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Author Topic: Do not buy HP APS for Z3100  (Read 6712 times)
marty m
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« on: March 31, 2007, 03:03:21 PM »
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This is an update on the earlier thread on this subject:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=15543

The short summary is this -- the primary reason for standard (RGB) printing to buy the $700 APS is to use the large 988 patch target, as it contains twice as many patches at the target included in the Easy software that comes with the Z3100.   (Those who buy it for CMYK prepress are in a different category.)

The APS 988 target will only print on paper that is 24" wide.  The Easy software, by contrast, reconfigures the patches into a block for sheets, or a long horizontal strip for roll paper, so that paper is not wasted.  The Easy software prints on smaller pieces of cut paper.  The very expensive APS, by contrast, does not reconfigure the patches, so it will only print on 24" wide paper, and it wastes paper because it prints in a longer vertical strip down the side of the roll.  It is profoundly ironic that the "easy" software was intelligently designed to reconfigure the patches (as is true of most profiling packages from Xrite and Gretag), and the extravagantly expensive APS has a moronic and crippled design that is limited to only 24" wide paper.

When a new paper is released, we all buy smaller cut sheet sizes to try it out.  With the Easy software you can profile those smaller cut sizes.  With the APS you are screwed and would not be able to profile the smaller cut sizes.  If new paper is not instantly released in a 24" size you are really screwed, as you couldn't profile with the APS at all.  (And that is normally the case.  Many new papers don't include the 24" size for many months and sometimes for up to a year.)

There is not one other expensive profiling package on the market that is limited to 24" wide paper.  (At least not that I'm aware of.  Feel free to correct me if you know of $700 profiling packages that say on the box "NOTE: ONLY PROFILES 24" PAPER!!")  

Gretag ripped off HP when they designed this, because Gretag would have never put their own name on software that is so crippled and limited.   Whatever HP paid Gretag for this, it was too much.  There is a sucker born every minute, and HP was the sucker when they took delivery of this software from Gretag.  If HP wasn't informed of this limitation by Gretag at the time that the software was delivered to HP (and Robert reported that HP was surprised to learn of this problem), then I go back to my first point -- HP was treated like a sucker by Gretag, because the software designers clearly knew about this limitation.  How could they not?

HP should be demanding that Gretag fix this as a top and urgent priority.  If Gretag refuses to do so, then HP needs to find a new business partner.  As I said above, all other profiling packages in this price range can profile smaller paper, including those from Gretag and Xrite.  If Gretag can't properly design software for HP, then HP should find a company that can do so.

None of the product information from HP lists this serious limitation in the APS, and any consumer would assume that the APS can profile smaller than 24" as it true for any other $700 profiling package.

I was told by HP tech support that there are no confirmed plans to fix this problem or release an upgrade.  Frankly, that was an astonishing statement, because it either reflected that HP won't admit what a brain-dead design this is, and/or they have already effectively abandoned the product.  (Either one is a good reason not to buy it.)

Robert (Panascape) said that this report is just plain wrong, and a software upgrade is in preparation and will be released -- specifically to fix this issue and allow profiling on smaller sized cut sheets and smaller sizes of rolls.

I have an RMA to return the software.  So I called back to HP and asked them, a second time, to double check.  They again said there are no confirmed plans, and if the ability to profile smaller than 24" is important to me, I should return the software.

Robert, can you double check with your sources in Spain, and ask them to get to the bottom of this?

Will there be a revision and fix to this or not?  Specifically, so that the APS can profile   13" or 17" rolls, and smaller cut sheets, for example, 13x19?   If so, can they provide at least a rough estimate as to when?  One month?  Two months?  Six months?

HP needs to clarify this once and for all, since we are getting diametrically opposite reports from different tech units of HP.  

What we need to know is what the design team of HP and Gretag are actually working on.

Robert, thanks very much.

In the meantime, I continue to recommend that no one should buy this software for the extravagant price of $700 until this problem is fixed.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 04:58:47 PM by marty m » Logged
rdonson
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2007, 04:34:43 PM »
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Marty, you're right.  The 24" limitation is a deal breaker for me.  I sure hope a fix is in the works.  As much as I'd like to buy the APS I'm not going to do so until a new release is available that let's me print 988 patch target to 8.5x11 in and A3, super B, etc.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 07:35:18 AM by rdonson » Logged

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Greg_E
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2007, 05:30:01 PM »
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How can you be sure that Gretag is the problem? What if HP decided that it should only work on the 24 inch rolls so that you would have to buy more paper?

If you want to see about fixes, you might want to contact Xrite and see what the plans are. It may have fallen to end of life like so many other things from the merger, but seeing that it uses the LED tachnology that they will be moving forward, I doubt it has been killed.
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marty m
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2007, 05:56:38 PM »
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How can you be sure that Gretag is the problem? What if HP decided that it should only work on the 24 inch rolls so that you would have to buy more paper?

If you want to see about fixes, you might want to contact Xrite and see what the plans are. It may have fallen to end of life like so many other things from the merger, but seeing that it uses the LED tachnology that they will be moving forward, I doubt it has been killed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109936\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The HP promotional material states that Gretag was their partner on the profiling software, and the Xrite web site includes a press release announcing this as well, and it specifically lists the APS.  I believe that the date on the press release on the Xrite web site is after the merger, not before.  Those are my sources.

HP sells the product, not Xrite.  HP supports the product, not Xrite.  It is HP that has the market clout to force Xrite and Gretag to fix the problem, not any of us.  It is HP that profits from the sale of crippled software, and it is HP that should be held responsible -- and held accountable.

As for the theory that this was deliberate to force the sale of 24" paper, well if that is the case, then none of my postings on this topic have been harsh enough.  According to that theory, HP did this deliberately, but didn't tell us that.  According to that theory (which I don't support), HP trapped us into buying the software, since HP knew that we would all assume that the APS would work with paper LESS than 24" -- just like all other profiling software at this price, especially since the HP promotional literature doesn't disclose this limitation.  We then discover the truth, and are forced to buy 24" paper to use the software.  (Assuming that 24" paper even exists, and as explained above, often doesn't when a new paper is released.)  

Rather than assuming that HP deceived us, misled us, and did it just to sell more 24" paper, I am assuming that HP was ripped off by Gretag.  Robert reported that HP in Spain was not aware of this limitation and was surprised when they learned of it, and that confirms my assumption in that regard.

The Gretag software designers clearly knew about the limitation, how could they not since they designed it, and apparently failed to disclose this limitation to HP judging by the reports in the previous thread.

HP should be angry at being so misled, and all of the market clout of HP should be demanding that Gretag fix the problem -- and do it as a top priority.

HP has done a pretty good job of responding to the problems discussed on this form, and doing so very rapidly --  I give them credit for that.  I only hope that HP will use their enormous corporate clout and muscle with Gretag and Xrite to fix the APS as well.

For better or worse, I must reply on the reports HP gave me in that regard, that they are not committed to fixing the problem.

Thus my request to Robert to try to get an authoritative report from the design team that this SPECIFIC problem will be fixed; that it will work with 13" or 17" wide paper at a minimum, and what a rough time frame is for the release of a fix.

FINAL AND IMPORTANT POINT -- My own tests confirm what other APS users reported, namely that the APS does result in better profiles than the Easy software, especially when using perceptual.  The APS results in improved shadows, better graduations in darker areas, and on test images, slightly deeper reds and slightly stronger or purer yellows.  

** So getting the APS fixed should be an important issue for all users of the Z3100. **

For better or worse, the Easy software is not at the same level as the APS.  So we all should hold HP accountable and demand that they fix the APS.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 06:34:58 PM by marty m » Logged
Greg_E
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2007, 06:37:47 PM »
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Just remember that HP approached Gretag to make this system, and the system was built to HP's specifications using Gretag technology. So I find it hard to believe that HP didn't ask for this limitation, since it would have required coding the APS differently from the EZ software. It would have been far more easy to just open up the larger patch size to work with the EZ software. Maybe it was an oversight in the software. Maybe it was by design. And maybe both sides conspired to make it this way. But once again I find it hard to believe that someone at HP didn't know about this. This is a classic case when two companies get together on a project. It is far easier for each company to point the finger of blame at the other and continue to ignore the problem. It gives each company a way out without fixing the problem. I'm no big fan of Gretag, that's why I bought Xrite products before the merger. I really think you (or someone that owns this system) should contact Xrite about this. They've been a very stand up company in the past, give them a chance to fix this, or at least point the finger back at HP. Use the contact form on their website and fill it in completely, I'm pretty sure that you will get an answer. You might also try calling them during the work week. But at any rate they deserve to be notified of the "flaw" before you rip them a new one.

As far as paper testing, you should be able to get a damn good idea of a new paper after the calibration/linearization and the 464 patch profile target. Good enough to know whether you would want to buy any rolls of the material.
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marty m
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2007, 06:44:51 PM »
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I really think you (or someone that owns this system) should contact Xrite about this. They've been a very stand up company in the past, give them a chance to fix this, or at least point the finger back at HP. Use the contact form on their website and fill it in completely, I'm pretty sure that you will get an answer. You might also try calling them during the work week. But at any rate they deserve to be notified of the "flaw" before you rip them a new one.

As far as paper testing, you should be able to get a damn good idea of a new paper after the calibration/linearization and the 464 patch profile target. Good enough to know whether you would want to buy any rolls of the material.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109947\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Greg, I will do so.  Among other points, I will refer them to this thread, and the previous thread.  I will report on any response I receive.

I'll bet that the response will be "Contact HP.  It is their product and they support it."  But maybe I'll be proven wrong.

In any case, what this opens is the possibility of the consumer being sent by each company to the other.  I prefer to hold the company responsible who sold the product and profited from the sale.

You're probably right that you can use the Easy software to test a new paper.  But if that paper then is not released on 24" rolls for many months, you wouldn't be able to benefit from the profiling improvements of the APS software.
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Greg_E
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2007, 06:55:34 PM »
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Every time I've contacted Xrite, they have responded. So I'm pretty sure that they will at least get back to you. Also ask them if they are going to make the Z3100 work with Colorport, that would provide a good solution to making it work with their Monaco Profiler software.

Now as far as fixing it, I spoke of the finger pointing because I've experienced this with other equipment in my regular job. You buy a $25,000 video camera, then conect it back to the remote truck with someone else's $30,000 Triax back, and there are problems. Each company points at the other and it may never get fixed. Same thing happened with the $25,000 cameras and the $10,000 intercom system, but the fix was only a few hundred dollars so the dealer or the camera manufacturer bought the solution. Of course it didn't help matters when we specifically asked the sales engineer if the camera system would work with the intercom without problems. We even had one of the designers from Japan come and look at the problem before they caved in and bought us what we needed.
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marty m
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2007, 07:37:46 PM »
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Every time I've contacted Xrite, they have responded. So I'm pretty sure that they will at least get back to you. Also ask them if they are going to make the Z3100 work with Colorport, that would provide a good solution to making it work with their Monaco Profiler software.

Now as far as fixing it, I spoke of the finger pointing because I've experienced this with other equipment in my regular job. You buy a $25,000 video camera, then conect it back to the remote truck with someone else's $30,000 Triax back, and there are problems. Each company points at the other and it may never get fixed. Same thing happened with the $25,000 cameras and the $10,000 intercom system, but the fix was only a few hundred dollars so the dealer or the camera manufacturer bought the solution. Of course it didn't help matters when we specifically asked the sales engineer if the camera system would work with the intercom without problems. We even had one of the designers from Japan come and look at the problem before they caved in and bought us what we needed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

On second thought, no, I will not contact Xrite.  HP marketed the APS, HP sold the APS, HP profits from the APS, it works only with a specific model of HP printer, namely the Z3100

So I hold HP accountable.  

Nor am I interested, even in the slightest, about whether it works with Colorport (which I don't own) or any other Xrite product.  

I purchased the APS on the advertised claim that it works with and is integrated with the Z3100.  Period.

Your analogy doesn't apply.  You are comparing the integration of electronic systems from separate companies.

We are talking about software marketed and sold by HP that can only work with a specific model of HP printer -- namely the Z3100.  This is an integrated system, and is sold and marketed by HP on that basis.  I am therefore holding HP accountable for their own marketing claims.  

Either this $700 software passes the laugh test as profiling system with the Z3100 or it doesn't.  

At the present time it flunks on the basis that it only works with maximum sized paper (24") in a printer that works with far smaller paper.

I won't respond further on this point.  HP is accountable, and it is HP that should contact Xrite and Gretag.  It is HP that was royally ripped off by Xrite and Gretag.  I say it again, and for the final time --

Gretag and Xrite would never sell this software under their own name, not when it is so severly crippled, and suffers from such serious limitation.  But Gretag and Xrite are more than happy to sell it to HP and let be marketed under the name of HP.  They ripped off HP, and HP in turn ripped us off because they did not clearly state this limitation in the software, and still fail to disclose this limitation on their own web site

I already contacted the company -- HP -- who sold the printer, sold the system, and sold the software -- all of which is supposed to work together.

That's my final comment on that subject.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 07:56:26 PM by marty m » Logged
Greg_E
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2007, 08:35:06 PM »
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OK, well if that's what you want then send it back to HP for a refund. That's about the strongest statement you can make to them.
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Pigmenta
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2007, 01:59:29 AM »
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Hi all, I found APS users appear in this topic.
I agree, APS produces better profiles than easy calibration. Anyway I run into an error message calibrating HP's Professional Satin Photo Paper (24') with the biggest TC9.18 target (An error occured during the printing or measuring process, please check the printer display panel). There is no message on the printer's panel. I tried the on-line (print and measure) and off-line (print - cut - load, then measure) process, even set up to an offline other RGB printer. It works with smaller targets without any error messages.
Have anyone of you found the same situation, or would test with your APS?

Tom
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Panascape
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2007, 03:19:52 AM »
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Hi all, I found APS users appear in this topic.
I agree, APS produces better profiles than easy calibration. Anyway I run into an error message calibrating HP's Professional Satin Photo Paper (24') with the biggest TC9.18 target (An error occured during the printing or measuring process, please check the printer display panel). There is no message on the printer's panel. I tried the on-line (print and measure) and off-line (print - cut - load, then measure) process, even set up to an offline other RGB printer. It works with smaller targets without any error messages.
Have anyone of you found the same situation, or would test with your APS?

Tom
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110362\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
APS does not work with this paper setting a the moment. I am waiting for HP to get back to me with a fix or work around. In the mean time print the supplied TIFF image of the target in Photoshop with colour management disbaled  and then use APS to read it but load it with a different paper setting.
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rdonson
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2007, 07:38:37 AM »
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APS does not work with this paper setting a the moment. I am waiting for HP to get back to me with a fix or work around. In the mean time print the supplied TIFF image of the target in Photoshop with colour management disbaled  and then use APS to read it but load it with a different paper setting.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110368\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Wow, APS is starting to look like it needs more time in the oven before I shell out the money for it.

Hopefully we'll hear something soon that the limitations and bugs have been addressed.
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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,
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2007, 08:27:52 AM »
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Thanks Pana, I've found the same way working. It depends on the type of paper I've selected at loading. APS reads the info from printer, and wont do anything if it is Prof. Satin.
Just to forget Prof.Satin...java script:emoticon('Tongue')
smilie

Tom
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marty m
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2007, 09:24:00 PM »
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Hopefully we'll hear something soon that the limitations and bugs have been addressed.
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Yes, hopefully we will hear something soon.  Robert (Panascape) has heard one thing and I've been told another.  He was told they are fixing the 24" limitation; I was told there are no confirmed plans to do so.

No one should buy this POS until one of the currrent unfortunate owners confirms that the software has been fixed.  It is pretty absurd that it doesn't even work with an HP paper.

The APS does make superior profiles to the Easy software.  Superior enough to justify spending $700 to $800 for a profoundly flawed piece of software?  

Personally, I don't think so.  It is a waste of money until and if HP fixes it.
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ThePhotoDude
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2007, 04:06:17 AM »
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Silly question, am new to all of this, what is APS?  

Thanks
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rdonson
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2007, 07:05:03 AM »
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Silly question, am new to all of this, what is APS?   

Thanks
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It's the HP Advanced Profiling Solution [a href=\"http://h30267.www3.hp.com/country/us/en/products/large_format/Z2100/solutions/advanced_profiling_solution.html]APS[/url]
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2007, 08:56:46 AM »
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Just an update... There is a new version of APS in the works that from what I have been told adresses most of the concerns that have been raised here.

I will report back once I have the beta version.
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rdonson
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2007, 09:27:54 AM »
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Just an update... There is a new version of APS in the works that from what I have been told adresses most of the concerns that have been raised here.

I will report back once I have the beta version.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=110574\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks, Robert.  I look forward to your report on the beta.
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2007, 06:17:12 PM »
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Could you please enlighten me on what the APS is. I am in the market for a large format printer and have been interested in the z3100. Is this an extra piece of software that is not included with the printer? I have also been looking at the Canon 5000. THanks.

Paul
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2007, 06:48:20 PM »
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Paul,

 APS is Advance Profile Solution.
HP Z3100 is a great printer,,is the best so far for me
I own epson 7600 & 4000 they are almost out of the door

BlasR
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