Inks for Canon Pixma PGI-x25, CGI-x26 cartridges

mikling

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If one uses the IS 1020 pigment ink in the aftermarket cartridges, the sponge/ink combination is not proper. I carry both 1020 and 1128 Black Text pigment ink. 1128 will interface better with the aftermarket sponges and also with newer OEM carts. Sponges used in the aftermarket cartridges are not ideal for pigment ink especially the 1020...and likely other pigment ink that are similar..possibly the one used.

Thus based on my experience on tests performed by myself Precision Colors, it appears that you might have used ink similar to the 1020 pigment whose lineage is older. In addition to this, the other differences between the 1020 and 1128 are in particle size. 1128 is better suited for printing on Color Lok papers which has a denser/finer surface structure.1128 smaller particles allow pigment to enter the small pores and resist rub off with high lighter pens. However, when 1128 is used on older type copy papers or lower grade copy papers, because the particles are smaller, it tends to dive in too deep and get absorbed too deeply and its blackness is compromised. The older 1020 will tend to stay closer to the surface and thus appear darker. However 1020 on newer Color Lok papers will tend to smudge when a high lighter pen is used on it because its larger particle size allows more pigment to remain exposed.

Since more and more papers are using the Color Lok process or it appears to be very common today, and the 1128 performs well where the 1020 was previously used, I will tend to give the nod to the 1128 for more universal use today on even older Thermal head text printers.
 

ludens

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Peter,

I checked the purge unit a moment ago. This is how the pads looked before testing. Is this amount of ink spills normal, or could it be a problem?

BeforePuddleTest.jpg


Then I dripped some purified water on the pads, and let it stand for several minutes. There doesn't seem to be any leak. Then I ran a cleaning cycle. The water disappeared completely, and the sponges turned quite a bit whiter when washed by all that water, and showed lines of ink where the nozzles are. So all seems to be well with the purge unit.

I made two more photos, of the water puddles and of the unit after the cleaning cycle, but for some reason can't get them to show up in this post! When I try to link them, just nothing happens. All three photos are on http://ludens.cl/images.

Buying an OEM cartridge is pretty far down on my list on would-do things. It's an expensive test! What I can do instead is try the original cartridge, which still has some ink left. I think the magenta was the first to run out, and then I changed all five cartridges for the non-OEM ones. But it's two years old, so the ink might have settled. At least I stored them with good sealing against drying out.

Looks like I should ask at OctoInk.

Manfred
 

ludens

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Mikling,

what you say makes a lot of sense.

Thus based on my experience on tests performed by myself Precision Colors, it appears that you might have used ink similar to the 1020 pigment whose lineage is older.

That's what I suspect too. Indeed the pigment of this ink seems to stay pretty close to the surface of the paper. Seen with the naked eye, it looks closer to laserjet toner than to dye ink. When looked at through the microscope, though, I can see that it does soak into the paper somewhat.

The paper I use is the plain universal type, that's sold everywhere for laser printers, inkjets or copy machines alike. I have used several brands. All inks tend to produce slightly ragged edges with this paper, due to flowing along the paper fibers. With the pigment ink I used the effect is small enough that with the naked eye it's invisible, so it produces good print quality, while with the dye ink used in the pigment ink cartridge the effect becomes large, causing poor print quality. Also that pigment ink can barely be seen on the backside of the paper, while the dye ink bleeds through so much that it doesn't allow double sided printing, in the normal mode. Maybe this bit of information gives you some reference as to how these inks compare to yours.

Can I order a bottle of that 1128 ink from you? I tried, the day before joining this forum, but was stopped in my tracks by your checkout system not offering Chile or South America as destination.

Manfred
 

ludens

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The images in my post above don't seem to work at all! I forgot that my web server has hotlink protection enabled... duh!

I made a minimal web page with the images. That one works, at least for me:

http://ludens.cl/temp/canonprinter.html


Manfred
 

PeterBJ

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Your purge unit tests indicate that the purge unit is in good working order. This leaves the pigment refill ink and/or the cartridge as suspects. If you can obtain the Image Specialists 1128 ink from mikling, I suggest to flush the old ink from the pigment black cartridge and refill with the new ink. Hopefully that will work better.

By coincidence I have tried replacing the pigment black ink in an iP3600 with dye ink for testing printing photos using plain paper settings on photo paper. The iP3600 uses the PGI-x20 pigment black cartridge. I flushed the cartridge and refilled it with Image Specialists 1109 dye (photo) black to do this test.

I have also tried printing text from Windows Printer Test Page with the dye black ink in the pigment black cartridge. I think the results are very similar to those printed using pigment black ink. I have printed on a cheap copy paper that the manufacturer gives a 3 out of 5 stars rating for use in laser printers and copiers and a 2 out of 5 stars for use in inkjet printers. I have also printed using both dye and pigment ink on a more expensive high resolution paper specially made for inkjet printers. The pigment ink used is KMP-U. The printer used for the pigment printing is Canon MP970 that uses the PGI-5 PGBK cartridge for plain paper documents.

I think the print quality depends more on the paper quality than the type of ink used. Here are crops of the same text scanned in 1200 dpi for both inks and both paper

This is pigment black on cheap copy paper, click to enlarge:
pigment copy paper.jpg

This is pigment black on high resolution paper, click to enlarge:
pigment hires paper.jpg

This is dye black on cheap copy paper, click to enlarge:
dye copy paper.jpg

This is dye black on high resolution paper, click to enlarge:
dye hires paper.jpg

The only negative thing when replacing pigment black ink with dye black ink is IMO that the dye ink is not water proof and not highlighter proof. The positive thing is that it has much less tendency to clog the print head than some unsuitable pigment inks. I also have a Canon iP6600D that is a dedicated photo printer for A4 which only has dye black. It also produces nice plain paper documents.

Maybe your dye black will also produce acceptable or good plain paper documents?
 

ludens

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Peter,

I couldn't see the enlarged images, as my browser won't load them. I assume some specific thing like Java or so is needed. I have the same problem on some other sites. But the thumbnails give the idea. Clearly the paper is more important than the ink, in those tests.

My point is that printing dye ink out of nozzles intended for pigment ink might result in lower quality than using proper dye ink nozzles. Which in practice means that if one decides to use no pigment black ink, it's probably best to set the printer to matte photo paper even when using plain paper, to force it to use the dye ink tank and nozzles. I just made some tests for this, and posted them on my web page, to avoid non-working images embedded in this message! The test images are here:

http://ludens.cl/temp/printtests.html

The quality I get now from the Canon printer, in standard mode on this plain all-use Chamex paper, is not good enough for most uses. It's fine only for drafts. In photo mode I do get good enough performance, though, on the same paper, using the other section of the head. But in photo mode it's as slow as the old HP, and in addition it takes lots of time for self-cleaning, which the HP doesn't do! Which leaves me in the funny situation that for black document printing the 20 year old printer is definitely better than the modern one.

By the way, while doing the test prints with the Canon, one line at a time, after EVERY single line the printer started self-cleaning, as soon as it ejected the paper! It was about one and a half minute of pumping, sucking ink and discarding it, for just ONE LINE of print! I wonder if it started cleaning/priming because I switched modes? But that makes no sense at all! Switching between plain paper and photo modes, or between standard and high quality, definitely doesn't need additional head cleaning nor re-priming, I would say.

Something is very weird with the Canon's firmware or driver.

With all that pointless cleaning and priming, the ink indicators descended from full in all cartridges, to one third left in the pigment black, two thirds in the yellow and cyan. Just for printing five short lines! I absolutely refuse to accept this as normal, healthy and acceptable...

Well, thanks for the test prints. I will see where I can find some good quality inkjet paper to use when I need to print something in decent quality. And I will keep using the old HP for most of my printing, except when I need to print color or need papers larger than what the old one handles. And I will try to remember to make the Canon throw away some ink every week, to keep it happy, but I won't give any guarantee about that.

Manfred
 
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