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Canon MP830 is horrible for duplexing black text

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Canon MP830 is horrible for duplexing black text

Postby Webslinger on Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:54 am

I know this isn't specific to burning, but many people use Canon inkjets
to print on inkjet printable blank media. Anyway, this, in my opinion, is a huge issue concerning the MP830 that many people are not aware of (they only scratch their heads and ask why their colour ink is dropping--or why their black text output looks bad).

This printer is getting rave reviews from both PC Magazine and PC World.
That said, there's a big problem with this printer that neither review mentions: namely, duplex black text printing from ALL applications produces inferior results than when duplexing is off--and uses colour ink to produce black text when printing in duplex mode.

Why? According to Canon technical support, it's by choice. But more on that later.

If I don't duplex print on fast mode, the text looks very good (the problem is duplex text printing). The print quality when duplex text printing looks dotty and washed out. If you turn duplexing off, the text print quality is vastly superior.

I've reproduced this problem on two different systems with two different MP830s. The difference on fast mode when not duplex printing is quite astounding. Simply using duplex printing makes the text quality significantly worse on fast mode.

One might be inclined to believe bad quality from fast mode text printing isn't a big deal (except that the MP830 is quite capable of producing very good text quality even at fast mode--except when duplexing), but this problem also extends to standard printing when duplexing is enabled. That said, in standard mode the problem isn't as pronounced.

Basically the MP830 is using the colour inks to produce black text instead of the pigment black ink when printing text in duplex mode. I find this to be extremely bothersome. The problem exists when duplexing text in other printing quality modes, but it's most apparent or obvious when duplexing text on fast mode.

You won't find this issue listed in professional reviews from PCMagazine or PC World, simply because the reviewers probably didn't bother to check. For whatever reason, missing this issue is pretty sloppy.

If you want good text quality when duplex printing, it's best not to use this printer at all: you're using color ink instead of the black pigment ink--and the text looks vastly inferior as a result.

This is from Canon technical support:

"The unit was designed to print using "composite black" when duplexing. Composite black is created by using color inks. Unfortunately, we do not have answers as to why Canon USA made this decisions, these decisions are determined by the developers at Canon INC."

Absolutely brutal. Composite black text print is vastly inferior to the text print produced when using the black ink cartridge. Canon technical support is basically telling me that duplex black text printing on the MP830 is horrible by design. Oh, plus you have the added bonus of wasting color ink when printing inferior black text while duplexing.
Inexcusable

This issue is very easily reproduced:

Print text in fast mode with duplexing on. Then
print text in fast mode with duplexing off.
Night and day

It's not just fast mode that's affected either.

Visit http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view ... orum_id=40 for more information.
Last edited by Webslinger on Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Canon MP830 is horrible for duplexing black text

Postby Ian on Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:05 am

Webslinger wrote:You won't find this issue listed in professional reviews from PCMagazine or PC World, simply because the reviewers probably didn't bother to check. For whatever reason, missing this issue is pretty sloppy.


IMO, neither publication produces "professional" reviews. They probably install the printer, print a few pics of their dog, write the review and then collect their check from the manufacturer (yes, a lot of these magazines get paid to do review a company's product).

btw.. that link you posted doesn't work.
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Re: Canon MP830 is horrible for duplexing black text

Postby Webslinger on Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:20 pm

Ian wrote:
Webslinger wrote:You won't find this issue listed in professional reviews from PCMagazine or PC World, simply because the reviewers probably didn't bother to check. For whatever reason, missing this issue is pretty sloppy.


IMO, neither publication produces "professional" reviews. They probably install the printer, print a few pics of their dog, write the review and then collect their check from the manufacturer (yes, a lot of these magazines get paid to do review a company's product).

btw.. that link you posted doesn't work.


I fixed the link.

I agree with your assessment of those publications. I only say "professional" because they are paid to review products.
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Postby Dartman on Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:27 pm

They probably did that just to sell more ink, even HP that used to at least give you huge carts to make up for ink costs uses the tiny carts now like most other manufacturers. I really like my now old HP 990 as it has big carts and they even have a even bigger capacity cart that will last a long time printing full quality color docs.
I also have a Epson r200 and that thing has 6 seperate tiny carts that run out very quickly plus a chip in them that shuts them down before they are completely empty to supposedly protect the print head. They were sued about this and lost. I use the epson for printing media, and a ocasional picture when I want the VERY slightly better color quality.
If it's built into only the US version you might want to see if the European drivers/firmware fix it.... :roll:
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Postby Webslinger on Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:55 pm

This is the reason Canon gives:

"Composite black is least likely to show through the other side of the
document, which may occur when using black ink and printing on both
sides of the paper. "

Then why can I print text on one side, flip the page over manually, print text on the other side, and not experience any issue with ink showing through to the other side? The text quality looks vastly superior when I do this instead of duplexing (I do not experience any issues).

It shouldn't be that difficult to allow a printer driver option to use the pigmented black ink with a longer drying time if that's what the customer would prefer, instead of inflicting poor text quality produced by color inks when duplex black text printing.
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Postby Ian on Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:57 pm

It might be the paper you're using. It probably looks okay with better paper but with cheaper stuff, the black ink might soak through. I agree though. It is a weak excuse.
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Postby smartin4 on Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:43 pm

Dartman wrote:I also have a Epson r200 and that thing has 6 seperate tiny carts that run out very quickly plus a chip in them that shuts them down before they are completely empty to supposedly protect the print head. They were sued about this and lost. I use the epson for printing media, and a ocasional picture when I want the VERY slightly better color quality.


You are right, Epson lost that suit, they sent (almost) everyone that registered one of the affected printers a $45 e-store credit. I actually got 2 of these, 1 for an older Stylus Color 740 that took a crap on me about 2 years ago, and one for my R300, which is around 1 year old.

It's not much, but at least it will get me some free ink from Epson, and maybe some photo paper as well.

The one drawback to the Epsons was the design of the print head, which always requires you to clean it (which uses ink) if you don't use it regularly, which at the cost of ink, I don't use it very often, just print a few discs or photos here & there.

THat being said, I still have always preferred Epson to HP inkjets (though HP laser printers are top notch).

I would never buy Canon, too many friends have had bad results with them, and Lexmark, to me at least, is just another word for cheap junk.

And yes, I understand that in this day & age, home printers are designed to be "throw aways". Even the newer home lasers, like the HP 10xx series are realtively low cost (you can pick one up for about $150) are "throw aways" too.
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Postby Dartman on Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:09 am

Well for printing fast with great quality on plain paper my old 990 kicks the epsons butt, and the carts I use are the large ones so it usually takes 6 months to a year to run out of ink with my usage.
I think the old 900 series was the last tank like printers HP made, when I saw what a friends wide carriage 1220 could do on any paper I huanted E-bay till I got a good deal on a complete 990 package.
I got the 200 becuase I wanted to print media and it was one of those almost free after rebate deals the office store run, ended up being less then 30 once the rebate finally showed up. My first set of carts for it costs me more then the printer did. I usually leave both on at all times and it seems to at least keep the epson from clogging the head when I do use it. The one time I accidently turned it off for a while it was clogged and I had to clean it till the ink ran out. I recently got some compatible carts for both printers for less then one color large cart for the HP costs and so far they both seem to print just as well.
The nice thing about the HP is it also has auto duplex, and auto paper and alignment so you just pick the print quality you want and it does everything else plus lines up the print calibration when a cart is replaced, and prints double sided of course, very handy.
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Postby Webslinger on Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:15 pm

Ian wrote:It might be the paper you're using. It probably looks okay with better paper but with cheaper stuff, the black ink might soak through. I agree though. It is a weak excuse.


Regardless of whether I've tested using tons of different papers (and I admit I haven't), again, it shouldn't be that difficult to allow a printer driver option to use the pigmented black ink with a longer drying time if that's what the customer would prefer, instead of inflicting poor text quality produced by color inks when duplex black text printing. The option should be made available. Pigmented black ink may smear or bleed through to the other side on some papers, but it certainly doesn't do so on all papers.

Canon's claim is that pigmented black ink will smear, bleed, or show through to the other side when duplex printing. Contrary to Canon's claim, I am not experiencing any issues when printing black text in standard mode on one side of cheap Britex Premier Multiusage paper (20 lb 92 bright . . . I paid less than a dollar for 500 sheets on sale), flipping the page over manually, and printing the other side again on standard.

This is really an unfortunate aspect of an otherwise good printer.

If anyone cares, this duplexing black text issue also affects the MP780.

What's really annoying is that even if you just use manual duplexing (have duplex selected in the driver and have "automatic" unchecked), this issue still raises it's ugly head. Doesn't matter if you're manual duplexing or using automatic duplexing; as long as "duplex" is selected, the MP830 produces inferior black text.
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Found a way around for canon mp830 duplex printing

Postby davidwon on Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:56 pm

Hi folks,

I have found the way to make the duplex print works better for canon mp830.
All you need to do is to hack the printer driver by asking it to print on media type Hagaki paper instead of plain paper.
Here are the steps:
1. Set the media type to Hagaki paper instead of plain paper.
2. Set the page size using custom 8.5 x 11 (or 8.5 x 14 if you want to duplex
on legal paper). Actually just setting it to letter or legal size does work too.
3. Set the print quality to High resolution (you may also use standard, or
custom setting with resolution set to high and halftoning set to diffusion).
In my experience, it does not differ that much.
4. When you hit OK, you will be asked to set the correct Hagaki paper size,
please ignore that.
5. Go and print it out, you will see that it will duplex print with more crisp and
much blacker than if you duplex with plain paper.

I have just duplex print my tax returns, my company design documents and my resume with this setting. The results are awesome now. Sharp, crisp and blacker than if I duplex with plain paper.
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Re: Found a way around for canon mp830 duplex printing

Postby Webslinger on Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:12 am

I appreciate your effort. However,

1) you're still using composite black to produce black text instead of the pigment black ink when printing text in duplex mode (regardless of the paper type selected);

2) printing black text in standard in simplex (non-duplex) mode with "plain paper" selected produces darker, richer text than printing in standard duplex mode with Hagaki selected (the difference is obvious to five different people here using two different MP830 printers; moreover, Canon had already admitted to me over the phone that changing papers types won't force the printer to use pigmented black ink when duplex printing);

3) your MP830 is using more ink, and it's printing much slower when duplexing in any mode with any paper type than when printing black text in simplex with "plain paper" selected (with the possible exception of "draft" mode--but it's not as though that printing mode is available when selecting "Hagaki" anyway); and

4) your workaround (it's not a "hack", by definition) doesn't change anything other than (possibly) increasing the overall resolution available to you when printing in duplex only (selecting "Hagaki" increases the potential text resolution, but no matter what, simplex text printing with "plain paper" looks better, regardless).

The pigment black ink is not being used, solely, to produce black text--regardless of whether you've selected "Hagaki" when printing in duplex.

When using "duplex" with any quality and paper setting, you're printing in composite black (you're using colour ink to produce black text); you're printing slower; and the text output looks inferior than if you were printing in simplex (non-duplex) with "plain paper" selected.

To wit, the text quality when printing in simplex with "plain paper" selected is always better than the text quality when printing in duplex (plus printing in simplex with "plain paper" selected is much faster and produces better results), regardless of the paper type selected.

I just tested my findings again--and they are exactly the same as before (I already tried selecting "Hagaki" in the past). The composite black text quality does appear slightly better with "Hagaki" selected--but this is a far cry from the pigmented black text produced when simplex printing with "plain paper" selected. The printed letters look darker and thicker than when duplex text printing.

Take care
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