iMac Monitor Gamma and Inkjet Printing

Discussion in 'Printing' started by clockwise, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. clockwise

    clockwise Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Apr 23, 2012
    New York, NY
    Brian R
    So I'm trying to get into inkjet printing (until now I've sent my files out to a lab for printing) and had a somewhat disheartening discussion with a printing expert at Foto Care on 22nd Street in NYC. I was picking his brain with an eye toward choosing and purchasing a printer, and he asked me what kind of monitor I'd be using to prepare my prints. When I told him that I used a 21.5" iMac, he shook his head and told me that I'd never get satisfactory prints out of it due to the monitor's gamma being optimized for video. He said the monitor would never correctly display my highlights, and suggested I should just continue sending my files to the lab.

    So my question is, does anybody with more inkjet experience than me have any tips on using an iMac monitor to process files in preparation for inkjet printing?
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Total BS.

    As long as you properly calibrtae your monitor using a coloimeter (NOT by eye) and use decent printer profiles (provided for proper "photo" printers), you should be able to get excellent results from a home printer. While the iMac screens aren't the greatest in the business it is most certainly possible to get a decent screen to printer match (although they'll never be perfect, even with the best monitor in the world as reflective and translucent viewing is just different). Beware of reflections and make sure whatever calibrator you get can adjust brigness as well as hue as Mac screens are waaaaaaay to bright out of the box.

    Gordon
     
  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    whaaaaat????.....sigh!

    there is a reason why Apple Macintosh had a 5% of the computer market share (before iToys) and that is because they ARE the tools for the Graphics-visual artists.

    Now to go straight into numbers.

    PC's use 1.8 Gamma.
    Mac's 2.2 Gamma.

    If you buy whatever printer just make sure you calibrate your screen and printer at the same time.

    If you are not sure how to make all that. skip all the numbers and percentages, and crappy salesman!. and just make sure you work in Apple 1998 color profile and never send it or work in a sRGB environment when editing your photos and just sent em to the printer. sRGB is for WEB brosing capabilites not for printing, of course you can print, BUT to get the most of your images it is best to use wider color profiles, such as the Apple 1998.
     
  4. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    You mean Adobe 1998, or aRGB.

    And all modern pc's use a 2.2 gamma, or at least they should.

    Gordon
     
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  5. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    sorry! yes! Adobe 1998!!! :rofl: MY BAD!
     
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    You can also just set the gamma with any decent calibration device. If you're serious about printing, you need to calibrate your monitor.
     
  7. clockwise

    clockwise Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Apr 23, 2012
    New York, NY
    Brian R
    Thanks guys! This was super helpful. I've been planning on calibrating my monitor once I pick up a printer.

    Any thoughts on the best color space for inkjet prints? I know Adobe 1998 is the standard, but have also heard that ProPhoto RGB works well when shooting RAW (which is what I shoot).
     
  8. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    Pretty sure all Apple products are calibrated at the factory before shipment.

    Try this: hook up your printer when you get it. Choose a photo and print it. Compare to screen.

    1. Looks good, move on.
    2. Looks not so good, calibrate and change your settings.

    Leave everything on default for now.

    You're unlikely to see the details in the shadows, or lack thereof in the highlights unless you make large prints on an expensive printer with quality paper anyways.

    Read this: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/sRGB-AdobeRGB1998.htm
     
  9. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    Most high end inkjets (Epson, Canon) are close to aRGB. But I'd still recommend to work in 16bit ProPhoto. Keep your master files in the largest colorspace available (and 16 bit to avoid posterization) and let your software handle the limitations of your output device (be it a monitor or printer). Most cameras are very well capable of reproducing colors outside aRGB and it makes no sense to throw away that data because your output device of today cannot handle it.

    Having said that, study the concept of "rendering intent". Wikipedia has a useful description. I just screwed up on a print with a huge patch of out-of-printer-gamut color because I did not understand clearly the difference between "relative colorimetric" and "perceptual".
     
  10. clockwise

    clockwise Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Apr 23, 2012
    New York, NY
    Brian R
    Thanks again guys, I feel like I should tip you all. :) I'm going to pick up an Epson sometime this week...and NOT from Foto Care. Much appreciated.

    Also:

    (Sigh) This is going to be even more complicated than learning to print in the darkroom, isn't it.