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Author Topic: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?  (Read 771 times)

John Hollenberg

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New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« on: March 23, 2020, 03:48:26 pm »

I have an ipf6300 I have been running for about 4-5 years, left printhead just failed.  I figure the right probably isn't far behind.  I may need to buy some additional ink to charge the new printheads.  Since this will be a fair amount of money I am wondering if I should keep the printer running or buy a new printer.

I am strictly an amateur photographer, don't need prints bigger than a 24 inch printer can make.  I have a custom profile for Epson Premium Luster, NEC monitor with Spectraview, prints match my monitor as closely as I need.  Mostly print on glossy media and mostly on roll paper.  Print volume is fairly low, give prints to friends, family, coworkers. Plan to start making prints on archival media so print longevity will be more important in the future.  Ruled out Epson due to concerns about clogging in dry Southern California environment.

Keeping the 6300:

Pros:

Already familiar with the printer
Has worked well for me, satisfied with print quality
Don't have to set up new printer and get rid of old one
Reasonable print life if prints made on a more archival paper

Cons:

Nearing end of life support/availability of consumables?
Printheads more expensive to replace
Less archival prints than HP or Epson

Canon 2100:

Pros:

Improved print quality (?)
Larger Ink tanks
Support and consumables likely to be available much longer as it is a new product
Gloss Enhancer
Quite familiar with Canon printers

Cons:

Significantly poorer print life
If channel clogged must replace entire printhead

HP Designjet Z9+:

Pros:

Printer can make profiles for any paper (assuming quality is good enough for me)
Individual printheads cheaper to replace and no ink wasted in other channels
Gloss enhancer
Very neutral B&W per reports
Very quiet

Cons (from my reading):

Information on printer scarce, few reviews, an unknown to some extent
Smaller Gamut? - I like to print brightly colored flowers, poppies, etc. as well as landscapes and some wildlife. 
Have not seen gamut plots or had the ability to compare prints made on different printers
Prints not as sharp at micro level - will I see a difference in viewing prints?
Problems with Windows driver? (I am on PC)

I have read as much as I can find.  Leaning toward the Z9+, main concerns are around gamut, print sharpness and possible reduced functionality of Windows driver.  Is there anywhere I can get a few prints made to compare to prints I have made on my ipf6300?  Any input welcome.
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I.T. Supplies

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 10:28:26 am »

Hi John - there will be a time (possibly coming soon) where the supplies will start being scarce and become discontinued (mainly ink and heads), but th emedia can always change/update since that's different.

The Pro series have become much more improved as far as functionality, features and assistance in helping you get stuff printed easier (and hopefully better).  They have been redesigned/rebuilt from the ground up compared to your model, so a single, larger head that provides much more precise ink droplets for better resolution.  2 powerful processors for printing and speed of data.

I know that (most likely) many others that have the HP (or from their reading/viewing experience) will state differently and that's fine.  It's a matter of opinion, but I've dealt with the Z9 and can say that it's still a little complicated to deal with.  The ONLY connection for a computer is Ethernet; no USB or WiFi, but also has the flash drive port near the screen.  Printing from flash drive is fairly slow as I helped a coworker print a picture (about 24x30) and took almost 40 minutes on standard settings.  Honestly, it was pretty terrible marketing for this series even though the colors are still pretty good.  We rarely sell them to be honest, but do get interests on them once in a while.

Canon and Epson's have been our biggest sellers and since Epson announced (slowly shipping) their newest series, they've been a big hit aside from some issues on their print software and some bugs (of course).  It is a great printer with many updated/new features and a gamut now hitting around 99.7% pantone (includes Green, Orange, Violet and Light Light Black).

Canon's newest series has implemented automatic roll feeding and the ability to read the paper weight, thickness and determine how much you have left on it.  This feature helps to give you information if you may not have enough left to do a print job which can be helpful on not wasting ink.

So, the iPF6300 heads are about $427/ea (near $900) or the new head on the Pro is $675 (single head).  You do get the options of 160, 330, 700 ml inks (they added the 160 to compete with Epson), but also interchangeable based on color usage.  The 24" model ships with 160ml, where the 44" and 60" ship with 330ml (still much more than Epson and HP ship with on their starter size; Epson 110ml and HP 40ml).

HP and Canon's heads are replaceable where Epson "finally" provided the ability to clean the head from a door in back of the printer so you don't have to contact Epson's service for someone to come out if needed.

HP made their models where they don't use the Light colors anymore due to making the heads provide a smaller droplet and another nozzle for a larger droplet.  Basically less colors and hopefully just as good output on details and gradients.  My only thinking of a downfall is that you don't have any gray options for better gradients aside for the Matte and Photo Black.  Those gray's/light black better provide the smooth shadow details than a color would; but again, this will probably be different per those with the new HP's that see it differently since no one person has the same eye view as another.

To me, Epson and Canon may be the better option from viewing the print quality and the ease of printing; as well as the speed.
To be honest, most of the longevity is about the same with many of the aqueous models from a few generations ago to the current ones.  Just updated inks for "hopefully" better detail and durability on the media.  The paper is what gets changed (and hopefully for the better) to provide that longevity, but there really isn't a "true" method of giving the 200+ years of longevity since it's all science based and this can surely change over time.  But the longevity testing is more less calculated as being in storage for the long timeframe.  Light and sun duration can be roughly near 100 years (depending how the print is getting the light and for how long per day).

Sorry for the long comment on this, but trying to provide as much info as I can from a company that sells these products and our knowledge/understanding/testing of them.

Should ask what you're looking for in the printer and what features you want to better assist you on which would be best for your needs.

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mcpix

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 02:38:46 pm »

Although I'm seriously looking at the new Canon printers, I'm still using my almost 10 year old Canon 8300. I looked back on my notes and my left print head also went out first and it wasn't until about a year later that my right print head needed to be replaced. Of course no guarantees that you'll have the same experience, but I think it's worth noting that you might be able to get by for awhile with just replacing the left print head. As far as supplies, the inks and the printhead for the Canon 8300 are the same as those for the newer Canon 8400, so I believe they should still be available for awhile.

Although a new printer would be fun, in addition to the added expense you've mentioned, you have to find someone to buy/take your old printer and then get help setting up the new one. If it was me, I would probably just buy a new head. They're really easy to replace and the great thing is that it's essentially a new printer (or at least 1/2 a new printer!).
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John Hollenberg

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 04:55:01 pm »

my left print head also went out first and it wasn't until about a year later that my right print head needed to be replaced.  As far as supplies, the inks and the printhead for the Canon 8300 are the same as those for the newer Canon 8400, so I believe they should still be available for awhile.

Two very helpful bits of information.  I will keep looking but get a new printhead and one or two ink cartridges for now.  I want the gamut and longevity of the Epson inks and the ease of maintenance of the Canon.  I guess for any of the printers you can only get 2 out of 3 (or so it seems).
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stockjock

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 10:58:37 pm »

I have an iPF8400 that sees relatively little use compared to a print shop.  I've replaced two heads over the past 5 years.  There doesn't seem to be any correlation between one head going out and the second one following quickly although that could obviously happen.  If I were you I would just buy a print head off eBay from Japan for <$325 and keep the iPF8300 running as long as possible.  And to keep costs low I also buy expired inks from eBay also.  Other than replacing the print heads and the maintenance cartridge the iPF8400 has never given me a moments worth of trouble and as long as that continues to be true I see no reason to upgrade to the newer machines.
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I.T. Supplies

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 09:20:15 am »

I have an iPF8400 that sees relatively little use compared to a print shop.  I've replaced two heads over the past 5 years.  There doesn't seem to be any correlation between one head going out and the second one following quickly although that could obviously happen.  If I were you I would just buy a print head off eBay from Japan for <$325 and keep the iPF8300 running as long as possible.  And to keep costs low I also buy expired inks from eBay also.  Other than replacing the print heads and the maintenance cartridge the iPF8400 has never given me a moments worth of trouble and as long as that continues to be true I see no reason to upgrade to the newer machines.

I'd be careful buying inks from eBay sellers if coming from Japan or any other country for that matter.  They may claim they are Canon inks with the proper label (or made to be very close), but are not genuine.  If you're mixing different inks in the printer, that could also cause head issues and Canon won't replace the head on their end.  Each time you replace a head (weather it's getting one from Canon direct or buying one), you start a 1-year warranty with Canon as soon as you install it.

If you purchase the head from an unauthorized dealer, it won't qualify for a replacement through Canon within the 1-year time frame; I checked with a Canon rep.  Just a heads up and FYI.
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Richard.Wills

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 03:22:16 pm »

In the past, I've had heads fail in pairs, within weeks, on both 8300 and 8400. I'm on a print plan, so pay extra for inks, but consumables and service are included. Had a print head failure 8-9 months ago, and supplier agreed to send two heads, on the principle of one down, one soon to go. 2nd head took six months, and almost 1000square metres of printing to fail.

My preference has always been to follow the non grey market - what's the price difference between domestic stock, and ebay Japan - enough to remove all warranty? That asked, I'd love to trade over to a Z9+DR, if I could make it sing nicely with a graphtec cutter.
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I.T. Supplies

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 05:39:10 pm »

My preference has always been to follow the non grey market - what's the price difference between domestic stock, and ebay Japan - enough to remove all warranty? That asked, I'd love to trade over to a Z9+DR, if I could make it sing nicely with a graphtec cutter.

You mainly want to make sure the supplies are genuine if getting from eBay, regardless where it comes from.  I've talked to some customers that order from us and they've bought something from eBay that claimed it was genuine and just had their sticker on a 3rd party ink (in the states).  Hence the reason I say to be safe with eBay sellers.  If it's from a well known (possibly authorized seller) on eBay, you're probably ok.

As far as the difference between HP and Canon's new series, they use the same head technology; HP has about 4 heads vs Canon's 1 and HP is about 6 colors vs Canon's 11+C.O.
Main issue with HP is it's ONLY Ethernet connected (if to a computer), where Canon can do USB, Ethernet AND WiFi (only large format photo printer with WiFi connectivtiy now).  I'm not putting down HP by any means and this is just feedback per using it and we sell them.

HP Z9 series still provides great quality, but even the printing time is still fairly slow.  Took us about 40 minutes to print a 24x36 with standard settings on glossy paper; which is not the usual timing that I'm used to seeing.  This may be due to printing from a flash drive, but still a bit slow compared to printing from a Canon via flash drive, and it is a third of that time doing a 44x30 print using similar settings.  Who knows what the issue was on the printer end, but the marketing wasn't that great on the series.  Some users that have the printer will probably say differently, but that's their feedback and I'm not saying it's wrong.  Each printer will function differently, even if it's the same model.

Canon's large Pro series now have the bundle option of a Graphtec cutter that contour cuts too!  You get the ImagePrint software with it at a pretty good deal.  But, we know this bundle may not be for everyone and that's ok.
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MHMG

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2020, 06:50:16 pm »


Main issue with HP is it's ONLY Ethernet connected (if to a computer), where Canon can do USB, Ethernet AND WiFi (only large format photo printer with WiFi connectivtiy now).  I'm not putting down HP by any means and this is just feedback per using it and we sell them.

 

This doesn't seem like a big deal, IMHO. if you already have a wifi network... who doesn't these days?  I'm mostly using Macs, but I have one PC all connected to a wifi network, and my studio is not near my router, so I called HP support to see if there was another way to hook the Z9 printer up besides snaking an ethernet cable through my old historic house to the router. The HP tech support guy gave me a very simple solution...use a wifi extender/repeater. These gismos typically have one or two ethernet ports.  I actually already had one in another part of my house. I relocated it to my studio, connected the Z9 to the wifi repeater ethernet port, and the Z9 instantly became available to all my Macs and my PC.  Pretty simple solution and printing times are far faster than you experienced (however, I send the files from my wifi network, not the built in flash drive port on the Z9).

The Z9's UISB flash drive port seems like it's there primarily for HP diagnostic tests and setting up the optional Z9 Gloss Enhancer kit. Yes, it can be used to print files directly, but it has  very limited functionality for that purpose, so why would anyone want to benchmark print speeds with it?

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 07:31:33 pm by MHMG »
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John Hollenberg

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2020, 07:22:24 pm »

This doesn't seem like a big deal, IMHO. if you already have a wifi network... who'd doesn't these days.

I agree, ethernet is the reliable way to connect and how I have my ipf6300 connection.  Not having other methods doesn't make any difference to me.  Mark, have you done any visual gamut comparisons (not using the gamut plot, but by eye) of prints made on Epson, HP and Canon?  I am thinking of prints comparing saturated purple, yellow, red and orange flowers made on different brand printers with a good profile and perceptual intent on a paper like Hahnemuhle Photorag Pearl or Baryta.
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MHMG

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2020, 08:21:07 pm »

...  Mark, have you done any visual gamut comparisons (not using the gamut plot, but by eye) of prints made on Epson, HP and Canon?  I am thinking of prints comparing saturated purple, yellow, red and orange flowers made on different brand printers with a good profile and perceptual intent on a paper like Hahnemuhle Photorag Pearl or Baryta.

I'm just starting a serious effort to figure out Z9 versus Z3200 (and other printers) color gamut response, but before I discuss that, let's tackle some of the other issues/concerns which routinely come up with HP's latest printer and ink technology. Because the HP Z9 did away with the light Cyan, light magenta, and light gray ink carts but the heads now have dual nozzle sizes and a significantly more advanced screening pattern, all these changes raise concerns about image quality. In my preliminary studies, I'm finding these concerns aren't really manifesting as one might expect. B&W tonality and smoothness is outstanding, notwithstanding the eliminated light gray. Color gamut in the pastel high key colors (the usual place where LC and LM help) is actually higher on the Z9 output compared to the Z3200 and definitely holding its own against my Canon Pro-1000 and 4000 printers. Tonal gradient smoothness (freedom from banding in very subtle color gradients) is awesome, definitely and noticeably superior to the Z3200 (and the Z3200 is pretty darn good on difficult tonal gradient transition rendering, especially when larger patch count custom profiles are made). HP's "pixel control technology" appears to be the real deal! I tested these things with "stress test images" intended to bring out any obvious short comings.

That said, the Z9 does appear to suffer some color gamut loss in shadow tones compared to the Z3200, and it gives up global ink limit control and Gloss enhancer control that the Z3200 has. So, in many significant ways it's an entirely different machine compared to my Z3200.  I'm working my way through various media settings and finding some interesting things there as well, namely that some settings one might think logical (for example using "baryta photo paper' for a baryta  paper), aren't always the best choice, and many settings lead to exactly the same ink channel ramps. My sense is that HP needs to give us two more higher ink loading ramps for the Z9, one for matte MK and one for glossy PK media, than currently exists. Perhaps there are print head/print speed constraints that prevent HP in doing that, or perhaps a third party RIP offers more control than is currently available through the HP Designjet color utility (Ergosoft, Wasatch, Caldera, etc. support the Z9) . Another can of worms, but possibly needs exploration. The plot thickens, but again, I must offer the caveat that I'm just getting started with more advanced testing of the Z9.

The Image quality bar is high enough for all the latest model printers, that like everything seems to be these days, the Z9's color gamut volume compared to other printers is not direct or straight-forward question to answer. Printing real world images, not just color targets, is confirming that we are tackling some very subtle issues here that are indeed image dependent as to which printer prints any particular image optimally. The Z9 appears to have less color gamut volume than the Z3200 for a couple of papers I've looked at so far because the ink limits are too conservative compared to what can be achieved on the Z3200, but only if one take the time to invoke the Z3200 global ink limit controls that the Z9 doesn't have...thus the Z9 color gamut volume is seemingly a step backwards at first glance. That said, it's more complicated than that. As I increase the number of media I'm looking at, build custom profiles using different media presets, make actual prints and compare, I'm starting to find other anomalies not only for the Z9, but for my Canon and Epson printers as well.

 I have never done an in depth gamut volume comparison between various printer/ink/media combos, and again, I'm just getting started...benchmarking my Z9, a Canon Pro-1000 and Pro-4000, plus a desktop Epson P600 so far (I don't have a WF Epson in my studio yet). One would think that a clear winner or rank order would quickly emerge, but it isn't. The Z9, for example, is coming up with significantly less color gamut volume on Hahnemuhle Gloss Baryta 320gsm compared to the Canon Pro 1000-4000. but matches the Pro-1000/4000 on an RC paper, Canon Premium Glossy Paper 2 (go figure!), and exceeds the Pro-4000 comparing Moab Entrada Natural printed on the Z9 to the Pro-4000 printing on Canon Smooth Fine Art paper while the smooth fine art in turn matches Moab Entrada when printed on my Pro-1000. All profiles built using same color target and software.Thus, there's no obvious ink set which can be declared the overall winner without a much larger study comparing different media in a head-to-head direct comparative study!  I have always thought, apparently rather naively, that an ink set that wins the color gamut volume competition on one media would win on all media. I'm finding out now that this assumption was a bit too simplistic. It's more complicated than that.

I keep plugging away at this...stay tuned.

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 09:16:41 pm by MHMG »
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2020, 04:59:06 am »

Mark,

Do not go the Wasatch SoftRip route.  The support for the Z3100/Z3200 was miserable and it will not be better for the Z9.  N-Color ink mixing, GCR, UCR, all that was horrible compared  to HP's OEM driver media profiles + RGB printer profiles. If I recall it correctly only 3 or 4 bundled media profiles / CMYK printer profiles available. I asked them for better ones and the ones I got were worse. Fine RIP I guess for Sign, Textile and Separation Films printing but not in our market niche.


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« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 08:15:11 am by Ernst Dinkla »
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MHMG

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2020, 08:27:00 am »

Mark,

Do not go the Wasatch SoftRip route.  The support for the Z3100/Z3200 was miserable and it will not be better for the Z9.  N-Color ink mixing, GCR, UCR, all that was horrible compared  to HP's OEM driver media profiles + RGB printer profiles.

Ernst, thanks for the heads up on the Wasatch RIP. As noted before, I'm still early into the Z9 learning curve, but have the sense that the provided media setting ink ramps are all well behaved but err on the side of being too frugal with the ink ramps. The result is well behaved profiles but leaving some color gamut on the table, compared to what I think the ink set is capable of if we could coax somewhat heavier inking, not so much on the gray ramp but for the magenta, cyan, and green in particular.

As I ponder that aspect of the Z9, I noted that HP lists seven "certified" RIPS for the Z9. As an individual print maker I have not need for fancy nesting or job management features, but I wonder if any of these certified RIPS give better ink channel control, particularly the ability to lay down higher ink load. Of course, it also begs the question "if a third party RIP can manage that feat, why can't HP give us a couple more media settings with the Designjet ulilty"? Also, can a third party RIP compete on HP's "pixel control" screening technology. It's pretty impressive, IMHO.

I'm not looking forward to going down the third party RIP rabbit hole, for both time and cost reasons, but it may come to that :(  May need to scratch that itch of not getting quite the color gamut that I suspect those inks are truly capable of rendering.

That said, choosing the media wisely for the Z9 is undoubtedly going to help as well.

all the best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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deanwork

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2020, 09:25:50 am »

it seems to me it is kind of a weird time to be buying a new printer.

To me the new Epsons look like they may be the best theyíve made in all respects including longevity, image quality, gamut and speed, but they havenít been around long enough to know how the clogging and long term head performance/ pressure issues are going to shake out. And right now you can see these serious reports of poorly designed glitchy software and paper transport issues damaging media. I suspect eventually they are going to do well for heavy users running them constantly, but for casual users itís hard to know at this point. And they are expensive as hell to have worked on. An extended warranty would be a real smart idea, but that pushes the cost up and they are already expensive. I would think in  a month or two the prices could come down, but in the current global situation with strained supply chains to China everything is up in the air. Theyíve got a lot of software glitches but that will be straightened out, eventually.

For me as always, the real advantage of Canon is to be able to replace your own head easily, 2,  3 or four or eight years down the road. In my opinion they really screwed up messing with the Lucia inkset because they  wrecked the permanence significantly in the Lucia Pro inkset, reduced the green gamut by removing the green by introducing the gloss enhancer that appears to be poorly designed compared to HP Z3200. If you print on rc media full of brighteners the gloss enhancer will work well and the issue of permanence becomes far less of a consideration because the rc paper will go first. . I have no idea what the black and white is like on the new Canon but the great True Black and White rip doesnít support it anymore. If I had the option I would not trade my IPF 8300 for the 4000. I would wait for the next version.

If you specialize in black and white, the Z 9+ is great. I was hugely suspicious of the removal of the light gray with the new dual dot situation but the fact is the prints are totally smooth and the neutrality is even better than the Z3200. The new Epson has locked out the great QTR bw option which is totally sad, but it seems they have improved ABW which certainly needed it. It might be ok.  As Mark said, Iím concerned about the ability to control and finesse ink limits on the new HP. I was seeing a LOT of gloss differential and bronzing on my favorite media Canson Platine. They just have to fix that, and I think they will with firmware and driver updates. Unless you do a lot of very vibrant explosive color work ( some people do ) the color looked fine to me on the Z9 color chart test, but I didnít compare it to the new Epsons.

With my experience with Canon, the heads can go out six months or more from each other. If I were you right now Iíd keep the printer and see how the new printers pan out and see what Canon comes out with next. If you are not doing a lot of production work, your printer speed  is fine and you know it well. I would not buy inks on EBay. I just bought an Epson Yellow that almost destroyed my printer. But I would definitely consider  buying a Canon printhead on EBay as long as it makes good economic sense and it is sealed in the original packaging.

John



« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 08:49:31 am by deanwork »
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enduser

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2020, 10:17:19 pm »

I don't want to discourage anyone but I ignore any post from a retail source for obvious reasons. However, some may disagree and I hope retailers continue to post here. They have knowledge and experience with printers and also repair problems.  But, there could be bias and you don't know when it's present.
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John Hollenberg

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Re: New Printheads for Canon ipf6300 or Buy New Printer?
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2020, 09:12:44 pm »

I replaced the left printhead without problems, printer ran a line adjust routine immediately after without my input.  Everything looks good.  I originally calibrated the printer, assume I need to run calibration again.  However, the manual from Canon is useless.  Do I run "Auto Adjust" under the calibration menu?

Also wondering how to properly dispose of used printhead, ink cartridges and maintenance cartridge.  I live in Los Angeles. So far I have been storing the used ink cartridges because I wasn't sure how to get rid of them without contributing to e-waste.

thanks.
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