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Author Topic: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer  (Read 11800 times)

glyph

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #80 on: September 11, 2018, 01:51:05 PM »

As best I can tell, it is a rumor in the guise of an in stock, shipping printer. I can't think of another major piece of technology that I've had an interest in that had zero legitimate reviews, from journalists or consumers, this many months after introduction. I'm reluctant to read too much into it, but the fact that really unimpressive print samples were sent out only compounds the puzzlement. What has become of the Z9s that have been sold or otherwise distributed?
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stevenfr

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #81 on: September 11, 2018, 02:25:13 PM »

I am not sure if any of this interests the group. These are the questions I had with regard to the Z9+. I can't see that any of my comments would get me in trouble with HP.

Gamut Plot - HP gave me a gamut photo of the Z9+ vs the Z3200. I was told I could not release it. So I will not discuss it in public. I have sent HP a roll of 24" Hahnemuhle photo rag baryta, which is the paper I use. I asked HP to create a ICC profile for my paper with the large patch set as was done in the past with the Z3200. I am not sure how large a patch set they will use, I asked they use the 1728 patch set. I also gave HP 4 images to print. A cross section of my images, slices of images from B&W, colour images, images from the Phase One XF IQ3 100 and some of my friends images (She is a scanographer). Once I have the ICC profile, I will compare it to the profile I have for my current printer the Canon IPF8400.

Ink Longevity - I was told some numbers would be released soon.

Clogging - I am told the heads are locked away in a air tight area when the printer is not in use.

The printer is 16bit

The 44" has the colorimeter the 24" doesn't.

60" version - I asked if one would be available and was told they did not know and would not know until its announced.

Speed - I have asked for the time it takes to print a 24" x 72" from the moment I click print on the computer (since this is the most common size print I do) using the highest setting with printing in one direction. I am waiting for their test results.

Paper Handling - I asked for a picture of the rollers or star wheels assembly to see what they are using. I am concerned with handling of the paper surface. I had a Z3100 with the star wheels. the star wheels tended to leave faint marks on the baryta paper. HP flew a tech from Boise to my studio on Salt Spring Island and retro fit my printer with a device which lifted the star wheels assembly. I was the first client to have the fix, they than applied the same fix to other machines.

GE - I asked for info on the GE and when was it applied. I was told the GE is applied to all areas where values are less than 255. If you have values of 255 for specular highlights the GE will not be applied. This was similar with the Z3100. I thought it would be better to just apply the GE to the print image area.

I am not a fan of rear feed loading printers, its what it is and I will get used to it again if I decide to dump the 8400.

I did mention to HP about getting a proper test of the printer done By Kevin Raber, or Northlight images. I gave them Kevin's contact email address. As well, I mentioned the poor test prints which were provided to me. I mentioned they might want to use better imagery, and better paper samples. We will see how my images from the Phase One XF IQ3 100 look on the Hahnemuhle paper.   

I am off for a shoot on Friday for three weeks in the aspen forests. I should have my test prints and ICC profile when I get back.

I hope this helps. Does any one have any questions you want answered, does my list hit the major items?

Steven

« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 03:14:57 PM by stevenfr »
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glyph

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #82 on: September 11, 2018, 03:18:41 PM »

That's a very exhaustive list, Steven. I'm rather surprised that HP was as compliant as they were, including making profiles for you. I guess they recognize you as an influencer, and it is a good thing if they are willing to earn your business by someone in sales/support trying to demonstrate its worth to you (and us).

My primary concerns are over paper transport and color gamut. I'm curious what HP has learned about efficiency in the years since the Z3200 was designed. I think being kinder to delicate surfaces and less time consuming with paper changes would be on my short list.

On the ink side, I'd like to know how much difference the smaller droplet size/new dithering/fewer colors approach makes with gamut, and would be happy to just maintain the status quo for longevity. Have they upped their game with the profiling software, or kept it dumbed down (I miss APS and larger profiles being built in).

The GE situation sounds like they have made EconoMode the only choice. I too would prefer to be able to apply it over the full surface without a workaround. Let's hope that is sorted out with a firmware update.

I'm curious what the implementation is that enables GE to be an upgrade, too. I wonder if it is just shipped with an empty/dummy printhead and is software enabled?
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stevenfr

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #83 on: September 11, 2018, 03:28:54 PM »

Glyph thank you for your feedback. I am pleased I have hit most of your needs with my questions. HP did not want me to share the plot between the Z9 and the Z3200.  I was told the two droplet method allowed them to get rid of the light inks. I am a bit concerned that this is true. That is what I was interested in the gamut plots between the Z3200 and the Z9, and the Z9 and the IPF 8400. The Z3200 seemed to not have as much gamut compared to the latest Epson and Canon offerings. Although the Z3200 is long in the tooth for age. I just can't tell by the plot they sent me how close the Z9 would be to the IPF8400. Of course it only matters for the colours that you print. For me that would be reds and yellows.

I want to get all my questions answered before making my decision. I will keep you posted.

MHMG

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #84 on: September 11, 2018, 04:05:56 PM »


... Ink Longevity - I was told some numbers would be released soon.

... The 44" has the colorimeter the 24" doesn't.

... GE - I asked for info on the GE and when was it applied. I was told the GE is applied to all areas where values are less than 255. If you have values of 255 for specular highlights the GE will not be applied. This was similar with the Z3100. I thought it would be better to just apply the GE to the print image area...

Steven

1) If HP keeps depending on those legacy longevity tests that follow a simple C,M,Y and neutral gray patch densitometric test protocol (two density levels only per color) which doesn't include skin tone, red, green, or blue color patches, there won't be enough accuracy in the tests to ascertain much about the the newer "Vivid Photo" pigment set used by the Z9+ compared to the older Z3200 Vivera pigmented set.

2) It makes no sense that the 24 inch doesn't have the spectrophotometer just like the 44 inch model. HP could have positioned it to be an optional feature but then why not engineer it to be available on both size units. How hard would that be? Moreover, the Z3100/Z3200 series have always calibrated themselves with the on board spectro, so HP would have had to approach calibration very differently but consistently for both sizes if not relying on the spectro to do it.  The sales brochure on the HP website clearly shows both 24 and 44 inch printers and mentions the on board spectrophotometer in a footnote, but it says nothing about it only being embedded in the larger model. That oversight would be the basis of huge customer confusion, indeed anger given that it's not easy to send one of these printers back after they've been uncrated only to find out the built in profiling capability isn't there on the smaller units.

I spoke at length with an HP rep and another rep at IT Supplies. The HP rep claimed both 24 and 44 inch units are in stock with free shipping in the continental USA direct from HP, and the IT Supplies sales person also claimed to have stock. IT Supplies has never pulled a bait and switch on me, so I have to take both guys at their word. Either model appears to be ready for purchase, just not one that has the GO option available yet, and that was why I am holding off on my purchasing decision. I want to make sure if I buy one without the GO, that it truly can be upgraded to GO in the near future, but frankly neither rep knew how that upgrade would actually get accomplished although they speculated it would be a kit with the GO ink and software to make a firmware upgrade on the printer.

3) The Gloss optimizer info you received also sounds bizarre. Again, I don't think HP tech support truly know what's going on there, only saying it will be added to the printer in the later part of the year. That's fine, but if HP has stripped the machine of the ability to have a " GO overall" choice, it would be foolish.  Forcing one to print some dots into image pure white areas including margins to get full GO coverage is dumb,  and gloss differential reduction would be far more limited than what currently exists on the Z3200. One would be better off resorting to a post treatment spray to settle unwanted gloss differential, at which point the GO feature is irrelevant.

My guess is that for whatever reasons, HP management has just dropped the ball on marketing this new machine, or there's a supply chain issue still needing to be resolved such that the Z9 is only available in very limited quantities at the present time, hence they are not promoting it full throttle yet.

regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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stevenfr

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #85 on: September 11, 2018, 04:43:04 PM »

Mark

Maybe the 24" has the spectrometer. I was told it didn't. I only want the 44" so I didn't pursue it. I would prefer a 60", since I will be getting the phase One IQ4 150 back. The bigger print option is now a reality for me.

I was told the Gloss Enhancer was a kit and would cost $300. My guess he was quoting Cdn dollars. Again, I am just giving you the info I was told regarding the GE and where it applies regarding the print area. If I remember correctly the Z3100 had a similar issue. you could specify the entire print area, but if would skip over the values at 255. I am not sure I need GE since I do a spray process with my prints. The prints they will be doing for me will not have the Gloss enhancer applied. It seems stupid that they would not ship the printers with the GE included.

I told them they need to get someone to test the printer and spend some time with it to write a report. they offered to send me a demo unit for a couple of weeks. I just don't have the time to put into it. Already, I have spent a ton of time trying to get my questions answered.

I also asked why they made the printer if they don't plan on promoting it.

Steven
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 04:47:09 PM by stevenfr »
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stevenfr

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2018, 04:49:44 PM »

I should have my test prints back when I return from my aspen forest shoot in three weeks. if it is interesting I could try and share them with the group. There are four prints 20" x 24" a set from the IPF8400 and a set from the Z9+. I will give you my feedback.

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2018, 06:59:14 PM »


I told them they need to get someone to test the printer and spend some time with it to write a report. they offered to send me a demo unit for a couple of weeks. I just don't have the time to put into it. Already, I have spent a ton of time trying to get my questions answered.

I also asked why they made the printer if they don't plan on promoting it.

Steven

I see the Z9+ as my logical upgrade path from my currently excellent HPZ3200+, but only if initial image quality and print longevity aren't inferior. I hope (and honestly expect) that HP has done its due diligence and produced a new model where image quality and print permanence are equal or superior to the older Z's). However, as many of us truly interested in the new Z9+ are now finding out, except for print speed there's tons of confusion even on HP's own staff about how this printer compares to the Z3200, e.g., does it have the same spectrophotometer capability baked into the HP color utility, does the single version 24 inch model have a spectrophotometer, is the dual roll and vertical cutter (neither of which I require for my low volume printmaking) available in the 24 inch model or not, is B&W tone and neutrality smoothness as good with one less photo gray, etc. etc?).

Getting a loaner for a few weeks simply wouldn't do justice to any review because there are many notable changes, and a really thorough review would require a longer period of access to the older Z3200 as well as the new Z9+ model so that more careful image quality comparisons can be made.  I do plan on purchasing a new Z9+ so that I will have both Z3200 and Z9+ in house, and I do expect to study them very carefully including paired-comparison light fade tests with both the older and newer ink sets on various media. All it takes is time and money, but I think the new Z9+ represents a unique situation where such comparative studies with respect to the older Z3200 should be done because the older Z3200 is so darn amazing to begin with :)

all the best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2018, 03:49:59 AM »



Paper Handling - I asked for a picture of the rollers or star wheels assembly to see what they are using. I am concerned with handling of the paper surface. I had a Z3100 with the star wheels. the star wheels tended to leave faint marks on the baryta paper. HP flew a tech from Boise to my studio on Salt Spring Island and retro fit my printer with a device which lifted the star wheels assembly. I was the first client to have the fix, they than applied the same fix to other machines.

GE - I asked for info on the GE and when was it applied. I was told the GE is applied to all areas where values are less than 255. If you have values of 255 for specular highlights the GE will not be applied. This was similar with the Z3100. I thought it would be better to just apply the GE to the print image area.

I am not a fan of rear feed loading printers, its what it is and I will get used to it again if I decide to dump the 8400.

I did mention to HP about getting a proper test of the printer done By Kevin Raber, or Northlight images. I gave them Kevin's contact email address. As well, I mentioned the poor test prints which were provided to me. I mentioned they might want to use better imagery, and better paper samples. We will see how my images from the Phase One XF IQ3 100 look on the Hahnemuhle paper.   

I hope this helps. Does any one have any questions you want answered, does my list hit the major items?

Steven

Kevin Raber is the publisher/ceo on the LuLa staff. Keith Cooper is the man of Northlight images.

The original starwheel assembly did not function well on the Z3100, like the dark pressure rolls on paper transport that were not soft enough.  The replacements (starwheel's bar raiser parts, tan colored pressure wheels) I got were alright  for that model and I installed them myself. With the Z3200 there was no similar issue, it had the revised parts already installed so I doubt we will see this issue reappear in the Z9+.

There is a simple fix to get GE on all image elements, diminish the RGB 255,255,255 value to 254, 254, 255 with an action in Photoshop etc. In Qimage Ultimate a custom printer filter with only the R brought to 254 is sufficient, this will work on the fly in printing so does not affect the stored image data at all. As Qimage Ultimate can add borders separately in the printing phase no GE is appied on them either. With PS etc, borders have to be added after the action as described is applied.

Edit on all beneath;

Both the Z3100 and Z3200 had two choices to apply GE, image only (Economy) and overall. The above 255 limitation only applies to the Economy mode. I can not imagine that the Z9+ does not have both choices.

On the GE optional part; as I understand from the documentation there is one universal head that can be put in any of the head slots and will print whatever color inks available on that slot. Two ink channels per head. There are 9 tinted inks so one channel remains unused when the 5 heads are inserted. That will be the channel used when the optional GE part is purchased. I can imagine the kit has a GE primer cart to fill the tube or at least to fill the head half not used. I doubt the kit contains an extra tube but might have a software key acting on the cart chip etc. My hopes are still for a new GE fluid with improved scratch resistance possibly requiring some additional heating of the fluid near the head. Why otherwise this postponing when a normal Z3200 GE channel could be used.
My best guess is that the heads have no fluid in them as it must be difficult to charge them with ink without diluting the ink color with fluid already there. My best guess is the head is packaged with a more or less inert gas like nitrogen in the head and package. That would make them almost timeless in storing for HP, the distributors and the consumers. Having one or two heads always in reserve is an advantage for the users, to fill a potential 10-15ML buffer in a head when it is needed is hardly an issue in my opinion.

I think all head maintenance stations in inkjet printers try to be air tight on the heads when the printer is at rest. Possibly improved here when the heads initially have to be charged with ink by the maintenance peristaltic pump + the cartridge membrane pump(s). using the thermal heaters in the heads without ink in them is bad so will not be done. The heads of the Z series so far were all filled with ink so not universal.

On the cutters the docs say that most canvasses can be cut which is new for Z's.

The Z9+ 24" comes with the Color Center software too according the docs. Which makes absence of a spectrometer unlikely.

Edit 2: Just received a magazine with a short article on the Z9+ and Z6. Whether it is all correct has to be seen. The Z6 has a densitometer instead of the spectrometer on the Z9. I guess only for calibration usable then like the Canon iPF models had. Profiling for the Z6 has to be based on OEM profiles or profiles made outside the printer. The assumption that the 24"Z9 has no spectrometer could be a mistake with the Z6 in mind.

The highest patch number on the Z9+ should be 434. Seems very low to me. If true a spin off from the Z3200 profile creation tweaking discussed here may be needed for the Z9+ too.

The vertical cutter will not split two images next to one another on the roll, it is purely a cutter for the vertical side(s). According the article is the universal head filled with a neutral fluid. I really wonder how the charging of a new head works then.



Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

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



« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 10:53:47 AM by Ernst Dinkla »
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #89 on: September 12, 2018, 04:06:16 AM »

Since I am interested in this printer I tried to see if there are color gamut differences compared to Z3200. I extracted from the installer the Z9 icc paper profiles. I didn't succeeded to do the same for the Z3200 so I have nothing to compare them to. Anyone interested to help? I don't know if it is appropriate to post the icc profiles here.
For example the HP-Photo_Baryte_Paper icc profile for the Z9+ reports a gamut volume of 840K.

Interesting, the HP Baryte once introduced with the Z3100/Z3200 was discontinued fast after its introduction. The roll I had suffered of a veil on the surface after printing that reduced its gamut and Dmax compared to other Baryta papers. One could more or less polish that veil off and then apply a varnish but it just was not convenient. I wonder whether this is a reincarnation of that paper or a better clone of a third party manufacturer.

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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Remko

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #90 on: September 12, 2018, 08:18:34 AM »

I am not sure if any of this interests the group. These are the questions I had with regard to the Z9+. I can't see that any of my comments would get me in trouble with HP......

Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable and helpful info, Steven.

cheers,
Remko
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 11:06:52 AM by Remko »
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kevinmcdnyc

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #91 on: October 04, 2018, 09:40:01 AM »

Has anyone, as of yet, seen this printer with their own eyes?
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Dan Berg

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #92 on: October 04, 2018, 09:51:11 AM »

Just read the Z9 specs front to back.
Seems the new vertical trimmer will only trim HP canvas and not third party canvases.
Thoughts on that? I would skip the trimmer for that reason alone.
Did I misread?


Single-roll: Roll feed, top sheet feed, rear sheet feed for rigid media, media output bin, automatic horizontal cutter; Dual-roll: Two automatic roll feeds, smart roll-switching, top sheet feed, media output bin, automatic horizontal cutter and vertical trimmer (cuts all HP Z-series printer-qualified media, including most canvas)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 09:55:40 AM by Dan Berg »
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chamon

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #93 on: October 13, 2018, 07:44:53 AM »

Has anyone, as of yet, seen this printer with their own eyes?
Hi Kevin
Yes , we own one , we buy the 44inch Z9 single roll , replacing a Z3200.

Charles


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Dan Berg

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #94 on: October 13, 2018, 09:41:15 AM »

I was so ready to pull the string on the new Z9 until the price for the Z3200 fell below $2500.
Being able to load 2 rolls of media was the big draw but not for $3000 extra.

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #95 on: October 13, 2018, 11:00:15 AM »

I was so ready to pull the string on the new Z9 until the price for the Z3200 fell below $2500.
Being able to load 2 rolls of media was the big draw but not for $3000 extra.
Hi Dan
For us in Canada the price of the Z3200 and the Z9 single roll are the same $2000 more for the two roll Z9. The inks is cheaper for the Z9 0.53¢ cdn per ml vs 0.69¢ for the Z3200. The printer is faster, auto-nesting is a plus and front loading.

Charles


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Dan Berg

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #96 on: October 14, 2018, 08:04:40 PM »

How they can be the same price seems strange.
The price on Amazon for the 44" Z3200 was $2495
Lexjet's price for the 44" Z9 2 roll is $6895
$4400 less. That vertical trimmer runs it up but not that much.

Product(s)   Price   Qty.   Total
 Picture of HP DesignJet Z9⁺ dual roll 44in Postscript® Printer with Vertical Trimmer   
HP DesignJet Z9⁺ dual roll 44in Postscript® Printer with Vertical Trimmer
by HP
SKU: X9D24A
Availability: In stock
$6,895.00    Remove   $6,895.00

vinz

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #97 on: December 04, 2018, 05:46:49 AM »

Any news on this printer ?
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vinz

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Re: HP Designjet Z9 - HP has launched a new large format photo printer
« Reply #99 on: December 06, 2018, 04:54:06 AM »

Thanks !

The supposed effect of the new HP Pixel Control Pipeline looks interesting.
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