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Pixma Pro-100 printing very dark


Hi All, 

I just purchased my Pro-100 and installed last night. I upgraded from an HP that was strictly CMYK (only 4 ink). I installed according to the instructions, but my prints seem to be coming out noticably darker than they should be. The lime greens are printing a darker kelly green. The bright blues are printing a darker royal blue. The bright reds are printing a very dark red. The pinks are printing a dark shade of pink. Skin tones are much, much darker than they should be. 


I am printing from Adobe programs (Illustrator, Photoshop, and Pro - all CS6). Am I missing a setting somewhere? On my previous printer, I would choose "preserve CMYK primaries" and it printed perfectly. Now, I can't seem to get my prints a normal shade. I'm not attempting to "match my monitor", just simply trying to get the colors closer to their true color. I've unchecked preserve CMYK primaries and checked to have the printer decide the colors, but neither of those options seem to be helping. 


I called Canon support, but they were unable to help me. He had me put my settings all back to default and test print. When that didn't work he stated "well printers vary per brand so theres really nothing we can do to fix it". I can't imagine that this great of a printer prints that far off on colors. 


Any help is very greatly appreciated!



"... theres really nothing we can do to fix it"."


Well, of course this isn't true.  I have three of these printers in this line.  The 9000, 9500 II amd the Pro-100.

They all printed differently but after a little tinkering with the settings, they all did very well.  They are great printers.


First off you must not let the printer set anything.  Turn off every bit off control it has.  You can do this with the Canon My Printer under the Printer Settings tab.  Do you know how?  I will guess, yes, for now but if you don't get back to me.


Second, you need to have PS handle all settings and color matching.  You know how to do this?


And lastly, it is essential you get some settings on your monitor that somewhat matches what the printer is printing.  Your printer may be doing exactly what you are telling it to do and you have no idea it is.  Because your monitor is off.  If you don't do this step, you can forget the other steps.  However, there are only a few things that you need to be concerned with.  You don't need any fancy extra add-ons to do this.

But you must get the grey-scale very close.  You need to get the brightness very close and you need the contrast very close.


After you do these things you can make adjustments to your prints by just looking at your screen.  Because you know the monitor and printer are on the same level.  One more point, you can NOT get a printer to print every color exactly the way you saw it.  It isn't possibile as all colors and adjustment effect all others.  My goal is to get the skin tones right.  That is what people notice.


For instance, I know my newest Pro-100 tends to print darker than what I see on the monitor.  So, I automatically know to set it's prints one stop brighter in PS.  It also prints with a slightly warn tone.  Most of the time, with protraits especially, this if OK but sometimes it is not.  In that case I adjust the "temp" setting slightly cooler in PS.


Make sure you have the correct ICC profiles and you are using Canon brand ink and paper untill you get good with the printer.  Very, very important!


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

View solution in original post

112 REPLIES 112

Two steps I think you need to try.


First, get Canon Print Studio Pro, a free download from Canon at


That will allow you to print from either lightroom or photoshop.  It allows a remarkable amount of control.


Second, learn to calibrate your monitor. A monitor calibrated to a standard either by eye or preferably using a hardware calibrator is recommended by every single photography and printing source I can find, or have ever found. Changing your monitor to match your printer is certainly not recommended by any source.


A google search on 'should I calibrate my monitor'.

Pick anyone you know and trust and read what they write.






Ok here we go.  This is from a Win box so it may look slightly diferent on your Mac.  About the above post, you are certainly free to try all the gimicks and gadgets on the market and so-called experts "advice" on setting up your monitor but it is totally unnecessary. My way is free and works just as well.  You decide!  Smiley Happy  Oh, by the way you don't need the extra Canon software either.










If you have Lightroom and/or Photoshop you don't need ANYTHING else.  Period.

You must realize Canon calibrates the printer before it ships to you.  Now do you want to try my way or do you want to spend several hundred bucks on munkeys or spyders?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

color calibrating for mac


Calibrating hardware can be bought/rented/borrowed/shared easily.


There are multiple purposes for calibrating monitors.

First and most important is that your monitor will be set to some specific unchangeable standard; thus if you change printers, or inks or papers, you will still know how your pictures are supposed to look. 

If you post pictures on the web or send them to others, they will be seen the same way.

If you ever send pictures out to be printed, then your prints will look 'correct' to the target printer.


Setting the monitor to any random printer assumes that the printer was calibrated correctly at the factory, stays calibrated correctly and never varies no matter.


The following is from Adobe, the company that makes Lightroom and Photoshop but doesn't make calibration hardware.


"Without a color management system, your color specifications are device-dependent. You might not need color management if your production process is tightly controlled for one medium only. For example, you or your print service provider can tailor CMYK images and specify color values for a known, specific set of printing conditions.

The value of color management increases when you have more variables in your production process. Color management is recommended if you anticipate reusing color graphics for print and online media, using various kinds of devices within a single medium (such as different printing presses), or if you manage multiple workstations.

You will benefit from a color management system if you need to accomplish any of the following:

    Get predictable and consistent color output on multiple output devices including color separations, your desktop printer, and your monitor. Color management is especially useful for adjusting color for devices with a relatively limited gamut, such as a four-color process printing press.

    Accurately soft-proof (preview) a color document on your monitor by making it simulate a specific output device. (Soft-proofing is subject to the limitations of monitor display, and other factors such as room lighting conditions.)

    Accurately evaluate and consistently incorporate color graphics from many different sources if they also use color management, and even in some cases if they don’t.

    Send color documents to different output devices and media without having to manually adjust colors in documents or original graphics. This is valuable when creating images that will eventually be used both in print and online.

    Print color correctly to an unknown color output device; for example, you could store a document online for consistently reproducible on-demand color printing anywhere in the world."












ebiggs1 is correct - you don't NEED the Canon Print Studio Pro software. It doesn't do anything you can't do by throwing all the correct software "switches".


But, the reality is that there is no Mac equivalent of Canon My Printer and the Mac printer driver is entirely different than the Windows version. I am an infrequent Mac printer, can't figure out all the correct "switches" and cannot get my printing to work w/o using Print Studio Pro.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

I have been following along with this very interesting thread and last night gave it a try. The two quick 4X6 pictures I printed turned out fine, however, I do have a question. By turning off the printer settings under "matching" does that also turn off the other settings under the manual tab, such as the "lighter or darker" choice and the contrast etc. selections? If so, am I correct in thinking that those changes need to be done while the image is still up in my Photo Shop software; Elements 12, or CS6?



You are correct, sir.. That is where fixn' belongs.  Not in the printer.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I am not familiar with Illustrator, but does it have a print dialogue module like PS? Select printer setup or some similar terminology and you should get the printer driver.
John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

Just tried printing in PS using the Print Studio Pro and it's still printing awful - 

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.27.16 AM.png

These are the settings I have set up....

In ILlustrator this is the color management info I get ---Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.31.13 AM.pngIt's this "Printer Profile" drop down that I think is the issue - but there's 100's of options - at one point I thought someone mentioned to have it selected as "display" which I've done with the same results......