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Inktec vs OCP vs Epson vs NanoDigital pigment inks

Discussion in 'Non OEM Ink & Cartridge Suppliers' started by costadinos, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Mar 1, 2014
    costadinos

    costadinos Printer Guru

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    I recently came across a pdf document, from the Korean ink manufacturing company, Inktec, regarding their K3 pigment equivalent inkset, claiming they are resin coated, with minimal bronzing, scratch resistance and other qualities previously achieved only by OEM inks.
    I have to admit I had been a bit skeptical about these claims, especially when taking into account the price, which in Europe is 39Eur per litre (the only other ink I know of, that's cheaper than that, is OCP, and that not by much).

    But, after ordering some and doing some testing I was very pleasantly surprised. This is by far the best inkset I've tried so far, in all aspects. Glossiness equivalent to the OEM, extremely good Dmax and gamut, better scratch resistance than the OEM, minimal bronzing, minimal gloss differential, no metamerism.
    The only other inkset that could probably compete is the one from Cone, but at that price, why would anybody choose that over the OEM? Doing some shopping around we can get recently expired OEM at the same or even lower price...

    So, here is a quick comparison between OEM, OCP, Inktec and another inkset I got from ebay, "NanoDigital".
    The last inkset is sold from a company claiming excellent gamut, rubfastness, waterfastness and fade resistance, here is the link to their store:

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/cartridgepool?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

    They price their ink similarly to the OCP, and even cheaper than that for larger quantities, but unfortunately, as you'll see below, this is one of the "you get what you pay for" cases...

    As for the printers, I used a 7900 running OEM Ultrachrome HDR inks (it's the same colours as the K3 printers plus orange and green), a 4900 running on Inktec Powerchrome, an R2000 running on OCP inks (I'm using the Black, Cyan, newest Vivid Magenta and Yellow from their K3 inkset, plus Red and Orange from their K2 inkset, so the comparison should be valid), and a P50 running on NanoDigital.
    I created custom profiles for all of them.
    Since the printers are different I will not be comparing the gamut of those inksets, but the rest of their physical qualities, like glossiness, Dmax, bronzing etc.

    1) Glossiness/Bronzing/Gloss Differential
    Here are the 4 prints, made on Epson Premium Glossy (top) and HP Premium Satin (bottom):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Glossiness: On glossy paper, the OEM and Inktec show excellent glossiness, it's really hard to tell them apart. OCP is very good, but visibly inferior to Inktec. NanoDigital, well, I've seen prints on matte paper glossier than this. It's even a lot worse than IS inks (in terms of glossiness only, IS is a superb ink in most other aspects though).
    The same apply for the satin paper, with the exception that OCP is much more acceptable.
    Gloss differential: OEM exhibits none, Inktec is a bit worse, but you have to try really hard to notice it, OCP is a bit worse than both, even with the Gloss Optimizer. NanoDigital exhibits no gloss differential, but only because there is no glossiness to begin with...
    For the satin paper, there is no visible gloss differential whatsoever for the OEM and Inktec, and only minor for the OCP.
    Bronzing: OEM exhibits minor bronzing, mainly in the light yellows, light grey areas, Inktec is a bit worse in general and more pronounced in the middle yellow/red tones, perfectly acceptable though. OCP is more or less the same, but with a very annoying type of what I believe is bronzing, affecting the darker grays; when viewed at an angle, blacks take on a red tone (you can even see it in the photos above, when viewed from the front the three prints are virtually the same colour).
    For the satin paper, the bronzing practically goes away with the Inktec inks, but it gets a lot worse and pronounced for the OCP inks.

    2) DMax

    [​IMG]
    OEM is excellent, Inktec is only slightly worse, OCP is good, but visibly inferior to Inktec, NanoDigital is a mess, more of a dull gray than black.

    3) Scratch resistance/Rubfastness

    [​IMG]

    Scratch resistance:
    Inktec actually performs slightly better than the OEM here! OCP is also very good, but the resin coating of the Inktec clearly helps. As for NanoDigital, it got scratched from just touching another piece of paper...
    Rubfastness: Inktec is slightly better than the OEM, OCP is good enough but not nearly as good as Inktec. NanoDigital only adheres properly on matte papers, on all of the papers I used above it could be rubbed off just by touching the print, it looks more like a thin layer of dust on top of the paper instead of ink...

    4) Resistance to water/chemicals
    This is how the 4 prints looked after spending half an hour in a weak bleach dilution, completely submerged.

    [​IMG]

    I know this isn't very scientific, but the process of fading due to gases, pollutants, and even UV radiation should be similar to the effect of the bleach. Anyway, all four were subjected to the same conditions, so the end result should offer some insight on their long term stability compared to one another. Resin coating definitely helps, OEM and Inktec are visibly superior to OCP.

    As a quick recap, I'll give a score from 1 to 10 to the inks above for the following properties:

    (OEM, Inktec, OCP, NanoDigital)
    Glossiness (10,10,6,2)
    Gloss Differential (10,9,8,0)
    Bronzing (9,7,6,0)
    DMax (10,9,6,4)
    Scratch Resistance (8,9,7,0)
    Rubfastness (8,9,6,0)
    Resistance to chemicals (10,9,6,2)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  2. Mar 1, 2014
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    I don't use Epson or any of these companies for ink, but I do enjoy reading posts like yours, Constadinos. Thank you. :clap
     
  3. Mar 1, 2014
    costadinos

    costadinos Printer Guru

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    You are welcome.
    They do produce ink for the Canons too, and if that performs similarly to their Epson counterparts I tried, it should be a terrific Canon compatible inkset.
     
    The Hat likes this.
  4. Mar 2, 2014
    pharmacist

    pharmacist Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    Hi Costadinos,

    What about the gamut of the Inktec Powerchrome ink ? I am very interested in this ink. The biggest problem is the magenta ink. How does it behaves in gloss differential compared to the other inks (OEM, OCP etc) ? Where do you buy this ink ? I am very interested to get this ink. Maybe we should seek several members and buy a whole set of 9x1 litres and divide the costs.
     
  5. Mar 2, 2014
    costadinos

    costadinos Printer Guru

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    All of the colours in the inkset exhibit glossiness superior to anything I've tried before. I would not be able to distinguish prints made with this inkset on glossy paper from those made with OEM ink.

    I can't compare gamut directly, as I don't have a pure K3 printer, but I have the three following observations:
    1) When I replace the magenta and photo black in my R2000 using OCP inks, with those from Inktec, I get significantly better gamut around the magentas and also better Dmax.
    2) When Inktec C/M/Y/K/LM/LC is used in a P50, I get significantly larger gamut than OCP only and slightly larger than IS only.
    3) When comparing the OEM gamut of the 4900 with the one I get from using Inktec inks, the Cyan/Magenta areas are practically the same and the OEM has a slide edge on the Yellow/Green areas.


    I don't know where you can buy this tink in smaller quantities, I personally use up a lot so I buy in liter or more quantities.
    Try contacting them to see if they have a reseller in your country, otherwise I could send you some if you wanted.
     
    pharmacist likes this.
  6. Mar 2, 2014
    pharmacist

    pharmacist Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    Hi Costadinos,

    I am certainly interested in these inks. At this moment I still have enough ink, but could you miss about 250 ml of each ink ? Not now but later on,
     
  7. Mar 2, 2014
    costadinos

    costadinos Printer Guru

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    Sure, let me know when you need some.
     
    The Hat likes this.
  8. Mar 5, 2014
    Alrighty Roo

    Alrighty Roo Newbie to Printing

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    Where did you buy your inktec ink from? The UK website is charging between £60 and £100 per litre for their epson inks!
     
  9. Mar 5, 2014
    costadinos

    costadinos Printer Guru

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    CapoKees and Gil Santos like this.
  10. Mar 5, 2014
    Alrighty Roo

    Alrighty Roo Newbie to Printing

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    There doesn't seem to be anywhere to buy anything on that website - did you email them?
     

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