About a month ago (January 2020) I purchased a Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS) from InkProducts.com for my Canon PIXMA PRO-100. I know it has only been a month but I am so excited by it I wanted to write a review of my experience thus far, knowing full well things may change. In many online reviews the consensus is that buying a CISS unit for this particular printer is a terrible idea because the cartridges ride on the print head. You can read further online for that information. However in an older YouTube video by Jose Rodriguez he briefly mentioned that he was interested in the unique design of the InkProducts brand CISS and might give it a try one day. I have a Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 I use for my serious art photography using OEM Canon Lucia ink so I wanted to experiment with 3rd party ink in my Pro-100. Even though I had properly prepared cartridges for refilling I really liked the “dream” of a working CISS. Since this was my secondary printer I decided to take a chance and order this one figuring it would not be the first or last time I would waste $140 ~
I received my unit less than a week from the time I ordered during the busy Winter holidays. It was well packed and full of ink. It had full color instructions that were detailed. I had also watched the instructional YouTube Video several times while I was waiting on it to arrive. I carefully followed the instructions and had no problems what so ever. I got a little ink on my fingertips and on the printer but the instructions warned that might happen and to wear gloves if I was worried. The printer cleaned up easily with Windex.
After the two initial deep cleaning cycles as instructed I printed the nozzle check which came out perfectly.
Next I printed a standard test chart using just the printer driver, the info from InkProducts (IP) said that the ink would match and “should” not need profiling. In my experience this part was NOT accurate. However as soon as I made a custom ICC profile using X-Rite i1Studio the results were, to my eye, a perfect match to the OEM Canon ink, Canon Luster Paper, Printer controls color test print! As an aside I will say the profiled IP ink on Canon Matte paper matches the test print made on the Pro-1000 as well!! I was really taken aback. I am rather picky about color by the way and have been printing color (Type C) since the Eighties so while my eyes may be older they are not inexperienced at judging color.
So far I have printed approximately 80 8.5x11, 15 13x19, several dozen greeting cards and a handful of plain paper documents. One time I got a nozzle check that had such a minor flaw I had to see it under a magnifying glass and a basic cleaning cycle took care of it. Speaking of ink, they say the ink is American made, they won’t say by whom but that they have made ink for decades. IP does not provide custom ICC profiles.
After a week or so I emailed comments and questions. A man named Tom called me back, rather than email. He was very nice and chatted with me for a good thirty minutes about the CISS unit and ink printing in general, even some info on the Pro-1000. His is the voice in the IP videos so I assume it is him. One point he made was that a CISS unit was not “magic,” that when I had problems to call and he would walk me through them. An example was if a “large” air bubble, larger than an inch, developed in a line I would have to re-prime that cartridge (The kit comes with the needed tools to re-prime). We discussed that I had a small bubble in one line now near the cartridge but was reassured that was normal and indeed I have not had problem many prints later and the bubble is gone. I have just gotten to the point where the printer is telling me to change the cartridge so I have to press the cancel button for 5 seconds to turn off ink monitoring. You can plainly see the remaining ink in the external tanks, a full 70ml is included. Speaking of ink the current price of a single 70ml bottle is $8, even less when ordered as a set or larger bottles. Tom mentioned that he has been doing this a long time and that his company has I think he said 70 printers.
Thus far my experience has been nothing but positive. I am running “real Jason life” fading tests. That is I have matching test charts using Canon OEM Chromalife ink, InkProducts.com ink, and even while I was at it Canon OEM Lucia ink prints from the Pro-1000, 1 each sprayed with Desert spray lacquer and 1 no spray hanging in my printing room which has two South facing windows. I have a duplicate set in a filing cabinet and 1 set in the freezer. Since that make take a while for something to happen yesterday I put a set unsprayed on the dash of my truck. I expect to see something there shortly.
As I said, my experience thus far has been great. In full disclosure to readers though I will say that if you search online for InkProducts you will find quite a few negative reviews. I don’t know how much of that comes from user error. As the instructions that came with the CISS said, “We can’t build in common sense.”
I will update this review when I have new information.
I have not received any compensation from inkproducts what so ever.
Update February 4, 2020 Not surprisingly when I uploaded this essay I discovered that the magenta ink line had lost suction and had a major gap in the ink. Fortunately, the cartridge was not empty. I was able to re-prime by following the instructions. While I was disappointed that I had to do this somewhat expected maintenance it really was not hard and I only got a couple of drops of ink on my hand. I did a nozzle check which was fine and just for safety sake did a head alignment since I had been “messing” with the printer cartridge. So far so good.
Update Feb 29, 2020 Noticed a minor clog in gray on nozzle check. I had to do two minor and one deep clean to clear.
Update March 6 I have not had a single issue since the losing prime last month. As of this writing I have printed approximately: 250 8x10s, 43 8.5x11 plain paper, and 6 13x19. The lowest ink tank is about half full. I have reordered ink from them. I receive no benefit from them what so ever.
March 7 & 8 Both days the gray ink clogged and required several cleaning cycles to clear.
July 2020 The "clogging" on the gray channel kept being an issue. Thinking it might be an issue with the cartridge I took an empty OEM gray cartridge and drilled a proper size hole to the CIS hose connection, then used hot glue to fill the top vent. It has worked perfectly sine then. I am writing this mid September 2020.
Gaskets in place
Getting the hose guide in the proper position
Not too bad. Instructions suggested gloves
They all are lit up!
Underneath the ink tower.
Feb 4 air in the line. It turned out it was easy to "suck" the air out with the syringe.
Ink test OEM v Inkproducts both using printer drivers set for canon paper
Ink test OEM v Inkproducts with custom ICC profile
Video of my installation and printer in operation