I have documented the lighter print output from LR 4 a while back and have been waiting for someone at Adobe to notice and offer some solution to this problem. I use a robust printing workflow and have done the experiments under very carefully controlled conditions. The same photograph printed from PS CS5, PS CS6, LR3 all look the same and the print from LR4 is a good deal lighter, probably 1.5-2 stops in exposure terms. This is a problem that seems specific to LR4 and has persisted over several updates. Could someone from Adobe address this question please.
Posts documenting printing problems:
I have never observed that Lr prints too light, and I have never heard it either on this forum. Although I've heard complaints that it prints too dark when the monitor brightness is set too high.
You say you have a 'robust printing workflow", and I assume that includes a calibrated monitor.
Are your Print Adjustments set to 0? See screen shot:
Yes, indeed I use a calibrated monitor. And, as you can see in the photographs I posted to illustrate the problem Photoshop CS5, CS6 and LR3 prints are very close to the screen capture and LR4 is not. The print adjustment box is not checked and the numbers are at zero. To this date, I can no longer print from Lightroom. I have to push everything to Photoshop and print from that. The output is as expected. Have you looked at the posts I linked in my forum post?
Yes, I did.
But before I would say that Lr is causing this i would carefully check the whole setup of my color management.
I remember several times when experienced photographers, Photoshop users, and Lr users complained about the printing out of Lr on this forum. In all cases there was a profile mismatch in the workflow setting that was responsible.
Please check carefully your setup from the selected profile in Lr to the settings of yourprinter in the printer dialog.
And, to repeat myself, my Lr 4.2 does not print too light.
Please understand that the forum members are not Adobe - although occasionally Adobe staff writes posts, too. They are clearly designated as "staff".
The members are Lr users just like you and - except for staff - have no affiliation with Adobe.
That nobody answered your earlier post is probably due to the fact that the problem you are reporting is highly unusual.
My printing workflow has been the same on all the print outputs. Why are all the others are fine and LR4 is not? I assure you, I am EXTREMELY careful about the workflow, I run seminars on it, and under the controlled conditions I was extra careful. I can produce lighter prints from Lightroom all day long. The fact that it is an unusual problem does not negate the fact that it IS a problem. Others may not be documenting and reporting their problems like I have been doing. I DO wish at least on occasion an Adobe staff will pick up the issue and provide an answer. If I need to check certain things beyond printing workflow I am willing to check them but I have run out of ideas.
Thank you for trying. I am posting screen captures that show the print settings in LR4. If you see anything out of whack please let me know. The paper in use is Red River Arctic Polar Satin, the profile works like a charm in Photoshop CS5 or 6. I have just printed two more images for this screen capture, the missing element appears to be black. As if it is not using the black ink. I did check the nozzles, they are clean and I can get a very good photograph from Photoshop. I am trying to provide as much information as I can, hoping all the while that Adobe will chime in. I can provide screen capture and scan the printed photographs for comparison if necessary.
I appreciate your help web-weaver, thank you.
I notice that in the Lr profile you have your paper specified by icc-profile (which is correct) but in the printer dialog it says <Premium Luster Photo Paper (260)>.
I am not familiar with your printer but does your printer not allow you to specify the paper by icc-profile? I have a HP printer but it lets me add any paper I have an icc-profile for to the list of papers.
Also, your paper is "Satin" whereas the printer dialog says "Premium Luster". I have made prints with the Epson Premium Luster paper on my HP printer - but the Epson Premium Luster correlates to the HP Glossy Paper, not to the HP Satin Paper.
What I cannot see is your printer <Custom Settings>.
The paper type is selectable by the available options in the printer dialog window and Premium Luster is the recommended paper type to select for this paper by Red River Paper. The color conversion is handled by Lightroom according to the profile selected. The paper type in the printer dialog window essentially controls the intensity of ink jet spray. Under Custom Settings the options are mainly mechanical and not related to the color or tone of the image. Some are selectable elsewhere and show here for information. I have not had to change it for any of the papers I have used so far in any of the applications. I am attaching a screen capture of the options under that for the sake of completeness.
Yes, what I choose on the printer dialog box is independent of the softare pushing the print. The part that seems not to work is in Lightroom color management module in the print engine. I have also tried different papers with the same result.
I just did a test:
I printed a TIFF that has alos some Lr adjustments from Lr 4.3 RC and then opened this image in CS5 (copy with Lr Adjystments) and printed it from CS5.
Same print settings in Lr 4.3 RC and in CS5. the TIFF has proPhoto RGB embedded. My working color space in CS5 is proPhoto RGB.
My two prints are absolutely identical in color and in tonality.
Since I do not doubt what you are seeing and reporting, I conclude at this point that either Lr does not talk to your printer correctly or your printer does not listen correctly (or both) - question is only which one is from Mars and which one from Venus.
I would suggest to ask Epson if they can reproduce the results that you are seeing.
Simultaneously you could get in contact with MadManChan. You can find his e-mail on his website: http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/photos/profiles.html
MadManChan is the software engineer for the Lr color engine.
In case any Adobe staff read this thread, I am updating with more information. I have uninstalled LR3 and LR4 altogether. Just to eliminate another hypothesis, I printed the same image after uninstalling LR3 using LR4. There was no change from the earlier prints I had made.
I reinstalled LR4 with no plugins or add ons. Then printed the same image from LR4 and then Photoshop CS6. The print from LR4 was noticeably lighter with a little shift to magenta. I have scanned the prints with no adjustments in the scanner or afterwards other than cropping to eliminate the white border. I am attaching 4 images, LR4 screen capture and Photoshop screen capture of the image. They look identical as they should. Then, LR4 print scan and Photoshop 6 print scan both of them a little darker than they look under daylight balanced viewing light. As you will see, tonality and colors of the PS6 print is the same as either screen capture (with some mental adjustment to account for the darker scan of both). However, the LR4 print is a good deal lighter than either screen capture or the PS6 print.
I don't know what else I can do.
Here are the images:
Lighter and +magenta/red implies double color management (darker green implies no color management). Somehow, both LR and your driver are both applying color management. I suspect a driver issue...or the inability to clear out the the driver settings as stored by LR. I would suggest trashing your LR preferences and reinstalling the most recent driver.
One thing you've not mentioned is wether or not you are trying to print from a LR Preset...
Thank you for chiming in Jeff. I will remove the Epson 4880 driver and download a newer one if there is one. Would uninstalling LR4 not have removed the preferences? I deleted all Lightroom folders under App Data. If I need to delete all preferences I will anyway again. Regarding double color management, is there a way to test if it is happening or not? Like intentionally double managing and see if it makes a difference?
For this test I use the Lightroom preset (1) 8x10. I have used other presets or might even have not used any. I have struggled with this since I installed LR4. Is there a process you would suggest I use in the print module for testing purposes?
There should be no need to manually delete folders under App Data. The App Data Camera Raw folders are shared by Photoshop's ACR application and should not be deleted. A LR uninstall removes everything except the Preferences file, Catalog files, Preview files, and Camera Raw cache files, so you will need to manually delete the LR4 Preferences file before doing the LR4 reinstall.
It's also a good idea to update the printer driver and create a new monitor profile with your hardware display calibrator to eliminate these as a source of your problem.
I was careful not to delete the shared folders. Lightroom uninstall indeed left some folders behind, and rightly so since they included the settings for slide shows, print layouts, etc. that I created. I made sure to copy them elsewhere before deleting the folders. The reason I did that was to make sure that no small remnant of renegade setting would not creep in again. A WORD OF CAUTION to others who may read this thread, I will not recommend that you tacle this part of deleting folders. I am very comfortable in Windows OS level and know what I'm doing. If you don't feel that comfortable don't attempt deleting any folders, you may cripple one or more applications.
I downloaded and installed the printer driver last night but have not yet printed a new print. I will take your suggestion and reprofile the display as well.
OK, time for an update. I'm afraid without much success ;-(
With the newly installed printer driver for Epson 4880, vsrion 6.64, I printed the same image. Same result, lighter and shifted to magenta as before.
I then attacked the preferences file, closed Lightroom, renamed the preferences file to *.old, restarted Lightroom and saw the new one being created. I printed again. Exact same output, lighter and shifted to magenta.
I am almost ready to resign to accept the fact that I will not be able to print from Lightroom 4. Thank you all for your help.
Going back to your screen shots of yesterday - the Lr print settings and the printer settings - there is one thing that I don't see: is color management by your printer disabled in both cases, i.e. when printing from CS6 and when printing from Lr?
I know, it's a very basic thing, and you know all about this - but have you checked recently?
You said "what I choose on the printer dialog box is independent of the softare pushing the print" - yes and that's where my question comes in:
Could there be a different setting for enabling / disabling color management by the printer for CS6 and for Lr.
As you know, Photoshop can save the printer settings - so could there be different settings for CS6 and Lr?
I just did this test:
Opened an image in CS5, went to <Print>. In the printer settings I selected <Application managed>. This is my printer's wording for disabling color management by the printer. Clicked <Done>, and saved the image in CS5.
Same image in the print Module of Lr: in Color Management I did not change the profile (one of my HP papers) - but in the printer settings I selected <ColorSmart RGB/sRGB> instead of <Application managed>. This results in color management by Lr and by the printer and with different color settings (proPhoto RGB vs. sRGB). I started the print.
I re-opened this image in CS5, checked the printer settings - and lo-and-behold - it still said <Application managed>. Re-checked the printer settings via Lr - it says <ColorSmart RGB/sRGB.
Result: if you don't check and reset manually you can have color management by CS5 only and color management by Lr and by the printer for the same image.
So the assumption "what I choose on the printer dialog box is independent of the softare pushing the print" is not true for color management.
That is an interesting twist, but the image I am printing is a RAW file. When I open it in Photoshop it is converted to pixels. By the way, I did not have this problem in Lightroom 3, even after I installed Lightroom 4. As I showed in two posts I wrote about this problem, LR3 printed fine, just like Photoshop CS5 and CS6. I have no idea what is going on, but I do know that I have this problem ONLY in LR4, and every time I print from LR4.
Trust me, I have been checking the printer settings every time I print from Lightroom and Photoshop during these tests. Color management is turned off in the printer. But, it's neither here nor there, I surrendered! Photoshop is my print engine from now on.
I wrote a message to MadManChan but have not yet heard. I don't even know if he has time to deal with this. We'll see.
In this situation I would run a test with a TIFF or PSD that has either no adjustmenst in Lr at all, or if it has I'd open it in CS6 as a <Copy with Lr Adjustments>.
This test would eliminate a cause in the conversion from Raw to pixels.
I must be crazy, even after accepting defeat I could not help to have a couple of other tests.
My conclusion still stands, something in the Lightroom 4 color translation is stuck somewhere improper and cannot get unstuck despite my attempts to administer a Heimlich Maneuver! I can print from Lightroom 4 but it restricts my paper choices to those that the printer driver recognizes. That is not a really acceptable solution for me, although it is a half-fast solution.
Web-weaver, i have just seen your new post. I think I tried that approach in the past and printed the same jpeg file from different applications. Given my latest post about getting accurate output when the printer manages the color kind of bypasses that file format issue I think. I may give that a try, but it defeats the purpose of printing from Lightroom. If I have to convert it to TIFF or PSD and reimport it to Lightroom I might as well print from Photoshop. The nice thing about printing from Lightroom is that image scaling is done on the fly without multiple conversions and sampling.
Your latest test that confirmed that printing from Lr with colors managed by printer produces correct colors and Jeff Schewe's earlier comment that "Lighter and +magenta/red implies double color management" both point in the same direction: double color management.
It seems that somehow your printer doesn't accept "color management off" when printing from Lr.
But it did from Lightroom 3, I have made a ton of prints directly from Lightroom 3 with LR3 managing the color by picking the profile from the list. I could not be the only ownder of Epson 4880 who prints this way. That said, I must be a maniac to try this many variations but there is some (almost) good news.
Jeff, if you have time to read this and then give me some direction on the logic of using ICM method of managing color I will be grateful. I realize this is not the preferred method of color management, even Epson says so. But I am very close to having a workaround that will allow me to print from Lightroom again.
Web-weaver, thank you for keeping me engaged and giving me ideas to pursue. Without that I would not have persisted this far. Not let's see if Jeff is occasionally looking at this thread.
Here is the screen capture of the ICM settings:
Another thought - still in the vein of "double color management":
Can you reset your printer? I can reset mine by switching the power off (i.e. inplugging it from the outlet / power bar), waiting at least 30 seconds and switching the power back on. My printer then goes through a set-up routine.
If the "double color management" is "stuck" in the printer, maybe it could be reset that way (?).
Think a printer-caused problem would create the same or similar problems for Photoshop. Therefore I am not inclined to chase that path. Whatever ails LR4 is confined to LR4, or something interfering with its proper functioning. My next path mey be to install LR3 and print from it.
Forgive me for saying this: It seems to me you are too fixated upon the idea that Lr4 is the cause of this.
Just think: Lr 4 prints with so many different printers perfectly, and also with Epson printers.
I don't know of anybody on this forum who has this problem.
What are the chances that Lr4 is causing this for the Epson 4880?
Why would Lr4 act differently on the Epson 4880 than on -for instance - the Epson 2880?
Well, the evidence is pointing in that direction, that's why. I am willing to look at other options, but I don't want to chase every red herring either. As I said, if the printer had a problem would it now show up when I print from Photoshop? It is quite possible that another application I have or a setting somewhere else is adversely affecting LR4 printing. But one thing is for certain, I do not have printing problems when I do that from Photoshop. I am not saying these simply to be subborn, but I have been trying many different paths, with all returning to LR4-related printing problems.
I am providing a link will gives some basic info about printing with proper color management and may assist in sorting out the original posters problems. While one of the programs involved is not Lightroom the concepts employed to create properly color managed prints are the same. Hope this helps.
Thanks, I will check that reading. In the mean time, I have installed Lightroom 3 and printed the same image using the LR3 managing color with the paper/printer profile selected and the color managment turned off on the printer. The output is spot on! Exactly like what I got from Photoshop CS6 and what I see on the monitor. If Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS6, CS5 produce identical output and Lightroom 4 does not, what else could I conclude but LR4 is the culprit. Not necessarily by itself, but it may be affected by a third factor that does not seem to affect the other applications.
Just to let you know I've searched the Web and other forums and found no post with your specific LR4 issue with any Epson printer, at least none that weren't correctable using proper settings.
I also downloaded the Epson 4880 user manual and see on pages 53-55 mention of 'Advanced Controls' under 'Custom Settings.' I know it's a long-shot, but did you check these advanced settings in ALL of the tested applications – LR4, LR3 and PS CS5/6? Is there anything set differently here in LR4? You may also want to consider testing with LR4.3 RC.
GOT IT! Kind of.
I have disabled all the plugins, all the modules, all the presets by actually deleting them from their folders (after ZIPping them into a file in case). Printed from LR4, LR4 managed color, profile PRO 4880 PLPP and no color management in the printer. The output is spot on. Of course, the problem I now face is to figure out which plugin or preset was causing this grief. Some I installed recently and added again after the reinstall. I can probably check the folder creation dates and see if that helps me narrow the culprit down. I have disabled the plugins installed by Lightroom as well, they were not in the Modules folder so I could not delete them. I will start enabling them first, then will add the other plugins with a diagnostic plan.
Trshaner, thanks for digging up that information. I have looked at the manual. Those settings are available when color controls are selected. I was trying to solve this problem in a color-managed workflow manner. Now that I found the culprit to be a plugin or preset, I am kicking myself for not looking there first. At the time when I first experienced this problem, I did not have any plugins that would be a must have for me. In fact none of them is a must have. I wasted the time, ink, and paper for nothing! The plugins being at fault never occured to me until 30 minutes ago. Thanks for all the help, now the chase continues in a different direction. When I find the guilty plugin though... A silver bullet to its heart!!!