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Thread: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

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    Abitconfused's Avatar
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    600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    I am somewhat impressed with the HP M452dw color output (basically 600 x 600) but I am tempted by more sophisticated (and more expensive) Ricoh SP C440DN Color Laser Printer 1200 x 1200 or HP M553 series at 1200 x 1200.

    Has anyone ever detected a significant quality difference between 600x 600 and 1200 x 1200?

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    I am somewhat impressed with the HP M452dw color output (basically 600 x 600) but I am tempted by more sophisticated (and more expensive) Ricoh SP C440DN Color Laser Printer 1200 x 1200 or HP M553 series at 1200 x 1200.

    Has anyone ever detected a significant quality difference between 600x 600 and 1200 x 1200?
    What paper do you use printing a photo on a laserjet?

    George

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    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Laser jets are not generally used for photographs because of their relatively limited colour range and the reflectivity of the toner that is fused onto the paper.

    The higher resolution will result in a more subtle look to the finished product and if you compare side by side, there is a noticeable difference. The more modern photo quality inkjet printers have doubled the resolution over the previous generation and the difference is definitely noticeable. When it comes to laser jets, I would suspect something similar.

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    Abitconfused's Avatar
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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    I bought a Fellowes comb binder and I am creating some short books. I find my HP M452dw is quite functional at 600 x 600 DPI but lacking in fine detail, on occasion, when printing photographs. It also seems to oversaturate blues. In my books, heavier glossy paper (290 gsm) does not work well with 24 lb (90 gsm) printer paper. So I am using HP Brochure Glossy (150 g) and getting good results but not the kind of jawdropping results you can get with an inkjet printer having nine colors vs a laser printer's CMYK. No surprise there. I am wondering about a laser 1200 x 1200 but the costs are painful. Lasers have some advantages in that the prints come out dry and resist moisture (I have had business cards printedon an inkjet smudge which is not good). Laser toner's shelf life is very long and there are never any printer head issues.

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    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    Lasers have some advantages in that the prints come out dry and resist moisture (I have had business cards printedon an inkjet smudge which is not good). Laser toner's shelf life is very long and there are never any printer head issues.
    My inkjet prints also come out dry and are relatively smudge and moisture resistant. Dye based inks tend to be more susceptible to the problems you list than pigment based ones, especially when used with higher grade papers. That being said, laser prints are definitely more stable.

    I have had ink jet cartridges that are five or six years old that seem to work fine. While laser printers do not have blocked head issues, I have had cartridges where the toner distribution was uneven due to a manufacturing flaw with the cartridge. Until my recent issues with my printer, I had only had one inkjet clog in over 6 years, but that is probably related to the design of the machine. The Epson 3800 and 3880 were very good this way, while the 4880 seemed to clog if it was not used regularly.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Thank you. I had a 3800 but sold it. As you mentioned, it did not clog...at all! After filling my walls with prints, I had less need of the 3800 and the ink cost was troubling. But perhaps this was because the inkjet cartridges needed replacement piecemeal whereas a laser cartridges hit you like the cost of a root canal but then its over. I think fewer people are buying larger prints either for their home or for use in business. I see a lot of huge prints at the local mall but fewer smaller prints (I need to doublecheck this). Will the handheld computer end photography as we know it? I did an event shoot a year ago but everyone there was shooting with their pad of choice. Long story short, the guy who hired me never paid me! I truly believe he received so many 400 KB images from friends that he did not see the need for any 150 MB images. Why pay a dinosaur? But people still buy books. To have and hold is still better than electronic media...generational?

    But the laser printer intrigues me as it prints graphic images superbly, duplexes text quite handily, and prints acceptable images especially those without a lot of continuous tones. I fear I have spent too low and should have gone with 1200 x 1200 laser printer. When in doubt, my farmer friend always buys the heavier item.

    I suspect laser printers will continue to evolve and, perhaps, faster than inkjets. But for now, I take a nap.

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    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Ed - I'm less optimistic than you are. Both technologies are quite mature, so incremental improvements are the most we can expect to see.

    In my view the most significant photo printing advances in ink jet technology is that certain current generation Epson printers (in combination with the right glossy papers) have hit a Dmax of 2.5 (the scale goes from 0 - 4). In the past only traditional silver based papers were able to hit a value of 2.4, so we have gotten to a point where ink jet is capable of producing B&W prints that are superior to those in being able to deliver deep blacks.

    These printers / inks sets / papers were already capable of creating images that had a longer storage life than traditional B&W and colour papers, with estimated life-spans (which suggests negligible quality deterioration) that runs from 80 to well over 300 years.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    I see the truth of it. I did not know about the Dmax scale. Lots of room for growth there. Thank you.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Ed - I'm less optimistic than you are. Both technologies are quite mature, so incremental improvements are the most we can expect to see.

    In my view the most significant photo printing advances in ink jet technology is that certain current generation Epson printers (in combination with the right glossy papers) have hit a Dmax of 2.5 (the scale goes from 0 - 4). In the past only traditional silver based papers were able to hit a value of 2.4, so we have gotten to a point where ink jet is capable of producing B&W prints that are superior to those in being able to deliver deep blacks.

    These printers / inks sets / papers were already capable of creating images that had a longer storage life than traditional B&W and colour papers, with estimated life-spans (which suggests negligible quality deterioration) that runs from 80 to well over 300 years.
    I didn't know about DMax either. So I searched for info about that. D is a measurement of light reflectance, expressed as a log value. D = log10(1/R). The higher the D, the less light is reflected. A D=0 means 100% of the light is reflected. A D of 4 means that 0.01% is reflected. Some more explanation https://xritephoto.com/documents/lit...nd_Dens_en.pdf
    Just an additional explanation for those who don't know about the D values and don't want to ask.

    Another question for Ed. If you used photopaper with the laserjet, it didn't get burned?

    George

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    D max is also used as a ratio measure of transmitted light. An important specification of film and slide scanners is the D max they are capable of accurately scanning.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    The inkjet photo paper I used in my laser printer is Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl 290g. I got good results as this paper is heavy and of exceptional quality with a tiny "texture" on the surface. This may account for the fact that it responded well to the heat and also received the toner very well. Or, perhaps, I was lucky. Arguably, it is a bad idea to use inkjet paper in a laser printer. The best results I obtained with my laser printer (HP M452dw) is when printing photos without large areas of bright blue or large areas of darker shadows but I am still experimenting. The M452 series is well received with good reviews. But paper companies don't provide .icc files for HP printers as far as I have determined so I get best results using HP paper and selecting it in the driver's menu. This means that I cannot use "Photoshop Manages Colors" and I have had better luck with Perceptual intent than Colorimetric for some reason.

    I also have an Epson ET-4550 that has ink bottles that you pour into tanks to keep costs down. Both printers are strictly CMYK so they run neck & neck at times but the inkjet wins detail in shadows. The ET allows you to refill ink tanks so it is less expensive than some inkjets but the paper tray is small and jams everytime I use it.

    As I am using photos in small books as illustrations, the laser printer will suffice. The amazing thing to me is how much you get when you buy any quality printer. These are complex machines!

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    <>The M452 series is well received with good reviews. But paper companies don't provide .icc files for HP printers as far as I have determined so I get best results using HP paper and selecting it in the driver's menu. This means that I cannot use "Photoshop Manages Colors" and I have had better luck with Perceptual intent than Colorimetric for some reason.
    How do the prints differ between the two intents, Ed, i.e. what constitutes "better luck"?

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Well, lucky in that some inkjet papers used in a laser printer will not bind with the toner but shed toner which may then become fused onto the surface of the toner drum and subsequently produce flawed prints until the toner cartridge is replaced. This can be as much as $200+ with some laser printer cartridges (high-capacity). When printing from Photoshop, but letting the laser printer control color, colorimetric resulted in some out of gamut colors whereas perceptual did not. But more experimentation may be in order as other variables may have confused the results. I almost always use Relative Colorimetric in Photoshop's Color Settings largely just following the crowd in that decision which may be flawed reasoning.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    When printing from Photoshop, but letting the laser printer control color, colorimetric resulted in some out of gamut colors whereas perceptual did not.
    This statement doesn't really make any sense to me. The image is either in gamut or out of gamut, for the output device in question. The rendering intent is all about how out of gamut areas of the image are handled. Relative Colorimetric simply brings the out of gamut colours to the nearest in gamut colour and leaves all the in-gamut colours alone.

    Perceptual redistributes all of the colours, including the in-gamut ones. Different PP software can handle Perceptual differently, so results can vary.

    That being said I will generally look at both rendering intents when I get ready to print to see which one works better for me. To some extent, it does depend on how much the colours are out of gamut. In cases where they are just barely out of gamut, the differences between how the two rendering intents work can be quite small.

    In general, I find that in portraiture, Relative Colorimetric usually works better as the skin tones are not affected, where as with Perceptual they can be, so I tend to use Relative Colorimetric for portraiture work but even that is not a 100% absolute.

    The best advice I can offer is to try both and use the one gives you an image that you like better.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    Relative Colorimetric simply brings the out of gamut colours to the nearest in gamut colour and leaves all the in-gamut colours alone.

    Perceptual redistributes all of the colours, including the in-gamut ones. Different PP software can handle Perceptual differently, so results can vary.
    I think that's what he meant.

    George

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by george013 View Post
    I think that's what he meant.

    George
    I'm not sure because that is definitely not what he wrote. Once a rendering intent has been applied, there should not be any out-of-gamut colours.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    I just ran a few tests and my laser printer produced an identical result regardless of rendering intent for colors within the sRGB color space. So the results I saw previously were most likely the result of something other than rendering intent. So, if I understand Manfred correctly, a properly applied rendering intent cannot result in a print with colors that are out of gamut.

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    If the gamut of the source is wider as the gamut of the destination you have to change something.
    Perceptual keeps the relation between the different colors constant. Is also the advised rendering intent for images as far as I know.

    George

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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    I was schooled that Relative Colorimetric was the preferred rendering intent for photographers. Perhaps this is because it works better for skin tones as Manfred has pointed out. Manfred also makes the quite valid point that the photographer may wish to view the intent selected before committing to print.

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    Moderator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: 600 x 600 DPi vs 1200 x 1200 dpi Laserjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Abitconfused View Post
    So, if I understand Manfred correctly, a properly applied rendering intent cannot result in a print with colors that are out of gamut.
    Correct - that is what the rendering intent does; ensures that out of gamut colours are rendered as colours that the device can reproduce. But, that is based on the assumption that you are using a paper that is close to what the printer profile is set to. Most laser printers use standard office paper, whereas inkjet paper contains specific coatings, etc, so the characteristics could be quite different than what the printer driver uses. If that is the case, there could be some colours that will be outside of the assumed gamut.

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