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Canon's Three New Printers Feature New Inks and Media Configuration Tool

At the WPPI Show, Canon introduced three new models of imagePROGRAF printers: the 44-in. imagePROGRAF iPF8300 and the 24-in. imagePROGRAF iPF6350 and IPF6300. The major difference between the iPF 6350 and 6300 models is that the 6350 comes with a built-in 80 GB hard drive (as does the iPF8300). The new models include numerous enhancements to further improve the print quality, versatility, and productivity of the iPF printers in the photographic, fine-art, graphic-arts, and proofing markets.

More Colorful, Durable Prints: The most noteworthy change is the all-new, 12-color LUCIA EX pigment inkset that increases the achievable color gamut by approximately 20% compared to x100 series models. This gamut increase will enable users in the graphic arts and proofing markets to reproduce more of the spot colors specified by graphic designers and brand marketers. The wider gamut also reproduces finer details in the shadow areas of photographic prints and produces crisper, more expressive blacks.

Vincent Isola, the owner of Genesis Photography and the new hands-on Genesis Digital Photography Learning Center in Mountain View, CA has tested one of the new models. He says the gamut increase is most evident in the deep blues and darker colors and the gradations in the profiles are much smoother.

An innovative polymer structure in the inks results in greater scratch resistance and protection from color fading while also reducing bronzing and metamerism. The LUCIA EX inks have achieved Wilhelm Imaging Research’s highest rating for resistance to damage from atmospheric ozone, which can be a concern in urban environments where prints might be displayed unframed. Henry Wilhlem also notes that Canon’s LUCIA EX inks exhibit excellent short-term color drift (“dry-down”) behavior, which is critically important for color-managed workflows and proofing.

New Media Configuration Tool: Photographers who use LexJet Sunset photo and fine-art papers and canvas will particularly like the printers’ new Media Configuration Tool.  With this tool, Canon becomes the first wide-format pro-photo printer manufacturer to allow users to store custom and third-party media profiles where they can easily be seen and selected in the print driver.

You will be able to download profiles for LexJet media from our website and upload them into the printer,” explains LexJet Technical Director Adam Hannig. Printing on LexJet materials will be a lot more straightforward, because there will be no question about which comparable Canon media setting you should select when it’s time to print.

What’s more, the LexJet profiles you load into the Media Configuration Tool will not only include color data, but also media-feed adjustments that can ensure that the selected media feeds through the printer at the proper rate.

This is particularly important when printing on canvas,” says Hannig, because if you will be wrapping the print on stretcher bars the dimensions of the final print have to be perfect.”  This new automated capability will save considerable time compared to making the media-feed adjustments manually to ensure that big canvas prints don’t end up being even ¼-in. larger than they should be.

More Precise Ink Placement: To deliver higher levels of sharpness and fine detail in images, the new printers have a reinforced mechanical structure that improves the precision and accuracy of how the ink is placed. Other image-quality enhancements include a new High-Precision Printing Mode designed to produce less graininess, enhanced glossiness, sharper blacks, and deeper darker tones. And, the Print Plug-in for Photoshop now supports the Adobe Color Management Module.

Support for the Adobe Color Management Module will enable you to use features such as Black Point Compensation, which gives you greater control over how much black ink is laid down without having to buy RIP software. The correct Black Point Compensation can help you improve the amount of details you can see in shadow areas of an image.  (Screen grab courtesy of Vincent Isola, Genesis Photography.)

Award-winning nature photographer Brian Hampton, whose work has been featured in  Vol 1, No. 4 issue of In Focus, also has tested the Canon iPF8300 and notes that, “The quality of the print is amazing.” He was particularly impressed by how well the iPF8300 reproduces shadow details. He also liked the ability to export out of Photoshop via the Print Plug-In, noting that “Many of its capabilities perform as well as a RIP program without the additional cost.

Canon’s new iPF6300/6350/8300 printers also feature an Accounting Manager utility that lets you track you ink and media costs for each job you produce.

Built-In Hard Drive: If you frequently reprint some of your best images, the built-in 80 GB on the iPF8300 and iPF6350 can be useful because it saves the print settings along with the stored job. This means you don’t have to go into your computer and resend the file every time you need to reprint a job.

The new printers will start shipping this month, with an MSRP of $5,995 for the iPF8300, $3,995 for the iPF6350 (with hard drive) and $3,695 for the iPF6300. Call your LexJet account specialist for more information.

Portrait photographer Vincent Isola likes that his Canon camera can talk directly to the Canon printer through the Digital Photo Pro software. Plus, after building 16-bit files from his RAW images and working with them in Photoshop, there is no need to compress the image files from 16-bit to 8-bit for printing.

He plans to start printing all of his clients’ work in his Genesis Photography studio so he can choose exactly how his final images will look. He will be producing archival pigment prints on fiber-based papers that can further differentiate Genesis Photography from labs and competitive start-up studios. Isola will be using Canon printers in the new Genesis Digital Photography Center he has established to enable photography enthusiasts of all ages to learn from working professionals. (www.genesisdlc.com)

Volume 5  -  No. 3

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