Do 16 bit targets make better profiles if printed through the 16 bit plugin vs. the 8 bit OS driver?



The 8 bit profiling targets that come with all ICC color profiling packages today will yield identical results when they are printed with the 8 bit or 16 bit modes in the Photoshop plugin or through the OS level driver. Bill Atkinson's unique 16 bit profiling targets (compatible with some but not all profiling packages) have been found to yield slightly better results when printed with the 16 bit option of the Plugin. These profiles can also be used with the 8 bit option of the Plugin and OS level printer driver. This information is from Scott Martin, who writes, "I have tested this carefully and with these printers it does matter if a true 16 bit target is printed in 8 or 16 bit mode. Printing a 16 bit target in 16 bit mode makes slightly better profiles. It's not a huge difference but it is visible. "

Note: Colorvision PrintFix Pro package (now rebranded as Datacolor Spyder3 Print) is a closed system that uses the Datacolor 1005 spectrocolorimeter with proprietary software. It requires you to use the Patch Targets associated with the software in order to make either 8 bit or 16 bit icc profiles. The Datacolor Patch Targets are all 8 BIT TIFF files. Thus Datacolor users can profile either way with their targets (no advantage to printing targets through the Photoshop plugin). Those using other profiling software can consider using Bill Atkinson's 16 bit targets and profile the 16 bit Photoshop plugin for best results.