LightJet 5000 Wide-Format Printer

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LightJet Wide Format Printers

Cymbolic Sciences LightJet® printers set the standard for true photographic quality. Our internal drum holds the media stationary while printing, achieving image quality superior to all wide format printers - photographic, inkjet and electrostatic. And with its exceptional system software and 200 dpi option, LightJets are more productive than ever. Using lasers to expose conventional photographic material, the LightJet images a 40x50"/102x127cm print in under four minutes (at 200 dpi). All LightJet models include an open interface, which allows you to choose the workflow solution that best fits your production environment. LightJet technology is successfully running in more than 400 sites around the world.


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Affordable Investment

If you think a photographic printer is beyond your reach, you’ll be surprised by the affordability of a LightJet 5000. Even running at half capacity, you can see a return on investment in as little as three months. LightJet’s price and maintenance costs are much lower than competitive systems. And since the LightJet images on inexpensive photographic materials, you’ll save on material expenses over inkjet and electrostatic technologies. With low paper costs and no inks or toners to worry about, your profit per print is high.


Durable Media

Photographic materials are long lasting and resistant to fading so your customers will be happy with their LightJet prints for a long time. Some paper manufacturers guarantee archival quality photo paper that are color fast for several generations.


Multiple Applications

Whether you’re producing posters for point of purchase displays, tradeshow graphics or portrait packages, Cymbolic Sciences has a LightJet wide format printer that is tailored to meet your needs. Choose from a variety of models and options that vary resolution, maximum print size and prices. Our range of LightJets also includes a remote sensing option for applications requiring high geometric accuracy such as aerial photography and satellite imaging.

Choose From Three Models

LightJets are available in three models: LightJet 5300 images up to 32x50" / 81x127cm; LightJet 5500 images up to 50x50" / 127 x 127cm and LightJet 5900 images up to 49x97" / 124x246cm. The 200 dpi option is available to print any image up to 50x50". At 200 dpi, a LightJet can produce a 50x50" print on RA4 paper in 4.1 minutes.

Open Interface

Cymbolic Sciences has created an open interface so you can choose the ideal digital workflow for your production environment. LightJet FE software accepts digital files from networks and third party RIPs using a hot folder. With this interface, you have the freedom to use any program that produces RGB-TIFF files. Cymbolic also offers two other software options: System Manager LT is a stand-alone package that efficiently prepares, color corrects and prints TIFF (CMYK/RGB) and Scitex CT files. System Manager XL includes all LT features and an integrated PostScript level 2 RIP for on-the-fly RIPing and printing of most files.


Points of Enlargement


1. Sharp Text, Exceptional Detail

The LightJet’s image quality is superior to competitive photo printers because its imaging technology ensures a constant pixel size, shape and intensity over the entire image. Media is held stationary within a precision internal drum, while a spinning mirror directs laser light to expose reflective and backlit photographic material.

2.True Continuous Tone

Using red, green and blue lasers, the LightJet achieves true continuous-tone photographs without visible dots. Inkjet and electrostatic printers, which simulate photo quality with half-tone dot patterns, would need to image at 4000 dpi to duplicate the same image crispness, highlights and shadow detail. LightJet photo printers set the standard for backlit displays.

3. Ultimate Color Fidelity

The LightJet design incorporates advanced laser technology to optimize color range and color resolution. Its 36-bit color space, capable of producing 68 billion colors, ensures optimum control over the light source to reproduce color with perfect fidelity. In comparison, other photo printers are limited to 24 bits or 16.7 million colors.

4. Real-time Hardware Interpolation

Using our proprietary adaptive 16-point bi-cubic algorithm, the LightJet enhances sharpness through on-the-fly pixel interpolation. Because the pixels are faithful to the original image, the system can output small files at high resolution with no loss of sharpness. Unlike software interpolators which limit the flexibility of the interpolation process, our hardware uses complex algorithms to produce the best possible results. For example, the LightJets adaptive interpolation gives users the ability to sharpen some areas of an image, while maintaining softness in other areas - no other printer has this capability.

5. High Productivity

With the 200 dpi option, the LightJet will print a 50x50" image in 4.1 minutes (on RA4 paper). Smaller prints are produced even faster. Inkjet printers operating in "photographic mode" can take up to 10 times longer to produce a half-tone image.

6. Optional Software Optimizes Workflow

Cymbolic Sciences has created an open interface that allows for numerous workflow solutions. System Manager XL is optional software that incorporates invaluable features that can accelerate workflow when producing a mixture of print sizes from a variety of image data files.

Distinct sizing, cropping and interpolation factors can be applied to each image on the fly while imaging.


LightJet 5000 Specifications

Print Times

200 dpi (res 7.9)
Image Size               Print Time
30x50"                     3.6 minutes
50x50"                     4.1 minutes
49x97"                     not applicable

305 dpi (Res 12)

Image Size               Print Time
30x50"                     5.8 minutes
50x50"                     7.5 minutes
49x97"                     22.5 minutes*

406 dpi (Res 16)

Image Size               Print Time
30x50"                      8.1 minutes
50x50"                     11.8 minutes
49x97"                     Not applicable

Print Time includes material advance and look-up table download. Actual print time depends on computer configuration, file complexity and speed of data storage device.



Spatial Resolution

Continuous-tone: 200, 305, 406 dpi / Res 7.9, 12 and 16. Apparent half-tone resolution is 4,000 dpi.

The 200 dpi Option is available on each LightJet model. The maximum print size at 200 dpi is 50x50" / 127x127cm.


Color Resolution

36 bits; each 8-bit input channel is interpolated to 12 bits to produce a 36-bit outdoor color space, resulting in smoother gradients, and increased highlight and shadow detail.



Maximum Image Sizes

LightJet 5300 32x50" / 81x127cm

LightJet 5500 50x50" / 127x127cm

LightJet 5900 50x50 / 127 x 127cm

or 49x97" / 124x246cm

Image sizes apply for paper and trans materials.

For clear-base films the maximum print size is 49x50" / 124 x 127cm. Images longer than 50" / 127 cm are printed at 305 dpi. Prints longer than 50" require the use of 50" wide materials.


Roll Media Capacity

Length: Up to 164 feet (50 meters)

Width: 30", 40" and 50" / 76cm, 102cm and 127cm


Photographic Media

Popular reflective and backlit display materials are qualified.


Laser Light Source

Red: Helium-neon - 633 nm
Green: Helium-neon - 543 nm
Blue: Argon-ion - 458 nm


Remote Sensing Option                               

The Remote Sensing Option can be specified for each LightJet model. This option is ideal for applications requiring very high geometric accuracy, such as remote sensing, aerial photography and lenticular imaging. Its overall geometric accuracy is +/- 1 mm over the entire 50x50"/ 127x127cm image area. When ordered with System Manager software, two additional data formats are supported: pixel interleaved (BIP) and line interleaved (BIL).


Image Interpolation and Sharpness Control

Hardware Interpolation

Adaptive 16-point bi-cubic spline applied on a per frame basis. Does not increase the size of files being transferred or reduce productivity.

System Manager Software Interpolation

Automatic bi-cubic interpolation applied on a per image basis (multiple images within a frame can be scaled independently). Exact sizing feature provides for automatic scaling and interpolation to specific dimensions.

Interpolation Scaling Range

Hardware: 100% to 1,000%
Software: 25% to 400%

Sharpness Filters

User selectable with defaults that allow different portions of an image to be sharpened or smoothed adaptively on a per frame basis.


Application Software                                   


Supported Workstations

Pentium II or Digital Equipment Alpha (Pentium II recommended for highest productivity).

Supported Operating System

Windows NT 4.0 Workstation; Pentium II


LightJet FE Open Interface                          

LightJet FE Open Interface software accepts digital files from networks and third-party RIPs using a hot folder. It opens the LightJet to all programs that produce RGB-TIFF files.


System Manager LT and XL                        

LT and XL Features

-TIFF (RGB & CMYK), Scitex CT; PostScript Level 2 RIP (for XL version).
-On screen color correction with user interface control over highlight, ¼ tone, id-tone, ¾ tone and shadow.
-Fast image preview prior to printing.
-Image cropping for printing elected areas only.
-Independent scaling of each image in a multi-image print.

XL Features

-PostScript Level 2 RIP.
-90, 180 and 270 degree rotation.
-Automatic CMYK to RGB conversion while printing.
-Simultaneous RIP and print on-the-fly. Actual RIP and print times depend on the computer configuration, image size and PostScript file complexity.
-Seamless RIP to file and then print capability.




200/208/220/230/240 VAC ±10% single phase, 47 to 63 Hz, 3,200 VA typical, 3,800 VA maximum

Size (WxHxD)

81" x 50" x 93" / 205cm x 127cm x 235cm


3,600 pounds (1,650 kilograms)


Normal room light when printing; darkroom when loading or unloading media.


Click here on LightJet to download the brochure (2039 KB). If you have Acrobat 3.0 installed, the document will appear in your window. If you don’t have Acrobat 3.0 installed, click the title you want and your browser will give you instructions on how to get it from Adobe’s website or click on the Get Acrobat Reader Icon below.

Why PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Once you download the free Acrobat viewer, you can print documents quickly and easily and view them as they were laid out - with fonts, graphics, etc. To download the free Acrobat viewer, click here, and follow Adobe’s instructions.

getacro.gif (712 bytes)

Specifications and design are subject to change without notice.

Ó Cymbolic Sciences, Inc. 02/99

LightJet and Cymbolic Sciences are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cymbolic Sciences, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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