The Online Photographer

Check out our new site at!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Printing Issues with Adobe Photoshop CS2 9.01 upgrade

There apparently is a problem with Mac OS 10.4x and the Photoshop 9.01 update. Ian Lyons at Computer-Darkroom has run some tests, written about his results, and provided some workarounds.

"Many readers will already know that Adobe recently released an update to Photoshop CS2 (i.e. 9.01), the purpose of which was to fix a small number of performance and stability issues. Unfortunately, the update has exacerbated a previously intermittent printing problem that had apparently effected relatively few users with the result that it's more widespread than before."



Blogger Unbound said...

It always surpises me when I see people going through great lengths and expense to optimize their photos, calibrating their monitors, profiling their papers and inks, endlessly arguing about the different RAW converters and their miniscule differences, yet at the final step they automatically use the Photoshop print engine, which is not all that great.

To me there are four basic blocks in the processing workflow, and each one seems to be best served by a separate product:
1- Image intake, organization, DAM, etc.
2- RAW conversion
3- Image detailing (Photoshop)
4- Image output (Print or Web)

Photoshop only really shines in step 3, doing a good or acceptable job in step 2, and being less than acceptable in steps 1 and 4.

"Right tool for the job" still applies, and trying to use Photoshop for all 4 steps involves a large set of compromises, specially at the beginning and end of the process.

For serious printing, a RIP of some type is really necessary, something that has it's own printer drivers or tweaks the output so that the native printer drivers can do their job better.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Abba said...

Absolutely agree with unbound - I am a very heavy user of photoshop and have never ever printed from within the program (I tried once and it was a disaster) - I output prints to an Epson 10600 or a regular Kodak digital output lab with perfect results). I do all my image input and cataloging with iView MediaPro and NEVER shoot raw beacause it is just too time consuming and takes up so much storage space. I have output 50x70cm prints from my D70 with incredible results and I probably could print 100x70cm prints from my D200. All my files are Jpegs with a compression quality of 12.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Ken Tanaka said...

For serious printing, a RIP of some type is really necessary, something that has it's own printer drivers or tweaks the output so that the native printer drivers can do their job better.

Until a few months ago I would have completely agreed with you. The ImagePrint RIP with its myriad paper/ink profiles was the only product that produced high-fidelity prints from my Epson 2200. ImagePrint was very costly, had an ugly quircky interface, a usb "security" dongle, and created an annoying side-step in the flow from image file to final print. But I just accepted it much the way an employer indulges a flakey but talented employee.

That indulgence came to an end when my Epson R2400 arrived with its new driver and K3 inks. This combination meets and often exceeds what the ImagePrint RIP produced. This spelled r.i.p. for my RIP. Being able to reliably soft-proof and print directly from Photoshop has been wonderful, like suddenly getting indoor plumbing.

I've thankfully not (yet) encountered the problem described above. But its nature is really a matter of a transient Mac OS glitch, not a fault of workflows or printing methods. Given the enormous base of Photoshop users I'd bet (my copy of ImagePrint ;-) ) that Apple will evaporate this little problem in the next update.

Imagine, however, if this was a problem that affected only the tiny base of ImagePrint users. How urgent do you think Apple would treat the issue and when do you think it would be fixed? (Hint: When chickens grow lips.)

4:35 PM  
Blogger NIMBY said...

Just as an aside, whilst on the subject of PS 9.01 - there is a common issue on the Windows platform with the main PS window loosing focus after working within an image. The net result is that if you, say, use a brush on the image then try to select a menu item, the first click only moves focus to the menu - a second click is required to actually activate the menu.

Sounds trivial (and is, I guess) but I find it totally annoying - and am surprised Adobe let this fly. When you are used to using PS you tend to move around the menus etc quite quickly - and this issue stops you in your tracks as suddenly the menu hasn't appeared. Grrr.

8:45 PM  
Blogger John Roberts said...

I don't have a Mac, and I'm still using PS7, so this glitch doesn't affect me. However, I found some of the other comments similar to my thinking. Like Unbound, I also gave up on the "doing it all with one program" dream a long time ago, and now use different software for different tasks. And I agree with Abba's take on Raw. In my experience, the extra time and work wasn't giving me noticeably better prints, and that's the end game for me - prints. So now I'm back to shooting highest quality JPEGs, still editing them with the ancient PS7, and both me and my customers are happy.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Dave New said...

I may or may not be getting this problem on Windows, after upgrading to 9.0.1. I tried to reprint something last night that suddenly 'grew' posterization in the sky/highlights. I ended up wasting a good deal of ink going through various cleaning/alignment operations, before I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the printer, but something in the PSCS2 print chain. It is completely undetectable on screen, even at 100% or more magnification, or goofing around with contrast settings to make something like this stand out on screen. It's really annoying, since I'm trying to get something prepared for the Photoshop Soup 2 Nuts gallery tomorrow.

Tonight I'll try the 'soft-proof' workaround outlined in the article, and see if that helps.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Dave New said...

Just to get back to my previous post: The Mac workaround didn't have any perceptive difference on my Windows-based print, so I'll be looking elsewhere. I assume that it is operator error on my part at the moment. After coming back from the Photoshop Soup2Nuts conference, I now have a couple of ideas concering my application of curves that may be defective, and may have caused the inadvertent posterization.

One thing this had taught me -- the print is the final judgement. You can't always see everything you wish by pixel-peeping on the screen.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Ken Tanaka said...

Per my earlier comment: "Given the enormous base of Photoshop users I'd bet (my copy of ImagePrint ;-) ) that Apple will evaporate this little problem in the next update."

Apple has now fixed this little problem.

11:25 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home