U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: printer recommendations? also "printer" thread, Vivera inks,agfa

Re: printer recommendations? also "printer" thread, Vivera inks,agfa CopyJet

merci bien, jean

this actually make me re-think my decision of the epson 1400 (with some slight going back and forth between it and buying the epson p50 now and saving up for a more expensive a3 printer purchase later).
the options in ink are now:
-epson ultrachrome (many people seem to dislike it, but maybe they use the black only and not a color filter system. expensive printers)
-epson claria (not too good reputation, david hatton dislikes it, michael koch-schulte too (?) )
epson durabrite (philippe berger and chris nize's recommendation
-hp vivera (jean's recommendation)
-canon chromalife (dan burkholder likes it in a older mail , alternativephotography forum likes it)

the canon don't seem to be as out of the race as i expected. they even got a good comment from dan burkholder and a lot of praise here in the alternativephotography forum: forum link
do all the canon a3 printers (from ip4000 to ip9000) use the same ink?

although i've been using a canon ip3000 for the last few years (satisfied with print quality and durability), i can't say much about the inks, because i've been using cheap pelikan inks for the last year (probably the reason why my print head died). the pelikan inks' uv blocking performance on avery overhead transparencies was not that good: not enough density for (classic formula) vandyke prints (tested with m.koch-schulte's test negatives) and for carbon prints a 3% am-di sensitizer was the maximum.

epson claria inks (the "p50" and the "stylus photo 1400") don't get much love. i found this on m. koch-schulte's site:
"Let it be said that Epson makes really good inks. For the most part they block ultra violet light (UV) much better than aftermarket inks but they are also four or five times the cost. At $80-$100 a fill it gets expensive quite quickly to anyone on a limited budget such as starving artist wannabe like myself. Apparently, some of the "newer" Epson inks (the R1400?) don't block ink like the old Epson inks, this could be a potentially big problem for some people who are trying to make digital negatives using their current methods. For the record I use both genuine Epson inks when making prints and sometimes negatives. But I also use third-party inks for experimenting and when colour balance isn't as critical."

epson durabrite inks are used in the epson "office" series. the a3 printer is pleasantly cheap. i wonder, if there is a trade-off compared with the "photo" series? the inks are rather cheap too. the "epson stylus office b1100" could be real option.

i don't know much about the hp vivera inks yet, apart from jean's mail. the "b8550" printer is about the same price as the epson 1400.

i tried to compare the cost of the various ink sets, but i got dizzy from all the name number-codes and also the manufacturer's sites always seem to hide the name of the suitable inksets on some page in the back. almost as if they were ashamed of their inks.... well at that prices, not that surprising.
canon chromalife, hp vivera, and epson durabrite seem to be rather cheap, ultrachrome the most expensive. but i didn't factor in the size of one container, ink mileage and such. just finding out which printer uses which kind of ink is annoying enough.

does anyone know an alt.photo site or magazine, that ever did a side by side comparison of inks for diginegs? every google search i try for "inkjet uv blocking" just comes up with only content related to "uv permanence" of the inksets.
and the hybrid-photo forum seems to be deserted and getting flooded by pornbots. the only recommendation i could find there was in the "epson 3880" price range.

this is all the research and reading on the topic that i can stomach for this evening, maybe it's helpful to someone else.

Jean Daubas schrieb:
AD5234812A41452F9B6E1C93BFBC724A@daubasi38bqsf8" type="cite">Hi Phritz,
...and hi all,

since printer choices are presently discussed on the list.
I could not reply immediately last week to Phritz' question about the use of inks for diginegs because i was busy on my exhibition of alt prints at the Biennal of Contemporary Art inbesançon (France).
All the prints I exhibited ( cyanotypes, VDB, argyrotypes, Kallitypes and gum) had been made using digital negatives printed with VIVERA inks from HP.
It's more than 2 years now that I bought a A3 format HP Pro 9180 using Vivera inks, both for diginegs and for "fine art" inkjet prints (B&W / color).
The B8550 is the "little sister" of my 9180 with less features and cheaper but it uses the same Vivera inks.

The Vivera inks are really excellent both for prints or diginegs and my HP 9180 gives wonderful results. They have been very praised for their archival qualities after being tested by Wilhelm-research institute.
For instance, Vivera inks have a better rating than Epson or Canon inks with Canson Infinity papers (see results at
One of the other special features of the HP 9180 is the automatic daily maintenance it provides, thus preventing the nozzles clogging which seems to be a real pain for plenty of Epson printers users.
I print A3 and A4 colorised diginegs (PDN system) on Agfa Copyjet transparent sheets which I buy in France (no Pictorico available in europe and also pictorico is too expensive). The Agfa CopyJet / Vivera inks marriage is perfect for me.

Hope it helps,
"alternative cheers" from france,

----- Original Message ----- From: "phritz phantom" <phritz-phantom@web.de>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Friday, October 23, 2009 4:36 PM
Subject: printer recommendations?

......> >
i'd love to go for a a3 printer now, but right now is not a good time for big investments for me. i could maybe go for the cheapest epson A3, the "r1900", but i'm hesitant to buy the cheapest one of the A3-printers. the "hp photosmart pro b8550" (A3) costs less than 300euro. this would be an option. does some have experience with diginegs and "hp vivera" inks?  the canon "ip9000" series would be equally cheap.
but all things considered - A3 would have additional costs, like i'd have to build a new exposure unit, finding bigger transparencies...etc -, i think i'll most likely stay with A4 for now and go for a good epson one.

any help from people with more printer knowledge than me would be greatly appreciated. especially how the different inks work for diginegs. for the other things i could check the printer tests, but info on printing transparencies is sparse.

thanks a bunch