Choosing a 3rd party ink

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
jtoolman Veteran Member • Posts: 6,430
Re: Choosing a 3rd party ink

David Seys wrote:

A couple of weeks ago I started a thread asking about the new(ish) Thrift Ink from Jon Cone.

Since then I've read on here and elsewhere about other 3rd party inks. Wondering if someone with experience using these inks can give their thoughts. I'm definitely not a newbie to printing; I've been printing LF for over a decade. Just new to 3rd party ink. I'm tired of spending way too much money on OEM Epson inks for my various printers.

Since my thread a couple of weeks ago I also purchased an Epson 4880 to do along with my two 7600's, 1430 and Canon IPF8300.

Here is what I'm trying to accomplish. I'd like to start using the 4880 for printing mainly wedding portraits and some canvas. I live in Canada and the ink here for the 8300 is $5400 if I were to replace all 12 colours at 700ml. Of course I'm not replacing all at once, but over the course of replacing them all that is WAY too much money. Can't use the 7600 or 1430 for wedding photos since the quality isn't up to snuff on paper. Since everything costs way more in Canada, and shipping, brokerage and duty fees are pretty high, it's hard to make any money with costs so high. So I'm looking for a decent ink that won't bugger up my print heads for less than what I spend on Epson OEM and Canon OEM inks.

I was seriously considering the Thrift Ink but I'm worried about longevity issues and clients coming back. What about elsewhere? InkOwl is one I looked at. Prices are good and they are also located in Canada so shipping is free (over $75) so no silly shipping and duty fees. I noticed they also have a dye ink similar to Thrift Ink that supposedly resists fading and is much cheaper than pigment. Any good? Are the Thrift Inks from Cone something one could use for wedding photos without being scared of comebacks in a few years? Are the dyes from InkOwl or elsewhere on the same quality level as the Cone Color pigments? Just not sure what I should put into the new 4880 (and later 7600 and 1430), pigment or dye. Like I said, if I can move the majority of the work to the 4880 and save the ink on the 8300 that would save me a small fortune.

Well, CONE's claim is for a couple of decades. I assume longer if they are framed under glass. This ink has not been out too long so unless someone does accelerated fading tests, there is no way to accurately tell. I assume you have read his writeup on these inks.

The ONLY reason I even considered it in the first place was because I wanted an ink that would allow me to produce great B&W on glossy baryta type papers due to the fact that they are K3 and bacause they are DYE would provide the best gloss. Unlike Pigment inks.

I am currently using them on a R2400 and a PRO3800.

I would only use Matte or art papers for Wedding photos so even Image Specialists inks which suffer from Magenta Gloss, would be perfect. In fact I use them on some of my printers. If your printing is only on Matte / Art papers I would seriously consider IS inks from Precission Colors in Canada.

His IS inks are pretty much 100% matched to OEM so you do not have to replace the complete set of colors. However, custom profiling to your specific papers will not hurt.

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