality.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#5
Tonyep>. Thanks for breaking it down. Appreciate it. Shall go get my monitor calibrated first then.

So that's what the tech meant when he said that. Thanks for explaining.

Additionally, I'm wondering of there is any thing such as a monitor colour profile that I can provide him with so that he will be able to understand what it is that I see in my screen.

I didn't know they accept dng files. Haha. That's great. Since I normally work with dng instead of canon's cr2, this would be great!

Octarine> thanks for pointing me towards digital darkroom. I browsed thru the 2013 articles and ran 2 searches for colour management and photo printing and read the hits from 2013 to 2010 for due diligence. But the threads didn't really answer my question other than reiterate the fact that I should calibrate my monitor. Did I miss the thread that you were talking about?

Edit- my monitor can display
Standard gamut, sRGB
~72% NTSC
Max res 1980x1080

My GPU is 32bits/pixel

Should I get a spyder 4pro or a spyder 3 pro/elite?
 

Last edited:

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#6
If your are asking about what file format does digilab accepts? Only Jpg and tiff.

Don't send your photos in RAW format there, not all digilabs have another computers loaded with photoshop. And even they do, their photoshop might not laterest enough to open your RAW files.

Even if they can open your RAW files, the will just export a jpg without any adjustment on the RAW files, then using their photo printing software to do color and density adjustment from the jpg file before printing.

And don't try to send your 300 wedding photos in full resolution tiff format from your 5DMK3 or D800 camera to print 4R photos, it won't give you best printing quality, but just to crash their computers
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#7
Catch lights>>. Ok ok. Shall check with the colour labs first. And yeah. Shall do the usual and save a copy as jpg and bring it along as well. Haha. And no. No wedding photos. It's just about 20 plus baby photos for a friend to make into a nice album. Like those wedding album types. Thanks for the advice mr catchlights!
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#9
Get Spyder 4. The newer devices are capable to handle all newer screen technologies, older devices might have problems.
Thanks Octarine I'm reading the reviews and the comparisons now. In fact been doing so since 7am. Haha. Still trying to figure it out.

Cos some reviews say that the spyder 4 express is good enough especially if I am not printing my own. I'm trying to figure out why they say so. After all if it saves me the $100 (diff in price btwn the pro and the express) why not.
The express only has a 6500k setting that results in a green colour cast for some users. Whereas the pro has multiple settings. I'm wondering how this will affect me.
 

Last edited:
Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#10
For anyone reading this, I would recommend you go here.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2012/01/17/how-to-calibrate-your-monitor/ link

In general -
1) For print work use the settings, gamma 1.8 temp 5000k

2) For web photos etc- gamma 2.2 temp 6500k

Spyder 4 express supports only 2.
Spyder 4 pro supports both 1 and 2.

Seniors, and experienced users, please comment. Really appreciate your sharing.

Thanks In advance.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,518
31
48
Pasir Ris
#11
I would recommend 6500K settings and do a soft-proofing with the lab.
For Spyder4, use the Pro version since it also supports dual screen setups.
 

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