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Noritsu Printer Profiles


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We offer our customers a colour profile:

http://www.lab.mhpstudios.co.uk

If you want to be taken seriously as a lab by photographers then you need to offer them a profile.

If a photographer is working in a colour manged setup then they will need a profile to soft proof their images. They then convert their images to our colour profile so that prints come back the same as their screen. This basically means we print everything without corrections.

It seems to be difficult for a lot of lab owners (and photographers) to get their heads round the fact that digital is a totally different workflow to film. With film, corrections were done at the printer just before the print was made because that was the only time you could do corrections. With digital you correct the file, save it, then print it without corrections. This has the advantage that all subsequent prints from that file will look the same. If you want to send the same file to a different printer, just convert to that printers colour profile and the print will match.

We have quite a few customers now who used to use other labs when they were shooting film who now come to us for their digital work. The reason they state is that their old lab couldn't get their digital prints right and all we do is make sure our paper is balanced and print with no corrections.

I here that this lab is doing well:

http://www.proamimaging.com

The reason they can offer the prices they do is because everything is printed 'no corrections'. Instead, the photographer does all the work their end, converts to their profile and gets back prints that match their screen.

The colour profile/no corrections route is definately the way to go. Don't worry about opening a can of worms, we find that most of our (pro) customers want to correct the images themselves anyway, they like the control they have and the consistency.

I think personally that if a lab wants pro customers then they need to have a colour profile available and a colour management policy.

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We offer a free CD, that does not have a profile, but has a slection of images on it, plus we give sample of how the prints should look. Then ask our customers to match there screen to ours... Worked for us for 5 years, and no profile needed, plus our customers love it.. KIS keep is simple, if you can..

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Thanks Mr N. just tried downloading and got the same result, I'll look into it a bit later, we run a Noritsu 2901 by the way.

Colour management isn't a black art at all, its tried and tested and works in the real world. Its used by thousands of photographers, labs all the time. I think as digital imaging professionals, we should all be able to offer advice to our customers about colour management which is up to date and accurate. Remember, a lot of photographers will judge a lab on its colour management policy.

The problem with the 'match your monitor to our prints' approach is that it only works for one printer and even then it doesnt work very well. Customers really need to profile their monitor with a Spyder type device. The Spyder2Express is dead cheap now:

http://shop.colourconfidence.com/product.php?xProd=1549&xSec=56

This is quite a good guide to using colour profiles in a lab environment:

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/icc/using_printer_profiles.htm

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Here is a post from a very large photographers forum that I think illustrates the point I was trying to make. I have edited it slightly to remove names etc.

QUESTION:

I shoot in Adobe 1998 RGB because of conversion to CMYK for my albums. I found a lab in Indiana that prints 4x6 proofs in this color space but is unable to send me a printer profile because they print with a Noritsu. They have suggested to me that I buy a piece of software, (they don't know what it is) that will allow me to take their electronic image and match it to the hard copy of the same image, (I currently use grey tag macbeth's Eye One calibration software), so that my monitor will match their monitor. Does anyone know any software that will allow me to do this.

Alternatively, does anyone know of a lab that prints in Adobe 1998 that will provide a printer profile?

Thank you

REPLY 1:

My advice... find another lab. Any lab that says to match your monitor to their monitor does not know anything about color management. Something tells me this is just the first of many headaches for you.

REPLY 2:

...your lab obviously is a stranger to color management. I'd suggest that you find one that isn't.

To run a Noristu successfully you need to do a control strip first thing in the morning  There is also another calibration routine commonly known as an emulsion number change. These two events keep the printer printing neutral.

It's at this time that the printer should be profiled and then that profile can be applied to the images before printing. This is what is lacking in your workflow.

So, apart from chemical plots, this is what is required at the lab end to keep the prints going through nicely and accurately.

I'm picking up that the lab may be calibrating but have not profiled the machine.

This is always going to create some anguish for you.

In a nutshell, the whole point of color management is that your monitor is profiled, you work in an abstract color space such as Adobe RGB and then you send your file to the printers and they convert it accurately into their printer space.

The whole point of converting the file is to maintain its appearance (within the bounds of current technology and paper gamut). It's this last point that the lab obviously isn't doing.

It's this last point that is going to haunt you.

There are hardware/software pacakges which allow labs to create profiles for their printer so that they (or you) can convert your Adobe RGB files into the printer space (printer profile). It's a small investment or they could hire a consultant to do it for them.

Unless there's suddenly a huge change at the lab (like they change brands of paper), this profile should be good for years. The Lab only needs to calibrate their machine to the state it was in when the profile was created, every day (the calibration routine mentioned in the first section) and you're good to go.

If you want ultimate control, organise someone to build a profile for you ( I can do it) or there are others around who offer the service.

Failing that, find another lab as this lab is part of the reason that some folks are moving to inkjet output.

Cheers,

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We too offer profiles for all of our printers.  We create them using the Gretag macbeth eye one photo, as well as a custom app with a Xrite DTP41 spectro.  It really does allow for photogs to soft proof, it also allows us to offer 4x proofs as low as .12 USD and 5x .25 USD.

We deal with pro wedding and portrait photogs, and can now complete with the big guys.  We have a simple FTP server and also offer Labprints software.

The profile is just one of many tools to project a pro lab appearance over a consumer lab.

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  • 10 months later...

Hello to All,

    I am new to this place and found this thread really interesting. I am also a sort of color geek thinking of CMS of labs. I strongly feel what JP said in the above posts is correct and true and every lab should learn basics of ICC CMS work flow and implement it in their labs, I do have a ink jet  large format  printer and a Noritsu laser printers and it is easy to color manage Inkjet using ICC profiles and i am trying to  follow in same manner ie ICC workflow for the Noritsu also.

  My few doubts here are does Noritsu  laser printers are compatible with ICC work flow? do they recognize the profiles embedded with images and convert to the printers space before printing? or do we need to do it (conversion, say from Adobe RGB to Printers RGB space)  out side and send images after converting to printers space and just print with no corrections on the well calibrated and process controlled printer?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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now this is a tricky one.... but, got to ask, why do you want to offer your customer a custom profile?

Say, Simply to soft proof, the customer can see on his monitor how the print looks if i give my images to this lab for printing and if needs he can make proper changes before submitting the images to the lab.

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Yes, deffinately a very large can of worms. We have enough trouble explaining about monitor profiles/ calibration, so printer profiles..........

   Things may change soon, but we at present clibrate the screen and printer, so wysiwyg.  using adobe 1988.

The graphic designers that want us to do wierd things like match their prints with the pantone swatch get up my nose.......

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Wouldn't it be nice if Noritsu could come out and explain how their machines use profiles, how they can be given to customers and more information.

We have a 3202 which has got the CRAPPIEST monitor adjustment I have ever seen. It is SO SUBJECTIVE. We print 9 photos and then match the screen to them. Its a joke. The 3001 and the 2901 (I think) used a coloimeter to set the screen profile.

What is to stop us installing an eye one on the 3202 and using it to calibrate the monitor? Has anyone tried this?

Then we get to the next stage of profiles for our customers. Why can't the machine do it all and produce the info itself without us having to go and buy/use third party solutions?

I figure we have paid big bucks for the lab and I believe it is something we should expect from ALL lab manufaturers.

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The software that comes with the Noritsu machines is seriusly lacking, it hasn't moved on at all in the last 5 years and hasn't kept up with changes in digital workflow. You're better off just sticking it in Netorder mode and using 3rd party apps to send the files across and do the colour management. Shouldn't have to resort to 3rd party apps though. Things I would like to see on the Noritsu software that we don't have on our 2901 (not sure about later machines):

Ability to save printer profile so we can redistibute it to customers.

On the fly colour management so we can send files through with embedded profiles and they will be converted to printer profile before printing.

Printing of multi-page PDF's with preview of bleed etc.

Ability to print at size specified in 'Image size' regardless of dpi e.g 10x8 at 250dpi will print at 10x8 regardless of paper size.

Ability to print RAW files and adjustment for White Balance/exposure/crop plus the option to save corrections as XMP files.

Work as a normal windows/network printer without expensive printer driver option.

Can't see it happening though.

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Hi JP and others,

     Hats off to you, What is in my dreams, that you have put on the wish list for Noritsu machines, Do you think this will happen in near future?.

  

Now, as far as CMS is concerned, with Noritsu laser machines I am contemplating the following  work flow. Could you  please go through it and pass on your expert comments.

       # Prepare a custom profile using X-rite's "i1 photo" package( i already own it) for Noritsu  laser printer after  calibration and process control.

      

       #Load this profile in to all  my order receiving systems and design work stations (in which PSCS is loaded).

       #Soft proof images using this custom profile, if necessary,  make any corrections so that images look good.

           all this done on my order  receiving systems and work stations( I am making sure all my  displays are calibrated and profiled)

       # Convert all the images to printer space using some batch conversion auto tools, again on the  networked, above said systems.

      #  Now make prints on Noritsu in full Auto mode  in contrast to PJP mode .

       # Once satisfied with print quality with this work flow, distribute the custom printer profile to the  pro  photographers who know ICC work flow and wants to adopt it.

  Please note here i am totally  by passing the 3202 system monitor and not opening the images on that monitor to color and density correction.

  Comments on this work flow from others is very much welcome, and also any other alternate and better  work flow is very much appreciated and welcome. And  many thanks in advance.

KVS

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       # Prepare a custom profile using X-rite's "i1 photo" package( i already own it) for Noritsu  laser printer after  calibration and process control.

YES

      

       #Load this profile in to all  my order receiving systems and design work stations (in which PSCS is loaded).

YES

       #Soft proof images using this custom profile, if necessary,  make any corrections so that images look good.

       all this done on my order  receiving systems and work stations( I am making sure all my  displays are calibrated and profiled)

YES

       # Convert all the images to printer space using some batch conversion auto tools, again on the  networked, above said systems.

You shouldn't have to do this. Later Noritsu's have 'on the fly' conversion but I don't know if this will be as good as your custom profile. Also, Noritsu do a small bit of software for converting profiles (which they keep secret!)

      #  Now make prints on Noritsu in full Auto mode  in contrast to PJP mode .

Netorder mode would be better. I assume you're looking at the digital only machines?

netorder.jpg

       # Once satisfied with print quality with this work flow, distribute the custom printer profile to the  pro  photographers who know ICC work flow and wants to adopt it.

YES

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Wouldn't it be nice if Noritsu could come out and explain how their machines use profiles, how they can be given to customers and more information.

We have a 3202 which has got the CRAPPIEST monitor adjustment I have ever seen. It is SO SUBJECTIVE. We print 9 photos and then match the screen to them. Its a joke. The 3001 and the 2901 (I think) used a coloimeter to set the screen profile.

What is to stop us installing an eye one on the 3202 and using it to calibrate the monitor? Has anyone tried this?

Then we get to the next stage of profiles for our customers. Why can't the machine do it all and produce the info itself without us having to go and buy/use third party solutions?

I figure we have paid big bucks for the lab and I believe it is something we should expect from ALL lab manufaturers.

Nothing stops us from installing i1 display on the system that comes with Noritsu machines.

Well after installing eye one and running ,it we calibrate and make a profile and that profile is set as default profile of the system.

And all ICC color aware applications use it to display images( ie the ICC color aware tools will read the profile of the tagged image and also the monitor profile to convert image from image space to monitor space and displays and colors are displayed properly and if the application comes across an untagged image it will usually assume the image is in sRGB space and proceed for the conversion, if the assumption is correct we will be getting right colors otherwise wrong color display and it is our fault for not tagging images with correct profile. OK and accepted..

Now my question is does the printer tool/SW/ environment supplied by the Noritsu that we are all using for printing, is ICC color aware? and does it make use of the default system profile that have we set( using eye-one or some other similar tool) and tagged image profiles for necessary conversion for displaying.?

Does anyone clearly tell me that the printer tools supplied by Noritsu used by  most of us  for printing on noritsu machines are ICC color aware tools or NOT?

KVS

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Had a play with our 3202 yesterday, and in service mode> Setup>Laser setup>Paper Spec>Function there is a button marked Profile Chart Output. It produces something similar to an eye one set of patches on the selected paper as well as a set of wedges, identical to what is produced under Printer Profile Calibration.

My question is what can you do with this output? There is no option to read the "eye one" type prints in through the colorimeter. What is it for? Why is it there? And more importantly, what can I do with it?

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One more thing to add to this discussion.

With the current software, there is an option for "embedded profile setting". On my 3501 it is located under Function>Menu>Extension>Operator selections>Correction. Check the box so that it is turned on. Now your machine will automatically convert files to it's built in profile. We've used this since day one and everything from our studio and customer files has looked great!

As far as older machines, you may be able to get this ability if you upgrade your program and profile software.

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One more thing to add to this discussion.

With the current software, there is an option for "embedded profile setting". On my 3501 it is located under Function>Menu>Extension>Operator selections>Correction. Check the box so that it is turned on. Now your machine will automatically convert files to it's built in profile. We've used this since day one and everything from our studio and customer files has looked great!

As far as older machines, you may be able to get this ability if you upgrade your program and profile software.

Thanks for the info on 3501 mcpix,

  This means the latest printer software from Noritsu recognizes embedded  ICC profiles, Earlier SW does not just care about embedded profiles and it always assumes all the in coming images are in sRGB space, so we have to  take care to see that before sending images they are in sRGB space if not better convert  using some conversion SW like PSCS.

  Now the next major issue is, does it accept custom prepared ICC printer profiles using some SW/HW tools like "i1 photo" of x-rite and can we set the rendering intents like "perceptual" and relative calorimetric" etc while converting from embedded space to printers space ? mcpix can you just check up this and tell us? it will be very useful for the future buyers of Noritsu.

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