The Unofficial Canon ImagePROGRAF Printer Wiki


Created and maintained by John Hollenberg

Should I Buy a Canon iPF Printer?


Start your decision-making process with the information here.

News and Updates


1/28/2014 Working drivers for Mac OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) have been tested by a few people. The 10.8 driver must be downloaded, and then the 10.9 updater must be run. This has been tested to work on the iPF5000 even though the drivers are for the iPF5100. The drivers and updater are available from canon.europe only (not US) here:
http://software.canon-europe.com/products/0010466.asp
  • iPF5100 ink is available at a discount on eBay (search for PGY101 and the color code)
  • Amazon has had new roll feed modules available for $100 should you be having issues with the roll feed unit -- like here:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-imagePROGRAF-IPF5000-Includes-Rollholder/dp/B000FHGVUQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390966026&sr=8-1&keywords=canon+ipf+roll+feed

12/12/11 Canon releases x000 drivers for Mac OS 10.7 (Lion). All iPF drivers have now been upgraded to support 10.7 natively.

12/14/10 Canon USA has released a Photoshop plugin for 64 bit CS4 and CS5 on Windows X64 and Mac OSX for the iPF5100, iPF6100 and iPF8100. See Latest Drivers page for links to Canon web site.

12/4/10 An updated Media Information File is available for the iPF6300 and iPF8300. This version has a fix for rare calibration failure error for both printers, and for the iPF6300 fixes a problem where "band adjustment (genuine paper)" is not available when using a certain media (Adhesive Matte Vinyl)

11/25/10 An iPF8300 diary is being kept by Keith Cooper, covering use and setup. Follows on from his reviews of the iPF6300 and iPF6100

11/15/10 Canon USA has released a Photoshop plugin for 64 bit CS4 and CS5 on Windows X64 and Mac OSX for the iPF6300 and iPF8300. Support for the X100 generation is thought to be in the works, but is not available at this time. See Latest Drivers page for links to Canon web site.

10/31/10 An updated Media Information File is available for the iPF6300 and iPF8300. The file adds media types for Premium Glossy Paper 2 280 and Premium Semi-Glossy Paper 2 280.

10/1/10 PDF Manuals are now available for all of the printers except the iPF5000. Finally a way to search the manual easily and read through it sequentially. Kudos to Canon for this long awaited improvement!

10/1/10 Known Limitations section of Wiki updated. Added report of scratches on Epson Exhibition Fiber, a problem that was reproduced by Canon. Other posters have not seen problems with a variety of papers, so it isn't clear how much of a problem this might be. This page describes aspects of the iPF printers that may affect your purchase decision relative to printers from Canon and HP. Note that this section has been steadily shrinking due to continuous improvements in the iPF printers.

9/28/10 There is a new page on the Wiki comparing gamuts of Canon 8300 to Epson 9900 on Canson Baryta. The Epson has a slightly larger gamut volume (4.4% larger in Colorthink Pro 3), but a dmax which isn't quite as good (L* of 3.9 for Canon, 4.7 for Epson). The Epson has a larger gamut in the lighter tones, particularly oranges, pinks and reds in the L* range of 60-80, while the Canon wins in the darker tones in blues and purples of L* 10-25. Softproofing of a variety of images with saturated colors showed no difference, except for several images with light, saturated oranges, pinks and reds, where Epson had a modest advantage. However, note that Scott Martin reports seeing better purples and yellows in actual prints, so there are limitations to the gamut comparisons. Click the link to read the details and see an AVI file showing the gamuts at all L* levels, and examples of the softproofing differences noted above.

9/26/10 Canon has produced several podcasts on setup/use of iPF printers, including Color Management, Media Selection, Custom Profiles, Softproofing and use of the Photoshop Export Plugin.

9/26/10 Two new reviews of the iPF6300 have been published. Ron Martinsen has a review split into Part 1 and Part 2. Jon Canfield has a review here.

9/26/10 Canon U.S.A.announced the LUCIA EX Print Sample Request Program, a service giving consumers the opportunity to receive 8.5-inch by 11-inch sample photographs printed on the new Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8300/6350/6300 large format printers, prior to purchasing the device. Through the program, customers will receive three printed images captured by Canon Explorer of Light photographers, which demonstrate the high-quality printing capabilities of the imagePROGRAF 12-Color series and new LUCIA EX ink set. Free iPF6300 or iPF8300 print sample is available here

9/26/10 Wilhelm Research released print permanence information in September, 2010 for iPF8300 on 2 Canon papers
and
in June, 2009 for iPF6100 on 5 Canon papers

9/11/2010 Latest Drivers Section of Wiki updated

9/6/2010 Canon has released new firmware for the X300 printers (from 1.05 to 1.08 for iPF 6300, to 1.10 for iPF 8300).

4/27/10 Scott Martin has just published a review of the X300 series of printers (6300/8300). He gives a detailed list of improvements made with the new generation of printers and makes some comparisons with equivalent printers from Canon and HP. Highly recommended.

3/1/10 Canon announces new printers iPF6300, iPF6350 and iPF8300. Claimed improvements include
a re-formulated 12-color LUCIA EX pigment ink system that increases the achievable color gamut by approximately 20%, smoother color gradations, less graininess, improved shadow detail, improved scratch resistance, and reduced bronzing and metamerism.
The Photoshop plugin has expanded capabilities, and the media configuration tool is supposed to allow improved support of third party media.

6/8/09 One poster noticed that Wilhelm Research released print permanence information in October 2008 comparing HP, Canon and Epson inksets on Canson , Inkpress and Harman papers. HP's inks are found to have the best print permanence, Epson's have the lowest and Canon's inks are in between.

5/15/09 Canon unlocks Media Types for all printers except iPF5000. Recent tests by Wiki members have shown that Canon has quietly unlocked the Media Types, so that all Media Types can be used with all paper paths. This will be very helpful for those using third party glossy papers as it will eliminate the problem of a Media Source (roll, manual, cassette) not being available for use. This makes the Canon Media Types much more attractive to use for creating profiles of third party papers, since only some Canon Media Types (not the Special Media Types) support 32 pass printing. Kudos to Canon for making this important change!

5/4/09 Recent user tests confirm Canon's claim that the iPFX100 printers use less ink for cleaning than the iPF5000. One user, who had his printer on much of the time, calculated 0.35 ml ink used per day for cleaning over a one year period. Another user, who printed very infrequently and had the printer off for long periods of time, found 0.81 ml per day used for cleaning over a period of 490 days. In both cases, the results were much improved from the estimated 2.5 ml per day used for cleaning on the Canon iPF5000.

4/24/09 Independent Light Fade testing results for Canon iPF5000, along with Epson K3 and HP Z3100 (the HP samples only have 30-40 MLux exposure and thus no comparison can be done at this time). While many of the papers are still in test, it appears that the Canon compares favorably to Epson. Looking at the papers that have completed 90 MLux hours of testing, the best performing are Canon Heavyweight Photo Satin 300 gsm, Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl 285 gsm, and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 gsm. Browse the results at the link above. There is a wealth of information included in each report about the amount of fading for each color at each total exposure level. Consider joining if you want to support this effort, or if you need information available in the non-public reports.

4/19/09 Canon Printhead warranty updated to cover one year or until status changes from "a" to "b", whichever comes first. Since the internal dot counter used to verify the warranty validity does not indicate actual dot count, users cannot reliably estimate how much warranty period is left. Canon only gives an estimate of the amount of ink used before the warranty expires--4,000 ml per printhead. This volume does not include ink used for maintenance.

PDF dated 12/17/08 from Canon USA:


10/3/08 Canon Announces iPF6200 The 6200 is a 6100 printer with an 80 GB internal hard disk bundled with an EFI RIP. It otherwise uses the same inks and technology as the 6100. No other x200 printers have been announced.

3/11/08 BowHaus True Black and White for Canon Printers Released. Mac only. BowHaus Proprietary software for producing archival pigment prints. Designed exclusively for Canon large format printers.

3/9/08 ImageNest RIP Released. Print from any Mac supported printer. (no Win support) With one license customers can run every printer they own. Support for the 16 bit export module planned.

2/18/08 Canon iPF6100 vs Epson 11880 Speed Testing. Original research by Wayne Fox. Wayne finds that the Epson is the faster printer. A PDF of an article he wrote describing his methods and findings is below:


2/13/08 Canon iPF6100 Brief Review on Luminous Landscape Michael's conclusion is "The Canon iPF6100 has low price as its greatest strength, and it is competitive overall in most other areas. It's not the strongest offering on the market, but it will appeal to many users for the strengths that it does have." Many of the Wiki participants feel the review conclusions are not sufficiently well-balanced and that his summary does not give adequate weight to the problems of the HP (weak reds on matte papers and roller marks on some papers) and Epson (clogging for some and cost of black ink switch). Considering these weaknesses, some may conclude that the Canon IS the strongest offering on the market. As always, your specific needs will help to determine which printer is right for you.

12/30/07 Wilhelm Research longevity ratings published for Canon PIXMA Pro 9500. Only two papers tested, still awaiting results for iPF printers, but at least this is a start.

12/7/07 iPF6100 Review at Macworld. You can read the review here and commentary/discussion on the review on this discussion forum thread.

11/20/07 Canon stands behind verbal warranty on iPF5000 Roll Feed Units. Six months ago Canon promised to fix roll feed units on the iPF5000 outside the normal one year warranty period if they were not working due to the the problem with the pulleys (design problem). Today we have received a report of a failure outside the one year warranty period and Canon is shipping the user a new roll feed unit. Kudos to Canon for standing behind their printers! Of note, Canon has stated that all roll feed units shipped in the last 6 months have the new pulleys already installed, so failure of the new roll feed units should not be an issue.

10/18/07 Canon Announces iPF8100 and iPF9100 at Photo Plus Expo These printers have the same black inks as the iPF5100/iPF6100 and the new 32 pass mode. According to Scott Martin, they have the lowest bronzing of any of the large format printers on the market for B&W images. Color images have the same amount of bronzing as the iPFX000 generation, about on par with the Epson K3 inkset.

10/15/07 Instructions for Printing on Booksmart Studio Fine Art Metal on the iPF5000 This PDF was made available from Booksmart Studio describing how to print on their Fine Art Metal:


9/28/07 Estimated Ink Used for Cleaning John Hollenberg reports that his iPF5000 printer used an estimated 2.4 ml of ink per day for cleaning over a period of 307 days. Too see how he arrived at this estimate, see this thread and this FAQ topic. Note that this is not a criticism of the Canon printer, which keeps the nozzles clean completely automatically and doesn't require the nozzle checks and user-initiated cleanings that a large format Epson printer needs. He prints infrequently and often a batch at a time, so it may be that more regular printing would use less ink for cleaning.

9/13/07 Third Report of Early Printhead Failure Report is in this wiki thread. Oddly enough, both the second and third reports were from the same printer. One has to wonder if there is something wrong with this particular printer that caused both printheads to fail. Kudos to Canon for sending out prompt replacements! Note: this is only the third report of early printhead failure received by the Wiki since its inception in November, 2007. So far all early failed printheads have been replaced promptly by Canon. The rarity of this event (so far) is partially offset by the concern over the expense of printheads if they fail outside the one year warranty period.

9/12/07 Early Observations on iPF6100 at Luminous Landscape. One positive note is that the driver allows you to override if paper doesn't match. Sounds like the roll feed works very well also.

8/23/07 Second Report of Early Printhead Failure A poster to the discussion section reported failure of a printhead after approximately 7 months of use and 560 square feet printed. To their credit, Canon honored their verbal one year warranty on the PF-01 printheads and is sending out a replacement printhead. Amazingly, this is only the second report of early printhead failure the Wiki has received on the iPF5000 printers. This speaks to the reliability of these printheads in use, but also serves as a caution that substantial outlays ($500-550 each street price) may be needed if printheads fail prematurely outside the one year warranty period. We probably won't know for another 6-12 months how frequently printheads will fail outside the warranty period after only moderate use. However, the data so far is very encouraging that this will be a low frequency problem.

8/16/07 Alert Wiki Poster Discovers Hidden Profiles for Canon Papers A Wiki poster reports finding profiles for a number of Canon papers at the Canon Digital Learning Center. The profile for each paper comes in 4 versions: Normal & High Saturation, each for D50 and D65 viewing conditions. A total of 10 photo papers are listed with the corresponding profiles. Update 9/7/07: Only the D50 Normal Saturation profiles are now visible, probably due to a bug in Canon web site programming. You can still get the D65 and High Saturation Variants by following the directions in this thread, or you can get them from direct links in the new Wiki section Canon Profiles.

6/14/07 Expected Printhead Life Guideline published by Canon. While the expected printhead life is VERY good, this information highlights how poor the warranty is: expected printhead life is 14,000 pages for both printheads, but warranty is for 4,000 ml per printhead (not including ink used for cleaning/maintenance)-- approximately 2,200 pages (4,400 pages for both printheads) or one year, whichever comes first. In other words, the warranty just under 50% of the expected printhead life, a lot less if you are a low volume printer and take longer than one year to reach the 4,400 pages. The iPFX100 printheads are VERY expensive and have a limited warranty both timewise and in terms of warranted throughput.


5/13/07 DJ Garcia has produced a spreadsheet that allows you to calculate ink cost based on your own usage. His figures are included as a start, and show the estimated cost of ink to produce various size prints. Note that this cost figure includes the cost of ink used for cleaning, but not the ink used for initial priming with the starter ink cartridges

4/18/07 Canon Lucia inks show Wilhelm Research longevity of approximately 95 years: