People always look for a bargain, right? I’m no exception. But what irks me more than anything else, is you’ll spend $400 on a fine, higher-end photo printer, and then spend next to nothing on ink refill kits, and generic photo paper.
Sure, original inks cost money, as do photo papers. But there are a few good reasons why you should spend your hard earned money on the correct supplies for your printer(s):
1. Compatibility. When a company such as Hewlett-Packard openly advertises that they spend nearly $1,000,000 per year on paper & ink research, you know they mean it. The ink and paper are as important as the printer’s engine.
2. Longevity. Why are Epson’s UltraChrome inks rated for over 125 years on Epson Watercolor Radiant White Paper for lightfastness? Because of the chemical reaction between the inks’ solvents and the paper’s coating. Since they’re from the same source, the results are quality that lasts. You won’t get than same result from using generic inks and papers.
3. Reliability. Have you ever filled an ink cartridge with those syringe kits? More often than not, you’ll drip a little ink onto your work surface. And if you don’t, how well is the seal on the hole you just created in the cartridge shell? I smell clogged heads coming on, because the viscosity of the refill inks is thinner than most original inks when you open it, and will thicken over time much faster than the original inks. And how many of you have really successfully cleaned the innards of a printer after a cartridge leaks?
4. Immediate output. Working at CompUSA for over four years, we have access to resources that most people don’t. I’ve printed photos from, say, an Epson printer onto Canon, Kodak, HP, Epson, and CompUSA’s papers. Sometimes, the reaction onto certain papers won’t allow the inks to fully dry. Sometimes, the ink doesn’t permeate the coating, resulting in the ink “Floating” on top of the coating. The ink then flakes off when it does dry. Many times the reaction gives unusual color results. How many fluorescent green people have you seen? Print a photo from a Canon Photo Printer onto Kodak Professional Glossy Paper. You’ll see.
I’m not saying the printer companies are trying to rake you over the coals with their warnings about generic supplies. I’m telling you from years of real-world experience that if you want results that last; purchase the recommended supplies for your printer. They’ve done the research, I’ve done hardcore testing, and you’ll be a happier camper for it.
CompUSA Imaging Specialist
HP Infolab Master Consultant
Epson Knoware Champion