photo.net would love any ideas about how to work with hp

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by raj surati, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. HP has asked us what sort of articles, reviews, contests or other
    programs we could do on photo.net to raise the awareness of their
    higher end products ... e.g. there largeformat designjet printers
    and some of the higher end smartphoto printers.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for prizes that woudl be attractive
    to folks?

    Is there any comparisons you woudl like to see and if so which ones
    and would anyone want to work on that.

    Any suggestion at all woudl be appreciated.
     
  2. Maybe they shoudl send one of their printers to Bob Atkins.
     
  3. No disrespect to Bob but I think Brad Evans would be a better choice of reviewer especially
    large format/bw/colour
     
  4. what about a contest (photo or otherwise) to win a high-end HP printer or HP gift certificate?
     
  5. zee

    zee

    Unfortunately, my experience with HP products (and customer support) has been less than stellar and as a result, I avoid their products like the plague. Many of my colleagues and clients feel the same. I don't mean to be a spoilsport, just offering an opinion on some people's indifference toward HP.
     
  6. And my experiences have been just the opposite -- excellent on both counts. Right now, I have 5 HP printers, 4 of them PhotoSmarts and never any trouble with any of them. They're all the university uses.

    Conni
     
  7. jtk

    jtk

    One HP killer is the ink, which in Designjet series is much vulnurable to moisture (don't show your HP print to anybody who might sneeze). Not an issue with Epson. HP needs to fix this technically.

    As well there are said to be paper limits with HP that Epson doesn't suffer...HP needs to set this straight, eliminating this commonly discussed idea as mere urban legend or HP-certifying the papers of other manufacturers (not an issue with Epson, which works well with virtually all "photo" and art papers).
     
  8. HP have loaned me (as photo.net editor) both printers and digicams, and I've reviewed them for photo.net.

    If they wanted a specialist printer review, I'd be happy to coordinate with someone with more experience in writing a review for the site.

    I'm happy with the usual consumer items, but I have no experience with the big commercial stuff and wouldn't be a good reviewer. Then again I'm not sure how many photo.net participants are interetsed in 42" printers costing $20,000! Of course there are smaller and cheaper DesignJet printers costing under $1000. I wonder which ones HP wants to promote?
     
  9. Cool. More forcefed ads.
     
  10. As Michael sort of implies, they could always raise the awareness of their products by advertising on photo.net...
     
  11. The new Vivera inks are water resistant. They don't require a spray fixative unless you just want to use one. The new PhotoSmarts use these inks and some are available for older models (7960).

    Conni

    Conni
     
  12. Do any other manufacturers ask photo.net to "raise the awareness" of their products? Maybe I'm misinterpreting this, but to me it smacks of Popular Photography's positive "reviews" of new products in order to please the advertisers (assuming HP is offering something to this site in return). Part of photo.net's appeal to me is its objectivity, that the site isn't in anybody's pocket, and that actual user-reviews/experiences of photo.netters is what influences increased sales of new products.
     
  13. Is HP asking for free advertising? They could buy photo.net and not notice the change missing from their petty cash drawer.

    Try an objective test review of a DesignJet with the comparable Epson model. Be sure to factor in cost of ownership and annualized failure rates. Include projected print life and third-party support of papers, RIPS, and ink systems. Include a survey of 'big names' and who's using what.
     
  14. I'll test one of the 42" printers...Just send it on over.
     
  15. I'm with Drew. High-end prizes for a contest would get them noticed.
     
  16. jtk

    jtk

    IMO HP's most attractive product would be Designjet 130, Vs Epson 4800...IF Designjet 130 worked as reliably with a wide variety of NON-HP papers (especially Moab's) and IF it did it's admittedly beautiful B&W work (as good as 4800) with non-running inks.
     
  17. How about a photonet fund-raising raffle. With donated HP printers and consumables as
    prizes. $5 a ticket. HP and photonet jointly create online ads to promote the event.
     
  18. Some of us that run print shops use many thousands of dollars worth of ink each year; and run bulk fed printers. Getting ink at a reasonable price is a must to stay competitive. Controlling paper, ink and rework costs is an old thing going back a decade or two with inkjet. Crackng the custom printers lockouts, using non factory inksets is common. Figuring what the printer costs in dollars per square foot of output is what a print shop needs to know; REAL hardcore actual numbers with full coverage. Often printer marketers obfuscate ink costs to get one to buy that new fancy large format printer; that has ink only available from guess who. <BR><BR>
     
  19. How about a photonet fund-raising raffle
    Illegal. Photo.net is a for-profit business, not a not-for-profit charity. Last I looked, internet gambling was illegal.
    I suppose if photo.net moved from Boston to the Caymen Islands...
     
  20. Cool, photo.netting on the beach. Sounds good from where I'm sitting.

    So, I wonder who's raking in all those mega-bucks from photo.net? For profit business, huh. ...right. I think I'm about due for my annual donation.
     
  21. Ditto Conni's observations. I have copies of some of her prints. They're so good I thought they were "real" photos on light sensitive paper. They look and feel like the real deal.

    I haven't used 'em as drink coasters but there's no problem with smudging or smearing from normal handling.
     
  22. Is HP asking for free advertising?
    The question could also be: is photo.net simply doing reviews to attract more visitors and sell more ads?
    Both can be answered with yes. But with favourable reviews of HP products on photo.net, HP is more likely to actually spend money on advertising. And more people will click on 3rd party ads for HP gear on photo.net, making the site more money.
    Why do you think dead-tree photography magazines never give anything a bad review? The worst you'll get is "not as good as, but much cheaper".
    It's how publishing has worked for over a century, the web is no different...
     
  23. A contest to win an HP printer? Yes......

    How about whoever has the highest rated picture in their gallery at the end of the week wins!

    (sorry)
     
  24. A place for HP to start would be the videos tab.

    Have them put together some short clips on printing from digital or digital workflow. That would be one way to raise their profile, without simply swamping the place with advertising. and may offer some help.

    There may be some areas under the Learn tab where they could add new material.

    Cheers. P
     
  25. I have a Photosmart 8750 which I've been using for several months. I bought it as an experiment to see what quality of results I could achieve with an inexpensive, commodity inkjet printer working with scanned 120 negatives.

    After the first image appeared on HP Premium Photo Plus paper I realized that I would be closing the printing side of my darkroom. All it took was an example of one of my own images to convince me of the quality possible with this printer, what if HP offered such a program through Photo net?

    As for some of the other points raised frequently in the context of HP printers, I would offer the following opinions:

    RIPs - why do I need/want one of these other than to overcome limitations of the printer or its supplied driver? The fact that I get stunning results from the first sheet seems more telling.

    Paper types - my goal is maximum dynamic range and print sharpness, with a good resistance to fading. Perceived Dmax, I have found, is strongly enhanced by the use of papers with a semi/glossy finish. Specular reflections have less of an overall dulling effect than diffuse reflections associated with flatter paper surfaces. Similarly the more pronounced the texture of the paper, the greater the loss of detail in the final print. Wet photographers did not use heavy papers because they liked the feel, but rather because it would yield a richer print using conventional emulsions. My results on HP PPP Glossy are stunning.

    Water resistance - My framed prints, produced using whatever method, have never seemed to need this requirement.

    One final observation; I don't know how to clean the nozzles of my 8750, though I imagine perhaps it's possible, as I have never needed to do this ;-)

    Kevin
     
  26. Kevin:

    You won't clean nozzles on the 8750 because it doesn't have them. You get a new print head on each cart.

    You can run a cleaning cycle if you want but in 5 years, I've never needed to do it.

    Try some of the Ilfors papers but remember to turn them upside down when you take them out of the box and put them into your printer tray since HP feeds under and over. The new National Geographic papers give razor sharp detail but are on the cool side compared to HP papers. I also use some of the Epson matte papers for some subjects.

    And you're right. You don't need RIPS.

    Conni
     
  27. Photo.net doesn't do "fluff" reviews. In most of what I do I try to present actual samples of images so that readers can judge for themselves.

    Of course that's easy with cameras and lenses, but not so easy with printers since print quality is at least partly subjective.

    You also don't see many bad reviews on photo.net or in magazines because neither tends to test any of the bottom of the barrel "Bell and Howell 10MP (interpolated) $150 digicams" or low end Lexmark printers ($50 for the printer, $60 to replace the ink...). These days there really are very few "bad" products made by any of the major players in the digital imaging game. Usually, if it's made by Canon, Epson, HP, Pentax, Nikon etc., it's pretty good for what you pay for it - whatever it is! Everything has some problems of course, but they are generally usually more worthy of being mentioned than being dwelled on.

    5 or 10 years ago you couldn't really always say that. When I played with a $1000 1.3MP Nikon Coolpix, it was way overpriced, very slow in operation, the image quality was significantly worse than a P&S film camera and it drew so much current from the batteries that they lasted about 20 frame and were so hot when removed from the camera you couldn't hold them! Thankfully those days are behind us!
     
  28. One of the photo mags did a review of several printers including the 8750. The reviewer's bias showed clearly to those of us who have the printer because he failed to note the back of the printer opens to handle large (13" x 19") stock as well as allowing for the use of heavyweight papers that won't do the 'under-and-over' feed method HP uses. There were other errors as well that demonstrated that his review was written based on past experiences that have been corrected and are no longer an issue (feeding problems that existed prior to the 7550 model).

    Conni
     
  29. jtk

    jtk

    It's my strong opinion that Bob Atkins does excellent, demanding reviews. When he's arguably in error it's because he's trying so hard to do right that he stretches negative points.

    HP would get more attention on Photo.net if it made printers that rivaled Epson's for most serious users. If I was mass producing B&W prints I'd certainly consider HP, but the negatives outweight the arguable positives for my own work.

    Dmax is HP's long suit. That's not enough to beat two generations of fabulous troublefree Epsons.
     
  30. I do not share John Kelly's enthusiasm for Epson printers. If all
    you want to do is make photo prints I suppose the new pigment printers
    are great, but if you want a general-purpose printer, text looks bad,
    and line-art diagrams look very bad. Moreover ink cost is high.
    The R1800 was 14th ranked among models tested by Consumer Reports,
    with H/P and Canon models taking the top spots.
     
  31. The new HP printers are worth looking at: I'll be writing an article soon and hopefully they will send us a B9180 to review... For those that can't wait here is Wilhelm's review Looks quite promising
     
  32. Once upon a time, there was Encad, now bought out by Kodak. The printers were very expensive, probably a bit more than we have in mind here. But Encad had some excellent linkage with Adobe, and some really excellent articles on the Adobe Netsite about folks who were using Encad Printers. Samples of the work were shown and information about the Artists was also supplied. The end result was not just a fluff review as is currently the norm with few exceptions, but a real learning experience and eye opener for the reader. Just a thought that something like this could be done again with HP.
     
  33. Since it doesn't make much sense to just promote HP it would probably be better to have a side-by-side comparison with Epson and Canon.

    1. Have a contest on any subject you like. Let people vote or whatever.

    2. Send the top 10 people sample prints of their work from HP, Epson and Canon printed on paper from the same manufacturers without marking the samples (just mark A, B, C...). Independently supevise the printing process.

    3. Award winners with 100, 50, 25, 10 and so on free large prins on the the printer/paper of their choice. Publish what printers/papers the winners chose.

    That would be a fair comparison. Let HP be a sponsor it if they are confident they can win or at least hold their own ground.
     
  34. The best thing a manufacturer can do to promote its digital printers is to read the endless questions raised by the Epson users, and learn from them. Examples:

    - the prints don't match the monitor images

    - the provided profiles are poor

    - the b/w prints have color casts

    - the blackest black can't show on the prints

    - the deep shadow details are lost

    - the lack of documentation on how to get the best prints from the popular image editors, such as Photoshop

    - the heads clog easily

    - the cleaning cycles consume way too much ink

    - the ink cartridges are "empty" while there is still useable ink

    My impression is that the hw technology of the current photo digital printers are all excellent. But the sw, documentation, and support are well behind to let non-technical users to be able to get great prints from the printers right out of the boxes. If the manufacturers care to survey, they would notice that the huge majority of their customers fall into this category. It makes perfect business sense to satisfy and retain your biggest customer base.

    Fix these problems, and you have a winner. Epson will cease to be the printers of choice.
     
  35. HP probably doesnt want to hear that my two 36" Encads are a decade plus old, have NT3.51 RIPS's, and did 1600 bucks worth of output last week in two jobs.<BR><BR> Larger 24" plus wide roll feed machines are reviewed in the Signage, Repro, Bigcolor, Large Format trade magazines for the last two decades. <BR><BR>There is often little if any real data on ink consumption. many of us printers just measure the ink before and after a big job, and get a figure for cc's of ink per square footage of output. Our 10 year old RIPs give the cc's for each image, but its a calculated swag based on their software model. One bug in the software I have seen in several RIP's is the total ink usage model summation counts up even if you bail out a print at the start, or middle of a print. <BR><BR>With a bigger printer you own a bigger dog to feed. With our 4 cartridge printer you have say 900 bucks in ink; 1800 for an 8 cartridge printer. <BR><BR>printers are razors, the inks are the blades. HP and others make money on the inks they sell. Getting you hooked on their brand is their goal. In a perfect sale you would not figure the ink costs, and work at a monopoly, and have the large format printer on the LAN for the entire company to print their sunset, soccer, dog and other fine art images at no charge. Deep in the bowels of our 10 year old Rip's is a log that cannot be deleted, with every job, what persons computer it came with, what the paper and ink was consumed, when it was printed.
     

Share This Page