Yesterday Calumet LA had a vendor demo of lots of color important gear that photographers had. This was a great opportunity for me to query the experts on my non-matching prints.
I've been doing some printing at Costco. I've found that even with all my color calibration, my prints don't match my display(s). That's terribly frustrating.
I spent some time troubleshooting but decided to talk to the experts come Saturday at Calumet. All the vendors were there. Tom Gadbois from Eizo was present. Tom and I emailed regarding my CG241W issues back in January. I suppose I left an impression because he remembered our interactions via email.
I also had the opportunity to speak with Dean Zulich regarding Datacolor's Spyder3Pro that I have. Dean's not only very knowledgeable regarding color management but also an incredible photographer. I think we talked for over an hour and a half about everything (not limited to color calibration). In the end however, he concluded that my Spyder3Pro puck was "off". Without however comparing them to new prints (outside the existing Costco ones), I was not totally convinced.
So onto the next station where I spoke with Richard Lee Villa for nearly an hour as well. We talked printers and prints and color management. I basically made Richard print the same file as one of my Costco prints that I had brought that day. He indulged me and printed two 13x19's with their Canon glossy best paper. Honestly, it didn't look nearly as good as the Costco prints but colorwise, they looked close. At that point I concluded that the Spyder3Pro puck I had at home was defective.
So how did I walk out of there with a new Canon Pixma Pro 9500 Mark II? The printer wasn't bad and it had a huge rebate on it $100 in-store and $200 rebate off of $729. I also knew that I had to get into printing in the future to really close the loop on the printing side of the color management situation. Waiting on Costco prints makes it very difficult to resolve color issues. However, I knew buying a printer was a can of worms of its own. One that would result in being knee deep in...
Fast forward 6 hours, I'm testing prints with the 9500 Mark II and it's coming out every which way from Sunday. There's nothing consistent about my initial workflow. Too many options. Lr? PS? Color profiles + paper options = please shoot me in the head so I can die now. I got one print that looked the way I thought it should be.
Oh and did I mention that I have had a hard time deciding which display color profile I should use? In installing my printer I disconnected the Eizo CG243W. I needed to take a variable out of the equation. Then I recalibrated the MacBook Pro 15" with the ColorMunki (which I've had but not used for a long time). The ColorMunki tends to calibrate with a bluish hue which is why I initially liked the Spyder3Pro calibration better.
A day later I decided to calibrate the Eizo with the ColorMunki. It looked weird to my eyes. In comparison to the default Eizo color profile (the one it came with) and in comparison the the Spyder3Pro. For a while I really doubted that any of these profiles was "right". So I installed the ColorMunki program and tried a calibration on the CG243W. That was a mistake. This act of attempting to calibrate the CG243W with the MacBook Pro blew out the MiniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable. Yeah it fried. Guess what? This is the second cable that I've fried. AND I fried my first cable doing the exact same thing! Why oh why did I try again if this exact same thing happened the first time around? I simply forgot. It's been months since I've doubted my color profiling. This was a big issue back in January so pardon my memory.
So I'm currently waiting on a new MiniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable. I've still gotta iron out the kinks in my printing workflow so the prints come out better. And I've gotta find a color profile I like for the CG243W.
Knee deep in what? Fill in the blank :)