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Old Jun 5, 2004, 11:17 PM   #1
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I have recently purchased a Canon i960 printer and love it. But I bought some compatible inks from Tyler Martin, and one by one as each genuine Canon ink would run out, I replaced them with the Tyler Martin compatible ink. Now that most are replaced (except the cyan and black), the photos are definitely worse!
Here is my question: has anyone studied which colors are best matched by the compatible inks, and which are the worst? For instance, the yellow cartridge seems really poor with the compatible ink. At nearly $12 vs. $3 for the compatibiles, it might be good to try a combination.
Also, can you cap partially used ink cartridges to test out the various color combinations, then reuse a partially used cartridge?
Thanks for any info you may have on this subject.
Todd Beall
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Old Jun 6, 2004, 3:22 PM   #2
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I would not be inclined to simultaneouslyuse ink from different manufacturers. Color and gradation varianceswould be anobvious concern. But I would guess the differences in chemical composition might become an issue with regard to any or all of the following: droplet consistency, blending with other inks, and the potential fordifferent responses to envirnonmental conditions (sunlight and gasfade resistance)andany optimizationdifferences tovarious brandsof photo paper.To me it'sa crap shoot, like puttinga couple quarts of high quality motor oil and a couplequarts of cheaper generic motor oil in your car. It will work but it's not a wise long-term strategy: theinitial savings versus potential forperfomance trade-offs &developing avoidable problems isn't worth it.

From what I've been learning here and elsewhere, at the very least you'll probably be better served using all ink from the same manufacturer. Beyond that, I am of the opinion thatoem ink, for now,isthe most reliableapproach for quality and long-term performance. Just MHO.
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Old Sep 4, 2004, 11:21 PM   #3
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I have made many comparison of generic ink and can not by the naked eye see a difference. I do agree that all cartidges should be of one vendor. When testing various brands I did notice problems when using differentvendors for different colors at the same time.
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Old Sep 5, 2004, 12:07 AM   #4
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Well, since I posted the question, I have determined that the difference is unfortunately large enough that yesterday I sent back all my compatible cartridges except for black. I'm not quite sure how you saw "no difference"--maybe some generics are clsoer than others--in mine, I could see a difference in the color of ink even by simply looking at a Canon cartridge and the compatible cartridge side by side. But the proof was in the photos--and compatible simply didn't measure up. Believe me, I wish they did!

What brand of compatible ink did you use? Mine came from Tyler Martin--they were a very nice company to deal with, but the ink just wasn't close enough (color-wise) for my photos. I have a Canon 960 printer, by the way, so I'm talking about the BCI-6 series of inks.

Thanks!

Todd
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 8:34 AM   #5
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Todd, I am using a mixture of canon, ocp bulk ink and carts mentioned on www.neilslade.com/papers/inkjetstuff.html.

Can see no discernable difference, and I am pretty picky. Also, I make a reference print when changing any ink or paper in order to have a comparison.

However, all my printing is done on non canon paper.




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Old Sep 6, 2004, 9:44 AM   #6
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Thanks, mfchupp (sorry, I don't know your name!). Unfortunately the link you mentioned comes up not valid. So what combination of inks/paper are you using? I'd be very interested to know.

Thanks again!

Todd
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 10:52 AM   #7
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Todd, don't understand why that link does not work. Have it book marked and it works fine, just now tried it. In any event the carts can be ordered from www.inkgrabber.com.

At the moment my printer has a cyan from canon, a photo cyan and photo magenta from the people above and the rest refilled from bulk ink from OCP. Seems like the above produces colors as good, or perhaps slightly better, as the canon branded product.

As for paper, that is mixed as well. For 4x6 right now IBM branded from Bestbuy for $5.99 per 100 sheets. Loaded up after trying it. Not as good as some others but very passable with a home produced profile. For 8.5 x 11 I prefer the freephotopaper (best grade) that Steve recommended (thin paper from them has some complaints). The heavy weight from the is really good stuff (imho). Also use epson photo glossy (plain not premiuum) for 8.5 X 11, with very good results, it is a nice heavy paper for a good price.

This all works well for me, hope it helps you.

Mike
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 12:16 PM   #8
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Thanks, Mike. I used the exact link you gave (Htm), but it worked fine when I just now used html rather than htm.

I used cartridges from Tyler Martin, with poor results. I may try those from inkgrabber. Have you tried Canon's paper? Seems to work the best for me (worst being Kodak's premium or ultra).

Thanks again.

Todd
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 1:11 PM   #9
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Todd, it seems to me that kodak, at one time a fine company, has lost it's way. Personally, I have no reason to try their paper, as they have little experience in the inkjet area. Just my take.

The canon papers rank about third on my list. I set up a topic on this thread re papers that i ran tests on. Admitedly, it is not really up to date.

The canon i-series are great printers. IMHO their software leaves a lot to be desired. If you have your monitor and printer calibrated (with custom settings) one would think that the "easy photo print" program would inherit the driver settings. It appears to me that the "easy" software has a vanilla stand alone driver imbeded and does not invoke the real print driver. To use the real print driver it seems one must use an application program. Also it seems that sometimes the driver does not get it's settings passed to the the printer itself.

Guess I should read the documentation?.
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 11:29 PM   #10
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To follow up on OEM vs compatible ink. There is no doubt that there are some difference in color hues between inks, paper etc.

I compared picturestakenwith:
  • film camera developed by a lab [/*]
  • digital developed by photo lab [/*]
  • digital printed with Canon ink [/*]
  • digital printed with generic ink[/*]
For the value, it is an easy decision, use Generic ink. If I bought Canon ink I might as well have it developed by a lab at a lot lesser cost. If you add the cannon ink and paper cost , commercial labs are cheaper.

But the bottom line-however is that generic inks do a great job and at $2.00 a color you can't beat the economics. I go for the best buy who provides me honest input on their various brands and who is lowest in cost.
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