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Author Topic: canon 8400 paper path question...  (Read 1549 times)
mg73
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« on: February 07, 2013, 10:03:00 AM »
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So can someone with a canon 8400 please chime in on this question.  I'm debating between getting and epson 9890 or the canon 8400.  I've had an epson 7600 for years which I love.  I also have an epson 4880 which I love the output but which always gets nozzle clogs which require lots of time and ink to clear.  I'm upgrading to a 44" printer and would go for the 9890 except for the nozzle clog issue.  I don't use the printer every day and sometime it sits for weeks with no use as I do this as a hobby and not a business.  So I'm thinking of the 8400 as the reports seem to indicate it's much less prone to clogging and I love the idea of the user being able to replace the heads if things do go wrong for about $450 versus much, much more to change the epson printheads.  Internet reports seem to indicate print quality for the 8400 are pretty close to the 9890/7900 with a slight edge to the epsons.

Anyone want to chime in on whether they agree with my thinking here?

Also, specifically on the paper path.  I know the 8400 has a curved path for rolled paper, vs the epson's straight path.  I'm fine with that.  However, if you load cut sheets for the 8400 from the front, is the paper path then straight, or does the cut sheet still get curved or bent when it's pulled into the printer?



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Jeff Magidson
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 01:46:35 PM »
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 However, if you load cut sheets for the 8400 from the front, is the paper path then straight, or does the cut sheet still get curved or bent when it's pulled into the printer?

Yes, the sheets get curved. As a long time Epson used I went through the same thought process as you and bought a 8300. I'm happy with the printer but there are numerous reports of problems with these printers too, especially with low volume users. In my opinion, you really need to consider the $1,250 / year cost of a Canon service contract (after the first free year) in to the total cost of ownership on these big machines.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 01:49:09 PM by Jeff Magidson » Logged

bill t.
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 02:54:13 PM »
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The 8300 is not a good sheet machine.  Large sheets are forced into an almost 180 degree curve over about 18" of length, and for whatever reason my 8300 can't print about 2" of 8.5 x 11" sheets.  And I don't care, I don't see the sense of using sheets when rolls are available at better pricing and are easier to use.  My $0 decurler does a perfect job in almost no time at all.

I now have more square meters run through my 8300 than all my previous Epsons combined.  I am a relatively high volume user and I have to say the 8300 has given me so few problems relative to my old Epsons that it is by comparison problem-free.  It's hard to convey the ecsctatic joy I felt at the loss of those almost daily S&M sessions spent kneeling before Mistresses 9880, paper towels and potions in hand, begging her to please unclog her little nozzles.  The 8300 is just a good natured ol' gal who'll put up with almost anything.

I have replaced a few heads, all sent to me at no charge overnight.  I have spent $0 on maintenance, other than the very small amount of ink and 30 minutes of time used during head changes.  I have performed no other maintenance beyond cleaning the suction ports and very occasionally replacing the maintenance tank. The only time I even bother to print head checks is before and after printing profile targets, and I have never been disappointed with what I saw.  All this from a printer that is close enough to my canvas spraying area that I have to wipe overspray dust off its horizontal surfaces once in a while.  This may or may not be a typical experience, and perhaps I'm lucky.  After all, for any printer we mostly only hear from those who are suffering, so take that into consideration, too.

My attitude towards warranties is this: if something goes wrong that I can't fix myself, I'll just hit the Reset Button and buy a new damned printer and breathe easy for another 2 years, at least.  Right now the money I would have spent on warranties is in the bank and will go a long way towards a new 9400 when I move my shop this summer.

But maybe very low volume use indicates that a printing service would be a better choice for you. If there's a good, pro quality printer in your area it might be worthwhile spread-sheeting the options.  Big printers of every type are first and foremost production machines, with the 3880 being the jumping off point.
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K P
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 06:11:05 PM »
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But maybe very low volume use indicates that a printing service would be a better choice for you. If there's a good, pro quality printer in your area it might be worthwhile spread-sheeting the options.  Big printers of every type are first and foremost production machines, with the 3880 being the jumping off point.

My experience is having had an Epson 4000 and 4800, both of which clogged all the time.  I would never buy an Epson again when you consider the amazing value Canons are.  My Canon 6100 did have problem from non use of several months.  I ended up having to spend $500 on a new print heat, but at least I was up and running again.

So yes, these things do have to be used.  But honestly, is it that much trouble to print an 8x10 once a week, or just a nozzle check every few days?  I notice that if I print a nozzle check less than 3 days apart, when I go to do a print it doesn't have to go through a cleaning cycle.  But if I wait 3 days or more, then sure even, it checks the nozzles and then initiated a cleaning.  I wish I knew how much ink it was using.  The Epson would at least tell me it wasted 10ml just for a simple clean cycle.  My god.. can you imagine that much ink? Its more than 5 8x10 prints worth of ink down the drain.  Assuming the Canon is similar, I am better off to do the nozzle check which wastes barely nothing.

So I would say that you don't need a service contract, but like owning a pet, you gonna attend to it every now and then.  So every 2 days, just print up a nozzle check, waste a sheet of paper, but you're good to go.
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Clearair
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 07:46:26 AM »
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Nozzel print every 2-4 days, and a quick kiss.
iPF6100, one print head, 4 years of age & infrequent use.
Works 4 me.
The farming out of your printing requirements is an option but depends so much on whats available locally.
Lets not talk about delivery.
Rural Dorset and a UK infrastructure makes this my only option.

Regards

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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 10:56:12 AM »
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The 8400 handles sheets just fine, but it can't take rigid media. The fact that large sheets follow a curved path after insertion has no effect on papers in weights up to at least 350 gsm (the heaviest I've used.) On all sheet paper, there is a .2" strip of unprintable area on the leading edge and both sides, and a .9" strip on the trailing edge, so the unprintable area of an 8.5x11 sheet is 1.1" along the length, not 2".

Image quality comparisons with Epsons will leave most people hard pressed to see any differences or even tell which printer produced which print, they're that close. Canon inks are also less prone to scratching (NOT perfect, however!)

I use my printers commercially and Canon has never charged for a head replacement. What little service I've needed has been excellent. Telephone tech support reminds me of the old ads for Maytag washing machines...some guy so bored from lack of calls he gets all excited when someone does need support.

When I recently purchased the 8400, adding up all the special pricing, rebates, value of ink included, price I got for my old 8300, taxes, etc., I came out $200 to the good. And got a 3 year interest free lease rom Canon with dollar buyout.

The print plug-in is dead simple to use and a joy over printing through the driver.

So I guess you can put me in the Canon camp...
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 11:48:49 AM »
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The 8400 handles sheets just fine, but it can't take rigid media. The fact that large sheets follow a curved path after insertion has no effect on papers in weights up to at least 350 gsm (the heaviest I've used.) On all sheet paper, there is a .2" strip of unprintable area on the leading edge and both sides, and a .9" strip on the trailing edge, so the unprintable area of an 8.5x11 sheet is 1.1" along the length, not 2".

Image quality comparisons with Epsons will leave most people hard pressed to see any differences or even tell which printer produced which print, they're that close. Canon inks are also less prone to scratching (NOT perfect, however!)

I use my printers commercially and Canon has never charged for a head replacement. What little service I've needed has been excellent. Telephone tech support reminds me of the old ads for Maytag washing machines...some guy so bored from lack of calls he gets all excited when someone does need support.

When I recently purchased the 8400, adding up all the special pricing, rebates, value of ink included, price I got for my old 8300, taxes, etc., I came out $200 to the good. And got a 3 year interest free lease rom Canon with dollar buyout.

The print plug-in is dead simple to use and a joy over printing through the driver.

So I guess you can put me in the Canon camp...


I'll be going for the ipf6400 soon, I'm just waiting for another price break.  I was going to order it a couple of weeks ago but the price at B&H had gone up the day before.  Sad

Sal
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mg73
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 03:38:47 PM »
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Rob,
When you say "canon has never charged for a head replaceent," may I ask for clarification please.

1.  Do you mean that the print head failed and they sent you a replacement free of charge?

2.  Do you have a Canon service plan or did they do this after the original warranty/service plan expired?

Thanks,
Mark
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nykr95
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 12:52:58 PM »
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When you hear replace print heads - remember there are two and each costs $500.  Many times you end up replacing both within a few weeks of each other.  My experience is if they are out of warranty(1 year) - Canon will not cover it.  If you buy a ton of ink - maybe they make an accommodation.  If you use the printer infrequently the print heads will clog.  Cleaning uses a lot of ink.  Replacing a print head - uses a ton of ink.  So when it is working it is great and uses less ink than other printers.  If you don't have clogs it is ok.  Canon ink is also more expensive.  If you don't get the $1250/yr service contract (ipf8300) - which does not include consumable - such as the print head - you pay a flat $1500 (ipf8300) for service from Canon - includes all parts and labor - not consumables unless still warrantied.   Also you have to be careful that they use their ink when repairing or it can cost you another $1000 in ink. So it really depends on the luck of the draw and making sure you don't leave it idle for a long time.
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bill t.
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 01:53:17 PM »
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My impression is that a head change uses only a tiny amount of ink.  Have never seen the ink levels or the maintenance tank indicator change after a head swap.  Have seen a few mentions of high ink loss from head swaps, and find that puzzling.  I wonder if running the a head swap from the computer uses a different algorithm than changing it through the control panel, which is how I have done it.  Of course the initial charging of a new machine uses about 1/2 of the full size cartridges, maybe that's the confusion.

I used to think the "free head" decision was based on something like 1 year or 1 trillion dots.  Now I'm not so sure.  In my experience the phone support tech has usually asked for serial numbers, error codes, and a few other obscure details from a lengthy status printout.  So apparently there's some algorithm that weighs several factors.  Then he says I'll have a new head tomorrow.  But in one case of cross contamination between color channels, he immediately agreed to send a free head, no further questions asked, not even the serial number.  Of course the old head has to be returned, or else.  Most of my head swaps were well after the printer itself was out of warranty.  Apparently the heads carry a warranty that is separate from the printer as a whole.  But at any rate the warranty algorithm seems to treat high use folks more kindly than low use folks, just like the real world.
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abiggs
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 02:04:11 PM »
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The 9890 is a much better printer if you are using cut sheets very often. As an owner of both, I would get a 9890/9900 if cut sheets are something you do often. Yes, the 8300 has the benefit of replacing the printheads yourself, however piezo heads last much longer. If you print heavy cut sheets, like 330gsm or higher, the 9890 is the only choice. I print 36x48" Entrada 300gsm on my 8300 just fine, but I think anything thicker/heavier might make me think twice about it.
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nykr95
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 03:12:40 PM »
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PF-05 head warranty is 1 year or 1 trillion dots whichever comes first.  So usually the 1 year comes first.  When they ask you to read the info they can tell if you are using canon inks or refill and how much of each.  Definitely think that has something to do with warranty policy and also the error code your getting. 
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 05:00:14 AM »
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When you hear replace print heads - remember there are two and each costs $500.  Many times you end up replacing both within a few weeks of each other.  My experience is if they are out of warranty(1 year) - Canon will not cover it.  If you buy a ton of ink - maybe they make an accommodation.  If you use the printer infrequently the print heads will clog.  Cleaning uses a lot of ink.  Replacing a print head - uses a ton of ink.  So when it is working it is great and uses less ink than other printers.  If you don't have clogs it is ok.  Canon ink is also more expensive.  If you don't get the $1250/yr service contract (ipf8300) - which does not include consumable - such as the print head - you pay a flat $1500 (ipf8300) for service from Canon - includes all parts and labor - not consumables unless still warrantied.   Also you have to be careful that they use their ink when repairing or it can cost you another $1000 in ink. So it really depends on the luck of the draw and making sure you don't leave it idle for a long time.

FYI...Canon PF-05 print heads are now $419 (w/free shipping) at B&H.

Sal
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2013, 01:03:13 PM »
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Mark-

I'm not sure if my private reply got through to you, but Canon has replaced heads free of charge whether or not the printer was under warranty. Now, there may be a separate warranty on heads related to how much ink has gone through them and I don't know if that is also conditional on a one year time period. I don't believe any of my heads had gone through the full 4000ml of ink I believe the warranty is for. I've never purchased the extended warranty and have never had any other problems that would necessitate a service call. I always bought extended warranties for my Epsons (9600 and 9800) and always used them.

Quote
When you say "canon has never charged for a head replaceent," may I ask for clarification please.

1.  Do you mean that the print head failed and they sent you a replacement free of charge?

2.  Do you have a Canon service plan or did they do this after the original warranty/service plan expired?

Thanks,
Mark
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Charles Wood
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2013, 08:43:40 PM »
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My experience with an IPF8000 and now an 8300 has been excellent. Print heads were replaced at no charge when one failed on the 8000. Canon sent two at N/C. Likewise, one failed after about a year and a half on the 8300 and it was replaced overnight at no charge. I concur with the poster who described the Canon support for these printers as like Maytag repairmen. They seem anxious to help, know their stuff and you can understand them...you don't have to deal with a call center half way around the world talking to you over a sub-Skype quality internet phone connection.
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sfblue
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2013, 09:07:46 PM »
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I had the exact same question and started a thread in December with the same question.  I had an Epson 7900 and have always been an Epson person prior to that and then purchased a Canon ipf8400 in late December.

-If you want to print posterboard, metal, or any rigid media, the Canon is a non-starter obviously.

-Cut sheet paper loading:  I was worried about this as I often do a quick letter-sized proof before printing larger.  In theory, the Epson is easier-- but I had some problems with letter-sized paper with any kind of curl at all getting bent as the paper goes back and forth while loading on my 7900.  (With larger paper, this was not a problem).  I would also have some larger sheets on the Epson be ever so slightly mis-aligned where I would have to take a paper cutter and carefully shave a small triangle down the side to align to the edge of the paper. (very small mis-alignments).
 
I did not expect this to be the case, but I've had zero problems loading cut sheet into the Canon-- this means I've had zero problems with scratching the surface, misfeeding or needing to re-align, or anything else when it comes to printing.  This includes letter-sized up to larger sheets as well.  For some reason, I had a minor software issue early where the Canon driver wouldn't let me print letter-sized without going to print preview first.  I have no idea why, but this has gone away.  I've read other people who say that the 8400 is finicky to load cut sheets, but I am literally 100% in loading sheets with perfect alignment and no problems. 

-The Epson spindleless design is superior and faster.  The quick 2 inch or 3 inch core conversion on the Epson-- while it might seem minor-- is really nice and very clever.

For me, the paper loading and curved paper path are non-issues unless you want to print rigid media. 

In general, much less waiting, cleaning, ink wasting. . .


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mg73
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2013, 07:33:01 AM »
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Thanks for the info, guys.  Very helpfull.  Rob, I did get your message, thanks,

I started a new thread about 8400 vs 9890 ink usage.  Would appreciate your input.
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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 11:53:41 AM »
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Compared to my 9800, my feeling is the Canon uses less ink, but I haven't done any exact comparisons. Ink costs are dwarfed by paper costs, so I don't pay much attention to it. I do feel that the ink lost to cleaning jet clogs on the Epson over the course of a year was as much as what I would have spent buying replacement heads for the Canon, if Canon charged me for those heads.

Thanks for the info, guys.  Very helpfull.  Rob, I did get your message, thanks,

I started a new thread about 8400 vs 9890 ink usage.  Would appreciate your input.
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jerome_m
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 12:34:58 AM »
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My $0 decurler does a perfect job in almost no time at all.

How do you decurl your rolls if I may ask?
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