Spent the day holed up in the Elysee’s dark basement. Some twisted individual christened it the “salle Lumière” – in honour of the (french) filmmakers, of course, but since Lumière also means light in french, i’ve got a feeling there might be a sense of irony involved.
Mission of the day was to get a brand new HP Z3100 up and running (HP sponsors the show, so we’re getting TOYS). Unpacking was surprisingly uneventful, with a somewhat similar experience to what Micheal Reichmann posted about on Luminous landscape. Seriously over-engineered packaging, somebody’s been studying his illustrated Erik Demaine. I did have a problem with a printhead at first, cleaning the contacts and reinserting it a couple of times did the trick, but i’ve got a feeling it could have not gone that well. The heads don’t have the differently-shaped nubs the ink cartridges do, so there’s a bit of a risk of getting ’em all mixed up, which probably wouldn’t be good.
I haven’t had time to totally put the thing through its paces, but I’m mightly impressed this far.
The stuff we got seemed very hot off the assembly line, with a nice “G(olden) M(aster)” on a burnt-cd and several ink cartridges that lacked production stickers. Gamut seemed excellent on the stock photo paper HP packages with it (extra-super-high-speed-drying-mega-gloss), i’m waiting to test it with Archival Matte (or whatever it’s called these days). Self calibration is the smartest addition to printer tech in a long time. I do feel a bit frustrated by not being able to use Bill Atkinson’s most excellent charts. I’m not sure the extra cmyk module allows it, and don’t like the idea of software tiering for stuff like that. There might be a way to hack around it by editing a couple of ressources like you’d do for Gretag’s i1, but it’s inelegant nonetheless. I did see some gloss differential in high-contrast areas under “just the right light”, though. Extremely minimal and might be a question of finding the right paper. I’ll be doing part of the show on it : a print of mine, the JPG magazine stuff, the During work. The museum will also be using it to make 100 prints a week of randomly selected images from the Flux installation. So i’ll be spending quite a bit of time in that basement in the couple of days, print speed was about 2 centimeters per minute at the highest quality settings.