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Author Topic: Z3100 Spectrophotometer Value?  (Read 7601 times)
cogden
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« on: March 09, 2007, 04:41:33 PM »
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Sorry, I have one more basic confusion about the purpose/use/value of the Z3100 Spectrophotometer...

I keep reading (in these wonderfully instructive forums) about HP sending current Z3100 owners new profiles.  So, to echo Rosolo's part of a related post, why does HP need to send out profiles when the printer's big differentiator is making profiles?

Is it that HP is experimenting with firmware modifications which changes how profiles are created/interpreted and thus sending out profiles that simply couldn't be created without their new firmware?  

OR is it that the user's arbitrary (and confusing) choice of "paper type" before profiling makes such a huge difference that people are doing it wrong (without any other recourse) and that HP are making profiles based on diff paper assumptions?

OR is that HP is using other, non-Z3100 profiling tools to make the new profiles based on things like a given paper's ink absorption qualities that the built-in profiler can't take into account?
   --> if that's so, then doesn't that hugely diminish the Z3100 spectro's usefulness and may as well just get specially made profiles for given printers?

OR is the spectrophotometer really more about keeping the printer calibrated/linearized (I assume the two are the same thing?) to keep the color consistent given a set profile?

Also, how does the QUALITY of the built-in spectro compare to stand-alone device (ie, often times even if from the same vendor - as I understand the spectro is from Xrite - the OEM'd versions are not fully featured, lower quality, and/or not easily upgraded)?

Lastly, any thoughts on whether it's better to have an integrated unit (that theoretically is streamlined into the process, covered under same warranty, no multi-vendor finger pointing) or a standalone unit (that may be used outside just the Z3100 - ie, on other printers, displays, LCDs, etc.)?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2007, 06:02:17 PM by cogden » Logged
marty m
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2007, 08:28:52 PM »
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EXCELLENT QUESTIONS.

Robert or Christopher -- your response ?
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eronald
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2007, 10:48:11 PM »
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Also, how does the QUALITY of the built-in spectro compare to stand-alone device (ie, often times even if from the same vendor - as I understand the spectro is from Xrite - the OEM'd versions are not fully featured,
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The spectro is Gretag/Xrite 's EyeOne in yet another incarnation. I expect *very good* inter-instrument agreement with any "EyeOne" stand-alone unit from that company (EyeonePro, iSis) , although I don't know about the UV/ non UV stuff and what the measurement aperture is. Whether inter-instrument agreement is to be expected with the old Xrite line (DTP41, DTP70) is a different question, but as only the new line seems to have a future it's also a moot question. The excellent DTP-70 is handing in its dinner pail. I have an iSis in for testing.

The software is a very different question. Clearly, anyone already using Monaco or PMP will want to continue to use Monaco or PMP.

On the other hand effect of integration shouldn't be underestimated. Many users cannot and do not want to navigate the complexities of color management, or wouldn't do so if it weren't integrated. Now, Bang! they have decent color -Ths argument is presented somewhat more forcibly in my blog entry at

[a href=\"http://photofeedback.blogspot.com/2007/02/idiot-proof-color-pays-off-for-hp.html]http://photofeedback.blogspot.com/2007/02/...off-for-hp.html[/url]


 
Edmund
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 12:29:54 AM by eronald » Logged
michael
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2007, 06:48:12 AM »
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The Spectro in the Z3100 is not an Xrite (other than the fact that Xrite and Gretag are now one company). It's an Eye One from GM.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the built-in spectro, but I'm not sure why since it is described extensively in the available literature as well as my review.

Firstly, it's an Eye One, using the same core technology as the unit that one buys commerically. The target printed is different than one that Eye One match software prints and therefore one can't easliy compare them in an A / B manner, but I have created profiles with my Z3100 and then with my stand-alone Eye One and don't find significant differences between them.

Color mamagement for many photographers and printers is a black hole. If they are not techno geeks, they find the whole process confusing and intimidating. With HP's approach one simply presses a single button and a half hour later a high quality profile has automatically been created and placed in the computer's correct directory for immediate use. Nothing could be simpler.

If one is a geek there's nothing to prevent having an external device and making 9000 patch profiles a-la Bill Atkinson. But frankly, for most people (and count me in that catagory) the incremental differences will small. And when you get that sample of an interesting new paper, guess which product you'll use to profile it with.

Is the temperature changing in your studio? How about the humidity? Worried that the paper that you're using is drying out, or that the inks are chaging becomes they havn't been replaced in a  while? Press a button and 10 minutes later your printer has been linearized for that days temperature, humidity and supplies condition.

This is the way all high-end printers will be made in the future.

I'm old enough to remember when camera started to have through the lens metering. Oh no!  How do you get a quality meter inside a camera? Can't be as good as my old Weston Master IV hand-held. Can't do indident readings. No big dial to choose EV variations from; etc, etc.

Finally, there has been much ado on this forum about Z3100 colour problems. Yes, there may be some, with some papers. But overall after having printed with virtually every Epson, Canon and HP made over the past 10 years I can say that the Z3100 is the most productive and satisfying printer I've ever used. In a few years, when all pro grade printers have built in spectros we'll wonder how we ever lived without them.

Michael
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cogden
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2007, 08:48:11 AM »
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Thanks for your response Michael!

Perhaps one of the reasons for misunderstandings (despite your helpful articles and videos) is that I and others (if multiple comments across multiple posts are any indication) are still confused as to why HP would then need to send current Z3100 owners new profiles (ie, what's different about HP's profiles and those one would create directly)?

To that point, shouldn't profiles created by one's very own Z3100 be more accurate than a "generic" one (ie, if there were unit to unit printer/spectro variation)?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 08:51:39 AM by cogden » Logged
eronald
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2007, 08:48:35 AM »
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This is the way all high-end printers will be made in the future.

I'm old enough to remember when camera started to have through the lens metering. Oh no! How do you get a quality meter inside a camera? Can't be as good as my old Weston Master IV hand-held. Can't do incident readings. No big dial to choose EV variations from; etc, etc.

In a few years, when all pro grade printers have built in spectros we'll wonder how we ever lived without them.

Michael
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think Michael hits the nail on the head, once gain. The built-in spectro on the HP is the equivalent of the meter bolted on to the prism of Nikon FT and FTn models. It's the way of the future.

But I'm not afraid that the spectro will get rid of me, the color geek; on the contrary, people are suddenly going to call me in because they will notice that their image subject, screens, proofs and final output don't match. Cars didn't get rid of car mechanics, they helped car mechanics to breed

On the other hand, the HP print quality hasn't got magically better just because of the spectro. Print quality also depends on heads and inks. In the same way the Nikon didn't magically get better lenses or better quality than a contemporary Hasselblad just because of the SLR meter bolted on.

My blog entry on this specific topic is still worth reading, even though the language is a bit exagerated. As usual.
[a href=\"http://photofeedback.blogspot.com/2007/02/idiot-proof-color-pays-off-for-hp.html]http://photofeedback.blogspot.com/2007/02/...off-for-hp.html[/url]

Edmund
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 09:01:15 AM by eronald » Logged
Panascape
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2007, 09:54:47 AM »
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Thanks for your response Michael!

Perhaps one of the reasons for misunderstandings (despite your helpful articles and videos) is that I and others (if multiple comments across multiple posts are any indication) are still confused as to why HP would then need to send current Z3100 owners new profiles (ie, what's different about HP's profiles and those one would create directly)?

To that point, shouldn't profiles created by one's very own Z3100 be more accurate than a "generic" one (ie, if there were unit to unit printer/spectro variation)?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105815\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am not sure why HP shipped new profiles. the only thing I can think of is that they were trying to save users the expense and hassel of having to re-profile all the papers.
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michael
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2007, 10:02:47 AM »
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HP has one foot in the old world and one foot in the new.

Z3100 users are free to use "canned" profiles, or to create their own. Since it takes 30 minutes, along with some ink and paper to make a profile many users will simply use the generic one if they only will be using a particular paper once or twice.

I imagine that if HP didn't produce canned profiles and update there would be people that would compain then as well.

Michael
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cogden
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2007, 10:13:41 AM »
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I certainly can understand that's why HP ships standard profiles (with new printers), but it doesn't explain why HP is sending people experiencing the gamut problems custom profiles (see many other LL threads).

The only thing that makes sense to me is that HP is experimenting with their firmware and fundamentally changing HOW the profiles are made.

If that's true, that's the bad news short-term (ie, they are still working out serious kinks/tradeoffs), but that could be good news long-term (ie, HP can maximize fundamental assumptions on how the profiles are made/inks are mixed and thus how the gamut manifests itself).

Blue-skying here, but maybe they're moving one-step closer to achieving my ideal - the ability to automate optimized custom rendering on a per-image basis!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 10:14:34 AM by cogden » Logged
cogden
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2007, 10:32:10 AM »
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PS. to make it simple will also also require also a device that can tell how much ink is optimal for a given paper.

As others have noted (eg, http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....l%20mat&st=120), guessing the correct HP paper classification (ie, "media mode") when profilingon the Z3100 makes a huge difference in how much ink is laid down and thus the actual gamut that results.

As a result, imagine being able to tell the printer to analyze a given image and to recommend a paper and, within the paper's toleranaces, an amount of ink coverage (ie, custom gamut maximization)!!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 10:39:04 AM by cogden » Logged
Panascape
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2007, 10:34:53 AM »
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The only thing that makes sense to me is that HP is experimenting with their firmware and fundamentally changing HOW the profiles are made.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105841\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Right now, everything that I have from Hp indicates that they have only been experimenting with the colour mixing in the firmware. They have not indicated to me in any correspondence that they are playing with the profiling.

If they did then they would have to update the APS system each time they did.
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Panascape
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2007, 10:36:03 AM »
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PS. to make it simple will also also require also a device that can tell how much ink is optimal for a given paper.

As others have noted (eg, http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....l%20mat&st=120), guessing the correct HP paper classification (ie, "media mode") when profilingon the Z3100 makes a huge difference in how much ink is laid down and thus the actual gamut that results.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105848\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This has been suggested to Hp amongst other things and ideas have been submitted on how to do this.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 10:36:27 AM by Panascape » Logged
neil snape
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2007, 06:10:15 PM »
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PS. to make it simple will also also require also a device that can tell how much ink is optimal for a given paper.

As others have noted (eg, http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....l%20mat&st=120), guessing the correct HP paper classification (ie, "media mode") when profilingon the Z3100 makes a huge difference in how much ink is laid down and thus the actual gamut that results.

As a result, imagine being able to tell the printer to analyze a given image and to recommend a paper and, within the paper's toleranaces, an amount of ink coverage (ie, custom gamut maximization)!!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105848\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The media selections have always been a part of profiling. In the media set ups ink limiting is assumed for any approximative paper type if third party. They actually added some more set ups recently BTW. They are not cryptic either. Thick Fine Art Paper (>250g/m2) is one example.
As far as iterative profiling which can tackle automation of ink limiting and Lab ink limiting that will remain something done in third party rips such as EFI.
The preset ink limiting should be in any case within reasoanble ranges of corrections within the profile. Perhaps some media have very strange behaviour that will go outside. All the main media resellers/manufacturers offer media samples and they are usually well within these tolerance ranges.
If you choose a media type that has nothing to do with the actual media , yes the smoothness of the grads and possibly gamut will be greatly affected , but I don't really understand the point of such an exercise.

To answer to a post below.
Yes there have been some changes to the actual profiles on top of some separations. The Z 3100 has been out for what 3 months or so?
It would have been better if all this was buckled down before, as there will be some mdeia type set ups that will be affected. They are improved though , and with either the canned profiles or better the custom profiles the overall look preserved in most cases. The tweaks will not change what was easily printed , rather improves on areas that could be improved upon.
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neil snape
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2007, 06:18:36 PM »
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Right now, everything that I have from Hp indicates that they have only been experimenting with the colour mixing in the firmware. They have not indicated to me in any correspondence that they are playing with the profiling.

If they did then they would have to update the APS system each time they did.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105853\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
APS is optional. The profiles that are canned or sent out are not necessarily made with APS.
As Micahel said, the differences between externally created ProfileMaker profiles are in agreement with APS. Are there differences? Yes, in my case as I have a rev a spectro, and the Z uses a LED rev spectro which emits almost or no UV in essence a UV cut filter.
Dev on APS is not finished yet either, but the color engine behind APS and or PM will stay the same, AFAIK.
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neil snape
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2007, 06:22:01 PM »
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I imagine that if HP didn't produce canned profiles and update there would be people that would compain then as well.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105835\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The canned profiles are essential for a default mode. Anyone who uses them though would be best to create a custom as soon as they can. Even better with APS if they have that option.
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neil snape
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2007, 06:31:14 PM »
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Perhaps one of the reasons for misunderstandings (despite your helpful articles and videos) is that I and others (if multiple comments across multiple posts are any indication) are still confused as to why HP would then need to send current Z3100 owners new profiles (ie, what's different about HP's profiles and those one would create directly)?

To that point, shouldn't profiles created by one's very own Z3100 be more accurate than a "generic" one (ie, if there were unit to unit printer/spectro variation)?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105815\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

See my other post, they are nedded for a zeroed default. If the users make there own profiles then they are there only to have a base default colour system, nothing more.
The state of the writing system, the enviromental conditions change output. The calibrations bring most of this into line, but calibrations are based on solid ink tank colours, not on compaosite colours.
That is why not only calibrations are an important control step, but they have to be done with custom profiling.
The LED i1 is or has a the potential to have less variation between instruments. I haven't actaully run control sets through the printer to prove this , so if anyone else has done so post back. The problem with the i1 incandescent lamp is the variation after the lamp is cold, warm to hot.
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rdonson
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2007, 07:37:38 PM »
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The LED i1 is or has a the potential to have less variation between instruments. I haven't actaully run control sets through the printer to prove this , so if anyone else has done so post back. The problem with the i1 incandescent lamp is the variation after the lamp is cold, warm to hot.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=106123\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Neil, what does the LED i1 mean with regards to papers with OBAs?  More accurate profiles?
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
neil snape
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2007, 02:59:15 AM »
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Neil, what does the LED i1 mean with regards to papers with OBAs?  More accurate profiles?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=106142\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Always a tricky question which there are no real answers to.
LED lights used in the embedded i1 spectro are narrow band enough that they don't produce any light containing UV in the 380-410 nm bands. Efectively this is the same as using an UV cut filter.
HP feel that since 99% of all inkjet media have optical brighteners , the profiles created inside the Z printers use UV cut off to better adapt the white point.
I'm still on the other side, as in the viewing conditions there is varying amounts of UV in any other than tungsten light.
So the highlights are controlled to reflect a truer purity by not being influenced by the UV excitation in the media for control conditions.
In real world viewing there are so many variables to say which is right or wrong , better or lesser quality of profiles UV or not.
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rdonson
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2007, 11:48:24 AM »
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Always a tricky question which there are no real answers to.
LED lights used in the embedded i1 spectro are narrow band enough that they don't produce any light containing UV in the 380-410 nm bands. Efectively this is the same as using an UV cut filter.
HP feel that since 99% of all inkjet media have optical brighteners , the profiles created inside the Z printers use UV cut off to better adapt the white point.
I'm still on the other side, as in the viewing conditions there is varying amounts of UV in any other than tungsten light.
So the highlights are controlled to reflect a truer purity by not being influenced by the UV excitation in the media for control conditions.
In real world viewing there are so many variables to say which is right or wrong , better or lesser quality of profiles UV or not.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=106185\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for taking the time to share, Neil!  Very helpful.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
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