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Author Topic: Epson court decision- cross posted  (Read 48713 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #60 on: November 07, 2007, 05:55:23 PM »
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Feppe, the business model is not DOA. All of them are doing it. Firms in other industries do it. No-one MUST use Epson inks. Anyone is free to develop any inkset for Epson printers they want and sell them legally as long as they don't infringe Epson's patents. Same for the other manufacturers. Patent laws are here to stay for a long time to come and patents will continue to be granted in just about every industry known to man. As a financial man I'm sure you are accustomed to reading Annual Reports. Go to the Epson Corporate website, download the AR and read how much they are investing in research. The legal bills for the court case were undoubtedly high, but small-potatos compared to their R&D spending. As I've said elsewhere, this ink cost business is way over-hyped. Firstly, by the time you account for the paper, printer amortization and ink, the ink is runs about 42% of the total cost of a print - that's using Enhanced Matte, which is the cheapest professional grade paper you can put through it. Put through Premium Luster and the ink share falls well below 40%. My all-in-cost for a 9*6 inch print on an A4 sheet is CAD 1.30. In nominal terms and all the more so in real terms it's a fraction of what I used to pay for wet-process colour prints from film and the quality is incomparably better and I control it. I'm not saying I enjoy shelling out 100 bucks for an ink cartridge, but at the same time all this complaining about the cost of ink needs to be put into some perspective.

Now let's look at the future: there will be more technical change, more lowering of real costs, more quality - and most important of all - more competition. Remember Archival Fine Art Printing was Epson's market from 1999 (the 2000P) until last year (the Canon IPF 5000 and now the HP z series). Now there is real competition - for quality, for flexibility, for features, for price - this is what will drive the market, and if you and I know it, they know it. No-one in their right mind sitting at the strategic center of any of these companies seriously believes lawyers are going to create their economic future, but they still need the lawyers to protect their intellectual property from piracy; people who don't like that idea should ask themselves whether they are siding with pirates or whether they seriously believe we'd have the current rate of technical progress without patent protection - who would put the capital at risk? . It's all part of the paraphanalia and cost of doing business, but very obviously not the central feature of their business model or anyone else's. Anyhow the central trends and the driving forces are good news for consumers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #61 on: November 07, 2007, 07:47:07 PM »
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If I buy a printer, I don't like people telling me what I can do with it. If I want to use it as a fishing net weight, I'll use it as a fishing net weight.

What kind of net were you planning to use it with?  I have heard that the printer works well with Epson nets, but not so well with third party nets.  

On the other hand, using the printer as a weight on the fishing line works quite well, assuming you have at least 100 lb. test monofilament.

--John
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #62 on: November 07, 2007, 08:37:11 PM »
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I hope he empties the ink first - kind of expensive for fish bait  
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #63 on: November 08, 2007, 04:21:06 AM »
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Feppe, the business model is not DOA. All of them are doing it. Firms in other industries do it. No-one MUST use Epson inks. Anyone is free to develop any inkset for Epson printers they want and sell them legally as long as they don't infringe Epson's patents. Same for the other manufacturers. Patent laws are here to stay for a long time to come and patents will continue to be granted in just about every industry known to man. As a financial man I'm sure you are accustomed to reading Annual Reports. Go to the Epson Corporate website, download the AR and read how much they are investing in research. The legal bills for the court case were undoubtedly high, but small-potatos compared to their R&D spending. As I've said elsewhere, this ink cost business is way over-hyped. Firstly, by the time you account for the paper, printer amortization and ink, the ink is runs about 42% of the total cost of a print - that's using Enhanced Matte, which is the cheapest professional grade paper you can put through it. Put through Premium Luster and the ink share falls well below 40%. My all-in-cost for a 9*6 inch print on an A4 sheet is CAD 1.30. In nominal terms and all the more so in real terms it's a fraction of what I used to pay for wet-process colour prints from film and the quality is incomparably better and I control it. I'm not saying I enjoy shelling out 100 bucks for an ink cartridge, but at the same time all this complaining about the cost of ink needs to be put into some perspective.

Now let's look at the future: there will be more technical change, more lowering of real costs, more quality - and most important of all - more competition. Remember Archival Fine Art Printing was Epson's market from 1999 (the 2000P) until last year (the Canon IPF 5000 and now the HP z series). Now there is real competition - for quality, for flexibility, for features, for price - this is what will drive the market, and if you and I know it, they know it. No-one in their right mind sitting at the strategic center of any of these companies seriously believes lawyers are going to create their economic future, but they still need the lawyers to protect their intellectual property from piracy; people who don't like that idea should ask themselves whether they are siding with pirates or whether they seriously believe we'd have the current rate of technical progress without patent protection - who would put the capital at risk? . It's all part of the paraphanalia and cost of doing business, but very obviously not the central feature of their business model or anyone else's. Anyhow the central trends and the driving forces are good news for consumers.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There's much to agree on in your message. Some things related more to wide format models may have been forgotten .

One, the way Epson developed waste ink income in all its systems over the years, even their last introduction of the 4880 up to 9880 models is evidence of that. For at least 5 years Epson users did complain about issues related to wasted ink. I have described them before and the archives of the Epson Wide Format list on Yahoo give more details. It is the competition that puts an end to this practice, their new solutions will for many mean a cut in ink use from 10 to 40 %. If your figures are right it means a reduction from 4 to 16% in print costs. A percentage that counts in the competition with printers on every street corner.

Second, Archival Fine Art Printing didn't start with the 2000P, it started with the Epson 9000's loaded with Mediastreet's Generation 4 ink and the equivalent ink from MIS. At that time Epson, Lyson, Van Son couldn't deliver the dye ink that had archival quality. Staedtler couldn't deliver the pigment ink with enough gamut and Epson's Archival ink in the 2000P, 10000CF, 7500 and 9500 introduced after Mediastreet's Generations didn't have the gamut either and showed heavy metamerism. I was there on the Drupa when Epson models printed 50's inspired posters, not for nostalgia but to disguise the poor gamut. My 9000's with Generations ink in my custom made CIS had more color. No wonder that serious art and photography print shops and individuals refilled their carts with better alternatives till Ultrachrome in the 9600 range appeared. In fact an ink that wasn't much better but the extra grey ink in the models did the trick of reducing metamerism and improving color consistency.  A solution long discussed in the lists before Epson introduced it. Not enough to convince the B&W crowd that was already using quad ink solutions from third parties in their printers. No economic solution for the print shop that had one printer and needed to change between gloss and matt. Up to the x600 models a black ink change was the equivalent of printing 15 square meters. That ink flowed into an expensive chipped waste box that wasn't part of an environmental safety program but simply another money creator for Epson. The one model after that the Epson's 4000 model that allowed gloss<>matt changes without ink loss and with Ultrachrome inks aboard must have been the model with the shortest production period ever. One wonders why as many purchasers still love that machine. Even for the 9800/7800 solutions like phatt had to be introduced by third parties to reduce the still heavy ink waste when changing from matte to gloss ink.

This policy creates a user's sentiment that may not welcome patent claims that have more to do with continuing the practices described above than with inkjet innovation. Epson will have to reinvent its business in view of the competition which is the real threat to it now, much more than this leak in their ink profits. By providing more economic solutions in print speed, ink use and printer reliability it could succeed and win back some goodwill. This game will not take place in courts but in reshaping their marketing department. The technology for solving many of the issues described above is available for a long time. If that economy in ink use is created there will be less desire for adventures with third party inks.

A maturing market with competition asks for other approaches, Epson has been surprised by the competition, the stop gap solutions of the 3800 up to the 9880 are not the answer. Even the 11880 may fall short on speed and no gloss enhancer aboard which would have been easy to add. On ink economy it is hard to tell yet whether things actually improved apart from the black ink change. The winning of this court case will not contribute to its PR image at a time they are losing market share in wide formats anyway.

The ethical side of using third party inks and software in Epson printers is in many ways dictated by the space allowed by Epson and the law + the need to compensate flaws in Epson's products. At least with the 9000 + Generations ink Epson was tolerant as they had no archival solution themselves and a new market opened up for them. With the now enforced patent claims some solutions will not be longer available and a clearer boundary is created. Going over that boundary is illegal. Solutions that are not in conflict are not illegal. The rest of the ethical aspects can be put on a fine balance with Epson's policies on one scale and the users answers to that on the other scale.  I didn't have sleepless nights about the ethics of using third party inks in the past. No longer using Epsons and happy with a Z3100 with Vivera pigment inks that solves 90% of what is described above I may sleep better for other reasons related to third party inks but that's another story.


Ernst Dinkla

try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #64 on: November 08, 2007, 07:34:53 AM »
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Ernst, thanks for filling-in some of the historical development I didn't mention. I was focusing on key aspects of the business strategy issue. I think I have as good a handle as anyone on waste ink in the Epson printers I use, because I track it by the mililiter and I have written articles about it on this website. Canon printers also waste ink, as recently reevealed, and with HP printers, when the enough nozzles clog you replace the head. So each manufacture deals with it differently and more or less transparently. Which is cheapest I think still remains to be empirically determined, but the anecdotal evidence suggests that HP may be ahead in that particular battle.

I personally believe that Epson made a huge technological error when they decided that photographers would generally stick with one generic kind of paper and therefore not be bothered much by the huge cost of switching inks with a change between matte and non-matte media - they focused their efforts on optimizing the quality of the grey-scale and decided to compromise on the costs of the re-design that would have been involved with providing a nine-channel printhead. This is the fundamental strategic error that gave Canon and HP a toe-hold into the Fine Art market, so Epson responded with the 3800, which is a partial solution, again with compromises (no roll holder, limited to 17 inches, etc.). It is clear that some time ago they recognized what they did to themselves and a more comprehensive solution would be needed, hence the 11880 - the output of which by the way is absolutely stunning. I think it is just a matter of time before that technology gets bundled into the smaller size machines and they will be giving Canon and HP a run for their money. In this respect I see we agree completely that competition between them is the fundamental driver. And we consumers will be all the better-off for it. At the same time, all of them will enforce their patent rights!

As for the PR battle - true - big companies always look ugly enforcing their rights - especially when well-meaning people with great technologies such as Jon Cone get swept-up in the process (one hopes he could find a way around this - perhaps a cooperative relationship with Epson or another manufacturer?), but I wonder whether this would be a market driver. One needs to look at how people really decide to buy equipment. It is a complex decision involving the customers' needs, quality of output, investment cost, operational cost, features and flexibility, and extremely important - after sales service. It's not clear to me that enforcement of patent rights has a high ranking within that mix of variables.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2007, 11:59:19 AM »
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I haven't taken a position on either side of this issue, but here is further food for thought from Paul Roark, in the form of a letter posted as a link on the Digital B&W Yahoo Group:

To Whom It May Concern:

Re:   International Trade Commission matter 337-TA-565
   Exclusion of competitive cartridges from the U.S.

The public needs to be made aware of a very anticompetitive, anti-consumer, and anti-environmental action about to be taken by the U.S. government.  Our government is about to eliminate competition in the sale of Epson-compatible inks.

It appears the fate of competition in the market for Epson-compatible inks is in the hands of U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, 600 17th Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20508.  If she does not act to stop the implementation of International Trade Commission matter 337-TA-565, the ability of other companies to sell ink to consumers of Epson inkjet printers may be blocked by the U.S. government, in effect, subsidizing Epson’s efforts to monopolize Epson-compatible ink sales by excluding inkjet cartridges from importation into the U.S.

The prices of Epson inks in its cartridges are vastly higher than the competing ink options.  In addition to the pre-filled, competitive cartridges, many use easily-refillable, third-party cartridges or continuous flow ink systems and buy ink in bulk, such as 4 oz. bottles.  When bought in bulk, the prices for competing inks are about 1/10th that of what consumers pay for Epson inks.

In addition to the huge price differential, the competitive options that allow the use of bulk inks do not cause the environmental problems associated with consumers throwing the small cartridges into our land fills. These options also will likely be eliminated by this ITC action.

While some have claimed that third party inks are inferior, this is simply not true in many cases.  In the small black and white, monochromatic ink market that I am personally most interested in, the non-Epson inks are superior to Epson options.  Epson makes no product that can equal the image quality, stability and lightfastness of the carbon inks I use for my fine art B&W photographic prints.  And the inks I use are far cheaper.  Additionally, innovative little U.S. companies have for years made very lightfast pigmented inks available for entry level printers where Epson sells only fast-fading dyes.  In short, there are small, innovative U.S. companies that sell superior products for less.  These companies are at risk of being put out of business by the combination of Epson’s anticompetitive practices and the U.S. government.

The ITC Epson inkjet cartridge matter, now pending before the U.S. Trade Representative, is part of Epson’s attempt to monopolize aftermarket ink sale into its printer base.  It is using its patents over the interface between the inks and printers to accomplish this.  Even assuming these inkjet cartridge patents are valid, this is, in effect, an illegal “tying agreement” that ties subsequent sales of inks to the sale of the printer.  Tying agreements have been prohibited by the antitrust laws for many years, although the burden of proving an illegal tying agreement has been made much more difficult in recent years.  Realistically, small competitors and consumers simply cannot afford the legal fees and years of litigation such matters now involve.  Nonetheless, where a government agency is called on to exercise discretion, the fact of the likely illegal conduct and the larger competitive picture should be considered.  Sadly, the plight of competitors and consumers who were never parties to this action may never have come to the attention of the decision makers.  The U.S. Trade representative needs to consider these factors.

From a legal standpoint, there are cases that deal with these concepts.  The Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Image Technical Services v. Eastman Kodak (125 F.3d 1195 (1997)) addressed for the first time the relationship of intellectual property rights and the antitrust laws.  The court held that a monopolist who has achieved a dominant position through its patents and copyrights can violate the Sherman Act by exploiting that dominant position to attain a monopoly in another market.  As a subsequent court noted, “Properly viewed within the framework of a tying case, [Image Technical Services] can be interpreted as restating the undisputed premise that the patent holder cannot use his statutory right to refuse to sell patented parts to gain a monopoly in a market beyond the scope of the patent.” (CSU v. Xerox, 203 F.3d at 1327)  See also Atari Games Corp. v. Nintendo of AM., Inc.: “[A] patent owner may not take the property right granted by a patent and use it to extend his power in the marketplace improperly, i.e., beyond the limits of what Congress intended to give in the patent laws.”  (897 F.2d 1572, 1576 (Fed. Cir. 1990))  An excellent article on this subject by Nicholas Economides and William Hebert can be found at http://ideas.repec.org/p/net/wpaper/0707.html.

Almost all of us use printers that might be affected by the concepts noted above.  We need consumers to be aware of the problem and convey their concerns to the policy makers involved.  Using dubious patents to monopolize adjacent markets, and having the ITC help in this effort is not what Congress had in mind when these legal regimes were put in place.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Paul Roark
www.PaulRoark.com
Retired FTC antitrust attorney
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2007, 12:55:20 PM »
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I question whether Paul Roark's legal references are relevant to the specifics of the Epson case.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2007, 02:06:46 PM »
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It won't matter whether it is legal or illegal. Money flows like water to the lowest level (price). These companies will simply move off shore, e.g. Canada and do a brisk trade.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #68 on: November 09, 2007, 03:53:19 PM »
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Yes, well with the state of law enforcement being what it is in this country you have a point.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #69 on: November 09, 2007, 10:34:26 PM »
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Who says Epson is going to shut down all of the third-party ink makers?   Maybe they're going to get smart and give some 3rd party inks the "Epson Seal of Approval" in exchange for a percentage of their revenue, while shutting down the damaging inks.  It may drive the price of 3rd party inks up a bit, but in the end it's a win for everybody except the crappy ink makers.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #70 on: November 12, 2007, 08:46:08 AM »
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I thought the exchange below between two members of the Yahoo Epson_Printers List would be of interest to those concerned about the future of CIS systems linked to Epson printers. It would appear there may not be anything to worry about:
_______________________________________
Hello Chris

The recent ruling should not affect you at all. CIS systems and parts
have so far been left alone by Epson, their focus being on empty
pre-chipped single-use cartridges.

--- In EPSON_Printers@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Dunton
>wrote:
>
> Mr. Morrison,
>
> As a user of your CIS with R24 inks for my R2400 how
> does this recently ruling impact on my ability to
> continue to maintain my CIS and obtain parts, service
> and supplies from your company going into the future?
>
> Chris Dunton ..>
______________________________________

The "Mr. Morrison" responding to the question from "Chris" is a representative of Nazdar, formerly Lyson.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ray
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« Reply #71 on: November 12, 2007, 10:29:05 AM »
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Also don't forget there are two distinct business models at Epson. One is the razor/razor blade model of selling commodity prices printers at a near loss (pretty sure they are not actually sold at a complete loss) and then consumables which equates to selling the razor cheap and marking up the blades and the Epson Pro printers. There is a world of differences between both the manufacturing and distribution. Each Epson Pro printer is literally hand assembled and tested and not passed unless the Delta E difference in 2 or under. Andrew and I tested a variety of 3800s when doing the EFP profiles and the 3800s were within a Delta E of about .6.

The ITC effort is directed towards going after the razor/razor blade model where people buy Epson printers and then are convinced that cheapo 3rd party inks are "just as good" or are buying bootleg knockoff copies. The companies selling the cheapos and knockoffs are are using ink carts that are being cheaply manufactured that violate Epson patents...

How can this possibly considered good for the consumer?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151165\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's a very good point. Coincidentally, I've just bought the latest model of Epson's entry level 4 ink printer, the C90 here in Chiang Mai. It came with a complete set of full size ink cartridges, of course, at a total cost of US$47 (1590 Thai Baht). Replacement Epson ink cartridges in the same shop cost 365 Baht each or $43 for a set of 4.

I'm paying $4 for the printer. Now that I suggest is definitely below cost. Of course, I can't buy the printer without the ink for $4, but even so, the total package of ink and printer for $47 is ridiculously cheap. If everyone who bought a C90 were to replace the initial cartridges with 3rd party inks, what would be the point for Epson.

It's clear in this business model, Epson can only make a profit from its sales of ink.
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sniper
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« Reply #72 on: November 12, 2007, 11:20:12 AM »
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That's a very good point. Coincidentally, I've just bought the latest model of Epson's entry level 4 ink printer, the C90 here in Chiang Mai. It came with a complete set of full size ink cartridges, of course, at a total cost of US$47 (1590 Thai Baht). Replacement Epson ink cartridges in the same shop cost 365 Baht each or $43 for a set of 4.

I'm paying $4 for the printer. Now that I suggest is definitely below cost. Of course, I can't buy the printer without the ink for $4, but even so, the total package of ink and printer for $47 is ridiculously cheap. If everyone who bought a C90 were to replace the initial cartridges with 3rd party inks, what would be the point for Epson.

It's clear in this business model, Epson can only make a profit from its sales of ink.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152127\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes but assuming you buy a second set of Epsom inks you will have paid about $90 for a printer and inks that probably cost about $25 to make, and will probably only last you a year.   Wayne
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Ray
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« Reply #73 on: November 12, 2007, 01:48:47 PM »
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Yes but assuming you buy a second set of Epsom inks you will have paid about $90 for a printer and inks that probably cost about $25 to make, and will probably only last you a year.   Wayne
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152138\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It's not likely $90 of ink and printer will last as long as a year. I've found a Premium Glossy A4 paper that costs only 8 cents a sheet, as opposed to Epson's 59 cents a sheet. The Dura Brite Ultra inks dry immediately and the tones look identical to those printed on Epson's Premium Gloss.

However, the Epson paper is 255gms and this el cheapo Hi-jet brand only 190gms.

One can't expect everything for 8 cents a sheet   .
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« Reply #74 on: November 12, 2007, 01:57:39 PM »
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It's not likely $90 of ink and printer will last as long as a year. I've found a Premium Glossy A4 paper that costs only 8 cents a sheet, as opposed to Epson's 59 cents a sheet. The Dura Brite Ultra inks dry immediately and the tones look identical to those printed on Epson's Premium Gloss.

However, the Epson paper is 255gms and this el cheapo Hi-jet brand only 190gms.

One can't expect everything for 8 cents a sheet   .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152192\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Has Henry Wilhelm tested your el-cheapo paper for longevity from deterioration of the surface or the backing?

By the way, what have you been photographing in Chiang-Mai?

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #75 on: November 12, 2007, 02:28:08 PM »
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Has Henry Wilhelm tested your el-cheapo paper for longevity from deterioration of the surface or the backing?

By the way, what have you been photographing in Chiang-Mai?

Mark
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152194\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Mark,
Of course not. But I would expect the longevity to be reasonable because of the pigment inks.

What have I been photographing? Well, I suppose stuff which I wouldn't like to show on this family oriented program. I have the intention of visiting a few hill tribes but haven't got around to it yet. These lovely Thai people are often so pleased to get a print of the photos I take of them, I couldn't resist buying this entry level printer.

Surprisingly, when I convert my images to sRGB and let the printer handle the color management, I seem to get better results than the appearance of the image on my uncalibrated laptop would indicate I should get, especially with regard to skin tones. The images on screen tend to look slightly too pink for the Asian complexion. Since I'm fairly sure this is due to the uncalibrated state of my laptop I don't bother trying to correct it, but the printer does. Does this image look natural?  

[attachment=3812:attachment]
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« Reply #76 on: November 12, 2007, 02:59:14 PM »
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Ray,

I think I need a return trip to Chiang Mai (alone!)  

The skin tones look quite natural to me for the range of Thai complexions one sees - though I have to admit I've never seen more than faces and hands (isn't that what you expected me to say?). Imaginative photograph. but the way she's eyeing the camera - of course the camera) kind of suggests she's looking quite intensively at what's going on there.

Re the el cheapo paper - well of course depending on your needs - but in fact the paper itself is also a longevity issue. Henry has drafted material available on his website indicating that some of these papers actually disintegrate, they yellow unevenly, the backing and the coatings separate, etc. So IF the work is intended to last a long time, this is an issue. If not, well then it isn't an issue!

Re the laptop - especially the cheaper ones are notorious for giving wrong colour and luminosity information. Have you noticed how the whole appearance of the image changes each time you adjust the angle of the lid a bit? Also, the quality of the video cards and display in many of those laptops can give profiling quite a challenge. I learned an interesting sort-of-fix several weeks ago at least to deal with the angle of view issue. It is this: Go to Bill Atkinson's website and download his printer test target - the one with all those small colour images and the grayscale and colour gradients in it. Load it onto your display. Then angle the lid till the target looks about right (you can tell when it looks right quite easily by all the visual cues he's built-in there). That at least lets you know if you keep that angle for the lid and you anchor your head steady at the same angle of vision,  (i.e. don't get distracted by the subject matter  ), you at least have the appropriate viewing conditions to see the image as correctly as the state of the profile allows.

With best wishes for continued successful photographic endeavours in Chiang Mai,

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #77 on: November 12, 2007, 04:03:51 PM »
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Paul Roark's superb letter sums it up perfectly.  Chipped carts and, incredibly, waste tanks, are nothing but lock-in for Epson.  A government that claims to rely on "market forces" and yet approves of such practices is truly hypocritical.

I just installed a black-channel-only CIS and I'm pumping MIS Eboni ink though my 4800 at a prodigious rate, making 17X22 black-only prints that amaze and delight me. With the Epson ink and paper, even small prints were a conscious decision. Photographers selling their prints to clients don't have to worry.  Since I photograph for myself, I do.

With third party media and ink, I can print large, often and guilt-free.  Isn't that progress? I currently have three Epson printers, all running a CIS, some for nearly eight years, trouble free.  So much for FUD.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #78 on: November 12, 2007, 04:10:22 PM »
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Peter, from what I've been reading today it would appear that CIS systems will remain unaffected.

As for the contentions in Paul Roark's letter, I suppose that's the kind of stuff that will play-out in the courts, depending on who takes what action in the USA.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #79 on: November 12, 2007, 11:11:46 PM »
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Re the el cheapo paper - well of course depending on your needs - but in fact the paper itself is also a longevity issue. Henry has drafted material available on his website indicating that some of these papers actually disintegrate, they yellow unevenly, the backing and the coatings separate, etc. So IF the work is intended to last a long time, this is an issue. If not, well then it isn't an issue!

Mark,
Thanks for your helpful advice as always.  

The longevity issue is perhaps something that hasn't received much discussion in this thread so far. When using non-Epson inks with non-Epson papers, as some people prefer to, how can one be sure about the longevity of the prints, unless Wilhelm or some other authority has tested that particular combination.

I tend to think that an ink and paper combination that has been tested for extreme longevity will consist of both durable inks and durable paper. Whilst Epson inks used on an untested brand of paper might not have as great a longevity, when we're talking about longevity periods of 60 to 100 years, one tends to think if longevity is cut in half as a result of using an untested brand of paper, that's still pretty good.

However, if coatings start separating rather than colors fading or changing hue, then that's really bad.

This Hi-jet brand of paper appears to be so cheap because it is manufactured in Thailand. The manufacturer has a website at http://www.hi-jet.com/about/about.php?lang=eng , a few awards under its belt and a recommendation from a Thai Prime Minister. It appears to be a reputable company, so I'm not expecting the paper to start shedding its coatings. However, I can't find any reviews of the paper, so who knows.

Perhaps a point that needs to be stressed here, in this debate about patent infringement of ink cartridges, is that Epson cannot rely upon making sufficient profits on paper to fund its continuing research into improving its printers. The paper market is wide open and profiling equipment is now much more affordable than it used to be.

If the production of 3rd party ink cartridges was as wide open as the production of alternative papers, Epson would have no choice but to charge exhorbitant prices for its printers, not only to pay its shareholders and fund continuing research, but to test every malfunctioning printer for possible causes of inappropriate ink usage. What a nightmare and how much customer dissatisfaction would result from people not appreciating the fact that some brands of inks could have a deleterious effect on their printer, or not believing the technician who advises them that the 3rd party inks are the cause of the problem and therefore the printer cannot be repaired free of charge. Is that what the consumer wants?

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Re the laptop - especially the cheaper ones are notorious for giving wrong colour and luminosity information. Have you noticed how the whole appearance of the image changes each time you adjust the angle of the lid a bit? Also, the quality of the video cards and display in many of those laptops can give profiling quite a challenge. I learned an interesting sort-of-fix several weeks ago at least to deal with the angle of view issue. It is this: Go to Bill Atkinson's website and download his printer test target - the one with all those small colour images and the grayscale and colour gradients in it. Load it onto your display. Then angle the lid till the target looks about right (you can tell when it looks right quite easily by all the visual cues he's built-in there). That at least lets you know if you keep that angle for the lid and you anchor your head steady at the same angle of vision,  (i.e. don't get distracted by the subject matter  ), you at least have the appropriate viewing conditions to see the image as correctly as the state of the profile allows.

I'll try that. My practice is to get the screen at right angles to my gaze. The Adobe Gamma calibration seems to have got the degree of light and shade approximately right and I'm able to get some feed-back from the prints I make by going back into Adobe Gamma and readjusting the channels so that the skin tones on the screen match as closely as possible the skin tones on the print of the same image.

It's a rough approach but I'm getting results which are at least as accurate as the local digital image processing shops have been giving me with their massive, professional Fuji printers.
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