Efillink R1800 CIS installed: early opinion
After some discussions and inputs from CIS users on this forum, I decided to go with the Efillink option to replace a generic CIS that didn't work well for me ( see http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1003&message=22602151 ).
If it can be useful to others as previous reviews were to me, here's my early opinion on the system.
Very simple and straight forward. Ronnie at Efilllink was quick to acknowledge my order and confirm shipping few days after. The CIS ships from Honk Kong and was delivered to my door (Canada) without having to pay any customs or brokerage fees. I went with the empty system as I already have some MIS inks which are the same as the actual Efillink offering.
The main part is the CIS module which regroup the ink tanks, low level indicator electronics, battery holder etc. It is actually bigger than what I expected. Each thanks can hold about 100ml of ink. The system ships with 2 complete sets of cartridges, one already connected to the tubing. My package also included 2 spare caps for the tanks, a hand glove, a set of seringes with long needles, small elbows and tube adapters for the spare cartridge set, auto-stick clips to fix the tubing on the printer. I was expecting to see a bottle of cleaning fluid but instead an optional stand (to elevate the ink to the proper level) was included. As I already had some cleaning fluid and I was prepared to build my own stand I really had nothing to complain here.
The longest part of my work was to uninstall the previous CIS meaning I had to pump out the ink the cartridges and the tubes, wash the whole thing and discard the system. The Efillink system was easy to install following the web video instructions. I would have prefer paper instructions as you have to go back and forth to the computer, risking some accident as my hand were still dirty from the removal of my previous system. The cartridges were recognized perfectly by the printer at first power on (that was the major proplem with my previous CIS). As per Ronnie's and other users' comment, you have to use a significant amount of force to open cartridge valve with the seringe in order to pump the ink from the tanks to the cartridges. At first you're affraid to break something but you get use to it. Note that you need a significant amount of ink to stop the low ink reminder from beeping and flashing (I'd say approximately 40ml). Be prepare to add some more after you've primed the cartridges as the level will go down. Once you've primed all channels, you run some nozzle checks and purge prints. At this point, 2-3 channels that were clogged from my previous CIS experience remained unusable. I ran 3 cleaning cycles and let the printer sit overnight. The day after, all color channels were OK. Only the gloss optimizer was clogged. I had to use a seringe with original (blue) windex to clear the gloss optimizer head. Once the nozzle check pattern is ok, you elevate the module using the stand and close the ink tank caps. I routed the tubes to the left of the printer instead of the right (suggested). It did not cause any problem as of now. You can have a look at my setup in this gallery: http://cpotvin.smugmug.com/gallery/2734298#145154239
In order to use the Efillink CIS to its optimal performance, you have to learn to turn on the power switch before powering on the printer. I learned it the hard way as my first prints were not very saturated and were getting worst with time. If I understand well, the power switch prevent the ink from flowing back to the thanks which will draw air in the print heads and cause cloggs. If you try to print with the switch off, ink will not flow easily to the cartridges and print quality will decline. As soon as I turned the power switch on I was back on track.
I did not get any clogg since I installed the system about 2 weeks ago. I keep my fingers crossed but so far the system works well. The MIS inks give good color reproduction. Paper manufacturer profiles are still usable in many cases. However some specific papers or profesionnal users may prefer re-profiling. Using Epson papers, you can simply crank color sliders to +15 and get results close to Epson ink results in terms of color. I made some test profiles with Profile Prism and I can confirm that you can improve things with re-profiling. Anyway that's your choice and the majority of users may find existing profiles usable. MIS inks are not as glossy as Epsons. Epson inks really dominates in this department and MIS can improve this point. There's less bronzing with MIS inks however. Results on matte paper are very good. Ronnie actually sell the same inks as MIS but told me that he's actually testing new hi-gloss inks.
continued in next post...
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