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Author Topic: Help printing on Z3100  (Read 9538 times)
mballent
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« on: July 07, 2007, 09:35:55 PM »
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Yesterday I had a tech come over to my house to install Z3100.  The printer came from a place that specializes in plotters, so he did not install the EZ print software, just the print drivers.  The colors are off when I try to print. ( I have installed the EZ print utility after he left)  I calibrated the printer with the paper I got (HP Semi-gloss) and downloaded the profile to my computer (I think   )  The greens on the grass do not look right and the dog does not have the same red-brown color.  It almost looks washed out.  Printing out of CS2, application managing color.  I did not have this type issue printing out the my Epson 1800.  Any thoughts... did the Tech possibly goof things up?  Am I goofing things up   I know the the printer can do better than this...

-Michael
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 09:37:14 PM by mballent » Logged

Scott Martin
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2007, 10:05:59 PM »
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Printing out of CS2, application managing color.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127058\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I never got satisfactory results with Application managed colors until the 502b Mac driver came out about 6 weeks ago. Download and install the latest driver and firmware update. The color is decent, but not exceptional with the HP profiles when using Printer Managed Colors, but that is something you could try immediately to get better results.
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mballent
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2007, 10:12:06 PM »
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I never got satisfactory results with Application managed colors until the 502b Mac driver came out about 6 weeks ago. Download and install the latest driver and firmware update. The color is decent, but not exceptional with the HP profiles when using Printer Managed Colors, but that is something you could try immediately to get better results.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127061\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for that ... I should have mentioned that I am using Windows XP.  But you have given me food for thought
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Fred Ragland
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2007, 10:38:37 PM »
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The color is decent, but not exceptional with the HP profiles when using Printer Managed Colors[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127061\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It depends on the paper you are using.  

I'm printing with HP IP Glossy and getting wonderful results.  My show opened today with 51 large prints of Eastern Europe.  There was good coverage by local media with very positive comments on the vivid colors and exceptional detail.  The Z3100/HP IP Glossy is a great combination.

Fred
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2007, 11:54:01 PM »
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Yesterday I had a tech come over to my house to install Z3100.  The printer came from a place that specializes in plotters, so he did not install the EZ print software, just the print drivers.  The colors are off when I try to print. ( I have installed the EZ print utility after he left)  I calibrated the printer with the paper I got (HP Semi-gloss) and downloaded the profile to my computer (I think   )  The greens on the grass do not look right and the dog does not have the same red-brown color.  It almost looks washed out.  Printing out of CS2, application managing color.  I did not have this type issue printing out the my Epson 1800.  Any thoughts... did the Tech possibly goof things up?  Am I goofing things up   I know the the printer can do better than this...

-Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127058\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I am using a 24" plain vanilla Z3100 under WindowsXP and Photoshop CS3. For what it's worth, I also noted mediocre color when I made an initial test print using HP's canned profile for the sample roll of thin glossy paper. However, profiles generated using the built-in spectro and profiling wizard have been excellent from the start. I print everything using application-managed color, manually choosing the correct profile in Photoshop's print dialogue box. I installed the more recent firmware (v5.0.0.4) and raster driver before I did any profiling, figuring I wouldn't want to repeat any work. It may be worth making sure you're using this firmware and the latest driver. So far I've been very satisfied with profiles the printer produced for Hahnemühle photo rag satin and fine art pearl, as well as Epson premium luster. The profile for Crane silver rag was a bit disappointing, only because it can't compensate sufficiently for the very warm tone of the paper base, which prevents me from toning highlights in black & white prints in the cool direction I prefer. Color prints look fine however. On all papers, my profiles seem just a bit dark. The shadow detail is there if the print is well lit, but in typical lighting it looks just a bit dark in the three-quarter tones. A slight curves move just before printing does the trick.
Of course, it's always possible that my standards aren't as high as yours. But I've been very pleased with the color accuracy and gamut from this printer compared to the Epson 7600 I've been using.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 11:56:16 PM by Geoff Wittig » Logged
mballent
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2007, 12:23:26 AM »
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I am using a 24" plain vanilla Z3100 under WindowsXP and Photoshop CS3. For what it's worth, I also noted mediocre color when I made an initial test print using HP's canned profile for the sample roll of thin glossy paper. However, profiles generated using the built-in spectro and profiling wizard have been excellent from the start. I print everything using application-managed color, manually choosing the correct profile in Photoshop's print dialogue box. I installed the more recent firmware (v5.0.0.4) and raster driver before I did any profiling, figuring I wouldn't want to repeat any work. It may be worth making sure you're using this firmware and the latest driver. So far I've been very satisfied with profiles the printer produced for Hahnemühle photo rag satin and fine art pearl, as well as Epson premium luster. The profile for Crane silver rag was a bit disappointing, only because it can't compensate sufficiently for the very warm tone of the paper base, which prevents me from toning highlights in black & white prints in the cool direction I prefer. Color prints look fine however. On all papers, my profiles seem just a bit dark. The shadow detail is there if the print is well lit, but in typical lighting it looks just a bit dark in the three-quarter tones. A slight curves move just before printing does the trick.
Of course, it's always possible that my standards aren't as high as yours. But I've been very pleased with the color accuracy and gamut from this printer compared to the Epson 7600 I've been using.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127075\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So basically I should just profile all the paper that I would be using even if it's HP paper?
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2007, 11:29:21 AM »
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It depends on the paper you are using. I'm printing with HP IP Glossy and getting wonderful results.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127066\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The quality of HP's built in profiling system is not as good as high end profiling packages like MonacoProfiler (MP). No matter what paper is used, I am disappointed with the color from the built in profiles - even on HP IP glossy. HP's profiles are good but MP profiles are better, particularly towards the extremities of the color gamut. This is especially evident when you are trying to proof saturated spot colors. My tests for demanding ad agencies have shown less delta E variance of spot colors printed from the HP driver with MP profiles than with HP profiles or even with the EFI RIP solution HP promotes.

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profiles generated using the built-in spectro and profiling wizard have been excellent from the start.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127075\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

They are quite good and most people (especially fine art printers) will be happy with them. But if you were to do a side-by-side comparison with MP profiles I'm sure you would agree that they are not excellent.
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mballent
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2007, 01:57:18 PM »
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So basically I should just profile all the paper that I would be using even if it's HP paper?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127076\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


OK I downloaded the latest firmware (it was on 4.x), recalibrated the printer and re-profiled the paper and the print looked a lot better

One thing that I noticed though is that it appears that the gloss optinizer is not being used.  Is there something in the driver that sets that?  Also I noticed that the canned profiles have 2 flavors one the gloss optimizer on and another with it off... How would one create these different types with different papers?
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2007, 04:56:05 PM »
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The quality of HP's built in profiling system is not as good as high end profiling packages like MonacoProfiler (MP). No matter what paper is used, I am disappointed with the color from the built in profiles - even on HP IP glossy. HP's profiles are good but MP profiles are better, particularly towards the extremities of the color gamut. This is especially evident when you are trying to proof saturated spot colors. My tests for demanding ad agencies have shown less delta E variance of spot colors printed from the HP driver with MP profiles than with HP profiles or even with the EFI RIP solution HP promotes.
They are quite good and most people (especially fine art printers) will be happy with them. But if you were to do a side-by-side comparison with MP profiles I'm sure you would agree that they are not excellent.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127132\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You are no doubt correct. However, everything is relative. I print mostly landscapes, and my needs aren't anything like as demanding as yours, where extreme accuracy is needed to match colors with commercial offset press output. I don't print that many images that push the limits of the color gamut. For the average enthusiastic amateur or fine art printer, the profiles from the built-in spectro are still head and shoulders above canned profiles from paper manufacturers. I printed on an Epson 7600 for the past three and a half years using Bill Atkinson's profiles and was quite happy with the results. Profiles generated by the Z3100 seem a bit more accurate, which I suspect is mostly a function of the much better linearization newer printers are capable of.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2007, 05:11:52 PM »
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OK I downloaded the latest firmware (it was on 4.x), recalibrated the printer and re-profiled the paper and the print looked a lot better

One thing that I noticed though is that it appears that the gloss optinizer is not being used.  Is there something in the driver that sets that?  Also I noticed that the canned profiles have 2 flavors one the gloss optimizer on and another with it off... How would one create these different types with different papers?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127146\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

When you calibrate and profile a new paper, the settings you choose on the printer's LCD control panel determine whether the gloss enhancer is used or not during profiling. HP's PDF document on using non-HP papers spells out which settings to use for specific papers, and what the printer does with them. Once you've created a profile and are using it to print, you can choose what to do with the gloss enhancer in the print driver dialogue boxes. Depending on the paper type you choose, you can decide to use the gloss enhancer over the entire print area, or only on ink-coated areas ("econo-mode"), or not at all. You should use the same gloss enhancer setting for printing that you used in creating the profile. I messed up and made a black & white print with a profile I had produced with gloss enhancer on, but accidentally left gloss enhancer off for the actual print. I saw little if any color shift, but a surprising amount of irridescence was visible in lighter areas.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2007, 09:38:00 PM »
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You are no doubt correct. However, everything is relative. I print mostly landscapes, and my needs aren't anything like as demanding as yours, where extreme accuracy is needed to match colors with commercial offset press output. I don't print that many images that push the limits of the color gamut. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127173\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Fair enough. I agree, most people (especially fine art printers) will be very happy with the HP's built in profiles. Still, for those fine art printers that I've made some custom profiles for they were excited about the extra little boast of quality they were getting because of them.
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For the average enthusiastic amateur or fine art printer, the profiles from the built-in spectro are still head and shoulders above canned profiles from paper manufacturers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127173\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I actually slightly prefer the Epson K3 profiles over HP's profiles. My thinking is that if you are going to pay extra for an on-board spectro that can only be used with that device it better make top notch profiles. Z printer owners curse HP when they end up not using the on board spectro they paid for and couldn't purchase without. Now that GMB and XRite are together I expect HP's profiling technology to get better in the future and for this to be a non-issue.
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rdonson
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2007, 09:37:02 AM »
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Fair enough. I agree, most people (especially fine art printers) will be very happy with the HP's built in profiles. Still, for those fine art printers that I've made some custom profiles for they were excited about the extra little boast of quality they were getting because of them.

I actually slightly prefer the Epson K3 profiles over HP's profiles. My thinking is that if you are going to pay extra for an on-board spectro that can only be used with that device it better make top notch profiles. Z printer owners curse HP when they end up not using the on board spectro they paid for and couldn't purchase without. Now that GMB and XRite are together I expect HP's profiling technology to get better in the future and for this to be a non-issue.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127203\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Scott, have you used or compared the HP APS profiles to the profiles you're getting with MP on the Z3100?
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2007, 10:12:57 PM »
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Scott, have you used or compared the HP APS profiles to the profiles you're getting with MP on the Z3100?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127263\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I've compared ProfileMakerPro (PMP) profiles made from 4096 patch targets but no, not HP APS made profiles. I've been told not to expect more from them. Would you disagree?
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Roscolo
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2007, 01:32:02 AM »
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Fair enough. I agree, most people (especially fine art printers) will be very happy with the HP's built in profiles. Still, for those fine art printers that I've made some custom profiles for they were excited about the extra little boast of quality they were getting because of them.

I actually slightly prefer the Epson K3 profiles over HP's profiles. My thinking is that if you are going to pay extra for an on-board spectro that can only be used with that device it better make top notch profiles. Z printer owners curse HP when they end up not using the on board spectro they paid for and couldn't purchase without. Now that GMB and XRite are together I expect HP's profiling technology to get better in the future and for this to be a non-issue.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127203\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've used the z3100 to make prints of artwork for some pretty demanding fine artists. I consider the profiles made by the z to be "top notch" as my customers seem to be ecstatic with the quality of their prints...they are a spot on match to the paintings. As for my photographic prints my photo clients are not just happy with my prints, they are blown away.

There will always be the occasional image that one will have to tweak no matter how good the profile is. With the z, I have yet to encounter an image that I have had to tweak and reprint because the color did not match my monitor, although I'm sure I will at some point. BTW, I'm using the "regular" z3100 - not the APS model.
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rdonson
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2007, 07:03:15 AM »
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I've compared ProfileMakerPro (PMP) profiles made from 4096 patch targets but no, not HP APS made profiles. I've been told not to expect more from them. Would you disagree?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127367\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I can't compare as the APS I ordered has yet to be delivered.  Hopefully today or tomorrow and then I can make some comparisons between the profiles created by the standard targets on the Z and the profiles from larger targets with APS.

Neil Snape has commented that the profiles from the larger targets with APS are better.  I think a lot depends on how critical the work is and how critical your eye is.  My understanding is that you'll see some improvement in shadow areas and perhaps better transitions.

I don't know how I'd compare PM profiles against APS profiles.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 07:04:08 AM by rdonson » Logged

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Scott Martin
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2007, 07:06:07 PM »
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I've used the z3100 to make prints of artwork for some pretty demanding fine artists. I consider the profiles made by the z to be "top notch" as my customers seem to be ecstatic with the quality of their prints...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127384\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
But have you and/or your clients compared HP profiles to MP profiles? If so I think you wouldn't describe the HP profiles as "top notch". Second notch maybe.

Volkswagens might seem to have the best driving experience until one drives a BMW. If the vw blows them away imagine how the BMW would blow them away. There are surely better analogies but you get the point.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2007, 11:43:09 AM »
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But have you and/or your clients compared HP profiles to MP profiles? If so I think you wouldn't describe the HP profiles as "top notch". Second notch maybe.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127495\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If the prints are a perfect match to the paintings, how much better can it get? One of my newest print customers is a very well known international landscape painter. Let's just say, he's color critical to a fault. In the past I only photographed his paintings. Before the z, he had all of his giclee' printing done by an established giclee' printer with a national reputation and clients; after the z, I am now his printer. I haven't made any comparisons to numerous other profiling systems because I haven't had to...my most color critical customer is happy.

Most of my prints until now have been of artwork. I have to prepare some prints for a show of my photos in the fall. Most of these photos will be landscapes. Perhaps I will see some deficiency in the profiles when printing photos, although I have yet to see any in the photos I have printed so far. I certainly haven't seen anything that would make me want to spend a few thousand $$$ (!) on another profiling software.

I think for 95-99% of the users of the z3100, any need for custom profiles is thankfully over.

Perhaps you could write a review focusing on a comparison between prints produced on the z3100 using the z3100's custom-created profiles vs. MP profiles so we can see the differences. Short of that, I don't know how I or most users can make such a comparison. If you do that, or if someone else has, please post the link here as I would be curious to see the results and I'm sure others would be interested as well.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2007, 11:44:25 AM by Roscolo » Logged
neil snape
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2007, 12:03:22 PM »
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I used to test with Monaco and Gretag at the same time. Monaco are in general smoother with less contouring or banding if you prefer. Monaco although do not reproduce some pastels and skin tones as well as or as they should. The Easy print center profiles are quite good. They excel in greyscale and in smoothness. The reds however lack depth. The same media with APS will have quite a different red, albeit a slight bit too magenta. The blues are very correct in APS vs Easy. APS is using V6 Profile Maker libraries which are probably close to the older version of PM 5.07. The blues turning purple is something that takes some coding but is very effective in maintaining appearance model over the typical L*a*b* blues going purple. Monaco also has this coded so it shows.
Probably most photographers should have APS, it's not that expensive for what it does, and the differences are easily justified for content creators. For service bureaus, the internal profiler is still going to produce excellent results, sometimes even better results than APS or an external creation package. For whatever reason Easy makes much better profiles on matte, and heavy uncoated media.
One other thing. For those who know how Argyll has open source binaries for creating profiles that are at the very top of the list in quality.
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rdonson
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2007, 04:48:22 PM »
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My APS has arrived but alas my Windoze machine chose this time to get corrupted.  I suspect the usually fragile Windoze registry but its too early to tell.  Anyway it will take a couple of days before I can put humpty dumpty back together again and get APS installed.  

Before Windoze ate itself I was testing Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Satin 310.  I really didn't care for this paper on my Epson.  I was very pleasantly surprised by how well it looks on the Z3100 with GE on.  Its not for every image but I have some that look great on it.  The reds were very good.

Since I had a limited amount of paper, instead of creating a new profile for it I got the profile from the Hahnemuhle website.  It seems to be a good profile.  Any idea how they create their profiles for the Z3100?
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2007, 05:16:56 PM »
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Before Windoze ate itself I was testing Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Satin 310.  I really didn't care for this paper on my Epson.  I was very pleasantly surprised by how well it looks on the Z3100 with GE on.  Its not for every image but I have some that look great on it.  The reds were very good.

Since I had a limited amount of paper, instead of creating a new profile for it I got the profile from the Hahnemuhle website.  It seems to be a good profile.  Any idea how they create their profiles for the Z3100?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127670\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I love this paper on the Z3100! I profiled it using the thick >250 gms fine art paper setting, and results with color prints are striking. There is a bit of almost crystalline reflection from the paper grain in smooth areas like blue sky that looks beautiful.

Black & white is even better. This profile/paper preset applies all four black inks. Resulting prints demonstrate an unusual form of gloss differential that really enhances shadow detail; there is a subtle difference in reflectivity across tonal ranges that makes shadow detail stand out. The reflectance characteristics of the HP inks on this paper make black & white prints look like they are etched on steel. I've never seen anything quite like this effect, but it's perfect for many of my images. This is now my standard BW paper.
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