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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Review - Part 5

Way back in August and September of last year I wrote a four part review of my new Canon ImagePrograf 2000 wide format printer. I had bought the new printer following three print head failures in two Epson 7900 wide format printers over several prior years. Therefore, I think it is only fair that I provide a follow up to my Canon review (you will see what I mean shortly).

The print quality of the ImagePrograf 2000 has been excellent, both in black and white and in color. I have not done formal testing of any sort comparing Canon to Epson, but I can say that, to my eye, the print quality of the Canon is every bit as good as the Epson. If one reads reviews on the internet you can learn how one machine handles a specific color a bit better than the other and vice versa. But the bottom line is that both brands make professional level printers that are capable of producing excellent quality prints in both color and black and white. 

I could quibble a bit with the method of loading sheet paper in the Canon. The Epson method is easier (at least in their wide format models) but it's no big deal really. I also find that if one is using thick art paper in roll form that the auto paper load for rolls often fails.....but, no matter, you can still load it manually quite easily.

But here is why I thought I needed to add a part 5 to my review of the Canon ImagePrograf 2000. I had an early head failure after approximately 8 months of using the machine. There was loss of small segments in the nozzle check pattern of the yellow channel that would not come back with multiple cleanings, though I have to admit it was hard to tell there was a problem in the prints. Nonetheless, I could not restore a completely normal nozzle check pattern. Shades of the Epson 7900, though head failure in the Epson's always led to visible banding on prints.

Here is the difference though. With the Epson (once off warranty), the cost to replace the head by an authorized repair person (which was only guaranteed for 30 days post replacement if I recall correctly) was enough that you might as well toss the whole machine and buy a new one. Plus, besides the frustration, I also needed to pay a mover to get a new replacement machine where it needed to get to. All in all, an expensive proposition.

The Canon experience was different though. First of all, the machine was still on warranty and Canon had no problem sending me a new print head. So no scheduled repair people, no need to be home, no need to see your printer dismantled and lying in pieces. If the machine wasn't on warranty the replacement would cost a not insignificant $675, but still dramatically less than a replacement printer. And forget the inconvenience of needing a mover like I did when the Epson needed a new print head and I had to replace the whole thing.

And here is the best part.....replacing the print head was EASY. It took about fifteen minutes without having to undo as much as a screw. Just set the menu to replace, open two latches, pull the old print head out, drop the new one in, close the two latches and you are good to go once the machine does an auto adjustment and color calibration. Problem solved. 

Yeah, it was a little discouraging that it occurred so soon, and I did choose to redo my paper profiles (which cost me some time), but I'm back making beautiful prints again without having had to experience major hassles!