Resurrecting an ancient printer

Started Aug 29, 2016 | Discussions
OzRay
OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Resurrecting an ancient printer
1

After my IPF5000 died utterly and completely, now even refusing to turn on, and after checking that parts alone would cost at least $1500 to get it working again, I've decided that it is now going to the tip. I don't think I could bother seeing if anyone wants to take it away for free.

So I took my old Canon i9950 printer out of the closet, where it's been sitting now for around eight years, to see whether it would work again. I fired it up and ran a test print, which came out not so good and ran out of two ink carts at the same time. I had a spare for one, but had to order some more and went for a cheap eBay set of eight for $16.

When the new inks arrived, I ran a pattern check and then a clean and, surprisingly, it wasn't too bad. So I did full print and the colours were somewhat off, but there were no obvious print nozzle issues. Following that, I did an printer calibration exercise with my X-Rite Color Munki and once that was done, using Capture One Pro, I did another print.

I was both gobsmacked and mighty pleased, as the result was as good as you could get from a new printer, a perfect representation of the screen image, with no artifacts or defects. I cannot believe that such an old printer that hasn't been used in at least eight years can still put out a quality print and using third party inks.

I've been pondering whether to get a new large format pigment ink printer, but I've got prints produced by the i9950 from when I bought it that still haven't faded (that's not to say third party inks will last that long). Other than the size of prints that the i9950 can produce (and I like to print large), it's a not a bad printer and, nowadays, very cheap to run.

I've had print deprivation for several months and at least now have some relief for the time being.

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WPMChan Senior Member • Posts: 1,499
Re: Resurrecting an ancient printer
1

Good to hear that your i9950 is still serving you well. While yours were in your closet, my i9950 has been producing fine prints for me in all those years. Mine is still alive and kicking. I needed to replace the ink soaking pad once.

I have been using third party ink as well, for CAD 24 per set of 8 from Canada. Canon PCI 6 ink cartridges are hard to get in NZ, even when available, are over NZD 36 each.

I do notice that since I switched over to Windows 10, about two months ago, the new driver is not as good as the the one with my old Windows 7, in that the skin tone is noticeably paler. I am not sure if I can switch back to the old driver that I used in Windows 7.

The other annoying setback after switching over to Windows 10 is that the Canon Easy Photo Printing and the Canon CD Label printer do not recognise the iP9950 in Windows 10. Both programs had worked well in Windows 7 before.

OzRay
OP OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Re: Resurrecting an ancient printer

That was the other thing that surprised me about the i9950, it was immediately recognised by Windows 10 and worked without any further ado. I was forever having issues with the IPF5000 software if the printer wasn't used for a while or had been switched off for a while.

Canon printer software sucks big time, or certainly the one for the IPF5000 did. That's one reason why I'm debating getting one of the later model, wide format, Canon printers. I really have to consider whether I need a large format printer for some projects I'm contemplating.

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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Sadly, my 9950 ....

WPMChan wrote: Good to hear that your i9950 is still serving you well. While yours were in your closet, my i9950 has been producing fine prints for me in all those years. Mine is still alive and kicking. I needed to replace the ink soaking pad once.

.. stopped working just after the first year warranty expired and without printing that many. Here in Spain, Canon wanted almost as much to refurbish as a new printer. I ended (thankfully as it turned out) getting an Epson 1400 whilst visiting the UK from inkexpress.co.uk at around half the refurb cost - actually less, as I would also have had to pay carriage both ways (about another €100) and even with the flight luggage charge, saved almost €150 on the Spanish Epson 1400 price. The 9950 sits there, unloved. Even with the original inks, the fading was not exactly what I had expected, so my 1400 Epson with pigment inks from Leo Chang in the USA (unkjetfly.com) are exceptionally good and definitely superior.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm (Includes links to "bassotto's" images)
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/backfocus.htm
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

WPMChan Senior Member • Posts: 1,499
Re: Sadly, my 9950 ....

Sorry to hear that your i9950 hasn't been printing. I used a commercial printer serviceman to service my printer. I got genuine Canon parts but not paying Canon service price. Perhaps you may want to talk to a commercial printer serviceman to get a second opinion on the repair.

I am on my second printer head and second ink soaking pad. I would have got many hundreds, if not over a thousand prints out of it. Most of my prints are 6x4 for family albums, 5x7 and 8x10 for framing and occasionally A3 for wall hanging.

I must have a very good copy. I bought mine used eight years ago. It has been very good and reliable. My experience was the other way round. I had two Epson A4 photo printers before. None lasted more than 3 years.

Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Re: Sadly, my 9950 ....

WPMChan wrote:  Sorry to hear that your i9950 hasn't been printing. I used a commercial printer serviceman to service my printer. I got genuine Canon parts but not paying Canon service price. Perhaps you may want to talk to a commercial printer serviceman to get a second opinion on the repair.

Could not find any such independent repair person here in Spain but as mentioned, the Epson 1400 still going strong and printing superbly.  The 9950 never did give that good a print, considering the much higher price at that time and in my (also, at that time) simple testing  a number printed with original Canon inks on different papers in sunny days - fading was excessive - even when printed on acid-free watercolour paper - my normal for many years.  Interesting about your Epson printers.  I have also been using, with compatible dyes - good quality from inkexpress.co.uk - an Epson All-In-One DX7400 - now about 7+ years old and going well.  Used regularly for (mainly) such as newsletters (illustrated and normally around total 2,000+ pages a year or more) and for family photos and never complains.  Seems a case of pot luck, which it shouldn't be for such expensive equipment - although the DX7400 only cost about €60 at the time = cheep cheep.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm (Includes links to "bassotto's" images)
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/backfocus.htm
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

Pete Berry Veteran Member • Posts: 4,257
Re: Resurrecting an ancient printer

Like you, I switched to an iPF5000 from a well used 9900 over five years, but about 10 years ago, then to a 5100 when the 5000 needed new heads after five years - the value of the ink and heads in the new printer basically equaling the new $1500 printer cost, and a full set of 130ml inks to boot, so a no-brainer decision. The 5100 is a noticeable upgrade, with a huge increase in scratch resistance on sensitive baryta surfaces such as Ilford GFS and still great colors.

But the 9900 still sits back under the desk, and your story gives me ideas of reviving it! The blacks on archival matte papers (esp. Ilford's thick but light (very porous) archival matte of the time gave blacks like I've never seen from the 5100 or any other pigment printer - black holes you could simply fall into! And the blacks are what really make the colors pop.  It gave me many winners in regional juried competitions in Florida, including Best in Color. A set of Canon inks is only $65 now at Amazon, so methinks I'll give it a try!

Pete

OzRay
OP OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Re: Resurrecting an ancient printer

After I did my first print the other day, I did another one and it turned out crap, a hideous magenta cast. I had no idea why, so I recalibrated the printer and tried again, still crap. So I did several cleans and the test prints came up fine, but the prints were not.

Then I ran out of the paper that I've been using with the printer (Ilford Galerie Classic Pearl) and all I had was paper for the pigment printer (Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl). So I went searching to see if I could get more paper and no one sold the Classic Pearl. Then the penny dropped, Smooth Pearl works fine with dye based printers.

So I calibrated the printer for Smooth Pearl paper and bingo, the print came out fine. The results wasn't as sharp for some reason as with the Classic Pearl, so I then converted the RAW file to a 16 bit TIFF and then decided to print via Qimage rather than Capture One and suddenly there was a substantial improvement, not only in print quality, but sharpness as well.

I'd given up on Qimage after I found that Capture One could produce pretty decent results, though the printing process is a chore, but I'm now back to Qimage given the quality it produces (and print setup is much better).

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Thoughts, Musings, Ideas and Images from South Gippsland
http://australianimage.com.au/wordpress/

Apotheker Regular Member • Posts: 494
Canon CLI-8 are physically identical to BCI-6 cartridges

They work perfectly and more easy to get: Canon Pro 9000 CLI-8 cartridges. Same colors (including red and green). Actually they share the same printhead, but Canon decided for the chipped versions. However for more accurate colors, you might have produce profiles.

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Crazy about printing, profiling and refilling printer cartridges

OzRay
OP OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Re: Canon CLI-8 are physically identical to BCI-6 cartridges

I'm seriously thinking of getting a Canon Pro100. After printing a B&W with the i9950, I realised why I stopped using it. The Pro100 has three blacks/greys like the IPF5000 and apparently prints very good B&W.

I don't need a wide format printer anymore, so the Pro100 looks like a good option, and I can get it for a good price. As for [profiling, I do that with all of my papers.

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Thoughts, Musings, Ideas and Images from South Gippsland
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OzRay
OP OzRay Forum Pro • Posts: 19,428
Re: Canon CLI-8 are physically identical to BCI-6 cartridges

I bit the bullet and ordered a Canon Pro100s, which I pick up on Monday.

There were several things that drove me in this direction:

1. I don't need to print anything over A3+ anymore, so a wide format printer would be overkill.

2. Dye based printers produce richer, deeper, colours than pigment ink printers, which I was reminded of when I printed some A3+ prints with the i9950 and compared them to the same done with the IPF5000.

3. The i9950 produces woeful B&W, but all the reports that I've read indicate that the Pro100 produces excellent B&W prints due to the grey and black inks ( I generally use Museo Silver Rag for my B&W).

4. While the inks don't come in the same capacity as that for the wide format printers, overall I think the Pro 100 inks will end up cheaper and are much easier to find.

5. Dye inks are now very long-lasting (at least 100 years), so there's no longer an argument for pigment inks.

6. I can still use the i9950 and cheap after market inks for stuff that family always asks me to do, and genuine inks for the gallery work I'm getting into.

7. I no longer have to have a massive work bench and work area that's needed to hold the IPF5000. The i9950 and Pro 100 take up less room overall than the IPF5000.

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Thoughts, Musings, Ideas and Images from South Gippsland
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Danielasp New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Sadly, my 9950 ....

HI, do you still have your i9950? Mine stopped working saying that there is a printhead problem. I would buy a replacement, but then I read that it could also be a problem with the contacts in the printer, so I would risk to throw away 120€ for nothing. If you don't use yours anymore, would you sell me your printhead for a reasonable price?

Thanks

WPMChan Senior Member • Posts: 1,499
Re: Sadly, my 9950 ....

You may want to investigate deeper into the problem before you buy a replacement print head.

My i9950 was going fine until about March this year when the yellow and cyan channels were not printing. The printer service guy cleaned the print head and had got all colour channels going. But not for long, the yellow channel stopped printing again after half a dozen prints.

He asked me to put in a new print head. I did. This time, the first test print was fine. After that, the yellow channel has completely gone. I took the print head out and I could see the yellow ink flooding the printer nozzle but not printing on the paper. The printer still prints with the other 7 colours but without the yellow.

I suspect that the problem is with the printer control circuit. The service guy said that he was not able to fix that.

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