Can you explain why printing straight from Preview is printing "to a lowest common denominator?" What are the limitations?
The color management is more limited for one. As I mentioned, today was the first time I've ever printed from Preview (it's relegated here in the land of Rip Van Winkle to casual viewing of jpegs and pdfs) but I don't see any place to choose a profile for your paper. When you print from Photoshop, you can see the image change (in the print dialog box) as you alter Profile, Rendering intent, Black Point Compensation and such. That can be a handy feature for color-critical work. To be honest, I'm not a fan of the Epson driver at all so all my digital printing is via ImagePrint, but that's extra (and not cheap) software that only pays for itself in terms of ink, paper and time (especially the latter) if you do a good bit of inkjet printing. I do make digital negs via the Epson driver however.
Okay, thanks. I understand what you're saying. Yes, if my main goals were in making digital prints, I can see where that would certainly be useful, more convenient and preferable-- especially for color-- as you say. So, neither the GIMP nor Preview has that capability, that's correct.
Even so, if currently adjust everything in the GIMP for my specific paper/image, including scaling the image-- and what I end up printing, out of Preview, is exactly what I see on my screen, I'm reluctant to believe that my final printed image has suffered somehow as a result.
Again, if my main purpose/goal/job was in making digital prints-- yes, I'd probably see about making some changes. As it is, I mainly use this printer for making digital negatives.
Personally, I'd never recommend "scaling" an image at the printing stage except for proofing. If you've properly sharpened your image at it's final desired print size, you can do no good by changing its size in the print dialog box.
Once more, just so we're clear, I do not "scale" the image "at the printing stage" in the print dialog box. I *always* scale in the GIMP first, and then print in Preview. From the GIMP to Preview, that image doesn't change-- neither in size nor in look/color/density/whatever. At least that was true with Tiger.
It is only NOW that I'm using Leopard that this seems to be an issue. As explained earlier, somehow the printer is now not printing the size that I chose for the image in the GIMP. This is a compatibility issue with the current Epson driver, which-- as noted before-- is incompatible with Leopard-- or certainly doesn't offer full function at present. The printer simply ignores the original image size I chose, and will only print an image the size of the paper I choose.
(There are other functions as well, not connected with printing images, that I now have on my iMac, too, since installing Leopard.)
Obviously, I'm doing a bad job getting all this across, or something is clearly lost in translation here. ;)
But I'll be the first to agree that you can't argue with success. If you've had good results in the past with whatever system you're using, it's obviously working. As such, it makes sense that you're loath to be forced to alter your methods.
Nevertheless, I know that folks who are more computer savvy than I, seem to think that there are those of us out there who don't like "change" and that we are often "loathe to be forced to alter" our methods/ways of working, or learn anything new. That simply isn't the case here.
While I'm the very first to admit that I'm a relatively slow (but consistent) learner when it comes to computers, I am not at all averse to change or to new technology. That I chose to use a free, open-source product (like GIMP) instead of an Adobe Photoshop or something comparable, was simply a personal choice.
Finally, all the information you've provided here is very useful and interesting, Dan, and something I'll certainly consider. I do appreciate you taking the time. It doesn't really speak directly to my problem, though, which is the Leopard/Epson driver incompatibility issues I'm currently experiencing. Simply put, Apple released this update (Leopard) that has some real (not imagined) problems. Epson admits, on their website, that they won't have a 3800 printer driver that will work with Leopard until March. As such, the beta driver they have right now is limited and, consequently, is wreaking havoc.
I only posted this problem initially, because I thought someone else might be having the same issues, and, if so, might possibly be able to tell me how they're coping (or not) with it. Clearly, I'm the only person (at least on this list) who was dumb enough to install Leopard at this point, and who is also using an Epson driver.
I think I'll just have to wait for March for the new Epson driver which will, hopefully, correct the problems. Meanwhile, I'm sure I can find something useful to do. ;)
Thanks again, Dan, and everyone else. I appreciate your indulgence and input.