Does printer ink really cost more to make than it does to mine silver?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. I have recently dumped my Epson Stylus pro 5000 after I have seen prints
    from a "ridiculously" cheap Brother MFC5980.
    It has only got 4 inks, but you would hardly see the difference on the
    With Epson paper and cheap ink, the output is overwhelming.
    With less expensive photo paper the results are excellent too.

    I have bought that device and never regretted it.

    The ink tanks are large enough and accessible from the printer front
    (like my old Stylus Pro) the cartridges have got no chip.
    No-Name cartridges are available for less than 2€

    Last month I forgot a photo printout (Epson paper) in a shirt, which got
    a full wash at 60 °c. The photo came out of that treatment with a felt
    20% bleach but was still in good shape!

    Laszlo Lebrun, Oct 28, 2011
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  2. Have you tried to order a bottle of gasoline in a good restaurant?

    Laszlo Lebrun, Oct 28, 2011
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  3. Anyhow I did not regret to have dumped my old insanely expensive Stylus
    Pro 5000 for a ridiculously cheap Brother MFC5840.

    The operation is the same: Ink tanks can be changed while printing from
    printer's front.
    (was important for me), Networking is included.

    The Brother never clogged in a year. The picture (on Epson paper) is
    better than from the Pro 5000.
    The Ink is extremely cheap, no names are available (needs recalibration).

    I bought the inks by 4x25 tanks @ around 1each (20ml) so I won't have
    to recalibrate for at least the next two years.

    You probably can't print cheaper.
    Caveat: it does not handle well heavy papers. > 240g :-(
    The paper drawer looks like very cheap plastic, but did not break, as I
    Laszlo Lebrun, Oct 29, 2011
  4. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Again your factual basis for that statement, if?

    BTW where are the answers to my prior questions.
    PeterN, Oct 29, 2011
  5. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    In theory you may be right. But, in practice I am going by complaints of
    users. I admit to not understanding the reason. But then I don't
    understand the reason my front windshield on my car frosts over, when
    the side don't.
    PeterN, Oct 29, 2011
  6. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    I have found it far less expensive to have my printing done at Costco.
    Every so often though, I am tempted to purchase a printer. I am looking
    at the R3000, which has replaced the 2880. It has a much improved feeder.
    PeterN, Oct 29, 2011
  7. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Actually less: the mistakes are on them.
    PeterN, Oct 29, 2011
  8. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Tell that to Floyd.
    PeterN, Oct 29, 2011
  9. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Actually I was talking about the clogging issue. I agree that the toy
    printers are crap/ But, IMHO the 2880 is a fairly decent printer, that
    doesn't have the clogging issue that the 4880 has.

    BTW the R3000 uses ink cartridges that cost a lot more, 25.9 ml for
    about $27.
    PeterN, Oct 29, 2011
  10. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Floyd, Thanks for the information.

    what mystifies me is why you deny you ever have a clog, and then go on
    to describe how you deal with them. Oh! Well. Your price compilations
    are helpful. And I still think it cheaper to use Costco. Since I matched
    their profile, I find the quality fine for my present needs, though I am
    not sure they use acid free paper and archival inks.
    PeterN, Oct 30, 2011
  11. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Please learn to read. I said there were clogging issues. You responded.
    "The 4880 has a clogging issue? That's interesting.
    Mine doesn't. Of course any of them if not used will
    eventually be clogged. That's a matter of the ink, not
    the hardware. Clogging during normal use is a hardware
    design issue, and yes newer designs continue to improve
    over older designs.

    Incidentally, one reason I don't have a clogging problem
    is that I do have a very effective method of cleaning
    heads. If I let the printer sit for too long and it
    does clog, here's what I do........ "

    IOW you don't have a clogging issue, because you have a method of fixing
    the clog.

    As to Costco:
    You do the math.
    I do about six prints a month, either 12 x 12, or 12 x 18. Costco price
    $2.99. The cost of paper and ink are a tad more, but the rejects are on
    Costco, not me. Having said that, my rejects are not significant.
    PeterN, Oct 30, 2011
  12. RichA

    PeterN Guest

    Yup! Read it again Floyd
    PeterN, Oct 30, 2011
  13. Any reason to believe they're at all permanent on the papers you use?
    David Dyer-Bennet, Oct 31, 2011
  14. Of course. Razors and razor blades.

    That's why there are lots of third party inks, not all of them bad.
    Yes, you probably want to use calibration and profile your printer.
    But you'd also want that with original inks ... at least for
    Even when you use third party inks?
    How expensive are laser basd copy-print-scan-fax machines?

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 1, 2011
  15. Many printing tasks do not need decades of permanence. (Think soft
    proof, for example.)
    Enough printing tasks that profit from permanence can be reprinted
    (on then better machines) after fading becomes visible. (And for
    5 ct you can print a lot of photos again and again.)
    If you really want permanence, you'll probably go for the old
    chemical process anyway --- it's still more durable!

    Only for those tasks where all of the above isn't true you'd have
    to think about it at all. Which may be most of your printing
    jobs or basically none.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 1, 2011
  16. That's fine, but I prefer using cleaning cartridges, and
    if that fails, easily removable print heads.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 1, 2011
  17. Waste ink only gets generated under 2 circumstances:
    cleaning heads (lots) and printing borderless (whatever goes
    over the border).

    And if you design the waste ink space to commonly outlast the rest
    of the printer --- which I understand is what is done ---, worrying
    about it is quite pointless. I understand that normally driven
    cars in the US tend to rust through before the properly cared
    for engine fails ... and you're worrying about engine failure here.

    I've seen tests. They indicate that third party ink cartridges
    used to be worse than original cartridge (years ago) but the good
    ones are very close to originals now (and usually vastly cheaper,
    too). The only place where third party inks are consistently
    worse is where a print head is included in the cartridge and the
    cartridge is refilled.

    And that chipping has quite increased the costs of third
    party inks ...
    Colour fidelity can be archived with nearly any ink.
    Assuming 'original' inks.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 1, 2011
  18. You need to calculate in at least
    - repair costs times probability of needing repairs
    - inflation and saving the money you didn't spend, conversely
    the loan you may need to take to spend the extra money you
    - future prices of ink
    - price the printer is sold for after 5 years, if it is sold
    - price the printer is sold for if you give up printing or
    photography for whatever reason times chance of that
    - risk of printing less/more than assumed amount times the money
    that costs or saves.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Nov 1, 2011
  19. Depending on the use, you may care about longevity beyond when the print
    is in your own possession. Finding independent tests of random
    third-party ink plus paper combinations is mostly impossible. I'd be a
    bit scared of selling such prints to collectors.

    Before Epson's pigment line came out, I did use an Epson 1200 with MSI
    pigment inks, and did go through all the profiling and paper testing and
    such. The results were really quite good, and the prints I still have
    on display are holding up well so far (but it's not very long yet, a
    decade roughly).
    I think so. Especially if it's cartridge refilling. Good photo-grade
    third-party inks aren't actually all that cheap -- except compared to
    manufacturer's consumer-size ink cartridges.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Nov 1, 2011
  20. It varies. Here in Minnesota, where we use salt on the roads in the
    winter, definintely. In the desert Southwest, not so much -- though car
    repainting is much more common there than it is here. We rust, they get
    David Dyer-Bennet, Nov 1, 2011
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