Just got my January issue today and saw an ad for HP printers. I haven't really seen alot of information about these printers that are advertized in this issue. What is HP's quality of and selection of it's inks and papers. I've looked at their sight but would like to hear some real world thoughts.
HP is trying to play catch-up with mainly Epson. For many years HP has ignored the photography market to a great extent in favor of the general and business markets. I honestly don't know if they are really catching up or not. In terms of fade resistance, you should check the defacto industry standard test house www.wilhelm-research.com and see if they list fade resistance data for the HP printers you are interested in and compare that info with the same for at least Epson.
I think it goes without saying that Epson is the premier brand for photo-quality printing. Buying one of their photo printers is a rather safe bet. Many other brands claim photo-quality, but you need to realize that this term is not defined scientifically by any stretch of the imagination.
Yes, Epson is considered to be #1 and I'm planning on buying a 2400 printer and new scanner after Xmas and taxes are taken care of.
It looks like HP is aiming squarely at the pro segment with these 3 printers. Their suggested prices are nice. The big question is their selection of papers and ink mediums.
As for perminance there are alot of discussions out there as to Wilhelm test procedures. I am not in a position to question these debates but I try to pay attention to them.
I try to keep an open mind and digest what I can. I then make a decisions on what I have deduced about the subject. In reality how many color photographs last for 30 to 40 years without fading, he__, even 20 years. When I do portraits I will do both color and b/w for the client. Cibachrome is something else.
Right now I'm just trying to get the biggest bang for my buck and it looks like Epson is the big bang in the game with their K3 inks and paper selection. But thats today what about tomorrow. As in business it not what you did for me yesterday but can you do for me tomorrow that counts. Hp could be tomorrow. Their ad just looked interesting, but I guess that is what they paid for. This is why I posted the question of interest. I guess the proof is in the pudding but I'll be dead before the pudding is finished. Thanks Frans I'll keep an eye on Wilhem's site I have it on my favorite list.
The limiting factor with the HP printers is that they obtain their high longevity rating through a technology in the paper that "binds" the dye inks. So if you want long lasting prints you have to stick with the HP papers made for the printer.
I've been using HP printers ever since the first inkjets came out and have been very pleased with them. I currently own a 932C which makes really nice 8x10 images.
But I've been itching to try something in a larger format than 8x10. I happen to have a friend who's an HP rep so I asked for his recommendations.
He recommended the Epson...
After reviewing HP's selection of sheet print papers this morning against what Epson provides. I have come to the conclusion that they are far short of providing the choice that Epson provides. If HP papers and inks for these printers are formulated as you have indicated to specific coatings then they have greatly limited their versatility of the printers. My next question is. Are the K3 inks formulated specifically for the Epson papers? I don't remember seeing that in reviews I have read.
Now that's a BIG OUCH!!
For inkjet printing, the interaction between ink and papers is crucial for long term color stability and fade resistance. Every serious inkjet company spends major resources to optimize their paper-ink combinations. Using other paper-ink combinations may give pleasing results, but may not hold up over the long run. Unless reliable, favorable test results are available from a source like Wilhelm Research (www.wilhelm-research.com), expect other paper-ink combinations to disappoint over time.
There is a fundamental difference between all of the versions of Epson Ultrachrome ink and HP or Canon inks. The Epson Ultrachrome are pigment inks, with each particle of pigment uniquely encapsulated in a microscopic resin coating. Pigment inks are largely resistant to light and environmental degradation and fading in and of themselves. So as long as the paper they are used on is equally long-lasting preferably ISO rated archival, print life will exceed 100 years whether the paper is an Epson brand or not. Most of the "fine arts" papers Epson sells are made by independent paper mills like Arches anyway.
With HP, the ink is dye based, and by itself is like any dye ink subject to light and environmental degradation limiting longevity by fading color. HP's solution to achieving longer lasting prints is to use a paper coating with interacts with the dye ink to encapsulate the ink and protect it from light and environmental degradation. In other words it is a chemical/physical relationship between the HP ink and HP paper coating that achieves a much higher than typical dye-type ink longevity.
David and Frans
I just finished reading George Schaub's review of HP's 8750, Aug. 2005 for the 3rd time. His review tends to give a big nod to HP in COLOR, B/W and PRINT LONGEVITY, 100 to 200 years. It would seem to put the 8750 in direct competition with the Epson R2800 at a lower price if not it is head to head with the R1800 for sure. Again the selection of paper is the big issue I think that is against HP. David and George both tried 3rd party paper with success. These 2 reviews from reputable sourses seems to stur the pot. I'm still researching reviews on the other two HP's 90 and 130.
Check out www.consumerreports.com
They have recently tested the HP, Epson, and others for photo quality.
4x6 Photo Printers were briefly reviewed in the February 2005 issue (page 8). In my opinion, Consumer Reports does a mediocre job of reviewing printers specifically designed for high-quality photography. There are better reviews available from photo magazines and on the internet.
pixographer (and yes, you can ask me what that means)