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[BKARTS] epson cartridges



There is a Yahoo! group solely dedicated to
large-format printers (primarily Epson). If
anyone really wants to know more about using
third-party inks, I'd suggest you search their
archives. Just like some letterpress printers we
know, some of these people are consumed by the
materials. They dedicate hours upon hours to
experimenting with inks, papers, setting, sprays,
lighting, etc. etc. There's plenty of information
about the exact logistics of switiching to
third-party inks.

When I was working as a digital imaging
specialist (with an Epson 9500 44" inkjet), I
considered moving to third-party inks and papers.
In the end, though, I decided it wasn't worth the
hassle. Different inks react differently with
different papers at different printer settings.
You can waste an awful lot of paper, ink and
printer life trying to achieve the effect you
want. Plus, as soon as you put third-party inks
in your printer, you void the warrenty. And
without a warrenty, you'll pay an arm and a leg
for repairs. Plus no one, neither the seller nor
the manufacturer, can tell you definitively if an
ink will adhere to a paper and how long it will
stick or remain lightfast. The technology is so
cutting edge (and the experiments to test for
longevity so controversial), there's a lot of
unknowns. Epson gives lightfastness "guarantees"
only for approved combinations of their paper
used with their inks on their printers.

And p.s. I tried calling Epson several times to
find out more about their products--for examples
the exact pH of their "archival" paper. They
don't know or won't tell anything more than what
is available via their website.

In opting for longevity, we often sacrificed
color--both because we chose pigment inks over
dye inks (which have a larger color gamut), and
because some Epson inks/printer combinations
(like ours, pigment/9500) have notoriously bad
metamerism. So horrible, I wanted to cry whenever
someone asked me to print a sepia tone--faces
could go from pink to green depending on the
light. (Don't worry. Some of their older and
newer models aren't nearly so bad, and all
printed material has some degree of metamerism.)

If you are considering going third-party, do some
research and then stick to your decision. Every
ink and every company has its strengths and
weaknesses. You get to know them and you become
talented at achieving specific results with the
tools at hand. If you keep changing the
materials, you're asking for one hullabaloo of a
headache.

-Jenn Lubkin


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