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Author Topic: EPSON 3800 alternative inks?  (Read 13052 times)
cmox
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« on: August 22, 2007, 07:19:16 AM »
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Today I received some ink cartridges and the invoice from my dealer... I was close to a coronary... the cocaine dealers in Colombia must go green with envy  - Epson seems to make more money on ink than them  

So, there are other ink systems for other printers but I havent seen a manufacturer for durable, highest quality inks for the 3800.

Any recommendations?
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madmanchan
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2007, 07:43:57 AM »
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I'm not aware of any third-party ink systems for the 3800.

As an aside, Epson is in the ink (and paper) business, not the printer business. Even they say so. It has always been the case with these inkjets that in the long term one is paying for the consumables -- the ink and the paper -- which end up costing far more than the up-front cost of the printer itself. If you are dissatisfied with paying so much for the inks, I suggest you return the printer.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2007, 08:01:11 AM »
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Well, I assume that you are not trying to wind us up and that this is a serious post. I find it amazing that anyone would shell out £1,000 for a dedicated photo inkjet printer and not bother to do a bit of basic research on what the running costs were first.

The R3800 should be quite a bit cheaper to run than my R2400, because the costs per ml are less in the bigger 3800 carts. I calculate my costs at an average of £0.70 per A4 print (say $1.40) on the R2400, printing only B/W. So if the best paper (Innova or Hahnemuhle, say) costs me £1.30 per A4 including post, my materials cost for a hand-printed selective enlargement is no more than £2 all-in. (In the USA substitute letter-size for A4 - your costs should also be slightly less because you have no VAT).

Two British pounds or $4 USD seems to me to be a fair cost for a fine print. Of course it would be nice if it were cheaper  

John
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Charles Gast
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2007, 08:50:10 AM »
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If you want an ink-cheap printer the z3100 is a good one.  It uses virtually no ink maintaining the heads. The epsons all waste large amounts of ink doing just that even when you see no head clogs. When the head does clog and you do  a Power Clean you can watch the huge drop in all ink levels.
The z series also uses considerably less ink in the printing process.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2007, 09:40:57 AM »
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Charles

I am sure that you are correct, but what exactly are your costs (in terms of A4 or letter-size sheet so that I can compare). Lots of people say that the HP B9180 is cheaper to run than my R2400, but no-one seems to post an accurate breakdown of costs. Mine are averaged over three months use and 170 A4 sheets (equivalent), and include three head cleans and five cartridge changes.

The more general point is - ink cost per cartridge is not important, it is the true cost per printed sheet which counts.

John
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picnic
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2007, 10:04:50 AM »
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Today I received some ink cartridges and the invoice from my dealer... I was close to a coronary... the cocaine dealers in Colombia must go green with envy  - Epson seems to make more money on ink than them  

So, there are other ink systems for other printers but I havent seen a manufacturer for durable, highest quality inks for the 3800.

Any recommendations?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134766\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm totally surprised that you didn't know the costs of the inks before purchasing.  I hope you didn't buy a whole set--not needed for a good long while (have you used up all your inks?).  As I saw some of the blacks approach the lower end, I bought the 3 blacks--but still have only installed one and I use a LOT of black ink.  I still haven't bought any colored inks--and because the tanks are nice and large, you have plenty of time to order them prior to them running out when they start to get near empty.

And--like others, I'm always amazed that people buy a printer without researching it.  If you did--you had to know what the inks cost.  Because the K3 inks are so good--I wouldn't consider using 3rd party inks--unlike when I considered them for the 2200 for mono prints (but went the QTR route instead with the Epson inks).

Diane
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thierryd
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2007, 10:26:28 AM »
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Because the K3 inks are so good--I wouldn't consider using 3rd party inks--unlike when I considered them for the 2200 for mono prints (but went the QTR route instead with the Epson inks).

Diane
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134801\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
And with 3rd party inks, you loose the archival ink quality.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2007, 01:27:17 PM »
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And with 3rd party inks, you loose the archival ink quality.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134808\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Got any hard data to back up that claim?

I have "third party" ink prints hanging in a sunny room and they show little if any fading after seven years.

My Epson 1160 and Epson 880, both running a CIS with MediaStreet inks, have performed perfectly for all of those seven years.  I reckon I've saved over two thousand ink dollars.

So far.
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thierryd
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2007, 01:46:18 PM »
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Got any hard data to back up that claim?

I have "third party" ink prints hanging in a sunny room and they show little if any fading after seven years.

My Epson 1160 and Epson 880, both running a CIS with MediaStreet inks, have performed perfectly for all of those seven years.  I reckon I've saved over two thousand ink dollars.

So far.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134859\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No, I do not.
And on the opposite, the only claim I have about the "regular" inks are from Whilem Research. But I sell my prints and I sleep better with this claim than no claim at all.
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picnic
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2007, 02:05:28 PM »
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Got any hard data to back up that claim?

I have "third party" ink prints hanging in a sunny room and they show little if any fading after seven years.

My Epson 1160 and Epson 880, both running a CIS with MediaStreet inks, have performed perfectly for all of those seven years.  I reckon I've saved over two thousand ink dollars.

So far.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134859\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It really depends upon the inks.  There are archival inks available for some printers--for my 2200 I could choose Piezography, some Media Street I think, etc. --but one has to determine whether they are pigment or not for each printer--there's lots of info out there.

The biggie for me is that K3 inks are just so good--and no clogging.  Why mess with a good thing?  That's why I bought the 3800---for the wonderful mono printing.  My 2200 is pigmented also--but the inks are not the K3 and monos are just not good without a RIP.  You choose what you need for your own purposes.  

To my knowledge, there are no 3rd party inks for the 3800--and because my results are so good (both prints and no clogging) I would not choose to even try them IF they were available.

Diane
« Last Edit: August 22, 2007, 02:07:14 PM by picnic » Logged
vandevanterSH
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2007, 02:06:11 PM »
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~$4/ square foot of print.  With the quality produced by the 3800, it's a great deal.

Steve
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2007, 03:29:49 PM »
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If you want an ink-cheap printer the z3100 is a good one.  It uses virtually no ink maintaining the heads. The epsons all waste large amounts of ink doing just that even when you see no head clogs. When the head does clog and you do  a Power Clean you can watch the huge drop in all ink levels.
The z series also uses considerably less ink in the printing process.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134783\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It seems like a pretty far stretch to suggest purchasing a $3500 24" large format printer to replace a $1300 17" desktop printer to save ink "because of cleaning".

I would image it would take a very long time to save enough ink from the head cleaning of a 3800 to justify the z3100 (which also consumes some ink to stay clear, and eventually consumes the head because too many nozzles have failed.  Yes, this may overall be lower in cost, but you can't pin the cleaning costs on the Epson without also allowing for these costs on the HP).  

I'm not sure you would ever consume over $2300 worth of ink (nearly 5 full sets of ink) to just clear the heads, especially in a 3800 which is far less prone to clogging than it's bigger brothers.

 It is true that the larger cartridges of the z3100, much like the larger cartridges of Epson and Canon printers will lower your ink costs, but that isn't because of head cleaning ... it's just cheaper per ml.

Hey, I don't know which is technology is better and "cheaper", using more ink to keep the head clean or designing heads with spare nozzles to use when one becomes too clogged, and replacing heads when too many nozzles become clogged.

 I'm not sure it is worth discussion.  I know one simple thing ...you can always get someone else to print a high quality print for less than you can print one yourself.  If you choose to print it  yourself, it isn't usually about saving money, it is about control.  I can buy a really good 8x10 print for under two dollars, and the lab that produces it is making very good margins ... it costs them about 0.15 in paper and chemistry to make that print.  No, it isn't inkjet, and to some it may not be "good enough" ... but it's pretty dang good.

If you choose to do it yourself, it probably isn't about saving money.  You do it yourself because you want more control (different look, different paper, etc.) you want to know exactly what it will look like, believe you can get a higher quality print, or perhaps just because you don't want to wait a couple of days to get it.  Whatever the reason, if you do your own prints, it probably isn't because you are trying to save money.

To the original poster ... if it is about money and you propose using a cheaper ink in your printer, you probably need to review your objectives, and consider if any printer is even appropriate.  One of the reasons you buy an Epson K3 printer, or HPz3100 printer, is the inks themselves.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2007, 03:35:13 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

picnic
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2007, 03:33:49 PM »
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If you choose to do it yourself, it probably isn't about saving money.  You do it yourself because you want more control (different look, different paper, etc.) you want to know exactly what it will look like, believe you can get a higher quality print, or perhaps just because you don't want to wait a couple of days to get it.  Whatever the reason, if you do your own prints, it probably isn't because you are trying to save money.

To the original poster ... if it is about money and you propose using a cheaper ink in your printer, you probably need to review your objectives, and consider if any printer is even appropriate.  One of the reasons you buy an Epson K3 printer, or and HPz3100 printer for that matter, is the inks themselves.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134895\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, that's how I see it.  I know I haven't saved money LOL.  But--I do have control from when I press the shutter button to when I have it matted and framed.

Diane
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cmox
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2007, 03:53:52 PM »
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Well, I am the author of this question.

Of course, I did know before the purchase of the printer what the costs are. I love the quality and speed of this fine machine. Of course I know that Epson and all the other makers of printers make more money with ink and media than with the printer though I doubt that their business model does not allow them to make money with the printer hardware itself.

But there is one thing I had not known in advance: I print a lot more than expected, and because I have a number of exhibitions. At the moment I am preparing the next show - 110 images printed at maximum size, and I expect to sell a few prints, too. The sales will not cover the costs of the exhibition, so I already switched from original Epson paper to media from a company named Tecco, wonderful paper, especially the "Baryt" style that looks actually a lot better than my good old analog prints.

So, let's keep in mind what the original question is: "So, there are other ink systems for other printers but I havent seen a manufacturer for durable, highest quality inks for the 3800." I looked at mediastreet's site, and found nothing. Are there other options?
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cmox
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2007, 03:59:48 PM »
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If you choose to do it yourself, it probably isn't about saving money.  You do it yourself because you want more control (different look, different paper, etc.) you want to know exactly what it will look like, believe you can get a higher quality print, or perhaps just because you don't want to wait a couple of days to get it.  Whatever the reason, if you do your own prints, it probably isn't because you are trying to save money.

Well, I do not know your lab, but here in central Germany you pay around 19 Euros (ca. 27 Dollars) for one print at my size which is "A2", the maximum media size you get here for the 3800. The quality is good, but not overwhelming. My prints are now much better and also much cheaper. But who says this was the final frontier? It is just like with the cameras and lenses: you always want something even better.
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picnic
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2007, 04:17:41 PM »
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But there is one thing I had not known in advance: I print a lot more than expected, and because I have a number of exhibitions. At the moment I am preparing the next show - 110 images printed at maximum size, and I expect to sell a few prints, too. The sales will not cover the costs of the exhibition, so I already switched from original Epson paper to media from a company named Tecco, wonderful paper, especially the "Baryt" style that looks actually a lot better than my good old analog prints.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134900\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

First, I don't know of any 3rd party options at all for the 3800.  Secondly--maybe you are a good candidate for one of the other Epsons--with roll paper and much larger ink carts which would cut down your ink costs.  The 3800 is still a very hot printer, so you could consider selling it and 'trading up'.  I can't remember if there is a 17" printer to be announced in Sept. or not--perhaps replacing the 4800.

Diane
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2007, 06:17:28 PM »
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Well, I do not know your lab, but here in central Germany you pay around 19 Euros (ca. 27 Dollars) for one print at my size which is "A2", the maximum media size you get here for the 3800. The quality is good, but not overwhelming. My prints are now much better and also much cheaper. But who says this was the final frontier? It is just like with the cameras and lenses: you always want something even better.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134901\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm not familiar with prices there, (although I would love to spend a few weeks there sometime).  Currently very reputable color labs here in the states can produce high quality silver halide 16x20's for around $15 -$18.  Quality is great, but yes, for many images the Epson/Canon/HP printers will be superior.

As far as costs, you may be right.  Most photographic labs don't charge by the square foot, and thus a 16x20, which is equivalent to 4 8x10's, cost two to three times that the 4 8x10's.  The reasons are probably justified (more expensive printer with slower output, etc.), but that means for large prints it makes doing it yourself more feasible ... at least from a pure material cost perspective.

Good luck with your show.
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madmanchan
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2007, 07:20:25 PM »
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cmox, I think the short answer to your question is that these 3rd party inks aren't available for the 3800 yet. The 3800 is relatively new (less than 1 year old). I am not sure if 3rd party inks will ever become available for this printer, to be honest. You might try contacting some of the usual suspects and ask if they have plans for a 3800 release. Best of luck with your show.
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plokhotnyuk
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« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2007, 10:16:03 AM »
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Today I received some ink cartridges and the invoice from my dealer... I was close to a coronary... the cocaine dealers in Colombia must go green with envy  - Epson seems to make more money on ink than them  

So, there are other ink systems for other printers but I havent seen a manufacturer for durable, highest quality inks for the 3800.

Any recommendations?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=134766\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Have anybody tried to refill 80 ml cartridges from 110 ml or 220 ml (4800 and above)?
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madmanchan
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2007, 11:05:18 AM »
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I would think it wouldn't work because of the pressurized system, but I haven't tried.
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