Thursday, June 15, 2023

Printing big and BIGGER with my Canon printers!

In the last blog post, I talked about the importance of color calibration. I also said that I would follow up that blog post to cover the final step in the process...printing. 

For the last 8 years I have been relying on the Canon Pro-1000 printer. This printer has been an absolute work-horse for me, printing the bulk of my 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 prints for clients, and really anything up to 16x20. Then, about 6 months ago I added the larger Canon Pro-4100 printer to my arsenal so that I can print REALLY large images.

Actually - I have three Canon printers if you want to include my multifunction printer (to the left), which I generally only use for printing documents and scanning. The Canon Pro-1000 printer is right next to my computer for easy loading of smaller photo paper.

This is the Canon Pro-4100 printer taking up a lot of space in the office, but worth it. I posted this photo of my granddaughter and I (taken by my daughter-in-law) on social media last week because it is one of my favorites. I had to print that one big!

But I am getting ahead of myself here. Before I talk about the printers, I need to further explain the importance of color calibration as part of the printing process. Regardless of whether you are printing on a large format printer or a small one, the color calibration is really needed because nobody wants to spend the money on the ink and paper only to find out that the colors and brightness are off. Having the Spyder X2 connected to my computer means that, not only are my colors going to be correct both on screen and from the printer, but also that the brightness of the monitor will be set so I can properly set the exposure levels before the images is sent to the printer. With this combination, I have complete confidence knowing that what I output will be accurate, without having to reprint over and over.

Unlike many photographers, I do not use Adobe Lightroom very often, but instead choose to do all my retouching directly in Adobe Photoshop (using Photo Mechanic for all my culling and organization). Once I have done all the retouching in Photoshop, I then choose which printer I am going to output to. Most of the time this determination is made strictly on the size of the final print. If the print is going to be smaller than 16x20, then I still default to the Canon Pro-1000. Anything larger and I use the new Canon Pro-4100, which can print all the way up to 44" wide by 100 feet. 

Some people have asked me why I decided to get the Canon Pro-4100. Honestly I got this beast for the following reasons:

1. I have always wanted to be able to print my images really large, to frame and put in the house.

2. I periodically have clients who want large prints and I like being able to create them quickly.

3. I had a corporate client who wanted images printed for an office building, and it seemed more cost effective to print them here than to order a large quantity from my color lab.

One of the features I love the most about the Canon Pro-1000 is the paper loading system. Unlike many other printers, this one uses a vacuum system to pull the paper in. My previous printer (from another company) would bring paper in crooked all the time, creating a lot of waste and frustration. In all my years using the Pro-1000, I have never once had the paper go in off angle. The Canon Pro-4100 uses paper rolls, and has also been perfect in the loading and printing department. Even the process of replacing a roll is incredibly easy. I just put the roll of paper onto the bar and the printer does the rest.

As for the quality of the prints, they are always remarkable. The colors are perfect and the resolution is museum grade. There is nothing like seeing your favorite images printed in the highest quality and large!

For both printers, my favorite media is the Lustre paper and I use this 90% of the time.  

These are some of the photos that I printed for the office building. I generally lay them down on the ground for a couple of days to get the curl out of the paper (since they are coming off of a roll). 

Ever since getting the new printer, I have been having fun framing favorite images and putting them up at the house. When I get tired of them. I switch them out for new ones.

If you are interested in getting any of my photos in a large print, just send me an email and tell me which image (any from my web site or blog) and I can print that for you at a reasonable price. Then you can enjoy these large photos as much as I am. 😀


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1 comment:

Ralph Hightower said...

Hi Jeff,
Besides color calibration of the monitor and printer, I think at least having a monitor that meets the RGB color space of the printer is needed also.
I have the SpyderX monitor calibration, but not a monitor with the color space subset of sRGB. When I got my 5D III, I changed the color space to RGB. Why lose some of the information?