Research Spotlight

PICRM-2009-04

Further Investigation into the Image Quality Differences Between Digital Print Technologies and Traditional Offset Lithography

In recent years the differences in image quality of digital printers relative to offset lithographic presses have been becoming ever subtler. In 2007...
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Evaluating the Impact of the Variability of D50 Light Booths on the Appearance of Reproductions of Monochrome Photographs

Area: Color Workflow
Document # PICRM-2012-05

D50 viewing booths are a staple of the graphic arts industry. Print producers and print purchasers depend upon D50 viewing booths to provide a standard set of viewing conditions for evaluating printed product. Within an individual company, D50 booths are often employed for many purposes, such as process control, quality control, and customer viewing. The standard viewing conditions and testing procedures for D50 viewing booths are described in ISO 3664-2009.

In Part A of this report, thirteen viewing booths, located in 4 different organizations, were measured using standard procedures to analyze the variability of viewing booths in the field with regard to the ISO 2664-2009 specifications. In addition, the color inconstancy of a Macbeth ColorChecker 4-color offset reproduction was analyzed for each pair of viewing booths to determine the colorimetric variability between booths. Furthermore, two case studies were conducted.

The first case study analyzed the ISO 3664-2009 parameter variability within a Heidelberg Prinect light booth, which allows for change in table angle and monitor color. The second case study looked at the variability of old photograph reproductions under five D50 sources. In general, it was found that printed images are not significantly inconstant when viewed in different D50 viewing booths when the viewing booths in question are maintained and kept to a minimal tolerance, as specified in ISO 3664-2009.

Part B of this report discusses the results of an experiment conducted to determine whether the perceived image quality of antique monochrome photograph reproductions differed under two D50 sources. Eight photographs were photographed by three cultural heritage institutions and printed using four different technologies. Empirical evidence from past research suggested that the perceived image quality of monochrome photograph reproductions with respect to the originals varied as the images were viewed in different D50 viewing booths.

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Tags:
viewing conditions viewing booths D50 experiment color variation

Author

Susan Farnand
Staff Scientist, Center for Imaging Science
Rochester Institute of Technology

Author

Franziska Frey, Ph.D.
McGhee Distinguished Professor, School of Print Media
Rochester Institute of Technology

Author

Brian Gamm
Graduate Student, Munsell Color Science Laboratory
Rochester Institute of Technology

Author

Simon Muehlemann
Graduate Student, School of Print Media
Rochester Institute of Technology

Author

Ishtar Laguna-Monroy
Graduate Student, School of Print Media
Rochester Institute of Technology