9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2016 4:03 PM by Jao vdL

    Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?

    steveb0616

      I'm new to Lightroom and have not ventured into PS yet. I just upgraded from a Mac Book Pro to iMac. I have a Spyder Pro5 screen calibrator and I've used it to calibrate my monitor. Thinking I was all set, I fixed up a couple nice landscape photos (shot on Nikon D810 in RAW) and exported then uploaded to Bay Photo. Prints came back close on color by way off on density. After a few emails back and forth with Bay Photo support, I got the note below. Clearly I don't want to give up on my brand new iMac, so are there tips from others to help me out?

       

      Email from Bay Photo:

      We do not recommend using Apple-brand monitors for print calibration. They are designed to make the images on-screen look pleasing to the eye: high contrast, high saturation, and bright. This results in the user under-compensating due to those attributes – the images on-screen will always look brighter and more vibrant than the no-color-correction prints will.

      Here are some recommended monitors:

      Recommendations:

      Eizo ColorEdge series, starting at ~$1000
      NEC P-, PA-, or SpectraView series, starting at ~$600
      ASUS PA-series, starting at ~$400
      Dell UltraSharp PremierColor series, starting at ~$500

      In general, a good monitor, designed for accurate color rendition, should possess the following specifications:

      Resolution: 1920×1080px or better (16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio)
      Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 or better
      Color Support: 1.07 billion colors or more
      Viewing Angle: 178° or better

        • 1. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          The bit about Apple displays is pure BS! Your problem is your lab which isn't very well color managed (bet they demand you send them documents in sRGB; awful).

           

          You want to match the display to a print, here's a video to walk you though it. Yes, Eizo and SpectraView are a far better reference display system than what Apple offers but you have to calibrate all of them properly for a match. Also consider using a color reference image like this: http://www.digitaldog.net/files/2014PrinterTestFileFlat.tif.zip  and http://www.digitaldog.net/files/Gamut_Test_File_Flat.tif

           

          Why are my prints too dark?

          A video update to a written piece on subject from 2013

           

          In this 24 minute video, I'll cover:

           

          Are your prints really too dark?

          Display calibration and WYSIWYG

          Proper print viewing conditions

          Trouble shooting to get a match

          Avoiding kludges that don't solve the problem

           

          High resolution: http://digitaldog.net/files/Why_are_my_prints_too_dark.mp4

          Low resolution: https://youtu.be/iS6sjZmxjY4

          • 2. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
            steveb0616 Level 1

            Yeah, I'm getting is zero'ed in pretty well now. I've had to crank down the display brightness to maybe 15% of full range. But prints on my Epson Artisan 50 are now matching the display brightness pretty well. Thanks!

            • 3. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
              ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

              Does Bay Photo offer ICC profiles for their printers?

              • 4. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
                thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                ManiacJoe wrote:

                 

                Does Bay Photo offer ICC profiles for their printers?

                The bigger question would be, do they allow you to actually use them? IF they only allow the use of profiles for soft proofing, pass! That's not a true color managed workflow. Some lab's do allow the user to apply the output profile, pick a rendering intent and send output ready RGB to the lab. Just as one would and should do if they print themselves. Using a profile only for soft proofing is a waste of time and it's a lab that wants you to think they are fully color managed.

                • 5. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
                  steveb0616 Level 1

                  Thanks for the answers! They do offer ICC Profiles, not sure yet how to use them. I'm not married to Bay Photo, by the way. If anyone has recommendations for a lab they've had good results with, I'd love to hear it. This whole print thing is why I used to process my own color prints back in the day (owned a portrait / wedding studio ca. 1985). Always seems so frustrating to get decent prints.

                  • 6. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
                    steveb0616 Level 1

                    This is what Bay Photo says:

                     

                    "We provide an ICC profile for you to use when soft-proofing your images before submitting them for a print order.

                    It is meant only for viewing - do not embed the profile in your images. The files should only either have sRGB or Adobe RGB embedded. sRGB is preferred for photo paper prints, while Adobe RGB is preferred for giclee, metal, and press print items."

                    I assume that means downloading these would be a waste of time?

                    • 7. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
                      thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      steveb0616 wrote:

                      I assume that means downloading these would be a waste of time?

                      Pretty much. It's not a poke in the eye but it's not real useful. You don't know what Rendering Intent if forced on all conversions and you really want to have that control. You don't know if the profile being used just for soft proofing is the same profile being used for conversions. You don't know if Black Point Compensation is needed or used. It's just half baked at best.

                      • 8. Re: Getting accurate LR translation from monitor to lab?
                        Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        steveb0616 wrote:

                         

                        Thanks for the answers! They do offer ICC Profiles, not sure yet how to use them. I'm not married to Bay Photo, by the way. If anyone has recommendations for a lab they've had good results with, I'd love to hear it. This whole print thing is why I used to process my own color prints back in the day (owned a portrait / wedding studio ca. 1985). Always seems so frustrating to get decent prints.

                        I actually don't mind Bay Photo that much but I would agree their color management workflow is not top notch. They do work fine if you send adobeRGB files and people are very happy with prints from the sRGB jpegs on my smugmug website that are processed through them. It's important though to have your screen calibrated at a brightness commensurate with the environment you're editing in which usually means quite low except if you're working in a bright room. I agree completely with digitaldog that them saying your monitor is not good is BS. It is not the very best monitor but certainly quite good. Yes it has very high brightness by default but a bit of calibration and making sure your environment is not too dim will take care of that. A quick gut check is to look at other people's images online or to look at a test file that includes some portraits and some landscapes as that will quickly show you if you're off in brightness.

                         

                        If you are looking for a fully color managed lab, strangely enough one of the cheapest and fairly high quality options is costco. Their labs make profiles available for all their machines by dry creek photo: Digital photo lab profiles and you can send them files translated to that and you'll get great prints. There are not many labs that do this. Most operate more like Bay Labs with profiles just for soft proofing.