Digital images post-processing
I'm having fun with a D100 for a few weeks now. I just tried to make some printed. And I'm not very pleased of the result. I want to discuss two things here:
1/ Digital images post-processing:
I tried Nikon View 5, Capture 3, Photoshop 7 and Bible 3, and I might be stupid, but it is easy stuff to get the good result from your images, especially if they are NEFs...
2/ Display calibration:
Receiving my printings, I come to the conclusion that their job is crap, or my monitor is not calibrated at all... What's strange is that often my jpegs looks good on my screen without any changes to colors, so is my screen calibrated? I just ordered a ColorVision Spyder. I hope it works!
So, do you have experience in pos-processing your shots? I would like to get better results shooting NEFs, but would like to achieve good post-processing!
Thanks for helping!
#1. "RE: Digital images post-processing" | In response to Reply # 0darrellyoung Registered since 21st Apr 2006Thu 19-Sep-02 05:59 PM
I am working with a local company here in my area that does LightJet printing. I am getting some awsome stuff from them.
One VERY important thing is to make sure your printer is "ICC" compliant. If they are not, then you are at the mercy of the person processing the images, and he is NOT going to take time to fiddle with your images, when 100 more jobs are right behind yours.
One thing you MUST do if you want good prints, and are using an ICC compliant printer, is to use your D100's Mode II (Adobe SRGB 1998 mode) This mode is balanced for printing, with a much wider "gamut" of colors, while Modes I and II on the D100 are balanced for "sRGB IECC61966-2.1" which is what a monitor displays, NOT a print. The sRGB will work on a print, but most likely your images will have weird color balances, unless your processor person takes his time, and tries to manually adjust your colors. Most won't! That's why you are getting "crap." I did too, until I found an excellent source for prints.
Let me make a suggestion to you. JRP is in negotiation with a image processor called Thompson's Photo that uses the new LightJet ICC Compliant technology. (http://www.cymbolic.com/products/lightjet5000.html) It seems that Thompson's Photo Products (http://www.thompsonphoto.com) will soon be a sponsor of Nikonians.org. I have worked with the processor there named Mark Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org). He had me shoot professional color charts in Adobe RGB mode, and has developed a color balance scheme that is providing me with very high-quality prints. I will soon be shooting the same color charts under various light conditions, such as Tungsten, Florescent, Direct Sunlight, Shade, Overcast, etc. He will make adjustments to his Color Management scheme for those light sources, and be prepared to print with as much accuracy as possible. We will be required to shoot in Mode II of our D100's to take advantage of this service, since that mode has a much wider range of colors and is suitable for printing. I suggest that you contact Mark and he will set up a directory for you that you can directly download your images into. Please let him know that you are a Nikonain, and read about him on the forums, so that he will give you our prices. (Which are excellent, by the way, 8x10 is $5.85 currently)
I am shamelessly plugging these people, with JRP and Bo's knowledge. If it works out with them, we will do an article about them, and provide links to their services online. They will indeed give to Nikonians.org a part of every print job they do. We will be able to help our favorite website with some extra cash flow, if we digital users use their services.
Anyway, try the Adobe RGB (Mode II) of the D100. It is balanced for color printing, not display on the web. Read your manual about the different modes. The Mode II images will display on a monitor, it is just that the colors look muted, since they are designed to be printed, not viewed on a monitor. Most people don't realize that a color printer does NOT require the heavy color saturation that you see on your monitor. That is why the Mode II images (Adobe RGB) will look muted, because they really are in comparison to Mode I or III (sRGB).
If you do a color management setup on your monitor, so that it will show colors like a printer, you will find the colors much less saturated. I use Photoshop to deal with all of this. I have my Photoshop "Workspace" set to Adobe RGB (1998), and when I pull an image in that I am going to use on the web, I "assign" the sRGB color space.
To change your workspace in photoshop, go to the Edit menu, and select the Color Settings... selection.
Set the workspace to "sRGB IECC61966-2.1" if you are going to be processing images ONLY for display on a monitor.
If you are going to print ANY of your images, set the Workspace to "Adobe RGB (1998)." Now when you want to print the image, most ICC compliant printers will know what to do with the image's color gamut.
Then when I import an image from Nikon View 5, Photoshop generally asks what color space I want to use for this image if it doesn't match the current Photoshop Workspace, and then offers me a few choices. If I know I am going to use this image on the web, I tell it to use the regular sRGB workspace, and it converts it.
You can Assign or Convert to another Workspace from: Image menu...select Mode...then select "Assign Profile..." or "Convert to Profile..."
I know this is repetitive, detailed, and boring. I am going to write an article soon that will explain this stuff in a more usable way. I am even now researching this color management stuff, so that I will not be flinging conjecture to the wind, but instead, will be able to provide some useful information for us to use.
If there are any resident experts that have a good handle on this color management issue, I would truly appreciate some commentary from you in this thread.
#2. "RE: Digital images post-processing" | In response to Reply # 1Le Xav Registered since 27th Jun 2002Fri 20-Sep-02 05:13 AM
First of all, I have to thank you very much, because I've seen you often take time to answer people with very detailed explanations! Thanks for that!
I know this is a very difficult subject, but it's one of the most important ones. It's nice to have you photos on screen, but it's even nicer to have them printed...
So, I will try the Syder from ColorVision and let you know whether the calibration of my monitor changes something or not.
I'm living in Belgium (Europe), so I'm not sure if it would be reasonable to get my photos printed in US...
I will try to follow your advices and let you know.
#3. "RE: Digital images post-processing" | In response to Reply # 2Valkeerie Registered since 30th Aug 2002Fri 20-Sep-02 06:10 AM
When I received my Epson 1290 printer (A3, 6 ink) I was tearing my hair trying to get a good print. As it turned out, the problem wasn't with my monitor, but with the colour space conversion within the print application/printer driver. There are a zillion options. Most do something.
By a process of complete trial and error, incantations, dead frogs and newt's eyes, prayer, and a fortune in sacrificial ink and premium quality photo paper, I made it work. I can now do stunning 10 x 7 and 14 x 10 prints which leave most third party labs for dead. And they are a very good likeness to what I see on my monitor.
I won't attempt to describe the process, other than to say:
- pick one application (e.g. Photoshop) to print from.
- scour the WWW for tips or profiles for your printer working
with that application. E.g. there is a lot of info on Epson printers & Photoshop.
- experiment with various print options, both in the application and the printer driver.
I actually do all my printing from Corel Photopaint (which I like a great deal). I just acquired Photoshop 7 and I am resigned to going through the incantations etc. once again to discover the best combination of flags, tick boxes, etc for that application. It really is a black art.
My monitor calibration was primitive, as it is a generic clone monitor. There are a number of greyscale calibration charts available on the WWW, and I adjusted my monitors to maximise the visibility of the blacker blacks and the whiter whites. I took pictures of things I could look at, and adjusted the monitor so the screen image looked kinda like the thing itself and the camera LCD image. I printed stuff out. Somewhere in the cycle of adjustment the monitors ended up calibrated. I get mad at the kids when they fiddle with the monitor settings (which they do, because kids have deep need to fiddle with everything). On the whole, cheap monitors tend to be too bright and need the contrast and brightness altered.
I am very pleased with the Epson 1290 (1280 in the US I think). Prints are sublime. The cost of ink and paper for an A3 print is about £4.50. The results are so good I don't begrudge the cost. There is plenty of resolution in a good D100 photo to print A3 (certainly for portraits, where printing every enlarged pore in scrupulous detail verges on the unkind).