Monday, February 1, 2010

ICC color profiles

ICC color profiles can be very confusing.  I'm not going to try to explain what they are nor why to use them - primarily because I'm not sure I understand them 100% myself, plus much has been written already and is just a google search away.

Suffice it to say that I only print on my R2880 printer using paper that the manufacturer has specifically provided ICC profiles for the R2880 printer.  I use my laser printer when printing everything else.  Or, if I need color but it doesn't have to be photo quality then we have an old Epson C86 printer which I'll use.

Fortunately, there is a wide variety of papers available that meet this criteria.

I plan to post detailed instructions for printing using Nikon Capture NX2 and PhotoShop Elements; so, I'm just going to keep this post generic.

To install an ICC color profile, simply download it, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the directory.  Then right-click on it and click on "Install profile".  I assume it's just as easy with an Apple computer.

Using the ICC color profile is a matter of selecting it from a list of all of the ICC color profiles you selected.  It will have the same name as the filename of the ICC file which, in most cases, is rather obvious.  Even if it's not intuitively obvious - you downloaded a specific file for a specific paper, so you can make a note of which profile to use for that paper.

The exception, ironically, is Epson - which doesn't provide ICC profiles directly.  They provide an application that you download and run which then installs the ICC profiles.  The problem with this approach is that it's not obvious which ICC color profile goes with which Epson paper.  They have a naming convention they use for their ICC color profiles; but, it's rather cryptic and they don't always conform to it.  So, I've attempted to decrypt which Epson ICC color profiles go with which Epson paper

First off, there are some default ICC profiles for R2880 that are automatically installed when you installed the print driver for the R2880 printer.  Generally you don't want to use these as there are better profiles that can be downloaded from the Epson web site.  Also, I don't know what the difference is between an ICC file and an ICM file

SPR2880 Double-Sided Matte Paper.icm
SPR2880 Matte Paper-HW.icm
SPR2880 Photo Paper Glossy.icm
SPR2880 Photo Qlty IJP.icm
SPR2880 Premium Glossy.icm
SPR2880 Premium Luster.icm
SPR2880 Premium Semigloss.icm
SPR2880 Ultra Premium Presentation Matte.icm
SPR2880 Ultra Smooth Fine Art Paper.icm
SPR2880 Velvet Fine Art Paper.icm
SPR2880 Watercolor Paper - Radiant White.icm

Here is what I've been able to dicipher about Epson color profiles

GLOSSY PAPERS
Premium Photo Paper Glossy
- SPR2880 PrmGlsy Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 PrmGlsy SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)

Premium Photo Paper Semi-gloss
- SPR2880 PrmSmGls Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 PrmSmGls SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)

Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster
- SPR2880 UPrmLstr Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 UPrmLstr SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)
MATTE PAPERS
Ultra Premium Presentation Matte
- SPR2880 UPrmMtte Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 UPrmMtte SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)

Premium Presentation Matte
- SPR2880 PrmMtte Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 PrmMtte SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)
FINE ART PAPERS
Water color - radiant white
- SPR2880 WtrclrRdWht Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 WtrclrRdWht SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)

Velvet Fine Art
- SPR2880 VelvtFneArt Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 VelvtFneArt SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)

Ultra Smooth Fine Art Paper
- SPR2880 UltrSmth Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 UltrSmth SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)
CANVAS PAPERS
Premium Canvas Matte
- SPR2880 CnvMt-UtlSm Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 CnvMt-UtlSm SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)

Premium Canvas Satin
- SPR2880 CnvStn-Lstr Photo.icc (when printing at quality level 4)
- SPR2880 CnvStn-Lstr SprPhto.icc (when printing at quality level 5)
EXHIBITION FIBER PAPER
- SPR2880_EFP_PK_5760
There are a few ICC color profiles which got installed that I don't know which paper they go with

Unknown ICC profiles
- SPR2880 Photo Qlty UP
- SPR2880 Matte Paper-HW
- SPR2880 Double-Sided Matte Paper
And there is a paper available from Epson (although, it is actually manufacturered by PremierArt) that I'm not sure which ICC color profile to use with
- Matte Scrapbooking Photo Paper

2 comments:

  1. SPR2880 Photo Qlty UP - The UP stands for "Ultra Premium" AKA Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy.

    - SPR2880 Matte Paper-HW "HW" stands for "Heavy Weight" which is the exact sane paper as the "Double Sided Matte Paper" below.

    - SPR2880 Double-Sided Matte Paper

    I work for Epson America in Long Beach and I take Escalation A3 (13" wide products )calls and resolve toughest ones, when Level 1 cannot resolve them.

    CALL our SUPPORT no matter what the issue is with the product.

    Michael Nelson

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  2. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the Epson 2880. I was having difficulty in understanding Epson's naming of their ICC files and presto, you have the answer! Since I just purchased the printer, I haven't gone through the exercise of switching the black cartridges - hopefully it won't be too much of an ongoing hassle, but like you, I mostly print on Epson matte paper. Thanks again!!!

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