The driver settings to be discussed below are not printer specific, they should be
compatible with just about any Epson
Stylus Photo Inkjet printer currently
available and also with some from quite a few years back.
Why do PC users of Epson
printers sometimes feel "hard-done-by" and
claim that Epson do not
provide them with all the tools necessary for a fully colour managed
workflow? Maybe it's because the single ICC profile supplied with the PC version of the Epson
printer driver is NOT an ICC media (paper) profile. So what is it?
The simple answer!
The single ICC profile supplied with the PC
driver will normally have a name such as Epson Stylus Photo 1270, when
viewed in the Photoshop Print dialog. However, the name/label of these profiles
in Windows Explorer is less obvious, e.g. Ee089_1 or similar.
These profiles simply define the
optimum colour space for the Epson printer and are associated with the
Color Settings, PhotoEnhance and ICM modes. When the driver is set for any of
the 3 operating modes mentioned above it needs no additional media
profiles, they are built-in.
One VERY important point to be
noted is that these colour space profiles are NOT compatible with No Color
Adjustment mode. If you choose this mode and try using these
colour space profiles the resulting prints will in all likelihood be terrible.
Mac users are more fortunate than the PC user in that Epson does
provide ICC media/paper profiles with each printer. These ICC media profiles are of
reasonable quality and can after a simple modification be used by the PC user with either
Photoshop 5 or 6. You can download versions for a few Epson Stylus
Photo models by
clicking the hotlinks that follow:
Note: ICM and ICC profiles are the same, so don't get
worried if you see the terms being used interchangeably.
Downloadable Epson ICC Media Profiles
Stylus Photo 1290 - (compatible with the 1280)
Stylus Photo 890
Stylus Photo 895
Stylus Photo 810 - (compatible with the 820)
Stylus Photo 1270
Stylus Photo 2000P
Stylus Photo 2100 (compatible with 2200)
ICC Media Profile
SP1270, SP890 or SP1290 RC - Premium Gloss Photo Paper
SP1270, SP890 or SP1290 MP-H - Heavy Weight Matt
SP1200, SP1270, SP890 or SP1290 GF - Glossy Film
SP1200, SP1270, SP890 or SP1290 PP - Photo Paper
SP1200, SP1270, SP890 or SP1290 PQP - Photo Quality Paper
will only find the profiles appropriate for your printer model in the
download. These profiles were created by Epson and I make no claims as
to quality of the final prints. It is worth noting that Mac
users seem perfectly happy with the results they obtain, hopefully PC
users will be similarly pleased. Please be aware that the
above profiles will be a poor substitute for custom created ICC
Getting an acceptable Print
For best results when using an Epson Stylus Photo Printer with Photoshop we
should really have it correctly configured and the monitor properly
characterised and calibrated. Adobe provides Adobe Gamma for
this purpose and I have produced two comprehensive essays describing how Photoshop
5 and 6
can be configured along with guidance on characterising and calibrating the monitor. See
Colour Settings or Photoshop
6 Colour Setup for more details.
Photoshop 5 - Making the Print
The steps involved in making the print are pretty straightforward
5 Print Dialog
6 - Making the print
The Photoshop 6 Print dialog is slightly more complex looking than
that of Photoshop 5, but isn't really any more difficult to configure.
The basic steps are as follows.
Select Print from the Photoshop File menu
Select the Document radio button
Select the appropriate ICC media profile for your
printer in the Print Space "Profile" pop-up
Intent should normally be set for Perceptual (Relative
Colorimetric is also worth a try).
6 Print Dialog
remaining Steps are common to Photoshop Versions 5 and 6. Having
pressed the setup button Page Setup dialog should appear.
Section of Photoshop Page Setup
that if you have more than one printer installed, it is important to
select the appropriate model in the Printer Name popup.
The Epson Stylus Photo
Printer main Dialog should appear. The actual dialog appearance will be
slightly different for each printer model although printers within the
same family tend to be fairly consistent. I have included screenshots
for both the Epson 750/1200 and 870/890/1270/1280/1290 below so that you
might recognise these differences.
Epson Printer Driver - Main
Select Custom button followed by the Advanced
button, when it appears.
Ensure that the sliders for colour, brightness, contrast and
saturation are ALL at their default "0" position.
Don't be tempted to use the Epson Print Preview screen since the
results will look terrible and cause you no end of confusion and
Epson Print Preview is NOT compatible with ICC media
Epson 750/1200 Printer (v4.5
drivers) - Advanced
Epson 870/890/1270/1280/1290 Printer
(v5.x drivers) - Advanced
Choose your media type (it MUST be
the same as the profile you selected in Photoshop).
Choose your Print Quality - best
choice is Photo 1440dpi
High Speed should be deselected
Color Management MUST be set to No
the OK button and return to Photoshop to make the print.
for completeness - check that Print Space Profile popup box
still has your chosen media profile selected. If not then reselect
and press the Print button.
If you created or purchased custom ICC profiles for your
Epson printer then one or other of the configurations described above
will apply, which depends upon your version of Photoshop.
One last point. Just as the Epson colour space profile
described at the beginning should not be used with No Color
Adjustment mode it is the case that ICC media profiles should NOT
be used in any other mode but No Color Adjustment. Using any
other driver mode with such profiles will produce prints that look
fluorescent pink/red, so be warned and stick with the settings described,
and PLEASE don't be tempted to use the Epson Print Preview!