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Author Topic: New HP Z2100 and Z3100 printers  (Read 35664 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2006, 06:35:49 AM »
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The 3800 is a K3 printer. Ink formulation being equal, unless something is quit different in the driver the near same colour characteristics should be achieved.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78729\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Epson advertises new screening technology. They also advertise new micro-Piezo head technology. Perhaps these changes will get more gamut from the same inkset? We won't really know what the colour characteristics or tonal gradation properties are until knowledgeable users test them properly.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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neil snape
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« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2006, 02:09:17 AM »
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Epson advertises new screening technology. They also advertise new micro-Piezo head technology. Perhaps these changes will get more gamut from the same inkset? We won't really know what the colour characteristics or tonal gradation properties are until knowledgeable users test them properly.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78744\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It's as I said, the driver can change gamut but it's not like the last printers were far off from optimising the gamut already. Finer pitch doesn't really increase gamut, often the opposite.
I'm bothered by the images Epson post about the new dithering compared to the old. It makes one think that the old 4800 is coarse and not that good. I can't believe this. Since the drop volume remains the same on the highest photo modes can there be this much difference? If there is then they are sending out a message that every user should wait to upgrade to this new head etc.

Furthermore, why can't Epson make printers a little less redundant? Why don't they offer these heads as user replaceable parts, then have users upgrade their own printers?

I suppose there will still be a lot of very interesting possibilities with HP compared to others that you will see over time.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2006, 09:20:28 AM »
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It's as I said, the driver can change gamut but it's not like the last printers were far off from optimising the gamut already. Finer pitch doesn't really increase gamut, often the opposite.

I'm bothered by the images Epson post about the new dithering compared to the old. It makes one think that the old 4800 is coarse and not that good. I can't believe this. ............. Furthermore, why can't Epson make printers a little less redundant? Why don't they offer these heads as user replaceable parts, then have users upgrade their own printers?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78863\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Neil, several points:

(1) I use an Epson 4800 which I intend to replace soon because the media switching business is a crippling constraint. While its image quality is superb, I think there is definitely room for gamut improvement especially for red and green.

(2) You are correct - prints from the Epson 4800 are not coarse at all - in fact very smooth to the naked eye; but under a loupe anything can be better, and when a company brings out a new product they will always hype it up relative to the previous model so they can induce people to "up-grade", which gets to your next point. (I'm not condoning it, I'm just reporting on reality.)

(3) On an Epson printer the head is about 80% of the cost of the machine, and the cost of supporting consumers doing their own switching would probably consume the next 20%, so this is not a technology conducive to what you are suggesting. This is the one heart-break of up-grading these machines. I wish they had some kind of recycling program for older models - to get them into the hands of people who can't afford the new ones (of course we have eBay for that but not all potential users can access eBay or know how to use it), or dismantle them for parts and materials - because as costly as such programs would be to administer, it is just a terrible shame to see these things trashed.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2006, 10:20:00 AM »
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I wish they had some kind of recycling program for older models - to get them into the hands of people who can't afford the new ones (of course we have eBay for that but not all potential users can access eBay or know how to use it), or dismantle them for parts and materials - because as costly as such programs would be to administer, it is just a terrible shame to see these things trashed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78908\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There are a few trade up programs out there.  HP has offered this on their large-format printers, and I think that Canon may offer it too, (though perhaps that was via a retailer).

A Google search for "HP printer trade up" will provide some links.  Just replace the "HP" with Epson or Canon and repeat for more info.

-Mark
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« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2006, 04:55:49 PM »
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There are a few trade up programs out there.  HP has offered this on their large-format printers, and I think that Canon may offer it too, (though perhaps that was via a retailer).

A Google search for "HP printer trade up" will provide some links.  Just replace the "HP" with Epson or Canon and repeat for more info.

-Mark
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Talking of which, Epson UK has just today announced a Loyalty Upgrade scheme for users of Epson and non-Epson machines. Depending on the model to be upgraded from, discounts of up to 700 have been announced on the K3 models.

That much said, someone said this to me today which does ring very true. It does seem that on print, Epson K3 still has the edge on the depth of the print. We have to consider that for HP, their new Z series is a great first try, but they are using 12 inks to achieve what Epson has done with 8. On top of this, having worked with engineers from Epson for this long, they do deserve some kudos for helping many of us out. There's been many a time I've contacted Epson on queries and their staff sorted me straight out. If this doesn't deserve a mention, I don't know what will. Whether or not HP can match this level of service remains to be seen. Just because HP has a call centre and support knowledge base set up for the new printers doesn't mean the problem can easily be rectified, because their staff will have a steep learning curve to start from.

Jason
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2006, 05:39:13 PM »
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Jason, technically what does "depth of the print" mean? Is it more d-max? Is it wider gamut/superior saturation? Is it smoother tonal transitions? Is it finer screening/dithering?

As for an up-grade program - I'd love to see such a thing announced by Epson Canada.    But wheher I go for it still depends on a careful OPERATIONAL evaluation of the 3800 versus the new HP models. Once you buy the printer you live with it - so the merits of any front-end inducement need to be considered in an operational context. It's a bit like marriage, except it's (usually) easier to get rid of a printer you don't like than.............well, you get the picture...
« Last Edit: October 03, 2006, 05:39:50 PM by MarkDS » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2006, 06:13:24 PM »
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Edmund wrote of his first-hand impressions of the new HP printer output:

"Print quality looked very good. But it won't bowl you over the way prints from the cheap dye-based Canon office all-in-ones bowl you over. Maybe it's not an apple to apple comparison, but Lambda (silver-based) and Dye-based inkjet will still outgun pigment for some  time."


Intriguing observation Edmund.  Sort of like the conclusions from the recent article on this website "Reflections on Recent Digital Paper Offerings" by Lohmann when he says, in talking about the latest greatest papers "Unless paper quality improves someday soon we may find that the age of traditional photography will have passed, and we are left to print on papers that look like white Naugahyde vinyl."

We know that pigments on matte paper have a look unto their own and are artistcally working for certain images.  What do you think is missing from these HP prints that they can't stand up to dye prints or Lightjet/Lambda prints?  What can one do with vinyl-like papers and hopeful pigment inkjet technology other than discuss longevity, user-friendly color management procedures, high dmax numbers, and pretty gamut graphs?
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mike_botelho
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« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2006, 02:44:07 AM »
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It is larger than K3 as expected in most areas, only in some areas compared to Canon, but the shock is Epson still has both beat in Chroma depth.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77871\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Neil,

You mention that the Epson K3 inks still have the edge in 'chroma depth'.  At the risk of sounding ignorant, could you please explain specifically what this means.  I think I know what you are referring to, but since we are using words to describe a visual characteristic, I thought I'd ask just to make sure that I am visualizing the specific type of difference you are describing.

Thanks,

Mike
« Last Edit: October 04, 2006, 02:55:26 AM by mike_botelho » Logged
neil snape
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« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2006, 04:06:22 AM »
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Neil,

You mention that the Epson K3 inks still have the edge in 'chroma depth'.  At the risk of sounding ignorant, could you please explain specifically what this means.  I think I know what you are referring to, but since we are using words to describe a visual characteristic, I thought I'd ask just to make sure that I am visualizing the specific type of difference you are describing.

Thanks,

Mike
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The depth is how much colour is in the shadows. Epson retain a lot of colour considering they are pigments (the HP dyes are so rich pigments don't even get close) . These are areas that maintain graduations into the shadows, but not necessarily affect contrast. The blacks on all three Canon, HP, and Epson are around the same. So it is the amount of colour in the darkest region that you'll see the colour depth.
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yannb
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« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2006, 02:38:59 PM »
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Hello Neil,

I was at the Dubai HP event where the new Z series were presented to dealers and distributors from the EMEA area. A question that didn't get answered there was about the built-in spectro, based on i1 technology.

- As I understood it, this spectro's lightsource was not the same as the regular i1 (without uv cutoff filter). Do you know what kind it is?
- How different will the measurements of a profiling chart be compared to the normal i1?
- Is it measuring with white backing or black backing?
- Do you know why the colour patches on the charts need to be so large? At the GMG booth they had Fogra media wedges on their contract proofs (which they could read automatically of course) that were about 30cm wide! Give that contract proof to a customer, and he will need to measure the strip patch by patch instead of using the i1 ruler.


Regards,
Yann
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neil snape
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« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2006, 06:06:55 AM »
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That much said, someone said this to me today which does ring very true. It does seem that on print, Epson K3 still has the edge on the depth of the print. We have to consider that for HP, their new Z series is a great first try, but they are using 12 inks to achieve what Epson has done with 8. On top of this, having worked with engineers from Epson for this long, they do deserve some kudos for helping many of us out. There's been many a time I've contacted Epson on queries and their staff sorted me straight out. If this doesn't deserve a mention, I don't know what will. Whether or not HP can match this level of service remains to be seen. Just because HP has a call centre and support knowledge base set up for the new printers doesn't mean the problem can easily be rectified, because their staff will have a steep learning curve to start from.

Jason
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[/quote]

No this is not correct. The Epson has excellent colour depth for pigments. Yet don't be misled, both the Canon and HP have a lot more gamut, and brightness than K3 inksets. Now with the next Epson 120 colour inkset you might be right , have your cake and eat it too.

I'll say it again, the HP has a wonderful gamut in the bright saturated that leaves the current K3 far far behind. And that is with double the lightfastness to boot, and more than that on canvas non glass mounted. If it weren't for Canon and HP's addition of extended inksets Epson could have sat still for years to come. Lucky for Epson users , pressure from these two will correct things like the ink cart swapping scandal. Now it's unlikely they will tell you to accept anything because they have great image quality, but will have to shape up or acknowledge users leaving their stronghold.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2006, 07:57:12 AM »
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.......... both the Canon and HP have a lot more gamut, and brightness than K3 inksets. Now with the next Epson 120 colour inkset you might be right , have your cake and eat it too.

I'll say it again, the HP has a wonderful gamut in the bright saturated that leaves the current K3 far far behind. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79172\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Neil, this is an interesting comment, because the published evidence of gamut plots that I've seen to date do not seem to bear it out quite so decisively. Comparing K3 with Canon IPF5000, the gamut shapes are different, the Epson being wider in the light yellows, blues and reds and the Canon wider for everything else (cf. Michael Reichmann's review of the Canon IPF5000).

Here is what Michael Reichmann said in his product review of the HP B9180:

<<In this comparison what we see is that the HP has a slightly wider gamut than the Epson in the greens and magentas. The HP and the Epson are closer in their gamuts than are the HP and the Canon, but then this is to be expected when comparing 8 ink vs 12 ink printers.

Looking at a range of actual prints, on glossy paper as well as matte, most observers and I agree that there isn't a huge difference between Epson, Canon or HP prints when custom profiles are used with the same papers. One can quibble over small differences, but gamut isn't an area where I would say that any of these printers jumps out ahead of the others in a clearly visible way when printing and viewing a broad range of images. >>

If you have objective information that casts doubt on the validity of this overall assessment it would be very useful for us to see it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2006, 10:21:01 AM »
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If you have objective information that casts doubt on the validity of this overall assessment it would be very useful for us to see it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79179\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I am interested in this too. I heard similar praise for the HP Designjet 90 and 130 printers, but never took a liking to the print quality, even though I owned one for a while and tried all manner of paper, RIPs, profiles, etc.

Also, is there any indication that these new HPs will not need $1500 RIPs? That might help off-set the heavy hardware prices a bit...

-ron
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neil snape
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« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2006, 02:26:42 PM »
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Mark the above comments are on the 8 color 9180 or Z 2100 , not the 11 color Z 3100.
I can't send out profiles , nor info yet, other than words. Others shouldn't either. The Z 3100 is still in the making. The inks are final but the software is still going forward. I just tonight loaded another firmware rev. Such is life with Beta testing. Any software or firmware changes render null everything that was done before.
I did describe the 12 ink Z though before in it's gamut projections in Color think from custom profiles from Canon 5000, Epson K3 from Bill, and my custom profiles (printed and measured in my classic i1 off line).
The gamuts of both Canon and HP 12 ink printers are becoming esoteric and the primaries are making what was always difficult to describe in words even that much harder. The Canon gamut is looking very nice in magenta to cyan transitions in and at 50L . Hp has some extensions here and there all in the light and brights especially a green that will keep a landscape   photographer happy. Epson has a better color depth which as you know not the same as Dmax , nor contrast.

Also as you know any print within range of most prints we do any of the three HP, Epson, and Canon will produce a similar looking print. I laid out a bunch on a table yesterday , HP Z 3100, HP 9180, Epson 4800, and Durst (sorry didn't have access to a Canon at the time). All are good, all are sellable, all have excellent fidelity, color matches in control lighting etc. The only way to make the already excellent Epson look a bit worse, would be to use an image out of gamut for the Epson inks , where Canon or HP may be better . One thing that is certain , is the Gloss Enhancer is fantastic.   A bit fragile though so normal print handling precautions apply.
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neil snape
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« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2006, 02:32:49 PM »
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Yes, I am interested in this too. I heard similar praise for the HP Designjet 90 and 130 printers, but never took a liking to the print quality, even though I owned one for a while and tried all manner of paper, RIPs, profiles, etc.

Also, is there any indication that these new HPs will not need $1500 RIPs? That might help off-set the heavy hardware prices a bit...

-ron
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79426\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


If you didn't like the look of the DJ a rip wouldn't have changed a thing. I had no problem matching any Durst Lambda print on the DJ without a rip, but some don't like traditional photographic looking prints. Maybe the Z printer in that way is better as it goes way past any photographic color process and is pigment with all it's advantages , and look of other than a print.

Yes there are rip's for the z printers. ImagePrint, Postershop, EFI and what I'll be using for prepress and photo , GMG. These are the optional software rip's. There will even be other options too but I'm not on those paths.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2006, 02:49:31 PM »
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Thanks Neil, interesting, but I am not clear on what you mean by "color depth" - is it saturation? Color depth normally refers to the number of bits that describe a color - such as 24 bit having more depth than 18 bit, etc. But this does not apply to printers, it applies to image files. Do you mean the colours look richer?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2006, 07:22:32 PM »
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Yes there are rip's for the z printers. ImagePrint, Postershop, EFI and what I'll be using for prepress and photo , GMG. These are the optional software rip's. There will even be other options too but I'm not on those paths.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79460\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would have thought that a printer with its own spectrometer, etc would have negated the need for a RIP when printing photos.

Probably a naive question, but why do these z printers need a RIP?
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neil snape
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« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2006, 01:13:03 AM »
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Thanks Neil, interesting, but I am not clear on what you mean by "color depth" - is it saturation? Color depth normally refers to the number of bits that describe a color - such as 24 bit having more depth than 18 bit, etc. But this does not apply to printers, it applies to image files. Do you mean the colours look richer?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79462\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Colour depth is a term we coined from the amount of colour in the shadows. In the Lab gamut plot the bottom of the plot is the darkest point attained. It's not only or always K black the darkest , but the composite and the largeness of the bottom of this cone or potato some call it.
The Dye base HP has density until L1.8 and a very wide colour around this point. Let's say red with a lot of black, but is still measurably red just very dark. That's where Epson K3's are strong. Not the density or contrast of HP dyes but better than HP and Canon in the coloured dark areas. So for example look in a contrasty image for the continuous tone into the shadows, that's where you'll see Epson do well. Both HP and Canon must have found something bothersome , like lightfastness, or gloss uniformity, I don't know, that made them steer away from this in favour of other compromises.
Both the Canon and HP go way beyond in the light saturated colours yet this is something that can change for even better rendering with the Z before release. A big note: most peoples images most of the time will not see any differences in the extended gamut. Only those who had light and bright colours would. I want to stress that these are nice possibilities but only part of the advantages of a printer. In the end most users most of the time would find the Gloss Enhancer something once seen will become the most appreciated feature in the inkset, as it is very welcome on any surface that has some shine.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2006, 02:15:58 AM »
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I would have thought that a printer with its own spectrometer, etc would have negated the need for a RIP when printing photos. Probably a naive question, but why do these z printers need a RIP?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79495\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A spectrophotometer (either stand alone or built in the printer) allows you to create custom profiles for your printer/ink/paper/lighting combination.  A RIP allows you to print outside of an image processing program.  Besides the fact that a RIP can use your custom profiles, there is no crossover between the two.
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Alain Briot
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2006, 08:00:52 AM »
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Colour depth is a term we coined from the amount of colour in the shadows. In the Lab gamut plot the bottom of the plot is the darkest point attained. It's not only or always K black the darkest , but the composite and the largeness of the bottom of this cone or potato some call it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=79624\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Neil, thanks alot for this clarification. It seems that it could be meaningful, especially for people using matte papers want to preserve dynamics of both colour and luminosity in the lowest quartile of the tone curve.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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