I recently acquired a Xerox 700. While generally I am happy with the color I am getting (except for gradients), I have noticed that when it comes to reproducing photos, the output is drastically different than what i am seeing on my monitor. Drastically.
The Xerox has been calibrated by two different analysts, and I have yet to calibrate my iMac (it's a relatively new model), so I am expecting to see *some* difference between my screen and what comes out on paper. But the differences are drastic: the skin tones in the photos are dark, lobster red, which doesn't come close to what I see on my screen or even in the preview in Command Workstation 5. The tonal ranges on my photos are fine. I have drawn down the magenta channel entirely just to see what would happen, and there is still a noticeable red cast on the photos. So something is up, I think, in the color profiles, somewhere?
I'm creating standard SWOP-Coated CMYK PDFs using Adobe InDesign and dropping them directly into CW5. What points in the workflow I should be tweaking? My Xerox analyst said to let the Xerox handle the color conversions, so I have been, but is that maybe the problem? I called second-level service twice about this and I'm still waiting for "their Adobe guy" to call me back, so I'm getting kind of desperate for help.
Do you have a bustled or standalone Fiery?
Has the Fiery software been reloaded and all patches?
How is it being calibrated?
The Fiery is a standalone computer.
I assume the Fiery software is up to date, the machine was installed by a technician about six weeks ago. But I am not 100% positive of this, as I did not install the software myself.
The analyst calibrated the Xerox only, with the standard test strips using the glass. I have not done calibration (yet) from the monitor to the machine, or done a calibration on the Xerox. The Xerox was calibrated once when it was installed, and once more about two weeks ago by another analyst.
They are actually calibrating the Fiery using the scanner from the 700. Fiery tends to lean a bit red and dark. Did you try creating a profile from command workstation with less magenta and lighter?
Tthe calibration you do at the Fiery level (print out strips, scan them with the densitometer) should be at least a daily (if you use it every day) and as needed (if you are having color trouble) process, not something you would need to call service for. Sometimes calibrating for specific paper profiles yields more focused results.
Have the Xerox tech hookup and print their test patterns to the printer, and run what is called a "max setup." From there they can align the printer's colors to be within spec and "neutral," if they are not already. You should be able to see from their test patterns if there is a problem...for example a process gray should appear relatively gray. If the problem you are having is at the machine level, then it would lean heavily magenta.
I am betting that the problem you are having is between your computer and the Fiery.
Assuming the printer is fine, you will then need to setup a site profile on the Fiery, setting an appropriate color profile and adjust any curves if necessary to get the desired results on your end. If you don't know how to do this yourself you should call second level support and have them walk through this with you, or pay to have an analyst setup the Fiery for you. This is a normal procedure to do with these controllers, as none of them ever print the same.
Finally, of course you will want to calibrate your screen. Since your monitor is RGB-based and the printer is CMYK, you will always have some degree of variation between what you see and what is actually printed. But if you calibrate your screen you ought to be able to get somewhat closer.