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Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 printer review

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Canon PRO-2000 printer review

Using the imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 24″ printer



The PRO-2000 printer is a 24″ width large format printer. It’s very similar to the 44″ PRO-4000 and 60″ PRO-6000.

Keith Cooper has been putting it through its paces for this longish review which concentrates on using the printer for high quality photographic printing.

For those in a hurry: Conclusions

For almost all of this review, the PRO-4000 and 6000 can be thought of as simply wider versions of the 2000.

Canon pro-2000 printer producing 24 inch width print

There is a separate article covering Installation and setup of the PRO-2000 which is best to start with if you are getting a brand new printer. This looks at all the things you need to do to get the printer ready for printing. It incudes networking details and software installation.

Updates: Sep. 2016 If you use some Canon software (especially printer drivers) and Macs, think carfully about updating to MacOS 10.12 (Sierra) for the time being. Canon have published info about software incompatibilities
Oct 2016: firmware update
Dec 2016: Ink agitation info
Feb 2017: Shipping the printer back

    Buying a PRO-2000: B&H | Amazon.com | Adorama

    Canon PRO-2000

    The PRO-2000 is a 24″ width large format printer. Whereas the previous iPF6100iPF6300 and iPF 6400 showed a steady evolution in design, the PRO series of printers looks distinctly different (links are to my reviews of previous models).

    The printer is bigger and heavier than previous models and has a much higher ink capacity – those two boxes at the rear hold 12 ink carts in sizes up to 700ml. The inks have been reformulated offering deeper blacks (on photo media) and have swapped the green ink of the previous models for a clear gloss coat or ‘Colour Optimiser’ (CO) ‘ink’.

    One loss from the earlier models is a top loading sheet media slot. Sheet media now needs loading manually at the front, in the same way that the 44″ and 60″ versions of the previous models did (such as the 44″ iPF8300 I have here).

    All printers now can accept a 2nd roll unit, which can be switched between roll feed or roll take-up. This is standard on the PRO-6000, and optional for the PRO-2000 and PRO-4000. You can see it being used in take-up mode above.

    I’ve recently reviewed the 17″ PRO-1000 printer which can be thought of as a smaller ‘sheet only’ version of the PRO-2000. All my print quality observations in that (long) review are applicable to the PRO-2000.

    The basic features from Canon: [Full Specs at foot of article]

    • Using LUCIA PRO 12 inks, improved blacks and colour
    • A new 1.28” wide print head enables faster printing
    • Optional dual roll unit supports continuous paper feed or automatic take-up of the printed output.
    • Ergonomic design with a flat top surface for print checking and 3.5” colour LCD touch screen operation panel.
    • Direct printing for PDF and JPEG file formats from USB memory stick.
    • Wi-Fi and wired connectivity
    • Guaranteed colour consistency between jobs and different production sites.
    • High-capacity “hot swap” ink tanks for uninterrupted printing.
    • The Print Studio Pro plug-in lets you print from software such as Lightroom, Photoshop and Canon’s Digital Photo Professional

    I’ll cover these features and more in the review. All testing here is with Apple Macs (OSX 10.10 and 10.11), but PC use is functionally similar.

    What do you get with the PRO-2000?

    The printer is a hefty bit of kit and is likely to be delivered assembled like below, or in parts on a palette.

    printer being unloaded from van

    I’ve written up a separate article covering all the assembly and start-up details, including loading up the 12 ink carts, installing the print head, alignment settings, calibration and basic software installation.

    Feb 2017:  I’ve written up notes about preparing the PRO-2000 for shipping, and potential ink use for the process if the printer needs tipping.

    Some important things I’d note for the potential buyer are the size of the machine, and the need for several people to install it.

    canonpro-2000 dimensions

    Once loaded with ink, the printer cannot be tilted to any significant degree, so ours was assembled by the supplier, but not set up in any way. This allowed the printer to be removed from the stand and taken through to the back of the house.

    Connectivity and software setup

    The printer incorporates both USB and Ethernet wired connections.

    I’ve connected this one up with an Ethernet connection at the rear

    network interfaace

    Wireless works as both part of an existing network, or you can establish an ad-hoc network for connecting phones/tablets.

    • Hi-Speed USB 2.0
    • 1000Base-T Ethernet
    • WiFi (b/g/n)

    Details about network setup and configuration are in the assembly and start-up details.

    The printer is easily controlled via the colour touch screen, which lets you scroll through menu screens with a simple swipe of the screen.

    The orange light above the screen is a warning light – in this case it’s because some of the inks are low.

    Good, but for the fact the inks showed as low right after initial setup (with the supplied 160ml cartridges) and continued to do so right through my time testing the printer. I’ll come back to ink usage later, but I’d just note that a warning light that is always on quickly loses its ability to grab your attention.

    printer touch screen

    Many of the screen functions are available via the printer’s internal web server.

    printer web interface showing ink levels

    The ink levels shown are immediately after setup, where you can see that two inks are showing as low.

    There are many settings that you can change, but I’d always suggest that if you don’t know what a setting does, it’s a good clue that you might leave off any changes until you appreciate what it does.

    web interface for printer settings

    The printer utility option are similar to those offered via the printer driver configuration.

    printer utilities for PRO-2000

    A few feature of the driver setup (Mac shown here) should be noted.

    If you’ve the roll unit fitted, select it here, so that the option to use it will appear in your printer dialogues.

    printer driver setup options

    Another place to check ink levels

    printer ink levels displayed

    The printer utility, which can also be launched directly, lets you access cleaning and other functions.

    printer head cleaning options

    The standard nozzle check print can be produced from here, although if the printer is in another room, you might want to initiate a test print once you’re sure what paper is loaded – nozzle checks don’t look better on expensive paper.

    controls for initiating test print

    The printer does a lot of minor behind the scenes checking and testing to ensure that you don’t see any failed nozzles here.

    nozzle check pattern

    I should note that the Canon approach is to have lots of spare nozzles in the print head which are mapped out if they fail. This means you’re unlikely to see any failed nozzle checks until the print head needs replacing. The new printers have one single print head unit for all colours, as opposed to the two in previous large printers.

    The printer is as yet too new a product to give any meaningful predictions about print head life, other than to remind you that -all- large format printers (any make) dislike long periods of disuse and that a printer used every few days is quite likely to be more reliable than one that is often left unused for weeks.

    Calibration and feed adjustment

    The print head assembly has sensors built in to it that let the printer perform calibration checks. This ensures that your printer is working at a known standard of performance. It is NOT the same as ICC paper profiling and the printer cannot do this.

    I’ve mentioned calibration in detail in the setup article, but do so again here since it’s an important step in ensuring optimal printer performance. It needs doing after initial setup and certainly if you replace the print head. I’d also suggest doing it after you’ve had the printer for a few months and then at least annually. Some users in the pre-press and proofing business will need to do things like this more often, but I’m directing my comments mostly at photographers just wanting to make great looking big prints.

    printer calibration target

    The quickest way to launch many such functions is with the Quick Utility Toolbox software.

    canon utility software

    There’s the front panel and printer web page too.

    Paper Loading and Media handling

    The printer is primarily aimed at roll paper users. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work well with sheet paper, just that compared to the 17″ PRO-1000 it feels a little more cumbersome to use. Then again, you can’t print a 30″ x 15″ panoramic sheet on the PRO-1000.

    You’ll notice a cloth print catcher unit on the front of the printer. This can be reconfigured in a number of ways for different usage scenarios. The printer I’m looking at here is a Canon test unit, and the design is slightly different to the shipping printers. I’ve more information about configuring the print catcher in the PRO-2000 printer setup article.

    The printing area is shown below with feed rollers and just in front of them, the holes and slots of the paper vacuum system which holds paper flat and collects any overspray from borderless printing. If you do much borderless printing I’d suggest giving this area a wipe with a slightly damp cloth every so often, to reduce ink buildup and the risk of smudges on prints and fingers.

    paper loading area pro-2000

    Sheets are loaded under the pink rollers at the back, after lifting the locking lever at the side of the printer.

    Paper is aligned with the orange line at the left, and the lines behind the rollers.

    sheet paper loaded

    You can also see the blue paper roller cutter assembly at the right. This is easy to get to for blade replacement, and nearer to the front of the printer. Every type of roll media I tested (including canvas) was cleanly cut.

    I tested several cut sheet papers during the time the printer was here. The examples below are my standard set of test images for a new paper, in this case Pinnacle Velvet, a 275gsm textured art paper from a local (Leicester, UK) supplier.

    You can see a profile target at the back, a paper advance test image (grey block), a check for the B&W print mode, and a colour test image made with the profile created for the paper.

    I’ll look at custom media settings and profiling in more detail later.

    Testing pinnacle velvet fineart 275 paper

    Roll media

    During testing I tried media ranging from 90gsm (translucent) tracing paper through to half millimetre thick art papers, and two different thicknesses of canvas.

    I’ve several rolls of orphan papers in our print room that I was sent to test in the past and have lost the original box.

    Now, I’ve actually a pretty good idea what most of them are, but they may not be publicly available or now under a different name, so I find them good to test my ‘new paper’ processes.

    Here’s a light art paper (matt OBA free) on a 3″ core.

    The screen gives clear instructions for loading if you’re unsure

    roll media on 3 inch core

    The roll paper spindles have adapters you remove if you want to use paper on a 2″ core.

    roll media on 2 inch core

    Personally I’d avoid any media on 2″ cores – the paper curl can get very strong towards the end of the roll.

    That and I’ve never seen any high end photo or fine-art media supplied on a 2″ roll at this size.

    I’m going to load this paper onto roll 1 (the top one)

    pro-2000 roll paper holders

    The paper needs to be fed into the slot behind it.

    loading a roll of paper into the pro-2000

    I never had any difficulty with loading roll media apart from near the end on a 2″ core, where the paper needed a bit of prodding and flattening to get past the rollers.

    You can insert the paper a few inches and the printer will detect it and feed it for you,

    paper feed display

    Alternately, you can lift the platen release lever and feed the paper through until you line it up with the orange line at the side. Then lower the lever and cover, so that the printer can complete loading.

    This example shows a very thick art paper being loaded from roll holder 2 – note how the grey release lever is up.

    manually loading roll paper on the pro-2000

    Once loaded you can set the media type. This can be one of the standard types, or as shown below, a custom media type I’ve created.

    selecting media type for loaded paper

    Custom media types are very useful, and I’ll cover their creation in much more detail below.

    Don’t be worried if the paper seems to come out a long way during loading – it’s not lost, and is moved back and forth a few times as the printer satisfies itself it knows what paper is there.

    paper loading underway

    Only one media type is actively ‘loaded’ at any one time.

    For the two rolls below, one is my smooth art paper and below it a roll of Innova IFA-56 canvas

    two rolls of paper loaded on printer

    The display reminds me what I’ve got in place.

    • The ‘!New notice’ – sorry it’s just that ink warning again, along with the orange light.

    display showing laded media types

    Auto switching

    One of the features of the printer is that it can swap roll papers without needing operator attention. Just how useful this is depends on the sorts of printing you do.

    If you’re printing miles of prints on photo papers or light-medium canvas then this could be a great time saver. That and if perhaps you don’t trust the abilities of your operators beyond not walking into the printers… ;-)

    I tried it with fine art media (I have a lightly textured version of the heavy art paper as well) and it really didn’t work very well, with the rewinding causing the paper to detach from the core and ‘float’.

    No problems with a light photo paper like the Canon 200gsm, but I don’t generally sell prints on light papers.

    Heavy thick papers really want to unroll – the paper wrap on this one actually left a slight mark on the paper, losing a few inches at the start

    thick art paper on roll

    The other thing you don’t want to do is leave good papers unused on a roll for any length of time.

    24 hours were enough for these marks to appear from the paper retaining rollers.

    There is a setting for the printer to ‘reduce marking’ but I’d suggest that when finished with a high quality paper, you put it back into a bag and put it back in the box for storage.

    paper marks from pressure

    The stiffness of the paper is shown in this print of the 2020 Mars Rover design.

    large colour engineering print

    Roll take-up

    The 2nd roll unit can be configured to spool prints. I’ve covered this in more detail in the PRO-2000 setup and configuration article.

    roll take-up unit controls

    The roll unit is reconfigured from the screen.

    roll unit configuration

    Paper can be wound print face up or down. Once again, the screen gives a walk through of the settings

    setting roll take-up mode

    You’ll need a roll core for take-up

    empty paper core - three inch

    It’s dropped into place.

    take up roll loaded

    The roll is locked in place.

    roll lock instructions

    The display confirms the settings … yes, it’s still the same ink warning and long since lost any semblance of ‘new’.

    display shows take-up mode

    I’m printing a stored print job from the hard disk.

    Note the custom paper size of 24″ x 285″ (7.25 metres long)

    printing a job file from the internal hard disk

    Once ready – I can just tell the printer to start. The saved job means I can run off as many copies as I’ve got walls long enough to show them…

    select number of prints

    Rather than waste a few feet of paper I choose to attach the print to the roll when it gets there.

    starting a long print

    A bit of masking tape is all it takes, and the print is being spooled.

    print being spooled on to take-up unit

    When configuring the roll unit I kept the cut option set.

    roll cutting options

    The ‘all the prints on a roll’ option is probably more of interest if you expect the completed roll of prints to be taken elsewhere for further work, such as canvas stretching.

    Finally, I’ve a 7.25m print on a roll.

    completed long print

    The easy way to move big prints.

    finished print rolled up

    Here’s the finished print (I’ve an article about the making of the photograph and the original 14 metre print if you’re curious).

    seven metre print on display

    Custom Media types

    When using a Canon paper, you can just use the standard media setting for that paper. Indeed, you might choose a particular setting for a third party paper, to match the one used when the paper supplier created an ICC profile.

    However a powerful software package, the Media Configuration Tool (MCT), is provided for editing and creating custom media information.

    Why go to the trouble of using it?

    Let’s say you have a photo paper that comes with an ICC profile created using the Canon Satin 240gsm media setting.

    By creating a custom media type based on the Canon Satin 240gsm base media type you can specify it on the front panel when loading the paper.

    OK, that reduces the potential for errors, what else do you get?

    The custom media can have a feed adjustment optimised for that paper (reducing the chances of banding and other effects that might impinge on print quality).

    If you use the Accounting Tool (of which more in a bit) for keeping track of paper and ink use, then the custom media can have specific accounting information associated with it, for all the different sizes you use (e.g. prices for A3+ and A2 sheets and 15 metre rolls).

    If you really want to maximise quality for a particular media type you can also specify ink limits for your custom media, and set up a calibration target. This is more likely if you make your own custom ICC profiles. You can export settings files, but if you are making profiles and media configuration files for others, then you are making assumptions about the abilities of the person at the other end that may be over optimistic…

    The MCT user manual is available on-line and I definitely recommend a read through it if you want to try it.

    I’ll show a few examples from my own testing that hopefully give a feel for the process (this is also discussed in my PRO-1000 review and ones for all the other Canon LF printers I’ve reviewed).

    The MCT will look for a printer on your network that it can work with. Unfortunately it doesn’t see my iPF8300, so I need to use a different version of the software for that printer.

    The MCT will attempt to update it’s list of ‘standard’ media types from Canon.

    standard media types available

    Media types vary by region.

    You’ll see that some are already registered in the printer.

    media types registered in printer

    Selecting any media allows you to pull up some details about its characteristics.

    media information details

    From an idle curiosity point of view this is interesting, but slightly annoying in its lack of detail.

    I’m not sure just what use I’d make of more detail though…

    Anyway, I’m going to create a custom media type.

    creating a custom media type

    The manual is a good reference for the process

    page from MCT manual

    I can pick a base media type from what’s available (note that the calibration target has nothing whatsoever to do with making ICC profiles)

    choosing a base media type

    The software offers suggestions based on paper weight or thickness.

    selecting base media based on weight

    Once I’ve selected a base paper, my custom one needs a meaningful name.

    This is that ‘mystery’ art paper I showed earlier.

    Naming the custom media type

    At this time I need to tell the printer about the paper type.

    Note how I’ve not yet specified any settings for the paper (other than the base media type). I just need the printer to add the setting to its custom media list.

    sending updated media info to printer

    Am I sure? Yes…

    check for info.

    Once updated, I can specify some settings for the paper, that replace those from the base media.

    editing media details

    The most useful – even if I’m changing nothing else – is the feed adjustment.

    paper feed adjustment

    Remember that you don’t have to change every option.

    I’ll need to load the paper on the printer to do this.

    paper loading options

    Again a check to see if I know what I’m doing…

    warning display for print testing

    After the first update, the paper type is listed in the custom paper types on the printer, for when I load it.

    printer showing installed custom media

    A feed adjustment print is made (and measured with the sensors in the print head)

    For this particular paper, I want to see what difference I’ll get by changing the ink usage levels.

    ink usage limits

    Each of the ticks will print a test image for checking ink usage.

    print quality setting

    This uses up paper – a reminder.

    amount of paper that will be used

    Here are the feed adjustment and ink density prints for the new paper.

    feed adjustment and ink density test prints

    Others for a lustre finish canvas (Innova IFA-56)

    test prints on canvas

    and the very heavy art paper (with a calibration print too).

    test prints and calibration print for heavy art paper

    For all papers I tried, but the mystery one, the standard settings worked just fine.

    For my mystery paper, there was a slight bleed of strong colours at the normal setting, but not at a slightly lower level.

    setting ink limits for media type

    I can export my custom media information as a file if need be.

    I’d suggest doing this for any you make, just in case you need to reinstall them on a new printer.

    exporting media configuration files

    One setting that I know causes confusion (from my PRO-1000 review), is the option to specify an ICC paper profile for the media type.

    Apart from the fact that I’ve not yet printed a target to make a profile, this setting seemed to be of no particular use in any subsequent print testing. Then again I’m used to always specifying what profile I want to use when printing, so maybe this is not aimed at the likes of me ;-)

    specifying an optional ICC file for the paper

    There is one important thing that must be done before you can make use of the new setting.

    As it stands, the printer knows about the custom setting, but my printer driver (and hence applications such as Photoshop) have never heard of it.

    I need to run the printer utility to update the driver.

    The simplest way to do this is to go to my printers control panel/system prefs. and select ‘Media Information’

    printer driver update option

    This will update things for me.

    media update 1

    The whole process is fairly quick if you’ve ensured the printer is switched on…

    media update 2

    It should find the new custom setting for you.

    media update 3

    Not long after, it’s done.

    media update 4

    The new media type is now available for selection, such as in this printer dialogue.

    using new media type

    Once I’ve got everything set up, I can print some test targets for colour and B&W printing.

    two profiling and test prints for new custom media

    After making a profile, I can print on the ‘mystery paper’ with the new media setting and my profile.

    test print on new paper

    The print is a test image from when I was recently reviewing the latest version of Topaz Impression (V2)

    Printing with the PRO-2000

    I’m testing the printer on our network of Apple Mac printers, where we use Adobe Photoshop CS6 as our main image editing tool.

    One of the biggest changes from the old iPF printers comes almost hidden … the Mac Printer driver has effectively been re-written to offer a lot more functionality, and do many of the things that you previously would use the print plugin for.

    There are changes in the Windows printer driver options too I believe.

    I’ll show some sample settings here that should be of direct relevance to other users. If you’re a Windows and Lightroom fan then the functionality should be similar, but you’ll need to adapt it to your own use.

    Oh, and do read the manual [here is the on-line version]

    on-line manual for the pro-2000

    I’ve a brief note about using the free Canon PSP print plugin later, that may also be of interest to some.

    For a large print, such as this 22 inch square image, I’ve created a custom media type for the paper, and a custom ICC printer profile.

    Since 24″ x 24″ isn’t a standard paper size, I’ve also created a custom paper size.

    24 inch square test print

    Another large print, once again with a custom paper size to match the image.

    large print on heavy art paper

    In these two examples, I’ve specified that Photoshop Manages Colours, and specified the printer profile I want to use with the paper.

    One of the advantages of printing directly like this is that I have complete control over print settings.

    What’s more if I want to make more prints the same size, many of the print settings can be stored as presets.

    Since the printer has a hard disk unit, I can even save my print job file directly to the printer, for immediate printing or for later.

    sending print job file to printer

    The saved jobs can be accessed via the printer front panel or the printer’s own web page.

    You may notice the rather large custom paper size in the box above.

    This was for printing the 7.1 metre panoramic print shown earlier in the paper handling section.

    It’s a big file, taking quite some time to create the print job and download (over 20 minutes)

    image size for 7.1 metre print

    It’s ‘only’ printed at 215ppi, since there is a job size limit for images printed from Photoshop through the driver, of just over about 60k pixels for this image. It’s actually a bit more complex than that, but is still the same issue I came across a few years ago when first producing the print at 14 metres.

    • A note about large printing. When printing from Photoshop there appears to be a 2GB bottleneck somewhere, so that total files size needs to be reduced (lowering the PPI did it for the original 14m print). This file at full size makes for a 6GB (uncompressed) TIFF file, which won’t open in many applications (which have a 4GB limit) Lowering the PPI to make a TIFF file of under 4GB now allowed me to open the file (in the Mac Preview application) and print with the printer driver. I also tested the Mirage print software, which as a Photoshop plugin directly opened the full 6GB file for printing
    • Suffice to say that once you start producing files that need to be saved in the .PSB format, you can expect some fun trying to print them…

    large panoramic print test settings

    If you’re curious, then this is how much ink was used up for the 7 metre print, in the hour it took to print.

    print information and ink usage for large 7 metre print

    I tried a number of large prints and paper sizes from A4 upwards.

    3 metre panoramic landscape print

    If you’re using standard paper sizes, do note the different versions for different source media types.

    available paper sizes

    You’ll need to select print quality as well. The options vary with media type, so be prepared to experiment.

    setting print quality

    My experience is that little is lost (but for a bit of print speed) in going for high or highest quality settings.

    The custom setting gives a quality slider, but for this paper wouldn’t let me choose all of the positions.

    custom print quality setting

    This issue also comes up (see later) in respect of colour management options when using the printer driver directly.

    There is also the choice (for some paper types) of how to use the gloss coating – I’ve more about this later.

    settings for gloss coating usage

    I’ve a section later, covering B&W printing, but it’s worth noting here that I consider the B&W print mode for the PRO-2000 printer is more than good enough for some of my own printed work in black and white.

    settings for using black and white print mode

    Printing from a USB stick

    The printer has a USB socket on top, for plugging in a USB Flash drive.

    This lets you print basic files.

    USB stick file specs for direct print

    I’ve transferred a 50MP JPEG file from my Canon 5Ds to a memory stick – I was surprised that I couldn’t just plug in the camera. I know it’s a feature I wouldn’t ever use, but Canon seems to have included it in consumer printers for years. I’ll come back to some of the ‘consumer’/’pro’ aspects of the printer in the conclusions.

    The display shows the usual directory structure of such devices, but my JPEG file is there.

    USB stick loaded on printer

    The display makes not a bad job of rendering the image.

    I can select a crop and a few other functions, but I’m wondering why I want to use a printer of this quality for printing JPEG files (no RAW support, even for Canon Cameras I’m afraid).

    printer display showing photo

    I’ll take just the one print.

    number of prints

    High quality no less…

    print settings

    I’ll use the Canon Satin Photo paper loaded in the lower roll unit.

    paper choice for direct print

    A 24″ x 16″ print.

    OK, I’ll admit that it actually looks quite good… The 50MP Canon 5Ds and TS-E17mm lens do help though.

    24 inc by 16 inch print directly from memory stick

    Printing with Print Studio Pro (PSP)

    For printing from Photoshop with my iPF8300 I’ve used the excellent Canon print plugin. Indeed, I’ve used it when testing other Canon large format printers since it is both simple, straightforward to use and most importantly, doesn’t get in my way.

    It happens that a lot of the functionality of the old plugin is now available in the all new printer driver, but PSP is promoted in the printer’s feature list rather more prominently.

    My first brush with the new PSP print software was when I tested the PRO-1000 printer, and I can’t say I was impressed. I hoped that when the PRO-2000 turned up, there would be a good solid print plugin like I used with previous Canon large format printers.

    No, it’s PSP I’m afraid. Software I’d hoped was just for ‘consumer’ models appears with the big printers too.

    Anyway, I’m aware that some people do like it, so here’s a quick overview.

    The on-line manual for PSP is available if you’ve used it before and want to see what’s changed. There is also a Digital Photo Printing Guide covering many aspects of printing.

    I’m launching PSP from within Photoshop.

    As an aside, I’d note the layout plugin, which actually work quite well for canvas printing, where it can add borders and extend images for stretching.

    launching psp software

    That guide for new users – you will need it.

    software usage guide

    Notice, how completely unbidden, PSP has decided on a layout for the print, and sized it to match.

    Various paper sizes are available, but these don’t match up to the variety you get in the normal printer driver settings.

    paper size options

    I’m going to print on an A3+ sheet, so don’t have the borderless option you get with roll paper.

    printing on sheet paper

    As ever, I have a range of adjustment options for the print – not sure why I want these, given I’m using the software from within Photoshop.

    image adjustment options

    To be fair, these options were there in the old print plugin too.

    Once I get to layout options, I find I can have multiple prints on a sheet, but I’m still having difficulties in getting rid of that border, or at least setting it as I want it.

    layout options for prints

    Next I clicked something and my whole window layout changes, with no obvious way of undoing it.

    software window layout

    I’m sure that with some practice I’d get the hang of what’s going, but I’m afraid that after several years of usability research (before I took up photography in 2004) I have a low tolerance for unpredictable interface design.

    Eventually I get to a print setup that’s using the paper size and profile I’m after.

    print settings

    In the print quality settings I’m given numbers – not the high/highest names you get in the print driver.

    So, what is ‘1’ and more to the point why is it greyed out? Is my image deemed not good enough for the very highest quality setting?

    print quality options

    From additional searching (and chatting with very helpful people from Canon) I discover that some papers can’t make use of top setting, but that you’ve no easy way of finding out – even if you make your own custom media settings.

    PSP also won’t let me use BPC via an external CMM – there is a suggestion in the manual that I an install some software from Adobe, but unfortunately the Adobe CMM that you can download hasn’t been updated for years and no longer works on Macs.

    Rather than go through the details, have a look at the PSP section in the PRO-1000 review, it shows examples of why you might want BPC.

    Note: Canon build their ICC profiles in a way that may not benefit from the use of BPC for matte papers (if you were printing from Photoshop for example). In some of their notes, they specifically suggest turning BPC off. This is not the same way that I create my profiles, or for that matter, almost any profile you’ll get from a paper supplier.

    psp colour management options

    After all that I managed to produce a perfectly good print, it just seemed like hard work, but YMMV as they say.

    print setup for psp

    PSP does have a number of genuinely useful functions, such as printing multiple iterations of an image with different adjustment settings. This works particularly well if you use the B&W print mode and want to slightly tone/tint an image, or are just looking for optimal neutrality of a print under a particular light source.

    Once again – see the PSP section in the PRO-1000 review, it has examples of such use.

    PSP is also invoked if you use the layout plugin. This little bit of software makes an excellent job of expanding images with reflections and the like, for canvas prints., where you need an overlap for wrapping.

    layout plugin

    If you do a lot of canvas prints you might find other ways of handling this, but I do them quite rarely, so might well get to use PSP after all.

    Print quality settings

    The different print quality settings available in the driver include terms such as ‘higher’ and ‘highest’ – it’s not immediately clear what these mean – or how they relate to the numbered options in PSP.

    Having prepared test prints at a range of settings I looked at several under high magnification, and then looked at the examples I’d tested with the PRO-1000.

    Given that the PRO-1000 uses the same ink and print technology it didn’t surprise me that the different print qualities were essentially the same.

    This A4 image (on an A3+ sheet) is one I’ll show later, when looking at the effects of various levels of gloss coat (CO).

    I’ve printed it at three different quality settings (two shown in the example below).

    setting print quality

    It’s an Innova paper (IFA-58) ‘Semi glazed’

    test print at highest print setting

    On the print, the eyes of the young girl with the paint are about 3mm apart.

    This is printed at the fastest setting.

    small section of test print at fastest quality

    This one is at the highest quality setting for the paper.

    small section of test print at highest quality

    I’m using a USB microscope with LED lighting, so hardly optimal photos.

    Zooming in shows more differences.

    Fastest…

    detail of test print at fastest quality

    Best…

    detail of test print at highest quality

    The hair is inside the microscope… Time to take it apart.

    Changing ink on the PRO-2000

    After initial charging with ink, two of the inks showed as low, leading to the ever present warning light I’ve mentioned earlier.

    As testing continued more and more inks indicated as low, but I could carry on printing just fine.

    At one point, after lifting the lid on the ink boxes to check something, the printer even removed one of the warnings for a while, with it returning a bit later in the morning [But do see my note in the concluions]

    Wondering just how Canon tops up carts over the internet, I checked with Canon and found that certain things will cause the printer to recalculate ink levels and usage, and no they couldn’t refill the carts…

    Finally, whilst testing some multiple prints using the Mirage print software to drive the printer, the printer started making a loud beeping noise – a cart was finally empty.

    ink levels showing empty cart

    The grey ink was out – I wasn’t entirely surprised since this was the first to go on my iPF8300 a while ago.

    Fortunately I’ve a spare set of inks, so open a 330ml pack of grey (GY).

    replacement ink cart

    Printing carries on whilst I’m changing the ink.

    swapping ink carts

    Just as I get the cart replaced, another alarm goes off – a second cart has hit the rocks. This time Photo Black (PBK).

    The prints here, are from part of my short review of the Mirage print software

    ink change during printing

    Time for another ink cart.

    second cart replaced

    As I put the cart in place and shut the cover, the printer notices which cart I’ve loaded.

    printer detects new cart

    The two new carts are now showing as full.

    inks showing on main dispaly

    On the main ink display you can also see that the new carts are higher capacity than the old ones.

    new and larger ink carts show on display

    The printing carried on during all of this.

    So yes, you can change inks perfectly easily without interrupting printing.

    How empty?

    Curiosity compelled me to take a cart apart…

    I’ve removed the white plastic cover and sawn off the valve assembly.

    dismantled ink cart 1

    You can see the two tubes that go up into the cart – the longer one has holes in it.

    A detail shows the rubber seals and the cart’s information chip.

    dismantled ink cart 2

    This is where it all fits in the ink tank bin. Note the pins at the left – these engage with the slots on the cart and prevent you putting a cart in the wrong slot.

    printer ink inlet port

    Just to see how much ink was left in the cart I tipped it up over a container – none came out.

    empty ink cart

    Transporting the printer

    When a printer was first sent here, it already had inks installed. It couldn’t be tilted to get it into the house and went back…

    The one I’ve been testing was set up here, in situ.

    There remains the matter of getting it out again.

    On one of the maintenance menus there is the ominous

    “Prepare to transportation” [sic.]

    This allows you to move the printer, but requires that the ink lines and sub tanks are drained into the maintenance cart.

    As of writing, the printer is still here, but I’ll add an update when it does go, showing the process.

    Borderless Printing

    One of the features of the PRO-1000 that impressed me was its handling of borderless printing, even at A2 size.

    As a roll paper printer, the paper feed system is arranged a different way, and you can’t get borderless prints on sheet media.

    It’s easy to print with borders, and with custom media sizes I could even up the ones on this print (image taken testing the new Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens)

    building photo

    With roll paper sizes you can expand the image to go over the paper edge by an amount.

    producing large borderless print

    That sets the edges for the paper, but what about top and bottom?

    The printer trims a couple of inches of paper off the bottom of the print.

    leading edge of print trimmed off

    It the trims the top of the print a few mm inside its edge to give a borderless print.

    24" width borderless print of building

    Just one slight problem – if you forget to trim the remaining paper and unload the roll. you get a few mm of print at the leading edge of your roll of paper, to trim next time.

    trailing edge of borderless print

    If you’re printing via the printer driver on the Mac, then you can make use of the Preview function, to actually see a ‘how it looks on paper’ view.

    roll preview of borderless print

    This is another feature of the old Print Plugin, now available any time you use the printer driver.

    Here it is with my 7 metre panoramic print.

    preview of 7 metre print

    There are more details in the Preview on-line manual.

    Printer testing

    As you’ll probably have guessed, I like to test with a large range of papers and media types.

    The very long prints were all printed on Canon Satin 200gsm. which offers good print performance, although it’s a little light for my own preferences and creases too easily.

    I also had a roll of Canon translucent paper (90gsm) – not something I’d normally use, but making for a good sharp print of this map of where I live, made around the time our house was built (1890’s)

    map printed on translucent paper

    Colours are muted, but clear, with no ink bleed.

    photo on translucent paper

    The papers I used

    I started testing with some Canon papers

    • Canon Pro Platinum
    • Canon Satin Photo Paper 200 gsm

    Profile target printing for the Satin 200 gsm

    printing profiling target on roll paper

    The two very heavy art papers were ones from Innova that are not officially launched yet. The two are described as a ‘printmaking rag’ and a ‘watercolour rag’. Both are 100% cotton and OBA free and feel almost like thin card. I’ll have a review of them once they are available.

    [Note added after Innova launched their new papers at Photokina 2016 – they are:
    Fabriano Printmaking Rag (IFA-107) 310gsm and Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Rag (IFA-108) 310gsm ]

    A print on the lightly textured printmaking rag paper.

    print on lightly textured art paper

    Some of the other papers I tried

    • Canon 90gsm translucent paper (IJM 140 Transparent Paper)
    • Innova IFA-56 semigloss canvas
    • Innova IFA-49 Ultragloss
    • Innova IFA-58 Semi Glazed
    • Pinnacle Velvet 275gsm (fine art ‘etching style’ paper)
    • Pinnacle Lustre 300 (my ‘standard’ paper for many years on my iPF8300)
    • Epson PLPP lustre

    *Some of the ICC printer profiles I created are available on request, for non-commercial use, if you’d like to experiment, email me?

    In the UK, Paper Spectrum papers are also available via the Pinnacle brand
    You can buy them at Amazon UK – full range

    Once I’d created profiles for the papers I printed off some of my ‘standard’ test images to get a feel for how the printer lays down ink on different papers.

    Profiling a glossy canvas – note the ink density test (right) and the paper feed check at the back. These were used to create a custom media type before producing the profiling target.

    ink density check and profiling target for canvas

    I also tried printing with the B&W print mode, and have more details about this in the B&W profiling section below.

    The images (and many others) are available for free download on this site.

    printer test image for black and white printingdatacolor test image for printer profilie evaluation

    Both images have lots of components to specifically test different aspects of printer performance.

    I also use both for testing the performance of printer profiles. If you use them, do be sure to read the explanatory notes that go with them.

    • A question? One other thing I’d observe about printing is that if I print from Photoshop, I can specify the profile I want to use, and the rendering intent I want to use with it (and optionally whether to use BPC). If I print via the normal printer driver interface I just get a choice of the profile. Selecting a custom print quality setting shows a rendering intent menu, but it’s greyed out.
      At this point I realised that there is a limit to how far I’ll delve into things. If you know of a way (on the Mac) of specifying more details about profile use when printing through the driver, please do email me or comment at the end of the article.
      I’m going to assume that most people interested in such details are going to be printing from inside Photoshop/Lightroom or using specific software to handle multiple prints, such as ImageNest or Mirage.

    The gloss or Chroma Optimiser coating

    One feature of the 12 inks of the PRO-2000, compared with my own iPF8300 is the appearance of a clear coating ‘ink’, replacing the green ink of my iPF8300.

    Canon notes:

    “The new series of LUCIA PRO inks include a Photo Black, Matt Black, Grey and Photo Grey, and together with a specialist Chroma Optimiser ink, ensure professional quality monochrome prints with increased black density and uniform glossiness.”

    Canon explain it’s purpose as reducing gloss differential, and when it’s available with a media type, you have the choice of applying it to the whole page, or just parts with ink.

    chroma optimiser function

    Actually with the PRO-2000 I noticed that there were media types listed with the CO turned off, for some photo papers.

    If you’re wondering why you’d do this, consider trying to match the look of a print made on an iPF6450 (with no CO ink) on a particular paper.

    I made a series of prints with different CO settings, using a gloss baryta style paper – Innova IFA-58

    Just to be sure, I made custom media types for the paper, based on ‘CO used’ and ‘CO off’ base types.

    creating custom media types for glazed paper

    I’ve also created a profile for each IFA-58 CO option.

    two media types for testing

    The prints are the ones I’ve already mentioned in regard to print quality settings.

    selection of test prints for analysis

    The image is the Roman16 set of photos, from X-Rite’s i1Profiler and is packed with ‘out of gamut’ colours. I use it as part of my testing of profiles. Unfortunately it’s a commercial product, so I can’t include it in our test image collection.

    The prints are at different quality settings and also printed in three ways:

    CO = Off
    CO = Auto
    CO = Full

    prints at a range of quality settings

    The three examples I’ll show are photographed outside, trying to catch reflected light from the translucent roof of our conservatory.

    I’ve tried to show the glossiness of the ink/paper along with any bronzing or gloss differential. Take these shots very much as giving a feel for how the print felt, when looking at it specifically for surface effects. On most papers the differences were much harder to see – one reason I chose this paper.

    Full CO (this uses CO almost to the edge of the paper)

    full CO

    Auto CO (applies CO to some colours and ink densities, but not to the paper as a whole).

    Auto CO setting

    CO off

    print with CO turned off

    Detail at Full CO

    detail at full co

    Detail at Auto CO

    detail at auto setting

    Detail at CO Off

    detail with CO turned off

    My take away from this is that it shows how useful the CO ink is in handling bronzing and differential gloss.

    As to whether to use full or auto, that depends on the media you are using and needs testing to see what you think looks best.

    For some papers the gloss coat makes more of a difference to the look of the paper than others – you need to test this one yourself.

    When is Chroma Optimiser (CO) used?

    [A note from Canon about Chroma Optimiser use]

    CO is used only for 12 colour PRO-series models (PRO-1000/2000/4000) [note that the amount of CO ink used, completely depends on the paper, image and print settings used.]

    CO is used only when printing on Glossy and Semi-Glossy types of paper. It is NOT applicable to Matte coated paper or Fine Art paper

    CO is used only when selecting “High” or “Highest” print quality settings in the printer driver & Print Studio Pro. CO is NOT used in “Standard” print setting even if printing on Glossy or Semi-Glossy paper types (PLEASE NOTE: that a slight amount of CO ink is used for maintenance purpose of the printer even if you select settings that do not use CO ink)

    You CANNOT enable/disable CO ink manually, because, whether CO is used or not is automatically decided on the combination of media type, print quality, and CO coverage setting in the printer driver and Print Studio Pro.

    However, if you do not want to use CO ink on Glossy or Semi-Glossy type paper for any reason, you can use either of the following print settings for this purpose:

    1- Select “Standard” for print quality setting, and select “AUTO (default)” for CO coverage setting in the driver or Print Studio Pro.

    2- Select “Special paper settings 1-5” for media type

    3 -Select “Lightweight Photo Paper CO Off” or “Heavyweight Photo Paper CO Off” for paper type. These paper settings can be added by using Media Configuration Tool.

    See also this video form Canon showing aspects of how the CO works.

    Colour profiles and profiling

    I like to make our own colour profiles for papers and printers I’m testing, using i1Profiler from X-rite and an i1iSis XL scanning spectrophotometer.

    I print my profiling targets from the free OS X ColorSync software. This has a ‘print as color target’ option.

    I prefer to create printing presets in my print setup when testing – it takes but a moment and, when you’re trying lots of different papers and sizes, reduces greatly the chances of getting mixed up.

    For Win PCs I’d use the free Adobe Printer utility.

    using colorsync utility to print profiling target

    There are a wealth of media types available, which need matching with the paper you are using. This is one reason I create custom media types for third party papers. It makes it far more difficult to pick the wrong one, when you have one sitting there with the same name as the paper you’ve loaded.

    choosing a media type for profiling

    This canvas has its own media type defined, and a printer driver preset for when I’m using it.

    profiling test prints

    Supplied Canon profiles work very well for their media, especially if you’ve run the calibration process on the printer.

    Given the similarities between performance of the PRO-2000 and PRO-1000 in this respect, I’d suggest having a look through the related parts of the PRO-1000 review for more information, since my testing procedures are not predefined and you may find something there of particular relevance to your needs.

    Black and White

    Canon printers like this one have a specialist black and white print mode which has improved in consistency and usefulness over the years.

    Selecting ‘Black and White Photo Print’ in the printer driver will set the printing to B&W mode.

    Note how in Photoshop I’ve selected ‘Printer Manages Colors’, and that no printer ICC profile is selected.

    printing with B&W mode

    Once again I’ve created a printer driver preset for the print setup – at the risk of labouring the point, it really does help cut down on wasted paper…

    On the Mac, also make sure that vendor colour matching is selected.

    ensuring that the printer driver takes care of B&W printing

    You can also fine tune the tone of the print.

    adjusting print tint

    On earlier printers such as my iPF8300, I’d make a slight adjustment here to get a neutral grey under some indoor lighting.

    Just as with the PRO-1000, the new ink set and how it’s mixed, produces even more neutral prints ‘out of the box’.

    Here are two shots of a black and white print (on one of the heavy art papers) photographed under halogen lighting and daylight.

    Each photo is white balanced on the grey card.

    Halogen lighting

    test print under 3000K lighting

    Daylight

    test print in daylight

    Finally I’ve cranked up the colour in the daylight photo to bring out any slight colours in the print

    test print in daylight with colour saturation increased

    That’s pretty neutral by my estimation.

    If you use PSP for printing, you can print multiple (small) copies of an image on a sheet with different tint adjustments.

    In the past I’ve regularly created QTR linearising profiles for B&W printing, and, since the target for this is built in to my B&W test image, I did so for the papers I tried here.

    When testing the PRO-1000 I noticed that B&W print linearity has improved with this new range of inks and printers, so much so that for many test prints I found the as-is print output OK to use.

    The QTR output graph for one of the art papers shows this well, with nothing but a slight shadow boost really being necessary.

    • There is a lot more about using such profiles for linearising print output in many of my other printer reviews, along with links to  articles about making the profiles.

    B&W density for art paper

    The maximum black density on this paper is ~1.65 – on a par with other good printers these days.

    I’m afraid I don’t really pay too much attention to such numbers when printing my work – it’s about what the image looks like and how it matches my desire to show it.

    The data for the Pinnacle Velvet 275gsm art paper (a lightly textured ‘etching’ style paper) shows similar results.

    B&W density for velvet 275 paper

    Moving to a gloss paper (Canon Pro Platinum) I see the much deeper blacks I’m expecting on a paper like this (using the PBK photo black ink)

    B&W density for Canon pro platinum paper

    A Dmax of ~2.66 looks pretty black. You need quite bright lighting to see deep shadow detail in a print like this.

    The ‘b’ values starting off to the left show the presence of optical brightener (OBA) in the paper.

    Note the jump in the ‘a’ and ”b’ values around 90% This shows a change of inks being used, and once you know about it, you can see a change in gloss differential with prints held at the right angle to the light (the print was with auto CO)

    I’m not overly concerned, since the less glossy paper I use for my work don’t show this effect nearly so much, but if you like ultra glossy B&W prints, you may want to experiment with paper types.

    I’m firmly of the opinion that -any- time you have a significant change in your printer, you go back to your paper choices and see if they are still the best.

    Sorry, but just because you have a box of sheets of your favourite paper and get a new (better) printer, you cannot assume that the paper will still be the best choice.

    People who announce their favourite paper (or worse still favourite brand) and then get a new printer, have got things the wrong way round IMHO. New kit should always be used as a way of challenging your assumptions…

    Ink use for printing

    The New PRO printers have a potentially very useful bit of admin. software includes, the Accounting Manager.

    If you’d like to delve more into this, the on-line manual is available (I’ve also covered more details in the PRO-1000 review)

    Once you’ve installed the software, you’ll need to tell it which printers to monitor.

    If the printer appears twice on your network, it might just be a networking issue, such as having an IPv4 and IPv6 address – just one is required.

    selecting printer for accounting manager software

    Behind the window, you can see data from when I had the PRO-1000 here. The software can manage multiple printers.

    It’s easier to automate the data collection.

    loading data from printer

    I’ve not bothered with a password, so this warning is nothing to worry about.

    password options

    There are several options for mixing and displaying data.

    deciding which data to display

    You need to set up accounting base data for each printer.

    specifying media and ink information

    You need to include all media at all sizes you use.

    setting costs for a paper

    The results of the accounting software do depend on the accuracy and completeness with which you populate this section.

    assrted unit costs

    Note from subsequent testing – if you add new papers (custom or even Canon ones) you will need to update the printer information, lest all your new papers appear as ‘Unknown Paper’

    A simple example shows total ink use and cost for printing three profiling targets for the paper I used for the quality and CO test prints.

    ink usage data samples

    I’ve highlighted the three rows from the Accounting Manager display.

    The top one is for full CO coverage, the middle for auto and the bottom one is for CO turned off.

    The data is available in a lot more detail, with ink usage on a per ink basis, and you can export it as a CSV file for hours of fun in Excel.

    detailed jpb properties

    The easiest way of launching the Accounting Manager and other useful stuff is via the Quick Utility Toolbox I mentioned earlier in association with printer calibration.

    On-line Manual – Quick Utility Toolbox

    using the quick utility toolbox software

    Actual ink use

    The accounting manage is a good start, but only records ink used for making prints. There is a steady usage as part of the printer’s maintenance and cleaning functions. This goes on in the background and is often not obvious, just part of the natural whirring and bumping you get when the printer is starting up or about to print.

    If this matters to you, you’ll need to keep a note of overall ink usage. The initial carts are 160ml, but some 90+ml. is used in filling the ink sub tanks, the ink lines and the print head. As such, you might want to start your record keeping as carts come up for replacement.

    Some inks get used up more than others. The grey ink was the first to go on my iPF8300. Check your usage and consider getting the larger 700ml inks for the most rapidly used inks, whilst ones like red and blue (when they finally go) are less likely to warrant 700ml carts (unless you do a lot of printing).

    The figures for my own use are not really that meaningful for general use, since I was making a lot of test images and an unusual mix of prints.

    Note added (Dec 16) about Ink tank agitation

    My iPF8300 wakes up every so often to agitate the ink tanks. I asked Canon about what the PRO-2000 does in this respect and received this note

    Agitation of PRO-Series (PRO-2000/PRO-4000)

    In order to make the best of the performance of new LUCIA-PRO inks, the agitation of ink tank of PRO-Series has been improved compared to the previous imagePROGRAF series (iPF6400/iPF8400). As a result, PRO-Series can agitate the ink tank more effectively in a shorter period, and less frequency than before.

    For the previous models, the agitation was required every so often even in sleep mode. On the other hand, PRO-Series has introduced the effective agitation technology, that enables “background agitation” during printing, or printer’s operation, so it requires far less agitation in the sleep mode than that of previous model

    Even if the printer remains OFF for several months, there would be no issues on quality of the printer. In this case, when it turns ON, an automatic agitation might take place during start-up, depending on the status of the printer. However, the time needed for the agitation can be less than previous models thanks to the improvement of the agitation method introduced into PRO-Series.

    The improved agitation enables PRO-Series to supply print the head with stable LUCIA-PRO inks maintaining an even density at all times, and this results in more reliable print quality

    All the above are not officially announced by Canon, and they are not guaranteed under all customer environments. However, we believe that we have improved many technologies which have been introduced into PRO-Series, and the accumulation of these enables our new printers to be more stable & reliable suitable for professional customers. The new agitation technology is one of them.

    Conclusions

    large architectural printIt’s a big printer and rather long review – especially if you include the article covering the installation and setup of the PRO-2000.

    The summary would be that this is Canon’s best large format printer yet, with the reformulated ink set with the Colour Optimiser (gloss coat) showing improvements on many papers over the previous models.

    The new inks and printer produce better quality black and white prints with minimal fine tuning and adjustment. Changes are subtle but noticeable if you compare a black and white print with the older printers under artificial light.

    The printer is appreciably bigger and heavier than the old iPF6400, but has the capacity for larger ink cartridges, up to 700ml. It also has an internal hard disk as standard.

    An optional second (powered) roll holder allows for two papers to be available, or to use the second (lower) unit as a powered take-up spool.

    If you regularly use an iPF6400 (or the earlier 6100/6300) for sheet paper, then the loss of the top loading slot may be an inconvenience, with paper now loaded at the front in the same way as for the previous larger 44″ printers (8100/8300/8400).

    The colour touch screen really makes the older printers show their age. It’s clear and easy to use, making for simple set-up and configuration.

    On-line Manuals FYI

    Print speed

    Print speed varies with paper size and the amount of print area. It’s slightly longer at higher print quality settings. The figures in the specifications (at the foot of the article) give a general feel for the differences. I did time a few prints, but found that they varied too much based on print content (and CO use) for meaningful comparisons. I’d note though that sheets did seem appreciably faster than the PRO-1000.

    A 7.25m print at high quality, took about an hour, printing a print job file that had been previously downloaded to the printer. The print job itself took about 20 minutes to produce and download from my Mac. Running the two together would not massively increase the one hour print time, since the printing starts shortly after you press print on the computer.

    Sheet loading feels more fiddly and slower than on the earlier 24″ models, with the loss of the top loading slot. However, the 24″, 44″ and 60″ versions of the new printer are now just stretched designs (the previous 24″ printers were a quite different design).

    Add this change from the 6400 to the 30+second wait from the end of sheet printing to being able to release the paper, and printing a lot of single sheets could be a mildly irksome task. There is of course the very similar (from a print quality POV) PRO-1000 which has the best large sheet handling I’ve seen in a desktop printer, but it’s only 17″ width and has an inexplicably short maximum page length (currently 25″).

    The orange alignment marks for loading could do with being a more high contrast design. Not every printer is loaded under bright overhead lighting.

    Printer design

    The printer now looks like part of a range of printers from the 17″ PRO-1000 to the 60″ PRO-6000. All give a feel for solidity, backed up by their sheer weight. The PRO-2000 on its stand shakes less than the older models.

    I still think Canon seriously missed a trick by not having some form of roll support on the PRO-1000, but there’s still the iPF5100

    The colour scheme of the new printers, black with a red ‘go-faster stripe’, now matches their EOS cameras and ‘L’ lenses, but does it signify anything deeper?

    The smaller A3+ PRO series printers are still firmly aimed at the lower end of the photography market, with the PRO-1 (reviewed in 2012) perhaps due for the ‘new look’ and hopefully a decent display screen, putting it even more into the ‘Prosumer’ market.

    I mention this since the Canon printer range now looks to have a more obvious ‘going wider’ path for photographers wanting to move up from say a PRO-10 or PRO-100 printer.

    Margins and paper sizes

    The two roll holders are interchangeable as paper sources.

    Whilst the printer specs advertise being able to auto swap media types, my experience with thicker (more expensive) media is that you would be best use this with lighter media and to manually load/unload heavier roll papers.

    [Note added after Innova launched two new papers at Photokina 2016 – the heavy art papers I was using were:
    Fabriano Printmaking Rag (IFA-107) 310gsm and Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Rag (IFA-108) 310gsm ]

    From my own POV, it’s definitely a feature aimed at the bulk printing rather than quality printing market. Remember that I’m not running a print shop, so this review is from someone who makes at most a few prints at a time – YMMV

    The second roll holder can work as a take-up unit, once again showing the 24″ printer’s move towards more production oriented applications. It’s an optional unit on the 24″ and 44″ printer, but standard on the largest PRO-6000 – I’ll admit that if I replaced my iPF8300 I’d probably have very little use for the 2nd roll holder.

    Borderless printing works well with roll paper, but is not available for sheet media.

    Manual paper loading worked flawlessly throughout testing and I was able to create custom paper sizes with no difficulty for many of my odd aspect ratio prints.

    The paper vacuum system kept quite temperamental papers flat, with not a single head strike or mark left on the edges of paper. My 8300 sometimes slightly marks papers with a fragile surface – not often, but I avoid some papers. I didn’t notice this issue with any media on the PRO-2000.

    Inks and consumable costs

    The Accounting Manager software is an absolute boon to those running on tight margins wanting to know the ongoing costs of printing.

    True, it doesn’t include full ink use for cleaning etc., but it’s a big step forward.

    The live swap capability for ink carts wasn’t something I’d considered until two carts hit empty during a print run. Once I’d got over the surprise and found my spare ink carts, all went smoothly.

    On the older printers, the ink levels had a habit of moving in large steps, with often alarming looking jumps in levels after just a few prints.

    The new ink displays look more subtle in this respect, although the ink warnings and orange warning light are too persistent – A warning light that has remained on for over a month of testing ceases to be a warning light and becomes just an ornament. It does flash for a more urgent warning and is a bluish white during printing, but should be ‘off’ more often.

    • Note added after checking with Canon. The printer I have been testing is a late pre-production test printer. Now I can’t see any differences, but some aspects of its internal design differ from what you will buy. In particular, the ink level displays now reflect more accurately the amounts used in setup, so my experience of continual warnings may be unduly concerning. Since the review I was lucky enough to retain the printer for a few weeks and have done a lot more printing, with none of the remaining inks running out.

    It’s good to see that even with the cart completely empty, the printer has enough in its ‘reserve tanks’ to keep on printing. I’m sure it would have just stopped at some point, but several feet of print were made during the cart replacement procedure.

    The print cutter blade (CT-07) is easily accessible right at the front of the printer.

    Canon PF-10 printheadI’m left with just one ‘consumable’ that I’ve no data on. Canon printheads will wear out and need replacing at some point. Experience in the past and with my own iPF8300 suggests that they last longer with regular use, and like all large printers, won’t like being left unattended. My own experience has shown that Canon have a good warranty coverage on print heads (1 year).

    This is an entirely new (PF-10 single unit) head design that we don’t have any reliability data for (real or sourced from the net). I suspect that like with many electronic components it will last longer than previous models, but you should factor in the price of a replacement head in a ‘few years’ with such a printer. If you’re moving to a large format printer from a desktop one, I wrote an article a while ago about some questions you should ask yourself

    Customisation

    Being able to create my own custom media types is a benefit I’ve known on Canon large printers for several years. I do it partly to optimise print quality, but also to lessen the likelihood of mistakes.

    I noticed that when using the MCT to create media, there was a maximum of 65 ‘slots’ in the printer for media, but over 50 were already configured – fortunately Canon were able to supply me with a list of the 17 essential ‘non removable’ ones.

    These are the media settings that cannot be removed from your PRO-2000, 4000, 6000.

    media types that cannot be removed from the printer media list

    So, any others that you don’t need may be removed (and added back) with the MCT software

    Software

    I’ve already mentioned the very useful MCT and accounting software. To this I’d also add the printer’s own web server, which allows for a lot of control over the printer. The overall design could do with a bit of tidying up to soften the ‘built by an engineer’ look but it worked just fine.

    The web based printer setup works very well, driven (Mac and Win) from a specific setup web page

    The printer driver worked without problem, and where I had some difficulties in my initial attempts at using the borderless printing functions, the on-line manuals were helpful and relatively clear.

    The one annoyance from my own POV is the loss of the simple and effective print plugin, replaced as it is with PSP, a software tool that looks and feels distinctly ‘consumer’ oriented. Some may find it helpful, but a few ‘pro’ users of it I’ve chatted with about it agreed that it tried to do too much and in a fussy non intuitive way.

    However, when I looked into this in more detail, I realised that much of the functionality of the old plugin was now available directly via the printer driver. Things like sending 16 bit jobs to the hard disk and the roll preview mode make it a much more rounded bit of software than before. In fact, the complete re-write of the printer driver is one of the major achievements of the new printers that should be promoted more widely.

    Another PSP complaint, first mentioned when I tried it with the PRO-1000, there is no support for BPC (black point compensation) such as I might use when printing from Photoshop, for some papers. The manual suggests that installing some (free) Adobe CMM software will help. Only problem is that this particular software download stopped working on any current Apple Mac several years ago, yet it still made it into the PSP manual. This error seems to have been perpetuated from the old print plugin. If you print via the driver, there is no BPC option, nor for that matter is there any choice of rendering intent.

    OK, I managed to produce some excellent prints directly from Photoshop, and some other software I tried such as ImageNest and Mirage, but the point is that with excellence in other areas, PSP just looks a bit out of place.

    Overall

    If you can’t produce wonderful impressive looking large prints on a variety of media from this printer, then I’m going to suggest that the fault lays firmly with -your- skills elsewhere.

    I guess this isn’t a point Canon marketing can push too strongly, no matter how true ;-)

    Any modern high end printer will likely surpass the abilities of the majority of its potential users – it shows up your own deficiencies far more easily than you can do for the printer. That goes for me too BTW

    If you’re moving up from A3 or A3+ prints, put the work in with the rest of your photography workflow, from composition to editing, and you’ll be rewarded.

    The quality of colour and monochrome prints were a step up from my previous prints made with the iPF6300/6400 printers. Don’t get me wrong, they are still excellent printers but the new ink set and, I’m inclined to suggest, the gloss coat too, raises the bar enough that I wonder just how print quality moves very far onwards from here.

    From a usability point of view, the new printer loads roll paper very efficiently, although the loss of a top loading slot may dismay some.

    Whereas previous model changes for 24″ printers have seemed modest, the PRO-2000 (and 4000,6000) seem like Canon have taken a decisive step forward.

    Summary

    A 24 inch width 12 ink colour and monochrome printer.

    Roll and sheet paper support with an optional 2nd roll paper feed or take-up unit.

    ‘Color Optimiser’ gloss coat reduces gloss differential on many papers.

    Printer has USB, WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, built in hard disk for job storage and a colour touch screen display.

    • Buying a PRO-2000: B&H | Amazon.com | Adorama
    • A note… I write these printer reviews in my spare time, I don’t get paid and have no business connections with Canon or Epson. The site and my time really are supported by adverts and the links to buy stuff – so a big thank you to everyone who helps us out!

    Specifications (from Canon)

    TECHNOLOGY

    Printer Type: 12 Colour 24″/610mm

    Print Technology: Canon Bubblejet on Demand 12 colours integrated type (12 chips per print head x 1 print head)

    Print Resolution: 2,400 x 1200 dpi

    Number of Nozzles: 18,432 nozzles (1536 nozzles x 12 colour)
    Line Accuracy ±0.1% or less User adjustments necessary.
    Printing environment and media must match those used for the adjustments. CAD paper required: Plain paper, CAD tracing paper, coated paper, CAD translucent matte film only

    Nozzle Pitch: 600 dpi x 2 includes Non-firing nozzle detection and compensation system

    Ink Droplet Size: minimum 4 pl. per colour
    Ink Capacity Sales Ink: 160ml/330ml/700ml Bundled Starter Ink: 160ml
    Ink Type: Pigment inks – Black, Matte Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Photo Cyan, Photo Magenta, Grey, Photo Grey, Red, Blue, Chroma Optimiser

    OS Compatibility: Microsoft Windows 32 Bit: Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Server 2008, 64 Bit: Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Server 2008/R2, Server 2012/R2
    Apple Macintosh: OSX 10.7.5 ~ 10.11

    Printer Languages: SG Raster (Swift Graphic Raster), PDF (Ver.1.7), JPEG (Ver. JFIF 1.02)

    Standard Interfaces: USB A Port: USB Memory Direct Print for JPEG/PDF files USB B Port: Built-in Hi-Speed USB 2.0
    Ethernet: 10/100/1000 base-T
    Wireless LAN: IEEE802.11n/IEEE802.11g/IEEE802.11b

    MEMORY
    Standard memory 3 GB
    Hard Drive 320 GB

    PRINTING SPEED
    Media Type (A1 Page Size)

    Print Mode: Print Time
    Plain Paper (A1 Page Size): Fast: 0:58 min. Standard: 1:37 min.
    Coated Paper (A1 Page Size): Standard: 1:37 min. High Quality: 3:12 min.
    Glossy Photo Paper (A1 Page Size): Standard: 3:34 min. High Quality: 5:38 min.

    MEDIA HANDLING
    Media Feed and Output: Roll Paper: One Roll, Front-loading, Front Output
    Optional Roll Paper: One Roll, Front-loading, Front Output
    Cut Sheet: Front-loading, Front Output (Manual feed using media locking lever)
    Media Width: Roll paper: 203.2 ~ 610mm Cut sheet: 203.2 ~ 610mm
    Media Thickness: Roll/Cut: 0.07 ~ 0.8mm
    Minimum Printable Length: 203.2mm
    Maximum Printable Length
    Roll paper: 18 m (Varies according to the OS and application) Cut sheet: 1.6 m
    Maximum Media Roll Diameter” 170 mm
    Media Core Size: Internal diameter of roll core: 2″/3″

    Margins Recommended area: Roll paper: Top: 20 mm, Bottom: 3 mm, Side: 3 mm Cut sheet: Top: 20 mm, Bottom: 20 mm, Side: 3 mm
    Margins Printable area: Roll paper: Top: 3 mm, Bottom: 3 mm, Side: 3 mm
    Roll paper (borderless): Top: 0 mm, Bottom: 0 mm, Side: 0 mm Cut sheet: Top: 3 mm, Bottom: 20 mm, Side: 3 mm

    Media Feed Capacity
    Roll Paper: One roll. If second option is added then automatic switching is possible Cut Sheet: 1 sheet
    Media Take-up roll unit: Optional – Dual direction roll take up unit allowing print surface to be wound inside or outside of the roll

    Borderless Printing Width (Roll Only)
    515 mm(JIS B2), 594 mm(ISO A1), 10″, 14″, 17″, 24″, 257 mm(JIS B4)*, 297 mm(ISO A3)*, 329 mm(ISO A3+)*, 420 mm(ISO A2)*, 8″*, 16″*, 300 mm*
    *Some environmental conditions may not produce the desired result

    Maximum number of delivered prints
    Standard position: 1 sheet
    Flat position: A2 landscape, glossy paper less than 10 sheets, Coated paper less than 20 sheets (excludes strong curled condition)

    DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
    Physical Dimensions and Weight WxDxH
    1110 x 984 x 1168 mm (Basket Open)
    1110 x 766 x 1168 mm (Basket Closed)
    101 kg (including Roll Holder Set, excluding ink and print heads)

    Packaged Dimensions and Weight
    Printer w x D x H: (Main unit with pallet): 1324 x 902 x 1042 mm 129 kg
    Stand/Basket W x D x H: 1111 x 797 x 223 mm
    23 kg

    Roll Unit W x D x H: 1244 x 562 x 461 mm 23 kg

    POWER AND OPERATING REQUIREMENTS
    Power Supply: AC 100-240V (50-60Hz)
    Power Consumption: Operation: 88 W or less Stand-by: 1.8 W or less Power off: 0.5 W or less

    Operating Environment
    Temperature: 15~30°C, Humidity: 10~80% RH (no dew condensation)

    Acoustic Noise (Power/Pressure)
    Operation: 48 dB (A) (Glossy paper, Print priority: Standard)
    Stand-by: 35 dB (A) or less
    Operation: 6.4 Bels or less (Glossy paper, Image, Print priority: Standard) (Measured on ISO 7779 standard)

    Regulations
    Europe: CE mark, Germany: TUV mark, Russia: EAC, Other countries: CB certification
    Environment Certificates: International Energy Star Program (WW), RoHS

    WHAT’S INCLUDED What’s in the Box?
    Printer, 1 x Print Head, 1 x Maintenance Cartridge, 3” Paper Core Attachment, EU & UK Power Cable, 1 Set of Starter Ink Tanks, Set Up Guide, Safety/Standard Environment Leaflet,

    User Software CD-ROM (OSX/Windows), PosterArtist Lite CD-ROM, EU Biocide Sheet, Eurasian Economic Union Sheet, Important Information Sheet, Quick Guide and Printhead Alignment Sheet

    Software Included: imagePROGRAF PRO Printer Driver, Print Plug-In for Office, Quick Utility Toolbox and PosterArtist Lite

    Other software available as Download from Web.

    OPTIONS Optional Items
    Printer Stand: SD-21
    Roll Unit: RU-21
    2/3″ Roll Holder: RH2-27

    CONSUMABLES
    User Replaceable Items Ink Tank: PFl-1100 (160ml), PFl-1300 (330ml), PFl-1700 (700ml) Print Head: PF-10
    Cutter Blade: CT-07
    Maintenance Cartridge: MC-30

    More Info.

    More print related information

    For information about other printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main Articles and Reviews page, or use the search box at the top of any page. There are also specific index pages for any articles connected with the following topics:

    More of Keith's articles/reviews (Google's picks to match this page)


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    • Daniel Gblin Mensah (SynergyMu

      Hi Keith, Thanks for the in depth review, can the Canon pro 2000 print on both dye and pigment photo papers? How about Eco solvent canvas material? Thanks

      • Keith Cooper

        No problem with the photo papers, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t know what eco-solvent canvas was if it turned up at my front door – not my area of print ;-)

        I’d suggest asking on somewhere like the print forum at Luminous Landscape – a lot more people on the commercial side of print there.

    • Aaron Hartley

      I’m looking at a purchase of either the 4000 or 6000 version of this machine. What a glorious review. I’m a commercial entity so the cost software is what initially drew me to this model. We currently have a 7 year old Oce CS2344 but inks are no longer manufactured and needing 2 x print heads at £500 each per year is just not cost effective – even though the Oce has paid for itself 6 times over, I’m just throwing money in the bin. Seeing this up close has set my mind at rest as it looks familiar in terms of the inner workings. If I could ask a few questions, I’d really appreciate it if you’d reply. We currently buy in 6 sheet posters for bus shelter advertising – posters would be placed inside frames. Would this be OK for producing those – I’m talking the 6000 version here obviously – or would we need some form of post-press laminate solution? This will be what makes my mind up on the 4000 or the 6000. One other question, our current Oce struggles when files hit 50mb or above (blame the designers!), how does this handle big files?

      • Keith Cooper

        six-sheet? Not my area of printing at all I’m afraid – the inks are relatively good for longevity, but you’d need to ask Canon about such applications.

        50MB ? That’s a small file for the sorts of images I’ve printed on the PRO-2000 :-) (from photoshop – I don’t do graphics). The 7 metre print was over a gigabyte… There is a 2 GB limit in the Mac printer drivers, but I tried a RIP and it’s fine.

        If you’re new to the site, do check the categories list at the top of the side of article pages, there are getting on for a thousand articles here, so there’s a lot of overlap in topics

        • Aaron Hartley

          Thanks for the reply Keith – much appreciated. I am expecting delivery this week – a full set of 700ml inks turned up last week (cost just short of £1,000) so I am just waiting for the machine to arrive. I have had to make a big space available in the print room and I’m looking forward to trying out my new toy (moving stuff around resulted in a nasty swarfega spillage – 10 litres spread everywhere) . I’ll happily plonk a comment here re: how it has improved our commercial large format output once it has bedded in and I’ve configured all the accounting software. I must admit, Canon have been terrific thus far and my sales rep has been second to none (unlike my Xerox rep!). My CS2344 is still going strong even though it is indicating that it needs a print head replacing and it’ll be a sad day when she finally turns up her toes as she’s been a superb machine.

    • David Dodier

      Keith,

      It appears my post went missing, try again. Would you replace the carts individually as they empty or as a pair or group? I remember with my 6300 if two carts were low and I replaced the empty one, after the printer did its thing, enough ink would be used up during the process in the other cart requiring its replacement. I don’t want to start the domino effect! Thoughts?

      • kacoooper

        With the PRO-2000, the live swap means that no ink is wasted.
        I’ve been doing some more testing and the CO ran out whilst making a big pano print.
        I swapped the CO and then as it was loading, the PC and PM inks also ran out.
        I swapped these and all was well. The printing carried on all through this without a pause.
        It seems that the low ink calculations are run again when a new cart is installed and the buffer tanks are being filled.
        I checked each of the three carts I replaced, and all were as empty as the one I pulled apart in the review.