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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Continuous ink systems for printers...Does anyone use one? If so was it effective? What problems showed up? Would you recommend them?...
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Old 26-06-2013, 11:28   #1 (permalink)
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Continuous ink systems for printers

Does anyone use one? If so was it effective? What problems showed up? Would you recommend them?
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Old 26-06-2013, 11:55   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Continuous ink systems for printers

I don't use them as I don't do enough printing to justify it. There are several systems around but the range of supported printers is small.

I've heard good things about Permajet who do excellent papers and a continuous ink system - and they offer free custom profiles too!!
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Old 26-06-2013, 16:11   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Continuous ink systems for printers

Few people calculate the relative costs but as Lyson claimed that it would be cheaper for me (spoke to them at Focus on Imaging), I decided to investigate. It is critical to know how much ink you use per year but as I bought my inks from Amazon, I had a clear record of the quantity and cost over the years. I print up to 70 near A3 sized prints per year. This requires two complete sets of 11ml colour cartridges plus 1 Photo Black and 2 Matt Black per year.

The calculations showed that refillable cartridges works out about half the cost over 6 years but if the printer failed after 2 years, you could lose 250 if you are stuck with large volumes of unused ink. It is not until the 4th year that refillable becomes cheaper. CIS pays back a little earlier and cost 60% over 6 years. However, the risk of problems are greater and the Black Changeover appears to be a real problem. There was also some serious issues with some of the CIS inks blocking heads which was also worrying. At the time, my printer was almost 3 years old so it was too much of a risk that it would fail before I reached the just over 4 year break even point.

Another alternative for the Epson R2880 is to buy the A2 version R3880 because the cartridges are much larger and volume ink costs lower. Again it depends on how much you use and for me, it only just breaks even in the 6th year.

So if you print a lot more than me CIS may well be worth serious consideration and if you print less than me it is unlikely to help you. It was marginal for me but I am happy with the decision I took particularly as I have had very consistent results using Epson ink and none of the problems that some CIS users report.
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Old 26-06-2013, 16:37   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Continuous ink systems for printers

Thanks for the input guys
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Old 30-07-2013, 13:14   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Continuous ink systems for printers

Hi Jake, I have just joined pixalo so am a little late replying. I have had Epson printers R2880 and R2400 The R2400 I used with Lyson small Gamut monochrome inks with a CIS found it good as I was printing out quite a few Mono prints, that was until I didn't use it for maybe 6 months or more and found the heads blocked up so dumped it as no matter how much cleaning I did it still wouldn't unblock. The R2880 though I used with a CIS system but the problem I had was that every time I needed to use it I had to perform a head clean, sometimes 4 or 5 times! not good for the stress and as I don't have a dog it was the partner who was getting the brunt! (her words not mine). Again I don't or didn't use the printer week in week out, maybe a couple of times a month. Finally the heads gave up and wouldn't work at all, so phoned Epson and managed to get a 'refurbed' one for 199. I then decided to dump the CIS and spend out a little more (joke) on original inks, I don't have a problem at all now with heads blocking and sometimes I don't use the printer for a month, it is now used the majority of the time for creating greetings cards for family occasions although do print pictures out for framing.
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Old 30-07-2013, 18:31   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Continuous ink systems for printers

I have had two A3 Epson printers and a Canon A4 printer over the last 12 years, my present (3rd A3) printer a Epson R2400 is the best I have ever had! however all my old printers which I used third party inks with packed up very short of their working lives! the heads were blocked and could not be cleared.... lesson learnt! I only use Epson Inks in my present Epson printer......... end of story.......
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