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Author Topic: z3100 printing reds quite desaturated  (Read 328 times)

Endeavour

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z3100 printing reds quite desaturated
« on: April 21, 2021, 01:49:32 pm »

I've been trying to get my z3100 back online after a long period in storage.

I have replaced print heads and performed a ton of cleaning and aligning. I am able to profile my papers but when I print test images, the reds are very desaturated

this is printing directly from PhotoShop, with the printer managing the colours and the correct paper selected.

Any advice on how to get better saturation in the reds?

thanks
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kers

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    • Pieter Kers
Re: z3100 printing reds quite desaturated
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2021, 03:05:39 pm »

is the red worse than before - when comparing calibration targets? are the nozzles ok?
It is known that on matte papers the reds are not very strong and more orange like- that is why they have changed the red pigment in the Z3200. On glossy papers the reds are OK.
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Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu/la

Mark Lindquist

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  • itís not about the photos we take - itís the ones we leave
    • LINDQUIST STUDIOS
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Mark Lindquist
http://z3200.com, http://MarkLindquistPhotography.com
Lindquist Studios.com

Endeavour

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Re: z3100 printing reds quite desaturated
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 07:28:02 pm »

Pretty big thread from a long time ago - click here

Thanks
I did have a quick look over that, but as I am sure you know, HP are awful for decommissioning web servers, so that old links dont work

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kers

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Re: z3100 printing reds quite desaturated
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2021, 07:44:08 pm »

Thanks
I did have a quick look over that, but as I am sure you know, HP are awful for decommissioning web servers, so that old links dont work

+1 HP websites are a big mess.
and too bad they don't give the Z9 the support it needs to be the great printer it can be.


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Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu/la

deanwork

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Re: z3100 printing reds quite desaturated
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 11:43:04 am »

It has always amazed me how one of the largest imaging corporations in the world since the beginning of the digital revolution continues to publish a website that looks like a junior high school kid designed it ( not to diss junior high school kids ).




+1 HP websites are a big mess.
and too bad they don't give the Z9 the support it needs to be the great printer it can be.
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Endeavour

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Re: z3100 printing reds quite desaturated
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 01:16:02 pm »

I know how bad they are internally at that company - I used to work in IT for Compaq back in the day, and it's a point of pride that I left the very day before HP took over :)
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gfsymon

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Re: z3100 printing reds quite desaturated
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 07:09:27 am »

I've been trying to get my z3100 back online after a long period in storage.

I have replaced print heads and performed a ton of cleaning and aligning. I am able to profile my papers but when I print test images, the reds are very desaturated

this is printing directly from PhotoShop, with the printer managing the colours and the correct paper selected.

Any advice on how to get better saturation in the reds?

thanks


Mark's advice here on the forum, on how to run the z series, is really spot on, especially and IMHO, you have to become totally obsessive about Diagnostic Image prints.

To understand anything technical, you must have a fixed point of reference and for the z series... it's the Diagnostic print.  The problem is, HP didn't supply one with the printer and I didn't realise until years later, just how important it is.  Ho hum.  Your Diagnostic print must be perfect *before* you make any profiles, otherwise, you are placing yourself in a moving equation and the problem is, you don't know what is making it move one way or the other, nor why.

I have left my z3100 24" off for maybe as long as 3 years at one point and it's often been more than a year between prints.  Generally I might have a big batch for a client, maybe as much as 40 metres of 24" and then maybe nothing for 6 months to a year or more.  If the Diagnostic print wasn't perfect when I made my profile, then the colour management is going to become increasingly 'off' during the process of printing them as the heads become cleaner.  If the Diagnostic *was* perfect when I made my profile and then I print a new Diagnostic out before I start and it doesn't match the 'perfect' one, then I know my prints will be 'off' to start with, but will gradually move towards accurate colour as the printing progresses.

I've found that there are two ways to get good Diagnostic prints.  One is to print a *lot* (of colourful images).  If you have say 20 metres to print and you do a Diagnostic every 4 or 5 metres, you may find that there are subtle (and not so subtle!) differences as you progress.  Eventually, just by printing a lot of colourful images, your z3100 will get back to a perfect Diagnostic.  I'm fortunate in this regard, because my images are very colourful... or B/W portraits.

The second way to get at least a good Diagnostic, is the cheapest and easiest method.  Just turn the printer on and leave it alone for 3 to 6 months.  I've done this a couple of times, so I know it works, at least it does here where I live, which has a temperate climate, with mid to high humidity.  You must be careful though, if you live somewhere prone to high temperatures. The last two summers here have seen heatwaves, the first of which hit 42.5įc.  Heat is the enemy of electronics and it blew one of the fans and the printer crashed.  I have no idea how long it was in that state, as it's in my garden studio and I wasn't.  Luckily it was cheap and easy to replace and nothing else broke.  So last summer I was more careful... which of course led to the z3100 being turned off for a while and sure enough, when I turned it back on, the Diagnostic had shifted quite a bit.  So, I just left it on through the autumn and it came back to about 85-90%.  Then I had some prints to do and within a few feet it was back to good enough.  After a few more months of being left on, followed by a couple more feet, it's back to perfect.

Regarding the Red.  This is particularly problematic on the z3100, not because of the Red, but because of the Matt Black, which is unlike the other inks in that it is gunky/sticky and so it's the most prone to gunking up the head and of course, it takes the Red with it.  If, like me, you don't do any matt BW printing, then it sits almost unused and just 'gunks' away.  *However* leaving your z3100 turned on, permanently, fixes this problem.  I can attest that simply doing this, will get you to a perfect Red Diagnostic.  A joy to see!  But NB, Red is the most problematic of all the colours, for specifically this reason.  I've also had success by following Mark's guidelines for cleaning a very gunky MB-Red head.  I just sat it in distilled water for a while then wiped/dabbed it very carefully with soft tissue.

As for what is a 'perfect' Diagnostic.  You need to put your obsessive geek hat on.  Get a magnifying glass (seriously) and look really really closely at the stepped lines.  Perfect = none missing, but also ensure that there are *no lines* in the solid vertical bars to their left.  Also note, that depending on the paper you use and depending on your age you may be misled by reflections on the ink, that looks like gaps. (Once you've picked a paper, always use the same for Diagnostic).  So look carefully under good lighting.  On the upside, I find myself using my lovely old folding pocket loupe, that sat for years on top of 10x8 trannies on my lightbox, then in drawer for almost 20 years and now on my Diagnostics.  Perfect for spotting those gaps. 😊  I've kept all my Diagnostics in a folder, which has really helped in going back in time to understand what's been going on.

Apologies for dribbling on if you know all this stuff already. 🙂
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 04:07:47 am by gfsymon »
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