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Author Topic: Getting started with a large-format roll printer  (Read 3756 times)

mattpat

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Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« on: January 29, 2018, 04:40:34 PM »

I’m an enthusiast-level photographer with a little disposable income, a big empty space in my apartment, and a huge appreciation for making prints, so I’ve decided to take the leap into a large-format printer (Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-4000). What are some resources for someone who’s just getting started in this world?

In particular, are there non-obvious maintenance tasks that are important for such complex machines? Are there color calibration or profiling steps I should be taking to ensure accuracy from Lightroom prints? What are some of people’s favorite 24” and 44” papers in various categories (luster, canvas, matte)?
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BobShaw

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 09:42:37 PM »

That's a serious investment for someone just getting started in printing.
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mattpat

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 11:22:44 PM »

That's a serious investment for someone just getting started in printing.

I suppose in many ways that’s true! But if you think about it, with the current pricing, it costs less than a whole lot of midrange camera bodies out there (recognizing, of course, that operating costs are not cheap), and it’ll probably stick around for a lot longer. This isn’t my first foray into printing, either, just my first time with a big ‘un, and I wanted the ability to print documents at A0 from time to time, so 44” is about the cost of entry.

I’m a quick learner, work a lot with color in my day job as a software engineer, and am quite fond of electronic gizmos—I wanted an investment that I could grow into, not something I’d feel limited by in a year or two. What I’m mainly looking to find out are the things that change at scale (e.g., maintenance), and for some recommendations for people’s favorite media!
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stockjock

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 01:23:03 AM »

I have a Canon iPF8400 which is the prior version of Canon's 44" printer.  I have loved owning it even though I've rarely printed larger than 17" wide.  One of the best features of these large format printers is the very low cost of ink.  I assume that is still true of the Pro-4000.  Paper cost is generally a much bigger factor in the overall cost of printing along with the print head itself being a consumable.

From a maintenance standpoint the most important thing is to keep the printer on and use it frequently.  Let it go into standby mode but don't let it power off.  I have no idea what the default is on the Pro-4000 but I'm sure that the best practice is to leave the printer on so that it can agitate the inks from time to time etc..  I would also make sure it is plugged into a sinosuidal UPS like https://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP1500PFCLCD-Sinewave-Outlets-Mini-Tower/dp/B00429N192?th=1.  It has never been clear to me how important that is but the Canon printers have historically had problems with the motherboards burning out and at least a few reports have suggested square wave UPS's might contribute to that.

Finally, these big printers need to be used.  I make sure my iPF8400 runs a print every three days.  This is good for the heads and helps avoid wasting more ink on unnecessary cleaning cycles.  I use Windows Task Manager and Irfanview to do this but others use Qimage which has the ability to schedule a print whenever you want.

Something that the printing gurus here and elsewhere don't tell you is that these Canon printers do a remarkably good job printing on many papers without a paper specific profile.  Just use a closely matching Canon paper type and either use the associated profile or let the printer manage colors.  That isn't as good as a really high quality profile but it is often better than some of the lower quality profiles some paper manufacturers provide.  For example, using the Canon Premium Glossy Photo Paper 2 280 paper type and letting the printer manage colors typically provides better results than the manufacturer supplied profiles for metallic papers.  Semi Glossy Photo Paper HG 255 is a great stand in for a wide range of satin or semimatte papers including the very inexpensive Epson proofing and semimatte papers.

Paper preferences are very individual.  I have standardized on the Canson Platine and Canson Rag Photographique for my better prints.  From time to time, it can be much cheaper to buy the virtually identical Epson Legacy Platine or Legacy Fibre papers which are virtually identical to the Canson papers.  I have had great success using the Canson profiles for these Epson papers on the iPF8400.  The Red River Palo Duro Soft Gloss Rag also appears to be a close clone of the Canson Platine and it is sometimes on sale.

Those are some tips I've found useful in my 3 years as a serious amateur with a honking big printer taking up what used to be the formal dining room.  I hope you have fun!



 
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mattpat

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 03:55:59 AM »

Thanks for the great advice, stockjock!

Finally, these big printers need to be used.  I make sure my iPF8400 runs a print every three days.  This is good for the heads and helps avoid wasting more ink on unnecessary cleaning cycles.  I use Windows Task Manager and Irfanview to do this but others use Qimage which has the ability to schedule a print whenever you want.

That's a really interesting point, I wouldn't have thought it would need to run so frequently (though it makes sense). What kind of prints do you schedule, actual photos you'd want to hang, or test pages?

Paper preferences are very individual.  I have standardized on the Canson Platine and Canson Rag Photographique for my better prints.  From time to time, it can be much cheaper to buy the virtually identical Epson Legacy Platine or Legacy Fibre papers which are virtually identical to the Canson papers.  I have had great success using the Canson profiles for these Epson papers on the iPF8400.  The Red River Palo Duro Soft Gloss Rag also appears to be a close clone of the Canson Platine and it is sometimes on sale.

I'll be sure to check these out!

Those are some tips I've found useful in my 3 years as a serious amateur with a honking big printer taking up what used to be the formal dining room.  I hope you have fun!

Fun is what it's all about, after all!  ;D
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stockjock

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 04:47:57 AM »

Thanks for the great advice, stockjock!

That's a really interesting point, I wouldn't have thought it would need to run so frequently (though it makes sense). What kind of prints do you schedule, actual photos you'd want to hang, or test pages?

I'll be sure to check these out!

Fun is what it's all about, after all!  ;D

Printing every 2-3 days seems to be the consensus opinion about what is needed to keep the printer healthy and avoid wasting ink on head cleanings.  If anybody has a different opinion on that I would love the input.

I print Bill Atkinson's 14 balls image.  I believe that matches up to the actual ink colors used in the Canon printers quite well.  You can find links and some info on interpreting that chart here:

http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=79799.0

I like the fact that it fits nicely in the shortest length of roll paper that the iPF8400 prints. I estimated once that printing it every 2-3 days cost about $125 in ink and paper each year.

A lot of people like the Outback Printer Evaluation image to test printers in general and you can find that image here:

http://www.outbackphoto.com/printinginsights/pi048/essay.html

But I think any image with a wide range of colors including blacks and grays would work.
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stockjock

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 04:53:26 AM »

You can find lots of other good printer test images here:

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/printer-test-images/
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I.T. Supplies

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2018, 06:03:51 PM »

First off, you "don't" need to do a print every few days on the x400 or Pro series since their heads are built better than Epson in that area (more nozzles and many sensors to keep the head functioning properly).  The fact that the Pro series now have a larger (single) head with extra nozzles, this helps as a back up if a nozzle is clogging during printing or while it's sitting.  The printer will work on cleaning the nozzle even while printing.

We've been using a Pro-4000 since it first came out and rarely had any issues with clogs.  Our demo even went to a few trade shows and produced many great prints (even in standard mode) which looked like high quality.  The print head is now able to provide much better ink placement compared to the x400/x300 series with the 2 separate heads (which couldn't exactly align together all the time).

One of our Canon field techs had a ipf6100 from a few years ago, left it turned off and covered during a winter for about 3 months; went back to use it and fired without any issues.  It depends on where the printer is and make sure to keep on so it can wake up from sleep mode to check the nozzles.  If you leave for long periods of time (weeks or so), it may be better to turn it off and put a cover over it so dust can't get to the head.  You can leave it on and let it go to sleep so it can periodically do nozzle checks, but the sleep mode will use less power this way.

The newer series doesn't use ink that quickly (x400 was about the same), so printing or cleanings or minimal compared to Epson's.  You can also do a print, go through the Accounting Software tool in the printer settings (via computer) and see the ink usage (even per color) as well as cost per print.

The x300/x400 head was about $450/ea and now the Pro is about $670 out of warranty.  If the head is within the manufacturer warranty (at first) they will send a replacement if it goes out; otherwise once you get the new head, it starts a new 1-year warranty through Canon.

Epson Legacy is basically Canson papers (made and shipped from Canson).  Now Legion (Moab/Museo) owns Canson products and their manufacturing plant.  This makes it a little nicer so they can distribute Canson products from either their NY or CA warehouse (vs MA for Canson in the past).

We're always happy to speak to customers in regards to certain printers (and paper if needed) and their abilities in order to figure out which one works best for your needs.

Atlex.com
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David Eckels

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 07:12:51 PM »

Great advice from stockjock and Atlex. I find running a weekly test print on my ipf8400 helps things run a little smoother and quicker, but I have left it in standby mode for more than 3 mo w/no issues other than a lengthy head cleaning. Moved it once and it sat for two weeks in a hot moving van - no issues!

Dive in! I bought mine almost 4 yrs ago and never regretted it; like having your own darkroom!

PS FYI, I've been through 2.5 print heads and 2 maintenance cartridges. In for a penny, in for a pound. Good luck.

Landscapes

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 08:00:31 PM »

First off, you "don't" need to do a print every few days on the x400 or Pro series since their heads are built better than Epson in that area (more nozzles and many sensors to keep the head functioning properly). 

I really don't know where you guys get your info.  To be honest, every one of your responses always sounds like you work for a marketing company rather than an end user.  Sure you might have many printers set up in your offices and use them all the time, but since none of the employees actually owns these printers, you don't care about the running costs, and since many people perhaps use these printers, you really don't have a good measure on what is needed as minimum printing.  Maybe you even use it often enough as to negate any reason for keeping track of this.

PS.  I'm a happy Atlex customer and have bought 2 printers from you and lots of media, but I just don't like the advice you give on this forum.

Moving along, and in response to the original poster, here are my direct findings with a Canon iPF6400.  I have also owned an iPF6100, so I'm quite experienced with these printers.  As has been said many times, the secret to these printers is they have to be used.  How often?  I would say every 2 days. 

I have gone away twice.  First time for 7 days, and I turned the printer off.  When I turned it back on, of course it needed to do a clean cycle, and went through about 50ml of ink.  Surprisingly, this doesn't really match the amount of ink used for different clean cycles.  There is a low clean cycle A, which is what I believe they call it, and this uses about 14ml of ink.  The more aggressive one should use about 90ml from my understanding.  So how mine used 50ml of so, I'm not sure, but perhaps it did something a couple of times.  Its a fair amount of ink to waste just to go away for a week in my opinion.

2nd time away was for almost 2 weeks, and this time I decided to leave the printer on.  I thought maybe by being able to do its own routine, it would use up less ink.  Well, after my return, I tried to do one print, and it first did a clean cycle, and by the time it was ready to print, over 80ml of ink was used up since before I left.  Now what I didn't do was see how much ink was used up before I tried to do my print, and this is a shame, but the end result was that I learned to never go away! LOL

If I wait more than about 3 days to do a print, it will use that standard 14ml of ink to run a simply clean cycle.  It might not seem like much, but with the small carts, and adding on taxes, you're looking at about $1 per ml.  This 14ml of ink can actually print quite a few pictures, so its such a waste.  Now if all I do is print a simple pattern I got off the internet on a letter sized piece of paper, I use 0.4ml of ink, and it never does a cleaning cycle.  I have not had to do a print for over 2 weeks, but as long as I keep making sure to do this print pattern every 2 days, the printer works just fine without doing a clean cycle.  I alternate between telling the printer that the paper is just plain paper, since it will use matte black, and then I say its glossy paper, so it uses photo black, but I still print this out on regular copy paper.  The glossy setting uses about 0.6ml of ink vs. 0.4ml.  As you can see, doing 3 or these prints a week, I'm looking at less than 2ml of ink per week for maintenance vs. the dreaded costly clean cycle of leaving the printer off.  I would like to see if I can stretch this out to doing a print every 3 days, but frankly, I don't even want to waste one 14ml clean cycle.  It sucks that business is so slow that in the winter I may not have to do a print for weeks, but this is how it goes.

It amazes me that the printer isn't programmed better.  If I go to the trouble to do a 0.4ml print every 2 days, it will run perfectly for weeks without a clean cycle, but the minute I don't print anything for over 3 days to a week, so much ink has to be wasted.  If I ever go away again, I'm going to look into using one of those script programs to automatically send a print to the printer every 2 days and just load up a roll so it can print on that, cut the paper, go to sleep, and be ready to print again in 2 days.

Now I do think that even 2ml of ink per week isn't really enough for the printer cause this is spread out over 12 channels.  Ideally, I would have actual prints to do every week so that at least 10ml of ink was used, and sometimes I do print out some pictures that are my most popular since I know these will eventually be ordered, but at the very least, the printer counter does think its being used regularly so it doesn't automatically do a clean cycle.

These are the things a regular guy has to keep track of.  In relation to my message above to Atlex, they of course don't care if they shut the printer down for a long weekend lets say and have to go through a 50ml clean cycle when they turn it on because they aren't really paying for the ink carts they need to replace.  But for an end user, this would be deadly.  Imagine having to do this just twice a month, and hence wasting $100 of ink.  This is a real cost that no individual owner should have to put up with.  Luckily there is a workaround, and it only takes 3 minutes to do a print, but this is in fact what you have to do if you want to be very efficient with your printing costs.
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stockjock

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 10:23:47 PM »

First off, you "don't" need to do a print every few days on the x400 or Pro series since their heads are built better than Epson in that area (more nozzles and many sensors to keep the head functioning properly).  The fact that the Pro series now have a larger (single) head with extra nozzles, this helps as a back up if a nozzle is clogging during printing or while it's sitting.  The printer will work on cleaning the nozzle even while printing.

We've been using a Pro-4000 since it first came out and rarely had any issues with clogs.  Our demo even went to a few trade shows and produced many great prints (even in standard mode) which looked like high quality.  The print head is now able to provide much better ink placement compared to the x400/x300 series with the 2 separate heads (which couldn't exactly align together all the time).

One of our Canon field techs had a ipf6100 from a few years ago, left it turned off and covered during a winter for about 3 months; went back to use it and fired without any issues.  It depends on where the printer is and make sure to keep on so it can wake up from sleep mode to check the nozzles.  If you leave for long periods of time (weeks or so), it may be better to turn it off and put a cover over it so dust can't get to the head.  You can leave it on and let it go to sleep so it can periodically do nozzle checks, but the sleep mode will use less power this way.

The newer series doesn't use ink that quickly (x400 was about the same), so printing or cleanings or minimal compared to Epson's.  You can also do a print, go through the Accounting Software tool in the printer settings (via computer) and see the ink usage (even per color) as well as cost per print.

The x300/x400 head was about $450/ea and now the Pro is about $670 out of warranty.  If the head is within the manufacturer warranty (at first) they will send a replacement if it goes out; otherwise once you get the new head, it starts a new 1-year warranty through Canon.

Epson Legacy is basically Canson papers (made and shipped from Canson).  Now Legion (Moab/Museo) owns Canson products and their manufacturing plant.  This makes it a little nicer so they can distribute Canson products from either their NY or CA warehouse (vs MA for Canson in the past).

We're always happy to speak to customers in regards to certain printers (and paper if needed) and their abilities in order to figure out which one works best for your needs.

Atlex.com

Obviously, because of all the extra print nozzles in the print head the Canon printers don't clog the way some Epson printers are prone to if you let them sit unused.  But I will tell you that when I went to Europe 18 months ago for 3 weeks my network went down and the iPF8400 printer wasn't able to be "exercised" every couple of days.  When I came back I ran a Service Nozzle 1 head check and quite a few of the channels weren't functioning because of the long idle period.  Fortunately, they cleaned back up with a Head Cleaning A but I think the resilience of the Canon printers to not clogging over long periods of idleness is overstated.  If I run a print every few days many months will go by with no change in the results on the Service Nozzle 1 check.  But I would also say that the two heads I have had to replace didn't appear to have any problem with clogging so perhaps the heads are designed to fail long before the extra nozzles ever get used up.
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mattpat

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 10:44:23 PM »

Thanks for all of the great information, folks! To synthesize the most constructive information from all of this, it sounds like clogs—even if only printing rarely—are unlikely to be problematic with newer printers like the Pro-4000, but frequent prints will get you the most bang-for-your-buck in terms of wasted ink.

Now if all I do is print a simple pattern I got off the internet on a letter sized piece of paper, I use 0.4ml of ink, and it never does a cleaning cycle.  I have not had to do a print for over 2 weeks, but as long as I keep making sure to do this print pattern every 2 days, the printer works just fine without doing a clean cycle.  I alternate between telling the printer that the paper is just plain paper, since it will use matte black, and then I say its glossy paper, so it uses photo black, but I still print this out on regular copy paper.  The glossy setting uses about 0.6ml of ink vs. 0.4ml.

Excellent information, thanks! Do you generally just do 8.5x11, or do you prefer a different size for your test prints?

Also, it sounds like a good strategy for anyone would be to do a few test prints on the type of media you plan on using and calculate your own maintenance print baselines so you can extrapolate out to the "sweet spot" for cost savings. For instance, using your numbers, if we assume that every week is approximately 2mL of ink used on test prints, and any extended absence would result in a full 90mL cleaning process, you'd have to go almost a full year without making a print before the most cost-effective option would be to turn the printer off and have it do a cleaning before you need to print next. Those numbers change, though, if your maintenance prints start using significantly more than 2mL of ink per week (for instance, if you shot for the "ideal" 10mL you mentioned, then the threshold at which it starts to make a difference is much closer to two months).

I'll investigate ways to try to get this automated (on a Mac), because that does sound like it would alleviate quite a bit of the headache. :)

Dive in! I bought mine almost 4 yrs ago and never regretted it; like having your own darkroom!

That sure is the plan! ;D

And thanks, stockjock and Atlex, for test print ideas and paper advice!
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MHMG

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2018, 12:35:36 AM »


The newer series doesn't use ink that quickly (x400 was about the same), so printing or cleanings or minimal compared to Epson's.  You can also do a print, go through the Accounting Software tool in the printer settings (via computer) and see the ink usage (even per color) as well as cost per print.

The Canon Accounting feature doesn't track ink used for routine head maintenance which is considerable for endusers not printing on a frequent basis. For infrequent users of the latest Canon Pro X000 series printers, the amount of ink used to keep the printer "clog-free" is very likely greater than the amount used by Epson's latest printer models to keep Epson's newest printers clog-free, and this reality even includes the amount of ink wasted when switching from PK to MK and vice versa unless you are doing the PK/MK switch on an almost daily basis.

..Epson Legacy is basically Canson papers (made and shipped from Canson).  Now Legion (Moab/Museo) owns Canson products and their manufacturing plant.  This makes it a little nicer so they can distribute Canson products from either their NY or CA warehouse (vs MA for Canson in the past).

Yes, Legion is now apparently the exclusive distributor of Canson Media in the USA. However, Legion doesn't own the Canson Infinity line of fine art papers outright. Canson is owned by an Italian company, F.I.L.A.( Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini).

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 01:20:14 AM by MHMG »
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Landscapes

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2018, 01:59:28 AM »

Also, it sounds like a good strategy for anyone would be to do a few test prints on the type of media you plan on using and calculate your own maintenance print baselines so you can extrapolate out to the "sweet spot" for cost savings. For instance, using your numbers, if we assume that every week is approximately 2mL of ink used on test prints, and any extended absence would result in a full 90mL cleaning process, you'd have to go almost a full year without making a print before the most cost-effective option would be to turn the printer off and have it do a cleaning before you need to print next. Those numbers change, though, if your maintenance prints start using significantly more than 2mL of ink per week (for instance, if you shot for the "ideal" 10mL you mentioned, then the threshold at which it starts to make a difference is much closer to two months).

I wouldn't suggest leaving the printer off for a month or two just because it would be more cost effective than running a print every couple of days.   As you say, it might be a full year before cost savings are realized.  But even if you find that over 2 months it sounds more economical to leave it off, I still wouldn't do this.  I would investiage ways to make the printer print something while you are away on a roll.

I use just letter sized paper because its super cheap.  Even the cheapest roll paper is magnitudes more expensive.  The cheapest roll I have is a 10 inch Epson Luster roll.  It works out to about 50 cents per foot, and I'm sure I can reorganize the print file so that only about 6 inches are used while it uses the full 10 inch width.  The reason for the roll is that the printer can cut it, go to sleep, and wake up again and be able to print.  The letter sized paper has to be manually fed each time which you clearly can't do if you are away.

As for my numbers, they are all guesses as to what is necessary.  I do think only 2ml of ink per week is far too little, but the printer is happy with it in that it doesn't induce a clean cycle.  If I do no print for lets say 5 days, an automatic clean cycle of at least 14ml is necessary, so compare this to the 2ml, and its a no brainer.  I have no idea though when and why the printer chooses to do more clean cycles, or heavier clean cycles.  All I can tell you is that printing only 0.5ml every 2 days for weeks has been enough to not have the printer run clean cycles.  I suspect that at some point it will, but at the same time, every couple of weeks a print order may come in, and then I'm going to be using 20 or 30 or 40ml of ink anyway.  I hope for these because I think it is necessary to move more than 2ml of ink through the printer a week, but at least my method ties me over.
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Landscapes

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 02:05:06 AM »

The Canon Accounting feature doesn't track ink used for routine head maintenance which is considerable for endusers not printing on a frequent basis.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this, but on my iPF6400, I use this screen to keep track.  In fact, every week or so I take a screenshot and file it away in a folder.  If I go away I take a screen shot just before I shut it down, and then I take a screen shot when I fire it back up before doing any prints.  Its true that I don't know how much of this ink is used for printing and how much for cleaning, but I actually monitor it very closely.  If I add up the ink used for prints, and subtract from the running total, then its easy to figure out what is used for cleaning.
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mattpat

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2018, 02:16:05 AM »

I use just letter sized paper because its super cheap. … The reason for the roll is that the printer can cut it, go to sleep, and wake up again and be able to print.  The letter sized paper has to be manually fed each time which you clearly can't do if you are away.

Good point! Thanks for the idea (and all of the other advice). :)
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[email protected]

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2018, 09:07:59 AM »

1) Budget at least a half a day and the assistance of two large strong helpers to set this beast up. I bought an iPF2000 last summer, and it took two of my sons and myself to maneuver it up a staircase.

2) FYI, these printers have a bunch of little free-spinning plastic rollers on their underside to guide roll paper. I live at the end of a 1000' gravel driveway, so we had to remove the printer from its (huge!) box and place it in the back of my daughter's SUV to get it to the house. When we removed the printer, we found 6 of the rollers loose on the floor of the vehicle. If you set the printer down on the floor while you're putting the stand together, it's likely that you'll knock some of the rollers loose. It's easy to pop them back into place. Once the printer is on the stand, check underneath with a flashlight to make sure the rollers are all there.

3) Initial setup is very straightforward though it takes a while for all the ink lines to charge. The printer walks you through the very simple color calibration steps, which require about 5 sheets of letter size paper (which is included in the box).

4) The Canon 'media configuration tool' software is a bit complicated, so spend some time reading the manual. You actually download the latest paper media configuration files (which specify head height, ink load etc.) and the usual ICM color profiles to your computer, then synch those files with the printer's hard disc to load them onto the printer. Some of the paper manufacturers (Canson is one) provide their own media configuration files, others suggest Canon's equivalent paper setting.

5) Plan on buying another set of ink tanks fairly soon. These printers suck ink from the tanks into internal reservoirs to permit you to keep printing while you install new tanks, but after the initial setup you'll find most of the tanks are already down to 30% or less. On the other hand, subsequent new ink tanks seem to last forever.
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mearussi

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2018, 10:05:22 AM »

From all the info presented here it sounds like the best way of going on vacation is to put a small roll of paper in it and have it scheduled to print a 8x10 every day.
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MHMG

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2018, 10:20:06 AM »

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this, but on my iPF6400, I use this screen to keep track.  In fact, every week or so I take a screenshot and file it away in a folder.  If I go away I take a screen shot just before I shut it down, and then I take a screen shot when I fire it back up before doing any prints.  Its true that I don't know how much of this ink is used for printing and how much for cleaning, but I actually monitor it very closely.  If I add up the ink used for prints, and subtract from the running total, then its easy to figure out what is used for cleaning.

Your screenshot shows the ink used to make your prints. It doesn't include the ink ending up in the waste tank, which as I noted in my earlier post is considerable. As a general rule of thumb for a low frequency use situation (e.g. one print session using a few linear feet of paper every two or three weeks), the ink used by Canon WF printers for cleaning cycles and which collects in the enduser-replaceable waste tank will be comparable to the ink landing on the paper. You can get a more accurate estimate of that waste ink by measuring the maintenance tank weight before installation and then after it is full. Some solvent loss will occur due to evaporation over time, but the weight difference before and after will give you a pretty accurate assessment of the cleaning cycle activity which the Canon accounting manager doesn't track.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 10:23:38 AM by MHMG »
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stockjock

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 02:17:29 PM »


I use just letter sized paper because its super cheap.  Even the cheapest roll paper is magnitudes more expensive.  The cheapest roll I have is a 10 inch Epson Luster roll.  It works out to about 50 cents per foot, and I'm sure I can reorganize the print file so that only about 6 inches are used while it uses the full 10 inch width.  The reason for the roll is that the printer can cut it, go to sleep, and wake up again and be able to print.  The letter sized paper has to be manually fed each time which you clearly can't do if you are away.

The cheapest letter sized paper I've found is the Costco Glossy Photo Paper which is something like $0.15 a sheet.  But the various Epson proofing papers are actually quite acceptable and their pricing in 17" rolls rivals the cost of your 10" roll of luster.  This one is a little flimsy and loaded with OBA's but prints on it actually look quite nice and it is very cheap.  Epson Standard Proofing Paper Premium 200gsm 17x100 (S450196)   You can find it for about $52 a roll without shipping.  The 250gsm version is more substantial with better opacity at a 20-25% premium.
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