Scanner Profiling:

(Draft page, further information will be added)

The following SW packages were used in the evaluation:

HW Setup:

Evaluation procedure:

I made an uncorrected scan with Silverfast and used it as reference for all profiling packages (beside Vuescan). The scan was done with 300 dpi, gamma set to 2.2 for the reflection target and 2.4 for the transmission target. All packages used the same target from Wolf Faust ( beside EZColor and WiziWYG which have proprietary reflection targets.

I generated (tried to generate) a profile with all packages. I assigned the profile to the original scan of the Faust target and converted the RGB File to Lab. For this I used ColorLab from GretagMacBeth (Download of ColorLab). After this the scan (Lab format) was compared to the target data and deltaE was computed. I used two different tools for this and both generated similar results. One was the MeasureTool from the ProfileMaker 4.1 from GretagMacBeth. The other two was the profile checker from the Little cms profiler package and IPhoto (Homepage) .

I know deltaE is just one parameter to judge a profile, but I started with this and others may follow.

During the evaluation I had several problems with the different packages. It's currious that just commercial packages showed problems.

The two following diagrams show the results for the Average deltaE and the Max. deltaE. The results are from IPhoto (which used perceptual rendering intend). The other evaluation tools showed similar results but did not work with every profile. Please not that I added perceptual just because EZColor profile did not work with absolute colorimetric.

Results for reflection target (perceptual rendering intend)

Results for transmission target (perceptual rendering intend)

Results for reflection target (absolute colorimetric)

Results for transmission target (absolute colorimetric)

Contents and attributes of the generated Profiles

The following attributes are not necessarily a measure of quality (large tables do not mean good precision) but may give some insight in the quality of the SW (flaws in the profile) and limitations (8bit tables can not meet the precision of a 16bit table).

Evaluation of reflection profile


Size [kB] PCS CMM Ill desc dmnd dmdd cprt
lcms 16 Lab lcms 0,96/1,00/0,82 # # # #
AIM 25 XYZ MSFT 0,96/1,00/0,82 # - - #
ProfilePrism 205 Lab MSFT 0,96/1,00/0,82 # - - #
SilverFast Ai 425 Lab Lino 0,96/1,00/0,82 1) - - #
VueScan 1 XYZ lcms 0,96/1,00/0,82 # - - -
WiziWYG 196 Lab MSFT 0,96/1,00/0,82 # - - #
EZColor 192 Lab - 0,96/1,00/0,82 # - - #
BasICColor 261 Lab appl 0,96/1,00/0,82 # - - #
ProfileMaker 4.1 220 Lab appl 0,96/1,00/0,82 # - - #
Epson Org 193 XYZ KCMS 0,96/1,00/0,82 # # # #


lcms - - - - - -
AIM 0,60/0,25/0,02 0,22/0,73/-0,18 0,12/0,02/0,95 4096 Points 4096 Points 4096 Points
ProfilePrism - - - - - -
SilverFast Ai 0,52/0,19/0,00 0,27/0,54/0,08 0,25/0,00/1,24 G=2,2 G=2,2 G=2,2
VueScan 0,71/0,39/0,00 0,12/0,61/0,04 0,14/0,00/0,80 G=2,17 G=2,02 G=2,32
WiziWYG 0,60/0,24/0,01 0,29/0,76/0,00 0,07/0,00/0,81 256 Points 256 Points 256 Points
EZColor 2) 2) 2) 3) 3) 3)
BasICColor 1/0/0 0/1/0 0/0/1 G=1 G=1 G=1
ProfileMaker 4.1 0,62/0,23/0,00 0,21/0,76/0,00 0,12/0,00/0,82 515 Points 515 Points 515 Points
Epson Org 4) 4) 4) G=1 G=1 G=1


A2B0 A2B1 A2B2 B2A0 B2A1 B2A2
lcms 16bit/20 Entries - - - - -
AIM - - - - - -
ProfilePrism 16bit/21 Entries - - 16bit/21 Entries - -
SilverFast Ai 16bit/33 Entries 16bit/33 Entries - - - -
VueScan - - - - - -
WiziWYG 16bit/32 Entries - - - - -
EZColor 16bit/25Entries 16bit/25Entries 16bit/25Entries - - -
BasICColor 16bit/33 Entries - - - - -
ProfileMaker 4.1 16bit/25 Entries 16bit/25 Entries copy of A2B0 -. - -
Epson Org 16bit/32 Entries 16bit/32 Entries 16bit/32 Entries - - -


1) ICC Profile  Inspector  gives error  message for this tag
2) Value 0,99/0,99/0,99
3) ICC Profile Inspector gives error message
4) Value 0,00/0,00/0,00
- not supported
# supported

Features of Profiling packages

Monitor Scanner Printer 16bit Raw data Parameters can be influenced Profile Editor
lcms yes yes - - yes 2) no
AIM - yes - 1) no no
ProfilePrism - yes yes - yes 3) no
SilverFast Ai - yes - internal no no
VueScan - yes yes internal no no
WiziWYG yes yes yes - no no
BasICColor 4) yes 4) yes no no
EZColor yes yes yes yes no for Printer Profile
ProfileMaker 4.1 yes yes yes yes yes 5) yes
1) may work, but I did not get it to work easily
2) Mainly generation algorythm
3) Gamma, Contrast, Saturation, Color Bias, others
4) Must be bought seperate
5) Size and grey algorythm

Discussion of the Results

EZColor and WiziWYG had a little drawback with the reflection target because their profile was generated with a different target as they were evaluated afterwards. But the transmission target shows similar results at least for EZColor.

The first finding was that I was surprised that there seem to be still flaws with the compliance with the ICC standard and that the support of the profile header was quite weak. Special EZColor showed a number of problems.

I was also surprised by the wide range of results and that the freeware tool somehow showed by far the best result (at least in the deltaE) evaluation.

But in the end at least all packages gave better results than the profile supplied by Epson with the scanner.

Side remark: It is interesting that nearly all packages (beside the freeware lcms) put their company name into the copyright tag of the profile. This would mean also that the company which build the printing machine has the copyright on a book?

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