Third party printer ink

crimbfighter

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
2,009
Reaction score
1,322
Location
Wisconsin, United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Does anyone on here who does their own printing use aftermarket inks? My PIXMA Pro 100, which I've used for a couple years now, is a fantastic printer, but it's an ink hog... I've been pondering refilling the cartridges myself for a while, but recent ink purchases, and their price increases, have renewed my desire.

I'm looking at either ND brand inks or LD brand inks. Has anyone on here used either of those brands?
 

bratkinson

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
318
Location
Western MA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Even though I'm a Canon shooter, I have yet to buy a Canon printer!

I have four printers, but mostly use a pair of Epson R380 printers. I've had mixed results with these printers. I literally wear each of them out every 2 years or so, mostly from directly printing about 50-60 CDs per week. My results with 'compatible' inks has been all over the place.

First and foremost, like Epson, I'm reasonably sure that Canon has some kind of 'genuine Canon cartridge' checking logic in their printers. It seems like every model of Epson printer I've used is more 'fussy' than the previous models. Without a doubt, the best, sharpest, clearest printed images of my photos come from using genuine Epson ink. I've resorted to buying them on ebay and often from Chinese sellers as their prices usually beat the daylights out of USA sellers prices. Knowing the typical China-to-USA shipping time of about 2 weeks or so, I've learned to keep 2-3 of each color 'in stock' in my computer room. Having to run out to buy a cartridge or cartridges at my local Staples store usually ends up as a waste of time as they usually don't have every color in stock and they're typically $15 and up for each color.

As far as 'compatible' inks go, from those I've bought from internet retailers, about 40-50% are immediately rejected by the printer with a message 'ink cartridge not recognized'. Usually, it's one or two colors of the 6 colors I have to feed the printer. The other colors work fine! Go Figure. I've never kept track of what brands I have or have used, so I don't know which are better or worse. I recently bought another used Epson R380 on ebay and the seller put maybe 20 new compatible-brand inks in the box and the printer came with all compatible inks installed.

Once the ink cartridge has been 'accepted', the real test comes to comparing image quality from my 'primary' printer which only gets genuine ink, and my identical 'secondary' printer that gets the 'freebie' compatible cartridges that sellers included. Even some of the compatible cartridges get rejected by the same printer they came with.

The printed image quality has definitely lost some of its sharpness when printing identical images on both printers. I'm guessing that the nozzles are a little bigger on the compatibles. But I recently discovered that the compatible cartridges don't always spray out the same quantity of ink as a genuine Epson cartridge. Perhaps 2 weeks ago, I put in a brand new compatible black cartridge while printing CDs on both printers. The colors printed using the compatible cartridge weren't a black as they were coming from the other printer. So I replaced the new compatible black with a new Epson black. The 'exposure' difference was immediately noticeable.

Bottom line, "Try it, you'll LIKE it!" (some may remember that Alka Seltzer commercial). The price differential between the 'real thing' and the 'imitation' makes it worth the try. Make your own test by printing a handful of images with the genuine Canon ink, then immediately try the compatibles and compare the results. It's a whole lot easier to throw out a new $3.00 compatible cartridge than a $15.00 Epson that sometimes even those get rejected! So, when I want to print pictures on high quality photo paper, the compatibles get removed and replaced by the 'real thing'. When I'm done with the prints, I swap the generics back and put the Epsons in a zip lock bag.
 
Last edited:

KmH

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
41,401
Reaction score
5,706
Location
Iowa
Website
kharrodphotography.blogspot.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I had an Epson printer.
Just once.
Never again.
Because of their ink and their being "fussy".
 

Buckster

In memoriam
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
6,399
Reaction score
2,341
Location
Way up North in Michigan
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Depends on the client and the job as to whether I outsource it or not, but I print quite a bit here with an Epson 1400.

I tested cheap, aftermarket, non-Epson inks in it one time to see if they're any good, making several large prints for myself, then switched back to genuine Epson for client work. The prints looked great at first, but over the course of several months, the colors faded badly and even changed colors. The blue hues in particular weirded out completely and turned red, making the prints look like they were printed straight out of an LSD experience. And that wasn't even in any direct sunlight.

There may be some aftermarket inks that are just fine, so others' mileage on the issue may vary. In any case, the ones I tested didn't hold up, and that was enough for me. I decided not to ever use aftermarket inks in it again.
 

jaomul

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
5,715
Reaction score
1,554
Location
Cork Ireland
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I had a Canon cheap printer. Used third party ink once. It doesn't work anymore. Printer didn't know in was running out, now the colors are all off. Coincidence, possibly
 

john.margetts

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 3, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
275
Location
Lincoln
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I sell my prints so I need to know the colours are good for many years. When I looked into other ink options, none of them offered any sort of stability guarantee so I use Canon's own ink only.

Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk
 

shefjr

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
1,595
Reaction score
418
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I own the Pixma pro 100 and know all about it drinking up ink. I went with sscarmack 's recommendation to use Precision Colors C5B refill kit and am really happy with the results. I do not print for clients but, I do believe that Sean does. You could DM him for more information.
As far as doing the refill they made a youtube video which makes everything dolt proof. I hope this helps.
 
OP
crimbfighter

crimbfighter

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
2,009
Reaction score
1,322
Location
Wisconsin, United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Even though I'm a Canon shooter, I have yet to buy a Canon printer!

I have four printers, but mostly use a pair of Epson R380 printers. I've had mixed results with these printers. I literally wear each of them out every 2 years or so, mostly from directly printing about 50-60 CDs per week. My results with 'compatible' inks has been all over the place.

First and foremost, like Epson, I'm reasonably sure that Canon has some kind of 'genuine Canon cartridge' checking logic in their printers. It seems like every model of Epson printer I've used is more 'fussy' than the previous models. Without a doubt, the best, sharpest, clearest printed images of my photos come from using genuine Epson ink. I've resorted to buying them on ebay and often from Chinese sellers as their prices usually beat the daylights out of USA sellers prices. Knowing the typical China-to-USA shipping time of about 2 weeks or so, I've learned to keep 2-3 of each color 'in stock' in my computer room. Having to run out to buy a cartridge or cartridges at my local Staples store usually ends up as a waste of time as they usually don't have every color in stock and they're typically $15 and up for each color.

As far as 'compatible' inks go, from those I've bought from internet retailers, about 40-50% are immediately rejected by the printer with a message 'ink cartridge not recognized'. Usually, it's one or two colors of the 6 colors I have to feed the printer. The other colors work fine! Go Figure. I've never kept track of what brands I have or have used, so I don't know which are better or worse. I recently bought another used Epson R380 on ebay and the seller put maybe 20 new compatible-brand inks in the box and the printer came with all compatible inks installed.

Once the ink cartridge has been 'accepted', the real test comes to comparing image quality from my 'primary' printer which only gets genuine ink, and my identical 'secondary' printer that gets the 'freebie' compatible cartridges that sellers included. Even some of the compatible cartridges get rejected by the same printer they came with.

The printed image quality has definitely lost some of its sharpness when printing identical images on both printers. I'm guessing that the nozzles are a little bigger on the compatibles. But I recently discovered that the compatible cartridges don't always spray out the same quantity of ink as a genuine Epson cartridge. Perhaps 2 weeks ago, I put in a brand new compatible black cartridge while printing CDs on both printers. The colors printed using the compatible cartridge weren't a black as they were coming from the other printer. So I replaced the new compatible black with a new Epson black. The 'exposure' difference was immediately noticeable.

Bottom line, "Try it, you'll LIKE it!" (some may remember that Alka Seltzer commercial). The price differential between the 'real thing' and the 'imitation' makes it worth the try. Make your own test by printing a handful of images with the genuine Canon ink, then immediately try the compatibles and compare the results. It's a whole lot easier to throw out a new $3.00 compatible cartridge than a $15.00 Epson that sometimes even those get rejected! So, when I want to print pictures on high quality photo paper, the compatibles get removed and replaced by the 'real thing'. When I'm done with the prints, I swap the generics back and put the Epsons in a zip lock bag.

Thanks for the reply with your experiences. I know for my Canon, the cartridges each contain a microchip that needs to be reset with a special device, but other that that, the research I've done doesn't suggest any issues with my printer not recognizing them. There are however, aftermarket cartridges that do seem to have problems, but as long as the OEM cartridges are refilled they seem to work well. If I do end up trying a refill solution, I will definitely be printing some test images beforehand to compare to.

I had an Epson printer.
Just once.
Never again.
Because of their ink and their being "fussy".

Can't speak to the Epson you owned, but my Canon is far from fussy. In fact, I've never even had so much as a hiccup with it, yet. And it's about two years (and lots of expensive ink) later.

Depends on the client and the job as to whether I outsource it or not, but I print quite a bit here with an Epson 1400.

I tested cheap, aftermarket, non-Epson inks in it one time to see if they're any good, making several large prints for myself, then switched back to genuine Epson for client work. The prints looked great at first, but over the course of several months, the colors faded badly and even changed colors. The blue hues in particular weirded out completely and turned red, making the prints look like they were printed straight out of an LSD experience. And that wasn't even in any direct sunlight.

There may be some aftermarket inks that are just fine, so others' mileage on the issue may vary. In any case, the ones I tested didn't hold up, and that was enough for me. I decided not to ever use aftermarket inks in it again.

How long ago did you try the aftermarket inks? My primary concern is actually the longevity of the inks. I plan to create custom ICC profiles for any aftermarket ink I try, so color accuracy shouldn't be an issue. But I also don't want my prints to fade quickly. I know it also depends on exposure to light, pollution levels in the air, etc. But I surely wouldn't want to send out a print that won't last.

I still do outsource prints, especially when it's a large number and there is no hurry. When it's a one off, or just a few, or maybe just for me, family, or friends for around the house, I like to ability to print at home. There have also been times when I didn't have the time to wait for production and shipping and someone needed a print ASAP. For that, I like the home printing option.

I had a Canon cheap printer. Used third party ink once. It doesn't work anymore. Printer didn't know in was running out, now the colors are all off. Coincidence, possibly

Interesting, thanks for the reply.

I sell my prints so I need to know the colours are good for many years. When I looked into other ink options, none of them offered any sort of stability guarantee so I use Canon's own ink only.

Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk

Do you mean longevity for fading?

I own the Pixma pro 100 and know all about it drinking up ink. I went with sscarmack 's recommendation to use Precision Colors C5B refill kit and am really happy with the results. I do not print for clients but, I do believe that Sean does. You could DM him for more information.
As far as doing the refill they made a youtube video which makes everything dolt proof. I hope this helps.

Thanks for the reply, I'll have to check out that link and send him a message.
 

Don Kondra

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
1,637
Reaction score
904
Location
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Website
donkondra.weebly.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I've been using third party inks since 2007 for my own use. The few prints I have sold I have had printed at a pro lab.

And it's a good thing :)

I've just recently changed over some of my older framed/matted prints and they are quite faded after seven years.

I think it was two years ago I purchased a Canon iX6520, the 13" x 19" prints look Great but time will tell if the quality/longevity of current third party inks is as good as they claim !

Cheers, Don
 

Buckster

In memoriam
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
6,399
Reaction score
2,341
Location
Way up North in Michigan
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Depends on the client and the job as to whether I outsource it or not, but I print quite a bit here with an Epson 1400.

I tested cheap, aftermarket, non-Epson inks in it one time to see if they're any good, making several large prints for myself, then switched back to genuine Epson for client work. The prints looked great at first, but over the course of several months, the colors faded badly and even changed colors. The blue hues in particular weirded out completely and turned red, making the prints look like they were printed straight out of an LSD experience. And that wasn't even in any direct sunlight.

There may be some aftermarket inks that are just fine, so others' mileage on the issue may vary. In any case, the ones I tested didn't hold up, and that was enough for me. I decided not to ever use aftermarket inks in it again.

How long ago did you try the aftermarket inks?
About 2 years ago. None of them survived long term. They all ended up in the dumpster.
 

john.margetts

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 3, 2015
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
275
Location
Lincoln
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I sell my prints so I need to know the colours are good for many years. When I looked into other ink options, none of them offered any sort of stability guarantee so I use Canon's own ink only.

Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk

Do you mean longevity for fading?
Yes, longevity for fading - which includes colour shifts.



Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top