Re: photo Printing problem

On Mon, 23 Feb 2009 09:54:27 +1000, D-Mac <alienjones@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

FentonFarnsworth wrote:
On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 07:33:02 +1000, D-Mac <alienjones@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

sligoNoSPAMjoe@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 16:54:30 -0800 (PST), Pat
<groups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

People will probably flame me for the answer, but in the end it is an
easy and low-tech solution that will work .
I am sure someone will, but I believe it is a great answer. The
right answer is not just based on the question, but must also be based
on the one asking the question.
It's a funny thing...
A few years ago in alt.photoshop I recommended to someone they should
switch off all colour management for their 9000 Canon in order to get
what they saw on the screen. I got laughed at by the nerds but the guy
who took my advise, was grateful.

One of the Nerds was Mike Russell - self appointed master of Photoshop
curves who today is handing out my advise!

The concept of switching off colour management is very valid. For
starters, your screen is based on sRGB - International colour standard.
All your software outputs sRGB too.

Non Professional printers are all based on sRGB. The theory then is that
by getting rid of all independent colour management, you are relying on
your OS and software to deliver sRGB and the printer to recognise it's
input as this... Leaving only the paper selection to alter the profile
to match the paper.

In the printer properties under colour management are a plethora of
'profiles' supposedly selected at random by the OS as the one most
appropriate for the job. If you don't disable all of them, you are still
likely to get double trouble when printing.

If you want do a quick and dirty colour balance on your screen, you need
to print out "digital dog's" example file (unaltered) and then alter the
colours of your monitor to match the print. It only works with your
system but it will get you pretty close with your colour match for home use.

If you get a red or magenta colour cast to your prints it is because
somewhere along the line, two profiles are being used - "Double
Trouble". Fix that and paradise awaits...

It's not always that simple.

For example on HP printers, choosing an "HP Photo Paper" type in the print
setup options will change which types of inks are laid down on the paper.
Most (older?) HP printers, by default, will not use the black ink cartridge
to create blacks on photo papers. The reason being is that HP's photo
papers are designed to accept dye-based inks only. Their black cartridge is
a pigment-based ink. From research, it was found that this was due to
selling to the business industry for so long, needing the sharpest blacks
for correspondence, they kept the black ink pigment-based as their default.
The print setup feature will disable this pigment black cartridge when
choosing any of the photo-paper types. When trying to produce blacks from
the CMY dye-inks you can get magenta or green color casts and low contrast
darks in your image--being paper-type and paper manufacturer dependent.
HP's papers are formulated to display this CMY mud as deeper blacks than
other companies' papers. Other paper surfaces will make this CMY mud appear
as a gross dark purple or dark blue-green. It takes experimenting with
different paper setup selections every time you try a different brand of
paper with your printer. Some photo papers accept both types of inks (dye
and/or pigment), some don't.

If getting odd color shifts try other paper types in your print setups. You
may get the best results of all by just choosing plain or thick paper on a
"best" quality setting when using different photo papers.

bonus info: I was recently given an older large format HP 1220c printer to
play with. This is how I found out about HP's photo-paper/black-ink
color-shift anomaly. I had an HP Photosmart-1000 driver installed from long
ago and tried to use it with this 1220c, it worked but lacked the 13x19
paper options. It got me to wondering. The 1220c driver's native max DPI
resolution is 2400x1200. Installing the printer driver from its successor,
the 9300 series, it will happily produce a 4800x1200 dpi resolution. I
compared printouts between the two drivers. The 9300 series driver does
indeed create finer dots on the paper. You need a magnifying glass to see
them. You may be able to upgrade your printer to a newer model with more
printer options, more features, and higher resolution just by installing
the next generation's printer driver. I found that the same is true for
scanners. The only thing that really drastically changes in most of these
devices from year to year is the software, the casing, and panel buttons --
not the internal engines. Unless based on a radically different method,
i.e. 4 inks vs 6 inks. But even then, some 6-ink printers still function
perfectly fine without the photo-inks installed.

Going to try the 9600-series printer driver next (6-ink). This 1220c will
probably also do borderless printing with the right drivers. I'd try the
9800 drivers but users report margin problems, HP tells people to roll-back
to the 9600 printer's drivers.

I imagine that you understand how HP drivers (or most other for that

All inkjet printers have a native resolution. Most being multiples of
360 DPI. Regardless of the resolution of the image you send them, the
driver will interpolate the data to the printer's native resolution.

This is true to a point. The hardware driver software may, or may not, tell
the printer (or scanner) what steps to apply to its stepper-motors as well
as how many pico-liters to spit out with each drop from the print heads.
The driver software will usually tell the printer how to handle those
things. The cartridge print-heads didn't change for later models that use
the same ones, just the amount of ink coming out of each jet. In the above
case the later drivers are now telling the printer to make smaller multiple
passes with smaller ink droplets each time. The difference in the printouts
between native-drivers and non-native drivers is quite obvious. Much slower
than the original drivers in "best" mode, but worth the wait for important
prints. A nice find, considering this was all free (printer included). In
the HP's "PhotoRet III" printing mode in the 9300 drivers it will lay down
as many as 29, 5pl ink drops per dot. Add in the 4800 dpi resolution on top
of that and it really does take a magnifying loupe to see them.

Ever buy a DVD writer and then apply a driver patch later that adds in a
16x writing mode when its advertised "native" highest hardware speed was
only supposed to be 4x or 8x? Same thing.

I found the same to be true on scanners. While you may not be able to
increase the horizontal resolution (1200 dpi in the above printer example),
the stepper-motors that control the vertical spacing of scan lines (or
paper-feed in printers) are decided on by the driver software.

This is, in effect, no different than going from a 12Mpx camera to a 24Mpx
one. Getting 1.4x's the resolution for free, just by using later drivers.
The non-adventurous, and "play by the corporation's book" consumer, will
never know this. The adventurous will try it for the "what the hell, why
not" factor and see. They get a new scanner or printer by testing other
drivers from the same company. The ones who play it safe and believe
everything the company tells them has to buy a new printer or scanner to
get those upgrade features. Companies love those people. On some scanner
company web-pages I've even seen dire driver warnings of "DO NOT USE ON
OTHER MODELS". Of course not. Because then people will find out that they
get twice the performance and all the newest features on their 2-year-old
scanner with the free download, instead of buying a new scanner and
land-filling the old one. The company knows the updated software will work
with all their old scanners, hence their dire verbal warnings. They might
lose those valuable "upgrader" customers.

HP found it more cost effective to use UV (pigment) ink for black when
using non-photo printers. This is why you get a composite black when
printing photos. The newer HPs are on top the B&W printer quality with
different shaded of black.

"Cost effective" for who? :) Yes, I know they also have the photo-blacks
for the newer HP printers now. But I don't own one and was only speaking
about the free upgrade that could be applied to this older printer, getting
quit nice results by doing so. As well as addressing the odd color-shifts
that a simple "paper selection" can cause on some printers and how they
will tell the printer which of its many inks to use, and how. The OP's
original problem.

For the curious -- HP 1220c Driver update: The 9800 and 9600 drivers were a
no-go. The 6-ink drivers didn't like a 4-ink printer. It wanted to talk to
the printer and would even spit out a demo page, but in the end it said "no
can do, bucko" when sending actual graphic data to the printer. Borderless
prints can be "forced" on the 1220c with the 9300-series drivers by
defining custom paper sizes and playing with margins, but it would require
some small modification to the printer, inserting a thin blotter-strip in
the exiting paper-path to catch the over-spray off the edges on a platen,
and a left-margin paper-feed spacer to start the printing a bit beyond the
left edge. Though, even without that it will print to within about 1/10" on
all margins, settings dependent. The hardware itself isn't very
borderless-friendly. Would probably be easier and less messy to make an
oversized paper-carrier of absorbent paper with some tack-spray or
adhesive-dots to accomplish the same thing since these printers can handle
overweight papers anyway. Not really worth the bother. I was just wondering
if any of this could be done. It's only a fun pastime, seeing if I can
teach an old dog new tricks.

On the plus side, the 9800-series driver installed some new color profiles
for HP printers. 9 new profiles for or Film, Paper, and Photo-Paper; in
cartridge combos of Tri-color + Black, Tri-color + Grays (photo grays), and
Tri-color + Photo Color. The Tri-color + Black profiles emulate the 4-ink
(color dye + black pigment) inks profile of the 1220c printer, alleviating
any of the odd color shifts with non-pigment paper selection options. It
was worth the playing around to get those. You can't download them on their
own, you get them by installing the wrong printer driver. HP is not about
to hand out a simple 200k file fix for free when you must buy a more
expensive printer with more expensive inks with less capacity that produce
fewer pages to get the same results.

See how that works? Just like the scanner company scams.


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