Epson expression xp860 using 277 carts good candidate for refillable

Ink stained Fingers

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If fading of dye inks for your printer is your concern you may try the bottled Epson inks for the new Ecotank ET7700/7750 printer, a German computer magazine did a test with those together with the XP-960 Claria inks, and these ET 106 inks came out even slightly better in their exposure test, this slight difference may be related to the inks or slightly different ink levels of these printers. I started as well a test on these inks, and I can confirm that these inks perform as good as the Fujifilm DL inks which are equivalent to the Claria inks. No 3rd party ink I tested - a lot of those - could match the performance of the Fujifilm DL inks although they are advertised as ''UV resistant' or similar. And you are right that the type of paper has an impact onto the fading as well, the PE filmed RC (resin coated) papers typically let the inks perform better than cast coated papers.
 

guho

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@kcgoatboy, @Ink stained Fingers: thanks for your expertise. Besides xp-960, will the bottled Epson inks for Ecotank printers work in the XP-860 using refillable cartridges?
 

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If you plan to print a lot of fotos with the XP-960 (which is what it was built for IMHO), be aware that you will quickly run through cartridges and waste ink pads. I'd guess its about 25 A3 borderless photos per set of inks, and effectively 50% of those cartridges ink will have ended up in the waste ink pad during cartridge changes. And given how colors tend to be used unequally, you could end up changing a cartridge after every 5th A3 photo you print. If you primarily print smaller, you can calculate easily how it would work out for you (2 * A4/letter = 1 * A3).

Not to speak of photos you can toss because you ran out of ink half way through. Which of course will also be less problematic the smaller your average photos are.

As for third party cartridges: ink flow in these printers is difficult, i could only get refillable cartridges to work well when i had their refill hole open, which supposedly you shouldn't do because it also can lead to leaking. Otherwise you easily run into random ink starvation during a print, especially at letter/A4 or larger. Printing slower at highest quality also helps to avoid ink starvation. But its definitely a science understanding the parameters to get good results with refillable cartridges. And depends of course also on the ink/viscosity you use.

After testing, i ended up with an XP-900 that i'll probably just use for office type prints with just one-time third party cartridges to avoid all the refill hassles. Especially because anything newer than XP-860 (XP-900 is 'newer') has cartridges with more difficult chips (fewer third party options and less likely to work). For photo prints i got an L1800 now to avoid all the above issues.

You may also want to look at Epson ET-7750 is you don't care for money or can justify it through your use. Or maybe wait and hope the prices will come down.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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the XP-860 uses light inks as well, you would have to dilute the inks of the ET-7700. It's all dye inks, they'll work, but it is not just the inks creating problems sometimes, it's the refill cartridges in lots of cased impeding the ink flow. The ET-7700 is an A4 printer like the XP-860, with 4 CMYK dye inks and an additional pigment black, it does not use light inks. So if you plan to print some volkume of photos you may be better of with an ink tank model, or you look to models like the L810 or L850 using as well an inkset with 6 inks - incl light inks, the ET-7700 inks would work as well on such a model, with your own mix of light inks. It all depends on your requirements for such a printer, combo with a scanner or not, print volume and other potential options like double sided printing (on normal paper).
The L800 inks won't last as long as the ET-7700 inks, Epson marketing is very careful to disguise the differences - prints with the ET7700 will last 300 years in an album, the same for prints with Claria inks - XP-960 and alike - and prints with an L810 will last for generations to come.......so it's up to you to detect the differences......
 

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ISF: Right.

I was hoping i could wait out Epsons EcoTank product evolution to get a 5 color versions of the ET-77x0 ink without having to mix it myself, but it seems as if Epsons new 5 color pitch is not CMYlClM but CMY+Red+Grey as seen in the XP-15000. Will be interesting to see tests of that printer (color gammut & gray shades). No bottled ink version of that yet though either.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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oh well, the age old R800 already came with red and blue inks, and Epson is running such ink set now on a P400 as the only A3 model. Just download and install the drivers of the ET-7700 and XP-15000 and compare the resp. icc-profiles for the same paper with a gamut viewer like Gamutvision, that should tell you whether you gain anything and how much from the red ink
 
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te36

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Ink stained Fingers

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a look to the icc-profiles installed with the resp. drivers of these models would indicate by comparison to another photo printer whether and how much the red ink expands the gamut in that range. I checked that on the R800, running that printer with Epson inks and alternatively a mix of yellow and magenta for the red ink - there was some small gain in the gamut visible but not much, so I rather mixed red and blue from yellow and magenta and magenta and cyan. It may be different now with newer generations of inks - comparing the gamut of icc-files makes it easy.
 

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I downloaded the ET-7700 and XP-15000 drivers and compared the gamuts of the icc-profiles for the Epson Ultra-Glossy paper

Gamuts are frequently shown in the Lab color space , and at a luminance of 50%,
Gamut-50.jpg

the green line is the gamut of the ET-7700 and the red line the XP-15000 gamut, there is a
slight extension in the red +a+b area, most likely due to the presence of the additional red ink, I don't think that this difference is visible in actual prints, if at all only with test prints exactly using these red saturated colors, and in direct comparison.
But there is another interesting detail - the gamut of the XP-15000 is wider in the green -a+b area,
Epson is not advertising this at all, this can either be caused by a different dye ink recipe or different/optimized parameters in the printer driver/firmware to get more saturation out of a
yellow-cyan mix of inks. And this gain is at least as wide as the gain from the red ink.
Looking to darker print areas - at a low luminance of L=15% I'm getting this
Gamut-15.jpg

The gain from the red ink for darker saturated colors becomes more apparent, and this would
probably be visible in prints in direct comparison.
There is a different picture at lighter colors - at L=75%
Gamut-75.jpg


There is no difference anymore in the lighter red-orange range , claimed improvements for
skin colors etc are at least questionable .
But the gain is much stronger on the green side of the gamut, this is significant because the
gamut improvement in the green range already starts at medium brightness levels and goes up to the top, to the white point of the paper.
The gamut is not the only factor defining a good print output, (non)-visibility of variations in monochrome areas, sharpness , dithering of edges and more are other secrets of the internal driver and firmware properties, but that all can only be judged in actual tests
 
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kcgoatboy

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The L800 inks won't last as long as the ET-7700 inks, Epson marketing is very careful to disguise the differences - prints with the ET7700 will last 300 years in an album, the same for prints with Claria inks - XP-960 and alike - and prints with an L810 will last for generations to come.......so it's up to you to detect the differences......

I decided to take a shot in the dark and hope for a Epson employee to be straight for once. I asked does the 7750 use Claria HD ink and how long will prints last out in the open (not in album) in-doors. Here is their response.

Dear Kevin,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your Epson ET-7750.

Please note: The ET-7750 uses it's own ink formula. It will last up to 100 years.

We take your satisfaction seriously and hope that we have helped resolve your issue. If you receive a survey from us, we would greatly appreciate if you could take a few minutes to provide us with feedback about your support experience. Your ratings and comments are extremely important to us.

If this did not resolve your issue, please reply to this email for further assistance. If you have a different support issue, submit a request via our U.S. or Canada Support Site and we will respond in a timely manner.

Thank you again for contacting Epson.
 
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