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Author Topic: Z3100 review  (Read 31758 times)
Tim Ernst
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« Reply #60 on: January 07, 2007, 02:29:09 PM »
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Dan:

I agree with what Andy just said - I made a normal profile with an external eyeone and compared prints with the profile the z3100 created and I can't tell any difference in the prints with the naked eye at normal viewing distances. I don't look at prints with microscopes or at gamut plots so this is the only thing that is of interest to me and to my customers. I'm a happy camper (with the automatic profiles), so I'll let this printer do all the work from now on...
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abiggs
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« Reply #61 on: January 07, 2007, 02:44:06 PM »
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The challenge is that if you have a small number of patches, and you accidentally get a bad reading from just a few of them, your resulting profile will be skewed off by a greater amount than if you had more patches to read from, but the same number of errors.

I have always liked the idea of the Eye One IO, where readings are doing automatically, but I cannot seem to get complete confidence in the readings, as the Eye One is never allowed to touch down on the surface of the media, which means each reading will be tainted by the ambient light. Off topic pontification, so I apologize.
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Andy Biggs
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #62 on: January 07, 2007, 03:38:12 PM »
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Has anyone yet tried profiling this machine with an external spectro? I just wonder if HP's small test charts are getting all that it is capable of.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Colorvision's C. David Tobie claimed to get better results with his PrintFix2 solution, and get HP to agree. You can find the discussion somewhere on Yahoo's EpsonWideFormat or LargeFormatInkjet group. Personally, I think it's more likely to be "different" than "better". Since HP sell their own package which enables more patches there must be some advantage, otherwise why bother. It really depends on how linear the printer is. I would imagine that adding RGB primaries to the mix would make things less linear.

You can have a dozen profiles, all just as "accurate" but still prefer one over another. It depends upon your sophistication in assessing profiles for your own purposes. If based on GM's standard algorithms, the results are likely to be very good though ... and likely good enough for most. If two printers sell for the same price, and one has a spectro then why not? If they're not the same price, then you have to look hard at what you're actually getting for the extra.

Relevant links:

[a href=\"http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/EpsonWideFormat/message/74726]http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/EpsonWi...t/message/74726[/url]
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/EpsonWi...t/message/74751
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 04:55:13 PM by Stephen Best » Logged
deelight
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« Reply #63 on: January 07, 2007, 04:04:17 PM »
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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.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94090\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yes, the Z series accepts European DIN A4 size. I recently printed this size on my    NEW    Z3100.

I can truly second what michael said in his review (at least about the documentation and specs, exept about print quality, because unfortunately I did have no time at all during the last week since the delivery of my Z3100 and the only prints I made were two profiling prints    )  

Just one more thing to say:

Dont try to calibrate and profile on DIN A4 paper, the profiling chart needs to have an DIN A3 paper size. It is printed after the calibrating chart (which is DIN A4) is read by the spectro. It brought some headache to me, because profiling was not successful. Simply use the 24 roll  for your first profiling  

Not noticed by Michael is the paper sheet fed. You can only feed a single sheet of paper (which is no problem for my workflow), but you also have to feed it free hand without a corner to lay along (ähh, sorry for my English, guess I am missing the right word... no dictionary around   ). Then the printer corrects the angle, but is only able to do this in a small amount. If fed incorrectly the printer rejects the sheet. This might take  1+ minute, if fed incorrectly  2-3 times. This is something to do better for HP, although of course it is a minor point.

Best regards from Cologne...

Clem
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 04:07:50 PM by deelight » Logged

Tom.D.Arch
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« Reply #64 on: January 07, 2007, 06:18:19 PM »
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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...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94089\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I haven't been able to see a Z series printer in person yet, so I'm speculating here: could the 18" min. roll size be cased by the roll mounting spindle?  Can the removable 'spindle cap' be slid closer than 18" to the fixed end of the spindle?

I hope that 18" isn't really the minimum - 17" roll material looks pretty appealing to me for some uses (particularly if feeding individual sheets is as big a hassle as it sounds...).  If I'm right about the spindle end being the issue, I've been trying to imagine making a wood spacer on a lathe.  (I hope that wouldn't void the warranty ;^) )

(As an aside: I'm an architect in a very small firm.  I'm hoping to talk my boss into getting a z3100 when he gets back from his holiday vacation.  (Let's hope that two weeks with his mother in law hasn't put him in a bad mood!)  The Z series looks like a great middle ground between cranking out small runs of 'blueprints' and generating high quality presentation materials.  After seeing some of our drawings printing in draft mode on a B9180 at 12 sec. per 11x17 sheet, with very readable results, I suspect that we will be able to get 24"x36" sheets in less than the 2 min. per D sheet that the Z specs list.  I know this sounds like a 'waste' of such a capable machine, but I promise to do as much photo printing as I can!)
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Roscolo
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« Reply #65 on: January 07, 2007, 07:41:54 PM »
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I hope that 18" isn't really the minimum - 17" roll material looks pretty appealing to me for some uses (particularly if feeding individual sheets is as big a hassle as it sounds...). 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94419\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If the Z3100 can't take 17" rolls, it just went off my potential purchase list. Hard to believe such a well-designed printer would have such a "deal-breaker" flaw.
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michael
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« Reply #66 on: January 07, 2007, 08:14:38 PM »
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The minimum roll is 18". A curious decision, I agree.

Michael
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larryg
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« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2007, 08:43:08 PM »
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The minimum roll is 18". A curious decision, I agree.

Michael



This is a real shocker.  I was interested in this printer until this.  I regularly print 8x10 prints from a 10" roll with the Epson 7600.

This is really disapointing that no smaller than 18" rolls can be used

This is a deal breaker for me also.  I will just have to wait a while and see what else comes down the perverbial pike.
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ternst
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« Reply #68 on: January 07, 2007, 09:30:15 PM »
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Sorry guys, but sometimes the posted specs of printers is not quite accurate, so keep your checkbooks open.

I just loaded a 17" roll of InkJetArt Luster paper in the 24" z3100 and it loaded and printed just fine. There is no minimum width stop on the roll itself with either 2" or 3" core - you can cinch it down as small as you like. And obviously the printer had no issues with a roll narrower than 18". How much narrower will it go - no telling, but there is no physical reason why it would not do 10", 8" or even smaller, so if it did limit the width it would be a software issue (the minimum sheet width is listed as 8.3" - I have enough trouble getting 13 x 19 sheets to load without a five-minute tug of war so have not tried any smaller sheets).

Someone here also noted recently something about the 2400 x 1200 dpi rating of the z3100 printers - it being that or 600 x 600 - this is what is listed in the specs for this printer but in the printer manual it also lists 1200 x 1200 - it does not say if this is true or interpolated...

On another related roll-paper size note I also found the 59' roll length limit on the Canon ipf5000 printer to be bogus - I had this same 100' roll installed in that printer as well and it worked just fine, so no real 59' length limit on the Canon, at least not for this type of paper (3" core).

Tim Ernst in Arkansas
www.Cloudland.net
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 09:31:37 PM by ternst » Logged
jpgentry
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« Reply #69 on: January 07, 2007, 09:30:49 PM »
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If indeed quality is equal, the important questions (to me) are none that have been debated yet, and they are cost of operation, speed and durability (of mechanics not heads.)  Also quality of support.  I think paper handling (sheets) will clearly go to Epson and Canon over HP.

I have the ipf8000 (44") and have a comment (though off topic.)  I am so mad at Canon for the simple fact that they have intentionally shrouded the issue of operating costs by not disclosing how much ink the ipf models use.  While they give you the total amount of ML used per print, the driver will only read remaining ink in 20% increments so you cannot get a fix on ink usage.

Canon is feeble when it comes to communicating with their customers in the US.  Take one look at their Japaneese support site and graphics and information abound, but check the US support site and nearly every link (for the ipf8000) says "no information."  Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.  HELLO CANON!  WAKE UP!

I love the machine, but they are dumping on their US customers.  HP clearly knows where their revenue comes from.

-Jonathan
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 09:51:10 PM by jpgentry » Logged
John Hollenberg
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« Reply #70 on: January 07, 2007, 09:37:15 PM »
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On another related roll-paper size note I also found the 59' roll length limit on the Canon ipf5000 printer to be bogus - I had this same 100' roll installed in that printer as well and it worked just fine, so no real 59' length limit on the Canon, at least not for this type of paper (3" core).

Tim,

How exactly did you test this?  The 59 foot length refers to the length of ONE print.  Did you make a 70 or 80 foot print to test?  :-)

--John
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ternst
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« Reply #71 on: January 07, 2007, 09:41:55 PM »
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John:

I thought the spec read that the max ROLL length was 59', but I just now looked at the specs again and it does say roll PRINT length. I thought that was kind of an odd roll length limit - still think it is an odd print length limit but not one I am going to be testing anytime soon! I just sold my Canon this afternoon and was kind of sad to see it go - wish they would have had a 24" model available, although the HP is pretty darn nice...
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #72 on: January 07, 2007, 09:44:50 PM »
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John:

I thought the spec read that the max ROLL length was 59', but I just now looked at the specs again and it does say roll PRINT length. I thought that was kind of an odd roll length limit - still think it is an odd print length limit but not one I am going to be testing anytime soon! I just sold my Canon this afternoon and was kind of sad to see it go - wish they would have had a 24" model available, although the HP is pretty darn nice...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94448\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, but there is a footnote which says that the maximum printable length is dependent on a number of factors,

"The maximum printable length varies depending on the application, OS, and RIP used. The maximum printable length from Printer Driver 2006 is 50 feet."

Maybe the guy who wrote the software happened to be turning 59, and couldn't see letting the printer best him in this area :-)

--John
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ternst
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« Reply #73 on: January 07, 2007, 09:49:43 PM »
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I just turned 51 and can't tell the difference between roll and print length so I can't complain too much. I think at one time the Photoshop limit was eight feet long or something like that so it sounds like we are making progress...
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Haraldo
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« Reply #74 on: January 07, 2007, 10:38:40 PM »
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If indeed quality is equal, the important questions (to me) are none that have been debated yet, and they are cost of operation, speed and durability (of mechanics not heads.)  Also quality of support.  I think paper handling (sheets) will clearly go to Epson and Canon over HP.[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

[let see if my quotes work. Thanks Mark!]

Here's something by David Saffir on some cost differences:
[a href=\"http://tinyurl.com/ybp8cr]http://tinyurl.com/ybp8cr[/url]

And I see no reason why you couldn't use 17" rolls. Or 13". Or whatever. I'm going to try to find out.

Harald
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Haraldo
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Tom.D.Arch
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« Reply #75 on: January 07, 2007, 10:50:29 PM »
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Glad to hear about smaller rolls working!

Another question: with 11 inks and the gloss enhancer, I'm thinking that there's a chance that some inks or other won't be used before the chip in the ink cartridges 'expire' them.  I'm wondering if anyone could tell me when the 'birthdate' of their inks is and/or how long their built in life spans are.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #76 on: January 07, 2007, 10:58:52 PM »
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Harald,

RE: the URL you posted--one of the numbers for the Epson 9800 doesn't look right to me.  Joseph Holmes states that 90 ml of ink is used for the black ink swap.  The URL you posted says 230 ml.  That's quite a difference.  Hard to believe Joe got it wrong.

--John
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Haraldo
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« Reply #77 on: January 07, 2007, 11:12:38 PM »
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Another question: with 11 inks and the gloss enhancer, I'm thinking that there's a chance that some inks or other won't be used before the chip in the ink cartridges 'expire' them.  I'm wondering if anyone could tell me when the 'birthdate' of their inks is and/or how long their built in life spans are.

I just checked my Z3100, and my Green ink cartridge expires on March 1, 2010. The Blue is Jan 14, 2010. The Gloss Enhancer is Jan. 19, 2010. Go figure. (Note: because I have an early unit, I have no idea what production line the inks came from)

BTW, I've been testing the Gloss Enhancer and I am now the Official World's Expert on it ;-) (no one else to compete with at the moment). Let me know if you have questions about it.

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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Dan Wells
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« Reply #78 on: January 07, 2007, 11:26:53 PM »
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Dan:

I agree with what Andy just said - I made a normal profile with an external eyeone and compared prints with the profile the z3100 created and I can't tell any difference in the prints with the naked eye at normal viewing distances. I don't look at prints with microscopes or at gamut plots so this is the only thing that is of interest to me and to my customers. I'm a happy camper (with the automatic profiles), so I'll let this printer do all the work from now on...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94374\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What Andy said has been my experience as well (that the actual increase in gamut from 918 to 4096 patches is modest if it's there at all, but that gradations get better). However the increased image quality is achieved, I certainly do see improved image quality from the 4096 patch profiles (primarily in gradation, especially in pastel colors). On the iPF 5000, you'd need the two prints next to each other to see the difference, but if you had them next to each other, it would be obvious... I now profile all my paper with the Atkinson targets.

                                               -Dan
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #79 on: January 07, 2007, 11:42:10 PM »
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Here's something by David Saffir on some cost differences:
http://tinyurl.com/ybp8cr
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=94453\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

These 24"/44" printers are workhorses and not for hobbyists. The total ink costs can be considerable (though a lot less on Epson than the figures quoted above) but far less than you'll spend on quality paper. In terms of what you'd bill a print for, the ink cost is minor. Also, anyone worried about the life of open 130ml carts is looking at the WRONG printer. I don't know what it is on HP but it's six months on Epson.
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