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Old Nov 28, 2005, 11:20 AM   #1
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I'm finally fed up enough with HP printers to switch. After a quick look at some of the online magazine reviews, it looks like the Canon Pixma ip4200 might fit my needs. Use is entirely non-business, at-home use. I do mostly mixed text and graphics with occasional need for photo quality for personal use. I see that the reviews give slightly reduced marks for photo quality, but compared to my current HP 812c, I'd guess it will be a step up.

I have two questions...

(1) what is the maximum paper weight for this printer? I didn't find it given anyplace online. other than in the Canon website FAQ where recommended plain paper weight is up to 28 lbs if I recall. I occasionally print on card stock of 60 or 90 lbs.

(2) after years of tricolor HP cartridges, I must credit HP with relatively clog-free performance. The few clogged nozzels I've experienced have been solved by returning the cartridge to the store where I bought it for a replacement. Are the 4200 nozzles integral to the cartridge, or built in to theprinter? If the printer, how are they for clogging? How is the paper feed mechanism since this is one of my most frustrating complaints against HP?

Any other pros/cons?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 3:43 PM   #2
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I have an iP4000 and I think the paper handling is the same. I regularly run 110# index stock through it as well as card stock. So far no problem.

The tanks just hold ink, as do the Epson tanks. Lexmark and HP are the only common brands with heads in the tanks. Canon is more prone to clogging than HP and Epson seems a little more prone than Canon. I have had my iP4000 for at least a year with no clogs, but I use it regularly. Both Canon and Epson waste more ink in regular cleaning cycles than HP. But the ink use and cost is such it is a wash for final cost.

You could pull the Canon heads out and soak them in hot water or ammonia if they really clog. Epson heads don't come out and it can be more of a hassle if cleaning doesn't unclog them. I had HPs for years and never had a clog. I stored one for over a year with the tanks installed and it still worked perfectly when I gave it away. You would have a real problem storing a Canon or Epson without running some cleaning fluid through first to get the ink out of the system. HPs will clog if you unplug them before the heads dock against the moist pad, but if you let them dock they are far superior to both Canon and Epson for clogging.

Paper handling is OK. The printer tends to not pick up photo paper from the lower tray after it has curled a little. Canon Pro paper is more reliable but is pricey. From the top tray it tends to tilt the next sheet as it takes one, but that doesn't usually affect the output. It has jammed a few times, but it is rare and easy to pull the jammed paper out.


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Old Nov 28, 2005, 5:36 PM   #3
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Slipe...thanks! Sounds like a wash...some things better for one, some better for the other. But, you've answered my question about paper weight, and that goes a long way towards making up my mind. As for the rest, I'm ready for a change.

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 11:17 AM   #4
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slipe...relative to your regular use of 110# paper...

I bought a 5200 that arived by FedEx late Saturday night - pity the poor FedEx/USP/other delivery men who work very loooong days this time of year! Yeah...they are union, so DO get time-and-a-half or better for the overtime, but still...

Thanks to the practice of not including a cable with the printer, its late arrival, and my not getting one until last evening, I haven't tried it yet. However, in browsing the manual, I found the recommendation to avoid papers heavier than 28# - Oh come now...that's ridiculous! I hope that's just Canon's CYA statement so they can say "I told you so" in case of failure.

In any case, I will try it this evening, and only time will tell if it's a problem. Thanks again for your response to my earlier post.

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Old Dec 12, 2005, 11:49 AM   #5
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I print business cards for the officers in an organization I belong to. I do it on 110# cream colored index stock and cut them myself. A light coat of cheap Walmart clear spray does wonders for the colors and makes them a little more resistant to smear. I have put literally hundreds of sheets of index stock through the printer varying from 65 to 110#.

It does seem that index stock has a different rating from photo paper. 100 sheets of 66# photo paper seems heavier than 100 sheets of 65# index stock. And it is stiffer. But my standard photo paper is Red River 66#, and other than problems with the lower tray picking it up it works fine. It isn't the thickness but the tendency of the RR paper to curl a little that causes problems in the cassette. If I take out the curl they work fine. Photo Paper Pro doesn't seem to curl as much. The package doesn't give a pound rating, but I would guess it is more than 28#. I just feed the RR paper from the top as I need it.

Another explanation might be that Canon papers are rated at 28#. Or that their lack of a rating with the recommendation to use it keeps you from using other papers. The reason you can't print over 24 inches with any Canon printer is that they don't make panorama paper. That is a problem with wide format printers. I still have my old S9000 because you can jerry rig it to print panoramas. Someone at a trade show was told by a Canon exec that it would take them 10 minutes to write a firmware update that would allow the Canon printers to do panoramas. But that it wasn't going to happen until Canon made roll or panorama paper. Canon wants you to buy Canon paper, and if the 28# limitation would cause you to reject other papers it would serve their purposes the same way the lack of a panorama mode does.

There is some validity to their approach with panoramas. I use mostly RR papers because I can get panorama paper from them and want to use a paper I am familiar with for panoramas.


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Old Dec 12, 2005, 11:52 AM   #6
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Optiker wrote:
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However, in browsing the manual, I found the recommendation to avoid papers heavier than 28#
I can't remember if the 5200 has a rear paper feed as well as a tray in the base of the unit but if I'm right.. it could just be that the paper tray in the base is the one they're referring to...

Given that you've gotten this far though you should be relatively ok...

I'm no idea what 28# is in terms of the uk measure ie: GSM.. so hopefully I haven't just given fatal (for your printer) advice.
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 5:45 PM   #7
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slipe...I'm sure you're right about the motivation for that 28# comment. In any case, it's not going to change that I now own it and will stay with it. I'll consider your comments when the time comes, and particularly with regard ot which tray to use and types of paper.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 5:46 PM   #8
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web...I can't remember the meetric eq uivalent either though I saw it in the manual. Rest assured that if I have a problem, it won't be your fault. In any case, can't be a lot worst than my long history with HP.

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Old Dec 12, 2005, 6:50 PM   #9
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Optiker wrote:
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web...I can't remember the meetric eq uivalent either though I saw it in the manual. Rest assured that if I have a problem, it won't be your fault.
Phew...

Oh for your info... gsm = gram per square meter...

80gsm = standard photocopier bulk paper


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