you don't list your operating system or printer, for good sake
my Mac 10.7.4 workstation suddenly started printing dark under Photoshop 13.0.0 and Espon 7880 -- I switched my printing to 10.6x and got back to work (haven't tried printing under 10.7 and Epson since...)
1) I would forget about using File> Print thumbnail preview for anything other than checking the layout (it has been unreliable for color checking in the past) -- use View> Proof Setup> Custom> Device to Simulate: print profile (ie, "Soft Proofing")...
2) check your PHOTOSHOP PRINTING WORK FLOW SETTINGS
Sorry. WIndows 7 64-bit. PS updated to 13.01. Epson R3000 with latest firmware and drivers.
Disregarding the preview on the left of the print screen would be okay. EXCEPT, that is what is accurate. I can't figure it out.
I have printed in both Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric/BPC.
The strange thing is if I change my file to Adobe or sRGB and let the printer manage, it is MUCH closer. That is why I think PS is going off some place.
Letting the printer manage, I can set the Epson to Brightness at +3 or +4 and get it right. We should not have to do that.
Printing using QImage, with either QI or the printer managing is closer also. Something in the main view of the PS desktop seems to be the problem.
my link outlines mainstream "Photoshop Manages Colors" settings -- those are pretty straight forward and the print should look pretty close to the Photoshop "Soft Proof" on the monitor
i don't know anything about "the main view of the PS desktop"...
"...main view of the PS desktop...." is the main working screen. I said that to separate it from the "Print" interface.
When both an Epson and an Oki color laser can get it right with ICM disabled in PS, it seems reasonable that the problem is in PS.
if you are using the "Photoshop Manages Colors" workflow - the problem is either
1) your Printer Profile is not good, and/or
2) you settings are off (you are not setting up a Source>Print profile conversion)
sorry i can't be of more help... trying to get photographic color quality out of a laser printer has always been a challenge even for experts
Thank you for your input. And, your link has useful information. I read everybody's because there is always some little thing to get from each site.
"1) your Printer Profile is not good, and/or"
Possibility. They are Epson's own. However, I have never believed they can throw the same profile for one paper/ink combination out there for different models of printer. They are calibrated differently. If that were true they'd have the same driver also.
"2) you settings are off (you are not setting up a Source>Print profile conversion)"
I watch this carefully. It may be time to buy profiles for the few papers of theirs I use. Too bad though--they made ABW better at the same time. For now it is cheaper to come up with a print correction action.