Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Printer/CMS Issues

Litchfield, Connecticut

This morning I wanted to make a few small color prints from my recent pictures at White Memorial. I found that we're far enough into winter that weeks of very low humidity have made the heavy roll paper in my HP Z3200 too stiff to feed properly. Annoying, but there's no way I can get the printing area up to 40-50% Rh until Spring.

So I got out some Canson baryta letter size paper and prepped the files for nine inch wide prints from my Epson 3880. The first print was awful—dark and desaturated, like double or broken color management. I checked everything and all was set up correctly with the manufacturer's ICC profile for the baryta paper and the 3880. So I tried a print with CMS turned off, using the print driver's color management. This usually works quite well, though not as well as a good ICC profile. The print was perfectly OK.

So I tried two other papers using their supplied ICC profiles, and not only were the results bad, they looked just like the Canson results. I realized that I hadn't printed color on the 3880 in many months, and both the Mac OS and Photoshop have had major upgrades in the meantime. I'd used the printer to make digital negatives, but I do that with print driver management so hadn't had any problems.

Clearly CMS was broken and profiles that had worked very well in the past were useless. So I went to the Epson site to see if I could find any discussion of this problem, but first I looked up support for the 3880 printer and found that there was a brand new print driver, uploaded just two days ago. Downloaded and installed it, printed the file on Canson using Photoshop management and the result was excellent, a little better than the results with printer management, as usual.

So, problem solved for the 3880. I don't know if the problem affects newer Epson models like the P800, but if anyone is getting strange results using Photoshop color management and ICC profiles with an Epson printer be sure to check that you have the latest print driver installed.

1 comment:

lyle said...

Hello, Carl! I did not have this problem, but alone a similar line: I started having issues with the 3880 when printing larger than 8.5x11 paper. A very loud squeal then various error messages showing up mostly concerning the transport system of the head. I cleaned the beast and kept getting the message. Before I was going to bring it in to have whatever needed replacing replaced, I was talking to Peter and he told me to delete than re-install the print drivers with the latest versions. Works perfectly now. Not sure why 'hardware' errors are solved by upgraded software, but I'll take it. Hope all is going well.....lyle