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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.

Auto FX GRFX Studio Pro: A Brief Review

I own Auto Fx Gen 2, which I utilize from time to time as a Photoshop plug in. I won’t say that I am a ‘power user’, nor do I own all the available modules that can be utilized within the software. I have used it mainly for its ability to apply light beams and weather effects, though it can do much more - however, for me those seemed to be the standout effects that were not easy accomplished by other software programs that I am familiar with.

Gen 2 is being ‘retired’, as it reportedly will not be functional with the new Mac operating system. I am glad to say that Gen 2 still seems to work perfectly on my Windows 10 / Photoshop CC 2019 system. However, while all support is going to be discontinued for this software, there is currently a sale on their new software version - GRFX Studio Pro - with an offer to try it free for 30 days.

So I decided to give the trial version a whirl. What follows is my opinion only……to me it felt like unfinished software.

First, the older Gen 2 software works on 16 bit images, but not as a smart filter. I expected this new rewritten upgrade to function as a smart filter, but, alas, it doesn’t. At least not yet, though the company says that they have such functionality planned for the future.

Secondly, another significant problem in my mind is that the plug in doesn’t ‘respect’ color spaces or profiles. Therefore, when you open an image in the plug in it looks visibly different than it does in Photoshop and yet the software offers color effects that one can apply. But how will they look back in Photoshop? The colors of the image visibly change when the effect is applied and it is brought back into Photoshop and into a color managed workflow. Well, that is a bit unsettling, especially when one can’t go back and readjust the effect as a smart filter.

Thirdly, I just find the older version easier to use. If I am uncertain as to the purpose of a certain slider or control I can just hover over it with my cursor and get helpful tool tips. Not so in GRFX Studio Pro….and some of the slider labels are not necessarily intuitive (though they are the same as the older Gen 2). Also, at least on my system, some of the drop down menus are a bit buggy. Though they sometimes drop down cleanly and hide what they ‘drop down’ over, more often than not they drop down without being ‘opaque’ and obscuring what is behind them, thereby making them difficult to read because the labels are interspersed with the words and controls they drop down over. By no means a deal breaker and perhaps limited to just my system…..hard to know.

Another little irritant is that midway through the trial Auto Fx released an update and included more free effects. It was then that I noted that there is no ‘search for updates’ button within the software that I could find!

Finally, I did not see a way to ‘port over’ any modules from Gen 2 to the newer software. I suspect that such modules will likely be offered for purchase in the future. Even better would be if they were free of charge as updates to the software, but perhaps that is hoping for too much. We shall see.

In this ‘day and age’ premium priced software should, in my opinion, be functional as a smart filter and respect color management. I can see upgrading to GRFX Studio Pro if Gen2 is software that you find very useful (and for some things it really is) and you utilize an operating system on which the older Gen2 will no longer function. As for me, am going to continue to use Gen 2 (which also doesn’t function as a smart filter etc) as it seems to work on my system. I might have purchased the software for the excellent light beam/ray generation functionality alone if I did not already own the Gen 2 software. However, given my situation, I have no plans to purchase GRFX Studio Pro unless and until it is improved considerably.

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!

Autofocus Microadjustment Adjustment

A Brief Review Of Reikan FoCal Software

By now it's an old story that lenses and cameras can't be expected to be manufactured to tolerances that ensure perfect focus. If it's not an old story to you, I would strongly recommend a read of "This Lens Is Soft And Other Myths" by Roger Cicala as well as the update to that article "This Lens Is Soft And Other Facts". Oh, and this one by Cicala is good too! Inaccuracies of focus may be caused by a problem with the lens or camera, but more often than not, it's caused by mismatch of the microtolerances in manufacturing. Meaning that the lens that doesn't focus perfectly on YOUR otherwise functioning camera might focus perfectly on another of the exact same model of camera body. And vice versa, that lens that provides a perfectly sharp image on your camera body might be a bit soft when focusing with your backup body of the same model.

But what about autofocus? Of course the ability to obtain sharp images using autofocus entails all the issues discussed above, but with other added potential sources of error. Of course, that's why camera manufacturers introduced the 'autofocus microadjustment' option....and more recently have introduced the ability to input a microadjustment for both the short and long ends of zoom lenses.

For those that are unaware of this feature, it consists of the ability to 'register' a specific lens to the camera and instruct the camera to change the point of focus by a very small but specific amount compared to what it thinks is perfect when that lens is mounted and autofocus is turned on.

So what's a photographer to do? While most of my work is done with manual focusing, there are times when I walk around town or when on vacation and I want to handhold the camera looking for interesting shots using autofocus. And I never got anywhere near perfect results with my Canon 5D MK II and Canon 24-105 f4.0 IS lens even though it was pretty sharp when focused manually. In fact, some years ago I had tried using the older solution of utilizing LensAlign for manual determination of the microfocus adjustment. The keyword there is tried. It seemed tedious and I was always questioning and comparing the results of different microadjustment settings. Ultimately, I just gave up on it. (I should mention that I recently discovered that LensAlign now has automated software as well, which I have not tried).

When I received my new Canon 5D MK IV I did a brief test of tripod mounted autofocus vs manual focus with several lenses and, though the differences were small, they were nonetheless consistent. The shot I picked as sharpest (admittedly by only a small degree when viewed at 100% in Lightroom; pixel peeping at its best) was always the manually focused photo. 

So I was excited when I learned that there was software that could do the microadjustment electronically and with no human decision making involved (unless you want there to be some). I wanted to give such software a try and put it to use with my new 5D MK IV.  I discovered and purchased FoCal by Reikan and really couldn't be more pleased!

So how does it all work? First, you purchase the software via download (I am not associated with Reikan in any way other than being a very satisfied customer). Once the download is extracted there is a folder than contains the manual, another that contains the installer for the software itself, and a folder that contains printable targets. Personally I just bought one of their hard copy targets that could be mounted on the wall. Since Reikan is located in the UK I purchased their target from B&H.

You mount the target on a wall, illuminate it (instructions on minimum brightness levels etc are in the instruction manual), and connect your camera to your computer by means of the USB cord that came with the camera. OK, so there is  little 'gotcha' here. That cord isn't long enough! The manual does mention that could be the case, but that a USB cord extender could be used if the total length of the connection is kept under about 15 feet.  I got an extension cord from Amazon for under $5 and it worked just fine.

From there on in the entire process is essentially all automated. In short, you aim the camera at the target keeping it parallel (this is probably a shortcoming as there is no verification of the 'parrallelness' of the target and camera unless it is way off) and click on a target verification button in the software. This provides a direct Live View image from you camera to your computer screen with a grid for you to center the target in. Then you click on a button to check the target position. If the software senses that the camera and target are positioned correctly in relation to each other you are good to go and the software gives you a nice green checkmark over the target and, if not, a red X with an indicator of what the problem is. Once you get your green checkmark just click on the 'start test' button.

The software takes control and autofocuses the camera via the USB cable, looks at the image results after it trips the shutter (which it automatically does with mirror lockup), and then compares the results internally at multiple autofocus microadjustment settings. It is suggested that for zoom lenses the test be run at both the widest and longest focal lengths, as both Canon and Nikon allow you to enter a separate microadjustment calibration for both ends of the lens's focal length.

In some camera models the manufacturer does not allow the microadjustment to be changed via the USB cable (the models are listed on their website). The Canon 5D MK IV is one of those models, which initially put me off. It shouldn't have. In these cases the software talks to you and says "please change the telephoto autofocus microadjustment setting to -20" which you do manually and then click OK to continue the test. During the course of the testing it will ask you to do this five or six times. Then, when the test is over the software has you set the adjustment to the correct setting. The entire process takes maybe five  or six minutes per lens. Frankly, it took me much longer to get the target mounted and illuminated with the camera set up on a tripod connected to the computer than it did to run the test.

So how did it all turn out? I tested several lenses; the ones that I am most likely to shoot with handheld. They all 'required' microadjustment calibration. The one with the biggest adjustment was that 24-105 I started this story with. When I reran some tests shooting newsprint before and after the calibration there were definite differences.  Pre-adjustmet I could always pick out a difference in sharpness that was consistent when viewed at 100% and it was always the autofocused shot that was softer. After the microadjustment both the autofocused and manually focused images (examined at 100%) were most often indistinguishable to my eye and, if there was a discernible difference, it seemed to be both minimal and randomly distributed between the autofocused and the manually focused versions.

Overall, I found the software simple to use and was very pleased with the results. I recommend it highly if you are interested in making these sorts of adjustments to your camera!

Coquille River Lighthouse

A couple weeks back, I posted about what I do with my images when I return from a trip.  You can read my  strategy in my post entitled "What Do You Do After You Get Home From A Photo Workshop?"

Here are the first two images I have processed from an Oregon Coast workshop I led with Linda Torbert back in August. They are both of the Coquille River Lighhouse near Bandon, Oregon, which was first lit back in 1896. Unfortunately, the light went out in 1939, when it was replaced with an automated light on one of the jetties. I do have some very nice views of the lighthouse in the fog from across the river, but these caught my eye as a starting point!

 

The Coquille River Lighthouse    © Howard Grill

 

I was particularly drawn to the contrast between the brightly painted red wall and the slate blue stairs:

 

Coquille River Lighthouse Stairs    © Howard Grill

 

I have many more photographs to process! Processing has just been delayed because I have been spending quite a bit of time profiling and playing with different papers and settings on my new Canon ImagePrograf 2000 printer.

Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Review - Part 4

Using The Printer

Prior portions of this review can be found her:

Part 1 - Getting It Into The House

Part 2 - Unboxing, Moving, And General Impressions

Part 3 - Setting Up The Printer

Rather than give a detailed review of the Canon ImagePrograf 2000 printer, I am going to give my impressions on the ease of use, the options, and the subjective print quality. For an extremely detailed look at the printer, and certainly if you are considering purchasing one, I recommend that you have a look at Keith Cooper's very detailed and extraordinarily well done printer review here and here.

So how do the prints look? This is obviously going to be very subjective, but I think they look great. I have not done any objective quantitative measurements, but, to my eye, they look every bit as good as the prints I was getting from my 7900. There are a couple of little glitches I do want to mention though, and they have nothing to do with the ultimate quality of the prints.

The Canon print driver does have a few, shall we say, quirks. For starters, when using cut sheets the printer requires a 3mm margin around the top, left, and right side of the print.....but a 20mm margin is required at the bottom. Using the "Center Print" checkbox in the driver or in the Photoshop print dialog centers the print not to the center of the physical page, but to the center of the printable area with the asymmetric margins. The long and the short of it is that your print is never centered on the page itself!  Really?? Who thought that was a good idea? 

There is a workaround though. In the Photoshop print dialogue tick the 'Center Print' box and see how many mm down from the top of the page is listed there. Then uncheck the center print box, add 9mm (0.354 inch) to the listed distance that the 'Center Print' dialogue had given you and fill that number in as the distance from the top of the page to place the print. Your print will now be centered on the physical page as opposed to centered in the printable area.  Just make sure the entire image fits in the printable area (you can tell on the preview image in the print dialogue) as there is still a need for that 20mm margin all around..

Another alternative is to install Canon's Print Pro Photoshop plug-in to print to cut sheets. This will allow you to print in the physical center of the sheet for cut paper without the asymmetric margins. The reason that I have not used it is that  the plug in does not allow black point compensation as part of its rendering intent.  But if they can center prints using their plug in why can't they do it for their main print driver.

I should note that the centering issue doesn't exist for roll paper, only for cut paper. Quirky!

In fact, the printer is clearly optimized for printing on roll paper.  Loading a roll is pretty simple and straightforward.  You can print on cut paper, and I certainly intend to, but it is a bit 'clunky' to do so.  There is no top or external feed for cut sheets.  You load sheets by opening the printer cover, opening the release lever, sliding the sheet under a portion of the platen, lining it up with several markings, closing the lever, and then closing the printer cover.  Works perfectly, but it's definitely a bit awkward.  And I wish there were a better lock or something of the sort to hold the cover open while doing the paper loading.  It is made to stay open, but it just doesn't feel that securely held open in place.  In fact, it did close on me on one occasion.

Of course, the print is the final product and they look great!

There is also a nice array of additional software that can be downloaded at no cost. This includes the Photoshop printing plug in I mentioned above, accounting software that can keep track of the costs of your paper and inks, as well as various types of layout software.  Of particular interest, though I haven't had a chance to use it as of yet, is the Media Configuration Tool, which allows you to customize third party papers in terms of optimal paper feed, ink density, etc and export the settings under a name you choose right into the printer driver.  Pretty neat!

Overall, I have to say that thus far I am quite pleased with the printer and find it to be a very worthy replacement for my Epson 7900.  No regrets.....

Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Review - Part 3

Setting Up The Printer

Prior portions of this review can be found her:

As one can see from Parts 1 and 2 of this review, getting the printer to where it needed to go was no small task. It is very clear to me that there is simply no way the 48 inch Canon IPG 4000 could have made it up to my 'Photography Man-Cave'.  Perhaps one day in a different location.....

Moving the printer to where it needed to go required turning it onto its side and lifting it vertically to get it up a narrow and winding staircase. There is no problem doing this (assuming one doesn't drop the nearly 200 pound device.....between the weight of the printer and the size of one of the two the fairly burly people doing the moving, one of the wooden steps actually broke) as long as the printer is new and not charged with ink.  Once filled with ink you would do well to keep the printer fairly level.

Reading the setup manual that came with the printer made me a little nervous, as it sounded like it might be a bit complicated. There were three items that worried me.  Most concerning was the bit about installing the printhead by yourself.  Ah, that printhead......the Achilles heel of my old Epson 7900! Second, the ink cartridge insertion levers seemed far more complicated than my old Epson, where you just pushed the cartridges into the slot and were done with it.  Finally, there were some adjustment parameters to be made.

Well, as it turns out, the whole setup process was actually very simple. In fact, you could pretty much do it by simply following the directions that the printer itself gives you on its LED control screen. The screen tells you what to do step by step, along with images of what you should be doing. My concerns really were unfounded. This was very nicely done by Canon! 

As it turns out, the oh so delicate printhead was extremely easy to insert. You simply open two lever locks, drop it in, and close the two lever locks. That's it!  If you can manage to get it from the package to the printer without dropping it you are good to go. That was no easy feat despite the fact that it only weighs a few ounces considering that I just knocked my coffee over onto the keyboard of my laptop while I am typing this.....really!! How the laptop is still working must be a miracle.

Ink cartridge insertion was just as easy. The Epson cartridges were pressurized and could therefore be inserted on a horizontal plane by just pushing them in. I don't know if the Canon cartridges are pressurized or not, but they load on a vertical plane and the slot has to be deep in order to accommodate the largest size cartridges. This means that if you were using smaller cartridges you would have to stick your arm down into the slot if they were inserted by simply pushing. Instead, there is a 'carriage' which holds the cartridge and which is controlled by a lever that lowers the cartridge into place and then locks. Again, it is very easy to do and once you do one it takes only a couple of seconds to do the others. As a nice touch, there are little plastic tabs on the cartridges that match the ink color slots and prevent your inserting the wrong color cartridge into any of the slots.  I decided not to test this feature out :)

Lastly, the printhead adjustments......nothing to fear. They are all automatic. All you have to do is feed the printer paper (supplied with the printer) when the LED panel asks for it. Once again, the process was really quite easy and required no user 'decision making'.

The printer offers various options for connectivity including USB (2.0), Ethernet cable, and wireless. Since it sits right next to my computer and I intermittently have problems with my router I simply connected via USB. One thing that is very nice is that once connected you simply open your web browser and type in a URL that you are given and are presented with the latest driver to install along with a nice array of software.  This includes accounting software that lets you keep track of the cost of your printing, a media configuration kit that lets you put together printer settings for custom media (I mostly print on third party papers) and several other useful programs.

My next (and final) installment of this review will talk about using the printer (including an annoying quirk) and the admittedly subjective quality of the prints (spoiler....the print quality is really superb to my eye).

Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Review - Part II

Unboxing, Moving, And General Impressions:

Part I of my review, Getting It Into The House, can be found here.

I have never been one to be overly excited about 'unboxing' information. But given the struggle to get this wide format printer into the house there is something to be said for assessing the packing material. In my mind probably the most important part of this involves how the printer is situated relative to the wooden shipping palette itself. In this case, the bottom of the wooden palette actually only has a very thin piece of cardboard covering it BUT there are two large pieces of Styrofoam that lift the printer off the surface of the wood and appear to provide good protection from palette damage. The top and sides of the printer are also well protected with Styrofoam, which has cutouts at the top to hold the supplied ink cartridges (starter cartridges only.....just like Epson....nobody wants to give the consumer a break!), printhead, and parts for the printer's stand.

Once the machine is unpacked and the stand assembled the next challenge is getting the printer to where you want to keep it. One no longer has to worry about a 300 pound palette. The printer itself weighs 'only' 185 pounds. Not too bad. However, it is VERY bulky and you have to be careful to lift it only from certain areas that can support the weight. There are very nice built in 'handle grips'. Two strong people can lift it, but more would be preferable.

But where to put it? Unless your home 'studio' or office is on the first level of your home, the machine is going to have to go up or down stairs. My situation was a real challenge. In the city where I live the homes can be very old and have a fairly unique architecture that is common in the region. My house is well over 100 years old and my 'studio' is on the third floor. Homes of this age are typically built with third floors! And worse, while the stairway to the second floor is normal in size, the stairway from second to third floor is extremely narrow and makes a 360 degree turn!. My Epson 7900 required professional movers to get the machine up to the third floor and I took the same approach with the Canon. It was NOT easy, but it was accomplished, though the machine did have to be turned on its side to traverse the 360 degree hairpin turn. Plan for the difficulty of moving the machine once unboxed!

In order to provide some information that I would have found very helpful, but was unable to locate on-line, I am going to give the maximal measurement for each of the machines dimensions (in inches) OFF the stand. The Canon website seems to insist on including the stand. The length is 43 3/4 inches , the depth (front to back) is 28 1/4 inches, and the height (top to bottom) is 25 inches. This information may be useful if you are trying to figure out if the printer will fit through a door or up a stairwell. The stand is no problem as it comes unassembled.

So what about the build, particularly as compared to my old Epson 7900?

The entire machine is structured very differently from the Epson printer. The ink tanks, paper roll holder, and paper feed are all in different locations. Once I get the machine going and get facile in its use I will be able to tell if I feel the arrangement is any better, worse, or the same. However, the Canon, to me, does feel somewhat 'flimsier' or more 'plasticy' than the Epson. Of course, this also contributes to its being a bit lighter, which is very helpful in terms of moving the machine to where it needs to be. Other than for protection while moving I doubt that the difference in build is likely to be meaningful in everyday usage.

The printer stand is solidly built and easy to assemble.

There are two items which I feel are missing and should have been supplied. First, no USB cable for connecting to the computer.....really?? And how about a printed manual. There is a small printed pamphlet on loading up the inks, inserting the printhead, and starting and calibrating the printer. But beyond that you are referred to the on-line manual. I do think that for a device as sophisticated as this, enclosing a printed manual (Epson does) is really scrimping in a foolish way.

Coming in August......firing up the printer, ease of use, and subjective print quality!

The Canon ImagePrograf 2000 makes it to its third floor 'resting place'

Canon ImagePrograf 2000 Review - Part I

Getting It into The House:

As I have mentioned in prior posts, after my Epson 7900 wide format printer died (again) I decided it was time to switch printer brands and ultimately decided to replace my Epson with the new Canon ImagePrograf 2000 wide format (24 inch) printer. This new printer is based on technology in the ImagePrograf 1000 printer, which has been out for months, and has received very good reviews. 

I have not been able to find any reviews of the ImagePrograf 2000 on line, so i thought it might be of some use for me to do a review of my own. However, because of various commitments which don't give me much block time until mid August, I won't be 'firing' up the printer until then.  I don't think learning a new device such as this should be done in short random increments. However, at this point I have unboxed the printer and had it moved up two flights of stairs. So I can talk about that now and return for more installments once I get the machine working.

Be prepared.....making the jump from a 17 inch to a 24 inch printer is a huge step that encompasses more than just another seven inches. The printer was delivered by a lift-gate truck on a wooden palette.  This 'big boy' weighs in at 300 pounds (including the palette) when fully packaged, though the printer itself 'only' weighs 185 pounds. The truck drops the palette on your sidewalk. Period. That's it. The rest is all up to you. You need to know what you are in for if you are a private individual, as opposed to a printing firm with a storefront.

So the first challenge is getting a 300 pound wooden palette into your home. In my case it involved getting it up two stairs at first, down a walkway about 15 feet long, and then up another 9 or so stairs and through the front door. Luckily my home is old and has a very large front door. Otherwise it would have to be unpacked and brought in without the packaging. Not good if it happens to be raining on the delivery date.

So how did I fare? Well, I arranged for the delivery to be on a day when my 22 year old son was home and I planned to see if the truck driver would help me if I paid him a bit on the side. In the past some drivers have been willing to help while others are not. Luckily, this one was. He had a palette lifting fork that could lift the palette about two inches off the ground. This was just short of getting the edge of the palette onto the first stair. But it did let two of us grab the edge of the wooden palette and get it onto the first stair while the palette lift was being removed. The three of us were then able to lift it onto the walkway, slide it forward, and then use the palette lifter to roll it down the walkway to the 'real' set of 9 stairs and to where the big challenge was.

The three of us could not simply lift the palette and walk it up. Even if we could lift a combined load of 300 pounds, it is just too big and bulky to be able to balance. With four people maybe. Maybe. My other concern is that the palette is meant to be lifted via fork lift, which supports the palette under its entire length. When people lift it, they hold the wooden palette by the edges which means that the weight of the device is borne by the unsupported center.  With the ImagePrograf 2000 this was fine and the palette held up. I would be pretty concerned though if this were the ImagePrograf 4000 48 inch printer. I believe that palette, when delivered, weighs in at about 450 pounds. That would have been essentially impossible to get up stairs and even if I had many friends help I don't know if the palette, held at the edges, would have held up without breaking. Perhaps it would have. 

So here is how it worked. Two people at one end of the palette lift and pull while the person at the rear pushes, in order to slide one end of the palette onto the stair and rest. Repeat. Nine times. At the bottom of the picture you can see how this type of activity actually broke a piece off the bottom of the palette. Then, at some point the entire palette is at a steep angle and the person in the rear has to ensure it doesn't slide down. Once it gets onto the top step lift from the back and push to get the palette onto the landing. Then tilt an end up and get a throw rug under the palette. Pull the palette into the house on the rug to protect the floor. We're in!

Sydney, the cat, halfway down the right side of the picture, was totally unperturbed by the whole process.

Canon ImagePrograf 2000, as delivered.

For the next installment, in a few days, I will describe the unboxing and my impressions of the general build. Then I will take a bit of a break from the review process until I get the printer functional.