Canon PIXMA PRO-200 art prints?

I have been meaning to write a review of the Canon PIXMA PR0-200 that I bought last May.

For a bit of background the decision to buy a printer and use it to make prints came out of the blue for me.
I had been completely adamant for years that I wanted to paint everything by hand, to offer something different than prints.
Personally I loved the texture and adaptability of painting stuff and wanted to work with my hands and not use machines.

But then Covid happened and Brexit happened.
EU countries bringing in packaging laws happened, delays happened and VAT increases also happened.
Working from home happened and constantly changing algorithms happened.
Trying to stay on top of all these changes happened and I guess I was feeling burnt out working from home all the time.

Basically a lot of things happened very quickly that changed my mind very quickly.

And so May ’21 I decided to buy a printer to help a bit
with the art. After weeks of wondering what to buy I took a chance on the PIXMA PRO-200.

It was cheaper than all the pigment ink printers which appealed to me as I wasn’t convinced I was making a good decision. So getting a good printer for the cheapest price possible was a major factor in my decision

The biggest sticking point for me was learning that dye based inks don’t seem to be as permanent as pigment based inks. As someone looking to use the printer to sell some prints I didn’t want people paying for a print and then it disappearing on them a few years down the line.

So I tried researching about the qualities of the Chromalife 100+ ink that the printer uses. It seemed difficult to get any definitive answer because it depends on things like the light levels the print is being exposed to and humidity, gases.

The answer that seemed to come out was that if you used the Chromalife 100+ ink with the right kind of Canon photo paper it wouldn’t last as long as pigment ink printers but longer than most if not all other dye ink printers.

At least that is what I gathered from it. The most informative page I could find was this one on the Canon website.
The thing about trying art prints is that there are other qualities to be taken into account apart from how long it lasts in perfect conditions.

For example if you like using very intense bright colours you might find that a dye based print and glossy paper gets your vision across more than duller pigment inks on matte paper.

As I like vibrant colours having a long lasting dye printer appealed to me.

Also there is whether you have a vision of making gallery quality art or something more fun and ephemeral.
For me I want my art not make some timeless statement but at the same time I want it to good quality and last.

So I just went for the PIXMA PRO-200.

I am not a printer expert and have no time for all the technical jargon. Plus I can’t compare the quality to other printers as I only have this one.

But to this untrained eye the print quality is excellent. If the print doesn’t look right it is more down to the quality of the image I am trying to print than the printer not being able to do it.

At the moment I use the printer to print my Ireland maps.

What Have I Discovered Using this Printer?

Firstly paper.
I have no problem with the quality of the print using the Canon luster paper, but it irks me that it can only be bought in packs of 20. If I want to print with A3 I have to order it online and along it comes in a pack of 20 at €40 a pop. It looks to be arriving from the US in a big cardboard box.

Along side that is that Canon paper doesn’t seem come in sizes such as 8 x 10in, or 11 x 14in. This means that if do want to print those sizes I have to trim down from an A4 or A3 sized sheet of paper, and waste a lot.

Related to this is the plastic waste. In a world when we should be cutting down on plastic waste the collection of used ink cartridges nags at me every time I see it.

I have been using the printer to sell prints and could handle a few more print a day or week. But if I was selling lots of prints I don’t think it would be a great printer due to the waste.

I have tried a few other non-Canon luster papers with the printer, one which I really liked the look off and would like to use. The only problem is that it is then harder to tell someone who buys a print that if they do what Canon tells them to do then the print should last X number of years with minimal fading.

Another thing is that I really liked the look of Canon semi-gloss paper with the print, but it has Canon watermark(s?) printed all over the back. If you don’t mind watermarks on the back it’s a good paper for the print.