Prints are too orange, need advice

I have a NEC PA 302W 30 inch monitor with Spectraview II calibration software and hardware. I have been using D65 color temp, 85 cd/m2 for luminance, and Gamma Curve Value. The yellows on my prints using an Epson 3880 have much more red in them. They are not yellow at all, instead orange. Also some light greens that are nearby to some yellow grass have become yellow. So, it seems like I should try a color temp that is less yellow. What should I try? The choices are D50, D55, 5000K, or 5500K (I’ve tried unsuccessfully to understand the difference between D50 and 5000K, etc.). I’m on a Mac, using the latest OS and LR CC classic, latest version.

You don’t mention the paper you are using and the ICC profile configuration. Are those pieces in place as well?

A custom paper profile could make a huge difference and they are not that expensive.

A custom profile would be a good idea, but I’m under a time crunch and will have to make do with changing the calibration settings for now. I’m using Epson Premium Luster paper and the canned Epson ICC profile,

This may be obvious and you have probably done this already, but when you print are you disabling the printer managing color and having Lightroom manage the colors? You should
Frankly, I would also at this point export for printing into Photoshop and ensure that Photoshop manages the color when printing. I feel it gives you much more control.

Yes, Lightroom is managing colors.

If you have photoshop , take the file in there and print from there. If that does not work, and you also have a PC , export the file from PS to a thumb and print from the PC using PS. I love my Mac, but have no end of problems printing with it and trouble shooting calls to Apple and adobe have not yielded great results.
I just print from the PC. I have had both adobe and Apple check my settings and after umpteen hours , decided I would save time printing from the PC.

Good luck

Could you recommend a good source for custom profiles? Eric Chan is no longer in the business…

Michael Gordon does them. He did one for me back when I was doing a lot of printing and it made a big difference.

Thanks! I’ll give him a try.


Hi Tony, interesting problem you have. You seem quite knowledgeable and have that great NEC monitor. I’ve a few ideas for you…

Can you Post the image your trying to print, please embed Adobe RGB ?

I’ll can run thru color management software and compare image vs paper vs color space and post back results.

What color space are you printing at: sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto.

You should not be having color contamination issues with Epson Premium Luster with Epson ICC on 3880. Your using a good paper for the type of image your making. Alian Briot

“Epson Premium Luster is an excellent all-around paper, not only because of its size and stability but also because it handles a wide variety of images very well, from color to black and white, from saturated to pastel and from soft to high contrast. In fact, I would do very well if I used only Epson Premium Luster”

I am told by Epson that you can use the epson print management on the 3880, although it is advertised for the p600/p800. It was designed and beta tested on the 3880. I have the p800 and never tried it on my 3880 (monthballed it)

color calibration: Check this recent Henry Hudson video, it is spot on for the NEC monitor settings:

A few more suggestions:

Printer → Manages B&W Prints
Photoshop/Software—>Manages Color Prints

Save Print as .TIFF before printing
360 DPI
Color space to use for Printing: VV@B&H

sRGB | Color space maximized for skin tone, 8bit, TIFF | 100dpi Jpeg | Accurate skit tone

Adobe RGB | Landscapes | Magazine files | The 3880 printer can do 106% of Adobe RGB

ProPhoto| Asian, Caucasian, 16 bit, TIFF ProPhoto | It may to be the best space to Print in.

Custom Profiles: Freestyle Photo & Imaging Supplies ~$99

Thanks for the info. As it turns out, by trial and error I almost duplicate Henry Hudson’s recommendations. The only difference is I have been printing at 85 cd/m2 rather than the 80 he recommends. All other settings the same. I edit my photos in Photoshop and Lightroom in the ProPhoto color space and save them usually as Tiffs, occasionally as PSD files. I use Lightroom to print…I find it much easier to size the photos and set the dpi than Photoshop, although I may give printing in Photoshop a trial. I have had suggestions to use PS because the color veracity and ability to make corrections is supposedly better. Thanks for your offer to go over my photo. This is it, with the color space changed to Adobe RGB. The color problem I was having is that the yellows were becoming way more orange, The green grass in the larger yellow patch was changing to yellow, and the red/rust trees were becoming less orange and more red/rust. Subtle, but annoying.

1 Like

You are one sharp guy, Tony… Hey, I cannot download the image, I can screenshot only and that puts the file in the sRGB space.

Can you save your image in ProPhoto color space as a tiff and send via DM ? I also put up my email below (I’ll keep up for next eight hours)

You def want to color manage this image in pro-photo (as you have done but all the way thru printing) save as .TIFF and print in Photoshop, Epson 3880 at 360dpi a must. Why? Epson printer jets are in an array of 90. So you need 270 or 360. All .ICC profiles built on 360. The 3880 is a considered a Modern Printer and can support 360.

The reds and yellows are going to outside of gamut for sRBG and red/yellows will not represent well in Adobe RGB. They are tender colors and it is recommended to use the ProPhoto color space, (for models of light pink/yellow skin tones, your image is working in the same portrait range, )

I’d love to see how the colors look on a computer model. I always dbl check my work in the color computer model to check out of gamut. You have a great monitor, great color management workflow discipline. It may be that your image is past the threshold of the selected color space going to the printer and that you need to let Photoshop manage color prints.

Another thing you might consider is to profile your 3880 with a color | B&W printer test pattern profile (8.5 x 11) with your paper, paper profile ICC and color space, print workflow. Then keep you profiles test pattern prints in a folder by paper type. Keep then squirreled away as a baseline. If you don’t have a test pattern profile, send me a direct message to my email. I’ll keep this up for 8 hours

The color gamut software will tell me if the ICC profile can manage the color of the image and if the various color spaces have some gamut issues with colors. I already have the std 3880 ICC profile for Luster paper. I have the ProPhoto, srgb, adobe profile. Just need your saved ProRGB image as a tiff.

All the best,


Check your print heads. I had the same problem with a 9900 and it turns out one of the yellow channels was completely clogged. Ended up sending that printer to the dump.


Were you able to resolve this? And, if so, how did you fix it?

If you do a lot of printing, I agree with Harley about getting a custom printer/paper profile. This will round out your color management.

I do not use LightRoom, and I print from Photoshop exclusively using PSD files in Adobe RGB. I make sure that I use Photoshop Manages Colors. Next, I make sure to select “ICM” and “Off No Color Management” In the Epson Printing Preferences window (Control Panel>Devices and Printers). This ensures that the printer has no control over the color.

Not sure the foregoing will help, but I thought I’d throw it out there for you.

Thanks for checking in. Yes, I’ve double and triple checked to make sure I’m not doing any of the usual pitfalls when color is off. I eventually got a print that looked the way I wanted it to, but only after 15 letter sized trial runs! I plan to get a custom ICC profile soon. I’ve signed up for a three day printing workshop this fall with Charles Cramer. I’ll pick his brain then too.