A Guide to the Internal Color Calibration of Canon Printers

The Ninth

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Hi,

Since the Canon documentation of the internal color calibration is pretty scarce, especially when it comes to concepts and workflows, I tried to fill that gap and collect all the information I found in a blog post. Some of the information is from the Canon documentation, some from forums or my own experience.

I'd be very interested to hear your opinion, especially if I got everything correct or if there is something important omitted or I got things wrong.

https://www.the-ninth.com/blog/canon-printer-calibration-guide

Regards, Robert
 

The Hat

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Since the Canon documentation of the internal color calibration is pretty scarce,
I have been using Canon printers for years now and maybe I’ve missed something, have I ?...

Canon printers are already calibrated when you first get them, you only need to tweak them for the induvial types of media you wish to use.. Otherwise leave them alone..

My two cent worth..
 

The Ninth

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Canon printers are already calibrated when you first get them, you only need to tweak them for the induvial types of media you wish to use.. Otherwise leave them alone..

Canon does recommend running the internal color calibration once you have setup the printer (provided it has that feature of course). I don't think it will make or break your prints, but if you are after the last bit of color accuracy it can be a valuable tool.

Personally I have also long lived without it and only now started to look into it, hence that blog post. So far I cannot tell how big of an impact the calibration has, but I plan to run some test in the near future.
 

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but if you are after the last bit of color accuracy it can be a valuable tool.
That’s exactly it, if you wish to squeeze every ounce of extra colour out of your printer, then the way to do that is use proper profiling methods and good quality paper, but this has nothing to do with printer calibration.. It’s a complete septate thing altogether..
 

The Ninth

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That’s exactly it, if you wish to squeeze every ounce of extra colour out of your printer, then the way to do that is use proper profiling methods and good quality paper, but this has nothing to do with printer calibration.. It’s a complete septate thing altogether..

I‘d say that the internal color calibration can support those proper profiling methods, by keeping the printers output stable over time. Also it can help less ambitious users who want to use generic ICC profiles to achieve better results.

What is your view on what the internal color calibration is good for? Or do you think it is just a gimmick without real use?

In any case, from your signature I gather you are using third party inks? Then the internal calibration will be no good anyway, at least according to Canon. From how I understand how it works it may just work with custom media types, Unique calibration and third party inks, but one would have to try.
 
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The Hat

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What is your view on what the internal color calibration is good for?
That’s just it, a printer is only as good as its initial setup, the only thing that might need tweaking in time is a head alignment, after that everything is good to go, printers don’t go off the boil with use, only the print heads do.

Time and time again, it’s a case where someone doesn’t know what they’re doing and changes the printer setting over to an App they favour, when the printer manages the colour 95% of the time the prints all come out perfect..
it is just a gimmick without real use?
That’s a bit strong to describe Canons expensive colour calibration, but its usually only needed on bigger more expensive printers, and also on Digital laser printer too..
P.S. you have some nice prints in your portfolio by the way..
 

Artur5

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I think that internal calibration is only available on higher end Canon models ( Pro1000/2000/4000..).
These printers have an integrated measuring device (be it colorimeter or spectrophotometer ) to perform the task, This is intended to ensure that all Pro1000 units deliver exactly the same output.
Therefore, you can use a certain paper and OEM inks with a specific ICC profile on a number of different Canon Pro-1000 printers and, if they have been internally calibrated, the prints from all them should be exactly the same.

Lesser models like Pro10/100/200/300 are on a different league, so no internal calibration for them ( I can live with that 'terrible' limitation... ;) ).
 

The Ninth

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That’s just it, a printer is only as good as its initial setup, the only thing that might need tweaking in time is a head alignment, after that everything is good to go, printers don’t go off the boil with use, only the print heads do.
Yes, I would say that also the internal color calibration aims at print head degradation. While print head alignment covers the physical position of the print head, internal color calibration covers the amount/mix of ink that is applied, which it seems may also be affected by print head aging.

P.S. you have some nice prints in your portfolio by the way..
Thanks. :)

I think that internal calibration is only available on higher end Canon models ( Pro1000/2000/4000..).
These printers have an integrated measuring device (be it colorimeter or spectrophotometer ) to perform the task, This is intended to ensure that all Pro1000 units deliver exactly the same output.
Therefore, you can use a certain paper and OEM inks with a specific ICC profile on a number of different Canon Pro-1000 printers and, if they have been internally calibrated, the prints from all them should be exactly the same.

That is also my understanding. Canon cites two purposes for the internal calibration, a) to get consistent output between printers of the same model and b) to compensate for aging of the printer/print head and keep output consistent over time.

As far as I am aware the following printers have the internal color calibration:
  • imagePROGRAF PRO series:
    PRO-1000, PRO-2000, PRO-2100, PRO-4000, PRO-4000S, PRO-4100, PRO-4100S, PRO-6000, PRO-6000S, PRO-6100, PRO-6100S
  • imagePROGRAF iPF series:
    iPF6400, iPF6450, iPF6400S, iPF6400SE, iPF8400, iPF8400S, iPF8400SE
 

DirkColaert

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Thank you for the blog post. I am using the combination PRO-2100-third party ink - third party paper and custom icc profiles. I'm not sure whether I will go into that unique calibration, but at least I am happy to now fully understand the purpose and the workflow of this feature.
Thanks!
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Canon cites two purposes for the internal calibration, a) to get consistent output between printers of the same model and b) to compensate for aging of the printer/print head and keep output consistent over time.
That's relevant when you work in a commercial environment with ongoing quality control of your print output; you typically do all this with other printers running a linearization function - e.g. in EFI software - or other profiling software above i1Profiler by Xrite, which works on a machine by machine basis only. You linearize your printers - the same model - and can use the the icc-profile on all.
 

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