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[filmscanners] Re: What color space for digilabs?



On      Sun, 2 Jun 2002 00:16:15 +0200  Tomek Zakrzewski
(tomzakrz@ka.onet.pl) wrote:

> I'm preparing a set of image files for printing on a digital minilab
> (Agfa
> D-Lab).
> What color space should I assign to my files to achieve good color?
> I once sent files in Adobe RGB color for printing with a d-lab and the
> colors turned out very subdued, so I think a narrower color space should
> be
> chosen.

This is a very good question... I went through an awful time trying to get
first answers, and then, when the questions were not understood, acceptable
prints from a lab using a Noritsu digital printer.

After a lot of trial and error, it seemed to be the case that sRGB was the
only space which could be relied upon to not mess up. Results were actually
very good. Whether the inability of the lab to cope with Colormatch (my
default space) or Adobe RGB were due to limitations of the kit, I never
found out. I suspect operator ignorance, really, as the colour appeared to
be fine, but gamma was invariably wrong.

Thing is that this lab is rather good and helpful, but their ability to
work with the kit is limited by the training they had received, which
isn't much. The guy who loads the images from CD, and performs any
necessary alteration, knows what he is doing with the Noritsu, but really
knows nothing about colour managment in a wider context. So interfacing
with photographers is kind of problematic. Nobody was entirely sure if the
thing did colourspace conversion or colour management at all, because the
software appears to hide all that stuff. They were convinced it should all
'just work', but it didn't. Screen calibration is another indeterminate
issue.

So I would say do a test print and see what happens. With luck the
operators will be smart and helpful and educated. But if not, be prepared
to go back several times and figure things out by a process of elimination.

Regards

Tony Sleep
http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film scanner info
& comparisons
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