Efillink R1800 CIS installed: early opinion

Started Apr 20, 2007 | Discussions
Carl_Potvin Regular Member • Posts: 146
Efillink R1800 CIS installed: early opinion

Hi there,

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.

Buying process
--------------------

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 product
-----------------

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.

Installation
--------------

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

First use
-----------

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.

Normal use
---------------

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...

Carl_Potvin OP Regular Member • Posts: 146
Re: Efillink R1800 CIS installed: early opinion

continued from previous post...

Like/Dislike/Worries
--------------------------
In a nut shell:

I like: The support I got from Ronnie before and after my purchase. He's still asking on a regular basis if I'm satisfied and keeps me updated (example: new hi-gloss ink...). The "all in one" module leaving your desk clean. The low ink reminder for "peace of mind", large tanks, good working auto-reset chips (20-80% for ink saving), stable sitting cartridges.

Dislikes: Treshold level of low ink reminder (too much remaining when it starts) which is more a "order" ink reminder than a "add ink" reminder. The only way to stop the system from beeping is to remove the batteries (leaving the power switch on to allow ink flow and continue working). Having to turn an aditional switch on before printing. You get use to it but... Also, don't leave it on after your job or the batteries will drain out quickly. My suggestion, draw power from a piggyback USB connector and detect the power consumption of the printer to automaticly switch on/off the CIS system. Ink tube connection to ink main module looks a little home made. However, it seems sturdy enough.

Worries: Ink bottle caps (holding the ink tubes) seems fragile. You need to be gentle when removing. Seeing 2 spare caps in the package confirms my concern. Longevity of the electronics.

In a nut shell I'm actually satisfied by the performance of the system. Now let's print a lot and see how it'll hold in the long run.

Feel free to ask questions. If there's some interest, I'll try to update my review with future observations.

Regards.

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Carl

Nikon D-70 / Nikkor 18-70mm AF-S DX / Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D /
Tamron 90mm SP Macro / Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro Super II / SB-800

Coolpix 5400
--
Carl

Nikon D-70 / Nikkor 18-70mm AF-S DX / Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D /
Tamron 90mm SP Macro / Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro Super II / SB-800

Coolpix 5400

FreeCart Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Efillink R1800 CIS installed: early opinion

Carl,

I am trying to learn how to make/use ICC profiles.

Comparing the profiles you made using Profile Prism to simply cranking color sliders to +15, which one do you think is better? Cranking the color slider is not a "scientific" way to reproduce digital images. Isn't it?

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Site under construction
http://www.freeprinterhelp.com

Carl_Potvin OP Regular Member • Posts: 146
Re: Efillink R1800 CIS installed: early opinion

FreeCart wrote:

Carl,

I am trying to learn how to make/use ICC profiles.
Comparing the profiles you made using Profile Prism to simply
cranking color sliders to +15, which one do you think is better?
Cranking the color slider is not a "scientific" way to reproduce
digital images. Isn't it?

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Site under construction
http://www.freeprinterhelp.com

Hi Freecart,

Specific profile for each ink-paper combination is optimal. The profile generated with Profile Prism are quite good but depends a lot on your scanner. They usually can't reach the precision of professionaly made profiles but are not bad at all considering the small investment Prism requires.

The +15 slider method is a recommendation from MIS (see color section of http://inksupply.helpserve.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=36&nav=0,5 ) for users who wants to use the Epson color management instead of specific profiles. It also applies to other vendors selling inks from Image Specialist. I agree it is not a scientific matching method but, as a scientist, if you don't have de tools and/or comprehension of the problem, this "empirical" way can be the only way to go until you're in complete control. Actual it work well on some papers. On others, you may have to balance the color correction (not +15 for each color).

In the end, if you are used to profile your paper/ink it's better to continue this way. For users afraid of color management, you can still use alternative inks and CIS, with simple driver correction you'll be satisfied.

Hope this helps.

-- hide signature --

Carl

Nikon D-70 / Nikkor 18-70mm AF-S DX / Nikkor 50mm F1.8 D /
Tamron 90mm SP Macro / Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro Super II / SB-800

Coolpix 5400

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