How to know if your printer is clueless when you're clueless too?

FlightDeck

Active member
It occurred to me a picture might help! :)

Attached is a scan from my proof. It was made at 600 dpi. While I recognize the pitfalls of digitally scanning a half-toned image, I can state that the attached image quite faithfully represents the linscreen patterns that I see in the CMYK proof when viewed with a magnifying glass. There may be some slight scanner-induced moire, however the apparent resolution of the CMYK print in the scan is not affected. Also note this is not a colour-managed scan, as I'm interested in the resolution issue at this point.

All of the text and graphics shown in the scan were originally created in the PDF input file using vector-scaled fonts---none of these were rasterized graphics (unless this company's PDF-creating software did it on it's own, and they claim no).

What lpi setting on the hp Indigo 5000 does this appear to be? Is the text "sharpness" what you would expect?

Thanks,
KDJ
 

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meddington

Well-known member
What lpi setting on the hp Indigo 5000 does this appear to be? Is the text "sharpness" what you would expect?

This appears to be a higher lpi from the Indigo, and the sharpness is what I would expect. That's not to say that it cannot be improved though. The rule in particular looks jagged due to the screen angles, which with the Indigo, the operator has no ability to alter. You could ask them up the lpi (if possible) and enable the Adaptive Halftoning option which should help edge crispness.
 

Mark Flanders

Well-known member
Greetings Fellas,

Excellent discussion. I looked at your picture, and it was pretty helpful. I would guess this was 175 line, and, quality-wise is exactly what you should expect. The fonts look to be handled properly. (I don't really see a problem) Meddington is correct in saying that any text built with screens will have jaggies, and that the resolution differences we're talking about are likely not a source of any print flaws or noticeable quality issues. (300 res is standard. 240 is probably ok too.) I only mentioned it as odd since I can't think of a reason to specify 240.) A higher line screen will improve your jaggies, and I think Med is right about the interpolating, but it does an amazingly good job of it, with the exception of the banding in large areas of light-midtones as I mentioned before. The Indigo can change line screen and screen angles at the press, no problem, but I have found that swapping to make the blue line perfect might produce unexpected results somewhere else. I rarely swap angles unless I have a line-art based two color job or some other good reason. Color controls are calibration curves for CMYK, as well as a separate density adjustment. I can insert points to bump an 83% to 91.5% in the cyan, or whatever, but it's a global change, so the operator has to take notes and adjust color for each page one at a time if your job demands it. (I try to find the color sweet spot to avoid this if possible.) If you really hate the jaggies on your text color builds, make a test page of all your possible color builds and pick the ones you like best.

again, thanks for the pro talk. It made my Monday better.

Mark
 

FlightDeck

Active member
I looked at your picture, and it was pretty helpful. I would guess this was 175 line, and, quality-wise is exactly what you should expect. The fonts look to be handled properly. (I don't really see a problem)

The sample I posted isn't really the worst of the batch, I just tried to use the case of text-on-white to keep things simple. However light-density text such as the light-grey text aligned vertically at the right side of the scan obviously begins to fall apart, given how narrow the characters are and the few ink dots that land within that width. At normal viewing distances it's pretty grim. I suppose the lesson here is "don't do that" :rolleyes: and make the colour darker or the text larger.


A higher line screen will improve your jaggies, and I think Med is right about the interpolating, but it does an amazingly good job of it, with the exception of the banding in large areas of light-midtones as I mentioned before.

I haven't yet requested the printer to try a higher lpi, though I have asked what they were using. I have nothing else to go by other than their website saying "180 lpi", which sounds about right given your observations of my scanned proof.


Color controls are calibration curves for CMYK, as well as a separate density adjustment. I can insert points to bump an 83% to 91.5% in the cyan, or whatever, but it's a global change, so the operator has to take notes and adjust color for each page one at a time if your job demands it. (I try to find the color sweet spot to avoid this if possible.)

I believe they're going to take this approach as well, a global adjustment. I would imagine that page-specific adjustments will be a money-eater, and fairly so, so I'm anxious to avoid that.


again, thanks for the pro talk. It made my Monday better.

One of those days huh? :)

I suggested to the printer the 5000's Adpative Halftoning feature that meddington mentioned, along with sending them a PDF brochure from hp showing an example of what it does. They're going to pass it along to the pressroom to see what they can do with it, assuming it wasn't already enabled for the proof I posted above.


I still can't help but feel that as a photographer I shouldn't need to consider all these factors, let alone understand them, to get the best printed product they can make. However nowadays I find myself having to become educated in just about everything in order to get the optimum product/service. I suppose I just have to resign myself to being thankful that I *can* learn and understand all the technical stuff relatively quickly to help get better results---I feel bad for regular customers who have to take the lumps as they come because they don't know what else is possible. Alternatively, I could stop being so picky, but as if *that* will ever happen! :D

Thanks and regards,
KDJ
 

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