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Author Topic: Z3100 review  (Read 30261 times)
vintola
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2007, 08:10:33 AM »
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Yes, it accepts single sheets up to 24" wide, by up to 300 feet long, though a feed at the rear of the printer.

Michael
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Great Review. This printer went to my "MUST HAVE" -list.  One question remainded unanswered. What is the minimum size of the sheet paper You can use. Or does the printer accept only 24" sheets.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2007, 08:34:22 AM »
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Great Review. This printer went to my "MUST HAVE" -list.  One question remainded unanswered. What is the minimum size of the sheet paper You can use. Or does the printer accept only 24" sheets.
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Answers here:

[a href=\"http://h30267.www3.hp.com/country/us/en/designjet/pdp/designjet/Z3100-specifications_and_warranty.html?pageseq=225611]http://h30267.www3.hp.com/country/us/en/de...?pageseq=225611[/url]
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
vintola
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2007, 08:49:20 AM »
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Answers here:

http://h30267.www3.hp.com/country/us/en/de...?pageseq=225611
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94083\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks MarkDS. This page says all sizes greater than A4. Probably this means that the Z3100 doesn't accept the standard A4.
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2007, 09:10:03 AM »
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On that same info page is also says:

"All 24 inch models:
Letter to 24-in wide sheets, 18- to 24-in wide rolls"

so I would assume that means letter size is OK. I did not notice the 18" roll minimum width until just now - that seems odd - I wonder if that is true? I've got a 17" roll sitting right here next to my 24" model and I will see if it will accept it sometime this weekend...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2007, 09:11:13 AM »
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Thanks MarkDS. This page says all sizes greater than A4. Probably this means that the Z3100 doesn't accept the standard A4.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94085\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually, the text I am reading off that web-page on my monitor says:

"Letter to 24-in wide sheets" for the 24" model and "Letter to 44-in wide sheets for the 44 inch model. "Letter" in North America is 8.5 by 11 inches, which is slighter wider and slightly shorter than European A4. This link is to the US website. It will most likely print A4 for the European models, but you can verify the specs for machines delivered in Europe.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2007, 09:47:12 AM »
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From what I can discern this printer addresses all the issues I've had concerning pigment inkset printers.  I print on gloss paper frequently and the gloss differential wasn't acceptable, also, (and I'm going back a ways) the fragile nature of the prints (from a 2200 at least, scuffing, etc) was a problem too.  The prints I received from HP on a satin paper seem durable and GD free, apparently that's the case with the gloss paper also.  Now, as much as I'd like to make large prints, the majority of printing I do is no larger than a spread ad (app 12x18).  Hopefully, the manufacturer's representatives moniter this site and others to see what their customers are thinking.  So I am pleading, requesting, asking for consideration that a 17" model will be produced sooner than later!  Many thanks, Jim Haefner     http://www.haefnerphoto.com/
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Quentin
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« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2007, 12:43:53 PM »
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Quentin, my reading of this is a bit different. Many years have gone by during which non-Epson manufacturers could have developed their own form of piezo-electric technology from first principles. They have consistently chosen not to do so - from what I've heard because they don't want the printhead determining the life of the printer.

While Epson can calibrate the printer accurately at the factory, what assurance have they ever given that this calibration will remain unchanged for the "life of the printer"?  And have you ever seen a definition of the "life" of an Epson printer? The only one I know of is that because this print-head is so expensive, when the print-head dies so does the printer. Hence when anyone says that the print head lasts the life of the printer they are of course correct - as the printhead DEFINES the life of an Epson printer. Canon and HP have chosen not to go this route - at the cost of replacing print heads as Michael described.

Now, the built-in spectro is primarily meant for creating paper profiles as one easy-to-use closed-loop system between your computer and the printer. For anyone who wants to experiment or use many paper types - and more and more interesting papers are emerging every year - this is a wonderful feature for automating colour management accross an infinite range of papers, primarily unrelated to the issue of calibrating printheads.
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Mark, I still think the "choice" was forced upon Canon and HP.  Just look at the lead Epson have established in the photo printer market.  That is at least in part down to their superior printhead technology.  The disposable printheads only become acceptable in a pro machine with this latest built in spectro technology (or if you have your own profiling kit).  I don't deny the bult in spectro changes the dynamics - its  a very clever idea and one that does have some advantages - but its there to solve a problem Epson don't have, and it does increase the cost.  

Quentin
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2007, 01:20:59 PM »
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I don't deny the bult in spectro changes the dynamics - its  a very clever idea and one that does have some advantages - but its there to solve a problem Epson don't have, and it does increase the cost. 

Quentin
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Quentin, the built-in spectro is mainly for profiling printing papers, not for re-linearizing the printhead. Here is what Michael says about he purpose of the built-in spectro in his Review:

<<This device lives in the printer's head assembly and allows the user to create ICC profiles for just about any paper one could wish to use, and to do so in about a half hour with the press of a single button. >>

You need ICC profiles for Epson and Canon printers too.

The HP in-built paper profiling solution will be most convenient and economic for people who want or need to do alot of profiling because they use many different papers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2007, 01:21:32 PM »
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<Mark, I still think the "choice" was forced upon Canon and HP. Just look at the lead Epson have established in the photo printer market. That is at least in part down to their superior printhead technology. The disposable printheads only become acceptable in a pro machine with this latest built in spectro technology (or if you have your own profiling kit). I don't deny the bult in spectro changes the dynamics - its a very clever idea and one that does have some advantages - but its there to solve a problem Epson don't have, and it does increase the cost.
Quentin >

I disagree. HP's built-in spectro technology has nothing to do with "solving a problem Epson don't have." It's simply an advanced user feature. HP needed to leap-frog ahead and that's what they chose (among other things). Personally, I think that ALL pro large-format printer will have this incorporated (wearing my futurist hat). It's a logical innovation.

It is your opinion that piezo is "superior." It is not a fact. Epson has gone the piezo route while Canon and HP have gone the thermal route (and they both introduced inkjet printers in the early '80s long before Epson ever did, but not in the high-quality/photo arena, which Epson pioneered  for desktop in 1994). There are advantages and disadvantages to both. (And BTW, HP also uses piezo heads in other devices for other printing markets.)

And the spectro does not add much to the overall unit cost (HP has told me this).

Harald Johnson
author, "Mastering Digital Printing, Second Edition"
DP&I.com ( http://www.dpandi.com )
digital printing and imaging consultant
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Haraldo
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2007, 01:43:54 PM »
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Harald - yes all clearly correct - based on results I've seen from all the latest Canon, HP and Epson printers I challenge any-one to identify in a blind test any systematic and generalized superiority of one printer over the other. Michael made this point and from what I've seen I agree. Of course there is also more than the print-head accounting for image quality and no amateur technologist can legitimately ascribe any particular aspect of print quality to a particular component of the machine and its firmware. Every manufacturer wants us to believe their mouse-trap delivers the finest quality. Fine. I just trust my eyes - in fact I was at the eye doctor yesterday for my annual check-up and he says my eyes are just fine   .

While the spectro may not add much to unit cost - no reason to doubt what HP told you - from a consumer perspective what matters is the ALTERNATIVE cost of what we would spend for profiling solutions without the HP innovation. The HP Z3100 at 5000 bucks is clearly much costlier than a Canon IPF5000 or an Epson 3800 and about 1000 more than an Epson 7800 (probably the closest comparator), but they aren't comparable machines - HP is clearly in a different league. It is a package of features and performance one is buying, of which the spectro is only one. If we bought a cheaper printer and did alot of profiling we may well end-up putting 1200 into an Eye-1, or a bunch of profiles from a commercial service costing something less than that - but there is no free lunch whoever's printer we buy - we still need those ICC profiles regardless!

Another important variable to watch is clogging. So far from what I have been hearing, clogging is still mainly an Epson issue.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
John Hollenberg
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« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2007, 02:36:06 PM »
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Another important variable to watch is clogging. So far from what I have been hearing, clogging is still mainly an Epson issue.

I agree.  Don't know about the HP, but there have been no reports of clogging for the Canon IPF5000 that I have been able to find.  Since we have about 300 unique visitors per day to the IPF5000 Wiki and an active discussion forum there as well, I would certainly expect at least ONE report of clogging if this was a problem the IPF series of printers had.  There are a lot of other quirks (mostly firmware and software), but it is a relief knowing the printer will not have a clog when it comes time to print.  I was going to compare more to my Epson 2400, but it has two color channels with a lot of clogs in them and I can't do a cleaning since one of the other inks is low.

--John
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AJSJones
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2007, 03:45:29 PM »
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Thanks Michael.

A little surprised there's no mention of speed, even though it depends on settings obviously.  My 7600, along with others' by the sound of it, is doing fine, but it's always been quite slow.  AT this point I don't have a large volume so it's not a big deal.  The newer Epsons and Canons and possibly now HPs are reported to be speedier;  how long would a 24x30 or 24x36 print take at, say, "gallery" quality settings?  Are these printers reaching some sort of mechanical limit and is bi-directional printing common/norm/exception as a way to double the speed?

Andy
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michael
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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2007, 03:49:44 PM »
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As I may have mentioned elsewhere, during the month of December I made close to 2,000 11X17" prints with the Canon iPF 5000 without a single head clog. In fact, after 7 months not a single one.

I simply can't say that about the Epson Photo, 1200, 1270, 2000P, 4000, 5000, and 4800 printers that I've had over the years, where clogs are just a normal part of running such printers.

Michael
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ddolde
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2007, 04:20:08 PM »
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I never had a clog on my Epson R2400.  In fact I let it sit unused for over three months in Arizona while I was away and upon returning it produced a perfect nozzle check print.

FWIW the R2400 just got sold for a new 3800.  It was close to a wash considering how much ink I got with the new 3800.

The Z3100 looks great though...just too big to take on the road.
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tbonanno
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2007, 04:20:24 PM »
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This printer really sounds nice!  Surprised that it doesn't handle 8x10, but can live with that.  I've been wanting to move up to a 24" and this one sounds like it may be the ticket to replace my iPF5000 in a few months?  HP seeems to have built in a lot of useful features.

Thanks for the useful and informative review Michael.  Will look forward to your long-term experiences with this printer.

Quote
On that same info page is also says:

"All 24 inch models:
Letter to 24-in wide sheets, 18- to 24-in wide rolls"

so I would assume that means letter size is OK. I did not notice the 18" roll minimum width until just now - that seems odd - I wonder if that is true? I've got a 17" roll sitting right here next to my 24" model and I will see if it will accept it sometime this weekend...
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Haraldo
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« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2007, 04:36:01 PM »
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[SAY, how the heck do I do the QUOTE MARKS thing like you guys are doing? I don't see it on  the bottom when I get ready to reply. Help me out here...]

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Mark S. "While the spectro may not add much to unit cost - no reason to doubt what HP told you - from a consumer perspective what matters is the ALTERNATIVE cost of what we would spend for profiling solutions without the HP innovation. The HP Z3100 at 5000 bucks is clearly much costlier than a Canon IPF5000 or an Epson 3800 and about 1000 more than an Epson 7800 (probably the closest comparator), but they aren't comparable machines - HP is clearly in a different league. It is a package of features and performance one is buying, of which the spectro is only one. If we bought a cheaper printer and did alot of profiling we may well end-up putting 1200 into an Eye-1, or a bunch of profiles from a commercial service costing something less than that - but there is no free lunch whoever's printer we buy - we still need those ICC profiles regardless! "

Good point Mark (well, you are an economist, right? ;-). Not only could you easily spend the cost difference in stand-alone color mgt. hardware and software, you also need to figure in your time and trouble. I, for one, am not going to miss all that manual patch-reading and ensuing neck aches. I will take the 30 minutes the Z3100 requires to AUTOMATICALLY make a profile and work on images, check e-mail, get a snack, look at this list, etc.

Another thought about my prediction (that all pro printers will have auto profiling)... this requires an assumption that the other two Big Boys (Epson and Canon) will be in favor of customers NOT buying their papers but buying 3rd party and profiling them. HP has thrown their hat in the ring by acknowledging this fact and basically saying: "OK, we know you use other paper in our machines, so if you're going to do it, here's something to make it a lot easier." It will be very interesting to see if the other guys follow suit.

Harald
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Haraldo
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Tim Ernst
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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2007, 05:31:24 PM »
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"The HP Z3100 at 5000 bucks is clearly much costlier than a Canon IPF5000 or an Epson 3800 "

Hum, nothing like comparing apples to grapes, and not knowing the cost of the apples to begin with. Someone should get real here. The 24" z sells for about $4,000. It is a 24" printer. The Canon and Epson noted are 17" printers. Duh, of course they are going to cost a lot less - so does a Yugo when you compare it to a Mercedes...The z is clearly a different beast...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2007, 05:39:10 PM »
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"The HP Z3100 at 5000 bucks is clearly much costlier than a Canon IPF5000 or an Epson 3800 "

Hum, nothing like comparing apples to grapes, and not knowing the cost of the apples to begin with. Someone should get real here. The 24" z sells for about $4,000. It is a 24" printer. The Canon and Epson noted are 17" printers. Duh, of course they are going to cost a lot less - so does a Yugo when you compare it to a Mercedes...The z is clearly a different beast...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94216\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I made the pont it is a different beast several posts back. No-one is comparing apples to grapes, but there is no harm surveying the choices and assessing who offers what for how much money.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2007, 05:45:03 PM »
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Quote from: Haraldo,Jan 6 2007, 05:36 PM
[SAY, how the heck do I do the QUOTE MARKS thing like you guys are doing? I don't see it on  the bottom when I get ready to reply. Help me out here...]

Harald
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94200\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Harald, immediately underneath (right) the post you wish to quote, click on the "Quote" button, which turns red. Then click on the "Reply" button beside it. That opens the reply space with the whole quote embedded between square brackets. You can cut out as much of that material as you wish by selecting it and deleting it. Then add your reply in the same window underneath the final line of the peice you are responding to that reads "[/quote]".  Then click on "Add Reply" underneath the Options and Icons and you're done.

Cheers,

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2007, 05:50:51 PM »
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HP has thrown their hat in the ring by acknowledging this fact and basically saying: "OK, we know you use other paper in our machines, so if you're going to do it, here's something to make it a lot easier." It will be very interesting to see if the other guys follow suit.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94200\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You're confusing two issues: optimal ink load, dry time etc settings for third-party papers and profiling. Epson could decide tomorrow to make it easy for users of their machines (current and future) to work with third-party papers and it doesn't need a built-in spectro. A software solution would work just as well ... they're already halfway there with ColorBase. Maybe even better as it enables assessment of dry down per head pass by eye. A bit of competition will hopefully force them to get their act together.

As to whether other manuafcturers follow suit and add built-in spectros to their future models, it remains to be seen. Maybe they won't have any choice if the market demands it (whether most end up using it or not). I'm not convinced that the process will build totally optimal profiles, nor that GM/X-Rite are prepared to cannibalize their own market for stand-alone profiling solutions. But for those that just want a "profile", it's an attractive feature.
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