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Author Topic: 24" printers  (Read 6960 times)
abrehm
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« on: July 22, 2007, 04:39:18 PM »
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I am looking to buy a 24" printer but will all the advances in technology lately I am afraid I am a bit behind the times.  I was wondering if those of you here could help me make my decision easier.  Probably first and foremost consideration is that this is a personal printer, and at times may see very little use (1 print a month?) so I would prefer to stay away from printers that are prone to clogging.  I generally print only color on fairly limited media, primarily satin.  Other than that I just want a dependable printer that produces quality prints.  I am looking to spend ~$3000.

Given my price range I have looked into the Canon W6400, HP Designjet 130nr, and HP Z2100.  I have stayed away from Epson's as I have not had good luck with them in the past.

If anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.

Andy
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 05:21:57 PM »
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Some others will be able to give first hand information on the relative value of the various players, but:

1. The latest Canon in that size range appears to be the new 6100, to become available pretty soon. No user reports are available at this point of time,
2. It seems that with the various discounts, a Z3100 will be close to your price range in most geos. The Z3100 appears to be a very nice printer from a functional standpoint, but there are issues (weak reds, half backed commercial approach from HP in terms of built-in spectrometer,...),
3. The Z3100 appears to top the 130nr in many ways, but is physically much larger and might not have blacks as dark.

Regards,
Bernard
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 05:31:09 PM »
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The Canon ipf6100 would be the 24" Canon to consider and it would be the highest quality and fastest of the bunch you have listed. It's available now - I love it and the new low-bronzing black inks.

The Z series are overpriced, IMO, and still have a few issues to be worked out. The HP130 is not a very high quality printer but could be a good choice if your needs are quite modest. Epson printers really have gotten better about clogging especially if they are turned on and off frequently. I like to think of Epsons as being like pets - they need to to petted regularly and taken care of when you are away on holiday. Canon ipf and HP Z printers can be left on (in sleep mode) all the time and will wake themselves regularly to prime inks. The result is no clogging and surprisingly little ink waste.
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abrehm
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 08:14:35 PM »
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Interesting about the Canon.  I currently have a Canon now (i9900) that I obviously plan on upgrading.  The one thing I do like about the Canon is that it needed very little maintenance and never clogged.  It does leave a few streaks now on the trailing edge of prints.

To be honest, while my price range is $3000, it is probably more on the south side of that figure which is why I listed some of the printers that I did.  I looked at the ipf6100, but at this point is a bit more that I would like to pay.  That is why if mentioned the W6400 since you can find it for very cheap now.  Does it even compare to some of these other 24" printers?  What little information I have found suggests not, but then again I have found little in the way of creditable information.  

I am trying to tow a very thin line at the moment of finding the best 24" printer I can for under $3000.  Since this is not my profession I dont need bleeding edge technology and the best there is, but if Im spending upwards of $3000 dont want a rubbish printer either.

I appreciate all of your comments.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 10:15:45 PM »
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I am looking to buy a 24" printer but will all the advances in technology lately I am afraid I am a bit behind the times.  I was wondering if those of you here could help me make my decision easier.  Probably first and foremost consideration is that this is a personal printer, and at times may see very little use (1 print a month?) so I would prefer to stay away from printers that are prone to clogging.  I generally print only color on fairly limited media, primarily satin.  Other than that I just want a dependable printer that produces quality prints.  I am looking to spend ~$3000.

Given my price range I have looked into the Canon W6400, HP Designjet 130nr, and HP Z2100.  I have stayed away from Epson's as I have not had good luck with them in the past.

If anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.

Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129435\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

With the z3100 $1000 rebate, you can pick up the 24" model for right around $3000. No clogs, beautiful prints. Gloss Enhancer is a difference maker on satin / gloss papers. Excellent built in profiling system to boot. I purchased the 44" z3100 and it produces the best prints I've ever seen from any inket. I have not seen prints from the z2100, but the 12 ink z3100 fits your budget (with rebate). I have left my z3100 parked for over 10 days without making prints. When I returned, picked right up where I left off making great prints - no clogs!

Don't know anything about the new Canon. Some doubts have been cast on the longevity of the Canon inks. HP pigment inks are currently #1 in longevity estimates.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 08:02:07 AM »
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I am looking to buy a 24" printer but will all the advances in technology lately I am afraid I am a bit behind the times.  I was wondering if those of you here could help me make my decision easier.  Probably first and foremost consideration is that this is a personal printer, and at times may see very little use (1 print a month?) so I would prefer to stay away from printers that are prone to clogging.  I generally print only color on fairly limited media, primarily satin.  Other than that I just want a dependable printer that produces quality prints.  I am looking to spend ~$3000.

Given my price range I have looked into the Canon W6400, HP Designjet 130nr, and HP Z2100.  I have stayed away from Epson's as I have not had good luck with them in the past.

If anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.

Andy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129435\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Your choice in part depends on what kinds of images you like to print, and your æsthetic preferences. If you only print color and you would be satisfied with a choice of only 2 papers, the HP DesignJet 130 offers the best D-max available and excellent image quality for a very low cost. However it's useless for black & white, only yields decent print longevity on HP satin & gloss papers, and gives very poor results on matte/fine art paper. The Epson 7800 will produce excellent image quality and a good D-max on luster/semigloss papers, and with matte black ink you get good results on fine art papers too. However, that black ink swap problem is a deal-breaker for many of us, and head clogs are a serious issue in dry climates. I used a 7600 for years, and was delighted with its color output on matte fine art papers, but its mediocre D-max and metamerism issues made black & white problematic.

If you can stretch your budget just a bit, the HP Z3100 is well worth it. The incremental price increase over the 8-ink Z2100 will be trivial over the life of the printer. Print quality is excellent, the built-in spectro almost magic for those of us who didn't already own one, and full-time matte+photo black inks a godsend. If you print a lot of black & white, this is your best choice. D-max is excellent, and the printer driver's black & white mode is perfectly adequate for most needs. If you leave it on all the time, it monitors and cleans its own heads with negligible ink waste, especially compared to the massive waste of an Epson 'power clean'. And you can use it on any paper you like, generating your own custom profile. Some highly demanding users on this forum have criticized the quality of the profiles the built-in spectro generates, and there are some quibbles over the red gamut on matte papers, but I've been very satisfied on all counts.
Canon's equivalent iPF6100 I don't have personal experience with; from what I read it has similar overall print quality to the Z3100, probably slightly better color gamut and somewhat higher printing speed, but not as good for black & white and with no built-in spectro. Canon's documentation and customer service also appear to be suspect, while HP's documentation is superb and customer service at least fair. Epson's customer service appears also to be pretty good, but I have to confess that I never used it; my 7600 never, ever broke.

The initial cost becomes the smallest expense in the long run. Paper and ink will end up costing a lot more over time. My take on buying a wide format printer is that you're going to be stuck with it for a long time, so it makes sense to stretch a bit on the initial purchase rather than spend the next 4 years wishing you bought something slightly better. I do a lot of black & white and I play with a lot of 3rd party papers, so for me the Z3100 has worked out perfectly. YMMV.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 11:52:27 AM by Geoff Wittig » Logged
Fred Ragland
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 09:41:30 AM »
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so for me the Z3100 has worked out perfectly. YMMV.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129504\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
...and for me.

Fred
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abrehm
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 03:05:29 PM »
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Thank you all for your helpful comments.  It looks as if the Z3100 is the printer I should consider.  With rebate I can get it for the same price as the Z2100.

Just out of curiosity how does the W6400 do for photographic prints?  I know that the ipf6100 is out, and the Z3100 and the new Canon are better, but at less than half the price it is very interesting.  Since I am buying this for home use I am just curious if I would really tell much of a difference between the Z3100 and the W6400 if I dont have prints side by side.  I guess what I am saying is, while I dont want to buy garbage, I dont need top of the line either.  I am just wondering if the W6400 would be a good compromise between performance and price for a home based plotter.

Of course, if it is rubbish, I am more than willing to pay for the Z3100.  

Thanks again, and sorry if I keep brining up the Canon.  I just want to satisfy my curosity.

andy
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2007, 03:30:07 PM »
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Thank you all for your helpful comments.  It looks as if the Z3100 is the printer I should consider.  With rebate I can get it for the same price as the Z2100.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129579\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
That's still $100-$200 more than what the Canon 6100 is going for with delivery. ($2995 at  shadesofpaper.com). The 6100 is faster, has better backs and has a wider gamut. The HP has the spectro that makes good but not excellent profiles and the gloss enhancer which helps with gloss differential but not bronzing. Either way The Z and the ipf are both great printers - you can't go wrong with either.

This forum is very heavy with Z series owners so you'll see more "get a Z - I love mine!" comments than balanced comments from those that use all of these printers in question (like myself).

Of course you could always consider a well priced Epson and put up with black ink switching. The new heads on the 7880 have an anti-clog coating on them. The 7800 isn't too likely to clog if used regularly or turned on and off every 2 days. I do however sympathize with your reservation for Epson.

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Just out of curiosity how does the W6400 do for photographic prints?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129579\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Not well. It's old technology similar to Epson's 1st generation pigment inks found in the 7500, 9500 machines.
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rdonson
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2007, 05:37:23 AM »
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This forum is very heavy with Z series owners so you'll see more "get a Z - I love mine!" comments than balanced comments from those that use all of these printers in question (like myself).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129585\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's a great point, Scott.  I would love to see a balanced comparison between the three leading brands of printers from those who use all of them.  I'm sure that Michael would be willing to publish such a  review/essay.
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Regards,
Ron
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2007, 06:06:24 AM »
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Hi some of you are mentioning experiences using the canon ipf 6100 (print quality/user experiences) ... I'd love to hear more fully of them here or elsewhere... can you point to some specifics available online?

with thanks

Mehdi
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Mehdi van den Bos
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klocke
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2007, 03:05:52 PM »
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Scott,

I am equally in the market for a 24'' printer. Since you like the IPF 6100 printer maybe you can answer some of my questions:

I would like to have a
- high tolerance to infrequent use. My 4000 was not bad, but I had to pay a high price in ink.
- no noise in stand-by. I believe the HP has a fan going all the time. Can you confirm (do you happen to know) that the new IPF 6100 is noiseless when not printing (and not autohead cleaning)?
- Paper friendly. I bought the HP30 after all the initial hype and was disappointed that many paper types suffered from pizza wheel marks. The Z3100 seems to be picky as well How is it with the  6100? Will he leave the paper surfaces unharmed? Does he have an Epson like (>=4000) transport or more of an HP transport?

I suspect that the canon might be the ticket, especially when considering the price point.

you also wrote:
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The 6100 is faster, has better backs and has a wider gamut.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=129585\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How does the 6100 behave on matte paper? Is it as black as the Z3100? How quickly does the matte surface get a "mottled" (is that the word) look?. The Photokina Z3100 matte samples did look very good to me. The UK photo-i.co.uk review seems to suggest that the A3 Canon 9500 is lacking with respect to Dmax on matte paper? But maybe the new IPF 6100 blacks have improved that as well? (I should add that I have never used the really expensive matte paper offerings but worked with StudioPrint to match my paper to printer as good as I could). This is to say I did not really enjoy the Ultrachrome with my 4000 on matte, maybe top of the range paper would have changed that.
   
How scratch resistant is the new Canon ink set? Is it better than the EPSONs or HP for that matter, or can I expect something like the ultrchrome/K3 behaviour (I have no experience with the HP pigments). The question relates to both types of paper.

Thanks, Stefan
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tyurek
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2007, 12:57:05 PM »
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Anybody have any real world experience with the 6100 now? I'm also interested in hearing about the new blacks. Thanks.
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pixelpro
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2007, 02:50:17 PM »
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I don't use anything but Epsom. I also don't print every day but in spurts. My Epsom Stylus Pro 4800 has been fabulous, never cloggs. The smaller ones have been fabulous too.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2007, 02:51:38 PM by pixelpro » Logged
michael
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2007, 03:08:10 PM »
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I'll be getting an iPF6100 at my studio in September, which will mean that I'll have a Z3100, Epson 7800 and Canon 6100 to test side by side. Look for a report toward the end of next month.

Michael
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iCrop
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2007, 09:52:38 AM »
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My 24" Z3100 arrived 3 weeks ago.  I to, use it as a personal printer, hoping to someday make prints of a sufficient quality to sell.  One problem I’ve found, using this in a home environment, is its tendency, when left in sleep mode, to wake up and clunk around in the middle of the night.  Waking the wife and me a couple times a night wasn’t fun, so I turn it off over night.

Yesterday, when I went to print the first picture of the day, I got a message indicating that the Light Magenta-Light Cyan printhead needs replacement.  Arrrrgggg!  Additionally, the front panel display has been randomly turning all white, all black (as much as it can) or displaying an extremely low contrast image, making it difficult to read.  I tried calling HP support from work, hoping to have them just ship me the parts, but it turns out I have to remove the printhead to read them the date code so they can verify it’s still in warranty, so that’ll have to wait until I return home this afternoon.

As for the magic of the built in spectrophotometer, I was very disappointed with the results I had making my own profiles.  And I don’t relish that fact that I may have to spend and additional $800 for the APS option that includes monitor calibration, which I already have.  Whether the poor results stem from operator error, or the fact that the base Z3100, without the APS, makes a limited profile, remains to be seen.  Given the plethora of print settings in software packages and the printer driver itself, it’s easy to make mistakes.  Once I am able to print again, I will further test that aspect of the printer.

Having said all that, the good pictures I’ve printed out, I’ve been very happy with.  Unfortunately, a lot of the paper and ink I’ve used so far has gone into the trash.  But I’m still learning…

Mike
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rdonson
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2007, 10:28:24 AM »
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Mike,  the HP facilities on your PC should tell you if the heads and carts are still in warranty.

As you've experienced the printer wakes up periodically to jiggle the ink carts, check itself and then go back to sleep.  I guess I'm lucky in that the printer is far enough away from the bedroom that it doesn't interrupt our sleep.  HP recommends keeping it on if possible.

HP has Tech Newsletters that describe how to create profiles for non-HP papers that are an invaluable guide.  

If you're using HP papers I'd recommend using the profiles HP ships with printer and updates instead of creating your own 400 patch versions.

One beauty of the built-in spectro that goes unmentioned is that we also use it to keep the printer in a calibrated state.  The software will bug you to recalibrate monthly.  This is something most printers don't offer.
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Regards,
Ron
BishopB
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2007, 11:01:36 AM »
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I'll be getting an iPF6100 at my studio in September, which will mean that I'll have a Z3100, Epson 7800 and Canon 6100 to test side by side. Look for a report toward the end of next month.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133478\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Michael -- I look forward to reading your report!  In the meantime, is there any chance that you might run a few tests on the Z3100 with and without the use of APS to help those of use in the decision making process??  Or, if other Z3100 users could perhaps enlighten the rest of us a bit more that would be appreciated as well.

Best regards -- Bishop
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iCrop
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2007, 11:01:41 AM »
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Mike,  the HP facilities on your PC should tell you if the heads and carts are still in warranty.
 [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133639\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ron, you’re right it does.  And the diagnostics portion of the Easy Printer Care application prompted me to send information from the printer to HP, which I did.  Unfortunately, what it sent, or what they do with it, isn’t clear.  The only response I got from the application was a Thank You (at least they’re polite).  When I called HP Support, I was told I had to supply the date code off the printhead.  

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As you've experienced the printer wakes up periodically to jiggle the ink carts, check itself and then go back to sleep.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133639\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Too bad that timing isn’t programmable.  I’d set it to do its thing anytime except between 10PM and 6AM…

Mike
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jmvdigital
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« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2007, 11:12:08 AM »
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One problem I’ve found, using this in a home environment, is its tendency, when left in sleep mode, to wake up and clunk around in the middle of the night.  Waking the wife and me a couple times a night wasn’t fun, so I turn it off over night.

Yesterday, when I went to print the first picture of the day, I got a message indicating that the Light Magenta-Light Cyan printhead needs replacement. 

As for the magic of the built in spectrophotometer, I was very disappointed with the results I had making my own profiles. 

Mike
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133635\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm not sure you can blame the printer for waking you up. It is designed to self-maintain; putting a piece of production equipment in your bedroom is obviously not ideal. It is no louder than any other printer I've owned.

I can't speak for the replacement printhead, I've not had any problems. The good news is that it will be under warranty probably.

I'm curious as to why you were "very disappointed" with the profile making, but I suppose that is for another topic. I've got my own thread going on what merits the APS has, and in my own testing so far, the APS does create very slightly different/better profiles; comparing an APS profile to a non-APS profile print (not softproof) yields a difference that is so small as to not really be sure you're seeing anything (ymmv). Perhaps you have some workflow or monitor calibration issues? Do what I did and print an image with your non-APS built profile and the included HP profile which they build using the APS (assuming you are using HP papers). Then you can see what $800 buys you.

In all other respects the softproofs on my Eizo are astonishingly close to the printed output.

To the other poster, perhaps the reason you see so many Z3100 users on here is because the printer is THAT good. It's not a conspiracy. Besides debating about the lac of the APS, the printer has very few disadvantages. And you should do a little research on the "lack of reds." I found an HP white paper addressing the "issue." From what I've read it was apparently an issue to do with early firmware versions, not a lack of gamut.

I will add, for what it's worth, that I am very satisfied with my Z3100. I am producing sellable and gallery quality prints with ease. I've wasted a few prints so far, but those have been due to my learning to use the printer (GE on/off) and simple aesthetic changes.

-J
« Last Edit: August 16, 2007, 11:13:20 AM by jmvdigital » Logged

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