Colour control on Canon Pixma iP 4200

  crumbleeze 16:25 17 Jan 2006

I use Windows XP and have recently purchased a Canon Pixma iP 4200 printer. At times it seems to be printing in the wrong colours, e.g. skin tones always seem to be extremely darker than the original negative/photograph. On looking at the state of the inks the Magenta is nearly all gone whilst the rest of the colours seem to be hardly used. I have tried altering the colours as instructed in the on-screen manual, even turning the magenta right down and the other colours up, but this makes no difference. Can somebody help please.

  PaulB2005 16:40 17 Jan 2006

Make sure you have the latest drivers from Canon - click here

Also try the Easy Photo Print software as it's really handy. It's possible there is a driver issue or a prblem with the software you are using to print with.

On my S630 right clicking the Printer in Control Panel, Printers and Faxes and selecting Properties gives me a Colour management tab. If you have one too, make sure it's set to Automatic.

  jack 17:24 17 Jan 2006

There are three distict areas that need checking
1.Make sure the the monitor is calibrated using the Adobe Gamma utility found in Control Panel.
Depending on how you get the original into the computer, use a comprehensive photo editor.
The software supplied with scanners /printers/camaras and the like is basic 'get you started' stuff
Use Free click here or sport out on somethine like Paint Shop Pro and take time to get the hang of it- it can be a steep learning curve.
Havcing said all that trying to compare a print with a screen image is really an alomst impossuble tacks at the avarage usrer lever. There are many imponderables
Heere are a few -The screen image is called additive and is made up with just three cours and two additional states - All off =black. All on = white. and the three colours RGB rapidly switched on/off with the other two gives the 24 million virtual colours [Its called elctrontrickery]
Printing on the other hand uses three complementary colours plus black and sometimes 2 half colours.
The ink is put on the paper to soak up colours that are not required in that zone- thus reflecting back the colours required - called Subtractive.
Couple this with the colour of the paper used and the light conditions underwhich the print is viewed -this includes light reflected from nearby surfaces including your shirt/blouse for example
and the print will not match a screen image exactly.

  kvh 20:01 13 Feb 2006

I bought a Pixma 4200 last week. I installed the drivers that came on the CD. I'm also using Windows XP. The prints that have been coming off are *unbelievably* bad. Faces are so heavily magenta as to look almost purple. Yellows seem almost completely gone. Blues are *entirely* the wrong shade. Black areas have a weird film of thin whitish streaks. This is all on High Quality (and tests for blocked nozzles show all colors printing normally). I have copies of the same images (digital art created in Photoshop) printed out on my Canon Bubblejet i850, and they look completely different. I'm not talking about the kind of subtle "Well, you can't precisely match screen colors with prints..." here. I'm talking about beautiful, sale-able prints from the i850 versus horrible, purple, streaked trash coming off of the Pixma 4200, even when I'm printing from the exact same files. I really don't know what to do. I think the problem is way beyond tweaking a few little settings, unless there's something very bizarre going on with the software. It's literally printing out garbage that anyone can see at a glance is utterly wrong.

In the Color Management list, I see that the Pixma has a long list of possible color profiles, with CNBJPRN2 marked as Default. The Canon i850 has *only* CNBJPRN2 listed even as a possibility. I'm wondering whether, despite the marking of CNBJPRN2 as Default, the printer might be selecting something else for some obscure reason. If it's selecting CNBJPRN2, same as the Canon i850, I can't understand why the results are so utterly different.

On another board, someone hypothesized that older Canon drivers might be interfering with the Pixma, and that they should be completely uninstalled. Any thoughts on that?

  crumbleeze 06:57 14 Feb 2006

It seems that you are experiencing exactly the same problems as we were. After trying everything suggested and still not getting any good results, we took the iP 4200 back, explaining why, and exchanged it for an iP3000. This one works beautifully, just as it should, wonderful photos and no problems at all.

  kvh 06:00 18 Feb 2006

I called Canon Customer Support and got someone who actually took me seriously and walked me through the problem step by step. Here's the bottom line:

Printing directly from Photoshop 6 on the Pixma 4200 produces the extreme purple garbage (even if I'm printing a TIFF or JPEG; what matters is that Photoshop is sending the file). Even though Photoshop could print on the Canon i850 with no trouble, and with very nice color matching. Printing from the Easy Print utility produces stuff that is still visibly too heavy on the magenta, but looks like actual nice photos with the colors a bit off, rather than the ridiculous purple trash I was getting before; I've solved it by color-correcting the files in Photoshop to turn up the yellow and turn down the magenta, and re-saving them as jpegs. Easy Print doesn't give me the kind of margin control that Photoshop does, so I've added in the margins I want as white borders.

So I'm keeping the printer, because the main reason I wanted it is to print out certain specific art images over and over, and once I have the colors re-jiggered and the images saved, they print nicely (though not from Photoshop). If I get into printing more stuff, I'll want to learn more about adjusting the color settings on the Pixma. But at least I've discovered that the mystery of the purple disaster is some kind of incompatability of the Pixma with Photoshop. In my case, anyway. I wonder what everyone else who's been getting purple garbage was using. I wish Canon would put out a patch so Photoshop users could print directly from Photoshop.

Oh, and you have to use the latest version of Adobe Reader if you want to print a pdf, or any embedded images will print as solid black boxes.

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