Printing problems - wrong colors

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Niki

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Hi,

I am evaluating Lightroom 2.1 and Photoshop CS4 and I have some problems with the print colors.

I have Canon Selphy CP52' photo printer and I get very good results printing directly from my camera (Canon 35'D) as well as printing from Photoshop CS4.

However, when I print from Lightroom, the colors are wrong and the printed image looks dull on the paper.

I searched for topics about this and found a huge list of print related issues. I looked at some of the threads, but I've got totally lost with so many different setups (printer brands/models) and I do not see how to solve the problem I have.

Is there a way to make Lightroom print exactly the same way as Photoshop (which is printing pretty well - i.e. the printed image looks as on my monitor and is the same as the one I have printed from the camera directly).

Both Lightroom and Photoshop are set to color managed by the printer (Lightroom- Color Managed By Printer, Photoshop - Printer Manages Colors).

I tried a different printer (a virtual one) - Adobe PDF Printer driver. I get exactly the same results - the image printed to the PDF from Photoshop looks properly, the image printed to PDF from Lightroom looks dull.

I dont really understand what is going on, as both Photoshop and Lightroom preview the image on screen in the same way (in both programs the image looks the same in terms of colors) and use the same driver/printer, but the results are totally different.

To summarize my evaluation/testing:

Photoshop CS4 -> Canon Selphy printer - OK
Photoshop CS4 -> Adobe PDF printer (virtual) - OK
Canon 35'D (camera printing directly to the printer via PictureBridge) -> Canon Selphy printer - OK
Lightroom 2.1 -> Canon Selphy printer - BAD COLORS
Lightroom 2.1 -> Adobe PDF printer (virtual) - BAD COLORS

Thanks in advance for any tips/ideas on how to make Lightroom print like Photoshop (correct colors).

The good news is that I can easily reproduce the problem printing to Adobe PDF without wasting paper/ink (pretty expensive with this small printer). I would be happy to try any ideas on how to make it work as I think for my needs Lightroom alone would be enough and Photshop is pretty expensive, so I would prefer to use Lightroom only.
 

Kiwigeoff

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Welcome Niki, I am a bit busy to delve into this and really probably would get lost - see my signature. But I'm sure someone will be along shortly to help you out !!;)
 

Katherine Mann

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printing problems

Niki, don't despair. There is hope.

Though there are many printers and drivers some things are common. Here is a basic instruction for Canon printers. I have a Pro9''', you have a printer I have never seen but I think you will find this instructive.

1. in the Print module, clicking on the Print Settings button ...
2. Choose your media type
3. Under Print Quality choose High
4. Under Color Intensity choose Manual. In the subsequent dialogue box choose None.
5. In the Print right hand panel under Color Management choose your print media - PR1 for Photo Paper Pro, SG1 for semi-gloss &c
6. Rendering intent Perceptual.
7. Hit Print and OK.

It's important to not let the printer manage the job. Chose your paper instead in color management.

Good luck.
 

Niki

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Thanks Katherine :)

I tried to make these settings, but in the print module I do not see such a button. If I choose from the Lightroom main menu "File">"Print Settings" I get a dialog box where I can select the printer and some very basic settings like Paper (Size, Source) and Orientation (Portrait, Landscape). In this dialog there are no settings for print quality or Color Intensity. Actually the dialog says "Print Setup", although in the "File" menu the item I click is labeled "Print Settings".

Maybe I use different version of Lightroom (2.1 64-bit 5122'5) and this is why I don't see such settings.

I checked my camera and it seems that my Canon 35'D (as probably many cameras) is set to sRGB color space (it has Adobe RGB color space as another option). Photoshop seems to detect this and in the print dialog Photoshop says:

Document Profile: sRGB IEC61966-2.1

I changed the color profile in the Print Panel of Lightroom to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 and now I get good prints from Lightroom as well.

It is a bit of a mistery why Photoshop uses the proper color profile (sRGB) with the color management set to "Printer Manages Colors", while Lightroom with the logically same setting (Managed By Printer) seems to use a different (in my case wrong) profile. I read somewhere that Lightroom is using ProPhoto RGB internally and when I tested with color profile set explicitly to ProPhoto RGB the print results were exactly the wrong colors I've got with profile "Managed By Printer".

To recap, I've got Lightroom printing correctly and it seems that one has to select manually the color profile (sRGB or Adobe RGB) depending on the file color space (i.e. the camera color space settings). Photoshop handles that without explicit settings.
 

Katherine Mann

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colour space

Good morning Niki. I'm glad to hear that you are happy with your prints.

You might like to have a look at using Adobe RGB as your colour profile on your camera sometime, and set your colour space in Photoshop to ProPhoto RGB. sRGB is a somewhat limited colour space in comparison. There's an excellent tutorial on Luminous Landscape on the subject of ProPhoto RGB at: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/prophoto-rgb.shtml

Here's a graphic found on Wiki that shows the size of the various spaces:

 

Niki

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Thanks again. This is a very nice tutorial and I will probably switch to Adobe RGB, my only concern is if I send some files to be printed (standard small size photos, which are cheaper than printing myself) whether the machines will automatically recognize the color space, but I suppose the only way to know it would be to try it :)
 

Katherine Mann

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I don't know

I have never sent photos to be printed. I suspect that an sRGB jpg is what they would want - but it's easy enough to convert.

Glad you enjoyed the tutorial. The Luminous landscape is a treasure trove.
 

Niki

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I read a bit further and it seems that most photo labs consider sRGB so sending a different color space files will produce similar result to my initial troubles.

As the color space is not relevant to the RAW data and shooting in RAW we have the choice to convert it to whatever color space we want. One nice consequence of the fact that the RAW files are not affected (apart from the preview jpeg thumbnail embeded into them) is that the in-camera setting apply to the JPEG only and if I shoot RAW+JPEG and have the color space set to sRGB I can easily send the JPEG files directly for printing, while the RAW will give me the option to work in ProPhoto color space when printing myself.

I suppose Lightroom will be really helpful for me in this regard, but I first have to learn how to use it as I am not shure what the best workflow would be for me - starting from my CF cards with newly shot images till the final development and the categorization by keywords. I read somewhere that LR is handling RAW+JPG automatically as one pair of files, so I could delete both easily if I dont like the image - I have to try it.
 

Katherine Mann

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Lr is great

I don't think that you can go wrong using Lr.
 
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