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Old Jan 10, 2012, 1:25 PM   #1
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Default Using an ink jet printer for B & W only

I've had a Canon S500 ink jet printer for several years. But I've lost interest in using it to make color prints, because I now have a little, dye-sub Canon Selphy CP780. The CP780 prints postcard size only, but I so seldom want anything bigger that I may just as well have a local photography store do it.

I now use the Canon S500 as a monochrome printer only, to print text. But, to my annoyance, it won't print at all unless the color cartridges also have ink in them. So, I've taken to filling them with black ink too. It works, but it's a bit of a nuisance.

That leads me to another question. Somebody just gave me an H.P 842C Deskjet color printer. The black color cartridge obviously has lots of ink in it, because it prints text in B & W just fine. But it does this even though the color cartridges in it have obviously run out. (Trying to print in color produces only faint traces of color.)

Does anybody know why the two ink jet printers behave so differently? (I'm trying to decide whether to keep the Canon S500, or the HP Deskjet 842C.)

Last edited by Herb; Jan 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM. Reason: grammar correction
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 2:46 PM   #2
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G'day Herb

Yes mate - I have met this design 'stupidity' all too often
One mob lets the printer continue with black on-the-go, another says 'bugga-off' replace it all...

There are some 3rd-party mono carts available to replace the colour carts to print hi-quality B & W prints from a 'colour' printer ... this may be of interest to you

Regards, Phil
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 7:54 PM   #3
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Thanks, Phil. Like a lot of people I resent the exorbitant price of ink cartridges. After I've used up all the ink that's in them, I'm going to throw both printers out unless somebody would like to have them.

For B & W text I'm going to go back to an old Raven RP 2405 dot matrix 24-pin printer. It uses the same ribbons as are used in various Panasonic printers & the ribbons cost about $10 each. I'd assumed that the dot matrix print quality would be noticeably poorer but it isn't. It looks just as good as any ink jet or laser printer.

P.S. I'm going to look out for some 3rd party mono cartridges to replace the colour ones. They might persuade me to keep the printers if the price is low enough!

Last edited by Herb; Jan 11, 2012 at 3:53 PM. Reason: Adding a P.S.
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 7:05 PM   #4
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This comparison may interest anybody who wants to use a colour inkjet to print a monochrome picture.

I have an old family picture (my guess is it was taken around 1916) that I wanted to copy.

I first tried doing it with the HP Deskjet 842c. All the cartridges had black ink in them. No matter how I adjusted the digitised copy of it, the result was poor. Faces were especially bad, with poor detail and washed-out highlights.

So I tried doing it with my Canon S500, also with all the cartridges holding only black ink. The file holding the digital copy image also needed adjustment, but after a couple of tries, the result was very much better than with the HP - it was pretty well as good as the original.

P.S. I've posted the picture in the Family Photos forum

Last edited by Herb; Jan 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Adding the postscript
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