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Affinity Photo Color Printing Issues


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I have noticed a sizeable difference in color quality when printing the same photo using Affinity Photo vs. Photoshop, on the same printer, with the same settings. The colors I get from printing from Photoshop are truer to the original photos than the colors I get when printing from Affinity Photo. This is especially true of the blues. PS prints a wider range of blues than does AP. I recently printed a photo that had a lot of dark blue gray in it, and the print from AP was almost complete gray with little blue.

 

Part of the issue seems to be there there are more color settings available in PS than in AP. In PS, you can indicate a rendering intent and check black point compensation. As far as I could tell, these settings were not available in AP.

 

At the moment, I have both programs on my desktop computer but only AP on my laptop. At some point, I will no longer have PS available to me as it won't be compatible with further Mac OS upgrades. At that point, if I wanted to use PS for printing, I would have to purchase a subscription to PS which is something I don't want to do and the reason that I purchased AP.

 

So, my questions are:

 

1. Does AP have any plans to improve its color management tool to get better color output?

2. Are there already color management tools in AP that allow for more fine tuning of color output, tools that I'm missing or unaware of?

3. Has anyone else noticed these differences and found a way to compensate for them, such as increasing the amount of blue in a photo with an HSL adjustment layer? This seems like a very hit or miss strategy, however.

 

Thanks

Affinity Photo, V 1.9.1    Affinity Designer, V 1.9.1, Affinity Publisher, V 1.9.1

Mac Book Air, Big Sur 11.2.3

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In PS, you can indicate a rendering intent and check black point compensation. As far as I could tell, these settings were not available in AP.

These options are available under Affinity Photo > Preferences > Colour. Just have a look if you can get better results by using these options, and please make sure to report back, if you still encounter problems.  :)

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Thanks, ABC. I hadn't remembered it when I posted yesterday, but I had previously already set those preferences  to color, rendering intent colormetric, and black point compensation.  So, when I printed my test photo, these preferences were set the same as they were set in Photoshop. But I'm still getting a significant difference in color output of the two programs.

 

Is there anything else to try or do to reduce these differences?

Affinity Photo, V 1.9.1    Affinity Designer, V 1.9.1, Affinity Publisher, V 1.9.1

Mac Book Air, Big Sur 11.2.3

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Hmm … my second suggestion would be looking at the settings of the print dialogue. I don’t have the latest version of Photoshop, but as far as I could figure out from the documentation, the print dialogs of Affinity Photo and Photoshop are still different (of course, the print dialogue of Affinity Photo is very basic at the moment). While I am pretty sure that you double checked the settings here as well, there might be a parameter that has an influence on your results …  :unsure:

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Thanks, ABC. I have already looked at all the settings of the print dialogue and set them exactly as they are set in Photoshop, to the degree that I am able to do so for my printer.

 

Having done this in the first place, and noticing the difference in my print colors, is the reason that I made my initial post. The differences in print output are so striking that I am now bringing all the photos I've adjusted in Affinity back into Photoshop for printing. But I won't be able to do this forever and hope that Affinity will make improvements in its color output or that someone from the company could suggest additional things I might do to get better color output.

Affinity Photo, V 1.9.1    Affinity Designer, V 1.9.1, Affinity Publisher, V 1.9.1

Mac Book Air, Big Sur 11.2.3

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  • 2 years later...

I have also been having this issue and have chucked several pieces of really expensive paper in the process. I am trying to leave PS (cc) and i have a very pale purple painting i'm printing and on PS it is fine but on AP it is awful, it's not usable and greyed out and all the colours are wrong. I'm exasperated as I want to be able to use AP but this one thing is essential and might mean that I have to stay with CC just to print which is ridiculous! 

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I don't have AP, but as I've recently stated in another thread, I think the printing in AD is sub-par. It really is an area that Serif needs to put some serious work into. Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon.

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1 hour ago, BofG said:

I don't have AP, but as I've recently stated in another thread, I think the printing in AD is sub-par. It really is an area that Serif needs to put some serious work into. Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon.

Oh man that is a shame. I guess if in future they fix it then I can drop PS completely. It's frustrating as I used to use PS all the time for digital painting but I went back to traditional so I only use it for printing now and not that often. I might have to throw a message over to serif to ask them WTF is going on! 

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On 5/27/2019 at 1:38 PM, BofG said:

I don't have AP, but as I've recently stated in another thread, I think the printing in AD is sub-par. It really is an area that Serif needs to put some serious work into. Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon.

The original post was two years ago, why don’t you see any improvement happening soon? Why hasn’t an improvement been made already?

 

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@Less the development team just seem to have a lot on their hands. Expanded into iPad versions, Publisher, still plenty of things on the roadmap that are pending and have been for years etc. They seem to be spread too thin to make any big strides with any one of the Affinity apps at the moment.

One particular bug with printing, cmyk printer profiles not working in AD, has been around since Jan 2017. I've not tried the beta though so maybe that's fixed? I think a lot of people only create for digital use though, so print functionality probably isn't high on the agenda, and there are lots of features people are crying out for that will get the attention first.

It could be argued that if someone wants pro-level print output they should be looking at a standalone RIP anyway.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/30/2019 at 5:34 PM, BofG said:

It could be argued that if someone wants pro-level print output they should be looking at a standalone RIP anyway.

Yes, it could be argued, but I wouldn't recommend doing so.  Speaking for myself, over the past two years I have purchased as open-box items a Canon Pro-1000 printer and a BenQ SW271 monitor.  Besides my camera, these are my first semi-professional digital output devices.  I have been photographing seriously since 2011.  The main reason for acquiring the Pro-1000 was the realization that photos are meant to be hung up and seen, so that if I'm going to improve my photography, I have to print my best shots, hang them up, and live with the for a while.  The BenQ SW271 replaced my 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display when the opportunity presented itself to acquire one at a modest price.  This is a critical component in the chain between my Nikon D7500 and the Pro-1000.

Consider, too, what we learned about Serif's plans on June 19, 2019 at Affinity Live.  Affinity Publisher, Studio Link ... the emphasis is clearly on generating hardcopy, which should reflect what is created digitally as accurately as possible given the limitations of the output devices.

Richard Liu

MacBook Pro 16" 2021 M1 Max | macOS 12.3.1 | BenQ SW271 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5

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Well the good news is that as of 1.7, cmyk printer profiles are now available in the print dialogue. (Which reminds me I must get round to giving that a try)

The actual print output still isn't quite a match for Illustrator on fine text (not sure what Illustrator is doing to hit a sharper finish, but it might be related to the line screen control that it has), but at least there has been some progress :)

I do think that the "print" output they target is based on sending to a print house, rather than running a physical printer. I still have to hit print several times before anything actually comes out..

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  • 1 month later...

Reading through responses I have yet to see a clear understanding as to why the printed output from an Epson P600 from AP 1.7.1 is poor.

 I have a full colour managed workflow and my B&W.prints show a magenta cast which is not apparent on the monitor. Further saved image (tiff file) loaded into LR. All print options identical to those set iwithin AP application.The print output is a very close match to screen with no colour cast.

Hence, it is my belief that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way AP handles printing.

Cc green

 

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I've given up with printing from Affinity (I use Designer, not Photo). I eventually got round to trying the cmyk print profiles after the update made them available. I would agree that there are fundamental issues with colour management on print output.

Prior to v1.7, using "printer manages colours" (this is on the Windows version) and with a known setting on the printer the colours would be reasonably close. Now, the exact same settings result in colours that are very dark. Export to pdf, print from Adobe Reader and it's fine.

There's a lot to like about Designer, but printing isn't one of them :)

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I am new to the forum, a commercial photographer in Los Angeles.

I would like to know if any of the Affinity programs work with a RIP for printing such as Mirage or Colorburst. After years of experience printing there is no doubt that printing through a RIP with custom icc profiles will give you the best printing results.

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 @BofG is on Windows.  What about @CC GREEN?

I'm on Mac.  Theoretically, the OS manages the color of the display by using the profile that the user chooses.  I would see no reason for Affinity Photo to try to circumvent that.  The existence of the Soft Proof adjustment layer, for which one supplies the profile that the printer will actually use when printing, seems to be a clear warning the what one sees in Affinity Photo while working on a photo is not necessarily what will appear on the printer.  How closely Affinity Photo's soft proof resembles the print will also depend on the display's profile.  But in general, I would expect it to leave color management of both displays and printers to the OS, at least in the Mac world.  Assuming that is the case, and after reading the article HARDWARE CALIBRATION TARGETS on Image Science's site, https://imagescience.com.au/knowledge/hardware-calibration-targets , it became evident to me that even with my hardware calibrated monitor set for RGB and gamma 2.2, I was going to have to choose the white point and the brightness of the display properly if I was going to even have a chance of achieving close agreement between the soft proof and the print.

Never having worked with Photoshop or Lightroom I cannot say what they do in the realm of color management, and whether they do it the same for Mac and Windows.

It would be good to hear from some of the Serif developers, what active color management their products perform, whether the same for Windows, macOS and iOS, why there might be unexpectedly large discrepancies between soft proofs and prints, and what might be responsible for the inferiority of Affinity Photo's prints compared to Photoshop's or Lightroom's.

Richard Liu

MacBook Pro 16" 2021 M1 Max | macOS 12.3.1 | BenQ SW271 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5

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BofG / Richard,

thanks for offering a response which I understand agree that there is something with Affinity that needs attention by the developers.

For interest I am running a MacBook Pro connected to an Ezio monitor and Epson SCP600 printer.

A friend of mine has also printed same file on his PC running Windows 10 again using an Epson 600 and the output closely matches the screen image.

so I think for the time being I shall use alternative app for printing which is a shame when the application is lauded by many including myself.

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  • 2 years later...

I recently left APS and purchased this app and same problem as the original poster (years ago), all up on to date software (MacOS), and prints come out solarized and nothing like the displayed image. Very disappointing.

Should I post samples? in some instances, it adds artifacts in addition to the odd solarized appearance. I'm wondering if my migration was too hasty?

Very disappointed.

Edited by DamnMaineYankee
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3 hours ago, DamnMaineYankee said:

... all up on to date software (MacOS)

Quote

Apple has apparently screwed on its AirPrint Drivers. Certain printer models now spit out prints with the wrong color profile.

Mac users with current operating systems have complained of problems with color printing on high quality printers. Even with activated color management, the devices do not output colors as they would be on the screen - the saturation in particular leaves a lot to be desired. The reason is apparently changes in the AirPrint drivers that Apple has made since a few macOS versions. The latest macOS version Monterey up to the current incarnation 12.1 is apparently also affected.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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