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Author Topic: HP Z3100 TALK ME OUT OF BUYING IT  (Read 32799 times)
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2008, 11:54:01 AM »
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For what it's worth-
I've owned a Z3100 since May 2007, after three years with an Epson 7600. I'm delighted with the print quality of the HP printer, the painless (and free!) switching of black inks, the superb black & white output, and the built-in i-one spectro. If I were starting over today, I'd make the same decision.

On the other hand...
The Epson 7600 is built like an anvil, and never breaks. In my rather humid location ink clogs have not been a problem, and the straight-through paper path of the Epsons permits printing on basically anything, including 500 gm/m2 board. They are also the gold standard, with a huge network of third-party support and generic profiles available for them. I must also add that after more than 3 years of use I never had to call Epson's tech support or service even once. If you can stand the obnoxious black-switch issue, and if the newer 7880 is as reliable, it's a great choice.
The Z3100 by comparison is a bit more finicky in its paper handling, it does have issues with roller marks on some of the newer "fiber-gloss" papers, and you may need to pull the heads to clean off the ink overspray after about 6 months of use. Then again, the heads are pretty cheap, and you can pull them yourself without tools to see what's going on. My experience with HP tech support and service has been excellent. Again, I would still go for the Z3100 if I were starting from scratch, as black & white makes up about half my work and this is a terrific printer for monochrome.
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dseelig
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2008, 02:52:53 PM »
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I wish you guys could meet tomm with a print made from one printer print on the other guys printer one color one b&w and let me know if there is  a consensus . 2 out of 3 people who have used both like the canon more. I would love to hear more form people who have used both. David
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 03:12:00 PM by dseelig » Logged
rdonson
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2008, 03:35:11 PM »
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I wish you guys could meet tomm with a print made from one printer print on the other guys printer one color one b&w and let me know if there is  a consensus . 2 out of 3 people who have used both like the canon more. I would love to hear more form people who have used both. David
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170345\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Then you'd have to judge if the people who have both know the nuances of each printer equally and are reporting on the best print possible for both and on what papers.

In reality I think you're just going to have to make a choice.  Either one is probably very capable in meeting the needs of most discerning photographers/printers.

And.... what are you going to do if in a few months after your purchase someone comes out with the new king of the hill printer?
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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]
dseelig
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2008, 04:08:36 PM »
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Just so you know I will not be uPgrading for a good 4 to 5 years. as I jsut sold my epson 7600 I bohgt a bout 4 1/5 years ago David I do know it is my decision. Living in Idaho makes things diifficult as I cannot get to deal with these prints on my own. David
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2008, 06:35:24 PM »
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For what it's worth-
I've owned a Z3100 since May 2007, after three years with an Epson 7600. I'm delighted with the print quality of the HP printer, the painless (and free!) switching of black inks, the superb black & white output, and the built-in i-one spectro. If I were starting over today, I'd make the same decision.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170301\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm not surprised you were happy with the quality ... after all the 9600 is very old technology. While the mk/pk issue is painful for many photographers, at the time of the 9600 there were no options other than an ink switch.

Truly all of the current printers are superior to the Epson 76/9600 printers ... it's really how they compare to each other.  The Canon ipfx100 and Epson x880 printers are visually superior to the Canon ipfx000 and the Epson x800 series printers (with the possible exception of the 3800, which is better than the other epson x800 printers)

Personally I wouldn't be surprised if HP doesn't have an upgrade in the works ... after all the z3100 series is getting a little dated, and there is room for improvement.
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2008, 06:39:14 PM »
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Dated?? It's barely a year old!

Jim

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Personally I wouldn't be surprised if HP doesn't have an upgrade in the works ... after all the z3100 series is getting a little dated, and there is room for improvement.
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Jim Cole
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marty m
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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2008, 06:40:43 PM »
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Personally I wouldn't be surprised if HP doesn't have an upgrade in the works ... after all the z3100 series is getting a little dated, and there is room for improvement.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170411\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
And before they come out with a new printer, they need to first release the fix/upgrade for rollers and star wheels on the existing printer. . . .
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rdonson
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2008, 07:01:08 PM »
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Personally I wouldn't be surprised if HP doesn't have an upgrade in the works ... after all the z3100 series is getting a little dated, and there is room for improvement.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170411\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

 
I'd be shocked if they weren't working on it as I suspect Canon and Epson are as well.  Development cycles have to be pretty long for for these kinds of printers.
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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]
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2008, 07:41:35 PM »
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I'm not surprised you were happy with the quality ... after all the 9600 is very old technology. While the mk/pk issue is painful for many photographers, at the time of the 9600 there were no options other than an ink switch.

Truly all of the current printers are superior to the Epson 76/9600 printers ... [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170411\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I would take issue with your implication that I don't know what a quality print looks like because my printer was "old technology". I own an Epson 2400, and repeatedly studied output from the 7800 before buying an HP Z3100. To my eye, and in the opinion of some very knowledgeable printers, the 7800/2400 were no better than the 7600 on cotton rag papers, as they use an identical matte black ink, and any minor resolution improvement is lost in dot gain. Certainly the 7800 generation had an improved D-max on semigloss/luster papers and some gamut extension, but the perpetuation of the black swap problem, now into a third generation of Epson large format printers, was the deal-breaker.

I have printed carefully tuned black & white images from all these printers; they each have their quirks, shortcomings and strengths. I have learned to optimize files and to print from the Z3100 with quality that beats anything I got from any of the Epsons through the 7800. That's what works for me. Someone else may get equally good results from "tuned" files on a Canon iPf6100, or an Epson 7880. By all means, try looking at sample prints from each printer you're considering. If you can arrange it, try printing one of your own favorite images on each. But do understand that with practice and experience you can greatly improve the quality you can squeeze out of a particular printer, so this kind of test will only get you so far. Eventually you have to pull the trigger and move on to...you know...actually printing, rather than pixel peeping.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 07:42:56 PM by Geoff Wittig » Logged
M. Greenacre
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2008, 08:28:45 PM »
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I'd be shocked if they weren't working on it as I suspect Canon and Epson are as well.  Development cycles have to be pretty long for for these kinds of printers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170419\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There has been some excellent write ups here on the pros and cons of the z3100.  I have had the 44" printer for about 9 months and can honestly say there hasn't been a day that I regretted the purchase.  The star wheel issue is real, but has been quite minimal for me with the types of media I have used.  The printer adds value to me in the following ways:

Excellent prints, both B&W and Color.  Photographic reproducitons on glossy, lustre and satin papers are great.  Canvas prints well too.  I don't have alot of experience with fine art papers, so I can't comment on that.  Other photographers ask me to do their prints, however.

This printer sips ink.  Ink purchased in double packs are quite reasonable for cost/unit comparisons to other printers.  Print longevity is rated as good as they get.  The printer get an A+ from me in this area.

Finally, no clogs!  I can't over emphasize this point.  The Z3100 maintains itself doing regular self checks.  I can let this printer set for weeks, walk up to it and print.  If you have ever dealt with clogs and the cost in time and ink clearing them, you can really appreciate this.

Before this printer I owned an Epson 4000.  The color prints on the epson were excellent, but a RIP was required for decent B&W.  It's downfall for me was constant clogging and significant ink usage (clearing the clogs).  Since I don't print on a daily basis, the clogging issue was probably a bigger issue for me than others.

I hope this helps.
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Pete Berry
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« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2008, 10:10:14 PM »
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Quote from: Jim Cole,Jan 28 2008, 07:39 PM
Dated?? It's barely a year old!

Jim
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Dated in the sense that HP made the inexplicable decision to use a mechanical paper hold-down system rather than the more paper-friendly and versatile vacuum approach of Canon and Epson, that has definitely limited paper choices for at least some. And who knows what great other great papers will be coming on the scene like the unusable Harmon Fb Al Gloss?

For me, wondering if my $3000 printer can handle a paper I like almost ranks right up there with the persisting black switch problem of Epson. Both are compromises that are hard to explain in latest generation printers.

Which makes the decision easy for me to go with Canon when I go for a 24 incher unless the above "fatal flaws" are successfully addressed by HP and Epson.

I've been a happy iPF5000 user for a year, and as far as I know, the first to have a print head failure "down the road" - there have been two reported on initial installation, I believe. Recently, both of my heads failed within several weeks of each other, after 11 months and about 1200 sq ft printed - both the same lot number. Others have printed as much as 10 times that without failures.

Each time, after a single conversation with a Canon service rep, a new generation $600 printhead was overnighted (with a year's warranty), with a paid shipping label for return of the old part arriving by mail a week or so later. These responses seem typical the past few months of the few real problems that come up in the Wiki.

I've had to do a bit of output tweaking since installing the new heads, but back to baseline after several hours for the papers I use most. I can see the value in the ability to recalibrate back to original status the new iPF-x100 printers have.

Pete
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neil snape
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2008, 12:43:04 AM »
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I'd be shocked if they weren't working on it as I suspect Canon and Epson are as well.  Development cycles have to be pretty long for for these kinds of printers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170419\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The difference will show what HP has in mind with it's decision on what is considered an update and what is considered an upgrade. The policy on upgrades will say a lot about current users fidelity.
Epson when being the only player (well those in the know did have the 130 for 24") had laughable policies for upgrades. They still do from what I see. They always say this one is the greatest thing making the one you currently own being far off the mark. But , that's what they said when you bought the own you own.
Let's see if HP will make good on the notions that you entered into a platform that can be upgraded, and or updated AFTER release.
I'm hoping to have nice surprises for HP users in this regard. That alone would be an argument that goes beyond , far beyond other's forced marketing schemes.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2008, 01:03:43 AM »
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Dated?? It's barely a year old!

Jim
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Announced at Photokina in 2006, some units shipping not long after that.   I would be very surprised if they didn't announce an updated version  at this years Photokina ... maybe even at PMA.

At this point it's an update, not a new machine.  There are several things they could tweak (or just fix)  which would improve the machine.  We're not talking re-invent.  And 18-24 months is a pretty normal cycle.
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Christopher
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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2008, 01:23:22 AM »
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I'm not goping to get into it to deep, but let's say the following I owned a z3100 and now using a Epson 7880. I think it says it all. I'm very happy about the switch. Would not want to go back.
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jpgentry
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« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2008, 08:55:08 AM »
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Oh please say more.  That wasn't a very informative post.  Let us know why and what you like about it vs. the Z.


Quote
I'm not goping to get into it to deep, but let's say the following I owned a z3100 and now using a Epson 7880. I think it says it all. I'm very happy about the switch. Would not want to go back.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170509\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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deanwork
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« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2008, 11:10:50 AM »
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We' ve compared the new Epson 9880, the Caonon IPF9000, and the Z. The color gamut is almost identical in all hues except for the following - the Z has slghtly better green gamut than the other two and it lacks a tiny amount in the red gamut compared to the other two. This is when printing with all the color target content including a smooth greyscale. The yellows are absolutely vibrant in all of these printers. In practice the reds could be intensified if needed, though it is so close only a direct comparison would show the difference. None of them give you dye reds.

Actually the 9600 has better color gamut on matte rag papers than the 9800, and less gamut on glossy media. The 9880 has better reds but we haven't tested the vivid mag. inkset.

The Z has the best dmax of all on glossy media and rag media, especially with monochrome. Since the black inks are not brown as in Epson ( other than the 10880 which is the new fronteer for Epson) the neutrality is better on all media without  adding cyan and magenta inks. Epson has a slightly smoother dither pattern. These are our observations from printing the same target. As has been stated early, there are all kinds of ways to tweak these machines in practical usage. They are all pretty close, but the Z is twice as permanent, which is an issue for some. I hate spraying anything with uv sprays.

john




Quote
I would take issue with your implication that I don't know what a quality print looks like because my printer was "old technology". I own an Epson 2400, and repeatedly studied output from the 7800 before buying an HP Z3100. To my eye, and in the opinion of some very knowledgeable printers, the 7800/2400 were no better than the 7600 on cotton rag papers, as they use an identical matte black ink, and any minor resolution improvement is lost in dot gain. Certainly the 7800 generation had an improved D-max on semigloss/luster papers and some gamut extension, but the perpetuation of the black swap problem, now into a third generation of Epson large format printers, was the deal-breaker.

I have printed carefully tuned black & white images from all these printers; they each have their quirks, shortcomings and strengths. I have learned to optimize files and to print from the Z3100 with quality that beats anything I got from any of the Epsons through the 7800. That's what works for me. Someone else may get equally good results from "tuned" files on a Canon iPf6100, or an Epson 7880. By all means, try looking at sample prints from each printer you're considering. If you can arrange it, try printing one of your own favorite images on each. But do understand that with practice and experience you can greatly improve the quality you can squeeze out of a particular printer, so this kind of test will only get you so far. Eventually you have to pull the trigger and move on to...you know...actually printing, rather than pixel peeping.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170427\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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dseelig
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« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2008, 08:52:22 PM »
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Hi Everyone and thank you everyone who took the time to make a case for there printer. I bought the z 3100 today better black dmax more archival prints. Ink prices lower a few words from Charlie Cramer, Jon Canfield,  as well as Michaels previous z 3100 reviews.I am prepared for a big learning curve. so anyone who knows alot want to pm me there phone # that would be nice but I am sure I will be calling hp a lot . Thanks Everybody David


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« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 08:53:17 PM by dseelig » Logged
deanwork
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« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2008, 10:33:17 PM »
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I think that is a really good point!  When Epson improves their inksets they make you buy a new printer, and they will do that yet again this spring when they change heads too as in the 11880. The world is littered with legacy Epson printers.

The interesting thing about the HP heads is that you can pop them out and pop new ones in, so theoretically, if they improve heads,  ink delivery, or even the pigments themselves, there is always the possibility that we will be able to "update" as apposed to "upgrade" to a totally new machine. That's a big deal and a super marketing point if they have sense enough to go in that direction.

 One of these days these printer manufacuters are going to admit to themselves that they make their money from us on ink and media, not the printers. Two cases in point, you can put K3 inks in Epson K2 printers ( minus the light light K) and you can put Ultrachrome in the Archival 10K Epson printers. Of course Epson didn't help us in that regard, did they, we had to figure it out ourselves.

john





Quote
The difference will show what HP has in mind with it's decision on what is considered an update and what is considered an upgrade. The policy on upgrades will say a lot about current users fidelity.
Epson when being the only player (well those in the know did have the 130 for 24") had laughable policies for upgrades. They still do from what I see. They always say this one is the greatest thing making the one you currently own being far off the mark. But , that's what they said when you bought the own you own.
Let's see if HP will make good on the notions that you entered into a platform that can be upgraded, and or updated AFTER release.
I'm hoping to have nice surprises for HP users in this regard. That alone would be an argument that goes beyond , far beyond other's forced marketing schemes.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170498\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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kaelaria
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« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2008, 11:15:54 PM »
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I have one on the way too - I couldn't resist the rebate!  $3881 to my door before rebate
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rdonson
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« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2008, 05:31:23 AM »
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Hi Everyone and thank you everyone who took the time to make a case for there printer. I bought the z 3100 today better black dmax more archival prints. Ink prices lower a few words from Charlie Cramer, Jon Canfield,  as well as Michaels previous z 3100 reviews.I am prepared for a big learning curve. so anyone who knows alot want to pm me there phone # that would be nice but I am sure I will be calling hp a lot . Thanks Everybody David
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=170642\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Start doing some reading at the z3100 wiki - lots of interesting docs and info there.
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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]
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