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Author Topic: Canon ipf 5000 report  (Read 10037 times)
Kenneth Sky
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« on: March 29, 2007, 06:17:12 PM »
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I can't imagine a more damning report (aside from the excellent prints when it works) for Canon USA. The damage to the brand not just this specific product may take years and many ad campaigns to overcome what appears to be an arrogant disregard of not just any old consumers but opinion leaders. I have been holding off purchasing a HP B9180 until I saw the reports of the Canon 9500 but can I trust a company that so flagrantly disregards justified complaints? I think not.
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2007, 06:47:50 PM »
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Indeed. I'm looking at investing in a large format printer within the next 18 months, and the recent reports on ipf5000 QC issues, driver and documentation deficiencies, and especially unresponsive tech support and poor warranty have cemented that I will _not_ be buying an ipf5000.  This coming from someone who owns two of their cameras and two of their smaller printers. If I'm investing 2000+ squirrel skins on a printer, it damn better work well, or get fixed ASAP if it breaks.

I have a feeling that Epson will update their large format printers soon, as there's increased competition from Canon and HP. Hopefully they'll fix the clogging issues and add true b&w printing without changing cartridges; two issues which seem to be the only complaints people have on Epsons - apart from high ink prices.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 06:54:06 PM »
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Indeed. I'm looking at investing in a large format printer within the next 18 months, and the recent reports on ipf5000 QC issues, driver and documentation deficiencies, and especially unresponsive tech support and poor warranty have cemented that I will _not_ be buying an ipf5000.  This coming from someone who owns two of their cameras and two of their smaller printers. If I'm investing 2000+ squirrel skins on a printer, it damn better work well, or get fixed ASAP if it breaks.

I have a feeling that Epson will update their large format printers soon, as there's increased competition from Canon and HP. Hopefully they'll fix the clogging issues and add true b&w printing without changing cartridges; two issues which seem to be the only complaints people have on Epsons - apart from high ink prices.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109499\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Interestingly the bigger version the 8400(?) seems to get excellent support here in the UK, I wonder if Canon consider it more of a 'pro' printer hence the support?
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SeanPuckett
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2007, 07:06:50 PM »
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I can confirm this.  I was initially in love with the ipf5000 and for six months was sure it would be the perfect printer for me.  After following developments carefully (and realizing that 17" just wasn't wide enough -- which came later, after the disillusionment), it was easy to turn my eyes to the z3100 -- a machine that costs three times as much.

The reports on the Wiki made everything clear.
(which is one of the reasons i've just started a z3100 wiki -- to share info about that printer as well.)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 07:09:16 PM by SeanPuckett » Logged

David Anderson
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2007, 07:55:33 PM »
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I don't agree that it's all bad..

My own experience with getting one of the first of these in Sydney was problem with the softwear that the dealer ( Baltronics ) and Canon Australia went to great lengths to sort out for me, including the dealer sending someone out to update the printer, all no charge.

I've just finished printing my new portfolio with it and even though I'm about as similar to a geek as Scarlett Johannson is to ugly, and never used a printer before, I've had almost no trouble since the update getting what I consider to be very good prints from first to last, the quality for what the printer costs is stunning and good or better then any prints I've had done at the labs.
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claskin
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2007, 08:32:38 PM »
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As close as I was to purchasing the ip5000, I waited since I had just sold my Epson4000 and refused to be surprised again. My experience with Canon on the camera side has been at best mediocre. They behave as if they own the market and there is no competition. One must never forget how fragile one is. Canon is a big company and the experiences of many with this printer should send a message to the company. John Hollenberg has gone to the wall with this printer and performed a service to many with the wiki and now this review. A job well done, John. Thank you.
Carl
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Carl Laskin
John Hollenberg
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2007, 11:53:29 PM »
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Canon is a big company and the experiences of many with this printer should send a message to the company. John Hollenberg has gone to the wall with this printer and performed a service to many with the wiki and now this review. A job well done, John. Thank you.

Unfortunately, it seems that the wall has won (for now).  The Canon brand is certainly diminished in my eyes, although it won't affect my purchase of DSLRs in the least.  Perhaps they will make the needed changes; most could be accomplished with the stroke of a pen.  The only wild card is the lack of longevity data 13 months after the initial press release claiming preliminary results of at least 100 Wilhelm years.

On the bright side, it seems that the IPF5000 will qualify me for a $1000 or $1200 discount on the HP Z3100 :-)

However, don't think that I am down on the printer itself.  It performs beautifully for me now and is a pleasure to use with the roll feed unit.  I just can't in good conscience recommend that others buy it, considering Canons current policies and the lack of longevity data.

--John
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David White
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2007, 02:01:15 AM »
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I would strongly suggest sending a copy of this report with a cover letter via certified mail to:

Mr. Yoroku Adachi
President & CEO, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
One Canon Plaza
Lake Success, NY  11042

From what I have heard about the current state of the US Canon organization, I doubt that he is aware of any the problems with the IPF 5000.
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David White
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2007, 05:40:04 AM »
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Interestingly the bigger version the 8400(?) seems to get excellent support here in the UK, I wonder if Canon consider it more of a 'pro' printer hence the support?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109500\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I bought the iPF5000 last year, from Azzurri in the UK, and have been printing from the cassette, rear slot and the roll feed without any problems. It may be I was just lucky, but I am very pleased with this printer. Having said that I do agree that the manual is totally inadequate, but as I am someone who prefers to learn from trial and error that did not bother me.  John's WiKi has been an invaluable source of information and Canon should consider giving the frequent posters some sort of recognition for their efforts by acting on their feedback (I bet some free ink cartridges would be welcome too   )
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Slough
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2007, 07:05:29 AM »
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"I have been holding off purchasing a HP B9180 until I saw the reports of the Canon 9500 but can I trust a company that so flagrantly disregards justified complaints? I think not."

Crikey. As someone looking to get an A3 printer, I can but second the above statement. The Canon is no longer on my short list. I used to have an Epson 870, and at least half the ink was wasted trying to clean the head, until finally no amount of cleaning worked, and I binned it. There are more than a few reports of clogging on the R1800 too, and very few for the HP.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2007, 09:54:38 AM »
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I would strongly suggest sending a copy of this report with a cover letter via certified mail to:

Mr. Yoroku Adachi
President & CEO, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
One Canon Plaza
Lake Success, NY  11042

From what I have heard about the current state of the US Canon organization, I doubt that he is aware of any the problems with the IPF 5000.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109563\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

From what I have heard through back channels, he probably is aware.  Still, an excellent idea.  

For the record, Canon was made aware of the existence of this article (although not the exact contents) 2-3 weeks before publication.  This was done through Wiki posters who have contacts with people high up at Canon.  They were also informed of the general contents of the article--"just look at the front page of the Wiki and the Known Problems section".  Supposedly various meetings, etc. were taking place.  I had hoped to be able to write a different ending, e.g., that Canon had committed to making certain changes and the future looks a lot brighter than the past.  Unfortunately, there has been only silence from Canon.

Perhaps Canon has conceded the photography market on this printer and decided to focus on those printing signs, banners, etc.  One support tech told me that some large chain like Office Max (may not be the exact one) had ordered about 150 of these printers with installation included.  He had personally installed about 50 of them in a number of different states, including setting up the networking, etc.

Maybe they just consider this printer a beta drop and will come out with the "real" printer under a different model name with all of these problems fixed and everything polished to the max.  It's really hard to know what they are thinking.  Perhaps they just decided to send the PR people back for more schooling.  This is the worst PR job I can recall seeing on a product in recent memory.

These are just my thoughts and speculations, I am really as dumbfounded as the rest of you  

--John
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2007, 10:15:48 AM »
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I realise that this thread is about a Canon printer, but sadly, the same doubts exist about the available A3+ printers too, and from all makers that seem to cater for photographers.

I've been keen to get myself a printer in the above size for quite a while, starting the research with the 2200 and the 2400 from Epson and the HP8750 as well. Nothing seems to be worth the price of purchase, either because it just doesn't work for long, service is lousy or because (HP) the consumables are difficult/impossible to find or the ink costs are open piracy.

I have had a couple of A4 Epsons and they have done little to inspire confidence either, but I was able to live with them because they were never intended for use as producers of sellable art prints, even if I have managed to coax some nice b/w work out of them. I don't want to go larger than A3+ and that does limit choice, I suppose, but we all have to live within some sort of monetary discipline and I hate getting effed by manufacturers with an eye to nothing beyond the bottom line. Perhaps this has something to do with the makers being Japanese; perhaps if a European company had been able to compete we would have seen a different mind-set at work, but somehow that seems doubtful too.

Ciao - Rob C
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Ed Dubois
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2007, 10:35:33 AM »
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Full marks again John. Your report is well written and detailed. Well done.

I do hope you'll mail a copy of this to the head office in Japan as suggested. My thought is that a paper copy floating around the corporate offices are much harder to ignore than emails. I've been relying on your help and the Wiki to get my printer running too. As with everyone else I find the print quality is excellent but the documentation is so poor I've given up on it completely!

I've been a CPS for several years and have never seen this level of incompetence and apathy in the Canon photographic division although sometimes service has been pretty slow. At least the products are properly documented and the firmware issues get dealt with in a timely fashion.

Is the printer division an entity unto itself? It seems like all they care about is getting printers shipped out the door.

Again my thanks for writing John and to Michael for posting it. Please do send a copy to Japan Headquarters and let us know if they even bother to reply.

Funny that in a culture that values face and honor they're ignoring their customers like this.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2007, 11:01:45 AM »
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Rob, the fact is that the Japanese product engineers and scientists are owed a tremendous amount of international recognition for what they have achieved in this field over the past fifteen years. It is nothing short of miraculous. We are producing work of a quality and with ease that was only something to dream about even eight years ago. And you can't tar all the companies with the same brush. Epson is a Japanese firm also, part of the Seiko Group with HQ in Nagano Japan, and my experience with their support on the professional printers is on the whole excellent. HP is an American company and they have released product with issues too. Now, if all of them are going to have issues (because they're rushing product to market too hastily), then you want to buy the unit that suffers the least of the difficulties that we know about and would bother you most, and from a company that offers the best customer support. The latter criterion rules Canon out for me. That leaves HP and Epson.

I would say the market is in a bit of quandary right now. HP has been working very hard to correct the few identified issues with the z3100, but that is a 4000 dollar investment and needs a fair bit of studio space. We don't know yet whether they will produce a smaller format 12-ink printer like the z3100, but if they do it won't be proportionately cheaper, because costs are not proportionate to the carriage size. It will just take less space, which for some is an important consideration. The B9180 seems to be a well-built high quality printer but some have remarked about print quality not being up to the Epsons. I can't assess that.

The Epson 3800 produces beautiful prints but a couple of issues have been identified. This is a major business for Epson, so you can count on a continuation of their history in releasing firmware up-dates to address whatever can be addressed in that manner. We don't know what they have up their sleeves in terms of forthcoming models or the timing. Based on experience, though, whatever is next may not be more than a year or so down the road. I have a gut feel that those people who don't need a new printer just now perhaps could do worse than to wait a while. For those who absolutely need a professional printer in the A3 range now for now - and need media flexibility, it looks like a choice between the HP B9180 and the Epson 3800. Both are worth serious consideration under those circumstances. If you don't need media flexibility - i.e. you do all your work on either matte or glossy, an Epson 4800 is a mighty good printer (eventhough there are periodic clogs and it uses a fair bit of ink on routine cleaning) and Epson supports it well.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
thompsonkirk
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2007, 11:21:14 AM »
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As one of those who've adjusted to the foibles of our iPF5000s & are still proud of our image quality, I'm so sorry to be in complete agreement with the review.   I just can't recommend a pro-level Canon printer to others.  I'm particularly stunned to hear that my print heads were designed as $600/ea. 'consumables,' designed to last no more than a year.  

Canon's broken feedback system - its inability to learn about its product from its users - is much more serious than any problem with the printers themselves.  Many of us contributed to the Wiki to solve our own problems, help others,  & bring matters to Canon's attention.  In retrospect it's pretty amazing how Canon was unable to respond to customer feedback - even with a manual - & that this thorough & accurate report  had to be written at all.  

If I taught in a business school, I'd have some grad students get busy on a case study.  This product & its odyssey could go down in the annals of management studies one of the more serious self-inflicted foot-wounds in marketing history.
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pier64
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2007, 02:50:07 PM »
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I am glad that the issues with the IPF5000 but expecially with Canon have been exposed by John's review and I do hope Canon takes notice. However, I believe the IPF5000 is a great printer, I bought one in August last year and I never had a single problem (thanks also to the Wiki). I believe most IPF5000 users share my trouble free experience given that certainly if one had a problem he/she would write about it to John who in turn would mention it in the Wiki. My impression is that John has received few dozens reports while Canon must have sold at least few thousand mechines worldwide! People should try to keep things into perspective while I feel that many have been too quick at dismissing a very good product.
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madmanchan
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2007, 03:17:38 PM »
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Nobody is questioning the product, which as John has stated many times, is brilliant when working.

What the report is questioning is Canon USA's policies towards its customers when the printer isn't working.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2007, 03:45:59 PM »
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Nobody is questioning the product, which as John has stated many times, is brilliant when working.

What the report is questioning is Canon USA's policies towards its customers when the printer isn't working.

I'm not even questioning the reliability of the printer, which I believe to be excellent.  If a printer isn't working, once the printer is fixed, it appears to just keep on printing without a hitch.  We aren't getting any reports of parts breaking over and over again.  All of the reports are generally regarding defects that are present fairly near the time of purchase (although there is some legitimate concern that roll feed units could have the gears pop off at an inopportune time, like 366 days after you bought the printer).

The IPF5000 Wiki is not the center of the IPF5000 universe (although it may be for a small group of posters   ).  We have about 65 actual members and 300-400 unique visitors per day.  That is a lot of lurkers.  We don't know if they own the printers or are just looking.  There are about 15 reports of defective roll feed units.  That would be a 25% figure based on the membership (probably way too high, but who knows).

Also, I have some anecdotal information to suggest that the roll feed unit problem is fairly widespread:

1) A poster to the Wiki reported that 3 roll feed units failed for someone doing a demo of the IPF5000. Don't know over what time period (hours, days, weeks). The audience was apparently not impressed. The reporter is deemed to be a reliable source based on his posting history.

2) Another poster reported that the service tech who came to fix his roll feed unit said he was fixing 4 roll feed units every week. Again, the poster was deemed reliable.

All we can do on the Wiki is identify trends. Since there are many people who don't know about the Wiki, we really can't come up with any kind of denominator. We can only identify the trouble spots, but can't tell how big they are. Conversely, we can identify many areas that AREN'T trouble spots, e.g., there is not a single report of clogging to the Wiki, EVER.

For some reason people are drawing the conclusion that I don't like the printer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now that I know its quirks and my printer is working properly I am producing beautiful prints. It has a number of really good points, which are listed in the article. However, the Wiki recommendation is based on the weight of the available evidence. With the information at hand, would I go out and purchase this printer right now? No. Would I recommend that one of my friends purchase it? No. I know there is a good chance the roll feed unit will have to be repaired, and that may require more than one service call (I know that sounds nuts, since Canon knows the problem is common and has redesigned the parts, but it has been reported by several people). Why would I recommend a printer known to have these problems (warranty, timely service, poor documentation, questions about longevity) unless it was so much better than the competition in other areas that the risk and hassle was worth it?

The one wild card in this is the question of print longevity. Since I don't sell my work, it isn't that big an issue to me, but for those who do I would be concerned. It has been 13 months since the initial estimate of "at least 100 years". Data on other printers has come and gone. I would be worried if this was important to me. I think this is actually the biggest cloud hanging over the printer.  Past experience has shown that there can be large differences between ink sets, and big differences between particular ink and paper combinations.  Note that HP has outstanding Wilhelm results, better than Epsons.  It all depends how important that is to your needs.

Per a personal communication from Joseph Holmes (great landscape photographer and creator of Ekta Space  http://josephholmes.com ), the Wilhelm methodology does not account for "reciprocity failure".  In other words, reducing light intensity does not produce an exactly corresponding increase in time.  The factor to correct for this varies, but is thought to average around 2.5.  Thus 100 "Wilhelm years" is probably more like 40 real years.   For that reason, you may want a lot more "Wilhelm years" on your prints, depending on your application.  Again, this is according to Joseph Holmes, and beyond the realm of my own knowledge.

One thing I am very pleased about is that the article is sparking a healthy dialog.  My findings are not set in stone, and as I said in the article, if Canon makes changes to the problem areas you will see the Wiki recommendation change in a heartbeat.  The reason I wrote and published the article was not to keep people from buying the printer or trash Canon.  It was to try to spur Canon to action so I can again recommend purchase of the IPF5000!

--John
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ustein
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2007, 04:05:48 PM »
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>It was to try to spur Canon to action so I can again recommend purchase of the IPF5000!

I see it exactly this way. We want great printers and the IPF has all the potential. This is also the reason we linked to this article at Outback Print. We want all(!) printer manufacturers to enter a qualified dialog with their customers.



Uwe
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Dennishh
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2007, 04:22:09 PM »
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Right on Uwe!! I love my IPF5000, but feel like I got married and didnít know about the pre-nup I signed at the bachelor party. Canon better fix this or the party is over. Everybody should call their dealers and get this out in the open.
Thanks
Dennis
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 04:24:08 PM by Dennishh » Logged
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