Best practices on first-time Pro-100S ink management

KasperDM

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Hello everyone,

I've reading a lot of your posts recently, so much wonderful information and experiences, a pleasure to lose oneself in.

I thought it'd might be a good idea to post this question since it might to an interesting overview of different perspectives on ink management.

Two months ago, I got myself a refurbished Pro-100s. Now, after some printing (20 A4, glossy, full colour), the first tanks are getting empty, so I've been wondering what my best next step would be.

I've been looking at octo-ink's, ink-tec's and PC's products, and I'm not looking into advice which would be best, as I greatly respect the work of the different people behind these products.
I'm more interested in your views on how to proceed: do I buy a starter kit? Do I buy just the first one that's emptying out (Grey, in my case), in order to eventually have a second OEM cart set?
How did you all start this part of the life of your printer?
Would love to read of your insights and experiences.

Best, and thanks in advance,
Kasper
 

stratman

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There are two major branch points in your scenario.

  1. How important is color fidelity, at least initially? Can you wait till the original ink is slowly used up or do you mind some mixing of original ink and new aftermarket ink?
  2. Will you be selling prints or concerned about longevity/fading?

For #1, if color fidelity is important then you will want to flush and fill the cartridges - all of them - and begin using the new aftermarket ink in all cartridges at the same time. A custom ICC Printer Profile may improve color accuracy if you are not satisfied with the results using Canon's ICC profile.

Otherwise, you can refill and reset cartridges by one of several methods depending on your preference. Eventually, any residual original ink will become insignificant, but you may notice altered color fidelity for a couple refills. If it bothers you then flush the cartridges and then refill with the aftermarket ink.

You are going to lose some ink in purges every time you replace a cartridge. Some people will replace all cartridges when one or more re low using a second set of pre-filled cartridges. Then, you can refill and reset all cartridges when you want. By replacing all cartridges at the same time you cut down on new cartridge ink purging that purges ink from all cartridges.

Alternately, you can refill just the low cartridges as needed, including using only one copy of cartridges instead of exchanging with a second set already filled and ready to go. Since you are using less expensive ink than OEM, the cost doesn't hurt too much either way.

A caveat to consider is that all the "new" cartridge replacement purges eventually fill up your waste ink pads and will need a cleaning and waste ink counter reset -- if possible. (Need to be able to enter Service Mode)

I recommend you buy all the colors in a smaller size - 4 oz or 8 oz - until you figure out how much ink you will use in a year. Also, you will get to know which colors you use more frequently and then increase the volume of bulk ink to purchase. It seems the optimal period of time to use up a bottle of ink is within 2 years. You'll hear from others - myself and The Hat for instance - that use ink of several years age. Regardless, best to buy bulk ink to last up to 2 years, maybe even for 1 year only. Fresh is best!

You will also want a chip resetter, squeeze bottles with Luer Lock needles and caps, and use only Canon OEM cartridges if possible. Consider that at least some of the aftermarket sellers you mention sell bulk in in bottles that will allow for a Luer Lock cap/needle to be used directly. In the past, you had to purchase different squeeze bottles to use Luer Lock needles. If you get a secondhand set of Canon OEM cartridges then flush them before refill, unless you bought them new or they were flushed already when you bought them.


If #2 is a consideration then use of OEM ink exclusively is best.
 

KasperDM

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There are two major branch points in your scenario.

  1. How important is color fidelity, at least initially? Can you wait till the original ink is slowly used up or do you mind some mixing of original ink and new aftermarket ink?
  2. Will you be selling prints or concerned about longevity/fading?
{...}
Hello Stratman,

Thank you very much for your insightful analysis. I for instance did not know the difference between refill and OEM ink on the level of fading is so big. This is something I have to think about carefully. In that respect it might for instance be more interesting to fix up my MG5325 (now in B200-coma) for everyday prints and keep the Pro-100S exclusively for prints which are destined to be sold/archived. This will of course impact the cost of ink for the big printer in a good way, as it will consume less ink so I might survive on an OEM diet for a longer time.

However I look at it, I will have to come to terms that quality prints remain an investment.

Will give the other information you so kindly shared more thought.

Kasper
 

stratman

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other information
One other forum-consensus recommendation concerning refilling... refill the cartridge no later than when it is marked Low, well before the cartridge is marked Empty. This is when the ink in the spongeless side is empty but the sponged side is still ~ full. The reasoning behind this is if the cartridge is relying on only ink in the sponge, then the ink level drops in the sponge an exposes the sponge to air. This exposure to air causes drying of ink in/on the sponge which will eventually cause ink starvation after several refill cycles. To avoid this issue, refill the cartridge at or before marked Low when the ink level in the sponge is still "full".


Edit:
 

websnail

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Can't really add much more to @stratman 's long and well laid out suggestions...

What I can include though is a few specific bits of information regarding the OctoInkjet options (my company so biased? Moi? *tries to look innocent* ;))

- Re-manufactured Cartridges are there as an option to do one, two or all three of the following:
1. Suck it and see samples without investing in a refill kit... You just install, same as normal cartridges and print a few images that you feel will best demonstrate/test/kick-the-wheels.

2. Ready to go, refill cartridges that do not contain any old/OEM inks so you can profile straight out of the box if you wish to.

3. An extra set of cartridges so you can do the whole-set-swap approach to refilling (with two sets [or more] of cartridges) to reduce the amount of waste generated from cartridge changes.


Everything else is down to budget and intended usage.
- Starter (low ink volume) bundles make sense if your immediate cashflow is tight or if you don't expect to print much over a year (eg: 3 sets of cartridges usage).
- Standard bundles are a much more economical option but only make sense if your usage is over that suggested in comment above.

As to fading... Definitely take that into account. We know our version 2 inks will still fade when subjected to the harshest of conditions compared to OEM. If you intend to sell prints or display in direct sunlight then OEM all the way... but third part inks do offer some great cost efficient alternatives if you're archiving or protecting your prints to a sensible degree.

Good luck with your search...
 

The Hat

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Here’s my 5 shillings worth..

When it comes to costs, you’re on a sliding down hill slop once you own an Inkjet printer, so no matter which way you choose to jump, it’s going to cost you something, even choosing to print very little can be as costly as printing most days.

If you decide to fill a set of OEM carts with Octoinks for everyday use, you can very quickly swap back to OEM ink carts for your paying customers, but the one cost nobody has mentioned so far, is the Photo Paper ?.

If you want and need Archival prints then it’s imperative to use both OEM inks and paper together, and you’ll soon find that the paper is as expensive as the OEM inks, as I said there is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to inkjet printers.

P.S. Lidl runs some great cheap A4 photo paper offers several times a year… (Recommended).. :thumbsup
 

Artur5

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You guys should know by now what I think of Lidl photo papers, specially to be used with non OEM dye inks. :he

Totally “unrecommended” - Thumbs down all the way - Wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole - Run away as if it were the bourbonic plague - etc ... etc...

Sorry @The Hat. This is one of the rather rare instances where I totally disagree with you.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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You guys should know by now what I think of Lidl photo papers, specially to be used with non OEM dye inks.
Oh well - yes , we just couldn't really confirm/clarify to this point if you are referring to the same paper I am - the Sihl Quickdry 769 which got distributed at a budget price by Aldi Nord over serveral years in several EU countries. I did some fading tests some time ago - printing black patches with some mix of no-name black inks on 9 different glossy papers - HP, Canon, Aldi/Sihl and alike, printing with the same ink and placing all these patches into the environment - sun/ozone at the same time.
Please have a look to
www.printerknowledge.com/threads/how-does-the-choice-of-a-glossy-paper-influence-the-fading-of-dye-inks.12326/post-106749
and my posting #6 there, and with the list of the papers in this test in posting #2. Listed in the tables are luminance changes of the RGB and totals luminance channels - ranging from 0-255 in a 8 bit range measured via histograms of scanned images. The Aldi papers #8 and #9 are definitely not 5x worse than the other papers but are as good or bad as most of the other ones except the cheap castcoated Labelheaven Paper making a big difference.
I did several more of such tests over several years before this test, and the Sihl paper in question never came out as the worst paper of the experiment.
I think we should put this issue to bed since we cannot retrieve more details/results of the tests you did in this respect.
 
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The Hat

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Sorry @The Hat. This is one of the rather rare instances where I totally disagree with you.
That’s ok @Artur5, I understand you point of view, but disagreeing with me doesn’t make the paper bad, it just means you couldn’t get it to work for you… ;)
 

Artur5

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Well, I don’t think that this paper has a special grudge against me, but it didn’t work at all with the third party inks used in my Pro9000, while other Epson and Ilford papers performed much better with the same inks. There’s a chance that it would work acceptably with other brands of dye or pigment inks, but I’m not betting a cent on it.

Take into account also that this Office Inkjet from Lidl has been coated with a huge amount of OBAs, to make it look ‘whiter than white’. Most glossy papers contain optical brighteners as well, even Canon Platinum, but if those OBAs are of dubious quality they degrade with time and whites turn into a dirty yellowish tone, This is apparent not only with cheap dye inks but also with pigments, because it’s not the ink fading, it’s the paper itself altering the image.

You all have been dutifully warned...:D
 
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