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Old 03-18-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,216

hugh: He also says that he did use third party inks supplied by the store he works for and used third party papers also but for quality prints, especially photographs, he is fully persuaded that he only gets the best quality prints when he uses the printer manufacturer's inks and the paper they recommend for the particular job.
Overall, in my experience, I agree with this with this although I do quibble a bit at using the printer manufacturer's paper--see below.

Given Anbeduma's initial post, I would not recommend an all-in-one printer because I don't think the print quality is as good and there are reasonably priced dedicated inkjet printers that would, I think, do a better job than an all-in-one.

For good quality inkjet printers--note that qualification of "good quality"--there are good 3rd party inks out there (inksupply, jon cone's inkjetmall, etc.). I'm partial to Epson inkjet printers--I have an Epson 4000--and while I use Epson inks, I know of any number of people who use good quality 3rd party inks from inksupply or inkjetmall with no problems.

As I noted, my experience has been with Epson inkjets (started with an Epson 700, then an 1160 and now my 4000) and for an inkjet printer, I would recommend their "photo" line (1400, 1900, 2880) as a starting point moving to their entry-level professional level printers (3880, 4880) as each one of these printers have individual ink carts--of varying sizes with the professional level printers having larger ink carts and generally the larger the ink cart the more economical the cost of the manufacturer ink. I would not recommend Epson's basic inkjets (anything sold new for under $120-ish) for anything other than quicky home printing.

I use my Epson 4000 to print my photo and art work--basically, any of my work that would represently me publicly. I also own an HP Laserjet 2200D (b/w, not color) that I use for my day-to-day printing of letters and odds and ends. I have always used HP for laser printing and never considered looking at Epson when I needed a new laser printer.

I don't know much about HP's photo/professional line of inkjet printers. It used to be that HP inkjets were more tightly locked in to using only HP papers and that is one reason why I didn't consider buying an HP photo/professional level inkjet printer when I bought my Epson 4000 a few years ago because I rarely use Epson papers to print my photos and artwork preferring to use Hawk Mountain Art Papers paper. From what I have read, the newer HP photo/professional level printers can pretty much print on any paper and are no longer restricted to HP papers.

So, there are good 3rd party inks for inket printers but you have to look for them and while they may be less expensive than the printer maker's inks, they are not cheap. There are good (to excellent) 3rd party art papers out there and I'm positive there are good 3rd party "business" papers out there too.

Cheap refill ink carts on cheap paper produce cheap (crappy) results.

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