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Author Topic: HP Z3100 Problems with Colour Gamut  (Read 119225 times)
Panascape
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« on: February 07, 2007, 11:22:51 AM »
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Before I got my Z3100 last week, a friend who got his two weeks earlier was complaining that his printer has a very narrow red gamut. This was in the back of my mind but my initial prints from my Z3100 seemed to be fine until today.

I got a job today from a client with very deep maroon coloured reds that fade to black. I printed it on my Epson 4000 which I know is properly calibrated and it looked great. Then I printed it on the Z3100 and the result was shocking, all the red was washed out and all the images were flat. (I can’t post the images here due to the client not allowing it as it has not be run publicly yet)

I remember seeing this same problem last week when I tried using Epson Enhanced Matt in the z3100 but I just put this down to a paper incompatibility.

If I Softproof the image in CS2 (monitor calibrated with OPTIX XR pro) using absolute colormetric for the rendering intent,  the image with the Epson profile has about 4% of the image that is out of gamut, but with the z3100 profiles about 80% of the image is out of gamut.

This got me suspicious so I tried with other device profiles and got similar results with the z3100 always being by far the worst.

Next I printed out non colour managed IT8 charts on the 4000 and the z3100. The first noticeable difference is that the patches that should be closest to Red, Green and Blue are very washed out and desaturated on the z3100 with the red being more orangey yellow than red.

My assumption was that if the desaturated red was causing a problem then the green and blue should also. I took a variety of images with dark blues and greens and in every case there were substantial areas that were out of gamut for the z3100.

To check to see there were no head problems I printed a diagnostic print and I am confused as to why the red ink prints a light peachy colour, the blue ink prints purple and the green ink prints a lime green while the remaining inks print correctly.

This is really worrying me as I am the second person to come across this. My supplier has alerted HP but I was wondering if anyone else has seen this?

Thanks

Robert
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adiallo
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 11:30:59 AM »
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The blue will definitely look purple. Same thing on the Canon by the way. Red is orangeish and green is bright lime. These are as they should be. One of the many reasons we photographers aren't color scientists.  
Are you printing out of Photoshop CS2 on a Mac? Are you running 9.0.2? See http://h41186.www4.hp.com/country/us/en/ne...?pageseq=357613
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 11:34:26 AM by adiallo » Logged

Panascape
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 11:33:56 AM »
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I am running on an XP Sp2 Machine. I have the latest printer drivers and I have also run all possible clibrations on the printer.

I tested my monitor's profile with my Monaco and borrowed another to make double sure and the monitor is spot on.

I just spoke to my collegue and he is driving his with an EFI RIP. He has been onto EFI for a while about this he syas they are aparently are bringing out an update to the RIP to combat this problem. Unfortunately this doesn’t help me as I am using the windows driver.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 12:54:45 PM by Panascape » Logged
Jim Cole
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2007, 12:01:59 PM »
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Robert,

I'm curiuos to know if you have figured out your gamut issue yet. Have you had any contact with HP support?

I know when I saw output from these printers at the Imaging Expo in San Antonio a few weeks ago, that the ability to produce saturated pure reds was definitely present. They were printing an image of red flowers on a green plant and the colors were excellent. They were, however, printing through the Image Print RIP that the IP rep was demonstrating. I'm not sure if I saw the same print coming from the HP driver.

I am interested in your solving this issue, since I am on the HP waiting list for a 44" model.

Good luck,
Jim
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Jim Cole
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kers
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2007, 12:59:46 PM »
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For what I have experienced - the Z3100 is very sensitive to the type of paper-

The Hp Premium Instant-dry Photo Satin- works the best for dark deep colours so I have learned.
and also has a very nice soft gloss. It is the paper with the widest gamut (have not been able to use the professional type of this paper yet)

Aso the red is indeed the one of he weakest colours in the spectrum- surely the Canon wins here. The green and yellow are very good of the z3100. Also the blue is strong.

Maybe it also has to do with the type of profiling. The Z3100 basis profiling does seem to me what is called GCR- wich means that the near neutral colours are built up with gray as a basis and not so much with the colours. This enables easier neutral printing but maybe narrows down the gamut in the dark colours- indeed my printer uses gray more than the other colours.

I guess that to create the stability of the colours ( 200 Years??) it also narrowed down the choice of colour pigments- but they are still very intense...
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Pieter Kers
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Panascape
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2007, 01:17:20 PM »
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Hi Jim

Initially there was only my printer and my colleagues’ printer that seemed to have this problem and HP seemed to feel that it was only the printers in South Africa that were suffering.

As of today, HP South Africa’s own printer is also able to produce the problem. The problem exists with all media types and is easily demonstrable by softproofing with the canned profiles and switching the gamut warning on.

A raw IT8 chart seems to indicate the problem. The Z3100 is not printing the pure red, green, or blue patches properly but rather prints a washed out version of the colour. The reds that it can’t print would all have a large black component but because the default red has not saturation the black is overwhelming the red component and the result is a lifeless grey mess. The same applies to the blue and green.

Test were run today with a z3100 driven by an Onyx RIP and they claim that the problem did not occur but it did with the HP driver…

If you want to test the problem yourself, make patches with the following values 52, 32, 33 - 37, 12, 15 - 24, 4, 4. The z3100 cannot print these anywhere near correctly, as softproofing in CS2 and then switching on the gamut warning will show.

The 4000 battles a little but still produces a very acceptable print, the z3100 just produces a mess.

Robert
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Panascape
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2007, 01:19:10 PM »
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Kers, I agree that the printer is very neutral but it is almost eliminating all dark colours and just printing a tinted grey.
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kers
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 01:47:40 PM »
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Kers, I agree that the printer is very neutral but it is almost eliminating all dark colours and just printing a tinted grey.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99905\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

hello Robert,
I don't know if the so called - to me still mysterious- " advanced profiling solution" gives you the freedom to chooce to built up the colours differently ( your way); with more colours in the shadows.
Maybe more patches than the 400 are needed to achieve this.
With the 11 colourpigments this must be possible.
HP wants everybody to achieve at least very neutral prints and also wants to leave open a reason to buy this ...APS ?
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Pieter Kers
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Panascape
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2007, 01:55:43 PM »
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I have ordered the APS and have been told that it should be here sometime next week. I would like to think this will solve the problem but I suspect the issues lies with the way the printer is colour mixing. If you look aqt the red, green and blue inks straight out of the cartridge, they are beautiful vibrant colours, if you look at the way the printer is using them you start to wonder if you are not better off without them.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 01:56:30 PM by Panascape » Logged
Christopher
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2007, 03:07:46 PM »
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First of all are these RGB numbers ? Because that doesn't help us at all without the colour space you are using...

EDIT:
If they are sRGB all printers I have can print them without any problem (R2400,4000 and Z3100)
If I take it as ProPhotoRAG than it is the same with all three printers, on some papers all three are out of gamut on others only one. BUT THIS IS THE SAME WITH ALL THREE PRINTERS. Even the 4000 and 2400 which have both custom profiles with over 4000 colour patches.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 03:12:51 PM by Christopher » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2007, 03:14:42 PM »
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I have ordered the APS and have been told that it should be here sometime next week. I would like to think this will solve the problem but I suspect the issues lies with the way the printer is colour mixing. If you look aqt the red, green and blue inks straight out of the cartridge, they are beautiful vibrant colours, if you look at the way the printer is using them you start to wonder if you are not better off without them.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99913\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As soon as you have it please post some information here. A LOT of people want to know what it is about. Especially about custom profile targets with more patches (3000+)

Thanks
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Panascape
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2007, 03:24:41 PM »
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Sorry, they are RGB.

I agree that on both the 4000 and 3100, they are out of gamut, but on my 4000, they still print as an acceptable red colour which my client will accept, on the z3100 they are past the point where the client will accept the print.

Are you printing with the Hp driver or a RIP?

I have had 4 more jobs with dark reds today from different clients, all 4 were printed on the 4000 and the z3100 on HP Super heavy weight matte paper.

In all 4 cases the clients were happy to accept the Epson prints but reject the HP prints without knowing from which printer they came from.

I will let you know as soon I the APS package arrives.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 03:44:33 PM by Panascape » Logged
Christopher
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2007, 03:42:28 PM »
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They are RGB. I agree that on both the 4000 they are out of gamut, but on my 4000, they still print as an acceptable red colour which my client will accept, on the z3100 they are past the point where the clinet will accept the print.

I have had 4 more jobs with dark reds today from different clients, all 4 were printed on the 4000 and the z3100 on HP Super heavy weight matte paper.

In all 4 cases the clients were happy to accepot the Epson prints but reject the HP prints without knowing from which printer they came from.

I will let you know as soon I the APS package arrives.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=99925\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Still the question which colourspace :-P sRGB will look quite diffrent from ProPhotoRGB or WideGamutRGB
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Panascape
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2007, 03:46:35 PM »
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Adobe RGB 1988.

There are two interesting things you may want to try, 1) porint out a diagnostic print from the HP and have a look at the ink colours, I was previously not aware that the printer shipped with peach, purple and lime green inks. 2) print out an uncalibrated IT8 chart on the 4000 and the Hp and look at the pure Red, Green and Blue areas.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 04:10:17 PM by Panascape » Logged
Tom.D.Arch
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2007, 09:32:24 AM »
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Given that he's seeing the problem when soft proofing in PS, it sounds like the problem may be in the profile that the printer generated.  Could someone here who is using a similar paper and NOT seeing the gamut problem share an appropriate profile with him?
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Panascape
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2007, 10:27:58 AM »
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Tom, I am using the canned profiles from HP which Barcelona claim are fine. I spent a lot of today working with HP South Africa. We have noticed a possible problem in that the ink in the Red, Green and Blue cartridges does not resemble the colour tag on the side of the cartridge.

The red ink is peach, the blue ink is purple and the green ink is neon lime.

Would anyone be prepared to print a diagnostic print from their z3100’s “image quality maintenance menu” and could they confirm if their red, green and blue inks are also a strange colour. Could you also please let me know what firmware version the printer is running?

Indecently there are now 4 of us who have discovered this problem. I have also discovered a problem where my black and white prints are far to saturated and are losing detail. HP South Africa has apparently also seen this since the update to .06 firmware.

Thanks

Robert
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Christopher
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2007, 12:01:07 PM »
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Tom, I am using the canned profiles from HP which Barcelona claim are fine. I spent a lot of today working with HP South Africa. We have noticed a possible problem in that the ink in the Red, Green and Blue cartridges does not resemble the colour tag on the side of the cartridge.

The red ink is peach, the blue ink is purple and the green ink is neon lime.

Would anyone be prepared to print a diagnostic print from their z3100’s “image quality maintenance menu” and could they confirm if their red, green and blue inks are also a strange colour. Could you also please let me know what firmware version the printer is running?

Indecently there are now 4 of us who have discovered this problem. I have also discovered a problem where my black and white prints are far to saturated and are losing detail. HP South Africa has apparently also seen this since the update to .06 firmware.

Thanks

Robert
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100039\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Now it really depends on what you mean with these colours. Any picture on them ? I mean I have a print lying here and the blue colour looks like purple but I woudn't call the green lime. The red hm ist not really what I would call a stong red. So any picture of what it should look like or how yours look ?
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Mussi_Spectraflow
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2007, 02:28:08 PM »
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Robert,

    There are a couple insights I can offer that may be helpful. First off I would check what firmware you have. Our printer shipped(we have had it for a while now) with 4.0.0.4. The initial testing with this configuration yielded mixed results. We saw reversals in the blues and found that values below and L* of 40 especially reds lacked saturation compared to the Epson K3. When we upgraded to the latest firmware 4.0.0.6 these problems were fixed.
    These two printers have a different gamut. In values below L* 50 the two printers gamut's diverge and you may see the advantage go to the Epson on one image and the HP on the other. In high L* values you will see the HP usually has more gamut. So it's a bit tricky to say one printer has the larger gamut and leave it at that, it really depends on the usable gamut, which of course depends on your image.
    Lastly the profile you use, and the means by which you create it, can produce radically different results. The canned profiles are okay. If your reproducing well exposed photographs on a glossy media I think you will find them generally good.
This also holds true for the profiles created using the Easy profile creator. What I have found is that many of the issues you have brought up can be resolved by using a "better" profile. I have three test prints in front of me. One made with the canned profile, one with profiler using the imported numbers read by the on-board spectro, and one from EFI colorproof XF using the Color Manager Package. First, they all look "good". What I do notice are fairly drastic differences in the rendering of the blues, shadow transitions, and low L* saturation in the reds. I also have a print from my Epson 9800 out of Image Print. On the print from the HP using the canned profile the Epson dark saturated red is better, but on the HP image using the Profiler profile the dark saturated red is better on the HP. The APS is still a work in progress, and my initial testing is cautiously optimistic.
       Also, as you noticed, the red looks orange and the blue is more of a violet. I've talked to some of the HP engineers and this is by design. The colors by themselves do look a little strange, but it's designed to work in a complimentary manner with the rest of the inks to expand the gamut. So it just a matter of getting the printer to make the best use of the colors it has at it's disposal.
       This is a nice piece of hardware. It's brand new and it will take time to figure out the best way to drive it. Think of the difference the Atkinson profiles made to someone using an Epson 7/9600 series printer vs. the canned Epson profiles. That said there are inherent design differences and HP made a choice to target gamut above L* 50. They were shooting for percentages, assuming that on a majority of images there would be a usable gamut increase. I think this is good logic, although as your aware there will be times when this is not an advantage.
      I hope this helps somewhat. Please feel free to ping me with any questions. There is also a gamut comparison movie that should be up on our website by now, that illustrates some of the issues I've mentioned. www.spectraflow.com


Regards-

Julian Mussi
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Julian Mussi

Spectraflow, Color Workflow Solutions
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Christopher
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2007, 03:33:14 PM »
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Robert,

    There are a couple insights I can offer that may be helpful. First off I would check what firmware you have. Our printer shipped(we have had it for a while now) with 4.0.0.4. The initial testing with this configuration yielded mixed results. We saw reversals in the blues and found that values below and L* of 40 especially reds lacked saturation compared to the Epson K3. When we upgraded to the latest firmware 4.0.0.6 these problems were fixed.
    These two printers have a different gamut. In values below L* 50 the two printers gamut's diverge and you may see the advantage go to the Epson on one image and the HP on the other. In high L* values you will see the HP usually has more gamut. So it's a bit tricky to say one printer has the larger gamut and leave it at that, it really depends on the usable gamut, which of course depends on your image.
    Lastly the profile you use, and the means by which you create it, can produce radically different results. The canned profiles are okay. If your reproducing well exposed photographs on a glossy media I think you will find them generally good.
This also holds true for the profiles created using the Easy profile creator. What I have found is that many of the issues you have brought up can be resolved by using a "better" profile. I have three test prints in front of me. One made with the canned profile, one with profiler using the imported numbers read by the on-board spectro, and one from EFI colorproof XF using the Color Manager Package. First, they all look "good". What I do notice are fairly drastic differences in the rendering of the blues, shadow transitions, and low L* saturation in the reds. I also have a print from my Epson 9800 out of Image Print. On the print from the HP using the canned profile the Epson dark saturated red is better, but on the HP image using the Profiler profile the dark saturated red is better on the HP. The APS is still a work in progress, and my initial testing is cautiously optimistic.
       Also, as you noticed, the red looks orange and the blue is more of a violet. I've talked to some of the HP engineers and this is by design. The colors by themselves do look a little strange, but it's designed to work in a complimentary manner with the rest of the inks to expand the gamut. So it just a matter of getting the printer to make the best use of the colors it has at it's disposal.
       This is a nice piece of hardware. It's brand new and it will take time to figure out the best way to drive it. Think of the difference the Atkinson profiles made to someone using an Epson 7/9600 series printer vs. the canned Epson profiles. That said there are inherent design differences and HP made a choice to target gamut above L* 50. They were shooting for percentages, assuming that on a majority of images there would be a usable gamut increase. I think this is good logic, although as your aware there will be times when this is not an advantage.
      I hope this helps somewhat. Please feel free to ping me with any questions. There is also a gamut comparison movie that should be up on our website by now, that illustrates some of the issues I've mentioned. www.spectraflow.com
Regards-

Julian Mussi
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100074\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Does that mean you own the HP APS ? Could you comment on diffrent options ? Like which targets can you use ? How many profiling patches ? Can you make custom targets ?

Thanks
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Mussi_Spectraflow
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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2007, 05:19:08 PM »
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Does that mean you own the HP APS ? Could you comment on diffrent options ? Like which targets can you use ? How many profiling patches ? Can you make custom targets ?

Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100087\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You get three RGB target options if I rememeber. the basic easy color, a mid sized and TC9.18 target. You also have the option of generating a CMYK profile(ECI), printing it through your RIP, and then measuring it in the printer and generating a profile. I bet by the time it ships it will be an even more robust solution.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2007, 05:20:27 PM by Mussi_Spectraflow » Logged

Julian Mussi

Spectraflow, Color Workflow Solutions
www.Spectraflow.com
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