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Epson Claria inks, Fujifilm inks and alternatives

Discussion in 'Epson InkJet Printers' started by Ink stained Fingers, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Aug 6, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    we are discussing since quite a long time possible alternatives to the Claria inks, alternative inks which have a comparable fading performance as the genuine Epson inks.
    Claria inks are only available in small cartridges - e.g. T080x for the R265 printer with about 10ml of ink, there are no other printers - A3 or else using those inks in somewhat larger cartridges.
    I'm using the current sales pricing of about 10€/cartridge (for 10ml) as a reference for this discussion, this makes 1000€/litre - a pricing similar to better perfumes...
    Epson and Fujifilm are selling a series of professional printers in their Surelab/Drylab product line, photo printers for photo shops, instant photo prints, printing on roll paper(s). These printers use bigger cartridges starting from 200ml to 700ml which can be tapped and the ink used for refill.
    These inks have shown very good fading performance -Aardenburg testing and in several threads like here
    https://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/which-pigment-ink-for-epson-1500w.9323/page-15#post-90597
    , much better than most other refill inks on the market - at a price.
    A 200ml Fujifilm Dl cartridge with 200ml is sold for 45€ which makes 225€/litre, already down to 25% of the Claria price which is a good deal.
    Epson is selling ink cartridges as well for their Surelab printers - Ultrachrome D6 - starting at 200ml , their pricing is overall close to the Fujifilm pricing on a per litre base.
    There are plenty offers on Ebay U.S. for discounted Fujifilm/Frontier cartridges with 500ml and beyond the expiration date. It's Dye inks, so settling of pigments etc should not be a problem, and those inks are still usable after expiration. There is no fixed pricing, it runs at 50%-70% of the regular prices, and I would have to pay quite some transportation charge and import taxes which may not make such offer a good deal for me in Europe at the end - and it's a set of 500ml cartridges which may just be too much ink for some users.
    I have not seen discounted Epson Surelab cartridges yet.
    There are a few companies offering other alternate inks for the Epson Claria or Fujifilm inks, Inkthrift CL by inkjetmall/Vemont ink
    http://shop.inkjetmall.com/Shop-By-Ink/InkThrift-CL/InkThrift-CL-dye-ink-220ml-Lt-Magenta.html
    $26.93 for 220ml makes 123$/litre, this ink had been tested as well and findings reported in the above thread, you would have to add transportation and sales tax, and you are limited to 220ml bottles which again may be too much as well for some users.
    I tested another ink performing similarly - Solution CL by Falter in Poland,
    https://inkjetsolution.eu/de_DE/p/SOLUTION-CL-CYAN/711
    which is available as 70ml for 8.61€ or 250ml for 29,29€ which makes 123€/117€/litre which is very much preferable for European customers - no duty/tax and lower transport cost.
    Looking to their offers of Solution CL cartridges - e.g. 500ml does not drop the cost any further, those
    have a higher sales price https://inkjetsolution.eu/de_DE/p/S...FRONTIER-DRY-MINILAB-DL410-MAGENTA-500-ML/708
    There is another company in Ireland selling these Solution CL cartridges at a slightly higher price
    http://www.imagecreationsupplies.ie/solution-cl-ink-for-epson-sure-lab-d-700-black-200-ml
    at 144€/litre (ex tax), and this company does not offer this same ink in smaller bottles like Falter does.

    I currently have a Solution CL CMYK inkset on order at Falter, and I'll run the fading test again against the Fujifil, DL inks, it'll take a while, they fade pretty slowly, I'll report findings as they become available.

    I haven't included other inks in this little wrap up like the recently tested InkOwl ink claiming 'UV resistance', it runs at $10.95 for 120ml or 91$/litre, the performance of this ink does not match the price to any degree.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  2. Aug 6, 2017
    te36

    te36 Fan of Printing

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    Thanks a lot for re-summarising.

    It would be great if this could get a sticky pin, so that it wouldn't get lost in history over time and as necessary you could update/amend the first posting so it becomes an FAQ. And there would be fewer repeated newbie questions.
    :hide

    Things i was missing here from prior answers you gave:

    - Tapping fujifilm cartridges is very easy "Made for refillers"
    - Fotonic XG ink - runner up in fade resistance ?!

    Maybe call thread title "Archival alternatives to Claria" given how the focus is not on non-archival alternatives.

    Given how i am mostly interested in lower volume, i've tried to normalize to lowest entry cost to compare.

    Code:
    Non-archival (for ref):
    
                              $/100ml  Minimum
    
      US PC EV6:                  6    57ml
      EU OCP EPson ink:           7   100ml
    
    "Archival":
    
    A US Fujifilm Vividia ebay:  10   500ml/700ml
    A US Fujifilm Vividia NEW:   33   200ml
    A US Epson Claria:          110    11ml
    
    B US InkThrift CL:           13   220ml
    ? EU Solution CL (falter):   14    70ml
    B US Fotonic XG:             19   113ml
    
    D US Inkowl:                 10   120ml
    
    Price per 100ml or smallest unit available if larger.
    Price from indicated region.

    Archival grading:
    A - roughly on par with Claria
    B - known almost as good performance
    C -
    D - Not significantly better than non-archival ?!
    ? - no recent test
     
  3. Aug 7, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    yes, you can put the data into a list or table, with additional parameters, but I didn't want to since a table may create an impression of accuracy which is not there, I'm listing prices with and w/o sales tax, and without consideration of transport charges and import taxes depending on the origin/destination situation for the customer.
    And I wouldn't like to extend such table to include other inks - EV6, etc; I just mentioned InkOwl because of my recent test, but that would make such table uncontrollable.
    The Ebay offers for expired cartridges can be attactive if you are interested to take 500ml per color, and prices and availability vary somewhat, but it is an option.
    And there are quite a lot of offers for Surelab ink compatibles on Aliexpress, Epson seems to be quite well established in that market. If you look up inks for the D700 or D3000 you find a pricing range from about 20$ to 70$/litre + about 20$/litre transport charges + import taxes at your side.
    I tested one of those D3000 inks some time ago, with findings in this thread
    https://www.printerknowledge.com/th...to-1500w-artisan-1430.8482/page-11#post-86635
    Such inks could be compromise for price vs. performance, better than lots of other inks with a similar price but not as good as the DL inks, and those Chinese inks are only available in litre bottles so you need to order a min of 4 - 6 litres.
    And I don't have a clue how those D3000 inks by different companies differ in their performance, whether the wide pricing range makes a difference, just look up 'Surelab D700' or Surelab D3000' on Aliexpress. So the search for the 'best' ink may not be over.......
    There are various comments to the Fotonic XG ink here
    https://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/which-pigment-ink-for-epson-1500w.9323/page-18#post-91866 it is a kind of mixed findings, overall pretty expensive.
    Epson refill users have some choices here for good/archival inks if they don't just go by simple supplier claims of best UV resistance, the situation for Canon refill users using dye inks is more difficult, I'm not aware of any specific 3rd party archival inks except the Fotonic XG (with some critical comments). Could it be that Canon users rather move to Pro10 like pigment ink printers if they need archival type prints ?

    It's not subject of this thread, but don't forget how much the paper can contribute to the fading performance of a particular ink, it's not the ink alone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
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  4. Aug 11, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    I got the Solution CL ink set delivered from Falter and will print and place some patch prints out into the sun (whatever) in the next days, together with some with the Fujifilm CL inks.
    The solution CL ink bottles are marked with 'New formula' whatever that means compared to those I got 2 years ago.
     
  5. Aug 11, 2017
    te36

    te36 Fan of Printing

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    "Whatever" = "Sun in Germany" ? UV index = 1 (
    http://www.wetteronline.de/uv-index)

    Alas, a chip in my refillable cartridge set failed and is on its way to china for replacement, so i have right now just a random pre-filled cartridge ink patch to learn how to do this fading testing.

    South window, UV index = 9.5 at 1PM, low ozone (30 ppb/8hour) . Newspapers paper in the car turns brown in a week.

    Alas, forecasts are not showing total daily dosage of UV. Would need to integrate the daily curve i guess to get a factor to normalize results. http://uv.willyweather.com/ca/alameda-county/santa-clara.html

    With any luck fading is directly correlated to dosage, so results should be fast for my location.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    I don't need to normalize, I can't separate UV and ozone, and I'm not comparing samples from diferent exposure runs but only those from the same cycle. And if there is no sun you'll have to wait a few more days for some results. There are so many ways to make it all more sophisticated.
     
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  7. Aug 11, 2017
    te36

    te36 Fan of Printing

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    Right. Was only trying to theorize how much faster i might be able to see results with my higher UV index.

    Just checked after 24 hours and the print4life (CC paper) already shows browning of the black patch. Kirkland and HP photo paper holding up well. Should be able to scan some result tomorrow. But the cartridges introduced banding, so really very rough check.

    Where i had banding and thus less black, it showed the browning a lot more pronounced. My theory is that the deep colors are over-saturated: It doesn't matter if some eg: 20% parts of the dye have deteriorated, the rest is still enough black no to let light pass. Of course, the result of over-saturation will be different for non-black.

    At least i start to understand why i probably should use at least eg: 90% saturated, per-paper profiled patches. If i remember correctly, you even use color ramps.
     
  8. Aug 12, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    And there are some more hidden variables like temperature and humidity having an effect on the fading speed and which I can't control. And no - I'm not using color ramps but only CMYK saturated colors. It's a secret of the driver how much ink they deliver which adds other variables like the printer type and driver settings, paper selection, quality etc. And Aardenburg with the 30 color X-Rite color set tries to measure both - more and less saturated colors and how they fade with a different speed. So I just try to keep all those variables the same - same driver settings, same weather, same paper etc. There is just one result so far over the last years' tests that the sequence of the rating of inks - from good to bad - remains when tested on different papers or tested again a year later, and that the rating of different papers with the same ink set - from good to bad - remains as well the same after a retest (with differences of temp, humidity, overall UV strength)
     
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  9. Aug 12, 2017
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @Ink stained Fingers, I must apologise for being wrong, you certainly do love your colour testing, because your tests go way beyond the average by a country mile... :hugs
     
  10. Aug 12, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    The sun is doing most of it......
     
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