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Author Topic: Z3100 Questions  (Read 2259 times)
monkeybusinessimages
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« on: June 03, 2009, 10:28:50 AM »
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Sorry Am bit of a newbie at printing.

I have an HP Z3100 printer here and have wondered if i am using it correctly.

I always calibrate the printer when it asks and have calibrated monitors using the Eye One Match device.

When i first got the printer i was printing using the default profiles for the printer.

i.e: If i was using HP Professional Satin Photo Paper, i would apply that profile to the image in Photoshop before printing.

But i noticed i would get better results if printing Adobe 1998 embedded.

Can someone tell me if any of these are correct? Or if i should be embedding the monitor profile into the image.

Also am i missing a step somewhere, should i be telling the printer what profile to use.

Sorry for all the questions,  but would like to be getting the best results from the printer

Dan
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 10:42:57 AM by monkeybusinessimages » Logged
jmvdigital
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 11:31:24 AM »
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Quote from: monkeybusinessimages
i.e: If i was using HP Professional Satin Photo Paper, i would apply that profile to the image in Photoshop before printing.

Do not do this. You should be editing your image(s) in a "working color space" like AdobeRGB (1998) or ProPhoto. You always stay within this working profile. You don't ever need to convert the image to the printer profile, nor do you ever want to embed or convert to the monitor profile; just leave them alone. You can "soft proof" your images to see what they will look like in print, by using the Proof.. Custom options under the View menu in Photoshop. Here, you select the printer profile, and the rendering intent, and it gives you a temporary conversion preview to see what it will look like. Using the Proof view does not convert the color space of the image, and you can turn the Proof view off at any time.

See my attached screenshot for the settings you should use. When you go to print, you want to want to select the option for "photoshop manage colors", and then you select the printer/paper profile you are using (in this case, I have selected the profile the Z3100 has created for my Professional Satin), then you select you rendering intent (I usually use Perceptual, but sometimes Relative Colorimetric works better for certain images; leave the other two choices alone), and always have Black Point Compensation checked.  

Then you'll move to the HP driver options window. See my second screenshot. Select the paper type you're using, and the other options you want. These are my defaults.

Hope that helps.
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Justin VanAlstyne
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 11:56:50 AM »
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Quote from: monkeybusinessimages
Sorry Am bit of a newbie at printing.

-What Justin said.
You should be using either a good third-party profile (and the HP profiles for their own papers tend to be very good), or generate your own using the on-board spectro. Adobe RGB or Prophoto RGB are color spaces within which you edit your images. They (confusingly) have a profile associated with them, but this 'profile' is just a mathematical description of the gamut space you're working in. It's no more relevant to the actual profile of your paper/ink combination than the size of your garage is to your car. As long as it's 'big enough', nothing else matters.

The driver will constantly ask you to update the printer calibration. To be honest I tend to ignore it unless I'm starting to get visible color drift in my prints. You can waste a lot of paper doing repeated calibrations just to sqeeze out the last percent or two of color accuracy that your eyes will never see anyway.

The biggest pitfall is making sure that in the printer driver you have Photoshop managing the color, rather than the printer itself. There are two separate places where you need to check this off: on the color/quality tab of the HP driver, and in Photoshop's print dialogue box. If the two settings don't agree, you'll get weirdness.
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dct123
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 12:01:27 PM »
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The Working Space can be a calibrated monitor profile or Adobe RGB, or anything you want. The image profile is set when you convert from RAW, or if you shoot JPEG, then whatever the camera setting is.

FWIW: I set Camera RAW to convert the image to Adobe RGB, 16 bits, 300 dpi, whatever the camera's native resolution is, and no sharpening. After adjusting color settings in Camera RAW, and the image is opened in Photoshop, it will have an imbeded Adobe RGB profile. This is the image profile. The paper profile you choose in the Printer Dialogue Box is different and determines how the image prints. (How much ink, bi-directional/unidirectional passes, star wheel height, matte black, photo black, or quad black, etc.)

In the Photoshop Print Dialogue window, jmvdigital uses exactly the same settings that I use.
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neil snape
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 12:48:36 PM »
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No need to pre-convert before printing ever. If the printing app is Photoshop anyway your images already have an embedded working space or source profile, an obligation in Photoshop for many years.

In the print dialogue box your source profile is shown, and you select the media profile and rendering intent. Usually perceptual works best.

More important with the Z series is the calibration of the paper than whether or not you custom profile or not. Since the canned (included supplied) profiles are made on top of the calibrations for them to work you must run the calibration often to ensure best results.
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dct123
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2009, 01:14:48 PM »
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Quote from: neil snape
No need to pre-convert before printing ever. If the printing app is Photoshop anyway your images already have an embedded working space or source profile, an obligation in Photoshop for many years.

In the print dialogue box your source profile is shown, and you select the media profile and rendering intent. Usually perceptual works best.

More important with the Z series is the calibration of the paper than whether or not you custom profile or not. Since the canned (included supplied) profiles are made on top of the calibrations for them to work you must run the calibration often to ensure best results.

The Working Space Profile can be different than the Imbeded Image Profile. if you choose Document in the Photoshop Print Dialogue Window it will show the Imbeded profile, if you choose Proof it will show the Workspace Profile.
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monkeybusinessimages
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 04:26:45 AM »
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Brilliant,

thanks for the tips guys, that really helps, will give it a try and let you know how i get on.

Thanks

Dan
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monkeybusinessimages
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 04:52:07 AM »
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Just did a print of a portrait on a white background and it came out a little better, colours are a little more "lifelike" can see a bit more detail in the hair.

Thanks again for the tips
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monkeybusinessimages
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 05:15:55 AM »
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Another quick question

I did a print off of a desktop hp printer yesterday and was amazed when i compared the print against the one that came out of the Z3100. The one from the desktop actually looked better, sharper, more vibrant. Should this really be the case considering one cost thousands and the other was cheap
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 05:36:54 AM »
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Quote from: monkeybusinessimages
Another quick question

I did a print off of a desktop hp printer yesterday and was amazed when i compared the print against the one that came out of the Z3100. The one from the desktop actually looked better, sharper, more vibrant. Should this really be the case considering one cost thousands and the other was cheap

1) Lots of desktop printers default to neon color and aggressive sharpening in the dithering algorithm because it makes prints from cell phone cam JPEG's look appealing. This may catch your eye right out of the printer, but it's not helpful when you're trying to print a work of art rather than a comic book.

2) If your system is 'dialed in' with monitor calibration and accurate color management right through to the final print, you really should get a print that matches the monitor image as well as any reflective print can match a transmissive monitor. You can then produce prints with dripping neon color and vivid sharp edges...or soft pastels and gentle contours. It's all in your hands, whatever you want to do.
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ThePhotoDude
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2009, 06:46:29 AM »
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Quote from: jmvdigital
Do not do this. You should be editing your image(s) in a "working color space" like AdobeRGB (1998) or ProPhoto. You always stay within this working profile. You don't ever need to convert the image to the printer profile, nor do you ever want to embed or convert to the monitor profile; just leave them alone. You can "soft proof" your images to see what they will look like in print, by using the Proof.. Custom options under the View menu in Photoshop. Here, you select the printer profile, and the rendering intent, and it gives you a temporary conversion preview to see what it will look like. Using the Proof view does not convert the color space of the image, and you can turn the Proof view off at any time.

See my attached screenshot for the settings you should use. When you go to print, you want to want to select the option for "photoshop manage colors", and then you select the printer/paper profile you are using (in this case, I have selected the profile the Z3100 has created for my Professional Satin), then you select you rendering intent (I usually use Perceptual, but sometimes Relative Colorimetric works better for certain images; leave the other two choices alone), and always have Black Point Compensation checked.  

Then you'll move to the HP driver options window. See my second screenshot. Select the paper type you're using, and the other options you want. These are my defaults.

Hope that helps.

Just looking at your quality settings and would like to point out what "Maximum Detail" and "More Passes" actually does.

Max Detail switched on is only useful if your image is a higher resolution than 300ppi, in some cases IF the resolution is more than 300ppi then you will be able to squeeze some extra detail. At 300 or less, it has no effect.
More Passes option, is only really needed if you are experiencing banding issues, because some of your head nozzles are clogged, the printer will provide a double pass for each line of paper feed to reduce these banding issues.

Having these options switched on does NOT increase ink consumption, so there is no harm done, but print output speed will be greatly reduced for no visual benefit unless the above statements is true. If anything you are doubling the 'mileage' and wear and tear on the printer because it's doing double the work unnessesarily.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 06:49:16 AM by ThePhotoDude » Logged
jmvdigital
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2009, 08:17:20 AM »
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Quote from: monkeybusinessimages
Another quick question

I did a print off of a desktop hp printer yesterday and was amazed when i compared the print against the one that came out of the Z3100. The one from the desktop actually looked better, sharper, more vibrant. Should this really be the case considering one cost thousands and the other was cheap


Couple of things. First, these color settings we've been discussing will have ZERO impact on the sharpness, detail, and overall image quality of the print. If you're seeing more "detail" in the hair, it could be an illusion, or there a color change slightly increased contrast or something. But otherwise, there should be no difference in fine detail reproduction.

As for the desktop printer being "better"... see what Geoff said. Also, I'll bet you $10 that you are printing an image smaller on the desktop printer, and much larger on the Z3100. And if your starting photo is of medium resolution to begin with, there would be a significant difference between the apparent detail, up close, in a 5x7 versus an 11x14. You might want to revisit your processing steps (capture sharpening, noise reduction, print sharpening, etc.) if you're consistently not happy with larger prints. Like others have sorta mentioned, the Z3100 is a precision printer that outputs (more or less) exactly what you give it. I often see people complaining about how their $200 point & shoot camera produces "better" images than a $5000 DSLR in RAW. Like the DSLR, using this printer requires a mastery of the "craft," it doesn't do anything for you.

For me, I wasn't satisfied with the detail in my Canon 5D images printed above 16x20... so I moved to medium format digital.
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Justin VanAlstyne
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dct123
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2009, 10:09:14 AM »
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Quote from: ThePhotoDude
Just looking at your quality settings and would like to point out what "Maximum Detail" and "More Passes" actually does.

Max Detail switched on is only useful if your image is a higher resolution than 300ppi, in some cases IF the resolution is more than 300ppi then you will be able to squeeze some extra detail. At 300 or less, it has no effect.
More Passes option, is only really needed if you are experiencing banding issues, because some of your head nozzles are clogged, the printer will provide a double pass for each line of paper feed to reduce these banding issues.

Having these options switched on does NOT increase ink consumption, so there is no harm done, but print output speed will be greatly reduced for no visual benefit unless the above statements is true. If anything you are doubling the 'mileage' and wear and tear on the printer because it's doing double the work unnessesarily.

On a Z3200, if you choose Best AND Max Detail AND More Passes AND print on Gloss or Satin photo paper the Rendering Resolution is 600ppi, and print resolution is 2400x1200.
If you choose Best AND Max Detail without More Passes (on any paper or canvas) the Rendering Resolution remains at 600ppi, but the print resolution drops to 1200x1200.

According to HP: "Typically, the higher the number of passes, the better the image quality, but at a lower speeds."

In any case, the paper profile will determine whether the printer does More Passes...bi- or uni-directional...and the number of passes. Read the chart (thanks Colorwave) on page 24 of the PDF below:

http://h10088.www1.hp.com/gap/Data/Working...nter_Series.pdf
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 10:25:48 AM by dct123 » Logged
monkeybusinessimages
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2009, 11:07:35 AM »
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Quote from: jmvdigital
As for the desktop printer being "better"... see what Geoff said. Also, I'll bet you $10 that you are printing an image smaller on the desktop printer, and much larger on the Z3100.

I used the same file on both prints. 5x7 " as a test. Files shot on a canon 1ds MKII, processed in Capture One Pro. This is the field I am experienced in, the printing side is new to me.

I guess Geoff Wittig in right. The algorithms for the desktop printer tend to oversharpen and saturate "out of the box" to give better results for novices.

I have noticed images tend to come out a touch softer than they look on screen. I seem to get slightly better results when sharpening a little more than i would for digital distribution. They dont look great on screen but better on paper. The HP Gloss in particular seems to suck a bit of the sharpness from the image.
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jmvdigital
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2009, 11:21:50 AM »
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Ok, I owe you $10.  

For the detail loss... do some research on "print sharpening." The basic premise is that there is a loss of detail going to print, and you want to slightly oversharpen the image as the last step before printing. This "print sharpening" should be done after resizing the image for your final print size, and shouldn't be used for onscreen. Usually you zoom to 50% and sharpen just to the point where it appears oversharpened. This varies with the image, your eye, the size of the print, and the type of paper you're using.
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Justin VanAlstyne
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