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 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.....