The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Upgrading to a 4K Monitor

I'm in the process of getting back into photography which will mean a new camera, more on that in a later post. But the first step for me was a new computer, one with the horsepower to handle a modern day camera and its RAW files. Along with the computer comes a new 4K monitor. 4K is great for media consumption, right? Your characters on your favorite show or movie really look detailed and realistic. Scenery looks wonderful. Everything looks great, right? Wrong. You know what doesn't look great? That photo I took in 2012 that I thought was sharp but is very much not. I transferred over my past catalogs of photos over to Lightroom Classic and eagerly began opening up some of my favorite photos. At first I was happy with how the colors looked and how the scene was composed. Then I noticed it was a little soft. Well I had just gotten a new contacts prescription so that must be it. Changed to my glasses and the photos were even blurrier! I went through photo after photo and most ca

HP Ink Challenge Assignment #2

Week 2 has, big surprise here, more printing and comparing. Using the supplied 4x6 HP Advanced Photo Paper it was time to print out 5 photos, and 1 black & white of my own to compare between the 2 printers. So I opened up Aperture and picked 5 of my most recent shots and turned one into black and white using Aperture's tools, as opposed to my favorite black & white tool Silver Effex Pro 2. As a quick comparison, here are 2 of the color photos. Click on them to see them larger

HP Inks
Refill Inks
As you can see there's a reddish tinge to the refill inks, and the magenta colors on the edge of the pedals are more noticeable with the Refill Inks. The photo is the full photo of the cropped image on the far right of this earlier post. I think the HP inks come the closest.

Things turned murky after that though. The last 2 shots to print were the same photo, one in color and one in black and white. As you should be able to see without having to click to make the scan larger, we've got a problem with the refill inks.

HP Inks Color
Refill Inks Color
HP Inks B&W
Refill B&W
So I did what any ink jet owner would do and ran the program to clean the nozzles. Usually one expects improved print performance, right?

Refill Color, after cleaning
Refill B&W, after cleaning
I think I have a red problem. As I'm pretty sure these difference are more extreme than what HP is looking to document I'm waiting for HP to send out another set of refilled cartridges.

I have to say Thom and Angie with the HP Ink Challenge have been really helpful in getting things going. I got my refill inks delivered the next day, and though they were leakier than the others (I still have yellow and black ink on my fingers) their initial prints were at least useable. I reprinted week 2's photos and found colors to be pleasant, if not quite accurate. Also apparent is some banding issues. This was very noticeable in the HP/Facebook print project, but is apparent in all the photos printed. The color photos seem to be not as vibrant or bright as the HP inks, which most closely match the original photo.

The big take away I'm getting from this is that refill cartridges are not consistant color or quality wise. To me this is unacceptable, no matter what savings there might be.

Here are the shot comparisons again with the new refill inks. You can see a red tint on both the color and B&W photos, though certainly not as bad as the older Refill Cartridges.

HP Inks Color
New Refill Inks Color
HP Inks B&W
New Refill Inks B&W


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The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Upgrading to a 4K Monitor