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Thread: Calibrating on different stocks

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    GarethO is offline Senior Fiery Forum Contributor GarethO is on a distinguished path
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    Default Calibrating on different stocks

    On our current Canon machine I calibrate using Neusiedler/Canon Top Colour 100gsm stock.

    This is required and makes sense to me. In my mind the machine would need to know expected whiteness and reflectance of the calibration media.

    We are looking at new machines, and all current machines seem to be calibrated on whatever media you have available, most likely you would use the stock for the job you are about to run.

    My question is, if you are calibrating using different media each time, how can the results be consistent?

    I would understand if the media was profiled in colour profiler suite and then selected from the dropdown in the calibration dialog, but I was told by the techs that this is not required.

    Can someone clarify, how the machine is able to be calibrated effectively using stock with varying degrees of whiteness and reflectance?

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    StarDigital is offline Fiery Forum Expert Contributor StarDigital is on a distinguished path
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    The machine calibrates according to how much toner was properly applied. This toner reflects the sensors in the calibrator and the machine uses that for a input/output calculation. The blank untonered parts of the sheet are calculated in as a baseline to properly distinguish the tonered areas. Different stocks produce slightly different results and as such uncoated stocks should be calibrated with uncoated calibration sheets to maximize results. FCPS does all the calculations necessary so the user doesn't need to do this. When FCPS calibrates before stock profiling, it is maximizing everything necessary to provide accurate results. When you calibrate the machine on a regular basis you are updating that calibration profile with current machine and environmental variables included. It is important to calibrate on the stock you are using with profiling only for maximum results; i personally only use one calibration stock that gives my enough high quality results with minimum fuss. Since uncoated stocks react differently that coated stocks i use FCPS's Fiery profile editors white space adjuster to make my uncoated stocks use my coated calibration sheets. This is my person preference not a standard.

    As for new machines i would recommend you research reliability and tech support. I've had my problems with Ricoh printers and tech support which is the big reason we switched to Xerox, who have better reliability and support (in my area and opinion). Ask your fellow printer companies which they would recommend or not recommend (and why), instead of listening to sales people who are always biased on their product.

    Hope this helps

    Dan

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    This is a good question: "if you are calibrating using different media each time, how can the results be consistent?"

    For maximum consistency, every time you recalibrate, keep reusing the same media that was used to create the calibration (and to create the profiles used by this calibration). The reference calibrated state target was calculated for this specific paper. Calibrator's Manager has an optional text field where you can view and record the "Recommended Paper".

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    GarethO is offline Senior Fiery Forum Contributor GarethO is on a distinguished path
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    Thanks for the replys.

    Paul_M, when you say:
    Calibrator's Manager has an optional text field where you can view and record the "Recommended Paper".

    Is this engine dependent? In calibration on my current machine (in step 2. Print Check Settings) there is only the paper I mentioned earlier, but I assume this is what you are talking about. How are additional stocks added to this drop down?

    From the sound of things both of you recommend calibrating pretty much every time you use a new stock, especially when switching between coated and uncoated. This is overboard for the work we do, and the operators at the demos mentioned they only do it once a week or so, what do you think of that?

    StarDigital you mention you calibrate on sort of a catch all stock, is this coated or uncoated?

    Ideally I would calibrate once in the morning on a coated stock, and possibly once more in the afternoon if I feel I need to, or if changing to uncoated prints.

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    adam1991 is offline Fiery Forum Expert Contributor adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarethO View Post
    On our current Canon machine I calibrate using Neusiedler/Canon Top Colour 100gsm stock.

    This is required and makes sense to me. In my mind the machine would need to know expected whiteness and reflectance of the calibration media.

    We are looking at new machines, and all current machines seem to be calibrated on whatever media you have available, most likely you would use the stock for the job you are about to run.

    My question is, if you are calibrating using different media each time, how can the results be consistent?
    You are correct, sir.

    Keep in mind, calibration sits on top of an output profile. It's meant to "top off", if you will, what the Fiery knows about that piece of paper going through THAT engine. Calibration is a small update to the profile information.

    The underlying question you were tickling but not quite getting is this: if I use one single output profile, won't results across different stocks be different?

    The answer is, of course they will.

    You can mitigate this to some degree by using one single output profile but calibrating to each stock. This is an in-between workflow. That leads to your next question about "calibrating every time you use a new stock".

    What you're missing is that you can create a new calibration, give it a new name (say, your stock), and attach it to an existing output profile. You can do this as many times as you like. You will then see multiple calibration sets available to you, all of which happen to have the same underlying (and technically not correct for that stock) output profile. That's normal.

    As you load and unload stocks, as you set up a stock in your job, you would also simply change to that calibration set. For example: if you are going to use four different stocks in a day, you might calibrate stock A when you first use it. Then if you switch to stock B, you might calibrate that. Now you do another job on stock A. No need to recalibrate; simply use the stock A calibration set, which now has a current calibration.

    On a good machine, such as the Konica Minoltas that maintain themselves via automatic color density control, you may not have to calibrate a stock very often at all. Certainly you wouldn't have to calibrate a stock every time you use it, or every day. Maybe once a week? Your tolerances would define that for you.

    And if you use the Fiery paper catalog correctly, you would tell it what calibration sets go with what stocks--so that whenever you use a stock, the Fiery would automatically pick the correct cal set for you. No need for operator intervention.

    Back to the original discussion on output profiles: the ideal workflow would be a calibration set--that is, a calibration and UNIQUE OUTPUT PROFILE--for each brand and model and weight/coating of stock per machine. It takes some time to set this up--although EFI Color Profiler Suite paired with a Fiery-driven system eliminates about 95% of the hassle--but once it's set up and running, you spend the next several years doing nothing but maintaining it. And by maintaining, I mean simply calibrating the stock now and again. If you have a stable printing system such as KM, and a stable and well set-up environment (clean, temp and humidity controlled), maybe once a week or even less. (You can set the Fiery up to alert you when your specified time frame has expired, much like the oil change minder in your car alerts you.)

    The more variables you have, the more need for calibration. Is your system on the loading dock? Do you store your paper on the loading dock? Calibrate twice a day. You get the idea.

    Summary: Use EFI CPS and an autoscan spectro such as Konica Minolta FD-9 to create calibration/output profile sets for each unique stock in your shop. Use Fiery paper catalog to associate the calibration/profile set to each size of that stock in your catalog. Calibrate those stocks as you use them and according to the calibration expiration alert system in CWS. Watch it all work.

    And what you will get with this workflow, the whole idea behind thumbprinting each stock like this, is a normalized color image across all the different stocks. Not just an image; you will also maximize Pantone spot color reproduction on each sheet, also normalizing those colors across different stocks. The mechanism behind this is for another discussion, but it's automatic and just works if you set it up the way I said.

    And THAT takes care of the question you were tickling around but not quite understanding how to ask.

    Now you have to ask yourself: how stable of a printing device do I have? The fact is, all dry-writing toner devices will vary at the engine level, hour to hour, day to day. You can't stop that from happening. It's a simple factor of the electrostatic charges that the system uses to make the magic happen. As your developer ages, as parts wear, as grids and wires get dirty, as the room air gets dirty, as humidity changes...all of these things will cause the color response from the engine to change. You can't stop that any more than you can stop the water from a waterfall.

    But you CAN manage it. Konica Minolta does so starting with the engine and its Color Density Control system, which works spectacularly to make the ink density response on your paper be consistent across time. If the engine is consistent, now profiling that becomes very meaningful. Once a linearized and consistent engine is profiled, all that's left is to calibrate it to fine-tune what the Fiery knows about that engine at that moment. Calibration essentially accounts for the rough edges of the engine density controls. Engine density controls do the heavy lifting; profiling does the fine finish color management work, and calibration uses an even finer touch to keep the profile in touch with the engine at any given moment in time.

    If you don't have a stable engine, life gets tougher. Learn how to use your engine features and controls to have it make itself as stable as it can, so that you're not trying to use Fiery calibration to manage simple stability. (Ugh.)

    Think of it like a pyramid, with three levels. The base level is engine stability. The next level up is profiling. The top level is calibration. If engine stability is off, if the engine itself isn't doing what it did when you profiled, then the profile itself has nothing to rest on.

    If you have an engine that has no built-in tools with which to manage its own stability and linearization, then you are forced to use Fiery tools to do that--and that means calibrating ALL the time to see where the engine has drifted now and bring it back, and that means that while you might be able to get an acceptable level of some kind of consistency out of that, you will never get accuracy.

    Stable engine, profile each and every stock through that engine, maintain with calibration--you will get a normalized image across all stocks, and you will be consistency AND accuracy.

    Lots of pieces to bolt together here, but quite doable--but really, only with an autoscan spectro and EFI CPS.

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    GarethO is offline Senior Fiery Forum Contributor GarethO is on a distinguished path
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    You are correct, sir.

    The underlying question you were tickling but not quite getting is this: if I use one single output profile, won't results across different stocks be different?

    The answer is, of course they will.
    Lol, the Ricoh machine we demo'd has two canned output profiles, one for coated and one for uncoated. It doesn't come with CPS and they calibrate on whatever is lying around. They didn't seem to think this was an issue when I questioned them about it...

    Quote Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post
    What you're missing is that you can create a new calibration, give it a new name (say, your stock), and attach it to an existing output profile.
    Yes, I got this, but on my current machine I am unable to do this, all calibrations are done on the predefined stock. How do you associate a calibration with an output profile? In the paper catalog I can't see an option for this on my system, or anywhere else.

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    There is a lot of good information in what adam1991 and StarDigital wrote. It applies well to all newer Fiery systems and to most previous ones. But not all...

    Back to you, GartethO, thanks for pointing out what you see (step 2. Print Check Settings). It helps as there are so many Fiery versions. I’ll give comments on 3 aspects:
    1. Your calibrator showing “steps” tells me that your Fiery is System 9r2 or older.
    2. With these systems, only one paper listed by Calibrator was the case of Canon, or of basic office printer shipping with only one output profile.
    3. No “Manage…” is listed in the Calibration Set menu?

    Regarding 1), Calibrator version:
    When connected to a Fiery System9r2 or older, Command WorkStation launches Calibrator v1.3.x. When connected to a Fiery System10 or newer (FS series), Command WorkStation launches Calibrator v2.1.x. This is why two version numbers are enumerated when asking CWS > Help > About Plug-In > Calibrator.

    Many major changes were introduced with the System 10 Fiery. All these systems allow for calibration creation. A minor addition was the “Recommended Paper” that I was writing you about, but you obviously do not have

    Regarding 2), only one paper is listed:
    Canon had for years a calibration approach called “PaperCal”. The principle is that you bring consistency to your printer by calibrating it with only one paper, always the same. In America, Canon recommended Hammermill paper. Only one calibration set is maintained. But the key here is that once the printer is calibrated, in a consistent output state, you can profile any other media. As all your profiles rely on a single calibration, always use the same! Results are generally very good, but not always, especially when the other media is very different than the reference one (mostly in terms of coating and weight).

    Regarding 3), no “Manage…”:
    This means you cannot add calibrations. At installation time, before System 10, some Canon models allowed users to select if they preferred the traditional PaperCal or the newer “Manage…” calibration. You may have one of these hybrids models. What are the Fiery System and the Fiery printer model, both displayed in CWS5 Device Center > General > General Info (printer model is at the top line, between parentheses)?

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    adam1991 is offline Fiery Forum Expert Contributor adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarethO View Post
    Lol, the Ricoh machine we demo'd has two canned output profiles, one for coated and one for uncoated. It doesn't come with CPS and they calibrate on whatever is lying around. They didn't seem to think this was an issue when I questioned them about it...
    It's not a matter of "it doesn't come with CPS". It's a matter of you equipping your shop with the proper tools. You buy what you need to achieve your goals. If the goal is to normalize color across different stocks, you need CPS or similar.

    Every Fiery comes with canned profiles. So? It has to have at least one profile, and depending on how the manufacturer specifies the load, it may come with more. Coated and uncoated is typical. So?

    You need to buy what you need, not be sold what's convenient for someone else to sell.



    Yes, I got this, but on my current machine I am unable to do this, all calibrations are done on the predefined stock. How do you associate a calibration with an output profile? In the paper catalog I can't see an option for this on my system, or anywhere else.
    Fiery paper catalog allows for this. Do you use paper catalog? Do you specify stock names anywhere, either on the Fiery or--even better--on the engine? (If on the engine, that feeds the Fiery.) In the Fiery paper catalog, double click on a paper stock name and see what you get.

    If you're not using paper catalog, you're missing out on a whole boatload of automation.

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    adam1991 is offline Fiery Forum Expert Contributor adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful adam1991 has proven very helpful
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarethO View Post
    We are looking at new machines...
    At this point, any new machines you are looking at are Fiery FS150 or FS200 system software. Ask your vendor what he's offering.

    Regardless, everything I said applies to any of that, and the old ways of doing it wrong, halfway, inefficiently, and/or using voodoo are long gone. Get CPS 4.8 or later (along with yearly software maintenance agreements--don't forget that), get an autoscan spectro (KM FD-9 or X-rite iSis XL) along with a handheld for calibration and spot color capture, and use Fiery paper catalog and its automation to bolt all the calibration sets to their appropriate paper stocks.

    If I may ask, what equipment are you considering and why?

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    GarethO is offline Senior Fiery Forum Contributor GarethO is on a distinguished path
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    Paul_M - yes we are running system 9r2, and adam1991, we will most likely get FS150.

    Paul, I assume this is the procedure for doing what you described. Is there anywhere I can see some screen shots?

    Adam, I currently use paper catalog to it's fullest, but for reasons explained by Paul, can't do as you described. I am concerned about colour consistency, that is the reason for getting a new machine and starting this thread to get my head around the new systems. I don't have an issue with canned profiles, I have an issue with inconsistent colour.

    The machines we are looking at are KM1060C and Versant 2100, and to a lesser extent C651ex and C700. I think the 2100 is most likely over kill for us, and am wondering about the 80.

    Reasons for upgrading are colour uniformity across the page, colour consistency from day to day and over a job, and breakdowns. F/B registration, and wandering is also an area of concern.

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