Tag Archives: ipf6300

Keeping Your Printer Up & Running

Tips For The Large Format Printer User

Allow me to paint you a picture; I had allocated a day in my diary to make some prints on my superb Canon iPF6300 (although this post will be of relevance to any large format printer user). I had a few print orders and also needed to make six A1 sized prints to enter into the Taylor Wessing Portrait Award.

A montage on the Canon iPF6300 large format printer. Replacing inks and nozzle check calibration print after installing new print heads. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A montage on the Canon iPF6300 large format printer. Replacing inks and nozzle check calibration print after installing new print heads. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

On the day set aside for making the prints, I switched on the printer and started collating the images on my Mac, ready to print. Well, after having not made a print for a few months, the machine sprang into action, going through it’s warming up procedures, agitating inks, moving print heads and so on. Alas I was at the end of this robotic dance, I was greeted with the error code informing the print heads need to be replaced. Now this is a costly process, but even more annoying is the fact that I don’t keep spares. I have lots of paper and ink at all times, just not spare print heads and often as also needed, the maintenance cartridge. Panic and annoyance set in as there was a deadline looming and I had other projects on the go.

Off to Google to search for the cheapest place I can source print heads and as crucially, a place that can deliver them the next day. My search concluded with a company I hadn’t used before; they were great on price, had stock and crucially promised next day delivery. The company was the iPF Store.

I decided to make a call to double check the stock and delivery situation and was put through to an extremely helpful and knowledgeable chap called Andy. The two print heads and maintenance cartridge I needed were indeed in stock and would definitely be delivered the next day. A sigh of relief! I carried on chatting about the print head issue as it felt to me that they had seized up prematurely. Andy informed me that indeed it is a problem for the low volume print maker. These printers are designed to work at the print houses and studios were they are in use daily. In my case, the inactivity had been the issue and caused the print heads to have a shorter life span. Being outside of the Canon one year warranty on them, they had to be changed.

My chat with Andy resulted in a list of other tips, so what better than to share them?!

Andy From The iPF Store, Top Five Tips

1)    Always leave the printer turned on – It monitors the heads, does a very low level clean when needed to keep the nozzles wet to stop them drying out. Dry and blocked nozzles require additional power cleanses (uses more ink). In more extreme cases when the block cannot be cleaned, the heads fail completely so new ones are required.

2)    Achieve the highest possible graduations by working in 16bit RGB and print using the Adobe Photoshop Plugin.

3)    Have a colour calibrated workflow, calibrating your screen and make custom print profiles for papers that don’t have them for your printer. Keeps your printer in constant colour control.

4)    Use the Canon Media Config Tool to add your own custom medias to the standard Canon library, and ensure the best print quality.

5)    Allow a minimum of one hour for the ink to dry down before applying any finishing such as varnish or laminate.

I agree fully with the points raised, although I didn’t know of the first point, which is what landed me in this predicament!

An A1 size print of chef Gordon Ramsay, printed on the Canon iPF6300 on Canon photo satin paper. The image was shot using this Leica M (Type 240) and 50mm Noctilux ASPH. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

An A1 size print of chef Gordon Ramsay, printed on the Canon iPF6300 on Canon photo satin paper. The image was shot using this Leica M (Type 240) and 50mm Noctilux ASPH. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Well, my print heads and maintenance cartridge arrived before lunchtime the next day and I managed to make all my prints (which have found new homes in London, Paris and New York) and also made the six prints for the competition. Thanks Andy 🙂

The links:

iPF Store: http://www.ipfstore.co.uk

Their parent company; Pro Print Solutions: http://www.proprintsolutions.co.uk

Canon’s European Launch of the iPF6300

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been asked by Canon to evaluate their new large format printer aimed at photographers; the iPF6300 which had its European launch yesterday in Lisbon. I’ve been testing it for a few weeks now with various papers and still have a long road ahead my tests on lots of papers from Ilford, Hahnemuhle, Olmec and so on. I’ll share these when I’m finished with my tests.

I’m sharing my presentation text below as it’s a great way to let you know my thoughts on this printer:

Canon Launch New Large Format Printers, Lisbon, Portugal

“Being from the school of hand printing to exhibition standard, for many years since the switch over to digital I’ve been making compromises when it came to prints made from my digital images. Having used desktop printers from Canon and Epson and also having had a variety of labs print my work, I’d never been fully happy with the quality of the prints.

I was then introduced to the Canon iPF6300.

Edmond Terakopian giving his presentation. Canon launch of iPF 6300 (and other models) large format printer, Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, Portugal. March 11, 2010. Photo: Graham Smith

As soon as I printed the very first image from the iPF6300, I knew it was something special. With it’s 12 inks I was expecting something amazing, but the quality achieved was just stunning and left me speechless – and this, was only after a test print!

The printer is of such a high standard that to the naked eye printing on the standard setting and the highest setting produce no difference to the quality of the print; what it does do is produce such a speedy output, utilising so little ink, that it has to be seen to be believed. However when ultra critical detail and subtleties have to be resolved, the higher print settings produce this at very close inspection. I was looking at the pupil and eye lashes from a studio model shoot and at the highest setting, every single eye lash is visible; every single line in the pupil, every colour change is rendered perfectly, no matter how subtle.

Pictures by Edmond Terakopian are exhibited at the event. Canon launch of iPF 6300 (and other models) large format printer, Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, Portugal. March 11, 2010. Photo: Graham Smith

Having tried a particularly testing landscape shot taken in the Lake District brought another smile. Every cloud, from the darkest to the lightest was rendered beautifully; every highlight and shadow detail, no matter how subtle was printed without any loss to this detail. It’s performance like this that elevates prints into becoming something special; something collectible. As a result, this printer is something special.

I then moved away from the Canon papers and started printing on the very popular Hahnemuhle Photo Rag which is a coated matt paper. Matt papers are very unforgiving to images with lots of dark shadow detail, so the first image I printed had exactly that – lots of dark shadows. I was astonished at how much of the subtle black detail was printed from a photo of a cafe scene. Throwing more and more images to this excellent but unforgiving paper kept producing great print after great print.

Images by Edmond Terakopian exhibited at the Canon launch of iPF 6300 (and other models) large format printer, Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, Portugal. March 11, 2010. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

I was also very pleased with the print driver and the Photoshop plugin. After around an hour I had come to grips with all that was possible using them. After getting the photograph and processing it correctly, it’s extremely critical to get the settings right in the driver and the way it has been designed makes life easy which is such a bonus. The ability to free print and send print jobs to a separate application to maximise paper usage is a fantastic feature, especially in this day and age of recession and awareness of conservation issues.

I also found the barcoding option on paper rolls extremely useful and an idea that is to be commended; with good quality paper demanding a premium, the last thing I would want is to mix up papers which would lead to wastage.

I also must comment on the printer’s quietness in use. My office is generally pretty quite and quite compact. Considering the size of prints capable, the unit’s relatively compact and amazingly quite when printing. The fact that it’s also such a speedy machine means that the printing’s done quickly and total silence returns very quickly; a must in a creative environment.

Having spent a couple of weeks with the iPF 6300, printing on various papers, both Canon and third party, I would have no hesitation in using it for my future exhibitions and collector’s prints”.

You can check out the iPF6300 HERE.