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04-08-2021, 10:37 AM   #1
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Tricks to reduce cost of ownership of inkjet printers?

Printing photos with owned inkjet printer provides the advantage of immediacy , color control and saving of shipment costs over online lab services, but those advantages comes at the cost of ownership: wasted paper and all the ink wasted by print head self-cleaning cycles. I've read that ink wasted in cleaning cycles can cost as much as $30 a month, whether the printer produced prints or not, just to avoid clogging of head nozzles. Would anyone here owning / having owned inkjet photo printers know some tricks on how to cut the costs of wasted ink?

04-08-2021, 10:52 AM - 1 Like   #2
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If regards to printing photos, use of paper/ink profiles for your printer in conjunction with software that allows soft-proofing reduces both paper and ink wastage to a minimum. In Lightroom, I have virtual copies for the soft-proofed settings that work such that subsequent prints for a particular image pass muster on first try.


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04-08-2021, 10:55 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Unfortunately I have no great tricks and I hate that sound of head cleaning.... It's often said that regular use is a must for inkjets, makes for less wasteful cleaning. Not sure if that is true for all makes/models though.
04-08-2021, 11:04 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I have no real input, but wanted to leave this here:
:P

04-08-2021, 11:41 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I've given up inkjet printing except for photo cards. I print 100 - 200 per month of those. Anything bigger I get from Bayphoto. Turn around is 2 or 3 days, the cost is less than my ink cost and they do a better job. I am using a Canon G7020 to print the cards. It uses the huge ink bottles instead of cartridges. Red River Paper produced profiles for me for the paper stock I use for the cards since they did not exist yet. The print quality is just OK, fine for a small card but not at all adequate for fine art prints.


Admittedly it was nice to experiment with different papers and have the ability to print when I wanted, how I wanted. But economically it just was not feasible for me.
04-08-2021, 11:47 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I have not used inkjet printer in years as it just were too much hassle in using them.

I think it is about finding the printer with cheapest ink.
A system like Epson EcoTank without ink cartridges seems promising, but i have no experience of it.
But buying ink in bottles instead of ink cardridges seems to bring cost down.
04-08-2021, 11:55 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Printing photos with owned inkjet printer provides the advantage of immediacy , color control and saving of shipment costs over online lab services, but those advantages comes at the cost of ownership: wasted paper and all the ink wasted by print head self-cleaning cycles. I've read that ink wasted in cleaning cycles can cost as much as $30 a month, whether the printer produced prints or not, just to avoid clogging of head nozzles. Would anyone here owning / having owned inkjet photo printers know some tricks on how to cut the costs of wasted ink?
There's a gentleman on youtube named Jose Rodriguez who has a series of videos that address this.
In my own case, I have a Canon Pro-100 and I follow his recommendations about refilling the ink cartridges.
It saves a lot of money and it's not even that messy after the first time.
I use Precision Color ink which is available in Canada and the USA. The only Canon ink I use is the yellow
because it doesn't blend well with the PC yellow. I understand that that will clot and make globs, etc.
The videos are worth checking out.
04-08-2021, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Not really any tricks but using good management practice should be helpful in reducing wastage

  • Calibrate and profile your monitor to a known standard for the intended purpose. This way a colour savvy application such as PS or LR will be able to correct on the fly for any colour shortfall against target.Intended purpose may mean just general viewing of your images on a monitor by you and others.
  • In the case of printing your aim points should be very different and based on the paper you use:
    • White point should match the white of the paper base used. You will probably need to visually tune the white point to get a match and then set this as your target assuming your software allows this.
    • Contrast ratio needs to be closer to what your paper can actually achieve. With the best glossy papers and black inks the contrast ratio may be able to reach 300:1. With matt paper it may only reach 200:1. Compared to a monitor that is calibrated for 'normal' viewing you may have a contrast range of 600:1 with the monitor being able to reach somewhere between 1000:1 - 3000:1!
  • You may need to consider using a different profile for each paper type you use!
  • Once these are set correctly you will have a good chance of getting a very good print to screen match providing:
    • You have good ICC paper profiles and you use Soft Proofing to evaluate
    • You illuminate your prints correctly to aid evaluation
  • Dont use the silly LR adjust brightness control in the Print module if prints are too dark/light. It gives zero feedback of what your print will look like and is trying to correct for a flawed workflow leading to ink and paper wastage
Following the above regime should mean that you get consistently acceptable prints matching your monitor therefore keeping ink and paper wastage to a minimum.
  • Inkjet printers are designed to be used regularly, otherwise clogging is inevitable.
  • Subsequent nozzle checks and cleaning to remove clogs wastes ink.
  • Printing a nozzle check once a week allows some ink to flow through the system and ink is its own solvent.
  • Check your printer instructions to see if it should be left on all the time or can be turned off without needing to go through deep cleaning cycles.
    • Canon pro printers (some?) for instance I have seen the recommendation that they should be left on and they will go through various cleaning cycles as needed. If switched off then on there may be a major cycle triggered wasting much ink.
    • HP - I had one that needed to be left on and every now and then you could hear it start some cleaning cycle.
    • Epson - the P600, P700, P800 and P900 now seem to have got over the clogging issues that plagued many (exception being the 3880) and can either be left on or turned off if not going to be used for a few weeks. This will still cause a cleaning cycle when turned on again


04-08-2021, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
I have not used inkjet printer in years as it just were too much hassle in using them.
This ^
04-08-2021, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I have family who like hard copies of photos, so I basically eat ilford inkjet paper.

We bought a Canon Pixma G4200 tank printer a few years ago. Ink is vastly cheaper that way, but we’ve had problems with clogging since almost day one. And it has some quirks that make it an enormous pain.

I get they want to be used, but I should be able to go a couple weeks between regular printing sessions without failure (I’m ok with head cleaning cycles)

The black print head finally gave up today and won’t unclog. The printer was sufficiently annoyed that it threw a fatal error- guidance from Canon is to unplug it and send it to repair.

That’s after 3500 or more pages (photos and other things) based on the last status page, so maybe $0.35/photo including paper mainly because it died an early death.

So I wouldn’t recommend that one

Maybe the Epsons or HPs are more reliable.

-Eric
04-08-2021, 03:55 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Print on a regular basis.
04-08-2021, 05:14 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I do a print test every two weeks (a print test page, uses almost no ink).
04-08-2021, 05:17 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I have family who like hard copies of photos, so I basically eat ilford inkjet paper.

We bought a Canon Pixma G4200 tank printer a few years ago. Ink is vastly cheaper that way, but we’ve had problems with clogging since almost day one. And it has some quirks that make it an enormous pain.

I get they want to be used, but I should be able to go a couple weeks between regular printing sessions without failure (I’m ok with head cleaning cycles)

The black print head finally gave up today and won’t unclog. The printer was sufficiently annoyed that it threw a fatal error- guidance from Canon is to unplug it and send it to repair.

That’s after 3500 or more pages (photos and other things) based on the last status page, so maybe $0.35/photo including paper mainly because it died an early death.

So I wouldn’t recommend that one

Maybe the Epsons or HPs are more reliable.

-Eric
I do a bit of printing with a Canon TS8220 6 cartridge printer. It does a reasonable job with photos and that's all I use it for. I use an inexpensive HP Laserjet Pro M15 for my text printer The very best photo printing investment I have made is to purchase Qimage Ultimate the program is feature rich and one of its nice features is the Print/Schedule Unclog Jobs which allows you to run an unclog routine automatically weekly or manually. The Unclog feature uses a miniscule amount of in compared to the OEM cleaning utilities. The program is the one recommended by Jose Rodriguez mentioned earlier and that guy knows his stuff. I was attempting to manage my printing from a couple of different processing programs with unsatisfactory results, Qimage is basically drag and drop to print one or multiple images.
04-08-2021, 05:45 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I buy the generic from injet.com. my printer takes 5 cartridges. I can get a 10 pack for $25. For the canon brand it ranges from $70-$100 for 5. I can't tell which prints were made with generic vs the canon.

I anticipate that the prints might fade quicker. I don't care. I own a printer so I can change out my prints. If something fades and I still want it I will reprint it
04-08-2021, 06:48 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sidney Porter Quote
I buy the generic from injet.com. my printer takes 5 cartridges. I can get a 10 pack for $25. For the canon brand it ranges from $70-$100 for 5. I can't tell which prints were made with generic vs the canon.

I anticipate that the prints might fade quicker. I don't care. I own a printer so I can change out my prints. If something fades and I still want it I will reprint it
I bought a set of refillable cartridges and turned off the ink monitor and check my ink levels weekly and refill as needed. I also have generated profiles for the paper I use with a rental X-rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer from Lens Rentals and I periodically calibrate my monitor. Every little bit helps.
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