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Author Topic: First look at iPF5100 & 6100  (Read 10987 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2007, 12:21:29 PM »
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and presumably they cared about what prospective buyers might think.

What real incentive does Canon now have to address these unresolved problems with the iPF5000?

Maybe it's just me, but I believe I hear the distant sound of a door slamming shut...

Jim H.
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NO, they obviously don't believe what prospective buyers might think matters to them.

The real incentive doesn't exist right now. If there were an internationally coordinated boycott of these printers until they implemented the 5 conditions I laid out in Post 13, perhaps it would begin to sink in.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2007, 01:01:08 PM »
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It is good that Canon is improving their printers, but they have lost me permanently as a customer (for printers, not cameras) with their lack of support for the iPF5000.  I won't go down this road again.  For all the problems with Epson printers (and I have had a lot), at least they provide good support.  

The Wiki has finally received a reply to our complaints about the iPF5000.  The product manager thanked us for our input, gave a bunch of mostly non-answers to questions, and even said they might consider implementing Black Point Compensation in the plugin and fixing the centering bug at some point in the future.  Pretty pathetic.

--John
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jpgentry
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2007, 09:43:36 PM »
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Your loss brother.  

For the rest of us who are extreemly happy with our Canon printers, we look forward to the newer models.  I still feel like I robbed the store when I bought my 44 inch Canon for $3400.  I've printed over 3000 square feet with it and couldn't be happier.

The guys who like to stand around and stare at their printer seem to find fault with the Canon.  They guys who like to stare at their prints (In my case 15 canvases hanging from the ceiling drying right now) we love the Canon.

The ipf series of printers are still the best on the market for volume print makers, and I'm glad they have taken another step forward.  I will probably buy the 6100 for a dedicated photo printer and continue using the 8000 for my canvas/fine art.

Some people fail to realize just how good these printers are, especially when you consider they are Canon's early attempt to compete with Epson.  There is no compitition.  I'm glad I sold my Epson and moved on.

-Jonathan


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I'm in the market for a replacement to my 4800 that allows "no cost" media switching between matte and glossy. The HP Z series is overkill for my needs, I am hesitant about the Epson 3800 for several reasons but still have it in consideration because Epson stands behind their product, but I wouldn't touch Canon IPF printers with a barge-pole until: (1) they produce Epson and HP quality documentation with the printer; (2) they have resolved all user interface issues between the printer and the computer, (3) they arrange with their dealers a return policy that allows customers to return the machines within thirty days of purchase if they are not completely satisfied, (4) they offer solid long-duration warranties on the print-heads and automatic no-questions-asked exchange of defective cartridges, (5) they offer an Epson-quality technical support service giving COMPETENT next-business day service over the internet and by phone and rapid service-center based repairs.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2007, 10:17:37 PM »
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Jonathan. It is good for you that you are happy with it, and nice to hear positive outcomes. That is fine as far as it goes, but what I've seen, heard and read (both negative and positive) may be more extensive than you know about. More fundamentally, there are real issues of corporate performance at play when looking at these matters from a perspective that is broader than the personal satisfaction of an individual user.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2007, 11:10:23 PM »
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Maybe.  But despite my low post count on this forum I've been around all of the forums since the Canon first came out.  John H credited me at the end of his LL review of the Canon so I'm no stranger to the wiki.

It's just that while the complaining was going on I was printing.  It sounded like a few people had complaints and were justified.  But the vast majority were really happy with the printer.  

I have never not been able to do anything I've wanted to do with this printer.  This is true of the hardware and software.  I guess if I wanted to rattle off specs and stats and nit-pick instead of rattling off prints, I could find some things somewhere that weren't quite right, but that hasn't been my experience.  I set the thing up.  I figured it out.  And I've been using it...

-Jonathan

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Jonathan. It is good for you that you are happy with it, and nice to hear positive outcomes. That is fine as far as it goes, but what I've seen, heard and read (both negative and positive) may be more extensive than you know about. More fundamentally, there are real issues of corporate performance at play when looking at these matters from a perspective that is broader than the personal satisfaction of an individual user.
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neil snape
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2007, 12:14:15 AM »
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Over all this time I haven't heard John or others complain about image quality or the joy of looking at the prints. In fact quite the opposite. The image quality on todays printers are all of an equally high level, with their own character but all good. While there is every reason to believe Canon users do appreciate the image quality, there are other issues that you , and John H. are up against, in as much as HP users, and Epson alike in their own camps.
Some of the users may have the impression that the WiKi pages are extremist and overlook the fine image quality, yet the reasons are founded and not screaming out. This is not the case for HP where many screaming posts are over stated, incorrect, too much in the wrong direction.
The delicate balance of trying to push for a better product or support is always in question, yet done in the right way it may go a long way for users. Since Canon and HP are just starting into this niche market solidly owned by Epson, they both need to work that much harder to work out issues other than image quality. Since image quality is not a concern with Canon or HP, if any amount of progress is made for the better in the areas of concern we all benefit from that. Hence the need for posts here and there that rustle feathers, rock the boat, although a little grace is still needed.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2007, 07:36:50 AM »
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Jonathan, with all due respect, unless you are on the inside track of either Canon or some market research firm conducting proprietary research for Canon or another interested party, you - nor I - simply don't know what percentage of IPF 5000 users consider their experience with this printer satisfactory, but that is neither here nor there as you'll understand further on. My positioning is very simple: I had an IPF 5000 on order before they were released, they weren't on delivery yet here in Toronto at the time the problems started unfolding and the support seemed weak, so with some disappointment I cancelled.  Since then, I've seen first hand what's involved with those issues and the efforts required to work around them. Some consumers have more time and patience for this kind of thing than others, but it in the final analysis it shouldn't be necessary for a high-end professional product. And yes I agree, it makes very high quality prints - I've bought portfolio editions printed on this machine-  but so do HP and Epson printers, and print quality - while fundamental - is one part of a broader total user experience. As I've said previously, I'm NOT married to any particular brand of anything - my interest is that of a consumer who wants viable competition so that we get increasingly well served with better technologies over time. Keep them on their toes. Neil Snape is quite correct that intelligently applied pressure on these companies to resolve correctly identified problems remains necessary, and I add - regardless of the particular experience of any one individual.
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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
John Hollenberg
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2007, 11:47:45 AM »
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Jonathan,

While the issue of print longevity has been satisfactorily resolved, there are a number of issues outstanding which Canon so far refuses to address:

1) The plugin bugs/design issues noted in my previous post
2) Lack of Warranty on ink cartridges and printheads - and still no information on expected printhead life.  A marked difference from HP.
3) Adequate documentation - the product manager has told us that new iPF5000 printers will ship with improved documentation, but no word on getting this documentation to current owners [Note: I am talking about the 5000, not the upcoming 5100].  With Canon USA lack of timely posting of updates, who knows when, if ever, the documentation will be available to current owners.
4) Lack of proper Mac support - e.g., Mac owners still can't get firmware 1.25, unless they hook their printer up to a PC temporarily.
5) A convoluted system of informing the printer of the Media Type, paper size, etc. each time it is loaded, plus lockouts of some paper paths for some Media Types.

Most of these issues don't affect me personally, but then again I have spent many, many hours with this printer.  There is no way I would recommend it to a couple of my friends who enjoy photography and can easily print with an Epson 2400 (or 3800).  With their lack of technical savvy I doubt they would be able to figure out how to operate the printer--even with my guidance.  

One other point:  it is our (legitimate) complaints that have lead to a lot of the improvements coming down the line which you will benefit from with the new models.    In a recent email the senior product manager for the printer division has finally stated that roll feed unit problems stemming from a design problem in one of the parts will be covered by Canon outside the one year warranty period.  As I suspected, some of the improperly designed gears are failing after a period of many months, so it is likely that some will fail outside the warranty period.  For example, there was a post on the Wiki about a month ago by Ellis Vener (frequent Wiki poster) that the pendulum gears failed on his roll feed unit after 8 months.  Note that only the early units have this problem, but there is no way to tell when your unit was manufactured.  As an owner of the iPF8000, you aren't affected by this, but I can assure you that many iPF5000 owners are affected.

PS The is totally off topic, but one of the posters to the Wiki finally discoverd how much ink is used by Head Cleaning A:  about 10 ml.  He weighed the ink cartridges on a very accurate analytical scale before and after performing the cleaning.  Canon could have just told us how much ink is used (like Epson does).

--John
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2007, 12:18:26 PM »
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John,

To continue OT, 10 ml for a head cleaning is quite a bit. But the question then is how often are the head cleanings? On my Epson 4800, a routine head cleaning uses 4.1 ml of ink, and a heavier duty one, which triggers if the normal one doesn't work well enough, uses between 8.2 to 8.9 ml. I don't need to weigh anything to get these results, they are directly readable from nozzle check printout information. But here's the rub with my Epson 4800: these head cleanings are quite frequent - if I've left the machine off for several days, or printed say 10~ 15 square feet of coverage, the printer firmware launches a routine clean at start-up. This is not user-controllable or configurable. Epson printers also clog. I've been using this machine since November 2005, and fully 31% of my total ink consumption consists of cleanings and decloggings. I consider this frankly unacceptable and is one of the reasons I was so interested in trying Canon for a change. However, I think what I have is the lesser of the two evils all said and done - to date. It would appear from user experience that the IPF5000 most likely  wastes much less ink than I'm reporting here for my 4800. It would be good if there were some solid data to make these comparisons, because ink is not cheap.
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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
John Hollenberg
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« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2007, 12:44:01 PM »
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Mark,

OT reply:

Head Cleaning A is only done if printer has been off for a couple of weeks or there is a particularly nasty clog or perhaps at some intervals of unknown duration.  Suffice it to say that typical head cleanings (the daily ones the machine wakes from sleep to do) are thought to be much less.  

There is a thread on the Wiki currently regarding ink use.  The poster who did the weighing also tested how much ink was used by leaving the machine on for 2 weeks and came up with a figure of about one ink cartridge worth per month wasted in cleanings.  However, there seems to be wide variation here, with many (including myself) leaving the printer on all the time and seeing a much smaller apparent ink usage.  It is difficult to know much for certain, though, because the granularity of the ink reporting is quite coarse--10% increments on the LCD, 20% increments from the GARO status monitor.  

Some people leave their printers off and report much less ink use, but others are concerned this may not save that much ink (if any) and that nasty or fatal clogging may be much more likely.

Bottom line:  we don't know much about ink usage, except that if you go to the printer LCD or the GARO status monitor and tell the printer to perform "Head Cleaning A" it will use about 10 ml.  That is one more piece of information than we had before the poster did his testing.

My off the cuff guess is that both the Epson and the Canon waste significant amounts of ink, and one may be no better than the other.  The advantage with the Canon is you don't have to do a nozzle check or wonder if you have a clog today which you may or may not be able to clear in a reasonable period of time.  You just go and make a beautiful print.

--John
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2007, 01:51:22 PM »
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Mark,

OT reply:

Head Cleaning A is only done if printer has been off for a couple of weeks or there is a particularly nasty clog or perhaps at some intervals of unknown duration.  Suffice it to say that typical head cleanings (the daily ones the machine wakes from sleep to do) are thought to be much less. 

There is a thread on the Wiki currently regarding ink use.  The poster who did the weighing also tested how much ink was used by leaving the machine on for 2 weeks and came up with a figure of about one ink cartridge worth per month wasted in cleanings.  However, there seems to be wide variation here, with many (including myself) leaving the printer on all the time and seeing a much smaller apparent ink usage.  It is difficult to know much for certain, though, because the granularity of the ink reporting is quite coarse--10% increments on the LCD, 20% increments from the GARO status monitor. 

Some people leave their printers off and report much less ink use, but others are concerned this may not save that much ink (if any) and that nasty or fatal clogging may be much more likely.

Bottom line:  we don't know much about ink usage, except that if you go to the printer LCD or the GARO status monitor and tell the printer to perform "Head Cleaning A" it will use about 10 ml.  That is one more piece of information than we had before the poster did his testing.

My off the cuff guess is that both the Epson and the Canon waste significant amounts of ink, and one may be no better than the other.  The advantage with the Canon is you don't have to do a nozzle check or wonder if you have a clog today which you may or may not be able to clear in a reasonable period of time.  You just go and make a beautiful print.

--John
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Thanks John, very interesting. Far more transparency and granularity from Canon on ink consumption would be in the consumers' interest, I think.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2007, 12:39:59 AM »
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Let's boil this down:

On point 1 what are the plugin bugs/design issues noted in your previous post?  I couldn't find them.

On your point 2, I have been hearing from users that Canon has been replacing faulty ink cartridges.  I've spoken to a vendor who sells quite a few iPF printers and he has said there haven't been very many issues, but all have been taken care of.  Have you heard of any issues with printheads?  I've never heard of even one.  I've printed over 3000 sq/ft with no trace of a problem on my checks.  Printheads are working well.  After close to a year no issues from me or others.

Regarding point 3, Documentation is usually needed for about 1 week.  After that you just select a saved printer config for your media, apply application color management and click print.  The menus in the printer are very self explanatory.  You have created the wiki which is better documentation than you would get from any manufacturer.  Could Canon docs be improved?  For sure.  Has poor documentation caused anyone to not be able to use the printer?  No.  This isn't rocket science, and if you don't know how to do something call support.  They have helped me very well with all questions and answer the phone right away.

On point 4 you are stating a bug so shouldn't that have been included with your point 1?  I wouldn't say that not being able to update to firmware 1.25 should be equated with "Lack of proper Mac support."  Firmware 1.25 vs 1.23 is not going to make or break the printer for anyone who can't update.  It also seems like a temporary issue which I'm sure will be resolved.  This reminds me of the discussion that we were never going to get a Wilhelm ink figure.  A short while later we did and it was a fine and acceptable number.

I'm really surprised you even listed point 5.  I don't find it convoluted at all.  You select the paper on the printer menu and in the computer.  That takes an additional 5 seconds.  Does that make it convoluted, or just one extra step?  I think it's pretty well documented that there are more than enough media settings for all types of paper and canvas.  This is a non-issue.

Don't ever think that I don't fully appreciate your work.  You have unlocked many doors to this printer.  It just feels like you and others are overstating some of these problems.

Many people who print volume work would benifit greatly from the iPF line vs. HP or Epson but they are most likely seeing the negative buzz and shying away.  It's a buzz related to things that would not affect them.

That's my take on the listed issues.  If there are other issues such as what you made reference to in point 1 please inform...


Quote
1) The plugin bugs/design issues noted in my previous post
2) Lack of Warranty on ink cartridges and printheads - and still no information on expected printhead life. A marked difference from HP.
3) Adequate documentation - the product manager has told us that new iPF5000 printers will ship with improved documentation, but no word on getting this documentation to current owners [Note: I am talking about the 5000, not the upcoming 5100]. With Canon USA lack of timely posting of updates, who knows when, if ever, the documentation will be available to current owners.
4) Lack of proper Mac support - e.g., Mac owners still can't get firmware 1.25, unless they hook their printer up to a PC temporarily.
5) A convoluted system of informing the printer of the Media Type, paper size, etc. each time it is loaded, plus lockouts of some paper paths for some Media Types.

Most of these issues don't affect me personally, but then again I have spent many, many hours with this printer. There is no way I would recommend it to a couple of my friends who enjoy photography and can easily print with an Epson 2400 (or 3800). With their lack of technical savvy I doubt they would be able to figure out how to operate the printer--even with my guidance.

One other point: it is our (legitimate) complaints that have lead to a lot of the improvements coming down the line which you will benefit from with the new models. In a recent email the senior product manager for the printer division has finally stated that roll feed unit problems stemming from a design problem in one of the parts will be covered by Canon outside the one year warranty period. As I suspected, some of the improperly designed gears are failing after a period of many months, so it is likely that some will fail outside the warranty period. For example, there was a post on the Wiki about a month ago by Ellis Vener (frequent Wiki poster) that the pendulum gears failed on his roll feed unit after 8 months. Note that only the early units have this problem, but there is no way to tell when your unit was manufactured. As an owner of the iPF8000, you aren't affected by this, but I can assure you that many iPF5000 owners are affected.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2007, 08:59:48 AM »
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> On point 1 what are the plugin bugs/design issues noted in your previous post?  I couldn't find them.

--Prints not centered correctly when printed from the Cassette.  Only applies to larger sizes (e.g., "Super B").  Bug was reported at least 6 months ago.
--Relative colorimetric intent does not include Black Point Compensation.  This one still gets me, as I open the plugin, get ready to print, then remember that I have to convert to relative colorimetric with BPC in PS, then open the plugin and set the profile section to "None".  

> On your point 2, I have been hearing from users that Canon has been replacing faulty ink cartridges.  I've spoken to a vendor who sells quite a few iPF printers and he has said there haven't been very many issues, but all have been taken care of.

Some of us like to have a written guarantee.  I have never heard of Epson or HP refusing to replace a defective ink cartridge, but definitely have for Canon.  Canon wasn't replacing them early on, but is doing so now.  Without having this in writing they could change tomorrow when it suits them (e.g., they attain sufficient market share).  I don't trust the motives of a company that won't guarantee in writing that it will replace defective products, especially when this has been made an issue and probably affected their sales.  If they would rather lose sales than have a written warranty, they don't have a lot of confidence in their own product.

>  Have you heard of any issues with printheads?  

Too early to know if there is going to be a problem.  If they are known to be so reliable, it wouldn't cost Canon a dime to offer a written warranty the way HP does.  I suspect we will hear more about this issue in the future when printheads start failing, some probably with a relatively modest amount of use.  A set of HP heads costs just over $200, the two Canon heads $1200.

> Regarding point 3, Documentation is usually needed for about 1 week.  After that you just select a saved printer config for your media, apply application color management and click print.  The menus in the printer are very self explanatory.  

Disagree.  Lot of stuff hidden and not easy to figure out where it is.  We have had questions on the Wiki on this, for sure.  Took me quite a while to figure out where unidirectional printing could be selected.  Again, stuff that is "easy" for you and me is way out of the league of my non-computer literate friend--who can use the Epson without much problem.

> On point 4 you are stating a bug so shouldn't that have been included with your point 1?  I wouldn't say that not being able to update to firmware 1.25 should be equated with "Lack of proper Mac support."  

There are plenty of complaints from Mac folks about various issues on the Wiki.  Being completely ignorant about the Mac, I am not qualified to say more than there is a significant lack of parity between the platforms.

> I think it's pretty well documented that there are more than enough media settings for all types of paper and canvas.  

There are plenty of Media Types, but if you read my post and the Wiki you will see that the issue is lockout of Media Types.  Another issue which likely doesn't apply to the 8000, as it involves wanting to print from the Cassette when only roll is allowed for that specific Media Type, etc.

> Don't ever think that I don't fully appreciate your work.  You have unlocked many doors to this printer.  It just feels like you and others are overstating some of these problems.

I did not take your post as lack of appreciation, but thanks!  You haven't run into many of the problems that I have had with my iPF5000.   This makes me very leery about accepting Canon's word that "this part is reliable" without written warranties, etc.  As I have said a number of times, the problem is not with the printer itself.  The problem is with Canon's poor documentation, lack of warranty, lack of responsiveness to bug reports, etc.  Also, I doubt Canon would have released the Wilhelm data without the Wiki, article on LL, etc.

--John
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neil snape
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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2007, 09:33:51 AM »
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Just a note; on the HP the heads are around $50 selling price each bi-tone. so for the Z2100 4x50=$200 you're correct, for the 120 ink Z3100 that would make about 6x50=$300 with th advantage going to HP as only the print head ink question needs to be replaced. I don't know what Canon figures are per head but HP gave Michael some info on expected on through put each HP 70 head, which is about 2.5l each ( averaged max). Epson heads can tolerate more than this but contrary to the information their sales people are told have a finite life too <g>. Both Canon and HP have a lot of redundancy built in by remapping clogged nozzles. Only HP have an opto-electronic method of measuring for both reduced flow and firing direction. It is surprising to hear Epson trying to convince users of any true advanced control methods used to ensure clog free operation other than the truth of the better design in recent Piezo heads. Either they are choosing the same strategy as  notions on not  needing additional primaries, or they are trying to say that users don't have enough clogs to worry about positive flow control and nozzle remapping. In any cas we'll see what they have in the next models soon enough.
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2007, 09:45:52 AM »
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I don't know what Canon figures are per head but HP gave Michael some info on expected on through put each HP 70 head, which is about 2.5l each ( averaged max). Epson heads can tolerate more than this but contrary to the information their sales people are told have a finite life too <g>. Both Canon and HP have a lot of redundancy built in by remapping clogged nozzles. Only HP have an opto-electronic method of measuring for both reduced flow and firing direction.

Neil,

Is that 2500 ml per color?  How many ml are the heads warranted for?

--John
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