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Author Topic: Color Cone inks  (Read 1702 times)
sergio
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« on: March 03, 2013, 08:40:50 AM »
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I print using an Epson 7600 UC printer, a real workhorse, still going steady and strong. I use the Epson Ultrachrome inks. I use Windows version of Imageprint 6.5 for excellent B&W, but it is hooked to a win machine and I use macs. My workflow is a pain between platforms, and I'm not so happy with IP's interface clunkyness, their support has always being very overpriced, as is the software. On the good side image quality is top notch. I am not willing to upgrade for this old printer. Here come the questions:

1) If I use Cone color inks, will I be able to have the same permanence and IQ, and use QTR to print straight from my mac? I have never been able to print successfully from the Epson driver. I'm not even sure it's still supported.

2) If the answer to the above is no, will I be able then to print via my win machine (sigh), using imageprint with cone color inks? I like Cone ink system from what I read, and it can help me keep ink costs down a bit.

Thanks.
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MHMG
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 09:43:55 AM »
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Just to clarify since you are talking about B&W printing, are you referring to the full color ink set from Vermont Photo (i.e., ConeColor), or are you considering switching to some of the Cone Piezography dedicated B&W ink sets?
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KeithR
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 02:26:27 PM »
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There is no reason why you can't print B&W with the ConeColor inkset using QTR. Using Cone inks is no different than OEM inks. You will have to (I think the term is) "linerize" the printer to find the ink densities of the K, LK, & LLK inks. Since QTR needs a greyscale(gamma 2.2) file, no color inks are used to "linerize" the printer or print the file. The procedure is not hard to do nor that intensive and the instructions are in the QTR "manual" on line. I have 2 printers, one using a custom ConeColor inkset(the LK & LLK inks are Selenium shades-for a more neutral black) and the 2nd printer is a split tone (warm neutral/selenium)Cone Piezography inkset.
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sergio
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 06:53:54 PM »
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Actually I'm figuring out what to do with this printer. In the time being I decided to keep it chugging along with color and B&W. If I can get a new one, then I'll probably switch it to Piezo. According to what I understand from the Cone website is that all I have to do is plug a Cone cart instead of the epson I'm replacing. I would like to know some user opinions/reviews about this ink. If it has good longevity and same IQ as the epsons? If I can print straight from my mac, with the same quality as IP it would be great fro me. I have noticed with this dual platform workflow I print less because its a hassle to do, the same as having great cameras with crappy viewfinders. They are not pleasurable, if that's a word.
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MHMG
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 07:53:01 PM »
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...If it has good longevity and same IQ as the epsons? If I can print straight from my mac, with the same quality as IP it would be great fro me...

The ConeColor ink has never been through an independent light fade test, AFAIK, so there's no information on lightfastness at present except for anecdotal stories/opinions you will hear in various forums contributed by third party ink users.  The digital printing era is still young, so any anecdotal information that states no observed fading may be promising but doesn't really tell us yet whether the ink meets or exceeds OEM ink on durability merits because the real world time frame hasn't been long enough.

That said, I recently received a couple of samples printed with ConeColor ink on two different RC Glossy/luster papers.  Both samples have just entered the Aardenburg standard light fade testing protocol, so we will soon have some comparative laboratory results on light fastness, but with only two media in test so far, the sample size is probably too small to be able to definitively answer the general question on longevity versus the OEM inks unless the results are way off the normal mark. We shall see soon enough.

As for color gamut, this can be easily determined and quantified.  I have not personally used the ConeColor inks, but I've closely examined Epson K3VM versus ConeColor printed samples on Epson Premium Glossy paper, both ink sets printed on the same batch of paper. They compare very closely with each other with respect to colorfulness, Dmax, degree of "bronzing", and differential gloss, so IMHO, the initial image quality of the ConeColor ink set is likely to satisfy anyone, even die-hard advocates of OEM inks.  As for printer reliability with ConeColor ink, again I read many good reports on various forums from endusers and this is reassuring, but again this information doesn't stem from head-to-head comparative testing to truly answer that question. Bottom line: using third party ink always involves various risks compared to OEM, but for many people looking to save some money or looking to go down a road less traveled for artistic reasons, they have concluded it is worth the risk.

best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 08:09:55 PM by MHMG » Logged
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