Epson XP-15000: how to mix dye ink with clear ink base to obtain red and grey using CMYK

pharmacist

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Yesterday evening I installed my aliexpress refillable cartridges I ordered for my Epson XP-15000 printer. There are a lot of offers, but most of them use ARC (auto reset chips), which I do not like due to the problem it is not possible to reset the chips at will when several cartridges are almost empty and you cannot prevent the dreaded casacading ink level fall after installing the cartridges and all cartridges are purged to prime the print head. I ordered resettable cartridges which included a USB powered resetter so the chips can be reset at any moment at will.

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Since I have quite a lot of Fujifilm labs fade resistant ink (similar to Epson Claria HD ink) I tried to mix magenta and yellow to approximate a red that is almost the same like the original Epson Claria HD red ink and also mixing PB with clear ink down to obtain grey. These are the most optimal formulae I could obtain:

Red: 80 parts of magenta + 20 parts of yellow
grey: 15 parts of photo black + 85 parts of clear ink base

After installing the cartridges I run a nozzle check and compared it to my previous nozzle check print with original Epson Claria HD ink:

IMG_20220909_071006.jpg


I use a micro scale to weigh the amount of inks and/or clear ink base in a glass container and aspirate with a syringe and put it into the cartridges: 1.50g PB +8.50g clear ink base to obtain grey and 8.00g magenta + 2.00g yellow to make red. As you can see by the hue and very similar colour intensity the mix ratio's are pretty good (picture above).

So it is possible to use only CMYK dye ink and a clear ink base to obtain all the six colours used in the Epson XP-15000 printer. I tried many combination and I found the above ratio's of inks/clear ink base is the best I can get to mimic the original red and grey inks. I will print some Colormunki profiles later on to see how good the result is, especially comparing the different colour patches in hue and intensity.

The formula of my clear ink base is as follows and works well with piezo print heads: accurate printing no pooling on photo paper and normal paper and quick drying:

propylene glycol 5 gram
alcohol 96% (denaturated) 30 gram
isopropanol 15 gram
distillled water up to 100 gram

For making LM/LC: 30 parts of M/C mixed with 70 parts of CIB (Clear Ink Base)
For making GY: 15 parts of PB + 85 parts of CIB (LG: 5 parts of PB + 95 parts of CIB ???)
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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I will print some Colormunki profiles later on to see how good the result is, especially comparing the different colour patches in hue and intensity.
It'll be interesting how the gamuts will look - do you have the patch sheets as well available printed with the OEM inks ?
 

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Very interesting.

I wish I could make GY for Canon printers too by diluting BK with a clear ink base.
Actually I found a formula based mainly on G(reen) and B(lue).
 

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It'll be interesting how the gamuts will look - do you have the patch sheets as well available printed with the OEM inks ?
The first thing I did was printing out my Colormunki profiles on several types of paper to have it compared with this Fujilabs dye ink mix. I already made my first profile with this ink mix and will continue monday with comparing. My first impression is the patches are astonishing similar, almost no difference in hue and density, even the red and gray patches.
 

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The first thing I did was printing out my Colormunki profiles on several types of paper to have it compared with this Fujilabs dye ink mix. I already made my first profile with this ink mix and will continue monday with comparing. My first impression is the patches are astonishing similar, almost no difference in hue and density, even the red and gray patches.
It could very well be that the OEM red ink is just a mix of their magenta and yellow inks. Maybe Epson's goal here is not to extend the color gamut, but to provide "smoother" prints (less dot visibility) in orange and red tonal areas.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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It could very well be that the OEM red ink is just a mix of their magenta and yellow inks.
I have seen similar effects with green, blue, red, orange inks over the past, they didn't really expand the gamut to a level that I would consider it as a benefit, and I continued to use mixed inks. It may make sense in some cases -e.g. when a printer manufacturer claims 99% coverage of Pantone colors instead of 98% but I don't need that. And it's as always - the paper plays an important role when measuring the gamut. and judging the overall color reproduction - ink+paper together

"smoother" prints (less dot visibility)
As soon as 'dot visibility' gets mentioned additional parameters like droplet size or the dot gain/ink spread of a paper/coating needs to be assessed as well. And visibility of 'smoother tonal changes' are limited by the eye - not to discern color differences below a DeltaE level of about 1 (under good lab light conditions)
 
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pharmacist

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Very interesting.

I wish I could make GY for Canon printers too by diluting BK with a clear ink base.
Actually I found a formula based mainly on G(reen) and B(lue).
You can give it a try with my formula and dilute dye Canon PB with it and see if it works. I presume it is for a Canon Pro-100s ? I would not recommend it for pigment ink, since most pigment inks are suspended by ionic surfactants and/or kept at a optimal pH by which the charged pigment particles will float freely in the suspension. Changes into the ionic strength or pH can cause the pigment particles to coagulate and clump together causing precipitation.
 

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So I made two profiles for the Netbit Glossy 300 gsm (Aldi) paper. Could someone have a look at the gamut of these two profiles ?
 

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Ink stained Fingers

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Well, the profiles overall look pretty similar, they are very similar in most of the luminance range from white to the middle level of L=50 down to L=20, the Claria gamut is slightly larger at darker levels

Gamut L=50.jpg
Gamut L=12.jpg

The yellow line defines the gamut with the Claria inks, the magenta line with the Fujifilm inks, the dark level is about L=4 and very similar again.

You may get a 3D view with iccview.de or the old Gamutvision software.
 

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I never thought it could be so close. You can clearly see the slight advantage of the Claria Red ink, extending the gamut in the pure red range a bit, but not that much you can say: whow ! I wil try some cross prints: printing on Netbit paper with the Fujifilm Drylabs ink dye mix using the profile made for the original Epson Claria HD photographic ink with dedicated gray and red inks. See if these two interchangeable in terms of same colour reproducing capabilities if those two profiles are so close.
 
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