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Author Topic: Canon IPF8300 and 6300 Reliability Issues (2F44 + other issues)  (Read 14591 times)
shewhorn
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« on: October 03, 2011, 04:15:32 PM »
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Just curious if anyone else has had issues with heads needing to be replaced MUCH sooner than should be necessary, bad sensors, and/or motherboard failures?

My machine is going through extremely long cleaning cycles (it's wasted TONS of ink), and failing at the end of the cycle with error 2F44. When I restart the machine, it's absolutely fine. I've printed out nozzle checks and it's always passed until recently when the right head failed. I replaced that hoping it would solve the problem but it's still there. In addition to the $450 I've spent on the head (which shouldn't have failed this early, the machine is VERY well cared for and I'm almost through the first set of ink carts so it's not like it's had heavy use), and the many 15 minute long deep cleaning cycles it's run by itself (wasting tons of ink), Canon is telling me that I might need to spend an additional $1450 plus labor. I think it's beyond unreasonable for a machine to have this many failures just 5 months out of warranty. I'm wondering what other people's experience has been?

Cheers, Joe
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K P
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2011, 04:55:22 PM »
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My experience is with the 6100, so perhaps it doesn't directly apply, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.

I just replaced my L printhead after only about 400 sqft of printing.  It was a good 8 months out of warranty so Canon didn't do anything, but luckily a new printhead fixed it.  I think I had the same error code as you so I'm surpripsed your new printhead didn't solve the issue.  Could it be saying this for the other printhead maybe?  I'm thinking that a new printhead would solve all your issues, but only for the oen side.  So if the machine is still doing lots of cleanings, it might be because of the other unreplaced printhead.  The other thing I"m thinking is that a new printhead should now have a certain amount of warranty attached to it.  So if the same printhead is giving you trouble, I would hope that Canon would help you out.

When I look at the prices of these printers, espeically when they come with rebates or even a free set of inks, spending $1500 to fix one is just not smart.  You can get a brand new one for $2300 I think, and it will come with the full set of 330ml inks which is at least $1500 in value or there abouts??

Anyway... hope your problems get fixed soon.
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shewhorn
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2011, 05:17:22 PM »
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Thanks Kiran,

I also have a 6100 and it ran reliably from 2007 until the end of 2009 when I had to replace both heads. The machine didn't get much use after that and then when slightly out of warranty, both heads failed which makes me wonder if Canon has a quality control issue that is part of the corporate culture there (I'm not basing this on just my experience with two printers, but also having had $20k worth of Canon DSLR equipment which was EXTREMELY unreliable). With regards to the 8300, it could be the other head but if it is, those issues aren't showing up on a nozzle check, it passes with flying colors (no pun intended... although if I could throw an 8300 out my window there may very well be flying colors :-) this is frustrating ).

Cheers, Joe
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shewhorn
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 06:08:29 PM »
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So.. they charge a $1400 flat rate fee. If all that is wrong with the machine is a $50 sensor, I pay $1400. If it's a $450 head, I pay $1400. If it's a $1000 motherboard... $1400. If it was the motherboard, head, and sensor, then I'd make out quite well.
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k_p98
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 08:37:05 PM »
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Gosh.. this is a tough one.  Since you're not exactly sure why the constant cleanings happen, I think it makes logical sense that it is the other printhead.  Many people report that they fail within weeks or months of eachother.  Also, I've read that a perfect nozzle check gives you no indication of trouble because the bad nozzles are automatically mapped to other good working nozzles.  Its only when there aren't enough spares to use that you notice trouble, but really, at this point, there isn't much that can be done.  Its like a printer only being able to report that the ink cart is full or empty but nothing in between.  Given my experience with the increased cleanings and then a print head failure and similar error messages, I would get that buying another printhead for the other side and putting it in would fix your problems.  You are certainly at the right time to have a failed printhead since you are 6 months out of warranty, and since you just replaced the first one, I'd say all directions point to needing a new printhead.  It is a $420 gamble... but much better than a $1400 gamble.  For that price, you are better off with just a new printer and a whole new set of ink carts.  Plus, you can use up all the ink in the carts that you still have.
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a.lorge
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2011, 08:45:29 PM »
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My recent experience with the canon ipf6300 has been very similar.  The printer worked great for a while, then lots of cleaning cycles and then the hardware error.  I bought the printer in July 2010 (they got me with the pricing and some free ink).  Seems like most of that ink ended up in the maintenance tank.  From now on I'm sticking with the devil I know (HP Z-series).
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MHMG
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 08:58:01 PM »
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My iPF5000 had a print head failure just outside of warranty and the roll feed unit also went bad just outside of warranty period, but Canon diagnosed both issues over the phone, and fixed the problems (i.e., replaced the bad components) no charge. I next purchased and iPf 8100, based on loyalty to Canon for having stood behind the iPF5000. The iPF 8100 had a premature head failure, also just outside the normal warranty period. Canon also fixed at no cost to me. Flash forward... I recently bought an iPF 8300, and 5 months later, the ethernet connection went bad. The motherboard needed replacing. Canon once again stepped right up, sent out a repair technician within a week, and resolved the issue. If truth be told, the latest incident on my iPF8300 printer may have been an act of mother nature. Although it was being run with a surge protector in place, lighting struck my house, and I  lost three separate systems including a severe hit to the modern heating system which has two microprocessors that control the dual boiler system in my historic home. The heating system suffered  over $1000 worth of microprocessor controllers being toasted by this single lightning event.  I don't know whether the lighting surge damaged the iPF8300 or whether it was simply a random and coincidental premature failure, but Canon fixed it under warranty no questions asked. The boilers in my basement were relatively new, but that repair bill was entirely on me.  All in all, I take note of two things: 1), I've had more than my fair share of relatively early failures on Canon pro printers, but, 2) Canon is doing a great job compensating for this premature wear and tear on their pro printers as far as my experience goes.

All that said, my Canon iPF printers normally run day to day with few frustrations.  I don't lose prints to banding or clogs.  The printers take care of themselves in terms of day-to-day maintenance, and my daily productivity with my Canon printers is very high. I'm very satisfied all things considered.

cheers,
Mark
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 09:00:24 PM by MHMG » Logged
deanwork
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 11:30:28 PM »
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Yes absolutely lightening will fry a main board on a printer and a Mac. I have a dead G5 to prove that.  I bet lightening damages a lot more main boards than we know.

I always unplug my printers, scanners, and computers when I'm away for longer than a day. I know you have to do one head cleaning on the canon and hp but it is well worth not letting your main board get fried.

I"ve spoken to many hardware store guys that told me the same thing, that surge protectors protect against small power surges but to not protect against lightening. I don't trust the surge protectors but I buy them anyway. You do also need to replace them because a few lightening strikes and their blown too. If you have a storm unplug.

john
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shewhorn
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 08:36:00 AM »
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Yes absolutely lightening will fry a main board on a printer and a Mac. I have a dead G5 to prove that.  I bet lightening damages a lot more main boards than we know.

In a previous life I used to work in the software industry, more specifically I worked for Lexicon which is a company that makes digital effects processors (for the music industry). If you wandered down into the repair department they always had a collection of PCBs that had been fried by lightning. You could often tell which path it took by following the fried chips which would have little pock marks in the center.

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I always unplug my printers, scanners, and computers when I'm away for longer than a day. I know you have to do one head cleaning on the canon and hp but it is well worth not letting your main board get fried.

That's the only way to guarantee you won't suffer damage.

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I"ve spoken to many hardware store guys that told me the same thing, that surge protectors protect against small power surges but to not protect against lightening.

The slew rate (which for the non-technical folks is the amount of time it takes for a signal to go from 0 to full output) for lightning is so fast that surge protectors can't respond fast enough. By the time a surge protector trips, the damage has already been done. The proper piece of equipment is called a lightning arrestor and that gets installed on your mains line before the fuse box. That will keep you safe in most cases but even then, it's not a 100% guarantee (it certainly won't help you if the path the lightning takes is through your cable modem to your router). Unplugging is the best guarantee... not only the AC but also Ethernet as well since that's a popular path for lightning to take (through your modem, then through ethernet).

Cheers, Joe
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shewhorn
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 08:59:28 AM »
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My recent experience with the canon ipf6300 has been very similar.  The printer worked great for a while, then lots of cleaning cycles and then the hardware error.  I bought the printer in July 2010 (they got me with the pricing and some free ink).  Seems like most of that ink ended up in the maintenance tank.  From now on I'm sticking with the devil I know (HP Z-series).

Oy... I replaced the maintenance cart last week and 20% of it has already been used. I've ordered a 2nd head, hopefully that fixes it but if not, I'll be looking at an Epson 9900. I know they aren't perfect in terms of reliability but my dealer is of the opinion that they've been more reliable than the x300 series. The spindle free transport is also quite attractive as well.
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Darrel
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 02:53:25 PM »
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It would appear that these reliability issues may be due to lack of use, can anyone confirm the time period and sq/ft usage during the failure period?  These machines need to be used and abused if I am not mistaken.  I think a low use Epson would be in the same boat unfortunately.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2011, 05:15:32 PM »
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It would appear that these reliability issues may be due to lack of use, can anyone confirm the time period and sq/ft usage during the failure period?  These machines need to be used and abused if I am not mistaken.  I think a low use Epson would be in the same boat unfortunately.
Clogging is unavoidable in pigment printers.  I don't think there is anyway to predict, as results will be inconsistent based on many variables (usage, humidity, luck).  Personally I think the economics of cleaning the heads occasionally with an Epson in a low use situation might be better than the cost of new heads of a Canon, especially 3880's which rarely clog even when sitting for a few weeks.  My 11880 is very low usage and in 4 years has only required one maintenance cartridge which indicates it hasn't use hundreds of dollars of ink to keep clear.

So tough call.  The only constant would be low usage pigment printers will cost more to keep running (wasted ink/new heads).
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shewhorn
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 11:16:10 PM »
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It would appear that these reliability issues may be due to lack of use, can anyone confirm the time period and sq/ft usage during the failure period?  These machines need to be used and abused if I am not mistaken.  I think a low use Epson would be in the same boat unfortunately.

To date I've printed 1536 square feet according to the status check. I wouldn't say that counts as abused or even heavy use but it's certainly enough use that ink flows through the heads frequently. That said, it's not the heads. The nozzle check test prints were all coming out fine so I didn't think it was a head issue. After the last call with tech support before starting this thread I ran one final test print and it did indicate that the right head wasn't firing everything on one of the black channels (half of the pattern printed correctly, the other half printed with a lighter density). At that point I entertained the though that maybe there was a head problem and that that would account for the continuous cleaning. I ordered a head and replaced the right head. Test print fine... problem... still there. Okay, maybe the left head had a problem too... I ordered another head.

I've now spent $900 in heads. Unfortunately the problem is still here.

The problem started in August but very infrequently. Towards the end of September it got bad enough that I started calling tech support. Because of the deep cleanings it was running, I was a bit concerned about ink consumption so I ran some numbers.

The accounting log reports that 1348 ml of ink was used. That's about 0.88ml per square foot on average and that sounds about right. Now consider that 330 ml per cart * 12 carts = 3960 ml. That begs the question... Where the heck did 2612 ml of ink go? To put that in perspective for the US folks, that's 88.5 ounces, or a little more than 7 soda cans of ink that's just missing.  Angry Angry Angry It's actually MORE than that that's missing because in that figure I'm including prints I've done within the last month and those prints done with new 700ml carts (I replaced all but one (Photo Cyan) of the 330ml carts and that one has been at "prepare to replace the ink" for a while now so it's ready to be replaced as well). Anyhow, where the heck did 2612 ml of ink go? I've mentioned I leave the machine on 24/7 so it can wake up and do a periodic maintenance cleaning to prevent the heads from clogging. From the Canon IPF Wiki, it's estimated that the x100 series uses 0.35 ml of ink per day for cleaning. Uptime on my printer is 558 days as of today. Using the x100 estimate that would account for 195.3 ml of ink used for cleaning. I'm still missing 2416.7 ml of ink. Even if we're generous and say it uses 1 ml of ink per day that's still 1858.7 ml of ink that is unaccounted for. Based on the days since installation and the amount of ink that is unaccounted for that would be 3.33ml of ink per day that the machine is wasting? I know a head change uses a bit of ink but COME ON... there isn't 7 soda cans worth of ink in the tubes. Here's another way to look at it. I'm missing $1100.77 USD worth of ink.

$900 in heads, $1100 in missing ink... Irritating. VERY Irritating. Just how much ink do those deep cleaning cycles use? It happened maybe 2 times in August and then 4 times in a row in September/early October. Based on the amount of ink missing that would be well over 100 ml of ink per cleaning. That seems pretty crazy so now I'm also wondering if this machine's auto cleanings are using A LOT more ink than the x100 series? Is it just my machine? I couldn't find any info regarding how much ink the x300 uses per day for cleaning.

Cheers, Joe


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shewhorn
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 11:23:14 PM »
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Clogging is unavoidable in pigment printers.  I don't think there is anyway to predict, as results will be inconsistent based on many variables (usage, humidity, luck).  Personally I think the economics of cleaning the heads occasionally with an Epson in a low use situation might be better than the cost of new heads of a Canon, especially 3880's which rarely clog even when sitting for a few weeks.  My 11880 is very low usage and in 4 years has only required one maintenance cartridge which indicates it hasn't use hundreds of dollars of ink to keep clear.

So tough call.  The only constant would be low usage pigment printers will cost more to keep running (wasted ink/new heads).

In my case the printer is in its own room (which has wood floors so not a lot of dust either). There is a humidifier in the room with the humidistat set to the recommended humidity of 40% (also helps keep ESD down in the dry New England winters). The printer is left on 24/7 so it can run the auto cleanings. The only exception is lighting storms and when I have to leave for an extended period to shoot. In those cases the machine is completely unplugged (no AC, no usb, no Ethernet, it's electrically isolated). I have a drafter's brush I use to brush the dust out and the machine is regularly cleaned. As far as printers go, it has a REALLY good life! :-) Unfortunately for me this care hasn't made a lick of difference. At least I know with 100% confidence that the reason it's failing is not due to lack of care.

Cheers, Joe
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deanwork
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 10:02:55 AM »
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Sounds like you got a lemon. Most of us out here are simply turning it on doing the work and sleeping well at night without so much as a thought of doing a head cleaning or maintenance routine, ever. There are lemons out there in all brands. I've heard of a lot of Epson lemons that simply had to be returned because they never ever worked right, and I've also heard the same with the HP Z series, though much more rare in that case.

These days if a printer is not in warranty you are taking a big risk, if it is in warranty I would hound them till the end of the earth. It might also help to send them these postings continually that you have made on line and suggest there is more coming in a public manner if they don't take action. That helped me with the Hp flawed media situation a couple of years ago.

john


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shewhorn
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2011, 02:02:06 PM »
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I do realize that there is the occasional lemon out there but my experience with Canon is that that's the rule and not the exception. Let me explain...

Bought a used Canon D30 (yes, D30, their first consumer DSLR). That actually worked well.

10D - Sesnor developed an unreasonable number of dead pixels (we're talking ISO 100). Sensor replaced

20D - First one was DOA, the second one had buffer lock issues.1

1DMkII - It went to CPS for repair 4 times. For the 1st 6 months it had a SERIOUS bug, where every 2000 to 3000 shots it would stop writing to the CF card. Now if I had warning that this was happening it wouldn't have been as bad but what happened was that it continued to release the shutter after the failure had occurred and was showing the previews on the LCD making you think that it was still recording the images. So it was writing the data to the buffer (which is why you could see the preview) but it wasn't transferring data in the buffer to the CF card. Of course this always happened a critical time like the processional when the bride is walking down the aisle. Canon looked at but claimed they'd never seen that before. I know I wasn't alone because I found several other professionals who'd experienced the same thing. They'd just assumed it was user error on their part when it was not. The bug was mysteriously fixed 6 months later with no mention of it in the release notes.

5D - Was producing errors all the time. The design of the grounding and shielding design was faulty and never fixed. If you took numerous shots in a row and focused in between shots (it was even worse in continuous AF) it would cause banding. The higher you went in ISO, the worse it got but I'd had the problem show up once in a while even at lower (800 and below) ISOs. Canon claimed it only happened with older lenses that had an older servo mechanism however I experienced this issues with every lens I had. The poor shielding of this unit meant that you also couldn't mount certain Quantum batteries underneath it. I had another issues with that camera as well, can't remember what it was but it also caused me down time and forced me to rent (I always have 3 bodies with me when I shoot). Canon replaced the sensor on this camera. It was a little better but the problem was still there.

1DMkIII - Oy. Even after multiple ECOs and firmware updates, the camera could never focus on a couple walking WALKING towards me in overcast light.

70-200 2.8L IS - Image stabilizer failed and had to be replaced 4 times. By 2007 I was on my 5th IS replacement. This lens was notorious for that sparking threads that were epic in length on multiple forums. They seemed to have addressed the issue in 2007 as it was reliable after that.

24-70 2.8L - Had to return 1st copy due to some pretty egregious chromatic abberations. The replacement was decent in terms of IQ. Never had any backfocusing issues with it. It was a really good copy, my best Canon lens. Slightly after the warranty expired the zoom ring started binding (Canon to their credit did fix it for free).

100-400 f/something to something L IS- Barely EVER touched this lens (as in I think I used it twice). I had the need to use it for another gig to find out it had gone completely limp (errr... soft).

16-35 2.8L MkII - Soft on one side. I had to send it back THREE times in a row before they actually fixed it.

50mm 1.4 - The first copy I got had TERRIBLE chromatic abberations and it was extremely soft. Even at f/5.6 this lens was soft. 2nd time around I got a good copy.

85mm 1.8 - worked fine

Flash systems (550 EXes and 580EX) - SO incredibly unreliable. In ETTL they'd sometimes dump at full power, or they'd fire but would be out of sync with the shutter (and we're talking shutter speeds of 1/30th of a second here so that's a pretty big error). Sometimes it would fire off the pre-flash but never fire the flash. Canon eventually replaced a few things in 'em and they seemed to be good after that.

In the period of 1 month in 2008 I think I had to send in 5 pieces of gear. One of them (the 16-35 MkII) had to be sent in 3 times before they fixed. I think there was another piece of gear that I had to send back a second time as well. At that point I just couldn't take it anymore. I decided to switch to Nikon so I decided to go in to my local dealer to check out the Nikon stuff to see what I'd want to get. I was SO amazed at how much better it was, the optics, the body handling, the build quality of everything that I ended up walking out of the store with a D700 and a 14-24. Within a month I had a 2nd D700, D90 for backup, 70-200 2.8 VR, 24-70 2.8, 105 2.8 VR, 3 SB900's and 1 SB800. I really desperately needed that switch for my mental health. I didn't realize how stressed I was because my confidence in my gear was so low. Nikon isn't perfect by any means but the gear has been MUCH more reliable and the image quality of their lenses are just in a different category altogether. I've shot with the Nikon suff for 3 seasons now. The 14-24 had to go in once (zoom ring locked), the 70-200 went in once (it would stop focussing, you'd have to press the focus button 3 to 5 times to get the lens focused), and the D700's both had the hotshoe issue (that's the only thing I have a gripe with, that's clearly a design flaw there as so many people have this issue). So that's 3 seasons of repairs with Nikon which is less than the number of items I'd have to send in over 1 month with Canon. Also unlike Canon, Nikon actually has confidence in their products as they warranty their lenses for 5 years.

When I bought the printers, I thought I'd give Canon the benefit of the doubt. Also having been an engineer I know that different design teams are different design teams so while one design team might suck, another might be fantastic. I bought an IPF61000.  After the heads were replaced the 6100 became a backup machine. I used it maybe 5 times in the course of a year. It was left on 24/7 though so it could do the maintenance cleanings to prevent clogs. Slightly out of warranty both heads failed.

In my opinion Canon has some fundamental issues with their priorities regarding quality control vs. shipping something out the door to get revenue even though it's not really "done". If you eliminate the failures that were unique to me and leave the issues that other people had as well, it paints a picture of a company that just doesn't place a high priority on quality assurance (I'm not talking about manufacturing quality control, I'm talking about QA and SQA during the alpha and beta phases of development). Everything fails eventually but with all the companies and equipment I've had over the years, none of it has been as unreliable as the Canon products I own and have owned. Would Epson be any better? I won't be able to tell until I get one. There's certainly a steady stream of head clogging issues with the Epsons but as Wayne said, leaving an Epson on 24/7 and losing a bit of $$$ to self cleanings (which is what I do anyway with my Canon printers) may end up being more cost effective over the long haul.

Cheers, Joe
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2011, 03:00:39 PM »
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These days if a printer is not in warranty you are taking a big risk

Are you going to purchase an extended warranty for your Canon, John?

Terry.
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shewhorn
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2011, 03:13:01 PM »
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Are you going to purchase an extended warranty for your Canon, John?

Terry.

I kind of wonder if it's worth it since Canon's extended warranties if I'm not mistaken, are not covered. At $1250 for an extended warranty that may or may not be used and $1400 for a service call I'd have a tough time justifying that additional $150 bucks of savings for a contract that may never be used. Of course if it requires two service calls in the course of that extended warranty it would be well worth it.

Cheers, Joe
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 03:27:48 PM by shewhorn » Logged
Light Seeker
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2011, 03:20:03 PM »
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I didn't realize that extended warranty's were that expensive.

Thanks Joe.

Terry.
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deanwork
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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2011, 10:32:31 PM »
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Yes I will buy the extended warranty. Unfortunately it is 1/3 more than the HP extended warranty so I'm not at all happy about that and I think it is nasty for them to charge so much but what are you gonna do? I wouldn't even dream of owning an Epson these days without coverage, that would be scary, so I've got to deal with three different extended warranties. I'm not going to work on printers anymore. I've just had it with that.

As to the quality control of Canon as a whole. All I can say is just about every one I know has a 5D Mark 2 and no one ever complains about anything around here. They are the biggest bang for the buck that I"ve ever seen. The 8300 is a similar situation in my opinion.

john
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