Wow, I just spoke to Epson pro tech support and the person there told me that ALL Epson Pro printers are having problems with dark prints in Snow Leopard, that it's not a driver issue but a Snow Leopard issue. He said there's nothing Epson can do.
I hadn't heard of this being true for all the printers, but he was certain about it. Anyway, I am having the problem on the 4000, like most seem to be.
Glad I found this thread, thank you for the info! I may be missing something, though, because it's not quite working for us.
1st, in converting the image's profile, should it be to the standard printer profile (e.g., "Pro4000 Standard") or the one for the particular paper type (e.g., "Pro4000 Premium Semigloss")? I assume the latter, right?
2nd, while this workaround fixes the problem of the overly dark prints, we're still getting worse results than we got pre-Snow Leopard on the same printer. Prints are still a bit too dark, some colors are off, and it's doing a very poor job where colors grow dark in the original image (they're losing all saturation too early and suddenly dropping off to gray). Again, this is compared to our pre-Snow Leopard prints on the same printer. I tried assigning sRGB and using "Printer Manages Color." Also tried "Photoshop Manages Color," and also tried not assigning sRGB. Those were worse.
Any ideas? Is it a bad idea to try tweaking things in Color Management in the Print dialog? I know it's best to leave CM off, but as a workaround, is it worth messing with?
We see that onscreen (and in the prints), just converting to any of the the Epson 4000 printer profiles in PS is changing some colors dramatically. Blues go purple, yellows go greenish. We got better blues and yellows in prints before. Maybe the current profiles are bad? I tried using an Ilford paper profile, and that gave us much better blues (both onscreen and in test prints), but it's still off in other ways: still a little too dark overall, and colors still lose saturation as they get dark.
Thanks for any further tips!
P.S. All of our images already have a profile (Adobe RGB 98 for older finished files, or ProPhoto on more recent work, if we haven't already converted to Adobe RGB for printing). Converting again unfortunately degrades the image quality a bit more, but I understand if it's a necessary evil for this workaround. We can't revert to Leopard, so it is what it is. What a shame. I understand all the Epson pro printers work great in Windows 7. Funny.