Does anyone use third party archival inks for the epson 820? If so which do you use, and how do you like them.
My wife's scrapbooking hobby is the limiting factor on my getting a new printer. I would like to shoot slide film, but she likes to scrapbook and put prints into albums nice and creatively. Oil and water combination here. I could shoot slides and pay the high printing costs of making prints from slides, or I could continue on with some of the better print films out there for her sake.
I was thinking as an even better option I could get a nice film scanner, and a photo printer for reprints for her, and to make prints from slides. On my budget, a 2700dpi scanner and a $150 printer are my limits. However, the Epson 820 is the best quality in this range, but the fading issues with dye inks won't make my wife too happy when she had to rip apart her scrapbook pages to replace the prints in 3-5 yrs, or that by the time the kids get old enogh to look at them and appreciate them, they have all faded considerably.
Archival inks seem to be an alternative if they fair well. If not, I think I will be continuing my quest for a quality film developer/printer in my area, and spending the high dollars ($0.70-$0.99 per 4x6 print from slides) for prints from slides to please my wife, while I wait for a lower cost archival inkjet printer to come to market. The place I use now uses Fuji Crystal Archive paper (Sam's Club) and the 1hr photo place in town does nice slide reprints and enlargements on their Fuji Frontier machine.
#1. "The 820 uses dye-based inks..." | In response to Reply # 0RRowlett Charter MemberSun 02-Jun-02 05:34 PM
...so it is not "archival" quality. But printed on quality paper, especially the heavyweight matte paper, and stored in protector sheets, these prints should last a long time, certainly competitive with traditional photo chemistry. I have many HW matte prints hanging framed on my walls (2 years now) using the dye-based Epson inks, and in my research lab at work (a horrible atmospheric setting) I have had several naked prints sitting in my office for over a year with no obvious problems.
I am using a digital and film camera+scanner combination to document our extensive flower gardens for my spouse, who keeps a scrapbook of the progress of our plantings. I am doing this with an Epson 1280 printer on HW matte paper, which we are storing in plastic protector sheets. I'm not terribly worried about print fading under these conditions, and I've got everything backed up on CD-ROM for easy reprinting at any time if the need arises.
You could go with an affordable 4-color archival ink Epson printer (with poorer print quality) or wait for the new wide-carriage 7-color Epson printer that uses archival inks (quite pricey compared to your 820) if you insist on archival inks.
Or, you could just shoot print film which is simple and doesn't require any investment of your time(been there, done that). I gave up on print film for garden documentation because of the frustration with the color correction lottery at the processing lab. When blue flowers come out purple there's a problem...it's much, much easier for me to do the color corrections myself in the digital darkroom.
#2. "RE: Archival Inks for the Epson 820?" | In response to Reply # 0BJNicholls Charter MemberMon 03-Jun-02 01:53 AM
You have some issues to deal with:
First, there's the chipped cartridge. You'll need a means to reprogram your cartriges in most cases since third party pigment inks typically come as refills. The only chipped aftermarket ink cartridges I know of are dye-based replacements that perform just like Epson's standard inks.
Second, six color pigment inks have issues with metamerism (color shift under various light colors for viewing), plugging printheads, and smaller color gamut. You'll also need to color profile (or find profiles) for your inks with the papers you use. The standard six color profiles for Epson paper won't be any good with the pigment inks. Setting up and maintaining a converted pigment printer will require a lot of work on your part.
Third, pigment inks are pricey and you'll likely have a lot of waste trying to get workable color. If you're doing a lot of printing, this might be okay, but don't get into false economies by only looking at the cost of the printer.
Epson will eventually have a 7-color pigment printer in a letter size, lower cost unit. In the meantime, I'd suggest you stick with the Crystal Archive for scrapbooking and go ahead and get your 820 anyway so you can get up to speed on making prints and figuring out what papers you like best. Heavyweight Matte protected from air will give you prints with many years longevity.
#3. "RE: Archival Inks for the Epson 820?" | In response to Reply # 2Tony B Registered since 31st Mar 2002Mon 03-Jun-02 05:41 PM
Thanks for the advice... all good points as usual.
I don't think I want to spend the time and or money on profiling the expensive archival inks, and end up with lesser quality prints to show for it. I hadn't thought of that.
I think I will do as you suggested and stick with the Fuji Crystal Archive prints for now, make any reprints from slides for my wife as needed, and stick to shooting more print film for the time being. As technology progresses, I can eventually move to one of the lower cost 7 color archival ink printer units when Epson decides to release them. I guess I am in no extreme rush to be able to print archival reprints for my wife... If I were, I would obviously have to make room in my budget for the archival ink printers out now... As this is more of a convinience and an attempt at cost savings, I will wait the technology out, as I agree, the cost savings are probably not going to be there once you factor in the profiling, and more expensive inks..
To top it off, my old HP Deskjet 694C just ran out of black ink, and some of the colored ink yesterday, as it only prints blue now.. . For the close to $60 it would cost me for new cartridges (I can't buy 3rd party because I've tried, and this printer is picky about only getting along with HP cartridges), I can add another $30 and pick up an Epson 820 instead. I'll get some practice, and still hopefully be able to mount some nice matte finish prints under glass that should keep for a while, or make 4x6's to keep in photo sleeves if needed...
Darn my wife and her expensive hobbies!