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12-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #1
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printing Digikam, dark prints or blown highlights

Hello. I would appreciate some help with a problem I have.

I'm using ubuntu linux as the OS and I want to print to my HP printer. I use Digikam 1.0.0 for processing. If I use the recommended hpijs driver the prints are very dark and muddy. Adjusting brightness or gamma has no effect. Has anyone had a similar problem? Is there a solution?

If I use the CUPS+Gutenberg driver I can get a print very close to what is shown on the monitor (Samsung 2343bwx). However, highlights on a yellow object, say a lemon or a pepper, look blown-out with a green tint to the edges (!). I've tried decreasing brightness or gamma with minimal effect. Does anyone have any solutions?

Thank you for your help.

Dan

12-18-2009, 09:34 AM   #2
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Hi Dan,

I see you saw my recommendation for Photoprint on the 'other forum', that's worth using for all the good stuff it does, and I get a good match between what it shows in the print preview and final print on my epson.

Gutenprint seems to be the business for good quality output and offers lots of control - I haven't had to use any of that though as Photoprint with a suitable paper/ink/profile set works fine with gutenprint in its default settingsand/or those driver settings Photoprint uses.

Which HP printer do you have?
12-18-2009, 01:49 PM   #3
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My printer is a HP-1220C. A little old but it can print 13"x19" to 2400 dpi with the correct driver. However, the photo paper feed seems to have failed so I will be looking for another printer (boy, will that be a research project).

I downloaded Photoprint and tried to install it. It failed and said that I needed glib-2.0. I downloaded glib-2.22 and tried to install it. Glib failed and said that I needed libpcre-7.2 or greater. I have libpcre3-7.8 already installed. So, now I don't know how to proceed. My OS is ubuntu 9.10, 64-bit.

I'll try printing through Gimp and see what happens.

Thank you for your help.

Dan
12-18-2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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I must confess I can't remember how I installed photoprint myself, whether it was from the tarball or repository, but have you tried 'sudo apt-get install photoprint' ?

As regards replacing the printer, although I have much preferred HP and Canon printers in terms of usability I came to the conclusion that on Linux there is better support for Epsons, and you obviously can't fault the print quality their better models can reproduce. I can't recommend doing the same but I took a big chance and bought an r2400 with blocked nozzles on ebay and managed to free them up, just stumping up the cash and getting a new r2880 would be more sensible. I am using a Lyson CIS and their inks - which I can unhesitatingly recommend if you are prepared to use their (provided) profiles, this is necessary as they use their inks to best advantage, exceeding Epson colour gamut in places, rather than attempting an exact match with no profile adjustment.

I'm running Ubuntu 64 bit as well but still at 9.04 on my main host with photoprint. I do however have 9.10 running in 9.10 64 bit virtual guest so, if all else fails, I could try to compile it and ship you a binary from 9.10. It is worth some effort to get photoprint operational.

12-19-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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Darn, why didn't I think of that (apt-get...)? I did not find Photoprint in Synaptic so I went to their website where one downloads their source code and then has to complie it. My problems were in the compiling.

Apt-get worked. Now I have to evaluate Gutenburg vs. hpijs. Gutenburg shows more detail and has better contrast out-of-the box but I have to adjust the cyan.

Thanks again for the help.

Enjoy the Holidays.

Dan
12-20-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
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Well, try as I might I cannot improve on the printed colors when using the CUPS+Gutenburg driver. Red chili peppers look violet but the green, yellow, and orange peppers look just about right.

So, I will stay with hpijs as the driver. The colors are much more faithful to the actual colors of the subjects and I can reveal more shadow detail by adjusting gamma.

As mentioned by AlphaLexman in the ubuntu forums there may be a problem with the driver reading the wrong profile. That will be something to address later.
12-21-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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OK, but photoprint is fully colour managed.

So, if you have a reasonable profile for your printer/paper/ink combination and your camera rendering is reasonably accurate to srgb or adobeRGB you should get a reasonable print. To improve on that print you need to improve on that profile, I'm struggling to get Argylle CMS to talk to an old borrowed spectrometer to do that but the other approach is to by some paper from Fotospeed who will then profile for free your own print on that paper - job done. Or pay someone to create a custom profile on your paper of choice.

Photoprint will also do soft proofing if you have your monitor profiled. Again Argylle runs fine on Ubuntu and display proofing devices it supports are quite cheap so, unlike spectrometers, that is easily done. With both printer and display profiles you do get matching prints and on screen display. As you do from Gimp printing as recommended on the Ubuntu forums. The difference is that printing from Gimp (which should also work well if you have good profiles) does not give you output resolution sharpening nor high quality automatic upscaling to printer resolution - so its all a whole lot less convenient.

You need a decent printer (and preferably monitor) profile to get anywhere really - trying to adjust the driver colour settings by hand I found a waste of time and an exercise in frustration. If the profiles that come with your HP printer are not good enough - I would sugest getting a better one, and the best is a custom one for your own printer and inks, and you can get one free from Fotospeed.

Good profiles=good prints :-)
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