Right out of the box, with the #59 cartridge, this printer gives the best b&w prints, and by "best" I mean closest to a photographic darkroom print on good RC paper, yet. I have only been printing with it for about an hour, and only 4 x 6 prints - but I kid you not - these things look like they came from the local lab only better.
The only down side I can see is that the cartridges are small, and you are going to go through them (esp. the #59 cartridge which has the various gray inks) - very fast. And if you are going for archival (which I am) you are going to use the HP Premium Plus Glossy paper - but that was exactly the look I was after.
And of course - you cannot do large prints with this. No banding or anything like that. And next to no bronzing... there is a very very slight effect where the black lines seem a touch enhanced - but you really have to look for it - and it may be gone completely in 24 hours. This paper is the stuff where the ink causes the paper to swell up around it and as it dries it forms a layer that protects the ink (rated for 79 years).
So far so good... will write more as I learn more.
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A few hours later and my feeling about the printer is the same - wonderful. So why aren't they making this in a larger format? I have no idea. I'll tell you the feeling I have when the b&w print comes out - do you remember how you used to use a b&w polaroid that also created a negative for proofing -- it had this sort of intense black look and high gloss -- and a bit of a vapor as well?
That's the feeling of these prints, complete with vapor. I know that sometimes people write things about a piece of equipment when they first get it and then something happens and the experience goes sour - which could happen if the machinery starts acting up - but if it continues to function as it does today -- then I will remain impressed.