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Is a six-color printer required for good skintones?

Discussion in 'Roland' started by RG, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. RG

    RG Member

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    I am thinking about upgrading to a Roland printer, so I talked to a Roland sales rep. He told me that to print really accurate skin tones a six-color printer is required. Is that true? The reason I'm asking is because the same sales rep told me that the Roland eco solvent ink is good for 3 to 5 years outdoors. I know that's not right. Thanks for any input.
     
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  2. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    6 color will have a wider color gamut, yes. Not super critical in the sign business. But what's your issue with the 3-5 year claim??
     
  3. P Wagner

    P Wagner Very Active Member

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    Assuming that the fifth and sixth colors are diluted C and M (CMYKcm), the addition of these two does not really increase the midtones (saturated colors) gamut. As your rep said, they are there to boost the quartertones (highlights and skintones) and entend the range of the C and M channels.

    To answer the original question, if your color management system is dialed in (various profiles, rendening intents etc), the light channels are not critical to producing good looking signs, at least on most solvent printers.
     
  4. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

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    First of all, CMYK printers with lc and lm are not 6 color printers. From a color management standpoint, they are 4 color printers. The light colors should not add gamut. The light colors are there to reduce grain in the highlights. A 10% magenta will appear grainy with a full magenta but will appear less grainy with 30% light magenta. What your rep is referring to is that skin tones may look grainy without lc and lm. Fair skin tones usually have a small amounts of cyan in them. Reproducing a skin tone with a 1 or 2 percent cyan dot is probably the worst case scenario since this will have the greatest amount of visual grain. Ultimately its will depend on typical viewing distances and drop size of the print heads as to whether or not you need light inks. Please do not take the sales reps advice or mine for that matter. I think you should send some test images to be reproduced and decide for yourself.
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    In addition to the skin tones, it will just make gradients in general fade better and more accurately.

    For the nature of what most sign shops do, 4 color is more than enough. We have both kinds, 4 and 6 and honestly, unless you are standing 2 feet away, you can't see the problems unless you were really looking for trouble.

    If your gradients [which is what skin tones really are].... need to be that dead balls on, we always tell our customers.... you look at signs, you don't smell them. Back up and take in the whole view.

    If you're doing photo reproductions and fine arts projects where this quality matters.... you're really looking at the wrong machines altogether. However, like mentioned, by all means, make some files and give them to each vendor blowing smoke up your butt and have them produce them using various profiles on different media. Then make your comparisons with your files, not theirs.
     
  6. RG

    RG Member

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    Thanks for all the advise. It's really helpful. Flame, this is what is says all over the Roland website: ECO-SOL MAX graphics (inks) are water, scratch and UV resistant up to 3 years outdoors.
     
  7. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    get several different files and send them out, varying to the most complex you have to doing a true color reproduction. then compare side be side
     
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