Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880

Started Aug 7, 2010 | Discussions
dperez
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Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
Aug 7, 2010

I've read several discussions in here talking about 3rd party inks. I've got an Epson r2880 and I want to use the refillable cartridges, although I'm not averse to a CIS if it has significant benefits.

I found out about Inkjetmall and Cone inks, and Inkjetfly.com. I also found references to several from Britain like Lyson (do they REALLY want $410 for a CIS?) and OCP (OCR?) from Germany, but I'd like something readily available in the US if possible.

Are there other alternatives AS GOOD AS Cone inks but more cost effective? The Cone kit comes with 9 inks and runs $233 for the 4 oz. I THOUGHT I found a reference to another source that was SUPPOSED to be equally good but in the $15-18 range... I'm one of those people that prints on matte paper with the gloss ink, so it'd be more effective if I could get an 8-ink kit...

Bottom line - I"m after cost effectiveness (although they're all cost effective compared to Epson), but great color and good print longevity are critical. Is there anything better than Cone?

johnpeeay
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to dperez, Aug 7, 2010

I have bought a used R2400 and am also interested at using third party inks. In a previous post I asked about anyone using OCP pigment ink, and gave a UK supplier. I stand corrected, the UK supplier Internet-ink.co.uk does not supply pigment ink in the compatible cartridges listed for the R2400, they have written and informed me that dye based ink is in all their cartridges. I have checked with a couple of other UK companies and again for the R2400 they supply dye ink! Fine if you want prints only to last a year or so. Beware of cheaper so called compatibles.

The Cone refillable cartridges at first glance look attractive, I am pretty sure that the ink is good quality, however, on reading their instruction leaflet I see that one or two head cleans may be required after each refill - ink wasted!

Anyone on the forum got any feedback on their use of Cone refillable cartridges to enlighten both the OP and myself as to their use?

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canon person
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to johnpeeay, Aug 7, 2010

You have a great printer...why sacrifice print quality, longevity and ink to save a few bucks?

Canon Person

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Zone8
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to canon person, Aug 7, 2010

canon person wrote:

You have a great printer...why sacrifice print quality, longevity and ink to save a few bucks?

Oh no - not that old cr^p again. In my experience - and that of many colleagues - OEM inks have failed to deliver better quality or print permanence than third party ones. I have some dye ink prints over 12 years of age (printed on high quality acid-free watercolour paper - Canson Montval) that have been on display all the time. Occasional checks on the masked borders reveals still no signs of fading whatsoever.

Some Epson ink prints on Epson paper, of same vintage and kept in acid-free folders, away from the light, have not fared so well.

As for Canon inks - they (in tests when frst got printer) faded visibly in the sun within a couple of hours.

In the REAL world, fading tests are not exactly meaningful if the right paper is selected - that being the most important link in the chain. Just think for a moment. What absolute idiot would ever place a watercolour painting in sunlight?

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Zone8

The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process. -Edward Weston
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Petruska
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to Zone8, Aug 7, 2010

Zone8 wrote:

In the REAL world, fading tests are not exactly meaningful if the right paper is selected - that being the most important link in the chain. Just think for a moment. What absolute idiot would ever place a watercolour painting in sunlight?

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Zone8

I agree that the correct paper has a lot to do with fade resistance. I printed the same photo using Epson dye ink on 8 different papers about 10 years ago, hung them on a wall in my office where the sun beat on them, and the lgihts were on 24/7, plus the place had a lot of ozone with the electronic air cleaners. The prints where up for 3 years. Most prints faded to where there was no ink left, including the Epson paper. The winner was a paper called Jet-Print, it looked almost as good as the day printed. I don't think that this paper is even produced today.

Back in March I ran a fade test in direct sun light using OEM, Hobbicolors, Image Specialists, and OCP dye inks with my Canon PRO9000 printer on Canon, Red River, Ilford, and Kodak papers. OCP won, very good fade resistance, IS was 2nd, Canon OEM 3rd and then HC last. The Kodak Ultra paper was the best.

Bob P.

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Apotheker
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to Petruska, Aug 7, 2010

Hi Bob,

could you take the time to write a review with scanned pictures at the nifty-stuff.com website, because this is very interesting to all of us and nifty-stuff.com is the website for refillers. I and many others would be very thankful if you could contribute your experience on that website.

Sofar I would like to contribute more on that website, but for the time being I am on vacation in France and internet access from the hotel room is astonishing expensive.
--
Crazy about printing, profiling and refilling printer cartridges

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Vernon D Rainwater
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to dperez, Aug 7, 2010

dperez wrote:

I've read several discussions in here talking about 3rd party inks. I've got an Epson r2880 and I want to use the refillable cartridges, although I'm not averse to a CIS if it has significant benefits.

I found out about Inkjetmall and Cone inks, and Inkjetfly.com. I also found references to several from Britain like Lyson (do they REALLY want $410 for a CIS?) and OCP (OCR?) from Germany, but I'd like something readily available in the US if possible.

Are there other alternatives AS GOOD AS Cone inks but more cost effective? The Cone kit comes with 9 inks and runs $233 for the 4 oz. I THOUGHT I found a reference to another source that was SUPPOSED to be equally good but in the $15-18 range... I'm one of those people that prints on matte paper with the gloss ink, so it'd be more effective if I could get an 8-ink kit...

Bottom line - I"m after cost effectiveness (although they're all cost effective compared to Epson), but great color and good print longevity are critical. Is there anything better than Cone?

I haven't read many comments or details regarding the 3rd party Pigment type bulk inks sold by http://www.inksupply.com . Has anyone used this ink and if so, what was your opinion of the quality and performance.

Would this be a possible source for your needs. Also, I wonder how their ink compares to the frequently discussed/mentioned Cone inks.
--
Vernon...

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Mark McCormick
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to Zone8, Aug 7, 2010

Zone8 wrote:

canon person wrote:

You have a great printer...why sacrifice print quality, longevity and ink to save a few bucks?

Oh no - not that old cr^p again. In my experience - and that of many colleagues - OEM inks have failed to deliver better quality or print permanence than third party ones.

Zone 8, thanks. You've finally convinced me that the folks on this forum would rather debate ad nauseam this third party longevity issue, rather than support some truly independent scientific testing to find a more fact-based answer. This is very likely my last post on the subject. I have simply lost the enthusiasm to keep participating.

As it stands right now, I have not seen a single third party ink deliver superior lightfastness performance to OEM inks, and I have made a good faith effort to look for it, and indeed encouraged folks to join the AaI&A membership and submit third party inks for testing. But those superior third party inks you keep referring to just haven't shown up on my doorstep (with one exception... full carbon monochrome inks that are very warm brown in hue. They can't make neutral tones with full carbon).

All the dye-based inks prior to the latest round of Epson Claria, HP Vivera, and Fuji Sericol dye formulations are very fugitive. And even the latest dye-based inkjet inks from major manufactuers are still not up to the OEM pigment longevity (notwithstanding marketing claims that put them in the high quality pigment lightfastness range). If it were true, no OEM would continue to make pigments. So, if you are going to compare third party dyes to 5 year old formulations of OEM dye based systems, you may indeed find some that match early OEM formulas' performance. The OEMs had nothing to brag about back then, and Canon still doesn't in its current dye formulations (it's Lucia pigments, however, are very impressive on good papers).

With respect to third party pigmented inks, not one I've tested matches OEM on longevity performance. Some are respectable and may represent a good cost/value proposition for amateurs, but they simply don't match OEM lightfastness in carefully controlled side-by-side instrumented testing.

With respect to anecdotal evidence of prints on display, they may be cause for optimism to the amateur, but even traditional chromogenic color prints with poor lightfastness will last decades on display and retain decent color and tone if the light levels aren't too high. So, unless you've got some 30 year old inkjet prints, anecdotal evidence that you haven't seen fading yet is comforting but not necessarily evidence of outstanding third party ink performance. For that we need instrumented side-by-side testing or real world examples that are decades old.

Good luck to all in this forever ongoing third party ink debate.

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Petruska
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to Apotheker, Aug 8, 2010

Apotheker wrote:

Hi Bob,

could you take the time to write a review with scanned pictures at the nifty-stuff.com website, because this is very interesting to all of us and nifty-stuff.com is the website for refillers. I and many others would be very thankful if you could contribute your experience on that website.

There is not much to write in a review except that OCP, CLI-8 equivalent ink had the best fade resisitance compared to Canon OEM, OCP (BCI-6), Hobbicolors UW8, and Image Specailists BCI-6 and CLI-8 compatible ink sets. I wasn't doing a scientific test, just a real world logical test to meet my needs and choose the correct ink and paper combination. I printed 2 prints with each ink and paper combination on Canon Platinum, Kodak Ultra, Kodak Ultima, Kodak Professional, and Red River Arctic Polar Luster papers. One half of the prints (test) were placed in a south facing window in direct sun light for approximately 90 days, the other control prints were placed in a drawer. The comparison after 90 days indicated that the OCP test print was the best compared to the virgin stored print. I have discarded all sample prints and inks other than OCP, CLI-8 equivalent as there was no need to keep them. Most of my printing is for event and wedding proofs. Anything of importance gets printed by White House Custom Color labs. I do print with the OCP ink on Premier Art canvas and roller coated with their ECO-coat coating and I don't see any fading at all for months in a 24/7 lit room.

You can search for my posts back in March 2010 where a lot of posters on DPR were involved when I first started evaluating the inks, there is a lot of discussion and scanned photos, most of it was centered around Hobbicolors ink and how the gray scale ramping was not very good, OCP was very good.

In case anyone reading this is interested in OCP ink I must warn you that OCP ink is produced in 2 places, Germany (which the US rep sells) and China for Asia consumption. Are there differences, I don't know, but I sure would rerun the tests if I was using the China ink.

Bob P.

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Lothman
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some data please
In reply to Mark McCormick, Aug 8, 2010

Mark McCormick wrote:

With respect to third party pigmented inks, not one I've tested matches OEM on longevity performance. Some are respectable and may represent a good cost/value proposition for amateurs, but they simply don't match OEM lightfastness in carefully controlled side-by-side instrumented testing.

Can you give as some data what means "does not match longevity of OEM". If OEM can hold 100 years and third party would do 75 years then I think this would be sufficient for 99.9% of users

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Lothman
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to dperez, Aug 8, 2010

dperez wrote:

Bottom line - I"m after cost effectiveness (although they're all cost effective compared to Epson), but great color and good print longevity are critical. Is there anything better than Cone?

I've bought a used R2400 with original cartridges in it. The few prints on Epson premium glossy paper I couls squeeze ot of the cartridges I compared to Imgae Specialists K3 ink on autoreset cart. look fine. I bought from chubs380 a canadian ebay seller, had items here in Germany within a week, what's rocking fast.

http://stores.ebay.de/PrecisionColors_Epson-9-Color-Printers_W0QQ_fsubZ12749733QQ_sidZ98545621QQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em322

100$ for a 9x4oz-bottle set of each color is IMO a good price.

I don't know about OCP prices, I mailed them.

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Makinations
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Re: some data please
In reply to Lothman, Aug 8, 2010

Lothman wrote:

Mark McCormick wrote:

With respect to third party pigmented inks, not one I've tested matches OEM on longevity performance. Some are respectable and may represent a good cost/value proposition for amateurs, but they simply don't match OEM lightfastness in carefully controlled side-by-side instrumented testing.

Can you give as some data what means "does not match longevity of OEM". If OEM can hold 100 years and third party would do 75 years then I think this would be sufficient for 99.9% of users

Try here ... http://aardenburg-imaging.com/

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Vernon D Rainwater
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Re: Best third-party ink for an Epson r2880
In reply to Vernon D Rainwater, Aug 8, 2010

Vernon D Rainwater wrote:

dperez wrote:

I've read several discussions in here talking about 3rd party inks. I've got an Epson r2880 and I want to use the refillable cartridges, although I'm not averse to a CIS if it has significant benefits.

I found out about Inkjetmall and Cone inks, and Inkjetfly.com. I also found references to several from Britain like Lyson (do they REALLY want $410 for a CIS?) and OCP (OCR?) from Germany, but I'd like something readily available in the US if possible.

Are there other alternatives AS GOOD AS Cone inks but more cost effective? The Cone kit comes with 9 inks and runs $233 for the 4 oz. I THOUGHT I found a reference to another source that was SUPPOSED to be equally good but in the $15-18 range... I'm one of those people that prints on matte paper with the gloss ink, so it'd be more effective if I could get an 8-ink kit...

Bottom line - I"m after cost effectiveness (although they're all cost effective compared to Epson), but great color and good print longevity are critical. Is there anything better than Cone?

I haven't read many comments or details regarding the 3rd party Pigment type bulk inks sold by http://www.inksupply.com . Has anyone used this ink and if so, what was your opinion of the quality and performance.

Would this be a possible source for your needs. Also, I wonder how their ink compares to the frequently discussed/mentioned Cone inks.
--
Vernon...

Reference my inquiry: I read other details that the Company is MIS but their web site is inksupply.com.
--
Vernon...

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Mark McCormick
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Re: some data please
In reply to Lothman, Aug 8, 2010

Lothman wrote:

If OEM can hold 100 years and third party would do 75 years then I think this would be sufficient for 99.9% of users

If you buy a 100 year timeline as the litmus test for stable products, with no regard to environmental factors or the criteria for failure, then you are home free! Any print system on the market today can last 100 years under the right environmental conditions and with modest expectations for what it should look like when it's 100 years old.

Even the most acid-choked, lignin filled newsprint printed with very fugitive inks can "last" one hundred years. It's information content will be largely intact. IMHO, the industry made a trivial game out of longevity testing by deciding that standardized "years of life" predictions would be the only way the public could understand durability testing of photographic prints. The display life ratings are silly when you step back and evaluate the actual impact of real world environmental variability and just how much fading the typical consumer might tolerate, but they do have a "feel good" quality when you hear the results.

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Lothman
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Re: some data please
In reply to Mark McCormick, Aug 8, 2010

Mark McCormick wrote:

If you buy a 100 year timeline as the litmus test for stable products, with no regard to environmental factors or the criteria for failure, then you are home free! Any print system on the market today can last 100 years under the right environmental conditions and with modest expectations for what it should look like when it's 100 years old.

I'm aware that there is a difference in longevity between storing in Helium athmosphere, dark and at -40°C and nailing it at the roof in the middle of a desert

What I wanted to know is the difference of 3rd party ink and OEM ink on the same paper under the same conditions. "Lesser" doesn't mean anything to me, 99.9% is lesser and 1% is also lesser.

If I use ink from a well known ink manufacturer (pigmented ink for epson) and a well known Paper, can I expect 20 years for unprotected indoor use? With my Inktec and Canon I can expect perhaps 1 year in sunlight some weeks!

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Vibrio
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fotospeed
In reply to dperez, Aug 8, 2010

is what I have with my R2400 but not sure you get it in the states

dperez wrote:

I've read several discussions in here talking about 3rd party inks. I've got an Epson r2880 and I want to use the refillable cartridges, although I'm not averse to a CIS if it has significant benefits.

I found out about Inkjetmall and Cone inks, and Inkjetfly.com. I also found references to several from Britain like Lyson (do they REALLY want $410 for a CIS?) and OCP (OCR?) from Germany, but I'd like something readily available in the US if possible.

Are there other alternatives AS GOOD AS Cone inks but more cost effective? The Cone kit comes with 9 inks and runs $233 for the 4 oz. I THOUGHT I found a reference to another source that was SUPPOSED to be equally good but in the $15-18 range... I'm one of those people that prints on matte paper with the gloss ink, so it'd be more effective if I could get an 8-ink kit...

Bottom line - I"m after cost effectiveness (although they're all cost effective compared to Epson), but great color and good print longevity are critical. Is there anything better than Cone?

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Vibrio
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Re: some data please
In reply to Makinations, Aug 8, 2010

sure if you like to subscribe for $25 a year lol

Makinations wrote:

Try here ... http://aardenburg-imaging.com/

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Mark McCormick
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Re: some data please
In reply to Lothman, Aug 8, 2010

Lothman wrote:

I'm aware that there is a difference in longevity between storing in Helium athmosphere, dark and at -40°C and nailing it at the roof in the middle of a desert

I'm not talking about extreme or unique environmental conditions. I'm talking about two orders of magnitude difference in fading rates that can be found very commonly in different locations even within the same typical American home...say the print in the bedroom versus the print right next to the picture window in the living room.

What I wanted to know is the difference of 3rd party ink and OEM ink on the same paper under the same conditions. "Lesser" doesn't mean anything to me, 99.9% is lesser and 1% is also lesser.

Right. You want specifics, but you haven't said what you'd accept as your failure criterion (ie. "end of life").... just noticeable fade, easily noticeable fade, extreme fade...the picture may still have historic or sentimental value to someone even when extreme fade levels are reached and therefore not be at its "end of life" to said person. Printed images don't just disappear catastrophically like digital images on a failed hard drive and at a precise moment in time unless, of course, subjected to fire, flood, or vandalism.

If I use ink from a well known ink manufacturer (pigmented ink for epson) and a well known Paper, can I expect 20 years for unprotected indoor use? With my Inktec and Canon I can expect perhaps 1 year in sunlight some weeks!

To have the comparative data you want, the specific printer/ink/paper combo needs to be tested against a valid benchmark. That is what AaI&A does for its members. It's not free, but at $25 to join, the price is reasonable to anyone who is serious about the subject of print permanence.

kind regards,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

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Lothman
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Re: some data please
In reply to Mark McCormick, Aug 8, 2010

Mark McCormick wrote:

What I wanted to know is the difference of 3rd party ink and OEM ink on the same paper under the same conditions. "Lesser" doesn't mean anything to me, 99.9% is lesser and 1% is also lesser.

Right. You want specifics, but you haven't said what you'd accept as your failure criterion (ie. "end of life").... just noticeable fade, easily noticeable fade, extreme fade...the picture may still have historic or sentimental value to someone even when extreme fade levels are reached and therefore not be at its "end of life" to said person. Printed images don't just disappear catastrophically like digital images on a failed hard drive and at a precise moment in time unless, of course, subjected to fire, flood, or vandalism.

what ever failure criterion we would use, shouldn't give this an idea what OEM ink ia able to surpass a third party ink. I'm an engineer and some rules of thumbs help me a lot in my business for e very first estimation. And of cours I'm aware that there are a lot of "well it depends..."

Mark you as one of the Aardenburg Imaging & Archives crew, can you give us such a rule of thumbs?

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Makinations
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Re: some data please
In reply to Vibrio, Aug 8, 2010

If he wants the data he'll have to pay.

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