The subject is printers. I hope this is in the right part of the forum.
While I do have some questions, this is more or less just an angry rant about the world of printers itself.
My printing needs look something like this: I want to print mostly text, occasionally with graphics. However, despite all the plain black text I will be printing (90% of what I print) I also want the ability to print reasonably high definition color images.
My real problem seems to be all about ink.
I currently have a Canon PIXMA ip1600, using PG-40 (black) and CL-41 (color).
The going cost of a new black cartridge is $20.00 and color $25.00.
I don't know if the PIXMA ip1600 is still being sold, but last time I looked its going price was $50.
This means after buying new OEM cartridges, I could toss $5 more in there and get the printer to go along with it. This is clearly ridiculous. It either implies that it costs Canon $5 to make a printer, or that the cost of their ink is way freakin overboard. I assume it's the latter.
So perhaps the answer is using a syringe to refill it from a bottle. Well, if that's the answer, I can tell you this: stay away from "Universal" refill kits. The colors "brown" and "grey" comes out purple no matter how you tweak the settings in the driver. And when you start to get close to an accurate brown, the grays then become blue. So you can give up on color photos.
Maybe buying bulk ink specifically made for your printer would be the better choice (or not) I haven't actually done so.
Currently I am looking at ink from Canon Pixma
And Dyebase and Pigment Ink for Canon Inkjet Printers - Inksupply.com
I don't know who offers superior ink.
Another problem with refilling is I hear that ink cartridges can only be filled so many times before they just wear out. Simply meaning buying enough bulk ink to refill a cartridge 24 times is a waste of money if that cartridge quits working after the 4rth or 5th refill.
I've already refilled my black cartridge 3 or 4 times. And the color cartridge 3 times. And so they are both filled with "universal" ink.
Even if I bought quality ink designed to work with my exact printer, I'd have to find someway of totally flushing out the old ink first. Or I could try just refilling time and time again the ink cartridge with the new ink. I figure about the 5th refill, the new high quality ink wouldn't be diluted by the old universal ink. Of course this means my color ink cartridge would be refilled 8 times.
How many times can an ink cartridge be refilled before it just breaks down?
I've heard that question asked a few times on forums and the answer was always "you never know, it just depends".
Well that's no help.
So I foresee me buying a 32oz bottle of black ink at $32 (claims it will provide 24 refills), and buying three 2oz bottles of color $18 for all three (claims it will refill 10 times), for a total of $50. And after that $50 investment, the cartridges break down and I have to invest another $45 in buying new OEM cartridges so that I will have something to continue pumping the left over ink into, just to use up the bulk ink. Well, if you're still doing the math, that's $95. And assuming the new cartridges can take the remainder of bulk refill, I will have enough ink to do me the next 2 years. Of course that's $95.
There are a lot of new printers that include new ink cartridges, for $50 or less dollars. So for $95, I might as well just buy a new printer.
But which one?
I can't even judge ink jet printers by such things as their DPI. You see, it doesn't matter if the DPI is a trillion pixels if the rollers and catchers and all the other mechanics of that printer are off by as much as a millionth of an inch. Perfect vertical and horizontal alignment are fundamental to printing. So DPI becomes a relatively meaningless number if the rest of the machinery can't function within nearly perfect form.
Then comes the ink issue all over again.
If I buy a new printer, I want to make sure that the ink cartridges are transparent, somewhat refill friendly (no weird reset chips to give you a million errors), and come in each of its own colors i.e. 1 or 2 black, 1 cyan, 1 magenta, 1 yellow. This way I can refill the exact color I need and only when that color is running low, and I can see the color running low. And I hear many printers now come with 1 cyan, 1 ultra cyan, 1 magenta, 1 ultra magenta, 1 yellow, 2 black. 7 individual cartridges.
The problem with having 4 or more cartridges is that there are 4 cartridges that can fail and have to be re-bought. And chances are they will be much smaller and need more frequent refilling.
So I guess I am looking for a printer that has 3 color cartridges of mass volume (near 20ml each) and a big black cartridge (preferably 30ml or higher). And I guess asking for these cartridges to be transparent and semi-refill-friendly would simply be asking too much.
The next issue becomes what paper to use. I have been currently using paper that is 20lbs, with a US brightness of 92. I can't print text on both sides or I can see the reverse side while reading the front side. So I need paper that is a little thicker, maybe 24lbs would make it less transparent?
How about this stuff for normal two sided text printing HP Inkjet Paper, 8 1/2" x 11", 400/Ream at Staples®
92 US Bright,
8 1/2" x 11"
400 sheets for $6.99
And this stuff for the occasional high detail picture printing HP Premium Paper, Matte Finish at Staples®
HP Premium Paper, Matte Finish
92 US Bright,
8 1/2" x 11"
200 sheets for $19.99
Do those deals sound good for paper?
Oh yeah, and since I already have holes drilled in my ink cartridges and still have the tools to do it with, I was wondering if I could use a hypodermic syringe to inject ink into the cartridge or whether I had to use the type of needle provided in refill kits?