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Thread: Colorgate: contone or halftone?

  1. #1
    Donor oxident will become famous soon enough
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    Colorgate: contone or halftone?

    Hi!

    I'm trying to figure out what's the optimal workflow for using Colorgate on my HP DesignJet Z6100.

    What do you think is a better "general purpose" workflow for printing posters or presentation: Let ColorGate do the halftoning or send RGB to the printer?

    As far as I've understood this, I would have much better control if I send halftone data to the printer (which enables me to use CG's ink saving technique) but when doing the "Media Device Sync", the measured colors are quite away from ColorGate's "reference". When using a RGB workflow, the values are within specification.

    If I simply look at the results, they are very different: Sometimes, the halftone prints look good but most of the time, they are outperformed by the RGB workflow and (which is the most annoying thing) the prints always look better when using the internal PS-RIP

    Am I doing something wrong?

  2. #2
    Donor thomasraden is on a distinguished road
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    Contone profiles are using the ink restrictions inbuilt in the printer which probably are a bit more sophisticated than the ones that are set in the rip when making a halftone profile. Usually, contone is used by people who do not have access to a spectrometer, sort of a last resort option.

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    Donor oxident will become famous soon enough
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    Thanks for making this clear to me. I already guessed something like this. On the other hand, this means if using a lower quality spectrometer, the halftone output might also be worse than the contone output?

    I'm asking this because the visual quality on my HP Z6100 is slightly higher when sending contone rather than halftone data ... but both were calibrated using the internal spectrometer.

  4. #4
    Donor thomasraden is on a distinguished road
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    This depends on the media used and how the profiles in the printer was made and with what measuring device.
    There will always be special types of media where there is not a good matching profile in the printer.
    The HP Z6100 have a large variety of media types so the risk of getting a bad contone profile with this printer is very low.
    You will always be able to look at the profiling result by downloading a good reference chart, like the altona visual test chart:

    http://www.eci.org/lib/exe/fetch.php?id=en%3Adownloads&cache=cache&media=down loads:altona_test_suite:altona_visual_1v2a_x3.pdf

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  6. #5
    Donor oxident will become famous soon enough
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    Again, thanks for the explanation and the link!

    I understand what you mean and I also think that the contone profiles inside the printer are quite well measured by the manufacturer. But nevertheless, if I fail to get accurate halftone results, this might be a limitation of the spectrometer I use, right?

    Anyway, I guess I'll stick to contone mode as long as I get an expensive spectrometer allowing me to get acceptable Delta values ;-)

  7. #6
    Donor thomasraden is on a distinguished road
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    Yes, the contone profiles are usually better than the one you make yourself
    as the printer manufacturers are using more advanced industrial equipment to
    measure with.

    You will probably sooner or later bump into a media at some occation where
    the inbuilt contone profiles gives a limited color gamut due to that media
    charasteristics but that risk is very small.

    I usually make contone profiles for customers and have so far not got into
    any problems or limitations.

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