HP DesignJet 800

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by 4WDlifeform, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. 4WDlifeform

    4WDlifeform TPF Noob!

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    Hey all, first time posting on here, I hope I am starting the thread in the right place...

    Anyhow, Ill be as brief as possible. I may have an opportunity to pick up a large format printer, HP DesignJet 800. I am curious if any of you have a printer like this? Would it be ideal for mid to high quality prints? I believe the DPI is rated at 2400... What do you all think?

    I am an amateur photographer, but I'm really interested to turn it into a part-time job. Right now, I just got hired as a mechanical engineer, so life is a bit complicated to try to take off with this... but, it is an ambition, and now I may be able to get this printer.

    Thank you all in advance, and I look forward to your responses. This forum looks cool, lots of good information here!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I don't know about that model in particular, but HP does make some decent printers. Although, isn't the DesignJet line more for drawings than high quality photography? (or are all their large format plotters in that line? I don't know). We've had a couple DesignJets here in my office, and I've even printed out some large photos that look decent...but I've never tried it with actual photographic paper, just the plain bond paper that we plot drawings on.

    In my opinion, it's probably not worth buying & using your own large format printer, unless you have a specific reason to need your own.
    The cost of quality paper & inks will likely bring your expenses close to what you would pay to have them printed at a good lab. And a good lab would likely give you consistently better results etc. Not to mention the options for mounting, which is a good idea when talking about large prints.

    The digital printing market is very competitive these days. You can find some really good print labs doing great work for relatively low prices. In many cases, it's a better option that printing at home.

    Check out Mpix.com - Home (or their parent company, Millers).
    Check out White House Custom Color. Pro Photo Lab: Photo Prints, Press Printed, Press Books | WHCC
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I've used HP DesignJets all the way up to 60" wide. They are pretty solidly built printers but I always found them to be a pain to calibrate, and that their color rendition wasn't as good as the Epsons I've worked with. The Epsons always seemed more likely to have stranger, inexplicable hardware problems when they did occur, whereas the HP's would be fine in general but require regular print head replacement (every year or two). Depending on the model, this can be expensive. That said, I was using them in a pretty high volume environment, which may not be your use.

    If you have the opportunity, I would recommend that you print something on it first and see if you like it.
     
  4. alexanderfedin

    alexanderfedin TPF Noob!

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    We have such a plotter at work.
    I've printed a bunch of really large images (42" by 10') from large format scans on this printer. Of course, special photographic printers do the job with color better than this one, but there are not many people who will notice that difference, especially if they see only your prints. The printer itself costs less than a thousand bucks on eBay, and inks are about 50 bucks on Amazon for a set of four cartridges of each color and six black ones. The glossy photo paper costs around 100 bucks for a roll 36"x50', so it is also a very reasonably priced thing. Same size canvas roll shall cost a little bit more.
    Personally, I will buy this thing for myself if I loose an access to that at work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  5. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    We have one at work, even though we don't use it much any more. We have an Oce plotter that does about 90% of our plotting as well as a couple of color laser printers that go up to 12" x 18". The color lasers are a lot faster than the HP and much better quality.

    The critical item with the HP 800 (or any of the Designjets) for print quality seems to be the paper. We frequently use aerial photographs for backgrounds on engineering drawings and the type of paper has a huge affect on how the final plot looks.
     

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