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tmumolo Mar 26, 2005 3:19 PM

One of the most important consideratons, other thanink longevity,when I was deciding which photo printer to buywas the ink cartridge configuration. After five weeks of research I finally decided on the HP 8750 because in addition to it's purported excellent colorI'll beprinting B&W and the specs on this printer are very impressive.

As it turns out after I made my decision I came across a series of articles on the IT-Enquirer website which seem to counterthe prevailingwisdom on single vs multi ink cartridges and the influencethey haveon cost of operation.

Among other things,I learned how much ink is wasted during the routine start up, cartridge replacement and cleaning operations on all printers. Their researchindicates both Canon and Epson use considerably more ink during those operations than does HP. In addition HP is the only one that does not run this cleaning cycle every time the printer isturned onandagain on all print heads every timeone cartridgeis replaced. The ink usage numbers indicate that at the end of 75 printing cyclesonly appoximatelyhalf the ink usage on Canon and Epson is foractual printing the rest is used up in the start upand cleaning operations.Approximately 81% of HP's ink finds it's way to the paper according to them.

They also state that the ink wast attributed to multi ink cartridges has been blown wayout of proportion because in normal use colors are made up of a combination of inks. No matter how you come down on this issue it seems it's not as cut and dried as it's been presented by many. I think marketing people have had a hand inshaping opinion on this. If others have real world experience that contradicts this information I'd be interested to hear about it.

As I said previously I had alreadydecided on theHP butit certainly made my decision seem much more rational.


flint350 Mar 27, 2005 12:52 PM

I have been researching along the same lines and plan an A3 purchase by mid April (in time for the release of the HP8750). I have read some of the same reports, yet there are others, plus anecdotal evidence from individual posters that refute, or at least, disagree on these issues. Basically I was choosing between the Epson R1800 and the HP8750, both just being released now. I had given up on Canon due to fading issues, but supposedly they are about to release the i9910, which is mostly (only?) a change of inks to address archival concerns.

So, now I'm back in the waffling stage again. The downside to the HP for me had been the 3 inks/cartridge and waste. While Canon had fade and Epson had clogs and metamerism/bronzing, etc. I was hoping for a thorough comparison of them together to help in this decision - but unless and until that occurs and offers more insight or additional information, I am still leaning on the HP8750. This is partly based on the glowing reviews its smaller cousin the 8450. Hopefully the info you found on the wasted ink issue is accurate and will ease my mind even further.

I do sell prints and the Canon just put me in a crisis of conscience about selling something that might fade pretty quickly. Now, even that may change. Ah, the headache is back. Hopefully Steve (here) and/or Vincent at Photo-i will undertake this before I have to pull the trigger in mid April. Waiting and watching.

slipe Mar 27, 2005 2:04 PM

I think most people experience a much higher use of photo magenta and photo cyan than the other colors. Maybe HP has found a way around that. Most testers find the ink use on the HPs very high, but I haven't seen a comparison testing that particular model. The testers also seem to test in big batches rather than do a print a day, which might affect the outcome with the cleaning on startup. I don't find it to be excessive with my Canons.

My guess is that the Canon and Epson printers are still more economical to operate. The HP cartridges are still pricey because they have the print heads in the replacement cartridges where Canon and Epson have permanent heads and the cartridges are just ink tanks.

I haven't refilled a newer model HP, but there was a learning curve with older models. The Canon color cartridges are easier to fill.

If you need good B&W the HP is the way to go though regardless of ink cost.

tmumolo Mar 27, 2005 4:44 PM

Thanks for the responses.

I was originally leaning toward the Epson R1800 because of claimed longevity for it's ultra chrome inks but I had strong reservations since I have heard SO MANY complaints about the head clogging problems with Epson. Canon was out of consideration because of the ink fading issue. btw I'm a Canon fan, I've been using their camera's for thirty years.

Until I did the research I was not even considering HP. I had heard a lot of opinions about cartridge cost and ink waste.

My only point in posting this info is because it calls into question whether the ink cost issue is as big an issue as I originally thought. I mean after all I'm a professional photographer and I do intend to sell my personal art work, so ink cost is not the only consideration in choosing a printer unless it was ahuge differance. Quite frankly, I rather like the idea of getting a brand new print head every time I change a cartridge. If you have a problem with an Epson head you cant's fix, the whole printer has to go back. I also like the fact that HP does not run a cleaning cycle EVERY time the printer is started, thus using more ink. HP's don't tend to clog so they don't need this costly solution.

I also very much like the idea of an archival dye based ink system as opposed to pigment. I intend to print B&W as well as color and HP hasitnailed in that area. To each his own but unless somethig really rocks the boat I'm waiting eagerly for the HP 8750 to become available.


eric s Apr 8, 2005 11:31 AM

While I don't own a modern Epson, I'm looking at buying one (the 4000.)

I find it interesting that you mention the Epson clogging problem.... from what I've read that isn't a problem with newer printers. I have read about fewer clogs than I have about people saying that there is a clogging problem. My assumption is that the solution was to do lots of automatic head cleaning (this is more of a problem "avoidance" scheme than a "solution".) So at least right now, I'd say that you should worry less about that than the wasted inks.

As to the ink usage, from talking with others and looking at the report of ink usage from the printer drivers, my limited knowledge fits with what slipe said. Magenta & Cyan are used at a disproportionate rate.

Another advantage that Epson has is a wide variety of profiles for both their own papers and the papers of other companies. This improves the quality of your prints substantially.

The way I see it, you have two issues when selling your prints. How good they look and how expensive they were to make. If the printer doesn't do #1 (they look bad) then it doesn't matter how well they print. Find a printer that prints to the quality and longevity that you require. Then juggle cost of prints between those models.


tmumolo Apr 8, 2005 11:41 AM


I recently read a report on an Epson R800 in whichhead clogging was mentioned, so I'm not sure the problem has been resolved in the newer Epsons.

If I was absolutely sure about that it was fixed it would have an influence on my decision.


eric s Apr 9, 2005 1:43 PM

The R800 isn't a "professional" grade printer (none of the R family is) so maybe it has different heads than the 2200, 4000 and similar models. Maybe it still has the problem?

I don't know, I never really considered the R800 or R1800 sufficient for my needs.


flint350 Apr 9, 2005 9:52 PM

Sounds like several issues at work and heavily intertwined. I don't know that the 4000 has a particular "clogging" problem per se, but it probably either clogs some - or - it has to use a bunch of ink for regular and routine cleaning. Even Epson techs that I've talked with have suggested various methods of "avoidance" as you call it. These range from covering it up, to leaving it on all the time to initiating its longish head-clean cycle often enough. So, is it clogging or the apparent ink waste to avoid clogging that is the issue. It's still an issue. Irregular use, dry climate, etc can lead to problems with the 4000. I would agree though that the reports of clogs are probably exaggerated or self-induced by uninformed users. But at that price point, I would think most users are pros who should know better and need to print often.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, you need to use it pretty often for any ink economy anyway, since it holds large ink tanks that have (according to Epson I think) a limited 6 month life once opened. You would need all that cleaning and printing to consume the ink within its stated lifespan. Otherwise, those less used colors mentioned above will be thrown out anyway. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a fine printer. But aimed at a specific target audience that is less concerned with these issues because they use it frequently and need its attributes. If that describes your need and its size and weight are not an issue, it is probably about as good as it gets in desktop printers (some large desktop though).

Bottom line, as often said, all of these printers (save possibly the non-archival Canons) are terrific at what they are designed for. They also have their inherent trade-offs and aren't quite the perfect things each manufacturer would have us believe.

eric s Apr 10, 2005 8:46 AM


Bottom line, as often said, all of these printers (save possibly the non-archival Canons) are terrific at what they are designed for. They also have their inherent trade-offs and aren't quite the perfect things each manufacturer would have us believe.
Isn't everthing (except us!) :)

I agree, their method of avoiding the clogging is cleaning.It is very easy to clean the head yourself, though, with the proper solution. Tha solution is easy to purchase, at $10 for a bottle that will last a long time, but I agree with you... why should I have to do it? Doesn't seem right to me.


ps. I'm looking at my new 4000 right now. Damn, I knew it was big... but this big? :)

tmumolo Apr 10, 2005 9:17 AM


I forgot toaddress this part of your post.

On the issue of profiling for papers from other manufacturer's. Wilhelm resarch has unequivically stated that ANY claim of longevity from any brand isonly validusing their proprietary paper's and inks together, since the ink-papertechnology is developedto work as an integrated unit.They are linked chemicaly and technologically.If you seperate them, you have broken the functional chain and essentially negated millions of dollars of R&Dby the manufacturer. The net result is that you will not get the advertised performance.

Until I did the research I would have thougt nothing ofusing variouspaper's from other venders,but knowing what I know now I would'nt do it. Mind you , he was only talking about permanence.


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