Canon Ij Setup imagePROGRAF iPF5100


Canon Ij Setup imagePROGRAF iPF5100

Canon Ij Setup imagePROGRAF iPF5100 –  Whilst Canon updated the iPF6100 model to an iPF6300, there was no similar update for the iPF5100.  Our iPF6100 review is quite long, so I’d recommend reading it as well as this one, if you are looking at the iPF5100, since the two are very similar.

In the US the prices seem lowest on the iPF6400 – see what offers you can find. Canon seem keen to shift these printers…The iPF5100 is available in the US from and B&H The printer has been available at signifcant discounts and represents an interesting option, if you were looking for a 17″ printer with roll paper capabilities and a paper cassette taking A2 flat sheet paper.

Apart from size differences, the 5100/6100 printers are very similar, although this review is written with much newer driver software, which now supports 64-bit working and other improvements in usability and print quality (see also our iPF6300 and iPF 8300 reviews for more details)

What do you get with the Canon Ij Setup imagePROGRAF iPF5100

Marketing claims for sure, but suffice to say, it’s a nice printer. There are full specifications for the printer at the end of this review. The printer itself is easily installed by two people, and whilst I -could- do it on my own, the printer at nearly 50kg is not something I’d want to move far.

The printer I’ve got to look at, didn’t come with a stand – if you’ve the space, one is a good idea, since 50kg is a lot for the desktop. The printer is moderately quiet in operation, and silent when it enters power saving mode. The printer has a built in cutter which is located at the very front of the printer, in a location potentially accessible to small fingers – as ever, be careful who uses a printer like this.

The printer version I’m looking at is the iPF5100.

The picture to the right shows the test printer being used for a panoramic image. You need to be careful with how you are handling the output for such large prints. The set of coloured inks (LUCIA II pigment ink) is aimed at giving a wide even gamut of colours on a range of papers.

The inks are:

PFI-101MBK Matte black
PFI-101BK Photo black
PFI-101PC Pale cyan
PFI-101C Cyan
PFI-101PM Pale magenta
PFI-101M Magenta
PFI-101Y Yellow
PFI-101R Red
PFI-101G Green
PFI-101B Blue
PFI-101GY Grey
PFI-101PGY Pale grey

There are two black inks for ‘photo’ and ‘Matte’ media – these are permanently loaded, and there is no need to swap or change black ink settings, this is set by the media choice when printing. There is a choice of USB2 or Ethernet to link your printer up to a computer. Ethernet speed is 100MB/s. There is also an optional Firewire (IEEE1394) interface board available.

Drivers and additional software are supplied for Apple Mac and Windows. Make sure you load the latest version from Canon’s web site, since there are some considerable improvements in later versions, which may be newer than what you find on the supplied CD There is additional ‘Poster Artist’ software supplied, but since it’s Windows PC only, I’ve not covered it here.

Other software (MCT) allows for maintenance of available media types, both in the printer and driver – this doesn’t have quite the flexibility of that found with the iPFx300 series, however I’ll briefly mention it later in connection with profiling. An on-line manual is installed and the printer has its own web interface.

The printer obtained an IP address for itself on our network, however you can alter this (for a static address) either from the control panel or by accessing the printer over the network Paper Loading and Media handling Paper type is set via the printer front panel. The menu system is quite clear, and I had no difficulty finding what was there.

The monochrome LCD display at just two lines does look a little basic, and sometimes needs considerable numbers of button presses to find what you want. One of the uses I make of big printers and roll paper is to print large panoramic prints.

You need to prepare the image for the size you want – this for me involves taking extra care over print sharpening. For larger prints, there may be some areas (clouds/skies) where I don’t want to apply any sharpening, and other areas where fine detail is important. I also pay particular attention to horizon lines, since distant trees and things like waves and snow patches on mountains can easily be oversharpened by many techniques.

Ink changing Canon Ij Setup imagePROGRAF iPF5100

The printer will inform you that it is short of ink for some time before it actually runs out. You can over-ride the warning on the front panel and continue printing, but eventually it will just stop. The display exhibits the same major failing I’ve seen in all Canon large format printers that I’ve looked at, in that the ink levels are displayed in 20% increments. It’s quite possible for all displays to be showing 20% left at the beginning of a print, and all showing empty by the end of the print.

Print heads
There are two print heads, with six colour inks per head.

The print heads are rated as a ‘consumable’ with each rated for several litres of ink running through them.

We didn’t have a printer long enough to require a head change, but it looks to be a pretty straightforward process, if it’s anything like our iPF8300.

The printers run regular cleaning cycles, dependent on both usage (including time switched off) and ongoing self testing. This will use small amounts of ink, so expect levels to gradually drop over time.

I’m told that the printer uses less ink overall if left in stand-by mode when not in use.

At regular intervals it will also perform nozzle checks, to keep things clean, and to monitor print head life.

I carried out a few nozzle checks during testing, and it came out fine – there are a number of more advanced alignment and set up options available in the printer menus.

The printer comes, when new, with the heads not fitted. As this was a demo model, I didn’t need to do an installation.

The procedure is however very similar to that I carried out when setting up our iPF8300

The iPF5100 incorporates a built-in colour calibration system, that you should run after setting up the printer for the first time, and then at regular intervals (for example, at the first ink cart change after installation) Note that this system is -not- connected with print profiling in any way.

Detailed job information is a little difficult to come by since unlike the hard disk of our (bigger and more expensive) iPF8300 there is limited capacity for the information to be retained.

The printer will print details of its last 10 jobs, via the front panel.

Like any printer of this size, it’s worth taking the time to have a read through the manual, although the more impatient user should be able to work out most things pretty easily…

Look through the information, to find things like the layout software that allows images to be tiled and fitted onto roll paper. I didn’t use this software with the iPF5100, but I’m told by an iPF6100 user that it works well for basic use, but is not up to the more sophisticated layout options available with full RIPs. We often use ImageNest for layout, when printing large numbers of images (contact sheets) on roll paper.

Other support information is available via the printer driver software. Similar functionality is available under Windows, but of course the layout will look a bit different…

When printing colour images, I always print using an ICC colour profile for the printer/ink/media choice I’ve made.

It’s worth briefly noting that there are facilities in the driver for matching prints to lighting, but they are not ICC profile based, and seem of little real use for high quality reproduction.

The Canon driver software installs huge numbers of profiles, which I found were very good for Canon media.

For creating my own profiles, I print a test target, measure it and create a profile with i1Profiler.
Before printing a test target to measure, you need the correct media settings.

The Media Configuration Tool allows you to configure what settings are shown by the printer.

Note that you cannot create your own custom settings with the tool for the iPF5100 – you need to find a setting that matches your paper (or use one of the ‘Special’ settings)

If you’re going to be doing much profiling with this printer, I’d really suggest visiting the unofficial Canon iPF Wiki site, which has lots of information from printer users about what works well and things to watch for.

After leaving the profiling targets to dry overnight, I created the ICC profiles.

In this instance, I’ve used i1Profiler and measured the targets with an iSis spectrophotometer.

Much of what I say about print quality has to be slightly subjective – you could come round to our office and look at the vast piles of prints around the place, but other than that, it’s very difficult to describe print quality in meaningful ways (one reason paper manufacturers use nice looking images to advertise their papers, and camera manufacturers go to nice places to show how their cameras perform).

I prefer not to blind readers with vast tables of data and pretty gamut volume pictures – for these are essentially meaningless unless there is a lot of supporting information to allow you to usefully interpret the data for your own uses.

Modern printers are producing better and better prints, the differences are diminishing, so there is really no better way than to get a test print and look at it yourself under good lighting.

I like to use these two test images below to find any more obvious faults in printer performance (B/W and colour).

The colour settings tab allows quite a bit of fine tuning for monochrome output.

Do remember that prints can vary slightly in how they look, depending on paper choice and how they are lit, so be very careful before you start making adjustments to tweak your output.

Following on from some tests with our iPF8300, I’ll make a slight adjustment (below) if I’m printing on a bright white paper and the print is being viewed under normal (relatively dim) house lighting. provides the installer to use your devices with Canon Ij Setup imagePROGRAF iPF5100 the file is free from viruses and malware.

In case you need to build Connection Using WPS

  1. Please be sure that the access point button is ready to be excecuted.
  2. Please hold down for a couple second the Wi-Fi button (A) on the printer until the Alarm lamp (B) flashes once, at that point discharge the Wi-Fi button after the blaze.
    figure: Press and hold the Wi-Fi button and the Alarm lamp flashes once
  3. Ensure that the Wi-Fi lamp (C) flashes rapidly and the ON lamp (D) is lit, at that point press and hold the catch on the entrance point inside 2 minutes.
    figure: The Wi-Fi lamp flashes quickly and the ON lamp lights up
  4. Ensure that the Wi-Fi lamp and the ON lamp are lit.
    figure: The Wi-Fi lamp and the ON lamp lights up

    On the off chance that the Alarm lamp lights up, go to “Troubleshooting.”

Canon Ij Setup imagePROGRAF iPF5100 links/mirror

Windows all versions 32bit
Windows all versions 64bit

OS X 10.9,OS X 10.8
Mac OS X 10.6

Linux (RPM/DEB)
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