Dark Prints With New iMac and Epson R1800

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PNW, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    First and foremost:
    The monitor is calibrated with a huey pro.
    I downloaded and installed all the latest Leopard drivers and icc profiles from Epson.
    I also followed instructions I found here: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=5862672
    to completely wipe all Epson printer drivers and start from scratch.
    I'm also setting the correct profiles and paper in the print options.
    Print heads have been cleaned
    I'm using Epson Ink and Epson paper.
    All tests have been with 4X6 sheets of premium glossy and the corresponding profile.
    All image files have data across the full tonal range.

    Printing from XP running in VM Fusion on the iMac with Photoshop 7 using convert to profile produces prints that match what I see on the screen. Using Assign to Profile produces a darker but warmer image with better contrast that also prints like

    I've downloaded trial versions of Photoshop Elements 6 and Aperture 2.0. The CS3 trial version is evidently down until July due to a bug in the trial activation script.

    In Aperture I set up onscreen proofing for the SPR1800 Premium Glossy profile and set Print Settings:print Settings: Color Settings to off.

    In Photoshop Elements I set Color Management to Photoshop Elements Manages Colors and set the Printer Profile to SPR1800 Premium Glossy. (Does anyone know if this simply assigns the profile before printing or does it convert the image from the desktop profile and print?)

    In both cases I get prints much darker than what I see on the screen with little to no contrast in darker areas and slight blue/green cast. If I play a round with levels, contrast or exposure I can bring up the contrast in the darker areas and get them looking fairly decent on the prints, but it comes at the expense of washing out the lighter areas.

    I've spent a fair amount of time googling the problem and have found several threads talking about this. A few have had solutions that unfortunately haven't worked for me. Has anyone else had this problem and gotten around it? Any ideas about what is wrong, or am just trying to get Aperture and PS Elements to perform a task that they are not capable of?

    thanks for any help / advice.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    To be honest I don't have this problem printing from CS3 to my R1800. However, I am using primarily Ilford papers so maybe that is it. I also calibrate using Spyder2Pro and set the printer up using their printer software.

    Did you by chance check the default gamma?
  3. PNW thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    Gamma is set to 2.2 and Color Temp to D65 for screen calibration.
    I did try playing around with the calibration gamma a bit to no avail, but given that Printing is fine from XP on the same monitor running in a virtual environment, and the image looks the same to my eye on screen in XP as it does in Leopard, I'm thinking that it's either a limitation of Aperture/PS Elements or a compatibility issue with Leopard and Epson's drivers.

    Your suggestion did prompt me to try cranking up the gamma in Aperture's Print Image Dialog. It helped a lot with the brightness but the print is still much cooler than the screen image and the prints from XP/PS7

    I ordered a Spyder2Pro hoping its print drivers might help. I'll definitely give CS3 a whirl once it's available for trial. Although it would be a shame to have to buy CS3 just to get good prints when I can do everything else I want in Aperture + PS Elements 6
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Can you try a test print with the gamma set at 1.8? That appears to be the only difference from me that I can tell.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It sounds like your images are being run through the printer profile twice. It is easy to do this on the Mac. You need to be sure that the profile is used only ones by either the epson printer driver or Photoshop. Photshop and Elements have a dialog box or setting that says "Let the driver handle the profile." You need to make sure that is set. Either that or turn it off inside the driver
  6. PNW thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    been there; done that; no joy.

    I appreciate the help, but I'm fairly convinced the problem isn't the monitor calibration, given that same image in XP/PS7 looks identical to a copy in Leopard/ Aperture (I've put them up side by side) yet prints just fine. Remember that I'm running XP as a virtual machine inside of Leopard so I believe it should be using the same screen calibration as any other OS X app. (I'm actually curious to know how this works.)
  7. snap58 macrumors 6502


    Jan 29, 2006
    somewhere in kansas
    See if you are printing 16 bit or 8 bit, change to 8 bit if so...
  8. PNW thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    If the profile's getting applied twice (and that makes sense) it's a bug.

    As I said in the original post I'm letting the App handle the profile and have it switched off on the printer driver. This is how I was taught.

    I just tried doing it the other way around and got much lighter prints. The Aperture print was actually too light the PSE6 print was fairly decent for brightness but both prints were still way too cool.

    I started with a 16bit TIFF, but I made an 8 bit JPEG copy and got the same results.
  9. paultolliday macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    R1800 and Aperture

    Hi Im a bit new to this, but I have had problems with printing from Aperture 2 to my R1800, after countless bits of paper and Loads of ink, I am now getting Perfect results, my settings are .....
    Driver 3.01,
    Colorsync Profile: Generic CMYK Profile,
    Print settings:
    paper Premium Gloss,
    Color Management:
    Mode Adobe RGB,
    Gamma 1.5,
    Brightness 2,
    Contrast -2
    then all the others set to zero,

    I then have Blackpoint Compensation on and Gamma set to 1.10

    With these settings I am at last getting spot on results.

    Hope this helps.

  10. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008
    Dark Prints

    I have posted similar problem at ADOBE forums and I use an Epson R2400. My prints were perfect with PSE4 but same file printed with PSE6 was darker and more saturated. I have been advised that they have accepted that they have a problem as they have recreated my problem using a canon printer.
    I have returned to using elements 4 where the problem does not exist... I do work for artists and colours must be 99% or as close as is possible..

    if you need more info send me an email...

    part notes
    have now heard back from engineering. It would appear that this is an issue with the printer driver not doing what it claims to be doing - even though printer driver claims colour management is turned off, it is still colour managing the print. The result is that if you set Photoshop Elements to colour manage, it will be double colour managed. The Photoshop Elements team are aware of this issue and are working with Apple and the printer manufacturers to get this to work correctly.

    In the meantime, the only workaround is to switch off colour management in Photoshop Elements and let the printer handle the colour management. Using this workflow, I got some good colour matching from Photoshop Elements, although it is not identical to the results obtained in Photoshop Elements 4, it is close.
  11. jake-g macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    First off, never let a printer handle color management.

    Have you calibrated your printer, and are you using that profile to soft proof? Also, are you using Epson's inks?

    Also, I believe some of the problem may be the glossy monitor on your iMac. Are you evaluating your prints under a decent light source (I know stupid question, but I have seen people hold prints next to the monitor and complain that they do not look the same).
  12. agrenvik macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2008
    Dark Prints with new iMac

    In association with your issues printing to an Epson printer, I have come across the same issue with an HP Photosmart 8750 printer. I have also tried all types of profiles again after calibrating the iMac with Leopard 10.5.2. I also have CS3 natively installed. I am no expert on either of the products, but being a PC technician and actively pursue perfection in every way, I can not for the life of me get the printing to be WSIWIG from the monitor. I am an ameteur photographer (Hobby mainly) and use a Canon 40D with two good lenses that I have invested in.
    The printing is sometimes good and in most instances the photos are way to dark. I definitaly know it is not the monitor calibration, because I have deleted the profile to see if any difference come out of it. It is a profile that is not being correctly set either within CS3 or it is an issue with Leopard that is not allowing you to save the settings for future prints. Even if I do the color settings for a print and then go back and do the same one again, it is different.
    So, whatever the Epson issue is has spilled over to the HP, which leads me to believe it is a problem with the OS itself. Again, I could be wrong on this playing field. With new OS's coming out so often including updates to them it is hard for the manufacturer to set it straight with the compatibility issues.
    I have a similar printing problem from a PC using Microsoft Vista with my HP printer. I was in contact with HP on that problem, which has never been resolved. This particular printer which is widely used, is not Vista certified only Vista compatible.
    If anyone has another printer other than the Epson, such as mine or even a Canon, please post any problems that you come across.
  13. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008
    Dark Prints Adobe admits bug in PSE6 for Mac.

    two replies and admitting error in PSE6 but no solution. just go away and wait?????? customer relations is great !!!!!

    Adobe reply #1
    After consulting with my colleagues about the issue you raised, I can let you know the following:

    The issue is both on our as well as the driver software side and the workaround we have given is the best available at this time. This issue is affecting all printers, not just Epson or Canon.

    The soft proofing effect that you are seeing in the print preview is indeed an attempt at soft proofing. However since Photoshop Elements managed prints are incorrectly double colour managed it is not as useful as it was initially designed.

    As to the exact details of why this occurred, we have no official information.

    We believe that this will resolve the issues you are experiencing, however, should the reply not help solve the problem, please contact us again, quoting the case number given above, and we will re-open the case.
    We have had word back from our engineers regarding your issue.

    Adobe reply #2
    The Photoshop Elements team are aware of the problem and are working with Apple and the printer manufacturers to get this to work correctly. In the meantime, the only workaround is to switch off colour management in Photoshop Elements and let the printer handle the colour management.

    Unfortunately we can not make an estimation as to when a fix will be provided. We will close the case for the time being as there really is nothing more we can do about this issue besides offering the suggested workaround. Closing this case does not mean that the research will stop however and the engineers are working on a solution to this.
  14. grimmster macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2008
    Same Issue for me CS3 and Epson R1800

    I have tried most everything and can't get this configuration to work. I also have the R1800 with my 2 month old macbook pro. The prints are dark and darker, depending on what settings I use.

    I see folks suggesting changing the Gamma, etc. Where are those settings?

    Here's the real irony. I can take my file back over to my HP Pavillion PC running XP and open the exact same image up in Picasa. Print it and it comes out exactly as I see it on my monitor.

    Fortunately, I am hanging on to my PC for this reason and this reason only.

    Strange that I would have to go to a different software program and a PC to print.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  15. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008
    Dark Images...NO MORE..

    One week ago my 2400 came up with service required for the second time and I threw it out. I purchased a 3800 and am now using PSE6, leopard, driver 6.11 (not 3.01) (very important) make sure you are using epson driver and not the default gimp driver.(check system preferences to make sure you select correct drivers.

    guess what?? printing matches screen . when I go back to the old tiger on the other machine and prints from PSE6 prints are darker. so all is now well and I can continue to work with new macbookpro and 3800.

    One funny thing though....previously on tiger only PSE4 would print proper colours. Now on leopard and 6.11 print driver PSE4 prints are lighter blurred and all.

    Take note when downloading the epson driver make sure you use 6.11 drivers for leopard.
  16. PNW thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    I finally got this figured out and at least working for me.

    First Epson issued a patch back in June.

    for the r1800 it's
    Printer Driver Update v1.02

    Installing that got rid of the dark prints.

    Printing from Lightroom with the correct profile, rendering intent set to either Relative or Perceptual, and printer color mgmt turned off was still producing prints with a red cast.
    If I export to the color profile I want to print from the open the exported file in Lightroom and print the prints come out exactly like they are on screen.

    On the upside I'm no longer booting up the VM so I can print from my old Windows version of Photoshop 7, but I really miss being able to just apply the profile, print , and undo. I'll get used to the new workflow, but I'm not sure how much I'll like having a duplicate sets of files to manage/clean up.

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