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HP Photosmart 9180 - part 2 of 1 2 3 4

by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2008

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in Ultra Violet light. Paler blues show increased OBA activity.

The printing process did not exit gracefully when a print was cancelled. It stopped instantly when the 'cancel' cross on the front of the printer was pushed, however, we could not delete the spooled file from either the printer dialogue box or from the spool folder. When we rebooted the computer the spooler kicked into life and printed the file perfectly. This behaviour is more an interaction between Photoshop and Windows, as far as we can tell, at least the HP allowed us the stop printing in a timely fashion.

Paper Options

HP provides a large number of papers under their own name, along with a number of co-branded papers with Hahnemuhle. The options increase yet further if you include the roll media available for the HP Z2100/Z3100 series of printers. A useful selection is included as a swatch set inside the printer's packing box. These are tabled along with those other media that come with A3+ sizes from the 'large format' media catalogue. The 9180 has now been around for a sufficient time that many third-party paper providers have profiles available on their web sites.

Measurement of the gamut volumes for the various profiles installed by the HP driver suggests that the actual profile data are doubled up, with only the name of the profile being changed. This is somewhat sloppy technique in our view, especially from the manufacturer of the printer. It assumes for example that the white points are all the same which is patently not true.


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This is likely to be a bread and butter option for the professional photographer who needs a gloss surface. The paper has a slightly cool base white with just a hint if a lift at 440nm but no really obvious OBA activity in the UV-booth. We colour audited the printer performance using the HP profiles provided with the driver and also built our own.

The HP profile produced a reasonably pleasant print. The skin tones were desaturated by about 11% and rotated a couple of degrees towards magenta. The overall error was evenly split across hue, saturation and brightness channels. The lightness values were the most accurate and averaged about 2½% too dark.

Bespoke profiling tightened things up considerably, bringing the average error down from 5.49ΔE 2000 to 3.92ΔE 2000. The bulk of the errors shifted to the lightness channel leaving the colours about 5% too dark across the gamut. The residual errors in saturation were concentrated in the upper quadrants of the Lab chart, that is the greens, green-yellows, yellows, oranges, and reds. The highest error was the Moderate Red at 5.5 ΔE 2000. Overall the combination of this printer, paper and profile could not reach contract proof standard but the resulting prints were quite acceptable commercial print quality for professional output.

To see just what a finely tuned printed could do we include data from a client trial we conducted recently. This was using Calumet Brilliant Gloss paper - not one we would choose for proofing normally. However, after some effort we did tune it to contract proof standard and the data are tabled for comparison.

The gamut volume was measured at 788,658 for our profile, higher for the HP profile at 869,582. The Dmax was a deep 2.24. The metamerism was high and this topic is covered separately. The Granger chart from all profiles was smooth.


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1st Published 01/06/2008
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