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Author Topic: Status on Z3100 progress?  (Read 19626 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: October 19, 2007, 05:44:33 AM »
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Dear all,

I am still shopping for a 24/44 printer and have a hard time figuring out what to do.

I was wondering if there had been any recent progress on the HP Z3100 side in terms of:

- print scratching with some papers,
- poor colors on matte (mostly reds if I recall),
- mess with embedded and optional calibration/profiling solutions?

Thank you,

Cheers,
Bernard
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Christopher
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 06:34:30 AM »
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Dear all,

I am still shopping for a 24/44 printer and have a hard time figuring out what to do.

I was wondering if there had been any recent progress on the HP Z3100 side in terms of:

- print scratching with some papers,
- poor colors on matte (mostly reds if I recall),
- mess with embedded and optional calibration/profiling solutions?

Thank you,

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147136\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I still have on and still don't like it. If I would buy one right now again, I would even prefer the 7880 or 9880 even IF you have to switch the inks.

HP service is only bad. I would never buy a printer from them again. I can't tell ion public why I still have the printer at home if I hate it so much, but it has to do with legal stuff ;-)

your three points:
- scratching is still there on quite a few papers... Funny thing is that there is no real pattern. On some printer it's only glossy on some just matte papers and on some both or none ^^
- reds still suck. On Glossy OK, on Matt hm ok don't wanna talk about it... Just sad
- profiling solutions hm yes great... a solution which works as good as photographing without a lens. On Glossy it's Ok for normal use but on Matt never.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 07:44:44 AM »
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Dear all,

I am still shopping for a 24/44 printer and have a hard time figuring out what to do.

I was wondering if there had been any recent progress on the HP Z3100 side in terms of:

- print scratching with some papers,
- poor colors on matte (mostly reds if I recall),
- mess with embedded and optional calibration/profiling solutions?

Thank you,

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147136\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I think it's a pretty simple decision at this point if you're looking for a 24 or 44" wide inkjet printer. It just depends on the type of work you do. If you print solely on matte fine art papers and don't think you'll need to swap blacks, then you can't beat Epson's 7880/9880 for color gamut and reliability, plus a wide range of 3rd party support. The Epson gamut in the reds on cotton rag papers does appear to be better than HP's. Likewise, if you'll only be printing color images on coated/semigloss/photo papers, the Epsons are still a good choice.

However... if you need to switch between matte and photo black inks, this will drive you crazy. Either you shell out for two printers, or you waste lots of time and money every time you switch. Bill Atkinson pointed out that even after you swap out the inks, there is residual ink in the lines that may take many prints to competely clear, resulting in unpredictable color or d-max behavior until it stabilizes.

If black & white is an important part of your work, I think the HP Z3100 is the only way to go, with 4 black inks, excellent D-max (noticeably better than Epson's on matte papers) and a very clever black & white mode in the driver. Yes, the printer has some issues. I have on one or two occasions seen very faint roller marks on satin papers, visible only in glancing light. Red gamut is quite good on semigloss or satin papers, but only satisfactory on matte papers, where it's about the same as I get with my old Epson 7600. As far as profiling goes, I'm perfectly happy with the profiles I get with the built-in I-one (non-APS). It has the same limitations as all I-one based profiling systems, meaning a relatively brain-dead method of compressing out of gamut colors into the printer's gamut, but it surely meets my needs. If critical color accuracy for fashion or product shoots is your need, then you'll have to invest more $ regardless of which printer you choose.
Finally, it's a delight to load either matte or semigloss paper at will depending on the needs of the image and just hit the print button.

As far as print durability goes, prints from the Z3100 seem about as fragile as those from my 7600, and not quite as tough as those from the K3 printers.

Given Canon's apparent deafness to user concerns and their abysmal documentation I didn't even consider the i6100, but others on this site may have experience with it.

Just my two cents.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 08:12:14 AM »
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I was wondering if there had been any recent progress on the HP Z3100 side in terms of:

- print scratching with some papers,
- poor colors on matte (mostly reds if I recall),
- mess with embedded and optional calibration/profiling solutions?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147136\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't have a Z3100, but a poster on the Canon iPF Printer Wiki sent me prints of the Outback Printer Evaluation target made on Harman Gloss FB Al on both iPF5000 and Z3100.  The iPF5000 used a profile from Booksmart Studio, while the Z3100 made a profile (non-APS).  The glaring difference in the prints was in the red strawberries.  They were completely unacceptable on the Z3100.  They looked ripe on the iPF5000 print, and a couple of days away from ripe on the Z3100.

This was not an optimal test, but does suggest that the reds also suffer on Glossy papers on the Z3100 when the automated (non-APS) profiling is used.   Z3100 media setting was "Glossy", perceptual rendering intent was used to make both prints on both printers.  I don't know if perhaps a non-optimal media type selection on the Z3100 could be responsible for this difference rather than a poor automated profile or lack of capabilities of the ink set on this paper.

--John
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SeanPuckett
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 08:32:50 AM »
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The reds need work.  It's that time of year in Canada -- autumn -- and prints from the z3100 that should show the brilliance of the fall foliage instead mostly resemble pizza sauce that's gone bad.  The only way to get a reasonable print without a bunch of maroon blotches (this is as much a problem of the crappy Monaco ICC profile engine as the printer) is to pull the saturation of the reds so far back that they're not vibrant and brilliant any more, but instead just... sort of red.

This is not a fall foliage printer.

You can resurrect these images mostly by spending time in Photoshop with the out-of-gamut warning enabled.  Make some adjustment layers that scale the reds back until the blotchiness is gone.  It's not hard to do, but you do have to accept that the print is going to look different than your original vision.  

It's great for a lot of other purposes, but if you love reds, this isn't your printer.

I'm hoping the new firmware will have much updated mixing algorithms for reds.  

We'll see.

Great printer for B&W -- perfectly neutral prints, and lovely toning.  Deep black, but you must use the gloss enhancer on gloss/satin media or the differential is excessive.  Once applied the prints are fine.  I love the depth of the matte black on uncoated traditional media -- it's amazing.  Prints are quite durable once the ink has fully cured -- hit it with a hairdryer if you're in a hurry or it is humid.

New media will also help with the colour gamut.  I've got a stack of new canvases and papers to try that is toppling over, waiting for the new firmware.  I've got high hopes things will be sorted soon.

I spent a lot of time and frustration screwing with profiles after the last firmware drop.  The native engine and scanner are acceptable for most purposes, but out-of-gamut mapping is really bad.  I recommend doing manual remapping (in photoshop as above) for difficult prints.

You should temper the above whining and moaning by noting that my customers are invariably thrilled with the output of the printer -- including fine artist repro and ltd edition purchasers -- and that it is an absolute breeze to manage and maintain from a physical point of view and remarkably frugal with ink.  We tend to focus on the problems because that's where we expend extra effort in coping; well, this printer is wonderful from many points of view.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 08:40:41 AM by SeanPuckett » Logged

neil snape
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2007, 09:44:40 AM »
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Dear all,

I am still shopping for a 24/44 printer and have a hard time figuring out what to do.

I was wondering if there had been any recent progress on the HP Z3100 side in terms of:

- print scratching with some papers,
- poor colors on matte (mostly reds if I recall),
- mess with embedded and optional calibration/profiling solutions?

Thank you,

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147136\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
All papers are NOT universally acceptable on the Z printers. What is strange is there are some in the same categories that work well and others not at all. Some media types show excessive pizza wheel marks, others show the drive rollers, although to a lesser extent. I had some information that HP are working on a hardware fix for this, but I have not tested it , nor have any new information.
I will have to qualify here. The reds on more heavily coated papers are actually quite nice. On the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Smooth or Epson Enhanced matte the reds are good only slightly behind the K3 Epson printers, not at all behind Canon in this respect. Yet say Hahnemuhle Photo Rag or any other relatively less coated papers of a rag nature are not good in reds. Nor are Canon. Epson reigns here. I cannot see anything wrong with reds on satin or gloss though with APS profiles built internally or externally. In that respect Canon reigns, with a very bright red primary. Yet gamut is only one criteria to look for, I still prefer realism over pure gamut, so from what I have seen the HP holds its own against Canon and exceeds Epson.
Yes the latest update to the APS profiling kit has improved every aspect of profiling and is essential for photographic repro. I will agree that the smoothness of Monaco Profiler profiles is better than Gretag Profile Maker profiles or better yet Graeme Gill's open source Argyll but it is very usable and on par with typical GMB Profile Maker 5 profiles. It makes all the difference in the world when using the printer to automate profiles over hand done.
I am not sure that the delayed firmware update will do anything for reds though , as a poster said below. It's more about the media handling, naming, and management over the printer.
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alanmcf
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2007, 09:26:12 PM »
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The reds on more heavily coated papers are actually quite nice. On the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Smooth or Epson Enhanced matte the reds are good only slightly behind the K3 Epson printers, not at all behind Canon in this respect. Yet say Hahnemuhle Photo Rag or any other relatively less coated papers of a rag nature are not good in reds. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147185\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Neil,
A variety of times (including the quote above, in your Z3100 review, and on an earlier "red matte" thread that I started)... you say that "on the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Smooth or Epson Enhanced matte the reds are good only slightly behind the K3 Epson printers". My experience is more like "significantly behind".

Since these are the two papers that I intended to use the most for landscapes... what are your suggestions of which media type to use (I tried the FA >250g/m for the HSFA without much luck), how to get a good profile, and whatever else might be good to know.

I am wondering when the "latest update to the APS profiling kit" was (I do not have APS). I would happily get someone to do the APS profiling (Ron sent me an APS one for EEM awhile back) or pay for a profile (have people tried this).

I would love to find out I am doing something wrong... so I could fix it. Rereading, I sound a bit aggressive... I do not mean to .

Thanks, Alan

P.S. My greens seem to have a bit too much gamut compared to Espon... something I expect to happily get used to!
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neil snape
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 03:02:07 AM »
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Neil,
A variety of times (including the quote above, in your Z3100 review, and on an earlier "red matte" thread that I started)... you say that "on the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Smooth or Epson Enhanced matte the reds are good only slightly behind the K3 Epson printers". My experience is more like "significantly behind".

Since these are the two papers that I intended to use the most for landscapes... what are your suggestions of which media type to use (I tried the FA >250g/m for the HSFA without much luck), how to get a good profile, and whatever else might be good to know.

I am wondering when the "latest update to the APS profiling kit" was (I do not have APS). I would happily get someone to do the APS profiling (Ron sent me an APS one for EEM awhile back) or pay for a profile (have people tried this).

I would love to find out I am doing something wrong... so I could fix it. Rereading, I sound a bit aggressive... I do not mean to .

Thanks, Alan

P.S. My greens seem to have a bit too much gamut compared to Espon... something I expect to happily get used to!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147313\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The Epson K3 inks are in every case going to fetch more density and more saturation in the darker reds than HP and surprisingly Canon, no doubt, and visibly better. By how much it depends on which red, how much transition, and the actual profile and rendering intent used. By looking at soft previews, looking at prints , and gamut boundaries the HP still prints a nice red on the papers listed. Let's be perfectly clear though, as this is not the case with rag papers or at least those I have tried.
I do think the reds are questionable with both the APS, and the built in profiler, neither being accurate , nor precise. For H Smooth FA APS is better overall, but the soft preview is of less quality than the actual print. If I could I would use Monaco or Argyll to make the profiles, but I haven't had the license for Monaco for too long, and Argyll is command line that I cannot use ( Unix illiterate). The latest APS corrected UI things and paper handling, but reds are not changed. I can't see a firmware changing reds once again, as although possible , every action has a reaction and all the other characteristics would also move, normally for the worse.
I spent a lot of time measuring, tweaking, recommending changes for the reds, which were first alerted here, yet before I had problems with transitions that were corrected before the printers were released. I can see that image specific characteristics can leave holes in a global perception of the situation. So it's a good thing that the issues are brought to light, and they can have differing opinions, based on which  actual imagery is printed. The sad thing will be that then for some images the correlation will be fine, acceptable, or that the client will pay, or the opposite, which has consequences much more serious for everyone.
What still shocks me though is we never hear about the missing or lesser colour attributes on the Epson side when the users of HP and Canon are rejoicing in printing them. I still would like the perfect printer, one that does it all, and all well. Ideally, Epson Vivid magenta UC inks but with RGBadditional primaries, triple loading as Canon, and the built in spectro of the HP plus true r=g=b grey only of HP in a 18" form factor......
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Avalan
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 12:04:50 PM »
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Bernard

Other folks have explained their view and these are some hints :

From the memory and if not wrong, the Epsons are off your list because of swapping the blacks. Then the question is 3100-24" vs. 6100 or 3100 42" vs. 8100"

3100 suffers from transporting system, resulting roller marks on some sensitive papers;  Reds are better in Canon;  Gloss enhancer is a good choice to have on 3100;  B&w seems to be better on 3100;  Canon is much faster ...

Still there are many other questions which we don't know the answer yet : When the new firmware for 3100 will be release and what might be the improvements. In the other hand we have not seen a full review of 6100 or an in depth comparison between these 2 printers. If you are not in a rush , it may worth waiting a bit more to see some reviews. I consider the 6100 a strong competitor.

For the larger format, the IPF8100 - although not available yet - has 2 other winning points over 3100 : 3100 is 42"and 8100 44" . Also the 8100 might have a considerable lower retail price. This is the case at least with the available 8000.

And if decided to get 3100, it is good to consider APS or make custom profiles.

All the best - Avalan
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SeanPuckett
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2007, 12:19:44 PM »
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The z3100 is available in 24" and 44" models.

I did some experimenting yesterday with ICC profile editing, and the results are impressive.  By creating a extremity reducing saturation curve (maintaining low and mid saturations unchanged while pulling high saturations back somewhat), it is possible to acceptably print intense reds and blues that the Z is otherwise incapable of printing, without blotchiness.  Also, by giving a very slight kick to the deep, deep shadows while preserving black level, it is also possible to render a B&W print with acceptable shadow detail when viewed in non-gallery style illumination.  

However, the profile editor I'm using doesn't permit hue-specific saturation adjustments, so where the Z otherwise excels in yellows and magenta it is pulled back too far and the prints suffer.  A better profile editor would undoubtedly help significantly; my budget doesn't allow for one at this time, however.  In the meantime, selectively choosing the stock profile vs. edited profile for prints that need it is a simple workflow -- and easy to determine via soft proofing.
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neil snape
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2007, 12:20:17 PM »
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The Z3100 44" model is a 44" even if the majority of the papers supplied are 42".
The next firmware 6.0 has already been documented. It is more about paper handling than anything.
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neil snape
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2007, 12:23:44 PM »
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The z3100 is available in 24" and 44" models.

I did some experimenting yesterday with ICC profile editing, and the results are impressive.  By creating a extremity reducing saturation curve (maintaining low and mid saturations unchanged while pulling high saturations back somewhat), it is possible to acceptably print intense reds and blues that the Z is otherwise incapable of printing, without blotchiness.  Also, by giving a very slight kick to the deep, deep shadows while preserving black level, it is also possible to render a B&W print with acceptable shadow detail when viewed in non-gallery style illumination. 

However, the profile editor I'm using doesn't permit hue-specific saturation adjustments, so where the Z otherwise excels in yellows and magenta it is pulled back too far and the prints suffer.  A better profile editor would undoubtedly help significantly; my budget doesn't allow for one at this time, however.  In the meantime, selectively choosing the stock profile vs. edited profile for prints that need it is a simple workflow -- and easy to determine via soft proofing.
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I'd be glad to edit some profiles for you (for free) if you think it would help in the reds you're after. In Profile Editor GMB you can have hue or colour selection edits in an edit list. However PE breaks the profiles, the more you hack the more the profile disintegrates.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2007, 12:33:33 PM »
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Quote from: Avalan,Oct 20 2007, 12:04 PM
Bernard

3100 suffers from transporting system, resulting roller marks on some sensitive papers;  Reds are better in Canon;  Gloss enhancer is a good choice to have on 3100;  B&w seems to be better on 3100
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147438\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



As stated, the z3100 is 44". Excellent built in auto-profiling for the majority of users. And regarding the problems with the transport system that some individuals are experiencing with some papers, there is a fix for this issue from HP that should put this issue to rest:



[/QUOTE]The issue you are describing has been already identified and the solution is on their deployment phase. It is due to the material of the Pinch wheel, the printer mechanism that holds the paper. And, as you said, it appears more in thick papers or in environments with high humidity.

A new pinch wheel to solve the issue will be available during December as service kit, this means that a customer will call hp support and an on-site engineer will come and replace the part.
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« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 12:41:09 PM by Roscolo » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2007, 12:51:52 PM »
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Forgive a little B9180 printer from joining in here, but the red failure thing seems, then, to be common throughout the HP range.

I´ve been knocking my brains out with a series of out-of-focus shots I did of flowers (close-up) and the colours are fantastic on the monitor. However, regardless of how I try to brighten the print or otherwise tweak it away from how I like it on-screen, the reds still suck and the dull, muddy,  ´puce´ effect someone mentioned is always there, only a bit lighter but never red.

I´m fortunate that, to quite an extent, my pics are mainly in b/w which the machine handles very well; but nevertheless, it sucks to find colour not being very satisfactory on the occassion when I think I have something good.

Could it just be that the inks aren´t that good?

Rob C
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neil snape
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2007, 12:54:30 PM »
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Forgive a little B9180 printer from joining in here, but the red failure thing seems, then, to be common throughout the HP range.

I´ve been knocking my brains out with a series of out-of-focus shots I did of flowers (close-up) and the colours are fantastic on the monitor. However, regardless of how I try to brighten the print or otherwise tweak it away from how I like it on-screen, the reds still suck and the dull, muddy,  ´puce´ effect someone mentioned is always there, only a bit lighter but never red.

I´m fortunate that, to quite an extent, my pics are mainly in b/w which the machine handles very well; but nevertheless, it sucks to find colour not being very satisfactory on the occassion when I think I have something good.

Could it just be that the inks aren´t that good?

Rob C
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On what paper? What profile?
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Doctor Noise
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2007, 02:04:04 PM »
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Hi.  I'm new to this site, but i wanted to let everyone know that there is a document on HP site that really helped with reds.  In fact, they look excellent - yes on matt paper.  

here is the link.  I follow this always and it has helped all my prints, but really helped on the matt papers.

The document is titled:

Technical Newsletter:
Ability to print saturated red on HP Designjet Z3100 Photo printers

site:

https://h41186.www4.hp.com/Data/printingkno...?pageseq=939257

Good luck!
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2007, 05:19:15 PM »
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Thank you for your kind answers!

Cheers,
Bernard
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Dan Donovan
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2007, 09:20:46 PM »
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I have a 24" Z3100 and could not be happier.  Just because there are more problem posts with the Z3100 does not mean it is a bad printer.  It is THE popular printer right now and a lot of people have them.  You won't see a lot of posts concerning other printers when not that many people have them.  And from what I have seen, HP has worked very hard to correct problems.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2007, 03:03:33 AM »
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I have a 24" Z3100 and could not be happier.  Just because there are more problem posts with the Z3100 does not mean it is a bad printer.  It is THE popular printer right now and a lot of people have them.  You won't see a lot of posts concerning other printers when not that many people have them.  And from what I have seen, HP has worked very hard to correct problems.
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Dan,

Not sure about this. IMHO Epson is still the monster and HP a dwarf trying to catch up.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Dan Donovan
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2007, 08:48:47 AM »
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Sorry Bernard, I should have been more clear.  I feel Epson is scrambling to catch up to HP on features, when it comes to large format printers.  For instance, HP has the built-in spectrophotometer, Gloss Enhancer cartridge, matte and glossy black ink alwyas installed, economical ink use, incredibly easy workflow, great software, 200 year ink life, etc.  Sure there are glitches here and there, but every product has that.  Epson's last printer update was incremental, in order to stop the bleeding of customers to HP.  That is my take on the large format situation.  I am just glad Epson has competition - that benefits us all!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2007, 08:51:19 AM by Dan Donovan » Logged
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