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I'm recently unsatisfied with my prints from my printer Epson 3880. The color is simply out of gamut of my image (flowers with vivid colors).

I checked with different ICC profiles in color sync and can see that almost none of the paper from Epson is able to accommodating this image. A significant portion of the image (in yellow or blue) is out of gamut.

So I would like to find out if this is a limitation of the printer or paper choice. But I can't find an easy way to view the gamut of my printer. For paper, I can get ICC profiles.

I'm asking for the theoretical gamut of what the printer can print. Not a specific paper.

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But I can't find an easy way to view the gamut of my printer. For paper, I can get ICC profiles.

The gamut is always a combination of a printer and a substrate on which it is printed.

I checked with different ICC profiles in color sync and can see that almost none of the paper from Epson is able to accommodating this image. A significant portion of the image (in yellow or blue) is out of gamut.

Glossier papers tend to have larger gamut, Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster is among the best.

If you have out of gamut colors (can be previewed for example in Photoshop, Lightroom or ColorThink), consider using Perceptive Rendering Intent as opposed to Relative. It should adjust all colors so that none are out of gamut.

  • I'm asking for the theoretical gamut of what the printer can print. – erotsppa Aug 12 '14 at 13:56
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    @erotsppa The printer can't print anything theoretically. It needs paper or another material to print. – Michael C Aug 12 '14 at 22:34
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A printer has no gamut at all. The ink system and the paper combine to form the gamut, the printer only applies one to the other. The best way to get a gamut measurement is to actually print on the paper and read in the values with a colorometer or spectrometer. Barring that, you can look for published ICC profiles for common ink and paper combinations.

Paper makes a huge difference, so better paper may improve your results, but there are still many colors that show up very differently on an emitted display than a reflective display due to the backlighting. Glossy or luster papers help with this, but glossy also limits viewing angle due to highlights.

  • I'm asking for the theoretical gamut of what the printer can print. – erotsppa Aug 12 '14 at 14:47
  • @erotsppa - How did I not answer that? There is no theoretical gamut of a printer. Only a gamut of a paper and ink combination. All a printer does is apply ink to paper so that the ink can block absorb light otherwise bouncing off the page. There is no gamut, meaningful or theoretical without the combination of both, so your question makes no sense. – AJ Henderson Aug 12 '14 at 14:56
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As mentioned above your printers gamut is measurable with special software. I use X-Rite's i1Profiler to do that, in combination with an iSisXL in my lab. After measuring the target and building an ICC profile for your printer if your on a Mac simply double click the ICC profile and select the gamut view. If you want to compare gamuts just do the same to another ICC profile and while holding down the option key drag one 3D gamut view over the other. Some caution should be used when reviewing the gamuts because gamut tags in ICC profiles are notorious for being inaccurate. That will change with the next version of the ICC specification (iCC Max) due to come out next spring.

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