I have recently bought a printer (espon 280r) to bring down the cost of printing. After I bought it, I knew that I needed to get some kind of calibration software since my prints looked nowhere close to what I was seeing on my monitor. I purchased a Spyder system and calibrated my monitor. Now the prints look closer but still they are off. In photoshop, I have tried all kinds of things. I had read somewhere on here that it's best if Photoshop manages the colors while printing, but once I do that (making sure that the printer is not color managing also) the prints come out awful (some kind of linear constrast look, it's hard to explain). My best prints come from when I have the printer managing the colors and I have messed with the CMYK settings, contrast, and saturation of the printer. What could I be doing wrong? This is so frusturating!
When using "Photoshop Manages Colors" setting, you also have to choose your printer+paper combination specific profile, and "Rendering Intent: Perceptual". Softproof the image before printing (View>Proof Setup>Custom: Device to simulate: your printer+paper profile, Rendering Intent: Perceptual, Simulate Paper Color: on) to get the idea of what you'll get.