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Author Topic: Status on Z3100 progress?  (Read 18969 times)
rdonson
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« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2007, 09:01:35 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]

Alan,

I think that Neal sums up the red issue quite nicely.  Another consideration that is often overlooked is the coating on the paper.  There's a reason that HP supplies their own version of Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, HSFA.  The coating is optimized for the Vivera inkset.

A couple of years ago Epson was the only show in town so it was easy for all the people making and selling paper to optimize for the Epson inksets.  That's changed.  We now have three inksets (Epson, Canon and HP) and the best results will likely be acheived with coatings optimized for the particular inkset.  I've got a feeling that a coating that worked equally well on all three inksets might be a nasty set of compromises.

With regards to profiles for Epson Enhanced Matte that handle reds better, I've been holding off for the next firmware release as I don't feel like wasting paper and time to create TC9.18 targets and have to do it all over again.  I have little doubt I can improve on the last profile I shared with you.  It will be better and acceptable but probably not quite equal to what can be acheived with Epson inks.  I've just ordered a roll of HP litho-realistic to see if that might be a nice replacement for how I use Epson Enhanced matte.   I'll post results as it should be delivered this week.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2007, 06:57:57 PM »
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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.  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147816\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sure, I understand and agree.

Featurewise, the HP is hard to beat, but it feels like a young product still. I would think that they'd be able to release an updated version of the printer that corrects most issues, even if the inkset problems with reds on Matte might be incurable.

My point was, as you probably understood, that Epson still had a much larger installed base and probably more mature products, even if they are clearly flawed specwise for fine art printers (ink swap non sense).

Cheers,
Bernard
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Dan Donovan
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« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2007, 02:28:29 PM »
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You are correct, Bernard: there are many more Epsons in use right now.  I just wanted to make the point that there a lot of people buying the HP 3100s now for their large format needs.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2007, 04:08:47 PM »
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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]

Bernard,

If I were you I would keep "shopping" (i.e. window shopping) for a while if that is at all possible. I just returned from Photo Plus East in New York City, where all the vendors were showing their wares and outputs from the latest models. One cannot make scientific comparisons at a venue like this of course, so it is all impressions. But my impressions are clear based on what I saw. The new Epson 11880 with Vivid Magenta, a nine channel print-head (end of ink purging problem) and their forthcoming Exhibition Fiber Paper is hands down the star performer on the block. The reds are outstanding, the detail is outstanding, the quality of blacks is outstanding (in fact the same can be said of the new paper in a 3800 - Greg Gorman during his session produced some stunning B&W prints with this new paper from a 3800 Epson provided.) Now of course the downsides are the size and price of this machine. It is about 14,000 dollars and occupies the same width as a king-size bed, but why I mention all this is the reasonable expectation Epson should be marketing all this technology in a slate of smaller more affordable versions at some time within the coming year.

I think it is also critically important to evaluate the corporate attitude toward customer relations and customer satisfaction in the printer sphere. I won't make any broad sweeping statements about that because every one has different stories about their experiences with different companies. I'll only relate my first hand experience, which is with Epson, and it has been highly satisfactory in every conceivable respect. In my experience, and I've had issues, they are responsive and they back what they sell.

Any one buying a new printer should read the commentaries on the attitude factor for each of the big three and take this into account when making a decision. I think the differences of print quality between them may be less significant than the useability factors and the corporate culture.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
John Hollenberg
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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2007, 08:17:43 PM »
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Any one buying a new printer should read the commentaries on the attitude factor for each of the big three and take this into account when making a decision. I think the differences of print quality between them may be less significant than the useability factors and the corporate culture.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148202\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have to agree with you here.  While I have had my problems with Epson printers, I always felt that they stood behind their printers 100%.  My Epson 9600 was so problematic that they ended up buying it back for full purchase price after many months.  While I wasn't happy with that particular printer, I will return to Epson in a heartbeat if their product fixes the clogging/black ink swap issues.  They really work on doing right by the customer, and I think it pays off long-term for them.

Canon on the other hand has a technological tour-de-force, but doesn't pay much attention to what consumers (at least those printing photos) want/need.  While the service issues with the iPF5000 have been pretty well resolved, we can't get them to unlock the Media Types or even get a serious response from them on this issue.

--John
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2007, 08:34:25 PM »
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I have to agree with you here.  While I have had my problems with Epson printers, I always felt that they stood behind their printers 100%.  My Epson 9600 was so problematic that they ended up buying it back for full purchase price after many months.  While I wasn't happy with that particular printer, I will return to Epson in a heartbeat if their product fixes the clogging/black ink swap issues.  They really work on doing right by the customer, and I think it pays off long-term for them.

Canon on the other hand has a technological tour-de-force, but doesn't pay much attention to what consumers (at least those printing photos) want/need.  While the service issues with the iPF5000 have been pretty well resolved, we can't get them to unlock the Media Types or even get a serious response from them on this issue.

--John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148249\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

John - have the service issues really been resolved? I know they were under tremendous pressure to act on the defective print head issue. But, have they produced better product documentation since that dreadful html manual? Have they issued new firmware fixing the communication of settings between the computer and the printer? And thanks to people like you who did the heavy lifting some stuff got resolved, but look at the time, effort and frustration that was involved. From the day I cancelled my order for that printer, I can't say my confidence in Canon's printer department is restored enough to consider buying one yet.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
John Hollenberg
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« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2007, 09:15:59 PM »
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But, have they produced better product documentation since that dreadful html manual?

I don't know, as I don't have a next generation iPFX100 printer.

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Have they issued new firmware fixing the communication of settings between the computer and the printer?

I don't think anything is changed in this regard.  If you are talking about having to set paper, etc. on both printer and in software, I don't think so.  Personally, I consider this a very minor issue.  If you are talking about locked Media Types that don't allow some paper paths (a significant problem for 3rd party papers with pre-made profiles in some cases), we haven't heard anything back from them re: our complaints.

--John
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neil snape
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« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2007, 12:39:04 AM »
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Any one buying a new printer should read the commentaries on the attitude factor for each of the big three and take this into account when making a decision. I think the differences of print quality between them may be less significant than the useability factors and the corporate culture.

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148202\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I agree completely with the above , especially with image quality. There is so little room left for the other two to play, it is only in features that innovation can offer advantages not found in Epson. One could argue for a little more gamut or gamut boundary extensions for an HP or Canon but simply stated , the overall image quality on the majority of media will be equal or exceed all others.
As far as features go, there are a lot of things to look at, each one having it's own merit (s).
I'm not going to say that Epson have respectfully answered their users demands for correcting their own less than stellar engineering on things like black ink swapping, nor adapting improvements for future products. Yet if Canon or HP really would have everything together, then there would be reason for Epson to come clean. Until then they will still continue to be the market leader, and the users will have to accept the good and the less than great things or look at the other two which also have their good and less than good characteristics.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2007, 08:14:12 AM »
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I don't completely agree, but the arguments are subjective and each has his preferences, for color printing. You can get great prints from Epson, HP and Canon. Turn to black-and-white, however, and HP takes the cake. If you are printing a lot of black-and-white (I do), the HP z3100 is the clear choice. The z3100's use of only gray and black inks, plus the gloss enhancer (not found in any Epson's I've used), enable one to produce the first digital B&W's that are at least as good as traditional B&W darkroom prints in a production printer. B&W's on the z are free from metamerism and the gloss enhancer has eliminated gloss differential. I have printed the same B&W file on the z3100 and the Epson 7800 on any glossy / satin paper,  and it's not even close, the z is a B&W photogs dream come true. Also, been printing with the z since May and still not one clog.

People who are shopping really should just go and have their files printed on the models they are considering. That's the only comparison that matters. If one prints mostly color images on matte papers and already has a profiling system or canned profiles are adequate, one can safely stick with Epson (I haven't used Canon), although I moved away from Epson because of clogging issues with every Epson printer I used over the last 7 years. If one needs to print on matte and glossy, needs good profiling, the z deserves a serious look; and if one prints a significant amount of serious black-and-white I think the z is the only way to go.
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neil snape
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« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2007, 08:25:27 AM »
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There is no problem on some media but in an overall sweeping statement (which of course is not a good way to classify complex devices) Epson have the edge. I would have liked to print on Innova Ultra but the Z without the new rollers wouldn't allow it without roller marks. So as much as I love the B&W ability on the Z without the overall scope to print this quality on all papers , it lowers it's score as an OVERALL top performer in the IQ sector. I also think GE is a great thing, for which I have often said is THE greatest feature of the 12 ink system, but it does not eliminate all gloss uniformity, but does reduce it significantly.
I think I said on an overall image quality standpoint, which qualifies what I said. Taken out of context will make what I said to be something very dissected from the truth, which is as always the Z is a very fine printer with innovative options that no others have, nor will they.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2007, 08:46:30 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.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=147164\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I just spent the whole day yesterday with a landscape photographer and one of his stunning P45 fall foliage images that was surprisingly hard to print. With Epson K3, Canon iPF, HP Z series and lightjet prints all on the table the reds on the internally profiled HP Z prints were far and away the worst. It's is my understand that the reds are poor due to 1) HP's Orange ink that they call red 2) HP's s poor ink mixing in the driver (more magenta and yellow are needed) and 3) HP's implementation of GMB (not Monaco) profiling technology. Re-profiling his Z series printer externally with Monaco Profiler resulted in a hugely superior reproduction of his fall foliage image. Don't blame Monaco - I've tested and proved over and over again that they are the best solution for HP Z series problems!!  Still, the reds aren't like Canon's which are impressive.
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SeanPuckett
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« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2007, 08:58:36 AM »
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Where's one supposed to get Monaco profiling tools these days?  There's no "monaco" on X-rite's site anymore.  My Pulse ColorElite suite got discontinued when X-Rite and GMB merged -- to my intense dismay.  Reds produced with the Pulse aren't much better than HP; Argyll does better but is a pain to use.  PM5 (several year old version) was wretched.  What's changed?
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2007, 08:59:49 AM »
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While the service issues with the iPF5000 have been pretty well resolved, we can't get them to unlock the Media Types or even get a serious response from them on this issue.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148249\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
For what it's worth I have spoken with Canon's senior tech reps and the media type limitations have already been internally identified as area to be improved. Canon's other large format printers already have more flexible media configuration capabilities like customization - they just need to extend this to the iPF fine art printers. CanonUSA is hoping to see a solution from CanonJapan in the near future.

On a similar note I didn't realize until yesterday that they now have a dedicated support line just for wide format printers - 800 423 2366

They also have three new US wide format tech reps (one each for the east, west and central) that anyone can contact direct for feedback and support. I spoke with one such rep (Scott Jo on the west coast) and was surprised with his knowledge, experience (he was formally with Epson) and willingness to discuss geek issues.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2007, 09:07:39 AM »
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I don't completely agree, but the arguments are subjective and each has his preferences, for color printing. You can get great prints from Epson, HP and Canon. Turn to black-and-white, however, and HP takes the cake. If you are printing a lot of black-and-white (I do), the HP z3100 is the clear choice. The z3100's use of only gray and black inks, plus the gloss enhancer (not found in any Epson's I've used), enable one to produce the first digital B&W's that are at least as good as traditional B&W darkroom prints in a production printer. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148341\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is technically incorrect. You have two choices for doing black and white work with the newer Epson printers: Let Photoshop Determine Color, or use the Advanced B&W mode in the Epson driver. Greg Gorman discussed this issue during his seminar at Photo Plus Expo in New York City last week and produced comparison prints using an Epson 3800 with the new Epson Exhibition Fiber paper. I attended that session. As for the theory of which is better, Gorman pointed out that when Photoshop determines colours there may be some involvement of yellow ink, which may have no visible effect for a long time, but is there; whereas, using the Advanced B&W Epson driver, only the three black/grey inks are at play (without tinting), eliminating risk of metamerism or longer-term deterioration attributable to the yellow ink. As for the practical outcome, both prints were STUNNING. Of course there was no HP comparator on the podium, but I think any printer would be very hard-pressed to out-do what Gorman produced with the 3800 and the new Exhibition Fiber paper.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2007, 09:11:52 AM »
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Where's one supposed to get Monaco profiling tools these days?  There's no "monaco" on X-rite's site anymore. [{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You can purchase direct from any XRite reseller or direct from them. Monaco Profiler products are right there on their products page. [a href=\"http://www.xrite.com/top_Products.aspx]http://www.xrite.com/top_Products.aspx[/url]

Monaco Profiler is the industry's best kept secret that gives it's users and edge over their competition.

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My Pulse ColorElite suite got discontinued when X-Rite and GMB merged -- to my intense dismay.  Reds produced with the Pulse aren't much better than HP[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148358\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Discontinued but not unsupported. Monaco Profiler's perceptual rendering creates *much* better reds than ColorElite's.

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Argyll does better but is a pain to use.  PM5 (several year old version) was wretched.  What's changed?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148358\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Things are changing and merging. XRite and GMB apps are using pretty old code - now may not be the best time to buy any profiling software. Monaco developers are still onboard. Hold on and you'll see good changes. I can't say more than that.
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neil snape
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« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2007, 09:13:00 AM »
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I just spent the whole day yesterday with a landscape photographer and one of his stunning P45 fall foliage images that was surprisingly hard to print. With Epson K3, Canon iPF, HP Z series and lightjet prints all on the table the reds on the internally profiled HP Z prints were far and away the worst. It's is my understand that the reds are poor due to 1) HP's Orange ink that they call red 2) HP's s poor ink mixing in the driver (more magenta and yellow are needed) and 3) HP's implementation of GMB (not Monaco) profiling technology. Re-profiling his Z series printer externally with Monaco Profiler resulted in a hugely superior reproduction of his fall foliage image. Don't blame Monaco - I've tested and proved over and over again that they are the best solution for HP Z series problems!!  Still, the reds aren't like Canon's which are impressive.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148352\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It's not clear if you mean the internal Easy profiles or APS profiles. Easy Print Center profiles are 100% proprietary, APS are co-developed HP X-Rite. Gamut boundaries shouldn't be much different between Monaco Gold and GMB PM profiles as they are dependent on the spectral measurements. The smoothness on Monaco is better than GMB, but the accuracy , not always.
According to X-Rite there will be in the near future some melting of the two prominent apps, so perhaps there will be some trickle down to APS in future (far off) upgrades for APS.

Included is a sc of HP Z3100 Satin made with APS, vs Durst Lambda. HP in full color , Durst in white.
There is a portion of darker than L40 that the Durst covers and protrudes but it is a small angle and not that different. On all the top end and bright reds the Z easily walks all over the darkroom process. Also something to note, most Epson prints repro of red is less than accurate but nonetheless very pretty in it's inaccuracy.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2007, 09:16:03 AM »
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There is no problem on some media but in an overall sweeping statement (which of course is not a good way to classify complex devices) Epson have the edge. I would have liked to print on Innova Ultra but the Z without the new rollers wouldn't allow it without roller marks. So as much as I love the B&W ability on the Z without the overall scope to print this quality on all papers , it lowers it's score as an OVERALL top performer in the IQ sector. I also think GE is a great thing, for which I have often said is THE greatest feature of the 12 ink system, but it does not eliminate all gloss uniformity, but does reduce it significantly.
I think I said on an overall image quality standpoint, which qualifies what I said. Taken out of context will make what I said to be something very dissected from the truth, which is as always the Z is a very fine printer with innovative options that no others have, nor will they.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148345\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It looks like HP is addressing the roller problem some people are having. Somewhere on here there is a statement from HP that improved replacement rollers will be installed at no charge. I never got that level of response from Epson, but I'm one othose people Epson screwed with the 2000P. Remember that one? One of the biggest intentional marketing scams ever. I did go on to use many Epson printers, however, and tolerated the clogging and got acceptable results, but I also continued to use my darkroom for B&W printing as Epson just doesn't have it in that department. As I have stated elsewhere, Epson support / customer relations is still the worst support I've encountered in any of my numerous interactions with technology companies.

The Gloss Enhancer has effectively eliminated gloss differential for me and my very (sometimes overly     ) critical customers. If I have to roll a print around under a spotlight and ask for 5 opinions to try to find something that may or may not be there, it's gone in my world.

All that said, I would just reiterate, that if you're looking to spend serious $$$ on a printer from whomever, HP, Epson, Canon - I wouldn't waste too much time on the forums and the ensuing pissing contests of "HP vs. Epson vs. Canon". You need to have prints made from the type of files you will be printing the most of on each model, see the results yourself and make your choice. The best way is to see for yourself with the files you actually print.

'Nuff said. I'm getting back to work.
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neil snape
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« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2007, 09:17:11 AM »
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You can purchase direct from any XRite reseller or direct from them. Monaco Profiler products are right there on their products page. http://www.xrite.com/top_Products.aspx

Monaco Profiler is the industry's best kept secret that gives it's users and edge over their competition.
Discontinued but not unsupported. Monaco Profiler's perceptual rendering creates *much* better reds than ColorElite's.
Things are changing and merging. XRite and GMB apps are using pretty old code - now may not be the best time to buy any profiling software. Monaco developers are still onboard. Hold on and you'll see good changes. I can't say more than that.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148365\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The profiling library in APS is V 6.0x so it is indeed a newer library than PM 5 which uses or used V5 library. I cannot say if that is good or bad, but it was developed after the X-Rite merger was announced.
Yes you are right , in fact it was a lot of the ex-Logo people who left so there will be a bias of Monaco people to make the X-Rite apps to come to be of a very high level, marrying the best from both one would think.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2007, 09:24:11 AM »
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Of course there was no HP comparator on the podium, but I think any printer would be very hard-pressed to out-do what Gorman produced with the 3800 and the new Exhibition Fiber paper.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148364\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The z outdoes it for my needs. The 3800 isn't really a comparison to the z. With the z I am getting not just outstanding B&W, but I can get it at the size's I need: 24x30, 32x40, 40x50.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 09:24:40 AM by Roscolo » Logged
Scott Martin
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« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2007, 09:25:05 AM »
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You can get great prints from Epson, HP and Canon. Turn to black-and-white, however, and HP takes the cake. If you are printing a lot of black-and-white (I do), the HP z3100 is the clear choice. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148341\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Looking at prints made from Epson K3, Canon iPF (both x00 and x100 series) and HP Z Series printers on the same papers I find the Canon IPF x100 black and white prints take the cake with the least bronzing and gloss differential. HP's gloss enhancer can help reduce or even help *increase* (in Econo made) the gloss differential - either of which can be nice and that capability is certainly unique to the Z. The gloss enhancer doesn't help much with bronzing though. Papers like Harman GLass FB Al do yield far more bronzing than say Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl. I would suggest doing your bronzing comparison tests on the Harman.

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The z3100's use of only gray and black inks, plus the gloss enhancer (not found in any Epson's I've used), enable one to produce the first digital B&W's that are at least as good as traditional B&W darkroom prints in a production printer. B&W's on the z are free from metamerism and the gloss enhancer has eliminated gloss differential. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=148341\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
All three printer series have advanced black and white modes that are smart about prioritizing black and grey inks and minimizing color inks. I think it's safe to say that they all make fantastic black and white prints that rival silver gelatin. I do think it's worth mentioning that Canon's new black and grey inks in the x100 printers appear to me to clearly have the least gloss differential and bronzing without gloss enhancers or overcoats.
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