Which Epson printers use pigment ink?

Started Nov 8, 2005 | Discussions
Chris Tofalos
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Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
Nov 8, 2005

I'm getting to the end of my tether with my R1800 which consistently gives inferior results to my old R800 (now used by my son).

Anyone know which Epson printers use pigment ink (that is, designed by Epson to use these inks, not a post purchase mod)?

Many thanks.

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danielsan
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 8, 2005

2200 (discontinued)
R800
R1800

new K3 pigment inks

R2400
4800/7800/9800

The R800/R1800 are just about identical and should give similar results. What about your R1800 do you not like?

Chris Tofalos wrote:

I'm getting to the end of my tether with my R1800 which
consistently gives inferior results to my old R800 (now used by my
son).

Anyone know which Epson printers use pigment ink (that is, designed
by Epson to use these inks, not a post purchase mod)?

Many thanks.

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Ed Bigelow
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 8, 2005

In addition to the current R1800 and 2400, the C8x series also uses pigmented inks.

The latest being the C88, limited to 8 1/2w. I've used earlier versions (C80,82,84) and they give excellent results on good matte paper IF manual printer controls are used.

It is said the inks for the C88 have been reformulted to yeild better results on glossy paper, but the limit of 4 inks will make this difficult.

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birwin
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Ed Bigelow, Nov 8, 2005

If you are having problems printing with a pigment printer, check the paper. They are very sensitive to papers, not like dye that will print on anything. You usually have to buy the most expensive epson paper to get the best result.

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Chris Tofalos
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 9, 2005

Even though I've calibrated the R1800 the results (a) aren't consistent (some match screen perfectly, others don't) and (b) those that don't often look better on the uncalibrated R800 (using the standard printer driver and 'same as source' for ICM) - especially contact sheets from non-ICM aware Fotostation.

I suspect I'm going in circles and seem to have gone through three boxes of Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl in test prints in futile efforts to set some sort of consistency.

The inks used in both printers are Phoenix compatible but as the R800 output is generally good I wonder if the problem is the R1800 driver.

The reason I asked about which other printers use pigment inks is that I need the prints to last (some clients put them on display - behind glass). Prints on the Ilford paper with Phoenix inks can actually be washed in hot soapy water!

I'm also thinking that if Epson can do without the red and blue inks in their latest ink K3 sets whether a 'standard' seven colour printer (2100/2200) would be the way to go.

Woe is me!

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freddyNZ
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 9, 2005

Chris Tofalos wrote:

Even though I've calibrated the R1800 the results (a) aren't
consistent (some match screen perfectly, others don't) and (b)
those that don't often look better on the uncalibrated R800 (using
the standard printer driver and 'same as source' for ICM) -
especially contact sheets from non-ICM aware Fotostation.

I suspect I'm going in circles and seem to have gone through three
boxes of Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl in test prints in futile
efforts to set some sort of consistency.

The inks used in both printers are Phoenix compatible but as the
R800 output is generally good I wonder if the problem is the R1800
driver.

The reason I asked about which other printers use pigment inks is
that I need the prints to last (some clients put them on display -
behind glass). Prints on the Ilford paper with Phoenix inks can
actually be washed in hot soapy water!

I'm also thinking that if Epson can do without the red and blue
inks in their latest ink K3 sets whether a 'standard' seven colour
printer (2100/2200) would be the way to go.

Woe is me!

The problem is not likely to be with the R1800 driver.
With third party inks your problems are not surprising.
The R800 experience is probably just good luck.

If you are selling prints - with clients expecting longevity - then why use aftermarket inks? There is no guarantee of print life, you invalidate the warranty, and you waste boxes of paper trying to get the colour right, and if you are pricing your product/service correctly, then the cost of OEM ink should be an insignificant part of your overall costs.

While I wouldn't be too worried about aftermarket inks for dye ink printers, I wouldn't touch aftermarket pigment ink for my R1800 - unless it was stated in writing from the supplier that they would take all responsibility for consequential damages. In most countries they would be legally liable, but extracting the price of a new printer would be like getting blood out of a stone.

I would also look at an MIS system for an R2400 - using ink syphoned from large R4800 cartridges - but a better answer would be just to buy a wide format printer in the first place - which is the best way to go if you are producing large volumes of commercial prints.

Dye inks are much simpler to make, cheaper, and much less likely to cause problems. They also produce vibrant prints with good handling properties on epson and ilford "fast-dry" papers, but with no expectation of print longevity - ie the same expectation you should have with 3rd party pigment inks. Stable dispersions of pigments are notoriously difficult to make. It is not automatic that pigment is more stable than dye.

You might (not) enjoy reading the following thread:
http://www.photo-i.co.uk/BB/viewtopic.php?t=809

The first indication he had of problems - which proved to be terminal for the printer - was inconsistent colour. Sure, these are counterfeit as opposed to aftermarket. They could be produced in the same factory as the cartridges you buy. Do you know?

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Dave Lewis
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 9, 2005

I think the only remaining higher end printer that continues with dye based ink is the venerable 1280.
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enduser
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Dave Lewis, Nov 9, 2005

Even the new, humble C67 uses the Durabrite Ultra Pigment ink, four separate cartridges and much cheaper than I expected. ($10 each in Australia).

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ChillPill2
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 9, 2005

C88 is a new printer which uses pigment ink.
u can get C88 bulk ink system from IR too:
http://www.inkrepublic.com/ProductDetail.asp?item=C88

it's been saying that C88 has better output than C86.

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Chris Tofalos
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to freddyNZ, Nov 9, 2005

Some useful and valid comments, FreddieNZ. Unfortunately, I'm not a social photographer and my need for prints is strictly limited (almost all clients want JPGs for publications), so a pro-spec large format printer isn't viable.

I suspect the R2400 is a better bet than the R1800 (I also have occasional need for B&W) and using the inks from 4800 cartridges is a great idea I certainly hand't thought of.

Are there any inks from independent suppliers which are long-lasting, though? I don't want to be totally reliant on Epson (whose ink pricing strategy I find verging on the immoral).

Chris

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freddyNZ
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 9, 2005

Chris Tofalos wrote:

Some useful and valid comments, FreddieNZ. Unfortunately, I'm not a
social photographer and my need for prints is strictly limited
(almost all clients want JPGs for publications), so a pro-spec
large format printer isn't viable.

I suspect the R2400 is a better bet than the R1800 (I also have
occasional need for B&W) and using the inks from 4800 cartridges is
a great idea I certainly hand't thought of.

Are there any inks from independent suppliers which are
long-lasting, though? I don't want to be totally reliant on Epson
(whose ink pricing strategy I find verging on the immoral).

Chris

If your printing quantity is limited, then why worry about ink cost for OEM? Several people have run accurate tests on ink cost for the R1800, which seems to average ~ US$1 per a4 full-bleed photo. I know that that cost is insignificant compared to the cost of my time setting the image up on my PC for printing - let alone taking the photo, and framing etc.

Incidentally, OEM cartridges in an R2400 will cost more per page than R1800. Ink use is higher - a consequence of using light magenta/cyan, light and light black, instead of smaller droplets or full strength ink to achieve a given colour tone. Benefit is an increased gamut and absence of metamerism for B&W.

Using syphoned OEM ink from 4800 cartridges may save about half the ink cost - but add the cost of a CIS and it may be better just to buy a 4800 in the first place in my opinion - unless you have an absolute need to print 6x4s, and can't be bothered cutting larger sheets. But, if your printing quantity is not huge, then you need to print several thousand a4 photographs before you see a payback for the additional capital cost by way of ink cost saving.

Some Fujitsu dry minilabs use the same inkset as the R1800 (minus the matte black) - but obtaining the bulk ink seems difficult.

It p* me off that ink costs are high - from the point of view that large profits are made from cartridge sales by the printer makers. However, I bought the printer knowing this. It took me a while to get the feel of the R1800 on various papers, how images responded to sharpening etc, so that now I can churn out a very satisfactory result first time - almost every time. Throwing in a variable such as the possibility of batch to batch variation in aftermarket cartridges just isn't an option for me.

I undersand that Epson make R1800 cartridges in the UK, and prices are around GBP 12 per cartridge. I pay about 1/3 less than that in NZ (incl GST/VAT) - and NZ is often an expensive place to buy computer accessories. It may be pricing strategy from Epson - as the cost for the printers is exhorbitant here compared to the US, and much higher than the UK. Perhaps you can buy cartridges online - from a reputable supplier outside the UK / EU.

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Chris Tofalos
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to freddyNZ, Nov 9, 2005

Although my print runs are limited I'm just as p* d off as you about rip-off OEM ink prices, so prefer to try and get it right with compatibles than pay for 'fat cat' salaries. You may be right about the batch to batch consistency of compatible cartridges but I've got satisfaction of a different kind.

I've tried a CIS system (from Fotospeed) but, most unfortunately, the support bar just above and to the left of the head rest position causes interference which would have undoubtedly lead to premature failure. Thankfully Fotospeed agreed a full refund.

Permajet in the UK ( http://www.permajet.com/ ) are about to launch refillable cartridges, which means I could buy bulk ink and not have to worry about failing tube systems. All I need to find is a supplier of good quality inks...

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R Dunlop
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 10, 2005

I use a canon ip4200 but have no problem with epsom quality and inks as most of my freinds have them. My question is why do you ask about pigment inks? In the canon they have both, the pigment ink is for type as it produces sharp lines, the dyes are for photo and both canon & epsom use these as they are the best for this medium. The latest dyes are 100 years in an album, all dyes fade in the daylight at this stage. What is it about pigment you are looking for?

Cheers,

Bob Dunlop
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Hotworks

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Chris Tofalos
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to R Dunlop, Nov 10, 2005

Pigment inks are supposed to last longer. As some of my clients put the pictures on display it would be bad for business if they started fading after a short time...

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Joseph Lin
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R200 :)
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 10, 2005

I just updated my R200 by switching to Ink Republic R200 Pigment inks.

In the beginning the colors are way off. After profiling, it seems not too bad. The most economic way to go pigment.

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SantaFeBill
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Re: Which Epson printers use pigment ink?
In reply to Chris Tofalos, Nov 11, 2005

Chris, let my put it as clearly as possible: As long as you use non-Epson inks, 1) you're not going to get consistent results, and 2) you may well be supplying prints to clients that won't last any better than dye-based ones.

Why not compare how much you're spending - in wasted time, paper, and ink - in trying to get consistent results with non-Epson inks - to what you would save if you could depend on the results? The savings in paper alone would seem to pay for the Epson inks.

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