20 Replies Latest reply on Feb 6, 2015 9:12 AM by thedigitaldog

    Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!

    Robert Mack

      Hi

       

      Am using LR 5.7

      I import images in RAW and convert to DNG.

      hen I export as a JPG and print, the prints are fine.

       

      When I print from Lightroom's Print Module, the prints come out too dark with a significant loss of detail in shadow.

       

      Adobe....  This has been a major problem since version LR 1...  It is High time you fixed it!  I have wasted dozens of sheets of paper due to this problem!!

       

      My screen is a 24" calibrated IPS ASUS monitor.

       

      Windows 7, 64Bit.

       

      Many Thanks

      Kind Rgds

      Rob

        • 1. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
          RikkFlohr Adobe Community Professional

          It's pretty simple. If your prints are too dark, your monitor is too bright.  You are under-exposing your images in development due to the over-bright monitor which leads to the loss of detail in your pictures when printed.  There are plenty of posts out there on this subject.

           

          Re: Lightroom 4.1 Prints Dark

          Why Are My Prints Always Too Dark? - Lightroom Forums

          • 2. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
            walterono Level 1

            In the Print module, under Print Job, Print Adjustment, set Brightness to +30 and Contrast to +15 (these settings work with my printer). Make a test print. If necessary, modify the settings. Retest. Once you have arrived at appropriate settings for your printer you don't need to worry about adjusting settings for each individual image.

            • 3. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
              Robert Mack Level 1

              The image is fine if I export as a JPG, then print using Windows.

              If I print from LR's print module, the prints are too dark.

               

              The monitor is Calibrated.

               

              If I take a screen dump and copy to PowerPoint and print. The image is what I have on my monitor.

               

              The problem is between LR and the Printer.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                walterono Level 1

                "If your prints are too dark, your monitor is too bright."

                Not necessarily true. It could be the monitor is OK but LR prints images too dark. I have calibrated my monitor but prints still turn out dark unless I adjust brightness and contrast. See my other post.

                • 5. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                  RikkFlohr Adobe Community Professional

                  walterono wrote:

                  Not necessarily true. It could be the monitor is OK but LR prints images too dark. I have calibrated my monitor but prints still turn out dark unless I adjust brightness and contrast. See my other post.

                   

                  It's pretty much been demonstrated everywhere that this is the case.  If a blank white document in MS word is brighter than the piece of paper on which you are printing (and it takes 10 seconds to check this with your camera's meter) that it is physically impossible to achieve correct print brightness throughout the chroma and tonal range.

                   

                  I have seen many calibrated monitors that are set too bright.  But, let's put it another way: I have never had a dark print from Lightroom (windows or mac) (over the counter or professional printed).  I have never had to touch the Brightness and Contrast controls in the Print Module either. They are unnecessary and counter to proper color (and brightness) workflow.


                  Some more reading: Why Are My Prints Too Dark

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                    Robert Mack Level 1

                    Many thanks

                    This works fine with my system!

                    Kind Regards

                    Rob

                    • 7. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                      walterono Level 1

                      Most of the images that my camera (Canon 6D) thinks are accurately exposed display as such on my (calibrated) monitor, but come out too dark on my (calibrated) printer. As the man said, the problem is between LR and the printer, hence my use of the compensation controls in the Print Module. In order not to use the compensation controls I would have to increase the brightness of the images as seen on my monitor by the equivalent of a couple of stops or so, making them appear washed out and impossible to edit properly.

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                        Robert Mack Level 1

                        I agree completely. I use a 5DM3 and a 1DX with L lenses. The exposure looks fine in Camera, Using DDP 4, Photoshop, and even Lightroom 5.7.

                        When I export from LR to JPG, then print from Windows or Any office app. The images are spot on!

                        The problem seems to be with Lightroom's Print Module talking to the printer.

                         

                        This problem has been going on since LR Version 1...  What is Adobe doing about it?

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                          RikkFlohr Adobe Community Professional

                          Robert Mack wrote:

                           

                          This problem has been going on since LR Version 1...  What is Adobe doing about it?

                           

                          I shoot with Canon Cameras. I print with Lightroom. Spot on. This is with Print Adjustment unchecked (Brightness and Contrast set to Zero)

                          I can export a JPEG from Lightroom and print from another application. Spot on.

                           

                          If your arguments were true, I would be getting a: dark prints from Lightroom or b: bright prints elsewhere. That's not happening. The problem is your monitor brightness settings. Did you read the links I posted -  try setting your monitor brightness correctly and then adjust your image and then print it? What was the result?

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                            Butch_M Level 4

                            Robert Mack wrote:

                             

                            I agree completely. I use a 5DM3 and a 1DX with L lenses. The exposure looks fine in Camera, Using DDP 4, Photoshop, and even Lightroom 5.7.

                            When I export from LR to JPG, then print from Windows or Any office app. The images are spot on!

                            The problem seems to be with Lightroom's Print Module talking to the printer.

                             

                            This problem has been going on since LR Version 1...  What is Adobe doing about it?

                             

                            Could you explain why so many other users have not experienced this problem .... since Lr v1?

                             

                            I deliver thousands of prints per month to clients that are printed in-house as well as files sent to pro labs (three different labs in fact) ... I've never had this issue .... since Lr v1.

                             

                            You also have not elaborated the details of how you print. Do you have Lr in control of printing, or do you have the printer set to interpret color, tone, etc. Are your Windows apps adding any additional processing in the printing process (as in are those apps applying any auto exposure or correction behind the scenes?) .... Are you choosing the same printer paper profiles in all your methods of printing. There are a number of variables to consider.

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                              Robert Mack Level 1

                              Hi Butch

                              Do a google search for Lightroom Prints too Dark and you will find dozens of posts for all versions of LR. It is a common problem.

                               

                              I also upload images from LR to a Print Lab and the prints are fine.

                               

                              The problem is using the LR Print Module to print on a printer attached to my PC.

                              I have the same problem with an Epson R1900 and a Mitsubishi

                               

                              LR had ICM managed by Printer. The Printer has ICM managed by Host.

                              I did try this using the printer's ICM profile within LR. Still too dark.

                               

                              No windows apps are adding any additional processing in the printing process as far as I am aware of. The only exposure correction / adjustment was done in LR..... I am choosing the same printer paper profiles in all methods of printing.

                              • 12. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                Bob Somrak Level 5

                                Robert Mack wrote:

                                 

                                Hi Butch

                                Do a google search for Lightroom Prints too Dark and you will find dozens of posts for all versions of LR. It is a common problem.

                                 

                                 

                                A Google search does show this but that doesn't mean that Lightroom is at fault.  As Butch and Rikk have indicated and I can agree with, Lightroom will produce spot on prints if everything is calibrated and all the printer/lightroom settings are correct.  The Print Job/Print Adjustment is a kludge that should never have been included in Lightroom.

                                • 13. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                  trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Robert Mack wrote:

                                   

                                  My screen is a 24" calibrated IPS ASUS monitor.

                                   

                                   

                                  Does you calibration software have an 'Advanced' mode that allows setting the Luminance level? What Luminance value (??? cd/m2) and calibration device are you using?

                                   

                                  For "normal"room lighting and print viewing conditions 90 to 120 cd/m2 works well.

                                  • 14. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                    Butch_M Level 4

                                    Robert Mack wrote:

                                     

                                    Hi Butch

                                    Do a google search for Lightroom Prints too Dark and you will find dozens of posts for all versions of LR. It is a common problem.

                                     

                                    There are many hardware and software issues that according to a "Google search" would appear as a universal problem, while in reality, they are far from widespread. I can assure you that Lightroom would not be as popular as it is today if this were indeed a universal problem.

                                     

                                    Robert Mack wrote:

                                     

                                    I also upload images from LR to a Print Lab and the prints are fine.

                                     

                                     

                                    Yes, but is your lab making adjustments to the images during the print process? Many do. My labs do not, they simply print the files as they are submitted. Many consumer and "pro"-sumer labs apply auto correction to image files. Most of these labs do not even inform you that they are applying those adjustments.

                                     

                                    Robert Mack wrote:

                                     

                                    The problem is using the LR Print Module to print on a printer attached to my PC.

                                    I have the same problem with an Epson R1900 and a Mitsubishi

                                     

                                    Yes ... and if you are applying the same settings/instructions in Lr for printing, the problem will persist regardless of the brand of printer used.

                                     

                                    Robert Mack wrote:

                                     

                                    LR had ICM managed by Printer. The Printer has ICM managed by Host.

                                    I did try this using the printer's ICM profile within LR. Still too dark.

                                     

                                    This could be part of your problem ... if Lightroom is set for the printer to handle color management by the printer ... and your printer is set to be color managed by the host (i.e. - Lightroom) ... then in actuality, the images you are printing from Lightroom are not being color managed at all. Ideally, you should have Lightroom set to manage printing when you have the printer driver set to "managed by Host" ...

                                     

                                    Robert Mack wrote:

                                     

                                    No windows apps are adding any additional processing in the printing process as far as I am aware of. The only exposure correction / adjustment was done in LR..... I am choosing the same printer paper profiles in all methods of printing.

                                     

                                    You may not be making settings in your Windows apps ... but if your printer driver is set to make auto adjustments by default when printing from these apps could explain the difference.

                                     

                                    Additionally, many folks think they are "calibrating" their monitors when they are not doing so as it pertains to printing. Accurate color is only one phase. While your colors may appear true, the monitor brightness may be too much to accurately render a near match of what a printed version of the image would be reproduced.

                                     

                                    As trshaner pointed out, not only do you need to render a close approximation of color ... but also overall brightness. Most monitors/displays, even very expensive and high resolution displays, are extremely bright at default settings for rendering a close match for printed material. That overall brightness level should fall within 90 to 120 cd/m2 and be adjusted as needed for your specific viewing environment and papers and printer inks combinations.

                                    • 15. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                      Butch_M Level 4

                                      Bob Somrak wrote:


                                      The Print Job/Print Adjustment is a kludge that should never have been included in Lightroom.

                                       

                                      Not everyone thinks so. Some folks really like their overly bright/high contrast displays ... even Lightroom experts like Matt K. as he explained in this Lr v4 video where the print brightness slider was first introduced. (not that I endorse his view, simply sharing for additional thoughts)

                                       

                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlANLGxLdrI&app=desktop

                                       

                                      His comments about the Print module adjustment is about 6 min. in.

                                      • 16. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                        thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                        Butch_M wrote:

                                        Not everyone thinks so. Some folks really like their overly bright/high contrast displays ... even Lightroom experts like Matt K. as he explained in this Lr v4 video where the print brightness slider was first introduced. (not that I endorse his view, simply sharing for additional thoughts    

                                        Matt K really hasn't a clue here about the issue and yes, the sliders are a kludge. The proper way to fix this issue is at the source, proper display calibration. Then good output profiles and soft proofing. Matt and his boss don't believe in sound color management and dismiss soft proofing which flies in the face of any logic considering the engineering work Adobe has placed in both LR and Photoshop to provide this very useful set of features. The sliders in LR are for those who just can't take the time to fix the issue in the first place or might be using Printer Manages Color instead of the way it should be done (Application Manages Color).

                                         

                                        If anyone is actually interested in sound color management, NAPP is no longer a reliable place to get those data points.

                                        • 17. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                          walterono wrote:

                                           

                                          "If your prints are too dark, your monitor is too bright."

                                          Not necessarily true. It could be the monitor is OK but LR prints images too dark. I have calibrated my monitor but prints still turn out dark unless I adjust brightness and contrast. See my other post.

                                          It is of course possible that prints are too dark. That's why the way to get to the bottom of this mess is to use a color reference image. One that has known good quality RGB values and should NOT print too dark. Here's one such example you can use: http://www.digitaldog.net/files/2014PrinterTestFileFlat.tif.zip

                                           

                                          Make a print. Compare to the display. Is it too 'dark' compared to the display but not when viewed elsewhere? If so, you've got a display issue. If no matter how and where you view it under a good illuminant for viewing a print, then you've got a color management issue, it's not the image data! The URL that explains how to fix this issue was already provided* more than once. Read it and then ask any questions about what isn't working on your end.

                                          *Why Are My Prints Too Dark

                                          • 18. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                            Bob Somrak Level 5

                                            Butch_M wrote:

                                             

                                             

                                            Not everyone thinks so. Some folks really like their overly bright/high contrast displays .

                                            Thanks for the link.  I guess these sliders are useful if you want a bright screen so you can get a nice tan in the winter while you are doing photo editing.

                                            • 19. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                              Butch_M Level 4

                                              thedigitaldog wrote:

                                               

                                              Matt K really hasn't a clue here about the issue and yes, the sliders are a kludge. The proper way to fix this issue is at the source, proper display calibration. Then good output profiles and soft proofing. Matt and his boss don't believe in sound color management and dismiss soft proofing which flies in the face of any logic considering the engineering work Adobe has placed in both LR and Photoshop to provide this very useful set of features. The sliders in LR are for those who just can't take the time to fix the issue in the first place or might be using Printer Manages Color instead of the way it should be done (Application Manages Color).

                                               

                                              If anyone is actually interested in sound color management, NAPP is no longer a reliable place to get those data points.

                                               

                                              Didn't say I agreed with Matt ... just pointing out what others think about the sliders ... personally, I've never had the need, desire or curiosity to use them.

                                              • 20. Re: Lightroom 5 Prints are too Dark - We Need a Fix Now!
                                                thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                Butch_M wrote:

                                                Didn't say I agreed with Matt

                                                We're in agreement.