I gave myself a real photo printer for the 5th anniversary of “Meet the GIMP!” and have now my work-flow ready to print in the “right” colors. One reason I shied away from printing for years were the costs. Original Printer Ink is one of the most costly fluids that are traded commercially (1544.54€/l (1) is not the highest price you can pay) and good paper is expensive. But now I have found a combination of a good printer, which is subsidized by small and expensive ink tanks and a good second party ink for 1/6 of the price. The ink is pigment based and so doesn’t bleach out in the light so fast as dye inks. Added to that two good but cheap papers for making beginners mistakes.
Of course the colors are off when I print with the usual TurboPrint driver. TurboPrint knows neither ink nor papers. So I needed two printer profiles – one of them was already payed for with the ink starter set. Well, I had to buy two more profiles because I had made a big mistake while printing the test sheets. Take care to switch off all color correction while printing calibration charts.
With the right ICC profiles GIMP can give you a Soft Proof of the image that is going to be printed. The look of the printed image is simulated on the screen and you can adapt the image to get your best result.
All you need to know (and much more) about calibration and the different “intents” is at Cambridge in Colour and at the Idea Machine.
(1) It’s even worse than I said in the video. The ink cartridge holds 11ml and costs 16.99€ Epson list price. That’s 1544.54 per liter. farbenwerk C7 runs up to 275€/l in the set and 230€/l for the ink only. Quite a difference.
00:20 Gimp Magazine had a great start
01:10 New printer
03:00 Replacement ink by farbenwerk.com
03:50 Pigment ink vs. dye ink
05:50 Arguments for refillable inks
06:30 Filling of cartridges
09:20 Paper from Monochrom.de
11:20 Paper color changes the image
11:50 How printing works
16:00 Printer profiling explained
17:00 Profiling done
21:30 Getting the profile into TurboPrint
23:50 Soft proofing in GIMP
24:30 Out of gamut colors
25:40 Display filter for soft proof
26:30 Printing a real image with profile and soft proof
27:30 Adapting to printable colors with curves
30:10 Difference between LCD and paper / display intent
31:00 Printing in TurboPrint
34:15 6 colors – all black (Carbon ink for monochrome images)