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Author Topic: New Epson 7900 ink cartridges: which size?  (Read 1519 times)
Yvan Bedard
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« on: May 12, 2013, 04:05:47 PM »
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Hi,

I used my new Epson 7900 yesterday for the first time! WOW! 24x30 prints are great!

I had no problem to install and configure everything, except I still have to fine-tune colors (using the right ICC, the soft-proof on in NX2 is less reliable than soft-proof off; it wasn't the case with my 2880). I still have to experiment.

For now, my question is this: how many 24x36 color landscape photos can one expect from a new set of 350ml ink cartridges? I print on Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper and on Breathing Color Lyve canvas.

In other words, is it worth to buy the set of 700ml cartridges for someone who prints the equivalent (in 24x30 size) of 50-100 prints/year ?

Thanks,
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013, 05:27:30 PM »
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It's a complex calculation.  I don't own a 7900, so I can't say precisely.  But I do know one thing.  The bigger the cart, the cheaper the ink. 

Regarding inks "expiring" : Horse Poo.

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Garnick
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013, 06:53:17 PM »
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Hello Yvan,

Peter is correct, it is a complex and rather illusive calculation.  I've been using a 9900 for a little more that three years, but do to the fact that I've had a number of issues with the printer I'm probably not the person you want to hear from.  However, I'll keep my comments to the particular question at hand.  I recently had the third print head installed and the service tech, with whom I have become quite familiar, noticed that a number of carts were indeed past their "best before" date.  He said that Epson had recently told them to let their warranty customers know that expired carts can eventually cause issues with their print heads on the X900 series printers.  I found that rather suspicious and still don't put much faith in that statement.  The tech had several new carts in his vehicle and gave them to me to replace the expired ones.  I have printed with two 7600 printers for many years and have never had problems with expired carts, and I don't believe that was the cause of the print head failures on my 9900 either.  I have also used the 700ml carts, especially the LK and LLK, since they are used in basically every image you print.  My business has leveled out during that past year+ and I will not be ordering the larger carts any longer.  That way I can turn over the carts more quickly, although I do like to have at least one backup for every colour at all times, in case of a chip failure on a new one.  I have also adopted a routine of agitating the expired carts once every two weeks, which I think might help alleviate any sludge(thickening) of ink.  Again, I am not totally sold on that explanation from Epson, but since I have now run out of warranty I really must take every conceivable precaution at my disposable.  And speaking of warranties, the one suggestion I have for you with your new 7900 is to extend the warranty for as long as you can.  Within the first year of my 9900's life the warranty service calls would have almost paid for the machine.  The warranty extension is not an inexpensive proposition, but in my opinion it is a necessary insurance policy.  Although I am now without that insurance I feel I have enough information ay my disposal to cope with most issues, snd this forum is of course an invaluable resource as well.

I guess I have yet again become somewhat carried away with my response, but I hope it has been useful in some way Yvan.  Considering the volume you have mentioned I personally wouldn't consider the 700ml carts.  The saving in cost could prove to be more costly in the long run, but of course that's just speculation on my part.  If you find that you are going through the 350ml carts quickly you should certainly take inventory and let that influence your decision on this matter.  Also, if you find that you have periods of a week or more without use, be sure to agitate the carts occasionally and run at least one print per day, just to keep the nozzles busy.  Make sure it's an image that includes a good mix of all colours.

Good luck Yvan,
Gary       
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 08:50:22 PM »
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If you use 1.5ml of ink per square foot you won't be far off. That does not take into account the initial fill and cleanings. A 24"x30", or 5 square feet, will use about 7.5ml of total ink.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013, 10:57:54 PM »
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Another option:  There's no reason you couldn't run 350 ml cartridges, and use 700 ml cartridges on the colors that you use the most.
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langier
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 08:29:09 AM »
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I would tend to ditto that. Depending upon your particular pallet of colors, you'll find some carts go quicker than others. Matte black and cyan last forever. Lt everything goes the fastest and green and orange seem to trend toward a long time.

My rule of thumb is about 1.5 ml per square foot. Sometimes more, sometimes less. For figuring out my costs, though I use 2ml since there are nozzle checks and cleanings that need to be factored into the equation.

When I was into a large project, I bought the largest carts I could. Now that the project is done, I use the 350 ml. The previous owner used 150 ml. For me, the 350 is the sweet spot.
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Larry Angier
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Paul2660
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 08:51:09 AM »
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You won't use near the same amount of green and orange. 

I run 150's on my 9900 for green and orange. 

I run 700ML on LLK (you will use more of this than anything else) PK,  Cyan, Magenta and Yellow
I run 350ML on MK, LT Cyan, LT Magenta, and LK

I stayed with the started green and orange for the 1st year and those are 110ML as I remember.   

I have a lot of green in my works not sure what or where the green color goes. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Yvan Bedard
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 09:16:26 PM »
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Well, thank you all very much for your tips and info. I'm new at Luminous Landscape but I feel that it will become my fav place to exchange with other landscape photographers! The speed of replies as well as the quality of the answers are top!

From your answers, and considering my expected volume of printing, the 350ml are the most likely the sweet spot to be for me.

After some time, I'll see if I should invest in larger LLK, LK and photo/matte blacks (as I often change from canvas to photo paper, depending on clients orders).

Regards,

Yvan

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Jim Coda
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 10:20:46 AM »
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Yvan, if you're only going to be printing 50 to 100 prints of 5sf each you'll only be using 500ml to 1000ml of ink per year (assuming 2ml/sf).  If you buy 150ml cartridges you'll start with 1,650ml of ink in the printer.  At the end of the year you'll still have between 650ml and 1,150ml of ink in the printer.  If you get 350s you'll be looking at a lot of expired ink. 

Jim
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Yvan Bedard
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 08:17:52 PM »
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You're right Jim. I thought about the fact that cartridges are good for 2 years (at least, those that came with my printer expire only in 2 years). I also thought about rejecting about 20% of my prints at the beginning (manipulation errors, color matching learning process in spite of having experience with the 2880). Finally, I like long panos and will probably print several of these (ex. 24x72).

Nevertheless, if I redo my calculation taking into account your sound remark, 350ml cartridges will still be too much (and there still remains about 40% of the provided cartridges except LLK which is almost empty). So, with 150ml cartridges, I should be good for almost two years.

So, a better evaluation of my needs would be to start with 150ml cartridges except for a 350ml LLK cartridge (as it is already almost empty and heavily used according to Paul's comment and my own experience with my previous printer).

I'm still unsure about 150 or 350 for photo black and matte black (I often have to change from canvas to paper prints, depending on orders), but I should probably experiment with 150ml with these two cartridges for now and see later.

Well, Jim, I truly appreciate your honest and right to the point remark! You allowed me to keep my money to fullfill other needs.

Regards,
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