Thanks Bernard - that is what I thought - just wanted to be sure I understood correctly. That being the case, you are of course aware that Hahnemuhle paper - excellent as it is - comes in over twice the price of Epson Enhanced Matte and buying IP is another 1000 or so. I was indeed hoping there is a way to eek-out more shadow detail in a reliable and systematic manner without consuming yet more money.
Interestingly, so far this thread has revealed other people have or have had the same issue, and the two solution branches seem to be a pre-print curves adjustment or buying IP and experimenting with different papers and profiles. There was one suggestion to try perceptual rendering. This is a treatment for out-of-gamut colour and is sometimes helpful, but not a self-evident remedy for luminosity issues.
Tim, I forgot to mention that my whole room is illuminated with D-50 (when I turn the lights on to examine the prints). I bought a Solux track and fixture system from Tailored Lighting in Rochester NY (www.solux.net
). This was much cheaper than a state-of-the-art viewing box, but no dimming - so I replace dimming by holding the print nearer or further from the ceiling. Elementary Dr. Watson, but perhaps less sexy and scientific. It does serve the purpose of showing the print at correct colour temperature under any reflected light intensity you can choose from any 3-D spot in the room.
I'd like to get a sense of more peoples' experience with IP versus Epson printer profiles for addressing this particular problem. Based on what Bernard is saying, this is perhaps an investment I shall "need" to make, but would like to hear more lessons of experience if there are any out there.