I recently took delivery of an Epson R1900 A3+ printer for use with Aperture on my iMac, and just thought I'd report the experience. In summary, it's all good - I have lovely prints on everything from Epson glossy to exotic 315gsm matte textured papers.
Whether you're setting up the printer in Aperture or PSE6 or whatever, I've discovered a few things that make the job easier:
1. Make sure your inks are reasonably full and the printheads are clean before you start configuring.
2. Use only one sort of paper initially, until you end up with a working configuration. If you can get 10cm x 15cm paper, that's ideal as it cuts down on ink consumption and paper costs whilst you're trying to get it right.
3. Keep a detailed record of the application and print driver settings in a spreadsheet as you go along, and only change one variable at a time as you try to arrive at the right outcome.
4. Make sure that your monitor is calibrated, so that there is a reasonable chance that the printed output will at some stage look like the on-screen output.
5. If you aren't using 10x15 paper, make the best of the A4 paper by placing 4 different types of images on it to test the profiles and suitability of the paper for particular types of images. I used one image each of a test image (colour bars, gradations etc), a B&W image, a landscape image with trees, sky, etc, and a impressionist painting image all on the one page.
6. Make sure you select the right paper profiles when printing. Sometimes it doesn't matter so much, and I've successfully used profiles for another paper altogether, but it again reduces variation.
7. In Aperture, colour management should be OFF in the printer driver, otherwise the prints will be double profiled and all too dark or too light. The correct .icc profile should be selected in the Aperture print dialogue, and the matching paper type chosen in the printer driver settings.
8. Once you have a baseline correct printing setup, grap a sample pack of papers to see what you like. I got both the Ilford and Hahnemeule sample packs to play with, and discovered new looks for familiar photos.
9. It's probably a good idea not to try to print borderless initially - saves ink and mess and allows you to appreciate the paper being used a little more.
That's it for now. If anybody wants specific settings or help with Aperture printing, let me know. I'm really impressed with the printer and the quality of the output, especially on matt paper, has exceeded my expectations.
Calx (from sunny NZ this week)