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Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

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  • Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

    I recently examined a printing project that was a simple brochure with a fade to nothing vignette of black. When it was printed offset, the fade stopped abruptly at 4%, leaving a sharp edge between black and white. Unacceptable to the customer/designer. The file contained dots from 10% to 1%, but offset was losing them. Every plate has a minimum printing dot, so just shoot the designer, right?
    Gave the same file to an iGen3, and while it was a little better, the lower tones were lost again.

    Finally, the question: What digital printing machine would have enough resolution to do this, or is it something that should not have been designed?

    An Epson did a little better job, and the discontinued Iris did the best, with uncoated paper and the ensuing wicking helping out.

    Are we at the envelope? (no, it was a brochure...)

    John Lind
    Cranberry Township, PA
    724-776-4718

  • #2
    Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

    John
    They all do a good job - Canon Xerox Next press(Kodak), BUT where would I spend my money HP Idigo and the reason is that all my clienst rate it. WE have just found that one of our clients who has clienst in the US - two years ago spent $60,000 on digital , this year will spend $1m without us noticing a drop off.

    Peter

    The problem I always have is with banding on vignettes and HP is the best - BUT until I buy one who knows :-)

    Look at my post about the Heidelberg Anicolour

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    • #3
      Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

      seems to be a problem with the platesetter or the press conditions.. the dot gain on the press is too high.. try using a waterless press and you can hold that dot really well. We have no problems on our Ryobi DI

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      • #4
        Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

        Peter and Amin:
        I don't hear you saying there is a problem expecting to print a 1-10% smooth vignette. Amin, I guess you can do it waterless? You print and hold a 1% all the time? Even on the Kodak plate in questions, if the dots were there, there wouldn't be much tone value increase (dot gain for us old people). It probably is a plate setter processor calibration issue. But what about the resolution of digital presses? The iGen we printed the same file on didn't do much better. With all the praise of HP Indigo, and it is a nice print, I still run into roadblocks with the mindset of users who are hung up on "qualified" or "treated" papers. Can a user of an Indigo tell me that the 1-10% vignette prints smooth, with all dots present and accounted for? What about another iGen? Was this iGen beat up (or profitable, another way to put it.)
        Thanks for taking the time to comment, but this is unresolved.
        John Lind
        Cranberry Township, Pa
        724-776-4718

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        • #5
          Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

          > {quote:title=jlind wrote:}{quote}
          > I recently examined a printing project that was a simple brochure with a fade to nothing vignette of black. When it was printed offset, the fade stopped abruptly at 4%, leaving a sharp edge between black and white. Unacceptable to the customer/designer. The file contained dots from 10% to 1%, but offset was losing them. Every plate has a minimum printing dot, so just shoot the designer, right?

          If the print shop in question has a limitation on their offset/plate/ctp that limits their tone scale to going no finer than a 4% dot - well I wouldn't shoot the designer as it's not a designer's problem. Unless, of course, the print shop publishes their limitation to their customer base. Perhaps the printshop in question needs to find out and solve their print manufacturing problem or consider going into some other line of business.

          best, gordo

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          • #6
            Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

            Ouch......Mea Culpa.
            Sooooo....are you saying this should have been possible to print this fade gradation on the Kodak Sword plate? And while we are at it, any views on the digital shortfall?
            In the interim, we'll dwell on "capabilities" as opposed to "limitations."
            John Lind
            Cranberry Township, Pa
            724-776-4718

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

              The dots transfer of the indigo press 5000 is very good, even with only 1 dots size. But it really depends on the types of paper and age of the consumables. Ferigoni paper have a very good transfer on the small dots.

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              • #8
                Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

                I might be replying to myself....but there is now further data about the resolution of digital printing machines. It was not a laboratory setting, but the real/unreal world of commercial printing. We made a test file called "How small can you go..." composed of those words starting at 6pt type and descending to 1/2 point type. I'm talking security printing here. The files was sent to an Epson proof, and iGen3, and an Indigo 3000.
                Results:
                Epson: 4pt, and blurry
                iGen: 2pt and blurry

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                • #9
                  Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

                  And to finish the post,

                  HP Indigo 3000: 1 pt type.

                  Short post, but hit the wrong key....

                  This has nothing to do with the original brochure issue, I'm sure, but draws a line in the sand. Soon we'll see how well offset can do, but it should nail the half point type. The smallest reproducible mark that offset is capable of, according to some old LTF/GATF research, is 7 microns.

                  John Lind
                  Cranberry Township, PA
                  724-776-4718

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                  • #10
                    Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

                    In the Creo days we would use micro type to include "discoverable" text in our marketing literature (e.g. annual reports, notebooks, etc.) The smallest type size that reproduced reliably on an offset press was equivalent in height to a 1/4 pt line.

                    best, gordo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

                      black is the worst colour to try it on, i have a GCR black replacement colour profile and the CMY smooths it out, digital machines are notorious for ugly black highlights.

                      Edited by: max on Mar 7, 2008 8:30 AM

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                      • #12
                        Re: Resolution of Digital Printing Machines

                        If you use stochastic on the iGen you'll get a smoother transition.Unfortunatly you may be less happy with the appearance of everything else on the page.An eliptical dot might work better for offset.

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