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Author Topic: Epson vs Canon vs HP w/ Glossy Canvas  (Read 3976 times)
mike_botelho
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« on: March 31, 2008, 09:10:55 PM »
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I'm an artist whose work incorporates photography.  My work contains many fairly saturated colors, both dark and lighter gamut.  I want to maintain a single look for my work, and I'm pretty sure that look will involve glossy canvas.  I'm in the process of deciding on a glossy canvas that offers the best dmax and gamut.

I've done done work with cuts sheets of canvas on an Epson 3800, just to learn the process and produce some smaller examples of my work.  My next goal is to move up to a 44" printer, and, like many, I'm torn between the 3 major options.  

Bearing in mind that I'm going to focus on glossy canvas, does anyone have an opinion on what printer I should chose?  When pushing the lighter more saturated tones on my Epson prints, I seem to be noticing the printer hitting its limits as far as saturated light gamut colors go.  I understand that both the Canon and HP 12-ink printers manage a bit more light-gamut saturation, but I don't want to screw up the saturated dark-gamut colors I'm getting with the Epson.  I've downloaded some Canon and HP profiles for a few glossy canvases, and I'm a little worried by the dmax, contrast and general dark-gamut differences I'm seeing.

Also, does HP small weakness in saturated reds carry over to glossy canvas, or is the performance similar to glossy paper?  Generally, I'm just looking for the pros and cons of each option.  I've pretty much read everything out there, but this is still a hard subject to nail down precisely.

Also, I live in SE MA.  Anyone have any idea where I could go, within reasonable driving distance, to see some fairly saturated art-oriented prints from the HP Z series and/or the Canon ipF series?

Thanks, and Kind Regards.

Mike
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neil snape
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2008, 03:11:06 AM »
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IF you want an overall similar colour look to all surfaces Epson will be your best bet.

Notice I didn't say the best printer as this is simply not possible to say. As you have researched the differences show the lighter gamut being larger and more saturated in the top end but rightfully so lesser in the shadows Epson K3 are a good compromise considering Epson do well on all paper types, glossy being only surpassed by HP for gloss diff with GE. Just remember that if you want to switch media often, it will cost you a lot compared to Canon and HP.

HP on any media other than relatively uncoated cotton rag has a good gamut, and a very good gamut on any photo type media . Glossy canvas should have an extended red gamut similar to other photo media.

IF there is one area that HP have done well is with Canvas according to artists and photographers reports. If true, combined with overall media range and the extended primaries, the HP still has polyvalent capabilities worth looking at. The repeatability is guaranteed with the onboard spectro by way of Auto closed loop calibrations, so your prints and reprints will always have very high proximity of colours that no other printer will have. Something print makers have always wanted now made easy.
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jpgentry
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2008, 10:19:37 AM »
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I print on canvas for the vast majority of my work and my best of both worlds printer is the Canon ipf line.  It has all the advantages of HP (minus the built in profiling) combined with all the advantages of Epson.  

I have posted this 1000 times before but those advantages are: Speed, no clogs, no swaps, no pizza wheel marks on glossy media (paper vacuum to hold paper down), good reds, gamut is acceptable on all media, excellent support (I would now put them tops on support.)  

Now the HP comes with on-board profiling which is good, but here is a better solution...  I purchased the X-rite I1Pro (you may want the UV cut model) and there is a free download on X-rite's website for the Color Port software.  Using this software you can create and measure your patches and save to a file.  I use the 1728 patch target.  I measure this in about 10-15 minutes using strip method.  I then forward this file to Scott Martin of On-Sight (www.on-sight.com) who uses the top of the line MonacoProfiler software ($4,000 for the software) to create the best profiles I've yet seen for my printer.

I would choose this or similar option over the on-board profiling of the HP.

-Jonathan



Quote
I'm an artist whose work incorporates photography.  My work contains many fairly saturated colors, both dark and lighter gamut.  I want to maintain a single look for my work, and I'm pretty sure that look will involve glossy canvas.  I'm in the process of deciding on a glossy canvas that offers the best dmax and gamut.

I've done done work with cuts sheets of canvas on an Epson 3800, just to learn the process and produce some smaller examples of my work.  My next goal is to move up to a 44" printer, and, like many, I'm torn between the 3 major options. 

Bearing in mind that I'm going to focus on glossy canvas, does anyone have an opinion on what printer I should chose?  When pushing the lighter more saturated tones on my Epson prints, I seem to be noticing the printer hitting its limits as far as saturated light gamut colors go.  I understand that both the Canon and HP 12-ink printers manage a bit more light-gamut saturation, but I don't want to screw up the saturated dark-gamut colors I'm getting with the Epson.  I've downloaded some Canon and HP profiles for a few glossy canvases, and I'm a little worried by the dmax, contrast and general dark-gamut differences I'm seeing.

Also, does HP small weakness in saturated reds carry over to glossy canvas, or is the performance similar to glossy paper?  Generally, I'm just looking for the pros and cons of each option.  I've pretty much read everything out there, but this is still a hard subject to nail down precisely.

Also, I live in SE MA.  Anyone have any idea where I could go, within reasonable driving distance, to see some fairly saturated art-oriented prints from the HP Z series and/or the Canon ipF series?

Thanks, and Kind Regards.

Mike
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mike_botelho
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2008, 11:25:51 AM »
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IF you want an overall similar colour look to all surfaces Epson will be your best bet.

Notice I didn't say the best printer as this is simply not possible to say. As you have researched the differences show the lighter gamut being larger and more saturated in the top end but rightfully so lesser in the shadows Epson K3 are a good compromise considering Epson do well on all paper types, glossy being only surpassed by HP for gloss diff with GE. Just remember that if you want to switch media often, it will cost you a lot compared to Canon and HP.

HP on any media other than relatively uncoated cotton rag has a good gamut, and a very good gamut on any photo type media . Glossy canvas should have an extended red gamut similar to other photo media.

IF there is one area that HP have done well is with Canvas according to artists and photographers reports. If true, combined with overall media range and the extended primaries, the HP still has polyvalent capabilities worth looking at. The repeatability is guaranteed with the onboard spectro by way of Auto closed loop calibrations, so your prints and reprints will always have very high proximity of colours that no other printer will have. Something print makers have always wanted now made easy.
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Thanks very much for the input, Neil.  I recognize that I would prefer the extended light gamut saturation of both the HP and Canon printers, but am as yet unable to determine if I can live with the reduction in dark-gamut saturation that I would experience with those two printers, given that my work contains a lot more of that type of color than traditional photography.  

Obviously, I'm talking about a subjective judgment on my part, so I realize that this is a difficult question for someone to help me with.  But, without actually printing my work on all 3 options, it's a difficult call, so I figure that even speculative input is better than basing a $5000 purchase on guesswork.

Essentially, based on everything that I've read. I'm trying to imagine my work with an extended light gamut and a slightly truncated dark gamut.  Of course, trying to visualize such a thing accurately is probably folly, which is probably why I'm stalled in my decision-making process.  Still, I have to try to figure this out prior to purchasing a 44" printer.

What it comes down to is that I would prefer the extended light gamut, if I could live with the reduction in dark gamut saturation.  How I will make this determination without actually seeing my work printed on glossy canvas with a Z or ipF printer I really am not sure.  I received a couple of canvas samples from HP, but these were far from conclusive and were also on matte, not glossy, canvas.

(BTW, HP also sent the print of one of your B&W images on Hahnemuhle.  Nice photo, and the ink/paper combination was very appealing.  Makes me almost wish I was still into doing B&W fine art photography, it looked so nice... but, I've definitely moved on to less-traditional realms for good.)

Thanks again and Kind Regards,

Mike
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neil snape
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2008, 11:52:51 AM »
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IF you ask there are people on this forum who might have glossy canvas to print a s sample for you on the Canon and HP printers. That would be the best thing to do. I still have alot of matte canvas but didn't receive any glossy.

There is a large advantage with HP over the others as well in the lightfastness with non-glass mounted media. Generally it is 2.5 to 3x that of Epson and Canon. Something else to keep you researching!
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mike_botelho
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2008, 11:56:58 AM »
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I print on canvas for the vast majority of my work and my best of both worlds printer is the Canon ipf line.  It has all the advantages of HP (minus the built in profiling) combined with all the advantages of Epson. 

I have posted this 1000 times before but those advantages are: Speed, no clogs, no swaps, no pizza wheel marks on glossy media (paper vacuum to hold paper down), good reds, gamut is acceptable on all media, excellent support (I would now put them tops on support.) 

Now the HP comes with on-board profiling which is good, but here is a better solution...  I purchased the X-rite I1Pro (you may want the UV cut model) and there is a free download on X-rite's website for the Color Port software.  Using this software you can create and measure your patches and save to a file.  I use the 1728 patch target.  I measure this in about 10-15 minutes using strip method.  I then forward this file to Scott Martin of On-Sight (www.on-sight.com) who uses the top of the line MonacoProfiler software ($4,000 for the software) to create the best profiles I've yet seen for my printer.

I would choose this or similar option over the on-board profiling of the HP.

-Jonathan
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Hi Jonathan,

I've pretty much read everything I could find, here and elsewhere, on these printers.  So, if you've repeated yourself 1000 times, I've probably read you comments 1000 times.    However, to clarify my position a bit, I'm willing to put up with less speed, occasional clogs, ink swapping, and most other possible shortcoming (though not pizza wheel marks) in order to obtain the specific visual qualities I'm looking for.

Of course, I'd rather get the look I want while also avoiding those shortcomings, but obtaining good saturation in the spectral extremes of both dark and light gamut is definitely my main priority.  My work is more extreme in this regard than traditional photography, and I am mainly concerned about sacrificing dark gamut saturation if I were to chose either the Canon or HP 12-ink options.  As I mentioned, I've soft-proofed with profiles for both printers and don't care for the difference I see in this area vs Espon K3 options, but it's very hard to determine how this translates into real-life prints.  I do notice, however, that, while I can soft proof and obtain an acceptable onscreen result with Espon profiles, I can't manage the same with the HP and Canon glossy canvas profiles I've played with (in regard to dark gamut tones).  Of course, this is not a perfect methodology, especially since I'm dealing with generic profiles, but I'm simply doing my best to acquire a visualization of what numerous people have described as the characteristics of the Canon and HP printers.

I don't know how much saturated dark-gamut colors your work has, so asking for a subjective opinion about such things may or may not prove relevant to my work.  However, I am curious as to what results you've gotten with saturated reds on canvas with the Canon printer, since I've heard conflicting reports about this.

In regard to profiling, I have someone who does really top-notch profiles for me and I'm only really interested in perfecting my output on one preferred substrate which I'd want my work to be associated with... so this isn't a big determining factor for me.

Thanks and Kind Regards,

Mike
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jpgentry
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2008, 03:41:08 PM »
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You need to soft proof the profiles from these printers in Photoshop.  That's the easiest way to do what you want.  

Contact Scott Martin and see if he has a few sample profiles on media similar to what you will be using and see if he has profiles from both printers.

If he does not go to booksmartstudio.com and download two equivolent profiles (same paper) on the two printers you are comparing.  Soft proof in PS and inspect the difference.

That will get you close...

-Jonathan

Quote
Hi Jonathan,

I've pretty much read everything I could find, here and elsewhere, on these printers.  So, if you've repeated yourself 1000 times, I've probably read you comments 1000 times.    However, to clarify my position a bit, I'm willing to put up with less speed, occasional clogs, ink swapping, and most other possible shortcoming (though not pizza wheel marks) in order to obtain the specific visual qualities I'm looking for.

Of course, I'd rather get the look I want while also avoiding those shortcomings, but obtaining good saturation in the spectral extremes of both dark and light gamut is definitely my main priority.  My work is more extreme in this regard than traditional photography, and I am mainly concerned about sacrificing dark gamut saturation if I were to chose either the Canon or HP 12-ink options.  As I mentioned, I've soft-proofed with profiles for both printers and don't care for the difference I see in this area vs Espon K3 options, but it's very hard to determine how this translates into real-life prints.  I do notice, however, that, while I can soft proof and obtain an acceptable onscreen result with Espon profiles, I can't manage the same with the HP and Canon glossy canvas profiles I've played with (in regard to dark gamut tones).  Of course, this is not a perfect methodology, especially since I'm dealing with generic profiles, but I'm simply doing my best to acquire a visualization of what numerous people have described as the characteristics of the Canon and HP printers.

I don't know how much saturated dark-gamut colors your work has, so asking for a subjective opinion about such things may or may not prove relevant to my work.  However, I am curious as to what results you've gotten with saturated reds on canvas with the Canon printer, since I've heard conflicting reports about this.

In regard to profiling, I have someone who does really top-notch profiles for me and I'm only really interested in perfecting my output on one preferred substrate which I'd want my work to be associated with... so this isn't a big determining factor for me.

Thanks and Kind Regards,

Mike
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