of snow leopard, aperture and epson

Allright, so  after two weeks I'm still on Snow Leopard and have decided to live with the very annoying printing bug. In fact as of this morning I'm on 10.6.1 which unfortunately  - after a few more tests - doesn't solve anything. Why not revert to Leopard? Well frankly, the rest of the system feels more responsive and the small refinements are nice. I also have a workaround that's allowing me to use my R2880 and get the right colors.

So here's a recap of the problems I've encountered and their - hopefully very temporary -  solutions.

the purple one

[singlepic id=35 w=388 h=321 float=]Aperture forums are talking about purple prints after upgrading to SL. The problem appears when using certain paper profiles. I say certain because I don't want to generalize without being absolutely sure but from where I'm standing ALL third party profiles result in this color shift. We're talking unusable here. Apple's answer? Switch to System Managed or turn off Black Point Compensation. The first solution is almost insulting to any photographer that takes printing seriously. You will NOT get the right colors with System Managed, period.

SOLUTION: Turn off Black Point Compensation and use your profiles as before. I've found that slightly boosting the gamma setting to 1.05 brings the blacks back where they should be. I use Ilford Gallery Smooth Pearl and so far my prints are dead on. [singlepic id=34 w=667 h=301 float=]

the disappearing epson options

Epson released 10.6 drivers for the r2880. I thought I was golden. But when I tried to print I found there were no print options under Printer Settings. Nothing. No Advanced Black and White, no high detail, high speed... nothing. And of course Epson were of no use, stating in their FAQ that they had left out certain features due to size constraints on the Snow Leopard disc (what??!!!!!!!). It turns out that although the drivers are 10.6 compatible, they also require Rosetta to be installed. What threw me was that I'd selected it to be installed as part of my SL upgrade but it somehow wasn't.

SOLUTION: Install Rosetta from Optional Installs after upgrading to SL. Options in the driver reappeared without even having to restart the computer.

the epson roll conundrum

This is the big super annoying bug. It's the one requiring the most complex workaround. When printing from Aperture with the R2880 you need to choose a paper that not only fits the intended size but also the right source (meaning the printer tray). Here's what I mean:

[singlepic id=39 w=611 h=208 float=]

Normally, choosing any name that says Sheet Feeder will instruct the printer  to use the main tray. Not so when printing from Aperture in SL. No matter what you choose the printer receives it as Roll Paper. And there's no way to change it. Brilliant. [singlepic id=40 w=611 h=208 float=] [singlepic id=37 w=320 h=240 float=]


1- Prepare everything as you normally would: paper size, profile, sharpening, border etc. But instead of hitting Print, choose Preview. This creates a pdf with all settings rendered and sends it to Preview.

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2- Once in Preview your window contains two buttons: Cancel and Print. DO NOT HIT PRINT. You'll get the same source error. Instead, hit command-P to get to Preview's print dialog. Once there choose the right paper (again!) and don't forget to (again!!) set the profile from the Color Matching section.

[singlepic id=38 w=320 h=240 float=]

3- When all is set hit Print from the dialog. The picture will print normally.

When I realized I was going to be doing this for awhile I immediately created presets for every paper type and size in Preview, thinking I'd at least save myself the trouble of having to redo everything each time. Good idea. Doesn't work: the print presets don't remember the paper size or scaling. It does at least remember the profile. One out of three.

the wait

So here we are, unsure of what lies ahead and hoping against hope that some kind of resolution will come. Hopefully this post will help a bit in the meantime. I don't know about you but I'm starting to feel antsy about a lot of things in Aperture Land.