Using printer ICC profiles and Costco

Discussion in 'Printing' started by RobWatson, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So I got the monitor calibrated and now want to use printer profiles - I don't print "local" but send photos off the costco for printing. I downloaded and installed the available ICC profile for the printers at my local costo and got that in LightRoom.

    I got confused as I certainly can see the profile in the PRINT module but I'm not printing from there.

    I also can use the printer profile in the export dialog (file settings-color space). So I think what I want to do is develop the photo until it looks like I want then export a jpeg (or tiff or even PSD) using the printer profile as the color space.

    So then just send the file off to costco and ask the code phrase ("RA-4 prints on Noritsu 3411") and I get WSYWIG prints?

    Sure would like to see a sticky in this forum about a full on nuts to bolts "so you want to print like a pro" that goes into some detail. I know some of you out there are printing wizards!
  2. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Do you have Lightroom 4? It has the "soft proofing" feature that is supposed to help with that. I haven't used it yet myself though.
  3. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yup, LR 4. In develop with soft proof enabled and the correct printer profile selected I make adjustments until I get the photo looking like a I want ... then what?
  4. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Hmm.. export that file and send it to the print shop :smile:
    Just guessing though. I hope someone more knowlegdeable responds.
  5. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Best to make a virtual copy and switch back and forth between the version adjusted according to how it looks on the monitor and the soft proof with the printer profiles and make adjustments to the soft proof to match as close as possible.

    So far it seems (and this is what I've seen on my other prints) there is always a fairly significant difference between the two versions. As in I cannot get the soft proof to look like the "original".
  6. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Just got my prints back and they certainly are an improvement over not using the printer profiles. Still not anywhere near WYSIWYG and does not particularly look like what I see on the monitor in soft proof mode ...

    Actually a lot easier than I thought - download the printer profile and get it into LR - develop as normal -create a soft copy - then in soft proof mode select the printer profile and adjust the various setting until the soft proof version looks as close as possible to the "normal" copy and export as jpg or tiff using the printer profile as the color space in the export dialog - send the photo off to costco and 2 hours later pick up print.
  7. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    Real Name:
    Did you uncheck the autocorrect box when you did your Costco order? There is a box hidden in the order screens for their web order that you have to change so that they don't apply their computer auto correct to your files when printing.

    I don't think you need to apply the profile either, just exporting as an sRGB jpeg should work well too which is what I've done (and had good results). It might be worth trying the same photo both ways in a small size to see what the results are.
  8. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes, I unchecked the auto correct.

    In the past I was generally happy with the results without using the printer profiles but sometimes things just were not right. This time I sent over a series of images (the same photo) but with different adjustments to see just how much different the effect on actual prints was. In the past I chalked up most discrepencies to my monitor not being calibrated but since I have calibrated my monitor and some issues still persist.

    There still are obvious differences when comparing onscreen to the print in side by side comparison but the differences are getting smaller. One thing that was odd is using the LR "simulate ink and paper" actually made the soft proof look way different and not at all like the print. I was very worried as the ink and paper simulation shows a very limited gamut and quite a loss in sharpness but the print was much better than the soft proof implied. The actual print (8x10 size) looked about half way (what ever that means) between the soft proof +/- "simulate ink and paper" - means without simulation the soft proof looks better than the print but with simulate the soft proof looks worse than the print.

    It is a bit of extra work in the soft proof stage to reconcile the smaller gamut but I think the results are worth the effort. I don't print a lot but when I do I think it is silly to go to all the trouble to make a nice photo then not go the extra step to get the best print one can.

    Lucky me I've got 3 costco about equidistant so I can play and see which one has better printers or at least is less crowded.
  9. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Actually, it was that easy! Just gotta setup export color space to use the printer profile.

    Also PSD is not supported by Costco.