Printing Question and Obervation


Hallo Piezographists

I am currently printing on a 3880, using Neutral K7 inks. I’ve had problems in the past soft proofing, and am trying to resolve this once for all in the context of evaluating the Harman Gloss Art Fibre WT.
(1) In Piezography documentation on soft proofing, it recommends checking (in the PS Display Options) both the Simulate Paper Color and Simulate Black Ink options. I have noticed (i) some printers, such as George DeWolf, recommending that these not be checked for LCD monitors - which I use. What is your view about this? (ii) For some papers, this makes a huge difference between the original and the soft proof, requiring fairly significant changes to equate the two. These changes sometimes prove very difficult to achieve without changing the integrity of the original image. Do you have any tips or methods to make this process easier to handle?
(2) Previously Piezography has stated that if you can’t find the right profile in QTR for your particular printer, the profile made for another printer, such as the 4880, should work fine. In my view this is not correct. For the Harman GAFWT, using the MPS 4880 printer driver is quite clunky and produces murky prints, whereas the driver for Harman Baryta WT MPS 3880 does a MUCH better job for the above paper (even though it’s not quite 100%). Your comments on this please.


Hi jerrab~

  1. We always soft proof with both paper white and ink black on, to simulate ink density on paper, as well as the color of ink and paper. I will have to discuss this with Jon this week when we’re back in the office, to get his input, and see why George recommends not checking those options… Do you have a web link that you could direct me to where George says this? Our workflow is to use a correctly calibrated monitor (5000K white point, 80 brightness, and gamma 2.2), and view prints in a light box with, dimmed to match the monitor brightness, right next to the monitor to compare print to monitor preview while making adjustments to the image on-screen. We have always used this workflow, and have great results with soft proof matching prints- when viewed on a correctly calibrated monitor.

  2. As per our glossy curve resource:
    All K3 model printers can use the same curves, BUT we recommend using the 3800/3880 curves for gloss printing, because that model has a slightly lower ink limit, providing better gloss compatibility.

I hope this helps.
Best regards, happy printing and happy New Year~ Dana :slight_smile:


Hi Dana

Thanks for your reply. It is mentioned in his book ‘Digital Photography-Fine Print Workshop’.

Happy New Year to you too.


My two cents worth:

That book is a little dated now. I think it was published sometime in the mid 2000s. George used to be teach workshops at Cone Editions back in the early 2000s. LCD was still a bit new -etc - and we certainly did not employ the NEC and Eizos that we do now. The workshops were filled with Sony Artisan CRT calibrator reference displays.

Viewing Soft Proofs is only as good as the quality of the calibration being used. With a NEC or an Eizo reference display using their own calibration - you can reliably soft proof. Using anything else - your mileage may vary. Adding on a calibration software such as Spyder or X-Rite is not actually calibrating the display. What these do are to actually limit your computer’s video output and doing so actually reduces the ability to reliably soft proof. It goes against logic but it actually is quite logical that if you reduce the fidelity of your video output in your computer - you limit its ability to display.

The Eizo CG series and the NEC Spectraview series include their own software that is used to calibrate the actual display and bypassing the computer’s video board. These types of displays have on board 14 bit video engines. Your computer video output remains null. The Soft Proof is unaffected by your video output. The display because it has 14 bit output can be calibrated to your selected 8 bit target. Your computer only has 8 bits to begin with. Setting a calibration target necessarily reduces that - and sometimes severely.

Without a system like these reference displays - it is possible that checking or unchecking those settings may work “better”. With the cost of refurnished NEC Spectraviews - there really is no compelling argument to use an Apple display or any other display that is not a reference calibrator type with onboard 14bit video engine. They just work so much better. They do not have the bells and whistles of Apple new sexy displays - but Apple built them for video editors not image editors. Video editing is sexy. People who print are now the exception rather than the norm! We’re like curmudgeonly fur trappers in comparison to video editors who want hugely bright displays! People who edit images for print need very limited brightness displays capable of reproducing 256 gray levels each of red, green, and blue set to a very specific gamma, white point and brightness. Tack on a Soft Proof ICC and that calibration must be very accurate indeed.


Thanks very much Jon. Go the curmudgeonly fur trappers!!