Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Z3200 still worthy of consideration?  (Read 3224 times)
Alistair
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 210


WWW
« on: January 08, 2013, 01:50:12 AM »
ReplyReply

I have had an Epson 7880 for a few years and have been very happy with it for my relatively low volume printing. Am looking for a 44" printer and have noted that the best deals are to be had on HP z3200 printers. I know they are a generation older than the best and brightest from Epson and Canon and things like colour gamut and bronzing are inferior. But would those differences be obvious in the printed output or are they more relevant to reviewers looking to nitpick differences? And would I see notice a difference in output compared to the 7880? Many thanks.
Logged

kers
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 773


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 05:52:20 AM »
ReplyReply

I have the almost identical Z3100 and it is very reliable and constant in output -
Also it does not cost much ink when not in use... the nozzles stayed in perfect condition during 6 years of use. I had to replace one faulty print head = 50 Ä
I also am a low volume printer.
But- using a different printer also means different paper.. It is the combination that counts...
So if you are sensitive to that specific outcome on a certain paper on the 7880 it might take time - if it works- to find a new combination on the Z3200.
My idea is that papers (like HahnemŁhle) are developed more with Epson in mind than HP.




Logged

Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu
Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6977


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 09:08:49 AM »
ReplyReply

Alistair, when you are considering the replacement of a printer, especially a large format printer, there are more things to consider than what you wrote here. The very first issue I would ponder is the longevity of HP's presence in this market segment. The model is by now very long in the tooth and they have said nothing about updating it - at least that I know of. The company is also going through a lot of "transition", to be polite about it, so the very first concern I would have is about future support in terms of their commitment to help, maintenance, consumables, replacement parts. I would want pretty solid assurances on all that before buying one.

Differences of colour gamut between various ink/paper combinations would show more in some images than in others, so this is not a constant, and depends AT LEAST as much on the paper as it does on the ink and the profiling. Since that printer was manufactured, other manufacturers have been producing models with expanded gamuts relative to their own previous editions, but how they compare with a Z3200 I have no idea. This is the kind of thing that would be best assessed if you could work with a dealer who is set-up to let you see for yourself using several different kinds of images printed in several different printers on the papers you prefer using.

Quite apart from colour gamut, there is accuracy of ink placement, which depends on the screening and dithering algorithms embedded in the printer firmware. Smoothness of tonal gradations and the accuracy of detail rendition would be affected by this. Whether you can actually see these differences in the kind of output you produce again is something you should test personally before buying.

Finally, how you intend to use the printer is really important these days. If you intend to print only between longish intervals, any of the Epson x900 printers may not be a preferred option, because they are intended to be used at very frequent intervals, and if they aren't, a number of people are reporting clogs that take time and ink to clear-up. However, if you don't need a roll holder and 17 inch width is good enough for you, the Epson 3880 is a very reliable, relatively trouble-free performer producing beautiful output. People who print infrequently and want wider format than 17 inches should consider Epson's non-x900 series as well as Canon offerings, by doing research on performance for specific models and looking at printed output using their preferred papers and test images.
Logged

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 Caldwell
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 466



« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 10:30:28 AM »
ReplyReply

We have a 24" Z3200 and an Epson 4900. The Z is a very nice machine, and if I'd had the sense to have bought the 44"machine initially, I'd have no interest in upgrading the Z3200 to a Canon or Epson 44" machine. The Z's output is very good to my eyes, and it very seldom head clogs. If I could buy a 44" Z3200 for a low price I'd go for it.

Mark's points are all good, and I have no idea whatsoever about the longevity of the HP Z series, so in that regard, I don't know if the purchase would be *smart*. The HP software is clunky, but I've learned to live with it. The built-in profiling has also been nice, but I would regard it as essential.

Aren't the best 44" deals (initial purchase price with new ink volumes)  with the Canon 8400 these days?

John Caldwell
Logged
Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6977


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 10:34:42 AM »
ReplyReply

John - you meant to say you would NOT regard it as essential? (The built-in profiling)
Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6977


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 10:36:58 AM »
ReplyReply

John, second question: how would you compare the "Z" output with that from your Epson 4900 for a good wide-gamut image, same paper? Have you done such comparisons?
Logged

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 Caldwell
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 466



« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 10:49:00 AM »
ReplyReply

Right Mark, I meant to say that the built-in spectrometer and self-profile aspects of the Z are nice, but not essential. I have spent the money for custom ICC profiles for the 4900, but the cost hasn't been so great. If I do buy a 9900 or 8400, I would again be spending the money on custom profiles.

Honestly, I don't know if I could say that the gamut of the Z and the 4900 come across as different to me eyes. I am speaking of informal tests, without objective measurement. But I am comparing prints made of the same image, on the same papers. The Z3200 gamut is not what I'd call outdated, honestly. If this is a matter that impacts a purchase decision you, or maybe Alistair, need to make PM me. I'll see if I can make a print for you so you can see for your self.

John-
Logged
aaronchan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 310


« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 11:15:06 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm not sure which one is the best deal but seems like the Canon iPF8400 isn't that expensive as well.
I'm using 8300 and never had a problem. I also have a 44" Z3200 as well but it is a pain in the butt to me.
HDD crashed, motherboard burned out, XP driver doesn't work correctly, can't take super thick paper like Hahnemuhle Baryta FB.

aaron
Logged
John Caldwell
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 466



« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 11:24:37 AM »
ReplyReply

...I also have a 44" Z3200 as well but it is a pain in the butt to me.
HDD crashed, motherboard burned out, XP driver doesn't work correctly, can't take super thick paper like Hahnemuhle Baryta FB.

aaron

Wow. I've been troubled only with software nuisance, not the others failures you've had Aaron. I've printed only from OSX. As far as thick papers go, I never found a situation that couldn't be worked around, but certainly I'll concede that thick media, especially when heavily curled at the end or a roll, do require special measures to get the material to feed correctly.

John-
Logged
Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6977


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 11:28:15 AM »
ReplyReply

Right Mark, I meant to say that the built-in spectrometer and self-profile aspects of the Z are nice, but not essential. I have spent the money for custom ICC profiles for the 4900, but the cost hasn't been so great. If I do buy a 9900 or 8400, I would again be spending the money on custom profiles.

Honestly, I don't know if I could say that the gamut of the Z and the 4900 come across as different to me eyes. I am speaking of informal tests, without objective measurement. But I am comparing prints made of the same image, on the same papers. The Z3200 gamut is not what I'd call outdated, honestly. If this is a matter that impacts a purchase decision you, or maybe Alistair, need to make PM me. I'll see if I can make a print for you so you can see for your self.

John-

Thanks John, very good of you, but I am not in the market for one. I am happily using my 4900 as I don't need to print wider than 17 inches. It does need a bit of baby-sitting, but it makes gorgeous prints.
Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2868


« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 03:11:15 PM »
ReplyReply

I have had an Epson 7880 for a few years and have been very happy with it for my relatively low volume printing. Am looking for a 44" printer and have noted that the best deals are to be had on HP z3200 printers. I know they are a generation older than the best and brightest from Epson and Canon and things like colour gamut and bronzing are inferior. But would those differences be obvious in the printed output or are they more relevant to reviewers looking to nitpick differences? And would I see notice a difference in output compared to the 7880? Many thanks.

With a good choice of gloss papers the bronzing is not really a problem. The gamut of the Z3200 is slightly behind that of the most recent competition models, hardly an issue in my opinion and the Vivera pigment inks keep that gamut longer in time than any of the other ink sets. It is the right choice for a low volume print shop; smaller carts, cheap head replacements, calibration tools integrated. Lower printing speed. My costs of DIY maintenance + repairs on two printers with a total of 10 years use has been less than 800 Euro. I have not used service in the two first years and there was no extended warranty on them. Only the last half year I had to replace two belts, a head carriage board and more heads than usual. Maintenance and repairs were easier than what I experienced with 5 years of Epsons before this HP period. If there was a similar competitive price for a new HP Z3200 over here I would be tempted to replace one of Zs here and get another 5 years without issues. The Canons are however much cheaper considering the total deal.

In have no idea whether HP pulls it from the catalog but in that catalog are printers already 3 or 4 years older than the Z models and they still sell them.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.

Logged
Alistair
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 210


WWW
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 03:28:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks everyone for your responses. Ernst, what do you consider a good gloss paper for the Z to minimise bronzing?
Thanks, Alistair
Logged

Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2868


« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 03:09:03 AM »
ReplyReply

First, for a long time I tried the economy mode of applying the gloss enhancer but it lays down less GE than the full page mode and that shows. The HP RC gloss papers are alright and I like the Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl 11 280grams which will be replaced by the Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl 310grams in the Ilford catalog, good for B&W too with full GE. Same coating in my opinion. I use the Epson Proofing White Semimatte RC 256 grams as it is one of the few warm RC papers with a high white reflectance but can not get rid of bronzing with that paper. I use too little Fiber/Baryta papers to judge what is the most suitable, some warm ones + color printing have bronzing but are acceptable like the Epson RC mentioned before. I would not use them for B&W prints.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Logged
Justan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1878


WWW
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2013, 09:26:52 AM »
ReplyReply

Thanks everyone for your responses. Ernst, what do you consider a good gloss paper for the Z to minimise bronzing?
Thanks, Alistair

I use a Z3100, and have used most of the Hahnemuhle line of fine art and photo rag papers without notable bronzing or other defects. For inexpensive paper, the HP premium instant dry gloss paper simply canít be beat and produces excellent results.

I plan to buy a Z3200 or its successor in the near future. Iíve used my current Z3100 since 2009 and itís been a great printer. I enjoy the printerís ability to create profiles in a few minutes and have seen where it makes a HUGE difference in the final output. Paper characteristics can and do vary greatly from roll to roll, and being able to produce a paper specific 100% accurate profile is invaluable.
Logged

Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6977


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 09:50:27 AM »
ReplyReply

Paper characteristics can and do vary greatly from roll to roll, and being able to produce a paper specific 100% accurate profile is invaluable.


Paper characteristics - for good quality papers - should not vary noticeably from roll to roll to the extent of needing to reprofile it. If they do, there is inadequate process and quality control on the product you are buying.
Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Justan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1878


WWW
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 10:41:31 AM »
ReplyReply

Paper characteristics - for good quality papers - should not vary noticeably from roll to roll to the extent of needing to reprofile it. If they do, there is inadequate process and quality control on the product you are buying.

If you say so... Yet the fact remains Iíve had papers from Hahnemuhle, HP, and LexJet, which are the papers I use, show variations from roll to roll. Iíve spoken with representatives and they acknowledge that variations exist between production lots. Due to this fact, I adopted the habit of running a calibration at the top of each roll.

According to your comment that means they all use inadequate quality control. This may be true. I donít know. All the same, if these manufacturers canít get it right, is there anyone who produces paper that never varies?
Logged

Mark D Segal
Contributor
Sr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6977


WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2013, 10:57:56 AM »
ReplyReply

I've been using Ilford Gold Fibre Silk for most of my work and the only time I needed to reprofile is when I changed printers. Likewise, in the days before the baryta papers, I used a lot of Epson Enhanced Matte and didn't need to reprofile that either, except if I upgraded or replaced the printer.
Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
georgek
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 113


WWW
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2013, 11:28:48 AM »
ReplyReply

I guess confusion between calibration and profiling... With the Z series, is always a good practice to calibrate before large print runs or when the printer asks. No need to reprofile unless new firmware or new drivers installed.
Logged

ShaunMerrigan
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 10


« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 08:15:20 PM »
ReplyReply

Well,  I am still printing happily away on my Z3200.  I replaced the Scan Axis drive and belt and power supply fan recently, did all the calibrations, and it is back as good as new.

As a test after calibrating, I chose a couple of my favorite medium format (Pentax 67 and 645D) B&W images and printed them at 24 x 36 and the prints look fabulous. 

Heck, I even have a spare cloned 2.5" HD ready to install if the OEM one fails.  So, yes, I think it is still worthy.

--materialsguy

Logged
Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2868


« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 02:05:46 AM »
ReplyReply


Heck, I even have a spare cloned 2.5" HD ready to install if the OEM one fails.  So, yes, I think it is still worthy.

--materialsguy


Shaun,

I think you would make a lot of people happy, me included, if you explained what the steps are to clone the Z's HD. I have two HDs ready for that process, I know it is about copying an HD image but which tools did you use etc would be informative. This may not be the place to do it but there is a file section on the Wide Inkjet Printers list that could archive your description.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad