Suggested Improvements for documentation of QMS 2060 EX and QMS
2060 FX black and white laser printers.
needs to adequately explain lpi and especially that the lpi needs
to be upped from default 71 to at least 90 (Screen Frequency, Reference
4-49, 4-50, 5-5)--if you indeed to print halftones (photos). Overall
the manual is great for an office and for computer technicians,
but might be altered a bit for the end user. Of course in a large
corporation the end user is shielded from reality by the technical
staff. I can still remember in Japan, the computer technicians would
come in bowing, and exit backwards when they finished, also bowing.
I find it satisfying to be able to fix things on my own, but I do
need some encouragement and help from a manual.
now has an update that allows you to tweak the lines-per-inch. As
soon as this arrives and I can test it, I will report the improvements.
The printer was already quite impressive even as is for '98 (the
new capability is for models shipped in '99).
would be helpful if a section could be added for people in the graphics
world, such as for artists, photographers, digital imaging people.
This printer is capable of printing photo quality, exhibit quality
images (if tweaked). This section should be written by a graphics
person, not a computer technician.
the lpi and arranging the proper dpi are two tasks that depend more
on digital imaging awareness than on the technical features of the
printer. In other words, the output of a QMS printer, good as it
is on its own, can be tweaked to even better exhibit quality appearance
if you know how to prepare the images in Adobe Photoshop with the
new channel mixer mode. Do not use the old mode change to grayscale.
example, if a user plans to print photographs, they have to be as
light as possible (easiest to do in LAB mode, in the luminosity
channel, mode change from RGB). Just go to Adjust, Curves and make
the image lighter. The lighter the image the higher lpi; the higher
the lpi the fewer dots you can see. At default 71 lpi photographs
look wretched--all dots, all monotone dull gray, no contrast.
noticed that the QMS advertisements were printed at 85 dpi. I was
able to reach 90 lpi for dark images and mixed out at 95 lpi for
white and other inherently light images. This was after tweaking
the images in Adobe Photoshop ver 5.0.2. Xante indicates that a
lpi of easily 150 lpi can be obtained with their comparable printer,
which handles paper up to 37 inches long (as opposed to 26 inches
long for the QMS). I have not yet had the opportunity to test the
Xante printer. It also uses the newer PostScript 3. It would be
interesting to see if the higher lpi allows a higher dpi in the
original image, and if the PostScript 3 really makes a difference
in gray scale. The newer generation of scanners such as Polaroid
Sprint Scan 4000 produces 4000 dpi at 35mm size which would allow
a higher dpi for 1200 dpi printing at 150 lpi. I routinely print
35mm slides at both 11x17, A3 (approximately European equivalent).
Images from the Better
Light Dicomed digital camera are so good that I can enlarge
them to 13x19 easily (paper as long as 26 inches is hard to find).
When I visited the QMS offices in Mobile recently, they indicated
that several features that QMS builds into their printer allow QMS
to achieve its high quality with photographic images. Naturally
these improvements are constantly coming on line, so keep tuned
for the latest breakthroughs.
2060 print system documentation CD
repeat, to create a black-and-white image in Adobe Photograph, do
not use the automatic mode change to grayscale; you can get much
better control by using Adjust Channel Mixer. You can get a mix
of the four channels (CMYK) of up to 200%; the channel mix does
not max out at 100% as common sense would suggest. FLAAR has a section
of book reviews on the pertinent books that can help out.
achieve the best graphics images, the option windows (on your monitor,
not on the printer) need to be printed out in the manual, with explanation
of every option, one after the other.
would have helped also if the manual had explained that graphics
files over 290 dpi will cause a PostScript error message. This is
true in most other printers I have used; too much dpi will choke
the system. This is not a fault of QMS at all, just a constraint
of the basic laser system. It would be nice to see how PostScript
3 handles such an overload of dpi; PostScript 3 is now available
on several comparable printers of other companies.
a corporation, people probably are stuck with low bid "laser
paper," which is often just relabeled copier paper. It is unrealistic
to expect a purchasing agent in a bank or insurance company or other
office to be familiar with the considerable differences in paper
surface and quality. Hammermill paper is the only one listed (Reference,
page 2-4, missing from the index, should be listed under, Paper,
find that Weyerhaeuser First Choice produces handsome output on
both color and black-and-white laser. If you are in Europe, where
Weyerhaeuser paper is unfortunately not yet available, we have found
Reyprint the absolute best paper. Reyprint is a French laser paper
(distributed by International Paper, an American company). Futura
Laser (Consolidated Paper) is an equivalent paper in the USA, wonderfully
smooth surface for photographs. Photographs printed on paper of
this premium quality are good enough to frame and exhibit. If you
have to fold your paper (a mailing brochure, for example) the best
paper is a Microprint laser from Georgia Pacific.
summary, since QMS sells the printer in Europe as well as in the
USA, the recommended paper section should be updated to include
paper available in Europe (Reyprint). Since the printer is capable
of doing photo-quality output, the manual ought to include the appropriate
paper, Weyerhaeuser for mass production, Futura Laser for smaller
jobs where a glossy surface is desired, Georgia Pacific Microprint
when you will need to fold the sheets.. Always go for the thickest
weight of paper possible (unless you have to fold them or worry
about postage excess weight). I would add that the QMS handled thick
paper better than the Lexmark Optra N.
your Printer to a computer
you have a Macintosh computer you will need a mini-hub (3 hubs is
enough for most SOHO arrangements) and special cables. For a Mac
setup this printer functions with Ethernet, not serial or parallel
as with a PC. We leave our Dell PC and the Mac both plugged into
the printer since only the Mac takes up the Ethernet receptor on
the printer; the Dell uses a parallel cable.
printer comes with 10baseT Ethernet. It would be interesting to
test 100baseT to see if that speeds things up. We already maxed
out the RAM to about 112 MB.
took the printer as baggage from St Louis to Frankfurt on Delta
Airlines. They managed to clobber the box so effectively that they
bent in the bottom and dented the side. The printer itself is well
built, and the exterior is solid, but Delta Airlines must have special
machines for crushing your baggage. I would recommend first, using
the original packing material; 2nd, insuring the printer against
such damage, and 3rd, shipping in DHL or UPS or Federal Express.
I would add that the QMS is fully portable (relatively speaking).
I originally planned to bring my Lexmark Optra N to Germany--until
I found out it weighed 110 pounds. The QMS weighs about 60 pounds
is a reputable company and is international, has service available
in both Europe and the USA. QMS had a substantial presence at the
recent CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany. Print quality is very
good if you can figure out how to set the lpi (lines per inch, don't
confuse with dpi of your file). The QMS has done a better job of
handling thick paper than the Lexmark Optra N. The Lexmark caused
toner splatter all over the page when a thick (stiff) sheet went
through. Also, the Lexmark manual advised against using coated stock.
That was only partially true. On the QMS a very shiny and definitely
coated Reyprint sheet went through beautifully.
recently returned to the USA and printed some of the same images
on a Lexmark Optra N. The output of the QMS was noticeably superior.
The 1200 dpi of some models of Lexmark is feigned, good only for
text, and actually causes banding to increase on the constant tone
background. Banding, however, is a generic situation in all laser
printers. Banding was the worst on an HP model 4MV, 11x17 size,
since they were made for business use, for plain text, not for photographs,
graphics, and certainly not for desktop publishing or pre-press.
people in USA know the printer inside out; service personnel in
Europe are not as experienced--very pleasant and well intentioned,
but were unable to solve the page placement problem (actually a
Microsoft Word defect, not a QMS problem). The guides for the paper
(which have to be moved to proper paper size) might be strengthened
in the next model. Otherwise the machine looks well built though
I am not sure I would want to pull the paper tray in and out every
day. It is best to get a second (optional) tray if you will use
11x17 and letter size more or less simultaneously. Of course you
can feed one or the other paper size through the multipurpose tray.
Overall QMS is a great machine and worth the investment. The Lexmark
Optra N, a real workhorse, can only simulate 1200 dpi print, which
actually is mainly suitable for text, not for halftones. The QMS
has a smaller footprint and prints a much larger sheet. If I had
to select between the two I would recommend the QMS. I never got
deep enough inside the Lexmark software to know if you could tweak
the lpi; the ability to set the lpi yourself is a considerable asset
to the QMS system and makes it superior for reproducing photographs.
reproducing photographs with a Xerox machine was always a disaster.
Bands of light area, streaks, generally wretched reproduction quality.
A few brands such as Savin produced relative acceptable photo reproductions,
but the better the brand seemingly the worse the quality. Now you
can avoid all of this. Don't photocopy the photograph on a copier,
scan it, then print it with a QMS. You can even connect a scanner
directly to the printer. Of course nowadays the better copiers are
also scanners, so photos should reproduce all right, but merely
"okay" should no longer be acceptable. I am planning to
exhibit my black-and-white photographs, proudly printed not in a
photographic darkroom, but on my own desktop with a QMS.
FLAAR Digital Imaging Technology Center wishes to express appreciation
to Encad for providing a Wideformat inkjet printer, to Electronics
for Imaging for providing an EFI Fiery RIP,
to Lexmark for providing an Optra 1275c color laser and to QMS for
providing a model 2060 FX black-and-white laser printer with a multi-res
daughterboard and extra RAM needed to achieve 1200 dpi, especially
at tabloid paper size.
does not undertake quickie tests, we use the equipment day in day
out, month after month. If you are going to pay x-thousand for a
printer, perhaps you might like to know how your investment will
hold up after the first year. For this reason it is difficult for
us to test printers that are available only for a 30 day loan period.
During the first 30 days with the Lexmark and with the QMS we were
still excavating deep into the software options to tweak the optimum
performance out of the machines. In both cases we have obtained
better print results by experimentation than would be possible by
just reading the manuals and sticking with default settings.