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MKSuttonENFJ
Currently Being Moderated

Lightroom 4.1 Prints Dark

Jul 16, 2012 3:00 PM

Tags: #dark #print #lightroom4 #darker #4.1 #darkened

I have the latest version of LR 4.1 running under 64 bit Windows 7. I have an Epson Artisan 50 and an Epson Photo 1400. Both are using Epson ink and paper. My monitor has been calibrated with a Eye-One Match 3. However, whenever I print from LR, the output on the printers is from one-half to a full stop darker than they were on the screen.

 

Photoshop CS6 does the same thing. At one point LR 3 did not do this. Have downloaded and installed the latest Epson dirvers for each printer mentioned above. Anyone else seeing this issue? Thanks!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 16, 2012 3:27 PM   in reply to MKSuttonENFJ

    Whilst I know that you wrote that the screen is calibrated I'm pretty certain that your display is too bright. Try dialling it back until the screen image has similar density to prints then reedit the image to increase its brightness. Once you've got the image on screen as you want try making another print. If that sorts out the problem then we know it's definitely the display brightness level was set too high.

     

    BTW: there is a feature in Lr 4.x Print module to compensate for the screen brightness issue, but let's try fixing the real problem before fiddling with it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 16, 2012 4:09 PM   in reply to MKSuttonENFJ

    One other thing to check, if you have color management/profiles for the paper/printer  you are using selected in Lightroom make sure it is deactivated in the printer properties. This would cause color shifts but also exposure shifts.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 16, 2012 4:19 PM   in reply to MKSuttonENFJ

    See also this recent thred:http://forums.adobe.com/message/4561536#4561536

     

    Set the luminace (brightness, intensity) of your monitor to between 100 - 120 cd/m2.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 9:39 AM   in reply to Ian Lyons

    Ian Lyons wrote:

     

    I'm pretty certain that your display is too bright.

     

    Correct. This is the main reason for which prints come out too dark.

     

    MKSuttonENFJ, when calibrating your display, target a luminance of at most 100 cd/m2 . 90 cd/m2 is even better in most cases. The correct value depends on your environment and on the environment under which you examine the prints. If your calibration software doesn't give you the possibility of targetting a given luminance, change for another calibration software .

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
    1,387 posts
    Apr 16, 2009
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    Jul 17, 2012 12:28 PM   in reply to MKSuttonENFJ

    MKSuttonENFJ wrote:

     

    I have the latest version of LR 4.1 running under 64 bit Windows 7. I have an Epson Artisan 50 and an Epson Photo 1400. Both are using Epson ink and paper. My monitor has been calibrated with a Eye-One Match 3. However, whenever I print from LR, the output on the printers is from one-half to a full stop darker than they were on the screen.

    Begging the question, are the prints really too dark (possible) or fine and just darker than the display (very likely). Yes, you calibrated the display, but HOW is the critical factor. The settings must be configured to produce a match. I suggest you read how to fix that here:

     

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark .shtml

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Apr 16, 2009
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    Jul 17, 2012 12:33 PM   in reply to web-weaver

    web-weaver wrote:

    Set the luminace (brightness, intensity) of your monitor to between 100 - 120 cd/m2.

    It isn’t possible nor useful to provide any settings until the print viewing conditions are defined. Prints viewed next to the display! For my NEC 3090, matching a print on my GTI light box, it has to be calibrated to 150cd/m2 (which is about the minimum luminance it can natively hit) with the GTI boot set to 50%. Unless someone gives some idea of how they are viewing a print (Fluorescent booth, Solux Bulbs at X distance, whatever), making any suggestion for cd/m2 is not at all useful.

     

    http://digitaldog.net/files/Print_to_Screen_Matching.jpg

     

    New LCD displays are difficult to natively set at the values you specify. Lowering them by introducing a LUT into the mix isn’t useful. And don’t forget that it is useful to control the print viewing conditions such you can raise and lower that part of the equation! You don’t have to force your display into a behavior that is less than ideal to produce a visual match. That’s why good light boxes have dimmers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 2:23 PM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    Andrew Rodney wrote:

    It isn’t possible nor useful to provide any settings until the print viewing conditions are defined.

    You are correct in absolute terms - but in the real world prints are not only viewed under controlled conditions but under all kinds of conditions and light. Even if they are displayed in a gallery with good lighting - would that be the same light as that of your booth?

    So, in real life it all comes down to some compromise. And, for that 100 - 120 cd/m2 for monitor brightness is a good, average value for different viewing conditions - or at least a starting point.

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
    1,387 posts
    Apr 16, 2009
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    Jul 17, 2012 2:35 PM   in reply to web-weaver

    web-weaver wrote:

    You are correct in absolute terms - but in the real world prints are not only viewed under controlled conditions but under all kinds of conditions and light. Even if they are displayed in a gallery with good lighting - would that be the same light as that of your booth?

    So, in real life it all comes down to some compromise. And, for that 100 - 120 cd/m2 for monitor brightness is a good, average value for different viewing conditions - or at least a starting point.

    The only real world in a case where you want the display and print to match is where you view the print and the display in context (next to each other) and where the print viewing conditions are reasonable. ANY print at ANY density will look dark if you illuminant it in a room with only a 6 watt nightlight bulb! Turn on some reasonable lighting, you might see the print is nearly a white sheet of paper. All we care about in this case is a display to print match. The display luminance cannot be ridiculously low or high. Even if you could produce 24cd/m2 or 240cd/m2, that simply isn’t going to fly. Nor is viewing the print with equally ridiculously low or high luminance. The idea is WYSIWYG. If the two are reasonable (and I’d submit that 100cd/m2 out of a modern LCD isn’t), you’ll get a match. And once you take the print out of this environment, place it into reasonable conditions (again, not a nightlight or a 10K arc lamp), your eyes will adjust to the conditions and the print will not look too dark or too light. Bottom line is, you have to account for both print and display conditions. Without doing this properly, within reason, specifying any recommendation for a display calibration aim point, be it luminance or white point is simply wasting time and confusing people.

     

    IF the major color management vendors would stop telling people who are not accounting for print viewing conditions a small range of cd/m2 values to target, fewer people would be having these issues. Because they simply don’t account for the print viewing conditions and take the target values as an absolute.

     

    It is a bit like someone telling us all their captures are too dark and someone then recommending they should shoot at F5.6. Without understanding the conditions, let alone the shutter speed and ISO of the capture device, such recommendations do more harm than good.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 2:22 AM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    Hi,

    Andrew Rodney wrote:

    Without understanding the conditions, let alone the shutter speed and ISO of the capture device, such recommendations do more harm than good.

     

    I'm not sure I agree and I think that web-weaver has a more realistic approach for non-professional users. A professional or expert knows exactly what he is doing (hopefully) and he doesn't need recommendations about the display luminance. He knows everything about the relationship between display luminance, display color temperature and viewing conditions.

     

    Most users complaining about dark prints are non professional and the main reason for which they get dark prints is a much too high luminance of their display. Most of them use factory values or values that are very flattering for the images and most of the time they also use default values in their software (host application or driver). Telling them to target a luminance value around 100 cd/m2 will be useful in most cases, that is, this will give better results.

     

    I don't say that this will give a very accurate result (these users usually don't care) but this will most of the time fix the problem for them. They will never bring much attention to the viewing conditions, they don't have a light box or even a daylight lamp.  They just want to get something out of their printers that more or less closely resembles to what they see on the screen, at home, in usual home lighting conditions. Also, remember that many users don't have a printer at home and will get their prints from a photo shop or from an online service.

     

    As to the capability of the modern displays to obtain lower luminance values, I don't see any problem with this with quality displays. Of course, there are displays with a minimum luminance value that is much too high. This is a point that must be checked before purchasing. A modern LCD display can be set at a value between 90 and 110 cd/m2 without forcing anything and without requiring important corrections when calibrating.

     

    My two cents.

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
    1,387 posts
    Apr 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 6:24 AM   in reply to Samoreen

    Samoreen wrote:

     

    As to the capability of the modern displays to obtain lower luminance values, I don't see any problem with this with quality displays. Of course, there are displays with a minimum luminance value that is much too high. This is a point that must be checked before purchasing. A modern LCD display can be set at a value between 90 and 110 cd/m2 without forcing anything and without requiring important corrections when calibrating.

     

    The question becomes, is the lower luminance produced by actually lowering the CCFL or LED or by altering a LUT in the graphic system path. The former is far preferable, the later, especially with display systems that are not utilizing high bits within the panel (few and far between) is not ideal.

     

    With reasonable print luminance values, there is simply no reason to have to resort to such low levels on the display. We have two items we could control. Most users having ‘darker prints than display’ (they are not dark prints) don’t think about simply raising the print viewing conditions. It is simple, it works, it provides an extra level of control over the matching.

     
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