Printing - colour balance issue with PL 1.2

I’m having a bit of a problem in getting desired colour balance using printing from PL version 1.2.2. firstly, a bit of background:

  1. I’m using PL 1.2.2, as it’s deployed on Windows 7. I don’t expect that the issues I describe below will have materially altered in subsequent versions of PL. I expect to find that the problem is down to user error.
  2. Printing is to a Canon Pro 10s printer. Paper typically used is Canon’s Pro Platinum glossy.
  3. I have recently acquired a Dell UP2720Q monitor, which is able to map various colour gamuts and can be validated for colour mapping with hardware assistance.
  4. PL is set via its editing preferences to use the AdobeRGB colour space, which is consistent with the mapping employed by the monitor.

Until I deployed the new monitor, I was using a lower specification monitor, whose colour gamut was calibrated to sRGB. Then printing was done using the Canon print utility, whose automatic settings work as standard using sRGB: it was a simple matter to print a file exported as JPG with default colour space (sRGB) from PL. The results were acceptable, but a bit “postcardish”.

The new monitor affords the possibility of using the AdobeRGB space, which I expect to produce rather better results, when correctly set up. At the moment, the results are poor: their colour is cast (towards green) and they appear muddy. I’ve got a mapping or profile wrong somewhere.

The route I have used is to attempt to print directly from PL. I was guided in the settings by notes in another (MAC) thread on the DXO site (Printing from PL or managed by printer? Workflow here? links to clear instructions on how to setup the DXO side of things). There’s a Canon manual that gives the settings required either in the “application controlled” printing mode, or alternatively (not as described in the forum note) using the printer’s management of colour. (see )

The first stumbling block in using PL to control colour is to determine the correct paper ICC profile in the face of Canon’s file naming system. A brief adventure game got me nowhere beyond hieroglyphics, then I realised I should have looked at the printers (something like & Printers properties  Color Management All profiles). Scrolling down shows the known profiles and maps resource (paper) names to file names. PL may then be informed of the required name.

Following the above and then printing using perceptual rendering has led to the unsatisfactory results.

I considered the alternative of using the printer to undertake colour management. This is described in the second section of the Canon reference above. I can set the printer’s colour management to “ICM”, but then the only input profile offered is “standard”, which is appropriate for sRGB or data without an input profile. The Adobe RGB profile is not offered, although the file is installed. I understand that I should from that point be able still to specify the paper’s ICC profile and proceed to print, but this would appear to be equivalent to the settings I have used with PL, albeit applied in a different place.

This does not appear to be a particularly well-documented area of either PL or the printer. I’d be grateful for any guidance about the simplest route to diagnose where my error lies.

The first thing you have to do is to calibrate your monitor otherwise you will not know whether what you are seeing on screen is correct or not.

You will need to use something like the i1Display device and software. From experience, most times, you need to set it up for 5500°K and between 80 and 100cd/m2.

When you have done that, then you need to choose an appropriate printer profile for the printer/paper/ink combination that you are going to use. If you cannot find one ready made, then you will also need to use a print profiling device and software.


To print in AdobeRGB colour space set your hardware calibrated monitor accordingly as well as in PL1.2 >> Display – and you may even consider to reduce the contrast (max 1:500).

And you already know to avoid double colour management, either in the software you are printing from OR in the printer driver. I’m familiar with Epson P800 and its printer driver (Win 10), but don’t know about Canon’s print software. Canon’s printer driver should contain the settings for your paper and the (automatically) installed paper profile should be found in c:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color\

Maybe you start the journey with independent / proven test images ( >> check for DataColor )

and in case you need a good monitor test (522,4 KB)
( >> check pages # 12 and 14 )

have fun, Wolfgang

thanks to both Joanna and Wolfgang for the comments above. I expect to find the bandwidth to do the necessary experimentation following your suggestions in the next day or so, and will post back when I’ve done.

(Wolfgang - some helpful comments of yours came through in the notifying email that do not appear above!)

The (first) email notification came with @HenHwyaden, but I edited (shortended) the text, later. :slight_smile:

I never used PL1.2, so I don’t know its details (PL4 now, PL3 still activated).
What I read about your monitor, it’s equipped with a built in colorimeter, but I don’t know about Dell and its software (use Eizo CG2730 + Color Navigator 7).

When you have further questions, we try to help you out.

Referring again to Joanna’s and Wolgang’s comments above: I’ve now done some experimentation based upon the leads they have given.

First thing is to clarify that the monitor I referenced (Dell UP2720Q) has a built-in colourimeter, which makes calibration straightforward. It uses results of the calibration to populate its LUT to enable mapping directly to a (user) defined gamut.

The problem I was reporting was disparity of colour balance between the monitor’s display and output printed on a Canon printer.

Joanna’s comments led to looking at the white balance temperature on the monitor. Her suggestion was to use D55, which is not built in as a factory calibrated value. To shortcut the process, I initially switched from the use of the D65 factory set calibration to the D50 set. This made a significant improvement in the comparabilioty of the displayed and printed images. It was also necessary to reduce the luminance from 250 Cd/m2 to 100, as advised. The resulting display was much better/closer to the natural view.

I have also defined a couple of customised settings to use 100 Cd/m2 with both D50 and D55.

Using these, the results on the display are quite close to the print, save that the print has a hint of a red-cast on skin tones.

Now for the rub… I have not found where Joanna’s helpful figures have come from. Are they documented for PL when printing? Secondly, it seems to me that the mapping required to transform from PL’s internal colour space to devices that it is using should be undertaken by PL, since PL has access to display and printer parameterisation. Apart from Joanna’s suggestion that D55 is likely to be suitable to match a printer, where is the printer’s white balance point defined? (I was using printing managed by DxO).

I’ve no doubt that Wolgang’s suggested standardised print suggestions will be useful - I think they’ll come into play at a slightly later stage in the process.

So, thanks to you both for the pointers. I think it will turn out that I am asking for better documentation about the transform/mapping strategies used to make printing a rather more straightforward process with PL. As it stands, the documentation is rather limited to the effects of controls and buttons, and does not cover the system’s intended behaviour.

They come from years of experience editing and printing photos :nerd_face:

Nice to hear from you @HenHwyaden, you already seem to be there. :slight_smile:

Personally, I’m still missing some things in PL(4) like softproof etc, and will have to continue to print from my old PS via Epson print driver. – Here Sharpening with PL4 you find something about Nik Output sharpener (works with tiff-files), in case you want to use that (the ‘free’ version is still available from DxO).

As you can’t change your printer’s colour output (using correct profiles – canned or custom one’s / proof with the aforesaid test print) you might be able to trim your monitor, if you think so.

I’m using different papers and the colour reproduction remains about the same (the paper profile’s responsibility). But then, depending on the paper’s colour and amount of optical brighteners, I will get a cool, unbiased or warm interpretation of the very light colours, as they are semi-transparent. This can be controlled in softproof as well as the different D-max due to glossy, semiglossy or matte surface. With some experience you choose the appropriate paper and texture.

My monitor is mostly set for printing (5900° Kelvin, 80 cd/m², contrast ratio max. 1:500, AdobeRGB, optimized for greyscale / room with somewhat controlled lighting). I don’t compare my prints with the screen, but check them under different light conditions.
have fun, Wolfgang


Hi Wolfgang. Not sure anymore if you are on Windows or Mac. Did you ever try Qimage (Ultimate or One)?

I too have a few years of experience of printing. Problem is that I haven’t yet got round to interfacing my Durst enlarger to the computer, so an old hwyaden is having to learn new tricks…

Wolfgang is on the right lines with suggesting that the various papers’ characteristics should be normalised by their respective ICC profiles. My point is that it should not be necessary to appeal for help from fellow users for basic information about optimal white colour temperatures. This is fundamental to being able to print, and should be documented with DxO’s software. I also cannot see why the transformation process is not better formed so that various targets (having differing configured temperatures) cannot be normalised and mapped. This is, of course, what happens on the way into DxO world by virtue of the raw converters.

Maybe someone working for DxO would care to say if this is an accepted deficiency in the current software/documentation?


no, never tried QImage Ultimate (Win)

( had to re-check our conversation Add soft proofing to Photolab )

Maybe take a closer look at it and give it a try (free trial). I think Qimage One (only printing), can also be used with Windows. I love this not too expensive program next to DXO PL4.


Checking several videos for QImage One as well as QImage Ultimate, I was curious about softproof.

So I tried the Ultimate demo version.
One has to chose a paper profil first to be able to switch to softproof, BUT I could not figure out how to reduce a colour’s saturation, that otherwise might be overblown, leading to loss of texture. And I didn’t see, if I can enable side by side view, to compare different paper profiles. While those were the important questions to me, I just didn’t like the overloaded user interface. Well, one gets used to stuff over time, but it doesn’t look ergonomical. – I uninstalled the program.

Then after a break I thought to give QImage One a try, but no chance. After ‘ordering’ the demo version, I got a message saying that it was sent out, but never reached me (also no spam).

From what I understood, both programs seem to be handy when printing on roll paper AND printing several images at the same time (with hopefully applying individual output sharpening). That’s something helpful and timesaving for ‘business’. – Instead, I print quite erratic and on single sheets only.

have fun, Wolfgang

I’ m on Mac , so I cannot use the Ultimate version. So I also cannot tell about overloaded user interface. Qimage One is definitely not overloaded (because no way to work on files like in Ultimate or DXO PL…only for printing). I think it’ s clean and very straightforward. That’ s what I like, if files are ready for printing.
I never print roll paper and never several images at the same time. I print erratic and on single sheets also.
On the Qimage forum (in fact for Ultimate), the responses are quick and efficient. Especially from the maker of Qimage (different from Binartem, but he’ ll answer all questions as well).
Hope this helps.
I bought Qimage One because so many people where so enthusiastic about it. They where right…works very well for me. Especially because I don’ t want/need a raw developer or a program that lets me work on different files (I use DXO PL4 for that). If I would use Windows, I probably would also use Qimage One instead of Ultimate.