Canon’s PIXMA Pro9000; A Speedy Color Inkjet Printer Page 2

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Museum Etching and the Premium Matte cannot be used in the auto stack feeder. Doing so, says Canon, can damage the printer. It can also shred the edges of the paper that can get stuck inside the printer, a real drag. The others pass through the top loader just fine.

If your selected paper size in the Page Setup dialog box does not seem to work when you go to make prints there may be an option in the flyaway menu that does work, so be sure to check the options even under the initial size. For example, as seen here, when I first loaded the Museum Etching A3+ size all seemed fine, but the printer gave me a Paper/Page Setup dialog box warning. I then went back and selected A3+ with margins and all was fine.

I also used a selection of new Ink Press papers (www.inkpresspaper.com), including their Fine Art Matte, a double-sided 220 gsm, 12 mil thick, 75 percent wood pulp, 25 percent cotton rag paper. Profiles were available at the Ink Press website. Some profile tweaking was needed for the Fine Art Matte, where more contrast than initially printed was created (my taste); their Warm Tone Picture Rag 300 and especially Fiber Gloss were right on.

Once the paper has been fed in you get to work with the dialog boxes. See the accompanying illustrations for a bit of a walk through on that. While the results were excellent and matched the screen image on my MacBook Pro hooked up to an Apple Cinema Display monitor to a "T," those who relish setting numbers and knowing the dpi of the output etc. might be disappointed. If you are used to working with more advanced printer drivers you might feel somewhat left out here and wanting for more information. I could not find the information in any supplied literature, for example, on what constitutes "Fine" or "Fast" or anywhere in between on the slider found in the Detailed Print Settings dialog box. For some reason Canon was reticent to share that information.

As more and more pastel, watercolor, and even oil paint artists use inkjet as the medium for reproduction-quality prints, you could offer copy and print services for their work using this printer. For that I definitely recommend the Canon Museum Etching paper.
© 2007, Grace Schaub, All Rights Reserved

While I was more than satisfied with the color output on nearly every paper surface supplied I cannot say the same with black and white and monochrome prints. While the subtlety of tone and detail was very good, the shift of coloration is something I just can't accept anymore in a black and white inkjet print. This "metamerism" is something that dye ink printers can't seem to shake, and the use of only one black in the ink mix means a high degree of color compositing goes on in the output. The prevailing light seemed to cause a shift--prints came out fine (neutral) in the afternoon; by twilight they were warm; by evening they looked magenta and at times they even looked "greenish." Not in extremes, but enough to convince me that this was not a printer I'd use for black and white.

One thing that was very much appreciated with this printer was the information displayed in the dialog box and especially the ease of changing inks. As the individual carts drained the bothersome bouncing printer display would come up at the base of the MacBook Pro and show a dialog box indicating which ink cart needed changing. All you need do is raise the top of the printer and the inks automatically drift smoothly into view. The ink cart needing change is indicated by a red flashing light, whereas all the "good" ink slots glow a steady red. You just pop the ink out of the package, strip the plastic protector and propeller-like ink stopper and insert--you are rewarded with a steady red glow, after which you close the lid and you're all set to go.

For the best match to traditional "fine" photographic color print paper my recommendation is the Canon Photo Paper Plus semigloss. The paper imparts a low sheen and incredible sharpness.
© 2007, George Schaub, All Rights Reserved

In all, I'd highly recommend this printer for color work using the Canon fine art papers. If you are making reproductions of scanned artwork the PIXMA Pro9000 delivers incredible subtlety of tone and reveals every brush stroke on the Museum Etching paper. Seeing as more artists are making inkjet reproductions of scanned originals for sale the printer could allow you to do a nice little side business. The semigloss is one of the nicest traditional color paper emulative surfaces I've seen, and the Premium Matte and Photo Rag are top choices for work of all manner. While the monochrome printing quality might cause some to pause about this printer, this degree of color quality, convenience, and all-around ease of use from a $499 printer is hard to beat.

The Canon Art Papers
As many printmakers know the paper used has a profound effect on the look and feel of the image. The Canon line-up of art papers makes a contribution to the quality paper offerings available to photographers today. While Canon does not coat its own papers, the obvious advantage of using them in printers like the PIXMA Pro9000 is that the company has spent considerable research time in creating profiles that bring the best out in the paper/ink combinations. Of the papers I got to test I particularly like the Museum Etching for fine art reproductions and the Photo Rag and Premium Matte for color photography. Of the selection available to us for test the semigloss was the most like traditional fine-quality color print paper, and color images made on it were dazzling and satisfying to the eye.

For more information, contact Canon U.S.A., Inc., One Canon Plaza, Lake Success, NY 11042; (800) 652-2666, (516) 328-5000; www.canonusa.com.

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