The HP DeskJet 722c and Paper
By: Ted Felix
Which setting is best for a particular kind of paper? The best approach is to experiment. This list describes each setting and will give you an idea where to start.
Medium Ink. High saturation and darker to overcome the high absorption typical with plain paper.
HP Premium Inkjet Paper
Low Ink. Lower saturation and lighter to accomodate higher quality coated inkjet papers.
HP Deluxe Photo Paper
Heavy Ink. Photo-stock only (heavy ink output). Enables Kodak imaging enhancements. With the v10.2 driver the results are very dark, with blocked shadows. The colors are more neutral than v10.2's HP Premium Photo Paper mode. I haven't tested this mode with the v10.3 driver.
HP Premium Photo Paper
Heavy Ink. Photo-stock only (heavy ink output). HP's standard photo mode. In v10.2 of the printer driver, this mode is lighter than Deluxe Photo Paper mode, but with a green cast. In v10.3 of the driver, the green cast is pretty much gone and the image is still fairly bright.
I haven't tried this mode yet.
If you are printing photographs, make sure you have driver version 10.3. Although 10.3 breaks networking, it has better color quality than 10.1 or 10.2. With v10.3, the Premium Photo Paper mode is quite neutral, although it is a bit too open in the shadows. On a 16-level grey wedge, the jump from step 2 to 3 is pretty big. This is easily fixed with curves in Photoshop if needed. In a few years, I'll try another profile from Dry Creek Photo and see if it makes a good driver even better.
With the v10.2 driver, Premium Photo Paper mode had a strong green cast, and was pretty much useless. Deluxe Photo Paper mode was neutral but much too dark. I had a printer profile made for me by Dry Creek Photo, and that fixed the 10.2 color problems. Unfortunately, it cost me $50 whereas the upgrade to v10.3 is free.
Good printed color combined with the ColorVision Spyder has made a big difference in the quality of my prints. Don't underestimate the value of a properly calibrated monitor.
I tried making a Photoshop curve to neutralize the HP722c's green cast in Premium Photo Paper mode. However, it doesn't really work very well. A better idea would be to try and get rid of the blocked shadows in Deluxe Photo Paper mode. To do this, set your black output point to around 34 with Levels prior to printing. That should open things up quite a bit.
Note also that the "Print Quality" setting can have a significant impact on print results. In some modes, the difference between "Best" and "Normal" is indistinguishable. In other modes "Best" quality makes the printer handle the paper more carefully and should result in less banding. "EconoFast" prints with half the ink used by "Normal" and "Best" modes. The result is quite faint, but good for really rough proofing. Use it only with really cheap paper.
Don't expect inkjet photo prints to last very long. I've had several of my pictures fade, or exhibit color shifts after being displayed. Wilhelm Research has a cool site, but not much on the HP 722c. So I've been conducting my own informal fade tests.
Of the various papers I've tried, here's what has happened:
|Kodak Picture Paper Soft Gloss||190gsm||My current favorite. Glossy on both sides. Use HP Premium Inkjet Paper mode to get best results. Improved version of Kodak Glossy Inkjet Paper. Softer gloss but much sharper printing. Really great stuff for newsletters and brochures. Double sided printing works fine. (CAT 844 2055)|
Primary Image (84)
|My "everyday" paper. Typical multi-purpose performance. Slightly less bright.|
|Kodak Glossy Inkjet Paper||170gsm|
|Discontinued. Replaced by Kodak Picture Paper Soft Gloss. Glossy on both sides. Use HP Premium Inkjet Paper mode to get best results. Text bleeds slightly, not as bad as Kodak Photo Letter Paper. Double sided printing works great.|
|Spectratech Glossy||???||This is a clay coated laser/copier paper. It performed very poorly with photographs, but OK with text.|
|Kodak Inkjet Photo Letter Paper||120gsm|
|Bright white, coated inkjet paper. In Plain Paper mode gives a very dark print. Photos look better than on multi-purpose paper due to the coating. Ink spreads a bit too much for text. HP Premium Inkjet Paper mode might print better. Double sided printing works great.|
|HP Professional Brochure and Flyer Paper||135gsm|
|Bright white, matte finish, two-side coated inkjet paper. Seems to work best in Premium Inkjet Paper mode. Similar to Kodak Photo Letter Paper. Double-sided printing works fine. Doesn't jam.|
|Office Depot Premium Matte Presentation Paper||130gsm|
|Bright white, two-side coated inkjet paper. Seems to work best in Premium Inkjet Paper mode. Similar to Kodak Photo Letter Paper. Double-sided printing works fine. Same as HP Brochure and Flyer, but half the price.|
|IBM Glossy Photo Paper||225gsm1||This is a Photo Paper and doesn't belong in this list. Glossy on both sides. Photo Paper mode required. (UPC 0-87944-66476-5)|
|Xerox Premium Multipurpose|
Bright White (90)
|This multi-purpose paper performed well. The image is not very dark which is typical of multi-purpose papers.|
|This is a laser/copier paper. It prints fine, but the texture is rather distracting. Print is light due to lack of coating.|
|Multi-purpose performance. Less distracting texture than the Springhill Vellum above.|
*More info on paper weights can be found on InkjetArt.com's site. There you'll find that the "lb" weight measurement of paper is actually bogus since it can be artificially inflated based on the "base size" of the paper stock. Grams per Square Meter (gsm) is the only consistent measure of paper weight.
1I weighed this one myself. Consider this a rough estimate.
For our family's Christmas newsletter, I'm always looking for a decent glossy double-sided paper that works in the Premium Inkjet Paper mode (less ink!). Kodak's Glossy Inkjet Paper was perfect. Unfortunately, I can't find it anymore. In searching for a new paper, I discovered that you have to rip open the boxes of paper to find out what print settings are recommended before you can determine what kind of paper it really is. There are basically three kinds of paper, and that's why there are three basic print settings in the HP722's drivers. Plain paper is uncoated, and requires extra ink because of the absorption. Premium Inkjet paper is paper that is coated such that all the ink sits on top, so very little ink is needed. Photo Paper is coated such that the ink is absorbed into the coating in a way that makes it look really good. This takes a lot of ink and a lot of drying time. It would be nice if there were some standard labelling convention that makes it easier to tell how much ink a paper will need. Usually the word "Photo" is a dead giveaway that the paper needs the heavy ink mode.
The HP DeskJet 700 series printers print fine on T-Shirt transfer paper with the HP Premium Inkjet Paper mode.
It's the "transferring" part that is difficult. As is usually the case, the best approach is to experiment. Make a bunch of small transfers and practice transferring them to a scrap piece of cloth or an old shirt. There is no set procedure since irons vary in temperature. I usually start with the highest setting and then try heating for 20, 25, 30, 35 seconds, etc.... Keep the iron moving in small circles, or the little holes in the iron will prevent even heating of the transfer. Watch for the shirt to burn, or the transfer to be destroyed. When this happens, you've found the limit. Then you can try reducing the heat a notch on the iron and going through the same series of times. Find something that gives you a comfortable margin of error. On my Sunbeam iron, the "Cotton" setting lets me go for 40 seconds in an area and get a perfect transfer.
I had all sorts of trouble with a very old sample of HP T-Shirt Transfer paper. It was impossible to remove the backing unless the transfer was at a specific temperature. Even then, it was an adventure. We found out that things have changed a lot since that paper was made. Newer transfer paper is much easier to use. Most can even be peeled after they have cooled (this is ideal, although the glossy finish you get is annoying). So, if you decide to undertake a T-Shirt project, be sure to get newer transfer paper. You'll save yourself a lot of headaches.
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