I recently did some sample prints with my new photo printer and some photo paper. I didn't like the results, apparently I need to calibrate it. I haven't been able to find any ICC profiles for that printer + that paper (both Canon, btw), so I will need to invest some time and money.
There are several options, like buying a IT8 chart and some scanner software, print a testchart and scan it again or download a testchart, print it and send it so some lab so that they can create that ICC profile for me.
But the big question is: There are test charts with a few hundreds up to several thousands of colors. IT8 has only 290 samples (266 colors + 24 greys). How many color samples do I really need? Does it make sense to calibrate a printer with 1000 samples if the scanner can only be calibrated with 290 samples? Or do labs calibrate their scanners with more samples, so that they are really able to provide that higher accuracy?
Even then, if I don't want to print high quality fine art, how many samples are enough?