Discussion of the color gamut of the new UV pigmented inks from Hewlett-Packard for HP DesignJet 5000 and 5500ps for photo-realistic and fine art giclée prints
All indications are that the UV pigmented inks for the Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 5000 and 5500ps will have a longevity rating of between 150 and 200 years (the tests are at over 100 years so far and still ongoing by Wilhelm). The UV pigmented inks appear to have a brighter wider color gamut than the inks of the Epson 7500 or Epson 9500, and almost certainly the HP inks will accept a wider range of media. This is because the Epson printheads are piezo, which limits the media; the Epson inks are a proprietary encapsulated kind (that no one else makes or uses). This means that no, or few, aftermarket media works with the Epson printers at all. This is the kind of disappointment that the glossy Epson ads don't warn you about. Actually the slick ads don't warn you that most pigmented inks can't print on glossy photo paper anyway. That's probably why Epson was laminating matte prints for years at trade shows to make them look as though they were printed on glossy media.
Today the range of media available for the HP UV pigmented inks continues to grow. Aftermarket suppliers produce media for the new inks as well.
So if you intend to produce photo-realistic or fine art giclée prints, you definitely ought to consider the HP DesignJet 5000 or 5500ps. The difference is that the ps has built-in software Postscript mini-RIP. With the plain 5500 you supply your own RIP software. Confused? Just download the FLAAR "Preview of Premium Report Series on RIPs "
We get asked all the time how the UV pigmented inks for the Hewlett-Packard compare with the pigmented inks for the Roland or Epson. So we have prepared a report on "Photo Realistic Exhibit quality" as part ot the FLAAR Premium Report Series on Fine Art Large Format Printers based on a photography exhibit of inkjet prints which we did at the Popol Vuh Museum of Mayan art on the campus of our university. You can see for yourself how the color gamut looks.
Please understand the difference between HP's "UV" inks and "UV-curable inks" for flatbed printers. The HP inks are not ultraviolet curable. The HP UV inks are simply water-based pigmented inks. When UV-curable ink flatabed printers became popular in the last two years people began to confuse the two kinds of ink (the inks are not related to each other in the slightest). In reality, the HP inks are straightfoward pigmented inks.
Epson UltraChrome inks are allegedly a mixture of dye (bright but fades) and pigments. That is why the former 200 year longevity rating of Wilhelm collapsed an entire century for the newer Epson inks. If you want a pure dye ink (with resulting eye catching color gamut) then you need the Ilford Archiva ink or comparable long-life dye inks offered by Encad or ColorSpan. That kind of long-life dye ink is not yet available for HP wide format inkjet printers.
And now we also have a 60" HP DesignJet 5500 (overall the FLAAR facilities include nineteen different wide format printers under evaluation). We use primarily pigmented ink because heat and humidity (of our Central American location) causes dye inks to fade within a month or two.
Last updated: Nov 10, 2003. Previous updates: Jan. 10, 2003, Aug. 2001, Nov. 14, 2002.
Compare prices; is it best to buy by lowest price comparison? Your best deal is to buy from a respectable printer dealer who can provide tips and assistance. LexJet is among several places we know that offer HP Designjet printers. They can be reached at
. Buying from a box-pusher, gray market, and other dubious outlets is not always a clever idea. We have visited LexJet headquarters several times and have visited their booth at key trade shows. Their other advantage is that they offer all three major brands: Epson, Canon, and HP. So they do not need to push you into only one brand. Plus LexJet knows eco-solvent and UV-cured as well (which FLAAR covers on www.large-format-printers.org).
The complete FLAAR Reports are in full-color PDF format. Our institute has comprehensive FLAAR Reports on over 73 different wide format inkjet printers, RIP software, color management, scanners, digital cameras and on countless markets such as wide format inkjet printers for photography, giclee, proofing, CAD, GIS, graphic design, signs, and specialty applications too. All FLAAR Reports by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth and his team are available on wide-format-printers.net
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