So, weeks and weeks have gone by since the initial issues with gloss on the HP Z3100. Diagnosing the issue, having a tech come out, and then finally awaiting a decision on what could be done. After the dust cleared, what happened?
Well, Sagemax determined that the repair to the printer would not be worth it. So, the Z3100’s purchase price was refunded to me. Bottom line, a new printer would be required in order to get back on the gloss/metallic train. And given the number of jobs I’d missed out on over nearly 2 months, I had to get back on the gloss train!
Of course, folks had been reading along and had been aware of my issues. My rep over at Breathing Color got in touch and we talked about printer options. See, they’re now reselling both Epson and Canon. We talked at length regarding some newer systems that are available…….and with some research a decision was made……..
The Canon IPF 8300.
Hey, I am a Canon shooter after all. Seems fitting.
The printer was expected on Wednesday, but got held up in Blythe, CA. Don’t ask why, but it did. And that actually worked out to be a small problem. See, Ian hit the road for Lake Powell yesterday, so I was on my own for setting the printer up! And let me tell you, setup on the IPF8300 was not as easy as the Z3100.
First off, when the freight truck arrived the driver warned me, the boxes would not fit through our doors. No way! The Z3100 boxing made it right in! Weird. But true. When the printer was taken off the truck and brought around to the back door of the gallery we found that the box was WAY too big to fit through the doorway. Solution?
Unbox the whole thing out in the courtyard!
So, that’s what we did. The trucker and I then moved the main printer body inside the back gallery space. It is not a light printer! It’s super heavy, and 2 people lifting it is not a smart idea. You need a few people for this sucker!
Once I got all the components into the gallery the delivery guy was off and running. A regular client of mine, Roy, popped in, and helped me sort through parts. The gallery was full of boxes, Styrofoam, plastic bags, and garbage. Not a pretty morning for visitors to the gallery! Sorry about that folks.
First I assembled the printer stand. That took a few minutes. Not the best instruction package, not horrible either. Finally, once I had the stand together I walked over to the Firehouse Kitchen and asked to borrow a few servers. The instructions showed 6 people lifting the printer onto the stand. Well, I got 4 guys and that was good enough. Still, that printer is HEAVY!
Once the guys helped me get the printer on its stand I was all set. Rolled the printer into the work room (we are totally out of space now), and started going through the installation procedure. Power it up, pop the print heads in, load the inks. The standard stuff with a new printer, even if it’s super sized!
As the ink system charged (22 minutes) I loaded up the software from Canon and got myself ready to print. The software install was pretty simple, no complaints there. My big worry?
No built in spectrophotometer like the Z3100 has. And my Color Munki hasn’t arrived yet. That should be here next Tuesday. So, the concern? What would prints look like without calibrating anything?
By 4:00 p.m. I was ready to do some testing. I decided to go with my standard workflow. Use Lightroom as the print management program. Unfortunately for the moment that’s a bad idea. Things came out extremely poorly.
Next step? Print from Photoshop. Results? Poor.
Finally, I tried the Photoshop plugin supplied by Canon. I ran a print from the Canon plugin on the Polar Pearl Metallic……and had a winner!
Clearly I need to get the Color Munki in and tune the printer and monitors together. That’s next week’s project. Fortunately, I can start running gloss with the basic profiles I have in the printer and computer if I use the Photoshop Plugin. But that’s not my normal workflow, so I need to get calibrating!
I’m glad to have the new system here. And I’m happier that this “failure” in the HP has finally come to a conclusion. I’m also really appreciative toward the guys over at Breathing Color. The printer was ordered on Monday and arrived on Thursday. Pretty sweet turn around time, wouldn’t you say?
Of course, I have some initial thoughts on the IPF8300, but I’ll save that for another post. I’m running a few Polar Pearl Metallic prints on the new system now and really need to get back to work. 😉 Watch for a full write up on the printer next week!