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Author Topic: Getting started with a large-format roll printer  (Read 4332 times)

patjoja

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2018, 02:43:09 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)?

I have and use a Canon iPF6450, about 3 years old.  I've used it quite frequently.

Resources:  I currently get my ink from IT Supplies, and I only use Canon inks.  I get my paper from B&H Photo and Red River paper.  I've narrowed my preferred paper to Canson Platine and the equivalent Red River Palo Duro Softgloss Rag.  I just like it and it fits my style.  I also like Epson Exhibition Fiber, but don't use it much with the Canon printer.

As far as color calibration, download the ICC profiles from your paper manufacturer.  That's one reason I like Canson as their ICC profiles work great for their papers.

Or, you might consider a Colormunki Photo calibration tool to calibrate your monitor and do paper profiling.  You should definitely do monitor calibration to get your monitor to match your prints.

Regards,

Patrick
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mattpat

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2018, 02:34:38 PM »

So! The printer has arrived, I (and 7 of my closest friends) got it setup and positioned, and it is marvelous. And gigantic. Somehow, even when you measure everything perfectly, it still just looks bigger when it's in your room.

Aside from some gripes about how damn slow it is to rename things (why??) in the Media Configuration Tool, and mild surprise at how much manual effort is required to feed cut sheets, I've been extremely pleased with what it's able to do.

I have had one interesting problem, though: some color-banding on a couple of third-party papers (see attached photo).

On the two Canon papers I've tried (A2 HW Coated HG, and A3+ Pro Luster), everything looks perfect. On the two third-party papers I've tried (letter Canson Photo HighGloss, and A3+ Ilford Gallerie Prestige Gold Cotton Textured), I see these banding lines parallel to the printer. The former has an ICC profile and AM1X file from the manufacturer, which I configured in the MCT; the latter, I used the built-in "Fine Art Cotton Textured" setting and the "Canon IJ 2015" profile.

Any thoughts on what could be going on here? Is the media configuration just bad? I've already done a nozzle check and the alignment printout looks solid to me.
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Panagiotis

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2018, 03:00:15 PM »

So! The printer has arrived, I (and 7 of my closest friends) got it setup and positioned, and it is marvelous. And gigantic. Somehow, even when you measure everything perfectly, it still just looks bigger when it's in your room.

Aside from some gripes about how damn slow it is to rename things (why??) in the Media Configuration Tool, and mild surprise at how much manual effort is required to feed cut sheets, I've been extremely pleased with what it's able to do.

I have had one interesting problem, though: some color-banding on a couple of third-party papers (see attached photo).

On the two Canon papers I've tried (A2 HW Coated HG, and A3+ Pro Luster), everything looks perfect. On the two third-party papers I've tried (letter Canson Photo HighGloss, and A3+ Ilford Gallerie Prestige Gold Cotton Textured), I see these banding lines parallel to the printer. The former has an ICC profile and AM1X file from the manufacturer, which I configured in the MCT; the latter, I used the built-in "Fine Art Cotton Textured" setting and the "Canon IJ 2015" profile.

Any thoughts on what could be going on here? Is the media configuration just bad? I've already done a nozzle check and the alignment printout looks solid to me.

Take a look at the Printing Quality troubleshooting:
http://ugp01.c-ij.com/ij/webmanual/ErrorCode/PRO-4000/EN/ERR/tp000611.html
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stockjock

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2018, 11:40:03 PM »

So! The printer has arrived, I (and 7 of my closest friends) got it setup and positioned, and it is marvelous. And gigantic. Somehow, even when you measure everything perfectly, it still just looks bigger when it's in your room.

Aside from some gripes about how damn slow it is to rename things (why??) in the Media Configuration Tool, and mild surprise at how much manual effort is required to feed cut sheets, I've been extremely pleased with what it's able to do.

I have had one interesting problem, though: some color-banding on a couple of third-party papers (see attached photo).

On the two Canon papers I've tried (A2 HW Coated HG, and A3+ Pro Luster), everything looks perfect. On the two third-party papers I've tried (letter Canson Photo HighGloss, and A3+ Ilford Gallerie Prestige Gold Cotton Textured), I see these banding lines parallel to the printer. The former has an ICC profile and AM1X file from the manufacturer, which I configured in the MCT; the latter, I used the built-in "Fine Art Cotton Textured" setting and the "Canon IJ 2015" profile.

Any thoughts on what could be going on here? Is the media configuration just bad? I've already done a nozzle check and the alignment printout looks solid to me.

I have had those banding problems with a couple of different media with my iPF8400.  I assume the newer printers still use Canon's clunky Media Configuration Tool?  The way I have solved it is in the Media Configuration Tool when you are adding a new custom paper there is a step that lets you calibrate the paper tension etc. in the printer for that paper.  The whole process is automatic and it works very well and it fixed the banding problems I was having but for the life of me I can't remember the exact steps that are involved.  The fact that the AM1 file was provided by the manufacturer actually lets you skip over that step which is fine 90% of the time but with difficult papers you are going to have to have the printer do that calibration.  I'm sorry I can't remember the exact sequence of steps but it shouldn't be that hard to figure out if you simply add the papers that are giving you the trouble manually from the Media Configuration Tool.
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mattpat

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2018, 12:03:12 AM »

I have had those banding problems with a couple of different media with my iPF8400.  I assume the newer printers still use Canon's clunky Media Configuration Tool?  The way I have solved it is in the Media Configuration Tool when you are adding a new custom paper there is a step that lets you calibrate the paper tension etc. in the printer for that paper.  The whole process is automatic and it works very well and it fixed the banding problems I was having but for the life of me I can't remember the exact steps that are involved.  The fact that the AM1 file was provided by the manufacturer actually lets you skip over that step which is fine 90% of the time but with difficult papers you are going to have to have the printer do that calibration.  I'm sorry I can't remember the exact sequence of steps but it shouldn't be that hard to figure out if you simply add the papers that are giving you the trouble manually from the Media Configuration Tool.

That indeed was the trick, I stumbled on it myself! I did a little Googling about the Ilford papers, found a better base paper to start with, and did a Feed Rate adjustment—combined with the new base paper using significantly more ink, which I think was necessary for how dense it was—and boom. It looks gorgeous. :D

Lesson learned: a little love and care is needed with the MCT to get the best out of papers, but the printer is very good at doing most of it automatically for you. I also wonder if the fact that I'm using tiny cut sheets (from the Discovery Pack) is part of the problem, if the feed rate is expecting a very large roll.

Either way, I'm back in business!
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stockjock

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Re: Getting started with a large-format roll printer
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2018, 03:07:54 AM »

That indeed was the trick, I stumbled on it myself! I did a little Googling about the Ilford papers, found a better base paper to start with, and did a Feed Rate adjustment—combined with the new base paper using significantly more ink, which I think was necessary for how dense it was—and boom. It looks gorgeous. :D

Lesson learned: a little love and care is needed with the MCT to get the best out of papers, but the printer is very good at doing most of it automatically for you. I also wonder if the fact that I'm using tiny cut sheets (from the Discovery Pack) is part of the problem, if the feed rate is expecting a very large roll.

Either way, I'm back in business!

I was having the opposite problem, small sheets were printing fine and the banding was showing up on roll paper.  It is likely that you may need to redo the Feed Rate adjustment if you switch to roll paper.  Anyhow, I'm glad it is working for you now. 
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