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Author Topic: Tilting at windmills? - Epson 1280 and MIS archival  (Read 2113 times)
Chris Stomberg
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« on: June 02, 2009, 12:20:19 AM »
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Should I feel remorse?  

I have been struggling for over a month with a variety of technical issues in getting an MIS CFS system using their archival inks working with my Epson 1280. The stated archival characteristics of their inks were intriguing, and I was getting tired of paying Epson a lot of money for (dye) prints that faded noticeably within a year.  I bought the system almost 18 months ago, then stopped when kid #2 was born, but recently decided to install it. I won't bore with details, but I have a bright magenta patch on my carpet, and some experience with two-part epoxy and syringes to show for my efforts. Despite profiling the paper/ink combination carefully with spyder, I found my prints were still only in the ballpark, and needed heavy mods post "calibration", which was not reassuring.

I like the chase. I like the hard way of doing things. I like working with my hands, and I can get pretty technical if needed. There is really something cool about all the neat colored ink bottles and tubing going back and forth. And there's something fun and perhaps a little subversive about getting this printer to do something the engineers didn't set out to do. But I think the system just spat out yet another $30 auto-reset chip on what I was going to say was perhaps my second reasonable print in about twenty.

Is there anyone else out there that uses this system?  I have trawled the various forums and have yet to come up with much discussion of MIS inks outside their relatively well-known UT-2 system. I thought perhaps I might find some old explorers lurking here.  I just gave up and availed myself of the Epson rebate for the 3800, but I'm willing to keep tinkering with the old system if I hear words of encouragement that maybe I'm giving up too easily.

Separately, I also have a 1280 set up with UT-2 (which also needs help). Is it worth keep this around for B&W, or would Epson 3800 trump the quality/longevity of that system (when it's actually working)?

Thoughts, comments, etc.?

Thanks.



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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2009, 12:32:43 AM »
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Quote from: Chris Stomberg
Thoughts, comments, etc.?

Doode...life is way too short futzing around with totally marginal solutions that waste time and ultimately money–with time being the more valuable commodity. Seriously, if you have a 3800, screw the 1280 and all the MIS crap...Learn how to use the really good printer you now do have (the 3800 is really good) and find something else to spend your "free time" on like maybe shooting or hanging with the family...
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 09:24:23 AM »
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What Jeff said. A 1280 was my first "real" printer. I tried Lyson ink and the yellow clogged. After it sat in the bottom of my closet for 2 years, my wife said, "what are you going to do with this printer"? I picked it up and walked it to the trash can. Now I print with an Epson 2200, which has been flawless (and a 3800 and 7900 at work) and my wife has room for more shoes in the closet.
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Randy Carone
Chris Stomberg
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2009, 10:36:59 AM »
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Guys,

Thanks for the moral support.  

I indeed felt like I was wasting a lot of time messing around with this system, and once I accounted for the fancy paper that was going in the trash, I realized I wasn't even really saving money either.  I'm just stubborn, and wanted to know if there was any point in keeping up the fight.

The 3800 is winging its way in my direction - it's a tool I'm looking forward to using.

Chris
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KeithR
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2009, 05:37:27 PM »
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A few years back, I had a 1280 with a CIS and used MIS inks. At the time I knew very little of serious color printing and not being rich(still not!) I was looking for a way to conserve on ink costs while I spent time learning about things like monitor and printer calibration. Color profiling and soft proofing were exotic terms to me but I wanted to learn. I had my share of clogging problems, but that was due to lack of printing on a regular basis and I learned how to deal with it. After 2-3 years of learning about printing, not to mention trying different papers, I felt that my understanding had grown to the point that I wanted to make larger prints. The 4800 was somewhat new on the market, and since I was satisfied with the results that I got with the MIS inksets, I started to look into cost of inks, the problem(costs) that the 4800 had with swapping the black inks, ImagePrints Phatte Black option(reviewed on this forum) and a slew of other questions I had at the time. I figured that I could get the 4800 and MIS inks and their system. The more I looked into it the more I became convinced that with the 4800, the hassle was just not worth it. I went ahead and pruchaced the 4800 still thinking that the MIS alternative would be viable. About a month later I was able to attend the Epson Print Academy as it came through St. Paul with Jeff, and Paul, and Mr. Fraser. I thought I had a pretty good handle on printing until then. What I saw demonstrated really opened my eyes. When the day was over, I was convinced that the OEM inks were the only way to go and have stayed with the Epson inkset ever since. I sold the 1280 and the CIS and found that the buyer reverted back to the Epson inks and has been happy with it.
And thanks for the print Jeff! I still have it!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 05:38:35 PM by KeithR » Logged

The destination is our goal but it’s the journey that educates us.
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2009, 02:27:50 AM »
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There has been a time that third party color pigment inks delivered better fade resistance than the OEM dye inks could deliver while their gamut was acceptable. Mediastreet's Generation ink comes to mind, Wilhelm tested and approved. There has been a time that third party pigment Quad inks were the only solution for decent B&W prints both for image quality and fade resistance. Jon Cone's Piezography, MIS quad inks.
At that time there were people claiming that it was stupid to use third party inks. True, they caused more headaches but the prints still are worth looking at.
The big companies followed the trail of the more adventurous printer users and brought the inksets that were requested, some manufacturers improving the printer's consistency at the same time. No, I wouldn't go back to that situation of 5-10 years ago as the turn-key solutions are available now but at that time there was no choice.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

New: Dinkla Canvas Wrap Actions for Photoshop
http://www.pigment-print.com/dinklacanvaswraps/index.html
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Chris Stomberg
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2009, 01:35:16 PM »
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Thanks for the helpful comments that put everything in perspective. The 3800 is up and running as of last night. First three prints I have done so far were button-pressing easy. No disappointments. It would have taken weeks to get same from the old set up. If it came out at all.  

Trying to make the old tech work was a sort of fun challenge for a while, but at some point one just wants to make prints.  The new system feels a little like cheating, but I already see a completely different hill in front of me. Namely, the printer really accurately produces garbage-like results from the garbage that goes in.  I'm going to have to work on that.

I bought a solid tripod.

Chris
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Paul Roark
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2009, 06:50:59 PM »
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Quote from: Ernst Dinkla
There has been a time that third party color pigment inks delivered better fade resistance ...
The big companies followed ...

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla


So, Ernst, do you think they'll follow to 100% carbon pigment on Arches watercolor paper (no OBAs or coating)?

I think there is still a significant margin between what I do and the OEMs, but UT2 is way long in the tooth.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/
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