View Full Version : HP Z3200 Printer problems

Don Kellogg
3-Dec-2015, 08:53
I have had an HP Z3200 printer for the past 3-4 years. I also have the extended warranty. Recently I have noted some significant color abberations especially in the blue or cyan areas (read sky areas). I have been using ILford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl paper and have re-profiled the paper, calibrated the printer, aligned the printheads and cleaned the printheads. I have been having Photoshop manage the printer as recommended. The printouts from these manuevers all all okay but the prints from photos still have these problems. As I don't have a high volume operation a lot of my cartridges and prinheads are outdated ("expired" or "out of warrranty"). A complete set of cartridges and printheads to replace the ones that are outdated or expired (actually I don't know the difference) will cost close to $1000.00. Will expired cartridges or printheads cause this problem? Has anyone else had this problem? If I call support I think they will tell to get all "in warranty" printheads and cartriges but I still might have the same problem as this happened once before and it didn't really fix the problem. Help please.

Peter Mounier
3-Dec-2015, 09:07
Expired ink carts or heads shouldn't be a problem. I also have a Z3200 and presently there are several expired carts and heads. No big deal. If it''s been sitting for awhile it might help to remove the ink and shake the carts. I've heard that the pigments might settle, and shaking them up puts them back into solution. Have you printed a diagnostic image? That will show if the head cleaning was effective. If there is banding in any of the color patches you'll need to clean the heads (or head) again and until the banding goes away.

Don Kellogg
3-Dec-2015, 09:55
By diagnostic image do you mean a reference print? No, I haven't. I have a reference print and the software somewhere but can't find it right now. As I mentioned the printouts following calibration and paper profiling are all okay.

Peter Mounier
3-Dec-2015, 10:48
If you go to the Main Menu and click over to the Image Quality Maintenance window (3rd option across the top row), then scroll down past Calibrate color, and Align printheads to Print Diagnostic Image you can print a diagnostic image. It just needs a 8.5"x11 sheet. Look for banding or missing sections from the color patches, or anything that doesn't look right, especially in the blue/green printhead, or blue ink patch. If there are any irregularities you'll probably have to continue with the head cleaning until everything looks good. It is possible to have a partly clogged head and not have the irregularity show on a print. But you do have an irregularity showing in the blue/cyan areas. I'd say run a diagnostic image and see if that shows any problems.
I have a service manual for the printer and will send it to you if you want it.

Don Kellogg
3-Dec-2015, 18:27
I switched out the B-GN print head for a new one and cleaned the print heads a couple of times more shook both the cartridges and the print heads vigorously and the Diagnostic image looked good. However, when I did a test print the blue (sky) areas were not at all accurate. It tried it with several images with the same result. Do you think the problem is with the print head or the cartridge or something else?

Peter Mounier
4-Dec-2015, 08:56
If the diagnostic image doesn't have any broken lines or banding in the patches then I wouldn't think there are any problems with the head or ink cart. I don't know where to look next unless you're missing something in the driver settings. I will say that blues generally tend to look a little more purple than I expect to see, and I always some tweaking toward the cyan side, but it's never off so far that it looks unnatural. When you print do you use "Relative" Colorimetric for the rendering intent?

Don Kellogg
9-Dec-2015, 07:47
I give up. I cleaned and replaced the print heads. Still problems with color shifts in the sky areas (mainly in "blues"). Diagnostic image looked quite good with only minimal banding in the gray area. I called HP support, they said that I needed to order new print heads as all of mine are expired. I have ordered from B&H. We will see. Thanks for your help.