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Author Topic: Considering HP Designjet Z3200 Purchase  (Read 6895 times)
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2012, 05:56:07 AM »
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I've owned large format printers from all three big vendors, including an HP Z3100 and (now) a Canon iPF6300. I think there are two good arguments for the HP printers, and several strikes against them. The built-in profiling system is very easy to use, and permits you to make pretty good profiles for any paper. Not fabulous, Eric Chan quality profiles, but good enough for me. And the HP is simply fabulous for black & white. Absolutely rock-solid neutral greys, a visibly deeper D-max especially on matte papers, and a usable black & white mode that permits decent toning of shadows & highlights.

On the negative side, the HP was in my experience a finicky & delicate device. Mine required a head carrier replacement due to sensor failure about 6 months out. It had ink overspray all over the place inside the thing requiring periodic 'decontamination' to avoid steaking and random spatters on prints. Formatter/hard drive failures are very common over time, and the drive belt requires replacement as it disintegrates after a couple of years. So budget an ongoing maintenance contract, or you may be sorry. I got so frustrated with mine that I eventually junked it rather than sinking more money into it.

My old Epson 7600 was built like an anvil and rock-solid reliable for years. It still works, though I've sold it. But newer Epsons sure seem to have lots of clogging problems. My current iPF6300 by contrast has been completely trouble free. But it still makes sense to budget for an extended warranty, unless you plan on just replacing it when it breaks.
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petermarrek
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2012, 09:24:08 AM »
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I purchased a z3100 (44inch) 4 years ago. I live in Canada and every year have gone south for the winter. I store the printer at a friends's house where it does not freeze, plugged in to a large BUPS. It just sits there for 5-6 months and in the spring I bring it home and it always started right up and worked . Peter
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2012, 09:35:35 AM »
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Can anyone recommend a good US dealer?

I purchase printers, paper and ink from Lexjet. Shipping is fast (printer shipping was free because we have a loading dock) and there's a good variety of papers and substrates to choose from.

As with any major purchase though, educate and inform yourself in order to ask good questions and ferret out the marketing hype from the facts.

One thing I've not seen posted in this thread is the efficacy of the printer driver. Depending on what hardware platform and OS you use, you may have, or develop, a preference for one company's printer driver over another (e.g., Canon's iPF export plug-in).
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Roscolo
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2012, 01:02:39 PM »
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My preliminary calculations suggest a large tax refund this year and I'm considering replacing my trusty DesignJet 130 with a HP Designjet Z3200 (24" model)

Many here are much more familair with wide format ink jets than I am and I'd appreciate any comments or critisims of my proposed purchase. Also recommendations of good on-line dealers would be helpful. It's easy to find sellers and prices with search engines, but they don't always give you enough data to select an appropriate seller.



Excellent choice, but also depends on what you print. If you print black-and-white, the HP is a no-brainer. If your work is color critical, HP's built in spectrophotometer and "push button" automatic paper profiling is a major time and labor saver. I've been printing on my 44" z3100 in a commercial environment for almost 5 years now. In all that time, no clogs. Back when I had Epsons I spent a lot of time and a ton of ink just dealing with clogs. The HP is a dream come true in regard to complete absence of clogs ruining prints. The printer is frugal with ink, and the ink isn't priced through the roof.

Almost no problems in almost 5 years. Print software / driver is kinda quirky sometimes, but effective. If your z3100, or for you, z3200, has been sitting for a few days or week without printing, I recommend powering off the printer, unplugging it for a few minutes, and powering back on before printing. Seems to solve any of those quirky problems.

I do not print much on sheets, but I've not had the problems others seem to have had with loading sheets. If you are going to print on sheets, you just need to go into the menu and disable some of the more annoying functions that make the printer very "skew sensitive" regarding sheets. Once those options are disabled, loading sheets has been no problem for me.

Now, the biggie: After using my z for almost 5 years, would I buy it again? 100% yes. Probably the single best purchase I ever made for my business or my work as an artist. Actually watching / waiting for a price drop or rebate deal on a z3200 as my printing volume has increased to the point I could use a second one.

I purchased my z3100 printer from Newegg. Inks and papers I get mostly from IT Supplies.

Good luck!
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deanwork
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2012, 03:39:51 PM »
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I have had great dependable results with my Z3100 for almost 5 years now also, and I've used the hell out of it. It can handle just about anything. Personally I've found their support people and techs to be very good, at least in my area.

The Canon 8300 I"ve had for about 8 months has been flawless from the moment I plugged it in, and a whole lot faster than the HPs and has a better paper cutter and MUCH larger ink tanks. It is also twice as heavy and no fun to move. No onboard eye one spectro with the Canon.

The HP inkset is 2-3 times more permanent than the other two brands with the best media.

I find the Canon providing a little better BW on gloss fiber out of True Black and White software and it is only using gray and black inks for neutral bw, The HP is a little better on matte rag primarily due to better dmax on those papers. But BW is good on both for a color inkset.  Color is not much different really on any media. Reds are better on the Canon.

The new Epson 9890 I've had for a couple of months has already shown  a totally missing nozzle when I went to change MK to PK that took all day to clear and wasted a lot of ink. I hope this is not a sign of things to come. It still drive me nuts that they still make you waste ink doing that. Mine is going to stay with MK.

Output on all three is excellent. Epson has the best sheet paper handling, much better than HP, and a slightly better dither than the other two and is super fast like the Canon.  Personally I wouldn't get near the 9900 though, but that is just me. I've had too many friends experience total disasters with that series and I don't have the stomach for that anymore in my life.

All of them need to stay in warranty as long as you have them, whatever it costs.

john

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Mike Raub
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2012, 06:59:32 PM »
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Wow, thanks for all the helpful advice.

A couple of additional questions.

1. How loud is the Z3200 when in idle mode (not printing)? The DJ130 has a rather loud fan than runs anytime the printer is on.

2. Any problem with the OS X Lion software or driver? HP is apparently not going to release the Printer Utility software for the DJ130 to be Lion compatible.

3. Any good rebate deals or sales on the horizon? I think last year HP had a deal on for trade ins of older DesignJet printers. I don't know if this is kind of annual thing for HP or a one-off deal.

Thanks,

MIKE
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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2012, 08:50:25 PM »
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I would like to add my own thanks for the comments, very helpful, following my question about sheet paper handling.  These are the most specific I've seen on this issue over quite a period of time on this forum, and because of their specificity, especially helpful.  Thanks again, --Barbara
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Roscolo
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2012, 03:37:22 AM »
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1. How loud is the Z3200 when in idle mode (not printing)? The DJ130 has a rather loud fan than runs anytime the printer is on.

3. Any good rebate deals or sales on the horizon? I think last year HP had a deal on for trade ins of older DesignJet printers. I don't know if this is kind of annual thing for HP or a one-off deal.


The z is pretty silent when not printing. It will wake up a few times each day for about less than 1 minute each time to perform nozzle maintenance.

I'm hoping there are some deals on the horizon as I would like to get another z.
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Damir
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2012, 06:17:00 AM »
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Depends on the variety of papers you handle, most what goes as sheets into the printers here are waste pieces from the rolls for proofs, not always with a good square cut and often with some curl left.

Good point Ernst, when I think back, whenever I had problem with load it was not original sheet of paper.
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abiggs
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2012, 06:20:18 AM »
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My Z3200 is quite loud when not in use.
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Andy Biggs
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2012, 06:41:35 AM »
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My Z3200 is loud too but the Z3100 not, on both the reports vary so you have to be lucky which Z3200 you get. Mine are in the workspace not near my desk.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

Shareware too:
330+ paper white spectral plots:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2012, 08:07:06 AM »
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My Z3200 is quite loud when not in use.

I can't tell if you're joking, but I laughed anyway.
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abiggs
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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2012, 08:29:33 AM »
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Unfortunately I am serious. I am glad that my LF printers are in another room that is separate from my work area, because it would drive me nuts if I had to listen to the fan noise all day long.
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Andy Biggs
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Africa Photo Safaris | Workshops | Fine Art Prints
dunesurfer
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2012, 03:43:41 PM »
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Got a Z3200 PS 44 inch.Other then problems with colour management with it,in coreldraw,no problem.Slow on printing,but hey,quality is very good.I would however recommend the extended warranty.Do not go without it.Dont know why people complain about noise.Mine is next to my desk,and other then when it wakes up,every day ,i do not know its there.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2012, 04:49:59 PM »
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Got a Z3200 PS 44 inch.Other then problems with colour management with it,in coreldraw,no problem.Slow on printing,but hey,quality is very good.I would however recommend the extended warranty.Do not go without it.Dont know why people complain about noise.Mine is next to my desk,and other then when it wakes up,every day ,i do not know its there.

Agree. If you have room, and there's a sale, deal or rebate, go for the 44 inch. You may think you don't want to print big, but once you start it's hard to stop, and it's nice to always have the option. The z is definitely not noisy. I suppose people have different standards for noisy, but the z makes as much noise as your average PC case fan as I'm pretty sure that is what it has in there. So if your computer has more than one fan, and hopefully it does, your computer actually makes more noise than the printer.
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artobest
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« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2012, 04:51:40 AM »
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My 3200 makes a hell of a lot more noise than my computer! The fan just runs and runs. I've swapped out the electronics once (for a broken fan) and the new fan is just as loud. Maybe I'm just unlucky. I do think they could've given us a quieter fan.

Back on the subject of paper loading, I should add that my load success for larger sheets (say, A2) is much higher than for smaller (A4) sheets - not far off 100%, now I know what I'm doing. Smaller sheets are just harder to guide into the machine.
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deanwork
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« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2012, 08:46:52 AM »
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That's right. I've never had any trouble loading sheets larger than 8.5x11. It is the 8.5x11 that takes a little longer.

The important thing to remember is the sheets have to be flat not curled as off of a roll,  and they have to be totally equal on all sides if you are trimming them yourself. If you are using sheets out of a box even the 8.5x11 is not that big of a deal, though certainly easier on Epson and Canon.



Back on the subject of paper loading, I should add that my load success for larger sheets (say, A2) is much higher than for smaller (A4) sheets - not far off 100%, now I know what I'm doing. Smaller sheets are just harder to guide into the machine.

[/quote]
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lighthunter
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« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2012, 10:48:49 AM »
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This is my first LF Printer
and loading paper on it not a problem at all ... there is guides that helps you to load sheet
but you need a space beand it to load easly
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brabant82
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« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2013, 06:35:35 AM »
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Hello,

First of all sorry for my bad Englisch. I'm from the netherlands.

I'm considering buying a HP Designjet Z3200 44 inch the ps version. more info it is this one:
http://plotterwinkel.nl/Grootformaat-printers-A0/HP-Designjet-Z3200PS-44.html

I came to this frum via google. I have a few questions about the Z3200 maybe someone can help me.
1. Is the Z3200 ps compatible with Windows 8?
2. Does anyone know the price per print?
3. Has anyone experience with printing on canvas with the Z3200?

Thanks!!
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MonsterBaby
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« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2013, 06:38:08 PM »
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if you think a 3200 is loud.. get a 6100 .. and you think a spaceshuttle lifts off every time it fires up .. ;-)
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