Venting about Canon

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Emily
Warning: this post contains a full-on rant and very little informational content.

I'm a complete novice at printing, but this weekend I screwed up my courage to try a few prints using my too-cheap-not-to-buy Canon Pixma Pro-100. I'd installed the printer ages ago and had used it for some routine printing when my regular printer was down, but no serious photo printing. I'd had a course on Lightroom that included the print module, so I had some theoretical ideas of what to do.

The problems began to surface when I tried to specify the ICC profile for the Canon paper I planned to use. No ICC profiles. I Googled for it, ending up on the Canon website, which told me that the ICC profiles were part of the printer driver software supplied with the printer. I had, of course, installed the printer driver when I first hooked up the printer. No ICC profiles. OK, download the presumably updated printer driver from the Canon site and install it. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. More Googling, which produced info that Canon had told other people to use Print Shop Pro, which also supposedly came with the printer. Nope, didn't have it. Downloaded Print Shop Pro, installed it, and opened it, only to get a message that said no compatible printer was installed, and that shut down Print Shop Pro automatically. My compatible printer was sitting next to me, taking up an enormous amount of real estate, and shining its "I am ON" light reassuringly. I knew it was installed, because I could print from it. Re-installed Print Shop Pro, same result. More Googling produced the advice to "just click the 'let printer manage colors' box in LR and add some brightness." About 15 4x6 test prints and two absolutely ghastly 11x14s later, I decided that this advice sucked, and also that I never ever wanted to see a giraffe (subject of my test prints) again as long as I lived. Google, google, google. Ended up deleting the printer from my system, hooking it up again, this time with an Ethernet cable, and reinstalling it. Finally, PSP decided that I really, truly did have a printer, and consented to open. Discovered that the PSP on-line user manual is utterly bleeping useless. After hours of frustration, I finally did get two reasonably successful 8x10 prints, plus a bonus 8x10 print of an image that I hadn't intended to print but that had gotten swept up in my efforts to figure out how to open images in PSP. Am I correct that once you have PSP open, there's no way to add a new image to print without closing the program down and going back into LR, highlighting all the images you want, and re-opening the PSP plug in? Am I right that this is stupid?

Conclusion: Canon, you may make good printers, but your software is bleeping abysmal, and your user manuals are worse.

Take up a hobby, they said. It will be fun, they said. Aaaaaaargh.

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P9270507.jpg by emckphoto, on Flickr
 

pdk42

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Printing is always a bit of an adventure. Sometimes I think I wasted money buying a fancy Epson A3+ printer and that I ought to have used the money instead to go to a decent commercial lab. And the spending doesn't stop with the printer itself - the price of inks is scandalous!
 

AussiePhil

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It may be a rant and you may not think it is funny but yeah it can be like that at times......
i’ve used canon photo printers for years and still have a a4 version on the desk so I’ll try and throw some words of wisdom together during the day for you.

Basically though you will get generally close enough without having to worry about all the ICC profiles just by getting the paper choices right in the print driver and printer for the paper loaded.

I’ll come back to you a bit later unless some others chime in first
 

Stringer

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The profiles you need are normally for the papers you are printing on. If you look at the web site for the paper you are using you should find the profiles for different printers there.
Also what software are you using to print from.
The profiles are not load on to the printer but are accessed from the software to apply the profile.
 

pdk42

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In general:

- turn off colour management in the printer(through the printer driver on the PC)
- turn on colour management in the app that you're using to print
- get the ICC profile for the paper from the paper manufacturer
- load the profile into the software

For best results make sure you've calibrated your monitor with a suitable device (e.g.Spider).
 
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Emily
The profiles you need are normally for the papers you are printing on. If you look at the web site for the paper you are using you should find the profiles for different printers there.
Also what software are you using to print from.
The profiles are not load on to the printer but are accessed from the software to apply the profile.
What you say is true, or at least, it's what's supposed to happen. I was using a Canon printer and Canon paper. I went to the Canon website, and could not find the ICC profiles for the paper I was using (a very common Canon product). The Canon website said that the ICC profiles were bundled with the printer driver. I didn't come up with that idea on my own. It turned out the profiles were not where Canon said they would be. On a help forum, I found a post by someone who had the same problem I was having. He said that Canon had told him to use its plug-in, Print Shop Pro. As detailed above, installing that plug-in did not go smoothly. I tried printing directly from Lightroom. The results were unsatisfactory. I eventually got Print Shop Pro to install, and ultimately succeeded in printing from that plug-in.

All of the above information was in my original post.
 
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Can someone recommend the least expensive calibrator that's still going to provide acceptable results, or, alternatively, warn me against calibrators that don't do an adequate job? I have a Dell monitor but I don't recall the model, and am not at home to check. I think it's at the high end of consumer grade.

I'm just a dabbler. I don't need professional grade, just something that's worth the money.

Thanks.
 

davidzvi

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Can someone recommend the least expensive calibrator that's still going to provide acceptable results, or, alternatively, warn me against calibrators that don't do an adequate job? I have a Dell monitor but I don't recall the model, and am not at home to check. I think it's at the high end of consumer grade.

I'm just a dabbler. I don't need professional grade, just something that's worth the money.

Thanks.
Home printing, color profiling isn't really a money saving endeavor in my experience.
 

bjurasz

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As someone who has been in the computer hardware business for nearly 30 years now (semiconductor, mostly processors), I'm incredibly embarassed out how absurdly difficult it is to use this technology.
 

b_rubenstein

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I've had the PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Printer and used it with very good results until I upgraded to the Canon Pixma Pro-100 which is even better (started photo printing with an Epson photo printer in 1999). In general, you won't get very good results unless you have a good quality monitor and calibrate it with a hardware puck. (I use a xRite i1 Display Pro). I always use the Canon Printshop Pro plugin from within Lightroom. When you select the type of printing paper you're using, the plugin will use the ICC profile for that paper. If you're not using Canon paper, then you need to download the profile for the paper from the mfg and use their directions for how to load the profiles. I generally either use the Cannon Platinum Pro glossy paper, the Canon Semi-Gloss SG-201 of Epson Pro Luster paper (the SG-201 profile works perfectly with it.) FWIW, I never liked the results I got from printing in Lightroom using the Lightroom printing module.
 

AussiePhil

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@flamingfish

TL/DR: let the printer manage color, it will do fine and don't stress about ICC profiles for Canon papers....

In the OP you stated that you are using Canon paper with your Canon printer, so let's work through the basic simple option of letting the printer manage colour.

Canon has spent lot's of time to optimising the printers for use with Canon papers so unless your monitor is out of calibration really badly generally letting the printer manage colours is pretty damn close most of the time.
Typically if your printing a sRGB color space jpg or tiff then the internal Canon driver will do a good job.

Before people jump on me I personally run a fully calibrated workflow for critical printing so fully understand the benefits of a managed ICC workflow.

So with that in mind
Load your paper in the printer and set the correct paper type in the printer, ie if you load Canon Glossy chose Canon Glossy as the paper in the tray.
Next set your printer driver to have the correct paper type and set it so "printer manages color"
From in side whatever software your using go to the printer properties and confirm that the above paper type and printer manage colour is still set.... various software will override this and it should be checked.
Print.

Now if the resultant print looks nothing like what you see on the screen the first assumption should be the screen needs some calibration not that you need to load a custom ICC profile for the printer, remember the printer by default should be pretty accurate managing color itself for known (Canon) papers.

If you have no calibration hardware then there is a some quick tricks to get your monitor close or closer than it may be.

Do a search for a gray scale chart in google like grayscale chart - Google Search:
The more graduated bars the better
adjust contrast and brightness of your screen so you can see all the bars.

Next do a search "print check chart" there is a bunch of them that use standard colours and images, you can use this to get your screen closer in color rendition especially colour temperature, most people run monitors too cool (blue) these days.

The Canon printing software is not to bad but for the last 15 years i have used Qimage software for printing. It is not the easiest to use but it does do a great job.

After all of the above... if you want to fully manage colour then you need both Monitor calibration and printer calibration equipment at which point your hooked :)
 
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This and that I don't print images often enough so that the ink doesn't dry up is why I ALWAYS send my prints out to be printed.
x2. It's not only Canon. I've also had HP (a lot) and Epson printers. Always problems with software or the inkt. It's a big scam. Software tells printer that the inkt is almost depleted while it's not. If 1 color is empty you can't print anymore also not black/white...

I've got rid of it all. Only have 1 cheap Canon black/white laserprinter that can't go wrong.
For all my photographs I just send them to a printshop and get the prints by mail or pick them up at the store.
 

exakta

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As someone who has been in the computer hardware business for nearly 30 years now (semiconductor, mostly processors), I'm incredibly embarassed out how absurdly difficult it is to use this technology.
Me, too...retired after 36 years as an EE in networking and processors. It's pitiful how something that should make tasks so easy instead makes them so complicated. That includes my iPhone.
 

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