BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Marirosa Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/12/2006
 

Difference in Colors: Monitor Vs. Prints


I'm hoping you can help. I have a Digital Rebel SLR 300D. I also have Photoshop CS2 and others. My main problem is that the pictures look great on my monitor with colors, etc., yet when I print them, they don't look the same. Any suggestions? Thanks!


To love this question, log in above
8/9/2006 5:52:14 PM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Marirosa, I had the same problem until I calibrated my monitor. I use Spyder 2 from Colorvision with great success. I have my printing done by a professional lab. I was getting images that were too dark. Once I calibrated, the images are pretty much dead-on with what I see on the monitor.
John


To love this comment, log in above
8/10/2006 9:48:01 AM

 
anonymous A.    John's advice is spot on, Marirosa. I'd only add that this is the way to go if you print at home, too, and good photo-quality printers will have controls and settings to help match their output to your monitor, so check the manual or the company Web site.


To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2006 1:42:50 AM

 
Glenn E. Urquhart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2006
  John and David are absolutely correct. One more consideration... paper. Different papers produce different results. After months of trying different papers, I have come up with one that produces the best results with my printer... Cannon I9900. It is a pain, but well worth the trouble. Good luck. Cheers, Glenn.


To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2006 4:12:31 AM

 
Marirosa Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/12/2006
  thank you so much for all your input....


To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2006 5:13:54 AM

 
Candice C. Calhoun
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/30/2003
Contact Candice
Candice's Gallery
cccphotoart.com
  One additional suggestion, if you print at home...in the print diologue box you can choose whether you want your printer, or CS2 to determine colors...choose CS2 and you might get much truer results.

ccc


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 5:14:08 AM

 
Jagadeesh Dev
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/30/2005
  All great advice, I use Huey, by gretagmacbeth, and it's great. I'd tried the Spyder2Express, and like Huey much better. And it continually adjusts for ambient room lighting! Also, I'll echo what Glenn U. said - paper. I make sure I download all the ICC profiles for each different paper I use (the expensive ones, like Ilford and Hahnemulle). For the inexpensive papers, I use Adobe 1998 color profile for printing.


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 6:02:14 AM

 
Jim Manganella
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/8/2005
  Another possible easy solution is to set your monitor to match the print.


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 8:34:36 AM

 
Cathy P. Austin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/26/2004
  Also, you can soft proof before you print. I can't remember what menu it under in CS2 but you can set up the profile and then get a view on the monitor of what it would look like on paper.

Calibrate, soft proof, profile, print does the job for me all the time.

A great book is George DeWolfe's Digital Photography Fine Print Workshop

Cathy


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 8:40:30 AM

 
Daniel G. Flocke
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2004
  Marirosa - All the answers are correct. But to get pictures as you see them on your screen and your home printer is to calibrate the monitor first, and then the printer.
You will need a flatbed scanner or the more expensive Monaco X-Rite Pulse with Monaco EZcolor. http://www.xritephoto.com/product/pulse/. It is the the only way to get WYSIWYG.

~Daniel

P.S. - Once you spend the money for this you can calibrate all your friends for a service fee and recoup some of your cost.
:~D


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 9:01:25 AM

 
Andrew M. Zavoina   I am in a similar boat. I have two PCs, one with an LCD and one with an older CRT. I calibrated each with my SpyderPro (predessor to the Spyder2Pro). The prints I get are dark off my Epson R800 with Epson paper. I get better prints from a cheapie HP Photosmart.

I am testing things now by sending a print request from each PC to a local WalMart to see how those 4x6s look compared to what I got on my R800 and Photosmart.

If I still have a darkness problem, next I think I'll look for driver updates and printer calibration if need be. But how does that work, does it adjust my drivers based on printer/paper?

My photos are getting better. A few look really good on screen and not getting good prints is frustrating.


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 10:27:11 AM

 
Cathy P. Austin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/26/2004
  Are you using Epson's profile for the R800 and paper that you are using?

Check out this link. It's similar to the workflow that I use.


http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/profiles.htm#SoftProofing

I was getting dark prints and found that assiging the correct profiles and softproofing really made a big difference.

If you use Walmart, get their printer profiles. I heard that Costco prints really well when you use their profiles.


Cathy


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 11:33:17 AM

 
Daniel G. Flocke
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2004
  Andy - The software you have should suffice for what your trying to do, just remember that the CRT needs to be calibrated on avg. of every 3-6 months, while the LCD 6 months - 1yr+. I re-checked my lcd and no major change after 18 months. You might wnat to replace that old CRT for a LCD.

~Daniel


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 2:54:49 PM

 
Andrew M. Zavoina   Thank you Cathy and Daniel. I calibrate my CRT and LCD before I do any large editing work or make serious prints. The LCD is typical and like your findings, hold its settings well. The CRT doesn't and is barely bright enough to pass the test, but since it and the LCD look similar, I'll limp by for now. I'm thinking of replacing it, but feel I need to focus on the printer first.

Cathy, that link looks helpful. I'm going to go step by step with some of my workshop instructions and see if I can do better. I have gotten some great prints from it in the past. I hope resolution is this easy. Otherwise I'll look to calibrate the printer.

Thank you for the ideas. You're very helpful.

Not to hijack the thread, but I was looking a a special buy in Staples where they have a 19" wide-screen LCD for $190. A great buy, but the resolution is 1440x900. I could also get a 19" for $220 that is 1280x1024. Lastly, the best specs I saw were on another 19" for $260 that was brighter, with a contrast ratio I think of 1400:1 and the refresh rate was equal or better than any of these. For Photoshop work I would think the finer resolution and better contrast ratio would be the most prudent. Thoughts for those of you who've been through this analysis paralysis I seem to put myself in?


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 8:06:32 PM

 
Daniel G. Flocke
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2004
  Sorry to hijack, but to answer andy, if your going to those sizes why not go to a 20.1" wide screen by Dell.

UltraSharp 2007WFP 20.1-inch Widescreen Flat Panel LCD Monitor with Height Adjustable Stand

Dell Part#: 320-4688

$367.20

~Daniel


To love this comment, log in above
8/15/2006 9:09:51 PM

 
Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  If it's a true print to screen match you're after, there's one thing to keep in mind before you go blow a chunck of change on a big LCD, especially a computer makers brand. They don't reproduce color as well as a CRT. Sorry, but it's a fact. On an accuracy scale of 1 to 10, most LCD's only come in at a 3 - 5 unless you spend thousands of dollars. Those cheap 17" to 20" Dell and HP LCD's are tempting, and look great on the desk, but they can't come close to a CRT for color accuracy, PLUS you can't adjust all the settings for color temperature, etc. Every Dell LCD I've owned could only be adjusted for Brightness and Contrast. They are designed to appeal to consumers, which means big, bright and contrasty, with a flair for dramatic color. They are not made to produce ACCURATE color, which is what we as photographers need. Even the big Apple Cinema displays don't put out great color when compared to a good CRT. Unfortunately, good CRT's are going the way of the corded telephone, so hopefully the monitor manufacturers will accomodate us and start building lowerm priced, more accurate LCD's. SOON. My advice for now, go find a 19" Viewsonic or Mitsubishi on a refurbished resellers site and calibrate every 2 weeks. Also be wary of Colorvisions products on OLDER monitors (more than 5 years old). I've heard rumblings that the software can't compensate for aging phospors and gives some funky results, compared to Monaco or Pantane products. Just an FYI.


To love this comment, log in above
8/17/2006 5:17:02 AM

 
Brian Cassar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2005
  Marriosa, I had the same problem when I switched on to digital format some years go. I had my first print totally different with a high bluish tint. I think this one isn't mentioned here. Ask your lab to give you a test card and send you one by email so you can then calibrate your colours with the labs. Only by this you can achieve a fine calibration. The drawback is that if you change lab, you must change calibration. If you print at home you can do the same. Good luck.


To love this comment, log in above
12/22/2008 4:49:34 AM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.