Inkjet printers that use 4 inks

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SimonLW, May 5, 2005.

  1. SimonLW

    SimonLW Guest

    I wonder if there are any models that will do a good job for printing photos
    or is 6 or more ink colors the only way to fly?
    Thanks -S
    SimonLW, May 5, 2005
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  2. If you take a loupe to a store you can see the main difference. The pix
    will look fine from a distance, but up close or with a loupe you can see
    every little dot. For me, the standard of photographic capability is
    whether I see those dots or not. Your mileage may vary.

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, May 5, 2005
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  3. SimonLW

    Marvin Guest

    Since I don't look at prints with a loupe, nor do my friends and relatives, I'm happy with
    what looks good to the eye. I'm well satisfied woth the prints I get from my HP printer,
    using a 3-color cartridge and a black cartridge. If I need better than that occasionally,
    I will take my file to a photo service that does a pro-level job - not a drugstore.
    Marvin, May 5, 2005
  4. Use Photobox or similar for best cost/quality. Printing at home is expensive
    and time consuming.
    secret squiddle, May 5, 2005
  5. SimonLW

    WormWood Guest

    There's more to it than what you see with a loupe. Here's my recent
    experience...from about 4 days ago.
    I had been using a Canon S820 (6 colour)...but I did a *baaaad* thing and
    used aftermarket inks, and the printer head clogged. A new head costs close
    to 200 American it became printer-hunting time. My 6 ink S820
    printed excellent photos by the way (or so I thought at the time...I was
    about to learn a thing or two).

    First FWIW. A friend has a Canon pixma iP3000. It is a 4 ink system...1
    black and 3 colour tanks. It does a very nice job of photos, and is very
    inexpensive. If you are printing family snapshots there is nothing wrong
    with a printer like this. If you are printing professionally (for lack of a
    better word) then you want at least a 6 ink system and more likely an 8 ink

    As a result of previous experiences I am pretty much set on Canon printers,
    though I am of the opinion that all brands of high end printers do an equal
    job. I like the Canon ink system...and I like Canon's software. This is not
    an whatever brand you like.

    So...I researched Canon printers to death and had pretty much decided on the
    Pixma iP6000D...while lusting after the iP8500 (but not wanting to spend the
    money). The 6000 is a 6 tank system while the 8500 is 8 tanks. The 8500 adds
    a green and a red tank to the colour mix.

    I toddled off to my local professional camera store to get a few expert
    opinions before parting with my cash. My research had indicated that the
    additional red and green tanks in the 8500 made a significant difference
    when printing colours in the red, green, and orange range. We selected a pro
    quality photo of vegetables in a market...sitting in a wooden crate and
    surrounded by other veggies. Lots of reds (tomatoes) greens (vines and
    leaves) and some orange (an orange bell pepper). All prints we made were 8.5
    x 11 borderless done on Canon Photo Paper Pro (glossy). First out was from
    the 6000D, and I was amazed at the quality. The tomatoes were red, tending
    towards a lighter red/orange around the top of the tomato on the stem end. I
    won't waste space with more description, suffice it to say it was a very
    nice picture. We then printed the same photo on the 8500. I was astounded. I
    expected one of those situations where an expert in printed matter could
    look at it and point out where the reds and greens were 'better'. In fact,
    the difference was night and day. The tomatoes were a much deeper, richer,
    red. The greens were likewise. The whole photo was noticably better. This
    was a print that came with bragging rights! There was an area on the top
    edge of the wooden crate that was washed out by sunlight in the print from
    the 6000D. On the 8500 print, more detail was visible in this area...wood
    grain not visible in the 6000D print was visible on this one. End of story
    as far as I was concerned...I plunked down double the money and walked out
    with the 8500.

    Second FWIW. We printed this pic a second time on the 8500, selecting the
    'standard' setting, instead of 'quality'. This produced a print that was
    very similar to the 6000D at its 'quality' setting.

    As a side benefit...the 8500 has a LARGE printhead...6000+ nozzles...this
    thing churns out an 8.5 x 11 in about a S820 took closer to 3.

    Since setting this up at home I have printed about 10 full page photos. I
    continued to be amazed at the quality, as do others who have seen them. I
    had been printing on Epson glossy photo paper with excellent results. I
    thought I'd check the claim about 'Canon ink on Canon paper' (using the same
    picture) so see if that was 'advertising-hooey' or not. It is not...the
    difference is pretty significant. With the Canon paper you get a *glossy*
    finish. With the Epson paper you get a shiny but more matte like finish...I
    considered it to be high gloss until I saw the difference the Canon paper
    made. Under glass the difference is less noticable, and I fully intend to
    continue using the Epson paper for much of my printing.

    Third FWIW. I cannot guarantee that the head clogged on my S820 because of
    after-market ink but I strongly suspect that is the case. It once sat unused
    for over 4 months (with Canon inks) without a problem. Sitting unused for
    about 3 weeks with all after-market inks...I now have a paperweight. Not
    worth the risk. During this episode I reprinted some photos previously done
    about 14 months ago with after-market inks...even factoring in that this
    printer is doing a much better job...I am pretty sure those older pics have
    already begun to fade.

    HTH...didn't mean to write a novel.

    WormWood, May 5, 2005
  6. SimonLW

    measekite Guest

    IP4000 uses 4 dye base inks for photos (CYMK) and a separate pigmented
    black tank for business documents. The printer also has twin paper
    feeds and prints duplex. It is utterly fantastic. It can be had for
    around $100 if you watch the sales and apply for the rebate.

    I use the printer with OEM inks and either use Canon Photo Paper Pro or
    Costco/Kirkland Glossy and cut my own small sized using a Fiskars rotary
    paper cutter also purchased at Costco. The ink costs $9.00 a cart at
    measekite, May 5, 2005
  7. SimonLW

    measekite Guest

    I have an HP 990 and a Canon IP4000. I use and like the HP for business
    draft printing. I like the Canon for Photo printing and business letter
    quality printing that I plan to hilight since it does not smear. The HP
    produces the best high quality business documents as long as you do not
    hi Lite them. The IP4000 is fantastic.
    measekite, May 5, 2005
  8. SimonLW

    Dave Cohen Guest

    I know nothing about Canon and it's print heads, but if they can be removed,
    can't you soak in a warm ammonia solution to clear the clog. Worked for my
    Lexmark, although it was still a lousy printer which I finally junked and
    never replaced.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, May 5, 2005
  9. Agreed - my 8500 replaced an i950, and I thought the difference was
    amazing. The color is rich, gorgeous, and very accurate, every nuance of
    subtle shade change coming out in the print and matching the screen
    well. Sharp, rich, and very photographic.

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, May 5, 2005
  10. SimonLW

    WormWood Guest

    I had a go at that. I used isopropyl alcohol. It definitely dissolved the
    ink because the alcohol it was soaking in got dirty, instantly. I soaked for
    several hours..changing the alcohol several times until it stayed pretty
    much clean. Dried it and reinstalled it. Did the head alignment thing..head
    cleaning difference. Took it out and went through the process
    again, but this time soaked it overnight. Did the alignment/cleaning
    process. Absolute crap...soaking overnight made the output totaly useless.
    Text went from being banded and faint to being banded, fainter, *and* fuzzy.
    I suppose I could have tried other things, but I am not one for flogging
    dead horses...or dead printers. It's still sitting's hard to throw
    something like this *looks* just fine..

    I don't know the internal workings of these heads...but I am guessing these
    nozzles are just too fine for soaking to clean them out. Perhaps if I filled
    6 empty cartridges with alcohol, or some other cleaning fluid, and then ran
    through the cleaning cycle 2, 20, 100??? force the fluid through
    the head...that might make a difference...but, as I said, too much effort
    for an unknown end result. To be that I see how much better
    this 8500 prints...I'm actually glad the cleaning didn't work.

    WormWood, May 5, 2005
  11. SimonLW

    james Guest

    Here's the problem with that. If I can see it with a loupe, I can see
    it with my eye, generally speaking. The output of the cheap printer
    will only look good until the new wears off. You will see the dot
    pattern in the prints, and you won't need a loupe.
    This turns out to be cost-effective, compared to printer ink. And my
    local drugstore prints are not bad.
    james, May 5, 2005
  12. SimonLW

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Oh, sure, I look at every print with a loupe, doesn't everyone? Sigh.
    Ron Hunter, May 5, 2005
  13. SimonLW

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Yes, I also can see the dots from my HP printer with a strong magnifier,
    in draft mode, at least, but the prints look darn good from normal
    viewing distance. Like you, my friends and relatives probably wouldn't
    know what a loupe was, much less examine a picture with one.
    I believe it was Adam Osbourne who is known for the statement "Good
    enough is good enough."
    Ron Hunter, May 5, 2005
  14. SimonLW

    Ron Hunter Guest

    One of your points deserves more emphasis. These days with color
    printing being a very competitive market, printer manufacturers are
    making the ink, and paper a 'printing system', where they are designed
    to work together, chemically. It is better to use the manufacturer's
    paper when possible, or at least one recommended by them.
    Ron Hunter, May 5, 2005
  15. SimonLW

    Pete D Guest

    My iP 3000is also fantastic and would fill your needs A4 prints are very
    Pete D, May 5, 2005
  16. SimonLW

    WormWood Guest

    Thanks for emphasizing that point, Ron, because it is significant. Just
    prior to actually buying my iP8500 I took the samples we'd printed, to my
    sister's place. My sister is probably one of the world's least technically
    savvy people, so I was extremely surprised by what happened. I showed her
    these prints and in about 15 seconds she had them arranged in order of

    1. iP8500 quality setting
    2. iP6000D quality setting
    3. iP8500 standard setting

    The difference between 2 and 3 is very small, but it is there, and she
    spotted it immediately. She then went on to explain what she liked or didn't
    like about each print. Her comments were bang on.

    On the following two days I went to her condo, while she was at work, and
    left a different printed photo of her cat. These were both mounted under
    glass. Both were printed with my 8500 using Canon inks, but the first was
    printed on Epson glossy photo paper and the second on Canon Photo Paper Pro.
    She phoned on the evening of the second day to thank me for the second
    picture, and then totally surprised me by saying, "This one's printed on the
    Canon paper isn't it". She then waxed poetic about the level of detail
    visible inside the cat's ear, about how you could see each hair.

    My point here is twofold. The combo of manufactuer's ink and paper is not
    just does make a difference...obviously one visible to untrained
    eyes. Secondly, I think we 'technically savvy' people often underestimate
    our friends and relatives. I them pictures printed on one of
    today's entry level printers and they will "ooooh" and "ahhhhhh", and why
    not, these printers do do an incredible job. BUT...then show them the same
    picture printed on a high-end printer, and they will notice, and
    appreciate, the difference. We should not underestimate our audience....some
    of them might be paying customers, after all.

    WormWood, May 5, 2005
  17. SimonLW

    Stewy Guest

    Take a look at the Canon 4 colour printers. They do produce excellently.
    If you're gonna take a loupe to every photo you see, try it on film
    based prints too.

    Quality depends on viewing distance - Does an A3 print look good from 6
    inches? If yes, it's a great picture.
    Stewy, May 6, 2005
  18. SimonLW

    Stacey Guest

    Ron Hunter wrote:

    Paper choice is important but I feel there can be papers that work better if
    you use the right profile with them as well. I was using the canon "photo
    pro" paper and switched to ilfords "classic pearl" which is designed for
    dye inks and got a custom profile made, this combo blows away the canon
    paper and is less than half the price per sheet!
    Stacey, May 6, 2005
  19. SimonLW

    jean Guest

    I ruined the head of my BJC820 soaking it in Windex (it has amonia in it, I
    think). Now the head of my i950 has one or two nozzles not working. I
    soaked the head in distilled water overnight but it did not clear up so now
    I use it as a regular color printer because only ONE bad nozzle is enought
    to ruin a print. As a replacement I bough an Epson R200 for $100, it has 6
    cartriges and does a very fine job of the odd 8 x 10. For volume work, I
    take my CD to a pro lab.

    The warranty on my i950 was only one year, doubled by purchasing with a
    credit card, just my luck it crapped out two months after I had it for two

    jean, May 6, 2005
  20. SimonLW

    Ron Hunter Guest

    You are a very lucky person. Without my glasses, I can't tell what a
    picture IS, much less see those tiny dots. Wait a few years, the
    printers will get better, or your eyes worse, and you will be happy.. Grin.
    Ron Hunter, May 6, 2005
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