Advice / opinions - HPZ6100 vs. Epson 11880 / 9800
I’m looking to purchase a new large format printer, to be used for printing both SWOP proofs and presentation materials - it’s looking like either the HP Z6100 or the Epson 11880 (or possibly the 9800).
I’m interested in opinions on these machines, and recommendations for good contract-proofing RIP software.
Z6100 users – how well does the internal spectrophotometer function? Sounds like a great feature... if it works. (One of the big problems with the DesignJet 5000 I’ve been using for years is that its never able to run through it’s self-calibrations properly.)
Thanks in advance for your time and knowledge-sharing.
Epson 9900 with Spectrophotometer
Check out the new Epson 9900 with X-Rite Spectrophotometer built-in option. It is much better than HP Z6100. Even the color management software don't recommend to use Z6100 cause they have a lot of problem with it.
I would recommend you to check out CGS Oris Color Tuner as a front end to drive the Epson. I heard GMG is good choice too.
Can you please clarify what issues you speak of with regards to the HP Z series? I'm close to purchasing one, and would love to see what you are referring to. A link would be great too. Thank you in advance.
I played around with the GMG software on HP z6100, z3200, Epson 9800, 9880, 11880 and also the new 7900/9900 (no - the version I was able to play with isn't released yet and will be a few more weeks until the release version for the x900 is downloadable).
First: all work very well. There's hardly any real difference between any of them for 4c proofing use. Where the differences are is speed and ability to reproduce finest details. This means "photographic quality", if proofing is your requirement then you wouldn't be able to keep these finest details on press anyway, so why would you insist on them on a proofer.
Sheer print size is also a differentiation: 60" for the z6100 and 64" for the 11880 are impressive sizes if you need them. But they require equally a large amount of floor space. Plus you'll have to find space to store those long rolls of paper somewhere as well.
- Internal measurement devices are not available in the Epson x880 (of the above mentioned list)
- Epson 9880 and z3200 should ne considered "slower" printers, while the other models (z6100, 11880 and 9900) are production level printers. But even the 2 "slow" printers have a "production mode" speed setting, but when you need speed and quality the others beat them.
- the new 9900 leads the field (by a small margin if compared to the z3200) when it comes to ability to reproduce as many as possible spot colors as it uses Orange and Green additionally to the different levels of CMYK. The z3200 has RGB added for the same purpose.
So it really comes down to what you need.
In my own personal experience the HP printers have much more "intelligence" built in than the Epsons. So if you need the machine just as a printer the HP works well as a standalone color management solution. If you go proofing and intend to add a RIP this "intelligence" can make the machines a bit stubborn as they might show "problems with subordination", where the Epsons are commonly known to be farily easy to command. So obviously it is also down to the software you intend to use.
Hope this helps
We have an Epson 9800 and two HP Z6100 printers and would recommend the HP's in an instant. It is, in my opinion, the BEST large format printer available for purchase today. I know that that is a BIG statement, but it is based on a variety of criteria. I have been printing from computers since the beginning of the DTP era, the mid to late 80's. I have run linotronic output service bureaus, grand format inkjet printers, thermal and piezo IJ printers of every ilk over the years so I have a good base upon which to compare devices.
The HP Z6100 produces the best colour right out-of-the-box of anything I have used. It gives pleasing color without any of the cyan/magneta/yellow casts that we always struggled with on the HP5000/5500 series printers. The imagery appears more saturated and "true" on a given media than the Epson prints.
It's a great device and I would highly recommend them.
We use Onyx Production House v7.1xx to RIP and queue the files and produce an average of $60,000 of output per month on the two machines.
i also prefer the hp z6100 (PS). Its easy to use and easy to make good profiles. The prices of HP is also much higher then Espon printer. The printers you named are printers in price rangeUSD 5000-25000+. So this makes it diffucult to advice. And you have to make sure how you want to make your profiles. The easiest way is to buy HP Z6100 PS instead HP Z6100 beacause you simple can make a profile with different kind of materials.
My last note: if you are buying media from famous brands you always get the profile for your printer (or its installed in the printer) and you don't need any profile maker.
I have installed many epsons and they all 'work out of the box' reliability is very good. I have used a range of rips (gmg, efi, proofmaster recently and onlder versions of best, onyx etc)
I prefer gmg for its specific controlability, very detailed and precise, Efi gives good profiles as well but you dont have the same level of internal access and control.
Gmg recalibration is slightly more consitant and transfers from one machine to another easier so is good if you have multiple machines and wish to match them.
The quality on the epsons tends to make them the choice for proofing whilst poster/ cad printing tends to be on HP.
Juegens comment re machine intelligence is important and I have replaced another rip with gmg to be able to contol page parameters better.
If you have a precise requirement make sure you see an actual sample with your own data before buying a system and get both rip and printer from the same provideror at least a rip supplier that is prepared to take responsibility for the operation of the printer, better still get ink & paper from the same source and you be guarenteed to get 1st class support.
I agree with juergenroesch. The HP printers are usually faster and use less ink, but the Epson printers usually produce a higher quality proof at a slightly slower speed. The Epsons also tend to use more ink. Check out Epson 11880 RIP, Epson 11880 Software RIP, Epson Stylus Pro 11880 RIP Software, Epson11880 Software RIP, Epson 11880 Digital Proofing for an Epson 11880 RIP or HP Z6100 RIP Software, HP DesignJet Z6100 Software RIP. Digital Proofing RIP Software for HP Z6100 for an HP Z6100 RIP. Prices of RIPs can vary and it is important to consider the RIP and printer combination before purchasing either one. Look at both the type of output you will be using the printer for and the cost. If you are more concerned with speed then the HP is the way to go although the Epson 11880 is still quite fast. Put the RIP on a fast computer and setup a dedicated network card to the printer. This will ensure quality output without any network interference.
having just installed an efi colorproof express on a mac with a 7800 - what a nice little cheap rip, iso39 proofing perfect.
did the job very quick and easy with a profile I downloaded i would highly recommend photographers, small repro house and designers to check it out in preference to the larger (more expensive) rips which are perhaps better for a printers volume of work (eg efi colorproof XF)