Opinions on Epson's Claria ink?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Paul Allen, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Guest

    I suppose asking for opinions here is, well, asking for it. :)

    My not-so-old Epson C80 blew a gasket recently. (The bit of
    plastic clamping the carriage to the drive belt developed a
    stress fracture and broke off.) I'm in the market for a new
    printer. I'm not willing to spring for one that will last
    ten years and I will be using it exclusively with Linux, so
    I'm down to Epson and HP printers for <$150. I have experience
    with several Epson printers and have noticed the C88 and the
    R260. Haven't gone looking at HP yet.

    The C88 is an evolution of the 4-color pigment ink C80. It'll
    do a tolerable job at photos in a pinch, but is not a photo
    printer. I know what to expect from it.

    The R260 is a 6-color photo printer using the new Claria dye-
    based ink. Epson claims it to be water and scratch resistant,
    and to be fade-proof for 200 years under optimum conditions.
    (The 200 year claim is from Epson's accelerated testing and has
    not been verified by anyone else as far as I know.)

    I'm wondering if anybody has experience using a printer with
    Claria ink. I don't particularly care about archival of prints,
    but water and scratch resistance are important.

    Got anything useful to share?

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Jan 12, 2007
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  2. Paul Allen

    ray Guest

    We have an R320 running with Kubuntu 6.06 - love it. Got this one from the
    Epson online store refurbished. It also reads memory cards and can print
    without the computer.
    ray, Jan 12, 2007
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  3. Your printer died early and you're getting another Epson? They break,
    clog, and waste ink like no other printer. It's not uncommon to lift an
    Epson printer and find a large pool of ink staining the table.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Jan 12, 2007
  4. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Guest

    Yup. I saw the R320 on the Gutenprint compatibility list. It doesn't
    use Claria ink, but it's good to hear that it works well.

    Paul Allen, Jan 12, 2007
  5. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Guest

    You can buy them for less than the price of the ink they come with
    and they produce great output. I haven't had clogging trouble,
    except for the time I left my C80 on overnight. The C80 did
    have a lot of ink splattered around inside the case. Apparently, at
    the low end all they can afford to care about is print quality. A
    little collateral damage in the form of ink wastage is part of the
    package. Sometimes they break. Sometimes they don't. I've got a
    Stylus Color 600 that's still going after 5 years.

    Anybody have experience with Claria ink? You can share your
    horror stories about puddles of ink on the table if you want,
    but I'm really interested in what you think about the ink.

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Jan 12, 2007
  6. Paul Allen

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, Kevin McMurtrie exclaimed (12-Jan-07 2:43 PM):
    I agree with this. I had an Epson that I liked, even if it wasted ink.
    The second one printed awesome photos, but I'd spend half an ink
    cartridge trying to get the print head to work properly. I finally sold
    the thing for $15 just to get rid of it, and bought a Canon
    multipurpose. It's awesome, prints just as well as the Epson did, and
    hasn't had a single problem with the print head.

    Won't Canon work with Linux?

    jmc, Jan 12, 2007
  7. Paul Allen

    tomm42 Guest

    tomm42, Jan 12, 2007
  8. Paul Allen

    ray Guest

    Very interesting. And diametrically opposed to my experience. I've never
    had any problems with an Epson printer. The Canon BJC 5000 I had always
    gave me problems - leaking ink, etc. That was also when I stopped buying
    Canon products - zero support for Linux. Epson, on the other hand, has
    Linux drivers for both printers and scanners available at one of their
    subsidiary websites - avasys.jp.
    ray, Jan 12, 2007
  9. Seconded.I have the canon pixma ip 4300, have printed at least 70 A3 (10X15)
    photos, it prints perfectly, and the ink in all tanks but magenta is at the
    top (5 tanks.black, bulk black, cyan, magenta, yellow).It cost only 130
    euros, the printing head is disposable just in case, and even the genuine
    canon inks cost only 12 euros each (made in japan_the inks).It can also
    print cds and dvds (I think it's the only one in the market that does), has
    a separate, permanent tray so that you don't need to feed it all the time
    with A4 sheets...Especially in A4 blow ups it shows how good digital
    technology really is, even with a crappy Kodak CX 7300 (not so crappy_after
    all...)It even outperforms prints in a lab, when 100 A3 HP sheets,
    guaranteed to last at least 100 years, and with an 128 MB stick too, cost
    only 17 euros when a lab print cost 30 cents...
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Jan 12, 2007
  10. Paul Allen

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Thanks for the information.

    One quibble though. I'd think that pigment based inks would be
    more stable than the dye based inks. I agree about what you
    said about the dye based inks "soaking in" and thus being more
    physically stable. But I've always been told that in general
    pigment based inks are chemically more stable and thus resist
    UV fading, atmospheric problems, etc.

    Wouldn't surprise me if that was wrong, but I'm curious.
    Paul J Gans, Jan 12, 2007
  11. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Guest

    The ink (and the three printers that use it) were just introduced late
    last year. No Wilhelm test results yet. One would think Epson would
    not want to be embarrassed again, but one doesn't really know.
    Interesting. Claria ink would fade if printed on impermeable media?
    How does being absorbed into a coating prevent fading? Why does this
    not work for any other dye-based inks?

    Epson's web site is silent on whether the papers recommended for use
    with Claria ink have absorbable coatings. How do I tell if a paper
    has the proper coating?
    I agree about the "can be cantankerous" bit. My printing is mostly
    text and graphics on plain inkjet paper. I only sometimes print photos,
    and am not particularly looking for prints that will last forever.
    The R260 is attractive because it's inexpensive, will do the routine
    printing I need, and is capable of very nice photo output. The R800
    is four times the price, and is ruled out for that reason alone.

    The choice I see is between two printers that cost about $68: the C88
    that's pretty much a known quantity, and the R260 with its relatively
    unknown ink and possibly peculiar paper requirements. Yesterday, I was
    all set to buy the R260, pending comments from experts like yourself.
    Now, I'm back on the fence. :)

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Jan 12, 2007
  12. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Guest

    It's a mixed bag. Some of their printers work perfectly, but most
    work only partially, poorly, or not at all. Epson and HP are much
    more friendly to the open source community.

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Jan 12, 2007
  13. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Guest

    Yup. The BJC 5000 is listed as a boat anchor on the linuxprinting.org
    compatibility list. That's OK, if Canon doesn't want my business that's
    their choice.

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Jan 12, 2007
  14. Paul Allen

    Mark B. Guest

    How odd then, that my more than 5 year old Stylus 870 is still running. It
    will clog periodically (not often), which is easily solved with a cleaning
    cycle. No leaks.

    Mark B., Jan 13, 2007
  15. Paul Allen

    ray Guest

    Not by a long shot. My Epson R320 has that ability as well, for one. It
    also has six separate tanks - cymk + light cyan and light magenta. It also
    prints edge to edge on 8.5x11 paper.
    ray, Jan 13, 2007
  16. THE RIGHT PAPER makes all the difference in the world!!!
    I purchased the RX580, Epson's AIO (copy/scanner/printer) for $160 @
    MicroCenter (although I just saw it at Costco for $140). It is the top
    Epson model with <b>Claria ink</b>. When I first started printed on
    KODAK 4x6 paper, they looked horrible!! I thought the printer was
    crap, and ink pooled on the paper and didn't dry for an hour! Any dark
    color came out "alligatored" like old paint cracking off wood. But
    when I put in some 8x10 Burlington semi-gloss heavy paper, I was
    astounded! even at just a 720dpi setting each and every shot was
    amazingly detailed and true-to-color! Furthermore this paper only cost
    me $1.99 for 20pack 8x10, I can't do better than that!

    So be warned, these printers R280, R380, RX580 can print marvelous
    quality. but be sure to always buy Claria Hi-Def, and the right paper.
    I haven't priced the Epson paper yet, but since Burlington gets it done
    nicely, I may stick with that formula.

    --Chris Kaminsky
    chriskaminsky, Jan 21, 2007
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