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Author Topic: only 69 ml carts in 24-in Z2100 and Z3100?  (Read 9035 times)
sceptacon
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« on: January 14, 2007, 03:20:29 AM »
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I am after a 24-in printer or 17-in not sure yet which suits my needs the best. the hp australia website says that the ink cartridges are 69 ml for the 24-in versions of both z2100 and z3100, and 130 ml for the 44-in models of the z2100 and z3100.

I thought from reading earlier on this forum that the ink carts were 130 ml for either the 2100 or 3100, and that you had the option to buy them in twin-packs therefore 2 x 130 ml cartridges for 260 ml of total ink purchase when you need to replace them.

could this be then that for australian printers only the carts are smaller, ie half the size, than US or other destined printers.

I am a novice and have never done large format but am trying to work out some things before jumping. one of the most basic is the need to have big carts as you are paying less overall for the ink and getting a better deal, along with changing them less often when they run out. as it my intention to get into fine art reproduction (I am interested in photography but will be starting out printing paintings and art because that's what I have access to and it's what I know) I would think that probably the ink density of artwork will be higher (than that of say photography) and the coverage of the inks also high (less light highlights) effectively leading to high ink consumption.

everything that I have read about the new HP Z printers is desirable except for the price (again not exactly sure but I think approx $7000 AU for the 2100 and $13000 AU for the 3100? 24-in models-could be wrong about this though), and the small 69 ml carts.

on the other hand I click over to the Canon australia website and the ink carts for the iPF5000 are 130 ml and the price is I think around $3000 AU but I'll have to check that. This 5000 is only a 17-in model and it's carts are nearly double the size of the HP's 24-in printer. therefore the HP would want to be super economical but I don't think it could be enough to compensate for this.

I think the enhancements of the HP z's with the spectro and comprehensive user interface, reports etc are enough to lure me to obtain the cheaper (than 3100) Z2100 for all the convenience and effortlessness and time saved etc, over the Canon, not to mention the 24-in width, but perhaps not if the HP's carts are only 69 ml. am I thinking correctly here?

I can probably make a start with the Canon 5000's A2 print size (not too bad still fairly big), but could I be cutting out business by ignoring a need for 24-in sizes?

With Fine art (giclee) am I better off with 24-in size do you think. should I hold out for the iPF6000 24-in, take the plunge with the Z2100 despite the inks, or snap up the iPF5000 even though it's 17-in. Is the Z2100 exactly the same as the 3100 except for the gloss optimiser cart or are there numerous things lacking in the 2100 that the 3100 has, which makes the 2100 a bit too much of a poor mans cousin?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 03:23:37 AM by sceptacon » Logged
ricgal
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2007, 04:57:31 AM »
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They less than generously only give you 69ml starter carts-  replacements are 130ml
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sceptacon
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2007, 06:19:59 AM »
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that explains that then. you'd think there'd be some clarification from HP but I guess we find out for ourselves eventually.

hmm wonder if I should stretch the extra dollars for the Z2100 to obtain 24 inch width.. the Canon's still kinda attractive
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 06:22:53 AM by sceptacon » Logged
ternst
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007, 07:46:43 AM »
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Actually the 69ml tanks will leave you with about 85% of the cart left over after you have charged the printer, and this ink lasts a lot longer than it does in an Epson printer for example, so you really are starting out with a good bit of ink. With the z3100 series you are also getting some additional inks that you don't have with the z2100 (total of 11 plus the gloss instead of eight). That fact that you do fine art prints makes no difference in the size that you do - you can print fine art prints any size you want and there is no minimum or maximum. You simply need to decide if you want up to 24" wide or up to 17" wide (the minimum roll or sheet width on the z printers is 8.3" even though HP says the rolls are 18" minimum).

One thing to keep in mind - if you will be using sheets the z printers are terrible about loading sheets while the Canon has a cassette that holds a stack of sheets and loads them perfectly every time (up to 17" x 24"). You can still load sheets with the z printers but you have to do them one sheet at a time and you almost never get them loaded properly and have to spend several minutes getting them exactly correct - a real pain. Note that if you use really thick paper you would have to load one sheet at a time with the Canon too, but it would still be a lot quicker than with the z.

So those are two big considerations for you - the maximum print width you want to do, and if you want to do sheets very often. Oh, I guess there is a third (besides the price) - if you will be printing much gloss/luster paper then the z3100s would be my choice (I had the Canon and sold it to get the 3100 because 99% of my printing is on luster papers and that gloss ink make a big difference). Both printers will produce wonderful prints if you feed them good files!
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sceptacon
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007, 08:47:45 AM »
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ternst:
and this ink lasts a lot longer than it does in an Epson printer for example
because of Epsons clogging and black ink swapping I am assuming here

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ternst:
With the z3100 series you are also getting some additional inks that you don't have with the z2100 (total of 11 plus the gloss instead of eight).
Yes you get the extra color ink carts of Red, Green and Blue as well as Gloss Optimiser. As I have seen so far (only from reading not experience) the addition of the extra colors of RGB make a worthwhile difference to print performance but the standard Z2100 8 cart output is still very close overall. With price a consideration I can handle a slightly reduced gamut of the 8 color 2100 unless there are extra main advantages of the 3100 that I've not seen yet in addition to the colors.

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ternst:
the minimum roll or sheet width on the z printers is 8.3"
man that's a small roll, isn't that why sheets were invented? or am I missing something about roll benefits?

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ternst:
the Canon has a cassette that holds a stack of sheets and loads them perfectly every time (up to 17" x 24")
ooh yeah

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ternst:
You can still load sheets with the z printers but you have to do them one sheet at a time and you almost never get them loaded properly and have to spend several minutes getting them exactly correct - a real pain
So you do Roll with the Z almost exclusively then

on the papers, what would be the advantages of either sheets or rolls and one over the other. I thought rolls were connected/used with very large print sizes and sheets with smaller print sizes but you say the 24-in Z can handle very small 8.3" roll width too.

I am approaching this also economically. if I can order paper in large rolls if it's cheaper and then from this roll cut/create using a guillotine individual sheets for later sheet feeding could this work. or is it too much labor and paper handling - leading to damaged and marked paper. Should I buy my sheets and rolls separately and not cut rolls down into sheets.

as the paper seems to be the most expensive consumable maybe I should do more research on this area, read more posts. I'll do sheets if it works out cheaper or rolls if they are cheaper, in terms of the price of buying the paper.

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ternst:
Both printers will produce wonderful prints if you feed them good files!
unique content is what it's about
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 08:49:23 AM by sceptacon » Logged
Haraldo
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2007, 09:53:51 PM »
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... I am approaching this also economically. if I can order paper in large rolls if it's cheaper and then from this roll cut/create using a guillotine individual sheets for later sheet feeding could this work. or is it too much labor and paper handling - leading to damaged and marked paper. Should I buy my sheets and rolls separately and not cut rolls down into sheets.  as the paper seems to be the most expensive consumable maybe I should do more research on this area, read more posts. I'll do sheets if it works out cheaper or rolls if they are cheaper, in terms of the price of buying the paper.

One thing to keep in mind: it's not the size of the ink cart, it's the cost to make the prints that counts (if you're looking at economics). You might want to read David Saffir's new article on this. Google for "Hidden Costs of Inkjet Printing"

Also, you asked about the 8.3" rolls for the Z printers... that's the MINIMUM roll size. You can print on rolls up to the max size of the printer (width), although rolls usually come in standard sizes like 24", 36", 42", 44"...

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Haraldo
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Tom.D.Arch
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2007, 10:26:21 PM »
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A little math that might make a difference:  (all of this is for the US MSRP and in US$)

Z2100 24" = $3,400.00, ships with 69ml x 8 tanks = 552ml
Z3100 24" = $4,100.00, ships with 69ml x 12 tanks = 828 ml

The difference in up front costs is $700.00

So, assuming US$0.50 per ml of ink (yes, I'm counting the gloss enhancer as an ink, and yes, it's a bit cheaper per ml, but let's keep it simple), the actual hardware costs are:

Z2100 24" = $3,400 - $276 = $3,124
Z3100 24" = $4,100 - $414 = $3,686

So the difference in hardware costs is US$562.00.  I don't know if that $138 is enough to rationalize the purchase....
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ternst
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2007, 05:10:31 AM »
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sceptacon:

On the roll paper vs. cutup sheets issue - I actually use a 17" roll for about 90% of my prints on the z3100, even for 11x14s - I just turn them sideways and use a 14" length of the roll (I like a lot of border and normally would use a full 13x19 sheet anyway for this) - I don't have to do any manual cutting. It you wanted to you could print two 11x14's side-by-side on a 16" length of the 24" paper, but you would not have wide borders on the short side of the prints and you would have to cut them apart manually (if you do much paper cutting you really need a rotary trimmer). The 17" roll can handle prints up to 16x24 or whatever. When I need to print larger I just put in the 24" roll and then can do everything else.

Individual sheet feeding is so bad with this printer I would never get the printer if you used sheets very often - other than the HP dj130 (which has both 24" roll capacity and a cassette for up so 18x24 sheets), there is no 24" printer on the market that is very good with sheets, although I don't know about the Canon 44" printer (or what their new ipf6000 24" printer will look like since no one will tell me). The Epson 7800 is better at individual sheet feed than the HP z3100 is, although it still is one sheet at a time. You can always gang print on any of these printers (put more than one size print on a section of a roll), but then you have to do all the cutting by hand. I don't recommend cutting down the rolls into individual sheets before printing since you still have the sheet-feeding issue and still have curl (unless you d-roll first), plus you can easily damage the print. So really, if you do a lot of sheet printing, you are stuck with 17" width (and the Canon is the best here at the moment), or go with a 24" printer and figure out the best method for you. By the way even though it would seem so, rolls are not always cheaper than sheets, especially if you figure in some of the waste that you might generate. However for unattended volume printing, there is nothing like printing on a roll, especially with the z printers - you just set it and forget it.

One other note - you can leave the roll loaded and ready to print on the z printers and will not get the dimples on the leading edge of the print like you do with some printers - namely the HP dj 130 or Epson printers. This is true of the Canon ipf5000 as well (you can leave the roll loaded with no problem). With the other printers you pretty much have to unload the roll if you are not going to print again right away (in fact on my 130 I could not even leave it more than an hour without the dimples showing up), or trim off the first several inches before you print.

Oh yes, and if you really are interested in ink costs why don't you get one of the 44" Canons - you can get 700ml ink carts for them! But you probably would need to take out a loan to buy a full set!
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macz5024
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2007, 01:32:23 AM »
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sceptacon:

Individual sheet feeding is so bad with this printer I would never get the printer if you used sheets very often - other than the HP dj130 (which has both 24" roll capacity and a cassette for up so 18x24 sheets), there is no 24" printer on the market that is very good with sheets, although I don't know about the Canon 44" printer (or what their new ipf6000 24" printer will look like since no one will tell me). The Epson 7800 is better at individual sheet feed than the HP z3100 is, although it still is one sheet at a time. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=95949\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am just deciding whether to replace an Epson 9800 by a Z3100 (44 inch). I am doing fineart printing on both glossy and matte paper (Crane SilverRag and MuseoMax) - heavy papers (365 gsm)! As I very much like the large boards (35x47 inch) I was guessing how the the Z3100 would handle these boards then. With the 9800 loading and aligning is quite simple and precise. What would you guess about handling in the 3100?
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Christopher
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2007, 04:10:43 AM »
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I am just deciding whether to replace an Epson 9800 by a Z3100 (44 inch). I am doing fineart printing on both glossy and matte paper (Crane SilverRag and MuseoMax) - heavy papers (365 gsm)! As I very much like the large boards (35x47 inch) I was guessing how the the Z3100 would handle these boards then. With the 9800 loading and aligning is quite simple and precise. What would you guess about handling in the 3100?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96308\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I really think it has a lot to do how you are doing it. I'got it  a day ago and I have really no problems with feeding larger papers, but perhaps everone does itr diffrent ^^
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sceptacon
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2007, 09:46:07 AM »
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A little math that might make a difference: (all of this is for the US MSRP and in US$)

Z2100 24" = $3,400.00, ships with 69ml x 8 tanks = 552ml
Z3100 24" = $4,100.00, ships with 69ml x 12 tanks = 828 ml

there's someone already on ebay.au selling the Z2100 24" and 44" for AU$6,820 and AU$12,500. I still haven't got a fix on aussie pricing for the Z3100 though. if it were to follow Tom.D.Arch has written above then maybe only a similar small difference in up front costs to acquire the printer over Z2100, say AU$1000 therefore around AU8,000? Then again US$3,400.00 is a lot lower than AU$6,820 already so maybe I'm dreaming. If the Z3100 does turn out to be much bigger dollars for me to buy here I wonder if buying one from the U.S and getting it shipped to Australia would be practical? after all it's all boxed up.

I just got off the phone to my partner (an artist) and he balked at my suggestion of getting a Canon iPF5000 for our business, he thought the size too small for prints of his work. he doesn't know much about printers or the tech side but his thoughts tend to be intuitive so I listen. it's in both of our best interests. I have thoroughly researched the Canon and think it would be up to the job and the paper handling options it has is attractive as well. So anyway now I have got off the idea of getting the cheaper canon and making more of a serious investment in bigger format. I think it could be for the best. would a dealer be better then ebay merchant perhaps but I dunno about this.

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I really think it has a lot to do how you are doing it. I'got it a day ago and I have really no problems with feeding larger papers, but perhaps everone does itr diffrent ^^

I noticed Christopher in your other post below that a friend gives you access to bigger prints but that this was getting expensive for you. you discovered you needed to go grow into a bigger size printing. Now you have 44". I cannot afford one myself, and am anticipating that 24" will be enough to kick me off, make some money, then get a 44 to add on. Not having to go outside for production is certainly worth the investment don't you think? - the extra time, hassle, surrendering of control, poorer margins. but I just can't swing the budget for a hugey. I can, but I won't (hmmm).

LF 44" Fine Art Printer?

interesting in seeing what exactly separates the 2100 from the 3100 24" models (other then missing GE, R, G, B and one of the black tanks from 'bigger' brother): on a site selling the pigments inks for the printers, the shop items there:

"
Black/Red Printhead - C9409A, for Designjet Z3100
Blue/Green Printhead - C9408A, for Designjet Z3100
Gloss Enhancer/Gray Printhead - C9410A, for Designjet Z3100
(not all the printheads there's 3 more I think for Z3100)
-
Light Magenta and Light Cyan Printhead for B9180/z2100
Magenta and Yellow Printhead for B9180/z2100
Matte Black and Cyan Printhead for B9180/z2100
Photo Black and Light Gray Printhead for B9180/z2100
(all the printheads for 8-color Z2100 indicated)
"

from the way they've got it presented it looks like the R, G, B, and GE inks are obviously exclusive to the 3100, but the other inks are the same stock item for both 2100 and 3100. but with the print heads is the 2100 using the same ones from the small B9180 while the 3100 gets treated to other better print heads. so are the print heads different between 2100/3100 and if so how much different.

so then is it that the 3100 is a more serious machine for high end photography, with the gloss optimiser and the extra black, but the 2100 is very close on the color work. this probably won't matter too much to me then because I'm doing mostly fine art. wondering about this point, would I not need the gloss optimiser as much doing abstract prints than a photographer reproducing their work?

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I am just deciding whether to replace an Epson 9800 by a Z3100 (44 inch). I am doing fineart printing on both glossy and matte paper (Crane SilverRag and MuseoMax) - heavy papers (365 gsm)!

I was wondering about the need for semi glossy and glossy papers with fine art reproduction. Am I wrong in that these papers are typically more used with photo printing instead? are mattes far and away the mainstay or is gloss right up there for printing of abstract paintings too. I am really looking forward to getting into photography later so trying to accomodate it as well in my printer but just not straight away. would I really only need a matte paper, and a canvas to do fine art. Another question is does it make sense to offer clients of your prints 2 versions of a paper type - ie for matte paper a 'cheap' paper options and an 'expensive' paper option, so they can choose. if they want to save dollars you could give them the cheaper print for a lower price, while allowing other well-heeled clients the premium paper to really showcase your work. or do you just offer one top quality paper of the matte version. As well as customer benefits, this could mean cheaper to buy from suppliers the reduced quality gear and more flexibility with the cashflow.

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By the way even though it would seem so, rolls are not always cheaper than sheets, especially if you figure in some of the waste that you might generate. However for unattended volume printing, there is nothing like printing on a roll, especially with the z printers - you just set it and forget it

can you just get the roll to feed through and it produces print after print along the roll and cuts each print off after it finishes it and then continues on with the printing of the next print. do the prints just fall down into the hammock and they don't smudge the inks when they land on top of the other prints. also for d-curl, as the prints come off the roll do you leave them and they flatten out naturally or do you have to press them or something? I will be mailing the finished prints to clients (ie internet/mail order) so should I leave them curly and poke them in mailing tubes or do I need to do something like d-curl them first, let them dry for a few days (a 'cure?'), then re-roll up before packing into mailing tubes and getting a courier to pick up?

Actually when I thought about it you are right. although paper sheets have the ease of already being cut and 'ready', the rolls struck me as probably being cheaper because they are a bigger volume thing than a packet of sheets and also they would store more efficiently in the suppliers warehouse (? correct me if I'm wrong). If I'm doing a lot of prints the margins in the supply like this would make a difference, ie rolls are the way to go for instance. I'm not sure if waste paper could be re-used, certainly my artist partner could snap up off-cuts for mixed media montages etc, on original works.

one of my last queries is coating the prints. can the prints be sold to clients off the printer or do I need to coat them with some kind of 'liquid laminate'.

- is the coating mandatory for preservation of the print therefore I should get set up applying it after printing and before selling?
- can I use a single coating type for canvas and all papers?
- how is the coating applied?
- should I charge extra in terms of a non-coated and coated print?

the last thing I want is problematic buyers of my prints because down the track colours have been scuffed or whatever.

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f you do much paper cutting you really need a rotary trimmer

cheers I'll add this possession to my 'package'.

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I like a lot of border and normally would use a full 13x19 sheet anyway for this

are borders common and is there specific occassions when a border is necessary (ie when framing). for example if a customer buys a print off me and they know they are wanting to have it framed at some point, then when they specify their print to me I can allow them to have a border of white around the edge (the print will need to be smaller but hey that's life pal)

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One thing to keep in mind: it's not the size of the ink cart, it's the cost to make the prints that counts (if you're looking at economics). You might want to read David Saffir's new article on this. Google for "Hidden Costs of Inkjet Printing"

I'll check this out thanks

(EDIT: sorry I'm not clear on how to insert the name of each person next to the QUOTE lettering for each yet)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 09:48:16 AM by sceptacon » Logged
Tom.D.Arch
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2007, 10:50:59 AM »
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Actually when I thought about it you are right. although paper sheets have the ease of already being cut and 'ready', the rolls struck me as probably being cheaper because they are a bigger volume thing than a packet of sheets and also they would store more efficiently in the suppliers warehouse (? correct me if I'm wrong). If I'm doing a lot of prints the margins in the supply like this would make a difference, ie rolls are the way to go for instance. I'm not sure if waste paper could be re-used, certainly my artist partner could snap up off-cuts for mixed media montages etc, on original works.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96582\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

From what everyone with a Z Series printer is saying, they are really only useful with roll media.  There are lots of comments about how difficult it is to feed individual sheets (the device is evidently very picky about getting the sheet media aligned perfectly)  Someone commented on it taking literally a minute or two to get just one sheet aligned and fed properly.  Personally, I wouldn't mind doing this once in a long while for a special project, but I plan on using roll media almost exclusively.

Since you are sharing the device with a mixed media artist, I wonder if your partner would be totally happy with the difficulty involved in feeding sheets.  I am inferring from the reviews that the device's 'pickiness' about sheet alignment means that it will only accept media with crisp, straight, right-angle (rectangular) sides - would this be too limiting for your partner's work?

(But I do wonder wether it would be possible with LARGE sheets to just roll them up on an empty core and load them that way...?)
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sceptacon
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2007, 09:03:16 PM »
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if I can just simply stick to rolls then this is what I should do then, with the Z printer. having not being really experienced with the fine art workflow I am not able to see how the limitations of not being able to sheet feed and use sheets can hamper me or create problems with my projects. if there are no severe limitations to not being able to sheet feed, then I could ignore sheets altogether and use the roll all the time, like yourself.

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Since you are sharing the device with a mixed media artist, I wonder if your partner would be totally happy with the difficulty involved in feeding sheets. I am inferring from the reviews that the device's 'pickiness' about sheet alignment means that it will only accept media with crisp, straight, right-angle (rectangular) sides - would this be too limiting for your partner's work?

my partner will be producing original pieces and from here the idea is that we will capture these and have them digitally, to produce unlimited prints. so he sort of has his side and then I gather his work and look after the production of ongoing prints. I'll be purchasing the Z paper supplies and so on and managing the printer. There may be some times when this model changes and he wants to put his own specific pages through of his own paper though, for the production of the core artwork, but I guess with the Z as it can't handle especially thick media and sheet feeding is picky it won't be a sort of utility type printer for experimenting with core production of original art projects but rather reproducing final art pieces that have been digitised, and ready to be done and dusted.

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(But I do wonder wether it would be possible with LARGE sheets to just roll them up on an empty core and load them that way...?)

interesting idea
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2007, 09:43:31 PM »
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there's someone already on ebay.au selling the Z2100 24" and 44" for AU$6,820 and AU$12,500. I still haven't got a fix on aussie pricing for the Z3100 though.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96582\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It doesn't look like HP here has got their act together regarding pricing. You could get an Epson 7800 for AUD $5K new or even a second hand 7600 (for maybe half this if you can find one) which will give you essentially the same results on the papers you're looking at (rag and canvas). Both have a better sheet feed path and will handle most anything. These may not be the printers of the moment, but they're proven solid machines for the work you're proposing to do. Given the number of queries you have about doing this, it doesn't make sense to over capitalize while you're learning the ropes. Where are you? Maybe you could talk with somebody already doing something similar.

How are you planning to digitize the originals? Canikons would be pushing it for this size, but could work if there isn't much fine detail in the originals.
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sceptacon
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2007, 11:40:52 PM »
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It doesn't look like HP here has got their act together regarding pricing. You could get an Epson 7800 for AUD $5K new or even a second hand 7600 (for maybe half this if you can find one) which will give you essentially the same results on the papers you're looking at (rag and canvas). Both have a better sheet feed path and will handle most anything. These may not be the printers of the moment, but they're proven solid machines for the work you're proposing to do.

I suppose the concern I have got about the Epsons and you've heard it before is that from what I hear they clog a bit and if I want to print on photo paper (try my hand at photography instead of art) then I have to waste the inks and it's a lot of ink. you are right on the plus side they are proven because they have been out a while and the issues are clarified but for me clogging and ink wasting/swapping is a deal buster. the Z2100 is a couple grand higher than the 7800 and it's a bit of a stretch I know but with the spectro and the fact it's a brand new onto the market thing I can weigh these points into the argument. the Z2100 has the same number of inks as the 7800, and I think the only disadvantage it has then physically (other than being more expensive) is the media thickness allowed is thinner than Epson. Maybe I can ignore sheets altogether, I don't know if this is practical or not.

If I register for GST before I buy then I can spend AU$6,820 on the printer but claim back the GST which is $620 so the printer would cost $6200. and then I can depreciate it over the years so the initial wack is reduced somewhat. But you're right it pays to shop around sometimes and keep an open mind rather than be seduced by the latest and greatest, that's one of the dilemmas.

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How are you planning to digitize the originals? Canikons would be pushing it for this size, but could work if there isn't much fine detail in the originals

I'm glad you asked, as this is a step that I haven't taken yet and need to. I heard that a good capture is more important than the printing even. What's a Canikon? could you kindly explain more for me. given that I'm looking at a 24" printer then I need to print at least 24" by 36" as an example print size, but even bigger ideally (say I buy a bigger printer later on) so the capture should contain enough resolution to enable a final print that would be 44" by the appropriate length.

From what I've read if the item I need to scan is small enough and not too three dimensional or textured then placing it on a flatbed scanner is best, easiest and fast. but my partners pieces are much too big, so, is photography the way to go? if so, would a Canon EOS 12 megapixel do it? they're around 5 grand. somehow I get the feeling that a photograph isn't quite as good as a direct scan from a scanner or am I wrong. I think they both use the same CCD device in them or something so maybe a photo is just as good. however then there's the questions of lighting, which type of camera, what's a digital back and do I need one. it's  whole new field and really while I'd like to get into professional capture one day to add to my services and understanding, right know I just need to capture the pieces in question so I can start the fine art printing and making some dough.
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2007, 12:23:31 AM »
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I suppose the concern I have got about the Epsons and you've heard it before is that from what I hear they clog a bit and if I want to print on photo paper (try my hand at photography instead of art) then I have to waste the inks and it's a lot of ink. you are right on the plus side they are proven because they have been out a while and the issues are clarified but for me clogging and ink wasting/swapping is a deal buster. the Z2100 is a couple grand higher than the 7800 and it's a bit of a stretch I know but with the spectro and the fact it's a brand new onto the market thing I can weigh these points into the argument. the Z2100 has the same number of inks as the 7800, and I think the only disadvantage it has then physically (other than being more expensive) is the media thickness allowed is thinner than Epson. Maybe I can ignore sheets altogether, I don't know if this is practical or not.

If I register for GST before I buy then I can spend AU$6,820 on the printer but claim back the GST which is $620 so the printer would cost $6200. and then I can depreciate it over the years so the initial wack is reduced somewhat. But you're right it pays to shop around sometimes and keep an open mind rather than be seduced by the latest and greatest, that's one of the dilemmas.
I'm glad you asked, as this is a step that I haven't taken yet and need to. I heard that a good capture is more important than the printing even. What's a Canikon? could you kindly explain more for me. given that I'm looking at a 24" printer then I need to print at least 24" by 36" as an example print size, but even bigger ideally (say I buy a bigger printer later on) so the capture should contain enough resolution to enable a final print that would be 44" by the appropriate length.

From what I've read if the item I need to scan is small enough and not too three dimensional or textured then placing it on a flatbed scanner is best, easiest and fast. but my partners pieces are much too big, so, is photography the way to go? if so, would a Canon EOS 12 megapixel do it? they're around 5 grand. somehow I get the feeling that a photograph isn't quite as good as a direct scan from a scanner or am I wrong. I think they both use the same CCD device in them or something so maybe a photo is just as good. however then there's the questions of lighting, which type of camera, what's a digital back and do I need one. it's  whole new field and really while I'd like to get into professional capture one day to add to my services and understanding, right know I just need to capture the pieces in question so I can start the fine art printing and making some dough.
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The current range of Epson printers (other than the 3800) aren't designed for concurrent glossy and matte work and it's crazy to use them for such. I run two printers, one with PK and the other with MK. You don't need much of a printer for PK (at least I don't). It's maybe nitpicking but the x800 series are eight colour printers (three blacks in both glossy and matte mode). Irrespective it's the output on the media you want to use that's important. This you can only evaluate first hand, not from second/third-hand reports. When the printers are up and running, I would think ink costs would be much the same across brands. You'll spend a lot more on quality papers.

Regarding capture, I was referring to typical Canon and Nikon DSLRs. It really depends on the originals but for fine details these run out of puff at about 16x20. If you're going to be doing this professionally you'll need to move up to a multishot back, BetterLight or scanned 6x7 or 4x5. A beat-up RB67 could be the cheapest way to go unless you're doing some volume. You'll then need to find someone locally to scan them. If however the works don't depend on fine details (eg. large oils or acrylics) a DSLR may be fine. I've seen some great repro work done with fairly modest digital gear ... but it does depend on the originals.

It doesn't come across on gear-focussed sites like this, but process and expertise are more important than having the latest. Newer gear may make things easier for novices (plus incorporate minor advances) but once you learn to work with the materials, and use your own eye to develop a workflow, you'll maybe appreciate what I'm saying. The HP printers look great (apart from the paper path) but the GP versions (which you may need to get the best from them) could be a big financial commitment for someone that's just starting out.
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sceptacon
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2007, 07:54:10 AM »
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Where are you? Maybe you could talk with somebody already doing something similar

I am in Perth.

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How are you planning to digitize the originals? Canikons would be pushing it for this size, but could work if there isn't much fine detail in the originals.

Quote
Regarding capture, I was referring to typical Canon and Nikon DSLRs. It really depends on the originals but for fine details these run out of puff at about 16x20. If you're going to be doing this professionally you'll need to move up to a multishot back, BetterLight or scanned 6x7 or 4x5. A beat-up RB67 could be the cheapest way to go unless you're doing some volume. You'll then need to find someone locally to scan them. If however the works don't depend on fine details (eg. large oils or acrylics) a DSLR may be fine. I've seen some great repro work done with fairly modest digital gear ... but it does depend on the originals

some great advice and has clarified for me. so basically if I want ok output but not the ultimate then I could spend a couple grand (guessing) on a digital SLR camera which means I could manage the workflow easiest way possible. and for this would you advise investing in a lighting kit and what are the pros and cons with lighting and the actual shoot then? do I shut out all natural light and other light sources and use a special single light type/source to illuminate the art piece, then shoot away with my new DSLR device and download it to my computer.

the originals are interesting they are quite detailed actually, mixed media art with a lot of color and shapes going on. but they are not photorealistic in their quality very abstract instead.

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It really depends on the originals but for fine details these run out of puff at about 16x20

so I can print up to about 16 by 20 inches finished printed size using a DSLR without upsizing the original capture/scan inside photoshop. Can you provide an example DSLR for this, such as a model around this range and the megapixels it has?

When you say scanned 6x7 or 4x5 you're talking about using a film camera to take the pictures and then scan them. can you please familiarise me with the film in particular what is 6x7 or 4x5. I have a Minolta AF 35-70 film camera which I bought in 1995 but virtually used it only once or twice and it's as new. I am a not very informed about photography. do I put just normal film in it and then is this film scanned a certain way on certain equipment to produce a high file size, or do I need to add additional hardware to the camera, use a special film, I do not know. Do you know what my camera is capable of? is it equivalent to or better than a "A beat-up RB67?"

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If you're going to be doing this professionally you'll need to move up to a multishot back, BetterLight

is a multishot back something that you stick onto your DSLR camera or is it a camera in it's own right.
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2007, 08:35:45 AM »
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I am in Perth.
some great advice and has clarified for me. so basically if I want ok output but not the ultimate then I could spend a couple grand (guessing) on a digital SLR camera which means I could manage the workflow easiest way possible. and for this would you advise investing in a lighting kit and what are the pros and cons with lighting and the actual shoot then? do I shut out all natural light and other light sources and use a special single light type/source to illuminate the art piece, then shoot away with my new DSLR device and download it to my computer.

the originals are interesting they are quite detailed actually, mixed media art with a lot of color and shapes going on. but they are not photorealistic in their quality very abstract instead.
so I can print up to about 16 by 20 inches finished printed size using a DSLR without upsizing the original capture/scan inside photoshop. Can you provide an example DSLR for this, such as a model around this range and the megapixels it has?

When you say scanned 6x7 or 4x5 you're talking about using a film camera to take the pictures and then scan them. can you please familiarise me with the film in particular what is 6x7 or 4x5. I have a Minolta AF 35-70 film camera which I bought in 1995 but virtually used it only once or twice and it's as new. I am a not very informed about photography. do I put just normal film in it and then is this film scanned a certain way on certain equipment to produce a high file size, or do I need to add additional hardware to the camera, use a special film, I do not know. Do you know what my camera is capable of? is it equivalent to or better than a "A beat-up RB67?"
is a multishot back something that you stick onto your DSLR camera or is it a camera in it's own right.
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I don't know anybody in Perth. Maybe you could talk with somebody in the photography section at the Art Gallery of WA and arrange a visit to see what they're doing. They may be able to offer some tips for someone starting out. Lighting and shooting artworks is a real craft. People I know doing this have developed their skills over decades.

As for what you use, you could just rent some gear to see what works. DSLRs will give you much the same quality. You'll have to spend heaps to move up to the next level. A cheaper way to go if the quality from DSLRs isn't acceptable is to just shoot film. A 6x7cm camera (like a Mamiya RB67) will give you very acceptable results but you'll have to pay someone to scan (digitize) them on a dedicated film scanner. Talk to your local camera store and see what they recommend. They may also have some secondhand gear you can use going cheap.

Getting the camera and printer is just the start. Good luck in your venture!
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sceptacon
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2007, 09:41:03 AM »
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thanks Stephen your responses make very good sense! you have helped me out a lot. I will decide upon D-SLR, or film options. it seems (although I have yet to research) that medium and large format digital gear would be out of my price range.
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2007, 05:21:33 PM »
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Some o fthe comments posted here strongly discourage the purchase of a Z3100 for single sheets.

By contrast, ithe review on Digital Outback states that "We most of the time using single sheets and don't recommend the "Easy Paper Feed" method as you may end up more often with skewed paper. The Z3100 checks for precise paper feed and does not tolerate skewed paper."

I've read the manual and the longer loading procedure (not easy paper feed) doesn't involve that many extra steps.  Aside from pushing a few buttons on the front, the procedure is similar to the Epson 4000, except the 4000 loads from the front rather than the back like the HP.

If the HP is picky and ensures proper alignment of paper, what harm in that?  Who wants to print on large and expensive single sheet media if it is crooked?

I have a Z3100 on back order.  I will use single sheet media 60% of the time, and rolls the rest.

If I'm careful in loading the paper evenly, how difficult is it?  

Specifically, how many misfeeds do you get where you have to load the paper twice?

(2)  The 4000 uses a straight load procedure from the front to the back for fine art sheets where the media is not bent at all.  

By contrast, The Z3100 loads from back and top in a "bent" loading procedure.  I assume it loads from the tray on the top, feeds it out the front to check length and alignment, and then feeds it back to the rear/top tray before printing?

Have you noticed any problems loading heavier media, like Photo Rag 316 or 460 gsm?  

(The Z3100 manual says it can load paper up to 500g/m2 -- I assume that means 500 gsm?)
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