On the monochrome side you have two choices--working with the full set
of inks or grayscale (the Photo Gray cartridge) only. I worked monochrome images
in RGB, trying for a neutral tone on screen and hopefully on the print. Here
the color inks delivered an image that was pleasing, but a bit more on the brown
side than I like, sort of a light "brown toner" look. I then switched
the inkset in the printer driver to "print in grayscale." This gave
me very neutral black and white, sort of like the old Brovira in Dektol 1:1.
Neutral blacks, bright whites, and a nice gray value spectrum--what I had
hoped for. However, printing in grayscale, especially on the matte paper from
Inkpress that I later used, literally sucked the ink from the Photo Gray cartridge.
After only a half dozen 11x17 prints the cartridge was half full. I do use a
lot of "negative space" (read lots of black areas) in some prints,
so to be fair I paid the price in ink used. In addition, if I worked with grayscale
only, at least vs. RGB, I found that density was off about 20 percent and I
had to manually adjust the image on the screen to make it darker than it would
print. My best results were monochrome from RGB, with the application (Photoshop)
as the color manager.
first monochrome print I made showed how well the 8750 handles
black and white without shifting, and there was no green drydown!
This image shows a very wide range of tonal values with good
texture in the highlights. It's from a medium format scan
and a 48MB file.
There are three driver color mode settings available: Colorsmart/sRGB, Adobe
RGB, and Application managed. If you don't use ICC profiles when you print,
or print from a default set sRGB digicam, use Colorsmart/sRGB. If you shoot
using Adobe RGB then use the Adobe RGB setting, but note that you should not
use this if you are using ICC profiles. Lastly, for the most control, let the
application manage the color and use ICC profiles. This requires that you use
a calibration device/software, choose Perceptual as the Intent and check Black
Point Compensation. As to printer resolution, I worked with 240dpi on the image
and maximum dpi on the output. This might take a minute or so more to print
than the 8750's "Best" setting but the results are worth the
small amount of extra time this takes.
In all, I found the HP Photosmart 8750 to be a worthy competitor to any 13x19
printer I have worked with thus far. After playing extensively with various
paper surfaces, driver settings, and resolution settings, I found that 240dpi
was just fine, as with other printers, and that the unit was responsive to very
subtle changes in color and tone I had adjusted on screen. It is important that
you avoid loading thicker papers in the tray and work them sheet by sheet from
the back, as thick stock will jam the unit from the tray side. But even heavy
stock printed in very satisfactory fashion. Color controls via the various driver
settings are sufficient, and experimenting with the different setups is key
to getting just the look you desire.
wanted to see how working with the black (three ink) cartridge
only would differ from working in RGB on monochrome images.
After printing both ways I found that the black only print came
up lighter by about 20 percent from what I had on screen, which
the RGB print matched exactly. Image color on RGB is only slightly
warmer than the black ink only print, and no color shift occurred
during drydown, or even the morning after under a different
light source. I'm very happy with monochrome results from
Most pleasing were the results from the black and white inksets, which to
my eye completely eliminated the bothersome shifts and casts pigment ink printers
deliver, even with "dry down." HP should work to get more papers
available in different surfaces and weights, although working with "third-party"
papers was no problem. As mentioned, inks, especially in tonally deep monochrome
prints, do go fairly quickly, at least in my work, so be prepared with extra
Photo Gray cartridges for an extensive print run.
Like all printers, the 8750 requires that you spend some initial time testing
out various scenarios and settings. No one can tell you exactly how to do this
as each of us has a different "look" we want to attain. But after
a few hours of work you should be well on the road to nailing prints that match
what you see on your screen. The 8750 gives you the tools you need for a very
satisfying printing experience, and the 13x19" size at maximum dpi yields
prints that rival and often exceed anything I've seen in this class.
For more information, contact Hewlett-Packard Company, 3000 Hanover St., Palo
Alto, CA 94304; (800) 752-0900, (650) 857-1501; www.hp.com.