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Author Topic: Third Party Inks  (Read 3290 times)
CAF
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« on: March 09, 2011, 02:02:42 PM »
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Lyson indicates that it makes an ink for the Epson 4880 that can be freely intermixed with Epson ink and that it is possible to print without changing profiles.  Is there any experience with, or knowledge of this ink?  Any information on fading?  Any other ideas about third party inks?

Thank you.
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Jeff Magidson
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 02:24:34 PM »
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IMHO you are asking for a world of hurt if you are hoping to just plug the Lyson inks in and get the same results as the Epson OEM inks without have to build new profiles and deal with other potential differences. What advantages are you hoping to gain by using Lyson inks?

~ Jeff

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~ Jeff Magidson
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CAF
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 02:49:49 PM »
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Principally looking to spend less money on Epson ink but maintain good quality.  Lyson was a company I had heard of that seemed like it might be serious without overcharging.
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Jeff Magidson
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 03:14:56 PM »
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Principally looking to spend less money on Epson ink but maintain good quality.  Lyson was a company I had heard of that seemed like it might be serious without overcharging.

Both Epson & Canon have put a ton of $$ in to R&D, I think it is evident in the results you can get using their products. In comparison, how much do you think Lyson has put in to R&D? About 8 years ago I tried some Lyson inks for monochrome printing. I could not produce usable prints with the Lyson inks.

Sure, Epson charges an amazing markup on their ink but they have brought so much to the medium of ink jet printing I don't feel bad at all about paying the price they are asking.
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~ Jeff Magidson
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KevinWilliams
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 03:47:20 PM »
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You should have no problem switching inks. I personally have never used lyson inks, but i have used inks from other manufacturers and the results have been great. I think there is always that 5% out there that are never satisfied with anything.
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Shark_II
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 05:53:22 PM »
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Sure, Epson charges an amazing markup on their ink...


The king of understatement.  Printer ink costs more than human blood.  And for one reason... to make money for the manufacturers.  It is, of course, their right to charge whatever the market will bear.  And people like you are welcome to pay whatever they charge, no matter how ridiculous the prices may be.  But to dismiss 3rd party inks in such a cavalier manner shows you have not put much thought or research into the issue.

Tom

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Farmer
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 05:07:24 PM »
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In some places, water costs more than human blood.  It's not exactly the most useful analogy.

The cost of the ink represents a number of things, of course including a profit margin for the business.  Without that profit margin, you would have to pay a lot more for the printers themselves or you wouldn't have them. 

The companies who make the printers and sell the ink, have a whole-of-business approach and model it to provide sustained returns across the entire business, allowing R&D on new printers, other devices, and even ink.  It's a *lot* less expensive to just make and sell ink - by orders of magnitude, in fact.

There's no problem with competition and people selling competing products, of course, but understand that the 3rd party companies have exactly the same motivation - to make a profit.  They are not benevolent societies selling at a loss or minimising their potential profit for the good of mankind, and nor should they be!  They should be trying to make a profit!

The difference, of course, is that they're not attempting to do R&D on printer hardware or providing technical support for the hardware, or sales support and distribution and so on.  Their ink is cheaper for a few reasons, but primarily it's because someone else is bearing the cost of creating their market (ie selling printers to consume the ink).  In some cases, it's also because it's a significantly lower quality product (but of course, not every case - there are some very good companies out there).

The cost of the ink as a portion of the cost of a large print (so excluding consumer level products) is quite small - there are certainly areas in a business that can be examined to generate far larger cost savings.
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MHMG
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 05:34:36 PM »
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The difference, of course, is that they're not attempting to do R&D on printer hardware or providing technical support for the hardware, or sales support and distribution and so on.  Their ink is cheaper for a few reasons, but primarily it's because someone else is bearing the cost of creating their market (ie selling printers to consume the ink).  In some cases, it's also because it's a significantly lower quality product (but of course, not every case - there are some very good companies out there).

The cost of the ink as a portion of the cost of a large print (so excluding consumer level products) is quite small - there are certainly areas in a business that can be examined to generate far larger cost savings.


Well said! Personally speaking, I send more money down the drain on media reject issues than I do on wasted ink.
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ippolitois
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 10:02:47 PM »
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In some places, water costs more than human blood.  It's not exactly the most useful analogy.

The cost of the ink represents a number of things, of course including a profit margin for the business.  Without that profit margin, you would have to pay a lot more for the printers themselves or you wouldn't have them.  

The companies who make the printers and sell the ink, have a whole-of-business approach and model it to provide sustained returns across the entire business, allowing R&D on new printers, other devices, and even ink.  It's a *lot* less expensive to just make and sell ink - by orders of magnitude, in fact.

There's no problem with competition and people selling competing products, of course, but understand that the 3rd party companies have exactly the same motivation - to make a profit.  They are not benevolent societies selling at a loss or minimising their potential profit for the good of mankind, and nor should they be!  They should be trying to make a profit!

The difference, of course, is that they're not attempting to do R&D on printer hardware or providing technical support for the hardware, or sales support and distribution and so on.  Their ink is cheaper for a few reasons, but primarily it's because someone else is bearing the cost of creating their market (ie selling printers to consume the ink).  In some cases, it's also because it's a significantly lower quality product (but of course, not every case - there are some very good companies out there).

The cost of the ink as a portion of the cost of a large print (so excluding consumer level products) is quite small - there are certainly areas in a business that can be examined to generate far larger cost savings.


I do not share these opinions. I'm glad that there is competition with ink suppliers or printing would not be economical. When you buy a pro printer at full retail price you have paid for their R&D. No company is going to subsidize a printer with the hope of making it up with ink sales. Pro printers are not a loss leader like consumer printers are. I would contend the opposite and that when they have you as captive consumer , then they will try to maximize there profits through ink sales.

I can't believe that these third party ink manufacturers are less knowledgeable than Epson in making inks or spend less time in making improvements. Most of the good ink makers have been making inks as long or longer than Epson. I was involved in ink manufacturing in the 80's and the science was very mature. As the chief ink chemist once told me back then, it ain't rocket science. I guess if I were Epson, I would ensure that I put an aura and mystic around my gold mine product. If it weren't for third party inks (I use Image Specialist ink) I wouldn't bother with printing. It's cheaper for me to send my printing to a lab than doing it myself. Every time that cleaning cycle begins or I discover a clogged nozzle, I can see the Epson Exec's wringing their have with glee. At 919.00 for a full set of 220ml OEM ink for my 4000, every print would cost me more in time effort and materials than sending it to the lab. It's been proven that Epson makes a very good product, but so far the good third party inks haven't been debunked. The good 3rd party inks have actually been shown to actually hold there own and in some testing some have been found to just be shy in longevity of the OEM inks and that's good enough for me.

If Epson was really serious about winning over third party ink users, I would recommend that they spend more R&D in preventing clogged nozzles and drop the price on their liquid gold, but I suspect doing this is not in the best interest of Epson. Competition and choice is good for all of us and don't be fooled, good third party inks are worth the effort.

Paul
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 10:18:48 PM by ippolitois » Logged
Farmer
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 01:46:36 AM »
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No, you really haven't paid for the R&D in the price of the printer.  It's not being sold at a loss, but it's a whole of business pricing that 3rd party manufacturers don't have to bear.  That's fine, by the way, but it's a fact.  The printer covers some of the costs, but if ink sales stopped tomorrow, the price of printers would skyrocket.

There's a choice - high initial entry and lower ongoing costs or lower initial entry and higher ongoing costs.  You get more market penetration by lowering initial entry and you maximise returns by increasing ongoing revenue.  It's business.  You're in business to make money, too (and by you I mean a generic you), so to complain that someone else is making money is a little ironic :-)

Of course we all like things to be cheaper, but I also like quality support and service and ongoing development etc.  All of the big three provide this.  Certainly there are example of mistakes and failures, but by and large they are all staffed by real people who really want to do a good job and generally do - just like "you".

As for R&D expenditure - some of these companies set up a new factory and the start up cost is north of a billion dollars, and they do this quite regularly.  They spend a lot of time and money trying to improve the products and meet customer demands.  Generally, you'd have to say they're all successful at this because they're still in business (unless you want to claim that everyone else buying their products is an idiot and you're the only smart one :-) (and, again, it's a generic "you" I'm using - I'm not suggesting anyone here is an idiot as the thoughtful and interesting posts clearly prove otherwise!).
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 03:44:31 AM »
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They spend a lot of time and money trying to improve the products and meet customer demands.
You mean, like equalling number of heads and number of cartridges to avoid unneeded (for the customer I mean) ink losses? Grin

To get back to the initial question, my 3rd party inks (InkJetFly) have been very satisfying output-wise and function-wise, but the claim to be able to use the OEM profiles and settings seems more of a stretch.
I print on a R1800, so the costs of re-profiling are still very well absorbed by the gain on ink price. Economically, I agree that gains are smaller and ink costs less a prominent factor with bigger printers, and almost completely out of the equation for someone selling prints.
NB even if they don't support the printer itself, IJF do provide good support for the CIS they're selling.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 05:28:48 AM »
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For the total cost for a print, the ink+media goes for around 15%. So I really don't care if I would get 14% for a non-OEM ink.
Or I could say: I don't dare.

/Sven
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 06:07:55 AM »
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I can't help with personal experience of the x880 Lyson inks but I have had experience with Lyson before.

I currently use a 3880 with the Epson inks.  However I did print for a number of years with an Epson 2100 for which I used a Lyson continuous ink system.  Frankly I could not tell the difference between prints made with the Lyson inks and the Epson inks after proper profiles were made.  Maybe there were subtle differences but if so then they were too subtle for me to care or worry about.  In fact I seem to remember that for quite a while I used the profiles I had made for the Epson inks with the Lyson inks very happily.  The Epson finally died with a permanent clog but this was after at least 3 years of the continuous ink system being used and I don't remember any greater incidence of clogs with that machine with the Lyson inks than with the Epson inks.

I also have a 3800 which had a clog and has just had the head replaced by Epson.  I am tempted by the Lyson inks for that and probably once the 6 month guarantee on the new head has expired I may well change there.  I did discuss the inks for the 3880 with Marrutt who told me that you could swap their inks for all of the original inks without requiring new profiles with the exception of the new Vivid inks - once one of those had to be replaced then new profiles were required.

In general my experience has been very positive with Lyson and the people who run Marrutt (their distributors/resellers in the UK) are exceptionally helpful and friendly.
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 04:08:28 PM »
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About the only reason to buy 3rd party inks is if you are interested in saving a "few bucks", or to print B&W with an older Epson printer with pure black carbon inks of various dilutions.

I think part of the reason there are so many Epson ink knock offs, is because Epson printers require much more vigorous cleaning cycles to keep their nozzles clean, and they (Epsons) are notorious for leaving a considerable amount of ink in an "empty" cartridge. Epson could easily have changed their pricing policies to fairly compete with those objections, but obviously Epson hasn't.

If you are in business to make prints, then your prime objectives are to have a printer that is dependable and trouble free. Having owned many Epsons dating back to the original 9000, I find it interesting that not much has changed regarding using Epson printers--most people still run nozzle checks before making serious prints. Having owned an HPZ3100 for 3 years now, I find it comforting that I don't run nozzle checks! The printer is just always ready to print without any fuss or bother. The "reject" print due to printer problems is the rare exception with the HP.

Although 3rd party inks are available for the HP, and probably the Canon printers, I haven't read any posts of people using those products. Why is it that Epson users seem to be concerned about ink costs and using 3rd party inks?

In another life, I was in the 3rd party ink business for the Epson 9000 printers. Remember, they only could use dye inks, which faded fairly rapidly when not used with swellable polymer ink receptor media. I had an ink chemist modify Ilford dye inks for "thermal printers", which Wilhelm found had a lifespan of up to 70 years on specific media using 300  dpi Encad printers. The only reason I offered this for sale, was because Epson had no inkling of the possibilities of the lifespans required for fine art  printing when they started marketing the 9000 printer back in 1998. The first pigmented 3rd party inks from Media street, compared very poorly in gamut and fade resistance, but people believed that pigments were more fade resistant than dyes.

Epson caught on pretty quickly about the need to use pigmented inks in these "professional" printers. But their first effort, the 9500, results looked more like "prefaded" dye inks, lacking color gamut. They finally got their act together with a good combination in the 96/7600 series.

But back to the use of 3rd party inks in today's pro printers, I simply ask "why"?





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ippolitois
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2011, 04:24:05 PM »
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I have found that their is very little or no perceived image difference between Epson inks and Image Specialist inks under a color managed system. However, I have noticed a great deal of difference between ink costs between the two. A little math quickly reveals the advantages of the IS ink. According to the Epson 4000 manual page 98, Power cleaning will use a lot of ink. I've heard it's 18%.

Here's the cost of the Epson ink:http://vistek.ca/store/ProPhotoEpson/218953/epson-stylus-4000-colour-ink-set-w8-cartridges-220ml.aspx with HST it should cost around $1000 and I pay around $200 for my inks. So a power cleaning with Epson ink is $180 worth of ink and with the other is under $40. So to say that the print cost is 15% of the print costs is based on a perfect running printer that never clogs and never requires an head cleaning. I would contend that the cost of using OEM inks are a lot higher if you apply a more real world approach. Being in business is exactly why using Epson inks makes it uncompetitive when ever dollar matters.


Paul
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Shark_II
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2011, 05:12:23 PM »
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About the only reason to buy 3rd party inks is if you are interested in saving a "few bucks"...

A "few" bucks?  Really?  You must be loaded to think the difference in ink costs amount to only a "few" (in quotation marks) bucks.

Using Canon inks as an example, the ink cost about 57 cents per ml.  3rd party ink costs 15 cents per ml.  One liter of OEM then equals $570.00, one liter of 3rd party ink is $150.00, a $420.00 PER Liter savings.

If that cost ratio amounts to a "few" bucks, then yeah... I want to save a "few" bucks as we go through several liters a month here.  I can pay for my car and my house every month with the savings.  Just a "few" bucks to you, eh?


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But back to the use of 3rd party inks in today's pro printers, I simply ask "why"?

You do? Really?  To most people it would be obvious.

Tom
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enduser
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2011, 07:47:35 PM »
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Whenever there is a debate here and elsewhere about third party inks, the debate never ends with a statement by a reputable user that they use a particular brand which is easily profiled, doesn't clog or prematurely wear heads, and has an excellent proven display life?

It always ends in uncertainty about one or other of those matters.  In fact, is there, or is there not, such an ink, and if some say say there is, what evidence do they have, other than price, about the effects of long term usage?

What I'd love to see is a fully accredited third party ink manufacturer to bring competition to the market, and thereby bring prices down.
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2011, 08:06:58 PM »
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FWIW, I used MIS inks years ago in an HP I had dedicated to bw. I live at the coast and had never had an ink clog. Surprise. Ink clog. I went back to HP inks and was fine. In defense of MIS this was years ago and I'm certain third party inks have made big improvements since then but the Dmax I got with their ink was unsurpassed at the time. I have never had an ink clog since with ANY printer and currently print on an Epson 3800.
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2011, 01:57:06 PM »
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Whenever there is a debate here and elsewhere about third party inks, the debate never ends with a statement by a reputable user that they use a particular brand which is easily profiled, doesn't clog or prematurely wear heads, and has an excellent proven display life?
I'd say my experience and AI&A's one with InkJetFly inks in my R1800 is very close to that... But I wouldn't pretend to be a reputable user by any mean.  Grin

And to add to previous points, yes the results are very hard to tell apart once proper profiles were made, apart for some gloss differential, and the cost of ink itself is almost divided by 10 (from 1000+/l to 120$/l) which is no neglectable quantity as far as I'm concerned.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2011, 06:16:23 PM »
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I would agree if you are using Epson printers, ink costs are considerable, as I noted in my earlier post. But in terms of your overall print cost per square foot the difference is quite small. The cost of overhead, your salary for making the prints, machine depreciation, and of course media, per square foot is much more, making the difference in ink cost savings per square foot quite small! 

BUT

Do you figure in the time you spend refilling carts, washing your hands, keeping CIS systems running into your ink cost equations? And what do you tell your customers about the life expectancy of their prints? Have you had your 3rd party inks tested? When I was selling my "3rd party" dye inks, I had Wilhelm test my products on several materials. Without testing, your "saving more than just a few bucks" smells like "lies" to me, if you are selling these  prints to customers as "archival"!

Better have  Mark test your 3rd party inks and use that "cost" as another selling point for your prints.
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/news.html

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