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Update for the ColorVision PrintFIX

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An update for the ColorVision PrintFIX

A major update for the PrintFIX printer profiling system



The ColorVision PrintFIX has had a mixed press.

Some people have had excellent results, while others have had problems.

A year on from his original review Keith looks at where things have moved.

printfix update

Note that this article was first written in June 2004. It has been updated with newer product informations, but is largely left as written, for archive purposes, and for anyone finding an original PrintFIX in a drawer somewhere…

Using the original PrintFIX

Several people have contacted Keith after reading this article.

Keith has done some further testing and discovered some interesting tips on getting better profiles.

See more info at the bottom of the page

We also have reviews of the latest PrintFIX Pro, which now runs as a standalone package with a Spectrocolorimeter for measurements, and the PrintFIX PLUS software only solution

Update information (2012)

  • Jan. 2012 – The newer (2005) PrintFIX Pro device still works just fine with the latest SpyderPrint Software, which is covered in our Spyder3Print SR/SpyderPrint review
  • Oct 2007 – The Spyder3Print is the new name for the PrintFIX PRO. If you have a PrintFIX PRO then you can download the updated software (for free) from Datacolor
  • Dec 2006 – A new version of the software (V2) is available from ColorVision See Keith’s Updated PrintFIX Pro review – better colour printing and B/W too…
  • Oct 2005 – ColorVision announced a new more advanced version of the PrintFIX, the PrintFIX PRO. We have a detailed review of the PrintFIX PRO, which uses a Spectrocolorimeter to read test targets.

The PrintFIX PRO is a completely new system based on a spectrocolorimeter and a standalone software package. 

It supports 3rd party inks and almost any printer you might want to try. It does not support the original PrintFIX scanner.

Changes in version PrintFIX1.2

The most obvious difference is that you have to send off for an update.

This is free when you supply your PrintFIX serial number.

You get a some new software and two copies of an all new calibration card.

Perhaps addressing some of the concerns about unit to unit variability, the new card has coloured patches…

PrintFIX scanner with the new software and calibration cards.

The new software also supports an increasing range of printers:

PrintFIX 1.2 update

Canon i70

Canon i80

Canon i860

Canon i900

Canon i950

Canon i960

Canon i965

Canon i9100

Canon i9900

Canon s9000

Canon 50i

Canon 900pd

Canon 950i

Canon 960i

Canon 9100i

Canon 9900i

Canon f9000

Epson Photo 890

Epson Photo 900

Epson Photo 960

Epson 1200

Epson 1270

Epson 1280

Epson 1290

Epson 2000p

Epson 2100*

Epson 2200*

Epson 4000*

Epson 5500*

Epson 7600*

Epson 9600*

Epson c62

Epson c82

Epson c84

Epson r200

Epson r210

Epson r300

Epson r310

Epson r800

Epson rx500

Epson PM 870c

Epson PM 880c

Epson PM 950c

Epson PM4000px*

Epson PM 3300c

Epson PM 3500c

Epson MC2000

Epson MC5000

Epson PX7000*

Epson PX9000*

Epson PX-G900

HP Photo 7660

HP Photo 7760

HP Photo 7960

New printers added Feb 05 (and upgrade to V1.2.1)

CANON 9900i, CANON i80, CANON i9900(Updated), CANON iP8600, EPSON 4000 Matte, EPSON C60, EPSON C80, EPSON PXG5000, EPSON PXG900, EPSON PXG920, HP130

* Also supports MediaStreet Inc’s Generations G-Chrome Inks and Lyson Inc’s CavePaint & PhotoChrome Inks on these printer models. Epson 4000 currently supported for PhotoBlack only.

New printers May 05 (V1.2.2)

CANON i9950,CANON iP8500, SAMSUNG CLP-500, SAMSUNG CLP-550

The PDF manual is very clearly set out and you should read it carefully to make sure that you follow the correct procedure when using the PrintFIX. I tried out the new version using Photoshop CS under Mac OS X 10.3 and it installed fine (New** see notes at end of article).

The original black and white calibration card is still used for setting up the scanner, and I’d draw your attention to the suggestion in the manual that you recalibrate the unit each time you use it afresh. Measurements for profile building require accuracy and consistent equipment.

The coloured cards are used in the profile building part of the PrintFIX program, suggesting that this is an additional kind of calibration.

profile building and CMYK calibration

The profile building and additional calibration dialog

As I suggested in my original review there was space in the dialog box to add features… :-)

The screen shot above was taken while re-testing one of my original scans. I’ve tried a ‘new’ profile using one of the cheaper papers I used for the original review and the results were noticeably better. I’ve not done the extensive testing that I did before, so I can’t really be certain that it was not just me being more careful in making the scan and print.

I welcome ColorVision’s efforts to continue developing the PrintFIX and would suggest that you get your upgrade ordered asap.

If you are still wondering about the device, have a look at the “Is PrintFIX right for me” section of the ColorVision site and understand what it does. I use a RIP for printing on my Epson 9600 – this is far beyond what the PrintFIX was designed for — especially with all the B/W work I do. I use PrintFIX profiles in some of my teaching and with some oddball papers that I use for a few prints on my Epson 1290.

News (16/11/05)

I’ve had a few reports of people having difficulties with getting good profiles and one person was good enough to supply me with an actual test print and profile chart.

I scanned the chart and generated a profile. Checking several images with Photoshop soft proofing showed that the image was too light and too yellow in the highlights.

I went back to the scan and found that due to slight slippage the patch block was not completely square. The sides and top of the block were parallel to the paper edges but the bottom edge was not.

Selecting the whole scan I distorted it slightly to make it square (It is obviously best to get a good scan in the first place…) I also used the clone tool to remove blemishes, dust, and slight print defects (ink dropouts for example)

Generating a new profile, I compared the two. The differences were quite noticeable, with the second profile giving a very good soft proof.

I’ve not had these problems with the profiles I’ve used with my Epson 1290, but if you are having difficulties, then maybe a closer look at your scans may show up some problems.

Please note that Northlight does not provide a remote profiling service! This was just a test

I also heard from someone with problems on a dual G5 Mac. I’d tried out V1.2 on my old G4 which I still use for quite a bit of work. On the G5 the installed software seemed to cause Photoshop some serious grief (“could not write file” error), but then I remembered I’d just upgraded the Mac to OS X 10.3.6

I ran the PrintFIX uninstaller, did a disk permissions check (no problems) reinstalled the PrintFIX 1.2 and restarted. This time no problems.

Just to be sure I installed V1.2 on my G4 laptop (10.3.6) once again Photoshop complained. Uninstalling and reinstalling seemed to fix things.

As such I’d suggest using the unistaller to get rid of old PrintFIX stuff first if you are on a Mac…

I should add that I’ve also had mails from people saying that their profiles were OK, but I’d appreciate comments either way.

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More colour management and printing related information

For information about printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main printers and printing page, or use the search box at the top of any page.
All colour management articles and reviews are indexed on the main Colour Management page - please do let Keith know if you've any questions, either via the comments or just email us?

Some specific articles that may be of interest:  

  • Why don't my prints match my screen? A short article showing why there is more to getting your prints to match your screen, than just calibrating your monitor. It's the vital first step, but you do need to consider some other factors for best results.
  • Why are my prints too dark - some basic suggestions to this common problem.

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