I’ve got some work ahead of me – The IPF8300 and the ColorMunki

Richard Charpentier Photography, Printers, Prints, RLC Design, Wide Format Printing Leave a Comment

Yesterday I started fine tuning the Canon IPF8300 with the ColorMunki.  While getting closer, things are very odd.  Let me give you the rundown.

As I stated initially, printing out of the box with the 8300 could be achieved with close results by using Canon’s Photoshop Plugin.  Printing direct from Lightroom, or printing direct from Photoshop did not yield “amazing” results.  Not when comparing to my original prints.  So, I held back until the ColorMunki arrived.  And hey, yesterday I got to work with it.

First off I recalibrated both monitors here at the gallery.  The ColorMunki is pretty easy to use, and I’ll tell you what.  The IMac’s display is very close to the Cinema Display.  That put a smile on my face almost immediately.

Once I went through the monitor process I then decided to profile Red River’s Polar Pearl Metallic and the Cinema Display together.  The Munki lets you profile only your printer, only your display, or both in the same process.  Very cool.

Well, the profiling is definitely more time consuming than profiling the Z3100.  Hey, I’ve been spoiled by the HP’s built in spectrophotometer.  What can I tell you?  🙂

After profiling the monitors and the paper I set about printing direct from Lightroom.  To my surprise, much better than the initial tests from Lightroom out of the box.  Profiling the paper with the Munki helped, but not all the way.  For some reason the reds dropped out, oranges bumped up, and exposure dropped.  Hmmmmm…….

After the Lightroom test I decided the next step was to reprint the same exact image from the Photoshop Plugin provided by Canon.  The results compared to printing from Lightroom were very different.  Colors were on it, but once again it seemed as though the exposure was still dropped.

I figured, hey, maybe if I drop screen brightness the print might match the screen better.  Not so.  It’s almost as if the exposure were dropped and saturation was pushed up ever so slightly.  Odd, but true.

Step back for a day…..

So, I stepped away from the process yesterday, worked on client canvases, and did some photo restoration work for a new client.  Take a moment to think about something else, then get back to problem solving.

This morning I came back to the gallery and decided to do a little more testing.  Maybe, just maybe, the Polar Pearl was introducing a little something “extra” to the process.  I figured, “Hey, let’s try a matte paper.”  So, I loaded up Breathing Color’s 30MS for a little testing.

The paper was loaded, profiled, and setup for printing.  Step 1.  Try Lightroom again, same image…….with the same result as the Polar Pearl.  Step 2.  Try the Photoshop Plugin.  Much improved, but still too dark and over saturated, just like the Polar Pearl experience yesterday.  Hmmmm……  I must being doing something wrong.

So, once more, I’m going to step back from the process for a few.  I’ll contact a few people I know who are running this system.

Bottom line, I think new clients would be very satisfied with the print quality I’m seeing with the Photoshop Plugin.  But current clients re-running their images?  Nope, they would not be.  The color shift is too great, so I clearly have some more work to do……..  Glad I’m an engineer first and foremost.  We do live for this kind of stuff.  I’m sure the solution is within reach and its something I’m doing wrong.  Once again, I got spoiled by the Z3100.  🙂

Below are samples of what I’ve seen so far:

This is what the prints looked like printed from Lightroom the day I unboxed the 8300

This is what the prints look like out of Lightroom after profiling the monitors and paper.

This is what the image looks like after profiling and printing through the Canon Photoshop Plugin. This is the closest to my original prints.

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