Linear VS ICC



I’m wondering if there is a difference in quality between printing 100% linear (w/ soft proofing + file adjustments) and printing with an ICC.

I know that the workflow is different and that if the file is not processed for linear print it will print lighter than with the ICC method but other than that, if both file are prepared to get the same print, is one better than the other ?



You are asking if a linear print produced from a file that has been edited to imitate the ICC version is better? The adjustment of the shadows and highlights in the linear workflow can be modified to reveal more detail while having similar compression of those areas as the ICC version. If you’re skilled at that it would be the better solution.

Because most people are using displays designed for video editing that are simply too bright to show shadow and highlight detail this becomes difficult without referencing a proof first. So, it may take a more skilled practitioner to image in linear and take responsibility for the printed results by adjusting in reference to the proof rather than the display.

On the other hand, all those 4k and 5k displays are way more expensive than a calibrator display designed for proofing. The BenQ Photographer displays are really reasonably priced for having 14bit lookup tables builtin which can be calibrated directly (to bypass your video board.)

The reality is imaging in linear to your desired results will make you a better imager! You’ll make more proofs. You’ll probably actually look at an unedited image proof first and make decisions you would not otherwise - and that’s the path to mastery (IMHO).





Perfectly clear Jon, thanks for your answer !