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Author Topic: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer  (Read 3499 times)

glyph

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Here is a link (at least for HP in the US) to order print samples from the new printer. I've ordered my samples, but I guess it is a sign of the evolving technology that I'm not waiting with bated breath to see them. I expect that they will look great, but most printers look great with carefully chosen images and media. It's all the other things that are not in promotional videos that I care about. Bring on the first person reviews!
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stevenfr

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    • Steven Friedman Landscape Photography

Here is the link, looks like they send to Canada as well.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/large-format-printers/orderprintsamples.html?series=z#/

glyph

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Oops. I posted a linkless link. Thanks, @stevenfr.
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narikin

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I would like to see a 64 version.

+1.

Not interested without 60"+ capability.
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shadowblade

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Interesting.

I wonder how well the dual droplet sizes makes up for the lack of light colour inks. Epson has had variable droplet size for a long time, but I believe they use it for speed rather than gamut, using larger droplets and reducing the print resolution in lower-quality print modes (i.e. at the highest quality setting, every droplet is 3pL). If HP are using variable droplet size even at the highest resolution, they may be achieving a higher ink density (6pL drops in a 2400x1200dpi pattern), although this would likely benefit dark/saturated colours more than the colours that typically benefit from light inks.

Certainly, the black-and-white output should be even better, given that there are now effectively five densities of black instead of four (MK, large and small droplets of PK, large and small droplets of G).

But the really relevant comparison will be the print longevity tests, compared with the Z3200. Going backwards isn't out of the question - just look at the Canon Lucia Pro inks compared with the previous Lucia EX range.

So far, the only result we have that can be used for a direct comparison is on HP Professional Matte Canvas. Unframed, under a bare bulb, Wilhelm gives it a rating of 150 years with the Z3200 and 99 years with the Z6200, and >230 years vs 134 years for dark storage. But the Z6200 isn't the Z9, even if it also uses HP Vivid Photo inks - it uses LM, LC and LG inks, whereas the Z9 doesn't use light inks at all. It would be valuable to know which particular inks/colours are causing the increased fade rates compared with the Z3200 - is it just the light inks, or the entire inkset? On the other thing, the fact that HP is claiming improved gamut with a smaller inkset may not be a good thing in this regard - does this mean that they're using less dense inks, with smaller pigment particles, which will give brighter colours (and more capacity to replace the light inks) at the expense of faster fading?
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mearussi

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Interesting.

I wonder how well the dual droplet sizes makes up for the lack of light colour inks. Epson has had variable droplet size for a long time, but I believe they use it for speed rather than gamut, using larger droplets and reducing the print resolution in lower-quality print modes (i.e. at the highest quality setting, every droplet is 3pL). If HP are using variable droplet size even at the highest resolution, they may be achieving a higher ink density (6pL drops in a 2400x1200dpi pattern), although this would likely benefit dark/saturated colours more than the colours that typically benefit from light inks.

Certainly, the black-and-white output should be even better, given that there are now effectively five densities of black instead of four (MK, large and small droplets of PK, large and small droplets of G).

But the really relevant comparison will be the print longevity tests, compared with the Z3200. Going backwards isn't out of the question - just look at the Canon Lucia Pro inks compared with the previous Lucia EX range.

So far, the only result we have that can be used for a direct comparison is on HP Professional Matte Canvas. Unframed, under a bare bulb, Wilhelm gives it a rating of 150 years with the Z3200 and 99 years with the Z6200, and >230 years vs 134 years for dark storage. But the Z6200 isn't the Z9, even if it also uses HP Vivid Photo inks - it uses LM, LC and LG inks, whereas the Z9 doesn't use light inks at all. It would be valuable to know which particular inks/colours are causing the increased fade rates compared with the Z3200 - is it just the light inks, or the entire inkset? On the other thing, the fact that HP is claiming improved gamut with a smaller inkset may not be a good thing in this regard - does this mean that they're using less dense inks, with smaller pigment particles, which will give brighter colours (and more capacity to replace the light inks) at the expense of faster fading?
Just because the ink set says it's pigment based doesn't mean it's 100% pigment, sometimes dyes are added to either extend the gamut and/or get a better overall color balance. This is my guess as the why the new Canon ink set has better gamut and reds in particular but has much less display life. HP could easily have made the same trade off. We won't know for sure until the accelerated aging tests are made. 
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shadowblade

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Just because the ink set says it's pigment based doesn't mean it's 100% pigment, sometimes dyes are added to either extend the gamut and/or get a better overall color balance. This is my guess as the why the new Canon ink set has better gamut and reds in particular but has much less display life. HP could easily have made the same trade off. We won't know for sure until the accelerated aging tests are made.

When they do this, it's normally quite obvious on accelerated ageing tests. The dyes fade away quickly, causing an initial rapid colour change, with the rate of change slowing down rapidly once the dyes fade and only the pigments are left. This leaves a noticeable kink in the density-vs-time graphs for these inks.

I didn't think anyone had done this in an OEM inkset for a while.
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shadowblade

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Just as critical as the inkset performance will be the Z9's handling and reliability, particularly when used intermittently. This was one of the biggest advantages of the Z3200 over Epson/Canon for the photographer, as opposed to the large-volume print shop - you could go away for three months, come back and the printer would work perfectly.

The fact that they've retained the disposable, user-replaceable heads is a very good thing, as opposed to Epson's heads, which cost $1500 or so and require an expensive technician callout to replace. The retention of the inbuilt spectro is also a nod towards small-volume users. But clog-free reliability will be a major factor for individual users - even cheap, easily-replaceable printheads aren't worth much if they clog after you leave them alone for a week like the Epsons.
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Ernst Dinkla

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But clog-free reliability will be a major factor for individual users - even cheap, easily-replaceable printheads aren't worth much if they clog after you leave them alone for a week like the Epsons.

Very true. Only experience can tell.

Possibly worth mentioning is that the Z9+ docs mention a realistic preview, for everyone still scared to click the print button on the Z3200 preview with its neoncolor management.


Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
March 2017 update, 750+ inkjet media white spectral plots
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little big man

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Wow, they sure made us wait.  About darn time, HP.

Sean
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felix5616

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I called HP requesting information about a retailer selling them as I am ready to buy, no response.
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I.T. Supplies

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Felix- please check your PM.
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felix5616

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Thanks for contacting me, now thats customer service
I answered your message and called and left my contact info, regarding comparisons between the Z3200 and the new Z printers
Leo
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Roscolo

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300ml carts? No larger? No, thank you.
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I.T. Supplies

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Leo- we are getting the 44" version with the horizontal and vertical cutters as our demo once they become available.  Samples will be available!
We requested the specs for each model and will update you as soon as we receive it.

Found out that the printers will use 300ml ink (only size, but will confirm).  More info to come though!

IT Supplies
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shadowblade

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300ml carts? No larger? No, thank you.

Ink usage matters as well.

300mL is still much larger than the Z3200 ink carts, and those ones last forever. Existing HP printers are positively miserly with regards to ink use. Epson, in contrast, wastes ink (often directly into the waste tank) like they were spending someone else's money.
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felix5616

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when are the models with the gloss channel shipping?
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MHMG

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when are the models with the gloss channel shipping?

+1, and what's up with the GO being optional, anyway? Is there some other use for a spare channel that HP envisions for endusers who don't need a gloss optimizer channel, or does HP actually fit the printer with some other parts needed to invoke the GO option?
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Ernst Dinkla

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300ml carts? No larger? No, thank you.

Too early to tell whether that will be the only option. That said on my Z3200 limited to 120ML carts I use the 300ML 772 carts of the larger machines, just replace the chip from a smaller cart. On the fast used inks it might as well work for the Vivid carts from the bigger machines. Depends on the available hues that are compatible + the cart slot configuration.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
March 2017 update, 750+ inkjet media white spectral plots
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felix5616

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The cost of the optional gloss channel is just under $300, not sure of the logic in not having in all printers
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