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mprichar Jan 31, 2006 1:40 AM

Who is printing photos on color laser printers? What are they for/how used? What are the needs? Sizes? Why do you want to use lasers for photos?

Is there interest in printing 4x6 photos on color laser?

As the laser specialty papers product manager at HP, i'm interested in what's going on in the market around laser photo printing. Thanks, Mark

kolorwell Jan 31, 2006 9:28 PM

The definition about Inkject printer is Home-DIY and color laser printer is for SOHO market. The major purpose of laser printer is for document printing and card printing (mixing text and picture) at this moment. Basically, the color printing quality of these applications is not so critical. If it is for photographic purpose, many considerations are necessary. However, it is worth! Do you have idea aboutinvestment on photographic development system for a Mini Lab? Meanwhile, do you know the poison and pollution from instant photographic development system?

The incentives from color laser printer are selling price is going down of entry-level type, average cost per printing is cheaper than inkject printing, large printing capacity, without ink dry, instant printing, sharpness without fuzzy, without turn-yellowish for long term exposure under halogen lighting .

The key point of photography printed by laser printer is how to avoid degrade color saturation when increase paper thickness. Typically, the paper weight of photographic development system is around 170 ~ 220gsm. If apply photographic paper or thick coated paper to laser printer, the printing color quality is very light. The reason is thick paper will interfere electrostatic field between OPC drum and paper and the consequence is toner can not be transferred sufficiently! Fortunately, it is possible to be solved by coating skill to change the paper surface characteristics when increase paper thickness.

3x 5 and 4 x 6 are based on the limitation from bulb or LED lighting project and exposure procedure of photographic development system. Inkject printing photo paper just follows up and tries to share some market. Do not forget! Digital printing is based on data conversion without lighting project and exposure procedure. Currently, the designing of laser printer is for A3 (297 x 420mm) and A4 (210 x 297mm) size, maybe, 3 x 5 and 4 x 6 is possible in the future depending on the mechanism design of new type laser printer.

mprichar Feb 1, 2006 2:37 AM

The need to have heavy, glossy papers designed specifically to avoid blistering and to have the right electrical properties is exactly why Hewlett Packard has developed its new Color Laser Photo Paper and Brochure LaserPaper. This paper allows moisture to escape, thus eliminating blisters. Also, the term for the electrical properties of the paper is resistivity (surface and volume). HP has designed its paper with the right resistivity level for optimal performance on HP printers. The coating provides for a broader color gamut resulting in richer, more vivid colors, not washed out, even on 220 gsm paper. Our output on the CLJ9500 rivals that of the Indigo and offset press. Almost all of the HP Color LaserJet printers can print 4x6 and even down to 3x5.

kolorwell Feb 1, 2006 8:23 PM

Moisture isheadache problem for laser printing. It tends to make pulp fibre expansion, raising paper thickness and uneven roughness. Coating skill perhaps is one of solutions to isolate moisture from air but it is very difficulty to resist from paper cutting edge. Apply synthetic paper is an exact solution to resist moisture completely.

More features are needed also such as tear-proof, water-proof, cut laminating cost, good hand touch feel, without turn-yellowish for long term exposure in air or under halogen lighting, no releasing chemical and medicine smell and so on.

Compatible with different brand laser printers and printer's engines also is very important to meet user's existing laser printer. User can extend their printing from document to photography.

mprichar Feb 2, 2006 9:30 AM

Moisture is an issue which is addressed by HP's coating design that allows moisture to escape during fusing so there is no impact to image quality or to blistering. When we test synthetic papers with customers, they don't like the feel of it or the crackle sound it makes, unless it is something they are going to hang up or not handle.

For those who want the durability of a synthetic paper (tear proof, water proof), HP sells HP Tough Paper (Q1298A) designed for otpimal electrical balance with HP color laser printers. The near perfect smoothness of the surface along with the coating designed specifically for HP printers give amazing photo quality.

grandpadon Dec 21, 2006 2:52 PM

Now, a yr later than your post, Im intersted in color laser photo paper for my brand new (Dec 20 2006 8pm)HP color laserjet 2600n.

I previously printed 8.5X11 and 4X6 color phots on HP Photosmart 7850 with Premiium Plus paper.

The paper Ive found so far is HP Q6608a Color Laserjet Photo Paper. HP preSales says they have no 4X6 yet?

The prints on this new combo are ceertainly acceptablebut not as glossy as the old.

What do you suggest?

mprichar Dec 21, 2006 10:24 PM

Thanks for your post. If you want to try some 4x6 size then please e-mail me with your information. Although we continue to improve the photo quality of our laser print systems, you will still obtain the highest gloss level capability from our inkjet technology. If that is a priority for you then stick with inkjet. Our laser photo paper you mention offers the best laser solution. Our highest laser quality is delivered on the CLJ 4700 and CLJ 9500 series printers on the higher end which give higher quality and higher gloss. Regards, Mark

grandpadon Dec 30, 2006 10:18 AM

I responded to your request for 4X6 testers on some forum. Havent heard back yet

That means itll be a while till its on market.

What can I do in the meantime?

Ive got scads of HP 4X6, mostly freebies with ink

When do you expect to have glossier 8.5X11 photo paper? current is OK but not quite as good as prem plus inkjet

rtiffany Jan 5, 2007 10:53 AM

I for one would like to print color pictures on my new HP3600n. But HP doesn't even offer 4x6 precut laser printer paper. Their On-Line Chat/email was of no help either.

I tried OfficeMax glossy-professional photopaper and the image looks horrible! (good on my HP inket)

I am also trying to find precut 4X6 coated card stock for "mass" (100 - 1000) mailings. Standard index cards are not coated; the image quality is poor.

I hope someone reading this can direct me to a good supplier of card stock that works with my HP3600n! Presently, I feel like I've wasted $600 on a laser printer that I can't use for my business.


kolorwell Jan 9, 2007 7:36 PM

As I know, the mechanism designing of almost laser printer still does mot support as you mentioned 4 x 6 precut. Suggest cut 4 x 6 after A4 or letter size finishing printing.

Beside 4 x 6, paper (card) thickness (paper weight) also is very critical. Increase paper thickness will decrease color printing quality! The solution is slow down printing speed by setting paper type. The potential risk is the coating material on paper surface may be melted-down to damage printer because the heating temperature will be over 200 degree C during printing. The other solution is the coating material on thick paper surface has positive polarity and resists thermal stress but the price is very expensive.

You may refer to these websites for more information:


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