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Author Topic: z3100 and gloss enhancer  (Read 7413 times)
free1000
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« on: January 09, 2007, 08:43:19 AM »
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Michaels Review of the z3100 says that the gloss enhancer "effectively eliminates" bronzing problems.

I have to say that from the demonstrations I had just before Christmas with an HP Rep, this isn't the case.

I had lustre and gloss demo prints produced from my images and I saw that there was still some gloss differential in the black areas of the images.  

The reason for this is the way that the z3100 mixes the GE with the inks.  This is quite different from the way the GE works on Epsons R1800 where the GE is effectively applied as a varnish.

The reason HP has done this is that by mixing the GE with the pigment, gloss differential can be reduced while still keeping the paper finish as expected. Eg: a lustre paper retains its semi-gloss appearence. If they adopted the Epson approach, you would just get a gloss varnish over a semigloss paper which I suppose would just look like a less than uniform gloss finish.

While I applaud the attempt, I think that they have got this wrong. As a result of this a gloss print does not end up with a high gloss appearance.

I really love the R1800 because a gloss print from that meets or exceeds the quality of a traditional photographic print. The gloss is really smooth and because of the brightness of the pigments has some of the spectactular qualities of the old Cibachrome prints.

With the HP, it seems that the way they have done things is that neither Lustre nor Gloss is really fantastic, though its better than it would be without the GE.

I'd rather have a perfect gloss or lustre finish than several different finishes that aren't quite perfect.

Still a fantastic printer, but you need to determine yourself if gloss differential is sufficiently eliminated for your own requirements. In my case I was a bit disappointed. There is a still work to be done to get the finish of non matt papers up to traditional photographic standards.
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Haraldo
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 03:51:59 PM »
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Michaels Review of the z3100 says that the gloss enhancer "effectively eliminates" bronzing problems.  I have to say that from the demonstrations I had just before Christmas with an HP Rep, this isn't the case.

I guess this is subjective, but I don't see any bronzing with Gloss Enhancer, on Satin or Gloss. (but I clearly see bronzing without) Are you sure you were looking at the Z3100 printer or at the GE-ed prints?

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The reason for this is the way that the z3100 mixes the GE with the inks.  This is quite different from the way the GE works on Epsons R1800 where the GE is effectively applied as a varnish.

Neither of them do an overall varnish. Epson techs explained this to me when GO first came out. I think it's basically the same idea although different in application.

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.... While I applaud the attempt, I think that they have got this wrong. As a result of this a gloss print does not end up with a high gloss appearance. ... With the HP, it seems that the way they have done things is that neither Lustre nor Gloss is really fantastic, though its better than it would be without the GE. I'd rather have a perfect gloss or lustre finish than several different finishes that aren't quite perfect.

To each his own, but my Z3100 Satin prints with GE look exactly as I expect: with a perfect "satiny" finish. I'm not a Glossy person so won't comment on that.

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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ternst
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 04:46:29 PM »
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My luster prints have a lovely luster to them and they look just great to me. My only complaint about this is that I have to use the full-page setting if I have any highlights that are blown out to 255 before they will be covered with the gloss, and then I get the gloss covering the white border too. And when I use the econo mode no gloss ink is laid down on the highlights - which begs the question - if the gloss ink is supposed to cover up the white areas, when you use the econo mode why does it use any gloss ink at all? I can only assume that it does mix with all the ink no matter what, and since the blown out areas have no ink at all there is no gloss.

I just ran a test and the gloss will cover up a 253 RGB area while in econo mode...
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Haraldo
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2007, 09:30:03 PM »
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My luster prints have a lovely luster to them and they look just great to me. My only complaint about this is that I have to use the full-page setting if I have any highlights that are blown out to 255 before they will be covered with the gloss, and then I get the gloss covering the white border too. And when I use the econo mode no gloss ink is laid down on the highlights - which begs the question - if the gloss ink is supposed to cover up the white areas, when you use the econo mode why does it use any gloss ink at all? I can only assume that it does mix with all the ink no matter what, and since the blown out areas have no ink at all there is no gloss. I just ran a test and the gloss will cover up a 253 RGB area while in econo mode...

Good points. Why do you have blown-out 255 highlights? ;-)

I was curious about the GE in this respect, too, so I did some experimenting on my newly installed Z3100. I printed an image with a lot of white highlights (but also shadows and midtones), including quite a few speculars (255, 255, 255) -- yes, I've got some too! And just to make it obvious, I added a couple of all-255 circles of white on a layer.

I first printed on high gloss media (HP Instant-Dry Gloss). As you say, the GE is not applied to 255 areas but it is blended into the other inked areas. After my testing, I don't think the GE is needed in the 255 areas on gloss as the glossiness of the paper is very close to the glossiness of the inks thus making the GE unnecessary. So no problem for me there for me.

Then I moved to Satin. I printed my same image again, in both Econo Mode and Whole Page GE modes. My conclusion: Yes, if I really look hard with the light reflecting off the print surface at just the right angle, I can see the inked and non-GE-inked differences in the 255 areas (in Econo Mode; Whole Page is perfect). But honestly, this would be a non-issue for me in the real world as at every other angle of viewing the Econo GE differences in the 255 areas are invisible.

So if HP wanted to add a fourth option ("econo plus 255 non-ink areas"), I wouldn't complain!

WORKAROUND THAT YOU'VE ALREADY DISCOVERED: I discussed this GE thing with one of the HP engineers, and he gave me a workaround tip for 255 areas. In Photoshop, select (color range) and fill all the 255 areas with 254, 254, 254. Print the GE in Econo Mode and all the pure white areas now have some GE blended in, albeit with one step down in brightness. The GE this way isn't perfect, but it's better.

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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nicknugent
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 12:29:54 AM »
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Good points. Why do you have blown-out 255 highlights? ;-)
...
WORKAROUND ... In Photoshop, select (color range) and fill all the 255 areas with 254, 254, 254. Print the GE in Econo Mode and all the pure white areas now have some GE blended in, albeit with one step down in brightness. The GE this way isn't perfect, but it's better.
...

Or add a level adjustment and set the Output Levels to "254". This may introduce but an imperceptible change to the image's overall level.

--nick
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free1000
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 03:52:46 AM »
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Interesting...

The test image I used was an architectural photograph with some parts of the structures close to black. Those areas of the prints show a distinct gloss differential, though I do admit it is subtle and would probably not be noticable in normal viewing conditions.

Maybe the sales rep didn't know how to drive the printer correctly, vis a vis the GE settings? You guys know immensely more about how this printer works than the rep did.

Yes, I would love the luxury of a printer which could do matt, lustre and gloss prints with textural qualities as good as photographic media. I guess I was pointing out that a printer which meets or exceeds traditional media in terms of surface texture does not yet exist. This printer, while excellent, is not that printer, at least not in the demos I had (2 prints of two different subjects on lustre and a further print on gloss media). The lustre paper was HP's own, and the gloss paper was an OEM one so obviously the gloss test isn't conclusive.  

I havent written off this printer, and it has many excellent attributes... I just remain to be convinced that it eliminates gloss differential issues. Note that Michaels review says that the printer 'effectively' eliminates gloss differential. In my mind this suggests that there is an element of subjectivity in determining just how good it is, and for what purposes...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 03:53:32 AM by free1000 » Logged

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neil snape
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 12:48:19 PM »
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Interesting...

 

I havent written off this printer, and it has many excellent attributes... I just remain to be convinced that it eliminates gloss differential issues. Note that Michaels review says that the printer 'effectively' eliminates gloss differential. In my mind this suggests that there is an element of subjectivity in determining just how good it is, and for what purposes...
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The GE does 2 things well. It greatly reduces bronzing and almost elimnates gloss differential.
You are correct that in transitions to black where the culprit ( light grey) is dropped out of the ink separation there is still a difference in gloss differential in dark shadow areas of modulation.
The algorithm of GE is complex and not comparable to Epson GLOP. It does things in a very different way and has a very different look.
What is worth noting is there are very large differences on third party media. Until a large user base is established the shared knowledge of which papers are best will be yet to be tried/discovered.
On Epson drivers there is a check point to do something similar i.e.; place some dot in highlights to reduce gloss diff in whites.
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ternst
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2007, 12:56:29 PM »
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"What is worth noting is there are very large differences on third party media."

Yup, it would be nice if HP actually got some of their own media in stock for us to try (like the pro satin - NOT available to the public yet). Until then we are forced to use other brands of media and perhaps will never even try the HP stuff. Poor business on their part - not to mention we can't get the ink to feed this printer yet...
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thompsonkirk
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2007, 10:02:57 PM »
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Having read this thread, I looked very very carefully at HP's sample satin prints at Macworld.  This is the surface usually called luster or semigloss - not like Hahnemuele's Satin.  

I could see no bronzing & could find no gloss differential in the highest highlights.    

The Canon wide format booth offered a semigloss BW print with no gloss differential, but I thought it looked fudged - a snow scene with the highlights toned down to Zone VII, so that they filled with pale photo grey ink.  In contrast, the HP highlights looked clear all the way to the top of the scale.  

I was really impressed by the Z3100 prints.  Perhaps ternst is right: the best results are obtained with their own media?  

Kirk
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neil snape
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2007, 01:41:56 AM »
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I was really impressed by the Z3100 prints.  Perhaps ternst is right: the best results are obtained with their own media? 

Kirk
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Most but not all HP media are optimised. For example you can buy (always could) Hahnemuhle PhotoRag in roll that is stock PhotoRag. IT is not at all the same as the highly optimised HP Smooth Fine Art media.
Most of the photo media are optimised though so the goal of HP increasing it's media portfolio has been well met and should build a good user base. I also should say, users of other than HP should try the HP / Hahnemuhle media . It is better than the stock Hahnemuhle PhotoRag and works exceptionally well in all pigment printers.
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ternst
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2007, 06:31:51 AM »
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I agree with Kirk and others that the HP pro satin prints look really nice - unfortunately HP still has none to sell us, and they just moved the expected ship date once again farther away. Will they ever get this paper in stock I wonder? I've been printing on InkJetArt Luster and the prints look terrific (the surface of the luster papers and the HP satin are quite different by the way), and since the HP pro satin is so much more expensive I may just stick with the tried and true luster.

I am about to run out of some of the inks for this printer and then my printer will be worthless since HP has none in stock (with the same delayed shipping date). Perhaps that is HPs plan - since they don't have the good paper available they want you to run out of ink and quit using the printer until they can ship the paper! I'm sure my moaning is getting annoying, but so are the reports of the great HP paper that is not available to the public yet, and the fact I'm about to run out of ink, leaving me with a $4000 paperweight...
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kers
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2007, 10:13:37 AM »
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I have the HP z3100 some three weeks now and already tried a lot of different papers on it - especially because it is so simple to calibrate them to the max.
What I have found out with the numurous glossy and satin papers is that the Gloss enhancer does not work well with all these media. On several ( third party) media you will notice the so called gloss differential. I also think that the gloss differential on glossy and satin papers without the Gloss enhancer are more prononounced on the z3100 and Canon ipf 5000 than on the epson- probably this has to do with the other way of putting the ink on the paper.
Some popular papers - like the innova F glossy paper -don't work very well with the gloss enhancer. Also you will see transport grooves on this and some other papers, probably caused by surface structure and drying time differences) ( but maybe that is only my problem?)

In other words : the printer and paper must match.
I still have the best results with the "HP Premium Instant-dry Photo Satin paper", also the spectrum of colours is largest here making it the paper of choice for me. The sresult on this paper is very good indeed with a beautiful satin gloss finish and no gloss differential at all.
So as it seems you are able to calibrate all papers but in fact will use one....

I really am curiuos to hear from other users what glossy paper works well on the z3100.
With the matte papers you have no problems of this kind ...
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 10:15:00 AM by kers » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2007, 10:39:38 AM »
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I've been getting great prints from the z3100 using InkJetArt Luster, Canon Heavyweight Glossy, and Canon Heavyweight Satin papers - no gloss differetial at all and the print surface is perfect to my eye (I generally use full coverage of the gloss ink). I would love to try the HP Pro Satin paper but they still don't have any available to the public and are now saying next month, maybe, perhaps, hum, maybe even they will stock it by 2008. Sounds to me like your printer has some issues with the "transport grooves", although I have not tried the Innova glossy yet - I only have 13x19 sheets of it and it is a pain to load them.

I think this printer can handle a wide range of papers and simply don't buy into the "xyz paper will work best with xyz printer" hype - with pigments I don't really think it matters all that much that you match brand names as long as you find a great paper that you like - and perhaps many of these papers are the same stock anyway with just different branding.
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Haraldo
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2007, 11:23:23 PM »
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Faking the GE for matte media...

I wanted to see how the GE would look on matte media and see if it could give a kind of "spot varnish" or similar type of look on the image itself, leaving the matte borders as they are. The Z's GE is not enabled for anything other than Gloss or Semigloss papers (for HP brand), so here's what I did:
-- Loaded HP HahnSmthFineArt but called it Satin on loading.
-- Created a new custom paper "faking GE" and calibrated a new Media Profile ("fake GE").
-- Printed on HPHahn but selected the new MP, which enabled the GE.
-- Tried Econo mode and Whole page with small dense image and white borders.

Looked very carefully at the prints but could NOT see ANY sign of GE on the image or the paper. (this agrees with Neil Snape's testing, even when he did multiple print-throughs)

Any other ideas for getting a "spot varnish" or "shine" type of effect on images (only) on matte/FA media with Gloss Enhancer?

Harald
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2008, 03:48:19 AM »
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Faking the GE for matte media...


Any other ideas for getting a "spot varnish" or "shine" type of effect on images (only) on matte/FA media with Gloss Enhancer?

Harald
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Harald,

Probably a bit late for an answer on that but I have tested the SIHL Baryt Photo Paper 290 satin 4804 (44" probably coded 3523 and called semi-glossy).
Whatever the name I would call it semi-matte and the gloss enhancer on the image just lifts it to satin. I guess there will be more (semi-) matte Fiber papers that show that effect.


Ernst Dinkla

try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
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neil snape
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2008, 03:59:40 AM »
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FWIW if you fool the printer into laying GE onto matte paper there si almost no visible change. It just absorbs into the surface, and you'll be hard pressed to find any trace even with a loupe.
As Ernst said, on semi matte it does change the surface, varying degrees depending on media. It can be used to simulate matte varnish for some thicker stock too.
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stevenh
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2008, 12:46:29 PM »
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I agree with Kirk and others that the HP pro satin prints look really nice - unfortunately HP still has none to sell us, and they just moved the expected ship date once again farther away. Will they ever get this paper in stock I wonder? I've been printing on InkJetArt Luster and the prints look terrific (the surface of the luster papers and the HP satin are quite different by the way), and since the HP pro satin is so much more expensive I may just stick with the tried and true luster.

I am about to run out of some of the inks for this printer and then my printer will be worthless since HP has none in stock (with the same delayed shipping date). Perhaps that is HPs plan - since they don't have the good paper available they want you to run out of ink and quit using the printer until they can ship the paper! I'm sure my moaning is getting annoying, but so are the reports of the great HP paper that is not available to the public yet, and the fact I'm about to run out of ink, leaving me with a $4000 paperweight...
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i have had no problem so far in getting ink from hp.  given my location, i called directly to sales for large format printers at hp. granted it was only for a twin pack of light grey but it arrived about 3 or 4 days later. no problems with the cold here in the upper midwest.
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Richard Galosy
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2008, 04:18:58 PM »
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i have had no problem so far in getting ink from hp.  given my location, i called directly to sales for large format printers at hp. granted it was only for a twin pack of light grey but it arrived about 3 or 4 days later. no problems with the cold here in the upper midwest.
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[SIZE=14]

On ink issue I get my Z3100 ink from ITSupplies .com. Good price and free shiiping for orders over $75.00. Also, many papers.

Richard Galosy
Lansing, MI 48906
517-719-1913
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Richard Galosy
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