Why do my prints look so bad?

I bought my Canon Pixma Pro 100 two years ago and have tried printing with it several times with little success. I print with Lightroom CC using ICC profiles for the printer. I am using Canon Luster paper from a sample pack that came with the printer. I calibrated my monitor with the Syder Pro 5 calibrator, I have an iMac 4K and tried using Canon's print plugin for Lightroom and my colors still look pale and ugly. Expecialy the reds like in people's faces. I've even contacted Canon support and they seem unsure why this happening. I also let Lightroom control the colors in either RGB or sRGB I forget which. I also tried using another computer with little success.

Does anyone know what might be wrong with my printer?



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4 Answers

Are you using the genuine printer ink cartridges

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I'm using the ink cartridges that came with the printer.


Try using new cartridges however look at the cost of genuine cartridges against a new printer it might be better to purchase a new printer. How often do you use your printer ? What was the result of your test page? Take care Da vid


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Does the print have streaks on the image or is it just weak color? The thinking is the heads may be clogged but that would produce streaks. You can run a troubleshooting test with the Canon software that prints the color on a page. This would also tell you if one color was not working which may not produce streaks but would produce awful color.

To clean a head, remove the cartridge and use a clean Q-tip soaked with Alcohol and dab on the print head. Let it soak for a minute and then use a clean Kleenex tissue to lightly dab away the alcohol. Re-install the ink cartridge if it is good and has ink.


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I have exactly the same issue with the same printer. Had it for over one year and used the original cartridges and genuine Canon replacement ones. The colors from day one have been consistently very poor. No pop at all and like you had mentioned, excessive reds and generally washed out colors.

I had heard from others that this printer is known for poor colors and is much better as a blank and white printer.

I have owned a Canon S9000 that i purchased new many years ago...excellent results. Years later I bought an Epson Stylus Photo 1280 that I bought on clear out for $250, excellent results. This Canon Pixma Pro 100 is IMO in a completely different league, absolute inferior results and it is very difficult for me to imagine that my printer is behaving normally. It is possible that Canon went very cheap on the internals of this printer to maximize profits.

I WILL take this printer back to my LCS and ask them to try to generate good photographic results using it. I doubt that it is possible. If they can't get good results out of it I will definitely be asking for deep discounts on a printer(s) that can actually print acceptable photos.

I don't think that your results and experiences with this printer are unique. I think that it most likely is an inferior product. If I find out differently I will post again.

Best of luck.

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From my trial and error experience, I learned the print drivers for this model defaults to managing the colors for you, but so does Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. You cannot have both the print drivers and graphic editing software, both manage colors simultaneously. It's basically one too many cooks in the kitchen.

Make sure to disable color management on the print driver and let Lightroom completely manage the process.

Also, make sure your monitor is color calibrated because if it is not, you could be editing your photos in a way the display is not showing you. This can throw off your colors. So I recommend, if you don't already have one, a colorimeter such as the Spyder 5 from Datacolor or the ColorMunki Display calilbrator from X-Rite.

Lastly, calibrating your camera with an x-rite ColorChecker Passport.

So in order, set your software to manage colors and disable color management at the driver level; calibrate your monitor; and finally calibrate your dSLR or mirrorless body.

P.S. I have this same printer too and I learned the above sets through a lot of trial and error and lots of reading online about photo inkinject printers and I do get better results from my Pro-100 than a photolab. I still send out stuff when I want metalic or pearlessence prints.

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Garrett Chinn will be eternally grateful.
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