I am trying to get perfect prints from my epson 820. I am printing from Illustrator on a MAC. Should the files be in RGB or CMYK. Should I print from Photoshop 5.5 directly? What print settings are the best?
I find that if I use the adjustment sliders the overall density becomes OK but the contrast creates a posterized effect.
Epson printers are actually RGB devices from the computer's point of view, so you should stay in RGB mode. You'd likely be better off printing direct from Photoshop, and your questions about settings should be answered by these articles by Ian Lyons that were referenced in this thread.
Thanks for the quick advice but I'm still quite confused. Mr. Lyons articles are all windows based data & info. Also, when I print from Photoshop or Illustrator the RGB images are "muddy" and the CMYK images are actually closer to my originals. I have a fully calibrated and neutralized screen which has proven very acurate for CMYK press outputs.
Any more advice or links to related articales would be greatly appreciated.
The articles should be applicable to both Mac and Windows.
One problem is that these techniques are geared to Epson's 6 ink photo printers which come with the necessary profiles - I believe the 820 a 4 ink printer? If so I'm not sure how valid these techniques would be.
You're probably working in the wrong color space or gamma settings to get the results you want. Even if you send CMYK data to an Epson printer, it is converted back to RGB for processing by its 6-color engine.
Ian has a Mac specific article on Epson printing from Photoshop. This is for Photoshop 6, but it should be helpful if you have your color spaces set up right in 5.5:
Illustrator is not a good front end for printing photos, especially older versions that aren't friendly to RGB work. The newer revisions have better RGB support for producing web graphics. Stick with Photoshop for photo printing.
I wouldn't ever use the Epson printer drivers for offset press proofing. A postscript RIP is the only good way to make press proofs. However, for smooth tones and best photo color, the Epson driver is better than any RIP software I've tried.
If the above advice doesn't help, I recommend asking at the Adobe support forum for Photoshop. Ian Lyon frequents that forum and I'm sure many folks there can help you troubleshoot your settings.