I decided I should print some Christmas cards. But when I print the picture I want, it's way too dark. Argh!
This is an ongoing problem. The last batch of printing I did I settled on managing color on the printer (so I could make the following adjustments), setting the gamma to 1.5 (instead of 1.8 or 2.2), and cranking the brightness to the max of +25.
But even with those extreme adjustments, my current print was way too dark. (And it goes against most recommendations to manage color in the computer.)
Lots of other people have this problem (try Google). Leopard seems to have made the problem worse. Epson doesn't seem to want or be able to fix it. Nor are Apple or Adobe any help. On the other hand, it seems to work ok for some (many? most?) people. For some people the problem occurs in Lightroom but not Photoshop, but I get the same results from both.
A lot of the responses to this problem tell people it's because their monitor isn't calibrated. Maybe that's the case some of the time, but if my histogram is correct then the monitor has nothing to do with it. And I have the brightness on my 24" iMac turned down to the minimum. And the images look fine on other monitors as well.
Suggested "fixes" range from using the Gutenprint drivers (which don't support all the printer features) to reinstalling OS X (yikes!). Some people seem to have had success using the older version 3 driver.
I tried some of the common suggestions - deleting my Library/Printers/Epson folder, resetting the print subsystem, emptying the trash (?), restarting (just like Windows!), reinstaling the driver ... I did find there was an update to the 6.12 driver so I installed that as well.
I'm not sure how much difference it made. I now seem to be getting better results managing color on the computer (as most people recommend) rather than the printer. But I still had to adjust the image to the point of looking ugly on the screen (overexposing by .3) in order to get a decent print, which is something I really wanted to avoid. Maybe I can make a preset to make it easier to adjust for printing.
Judging from Google, there seem to be fewer problems with the newer R1900 but I really hate to replace a printer that has nothing physically wrong with it (AFAIK) , just to get around a software problem! And the R1800 isn't that old a model.
It's a frustrating problem because there are so many variables and it's very hard to objectively evaluate the results. I just changed the exposure from +.3 to +.5 making it lighter and I swear the print got slightly darker!