Lightroom: Printer Profiles

category: Lightroom • 2 min read

It’s a slow warm wet winter on the “wet coast”. We are getting ready for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. So I’m using the time to market, upgrade and test. I decided to test my main current printing lab. One of the printers that they use is the LPS-24 Noritsu laser printer.

I downloaded the profile and used the same photo, already cropped to 5” by 7”. The only difference between the “no profile” and all the 3 profile combinations is a stamp with a 1,2,3 and 4.

A week later, I picked up my photos, came back and examined the photos, in the daylight, under fluorescent and under my halogen lamps.

There was a fair bit of differences between the profile photos and the no profile photo:

  1. The crop was different.

    • The profiled photos had the exact image that I delivered.
    • The non profiled photo was re-framed and cropped, and not even in the center.
    • The exposure was +1 on the non profiled photo.
  • I’m not saying that the profiled photos were better than the non profiled photo.
  • I’m saying that the profiled photos were what I send them.
  • I’m saying that the non-profiled photo was not exactly what I send them.
  • There wasn’t much colour difference between the profiled photos and the non profiled photo.

So I went back to the lab and spoke with Warren, the owner. He said:

When there is a printer profile embedded in the JPEG, we print it straight, no exposure correction and no colour correction and no further cropping if the image is already the proper size.

Basically, with a printer profile embedded in the photo “they” will print neutral. Without any printer profile, it’s what “they” feel like. Warren also said that every other lab that he knows of does the same thing.