Color profiling questions

I have been struggling with this issue for a year now, trying different things, following advices from professionals to forums. I’m using an EPSON 9600 and a 4000 w/ Cone inks (using matte paper exclusively), from a macmini with OS 10.6, and a 22" monitor (not high end, but not super budget), profiled using xRite eye1display 2. Color matching is not an issue. Getting a certain dynamic range in the shadows and sometimes the highlights is. For instance, I have used both EPSON enhanced matte profile, the Cone enhanced matte profile, and a printer profile that was built for me. Of the three, EPSON’s profile gives me the best tonal range throughout, whereas the others leave a lot of heavy blacks in the shadows. This will be reflected on the prints that come out. I have adjusted the monitor brightness setting from 120 to 80, with varying results. I was told to stick with 120, but I can see from the FAQ in this forum that Cone recommends 85? Recently I made an interesting discovery: I accidentally printed a file using the EPSON 4000 Enhanced Matte profile, and the tonal range that I could see on the monitor was all there in the print. It was the first time that I achieved a good match from the monitor, without having to make adjustments to the exposure or shadows. I am banging my head to try to figure out what part of the chain that I am doing wrong.

I have found that Epson profiles produce better results with ConeColor K2 inks for the 4000 and 7600/9600 with newer operating system and print drivers. Our K2 ICC profiles were made several years ago, and apparently something in the driver and/or OS updates changed something to make our profiles no longer produce the best output with newer systems- but we’re not going to remake the profiles because output with ConeColor K2 ink and Epson’s standard profiles are working very well.

I haven’t used the 4000 or 7600/9600 printer models for color printing in many years, so can only go from memory/knowledge, but know the two printer models use the same Piezography QTR curves, so they must have some similarities in how they print, but I don’t know if/how this applies to color printing. I recommend doing what works best for you- if you feel the output is a closest match to your monitor when selecting a 4000 profile, then adapt to that workflow and get back to printing.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile: