Epson R1800 Ink Jet Fly inks

AN ANALYSIS OF THE “TEST PRINT IMAGES” HAS REVEALED A PROBLEM IN THE SOFTWARE USED TO CREATE THEM.  AS A RESULT, THE IMAGES WERE REMOVED AND ANY CONCLUSIONS DERIVED THEREIN ARE ALSO INVALID.   THE SPECTROPHOTOGRAPHIC MEASUREMENTS AND OTHER DATA ARE ACCURATE AS PRESENTED.  WE APOLOGIZE IF THIS HAS CREATED ANY CONFUSION OR MISINTERPRETATION OF THE RESULTS.  NO FURTHER UPDATES WILL BE PROVIDED FOR THE R1800. 

 

Ink Jet Fly’s Pigment Inks for the R1800

 

Inkjetfly (IJF), a company dedicated to producing high quality inks and continuous ink systems (CIS) is constantly striving to produce better products.  IJF assembles its inks from a variety of sources and bundles them according to consumer requirements.  In this review, the IJF ink is analyzed using subjective visual comparisons and objective experimental measurements to OEM as well as competing inks.

 

The IJF inks arrived securely packed and padded in an appropriately sized shipping box.  The inks were bottled in sealed, translucent plastic bottles with the exception of the blacks appearing in opaque packaging.  All of the bottles were appropriately labeled and no leakage or spoiling was noted. 

 

jh3z6725 

 

Inkjetfly provided a variety of black inks including Image Specialist’s (IS) pK and mK and three versions of their own pK for analysis.  Currently, their ink sets ship with either IS’ inks or IJF brand of pK (version 1).  Additionally, IJF markets several brands of CIS including the well designed “Big Foot” system with its compact, stable platform and internal pressure modulating chambers.

 

For testing purposes, a previously installed CIS manufactured by InkRepublic (IR) was utilized.  The printer head was flushed with cleaner to mitigate the interaction between any residual inks and to minimize the potential development of clogs.  The new system was allowed to stand overnight to allow for equilibration of pressures within the dampers.

 

After determining that a nozzle check was adequate, and having performed a purge “test pattern” to ensure that no residual ink from the prior set remained, the IJF inks were profiled using a spectrophotometer and commercially available software.   Test images were printed on a commonly available glossy paper and the inks were compared. 

 

 

 

The results are summarized in the table below (please note that the data is organized on a relative scale to OEM, where V. Slight < Min. < + < ++ etc.):

 

 

Ink

Black

(L*a*b)

Bronzing

Gloss Diff

Gloss

Gamut

Gray Scale

OEM

3.4

Min

Min

++++

+++

 

IJF IS

19.2

+++

+++

½ +

++++

Yellow in light grays

IJF V1

21.1

+

+

++

++++

Yellow in light grays

IJF V2

22.9

++

++

+

+++

Yellow in light grays

IJF V3

5.8

Min

V. slight

++

++++

Yellow in light grays

IR Gen1

14

V. slight

V. slight

½ +

++

 

IR Gen2

12.6

Min

Min

++ ½

+

Most neutral gray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, the IJF inks demonstrated a glossiness that was between that of the IR Gen1 and Gen2 inks – though it still falls short of OEM.  The glossiness was variable depending on the type of pK used.  Of the four IJF combinations tested, the V3 (not yet available) provided the best combination of glossiness and the least gloss differential and bronzing.  Moreover, the IJF V3 pK is the darkest black that we’ve encountered to date and nearly rivals that of OEM (5.8 vs. 3.4 on this particular paper).

 

Spectrophotometric analysis suggested that the IJF and IR inks are very close in terms of overall metamerism though IR retains a minor edge in their Gen2 grays.  The IJF inks exhibited a slight yellow hue in the lightest regions of the gray step-wedge though the implications for black and white printing are indeterminate.  It’s important to note that the R1800 ink set is not optimized for black and white reproduction with its single black ink and the printer driver utilizes a complex dithering algorithm along with bits of yellow and magenta to produce gray scale images.  The yellow hue noticed on the gray step-wedge had no discernable effect on color reproduction.

 

ijf-ism

 

ijf-v1m

 

ijf-v2m

 

ijf-v3m

 

 

Where the IJF inks shine is in their color gamut reproduction..  Compared to OEM, the IJF inks demonstrated a significantly larger color space in the greens, yellows, reds, magentas, and purples.  In contrast, the IR Gen1 and in particular the Gen2 inks exhibited much smaller gamuts.  The larger gamut afforded by the IJF results in more accurate color mapping and fewer out of gamut colors.  In this case the IR Gen1 inks are somewhat better than the Gen2 inks, but they still don’t compete with the IJF inks.  Further results are summarized in the table and 3-dimensional gamut plots below:

 

Ink

Cubic Color Space Units

OEM

723968

IJF V1

778692

IJF V2

728598

IJF V3

758307

IJF IS

755781

IR Gen1

645935

IR Gen2

556844

 ijf-v3-ir-gen2

 

ijf-v-ir-gamut

 

ijf-v3-oem

 
 

 

Longevity studies are currently lacking so no absolute recommendations can be offered favoring one ink set over the other.  Determining print longevity is a complex task involving many variables including environmental factors, UV exposure, and paper-ink interactions.  Mark McCormick-Goodhart of Aardenburg Imaging  has developed a rigorous and reproducible method to assess projected longevity based on experimental, accelerated light exposure.  Preliminary results suggest that the IJF inks perform as well as OEM at the 30 Mlux exposure level on Epson Glossy Photo Paper and surpass the IR Gen 1 inks on the same medium.  No longevity data exists for the IR Gen 2 inks.

 

Epson pigment printers, in particular the R800, R1800, R2400 series have a tendency to develop intermittent nozzle clogging.  With the implementation of a CIS system, these printers are also susceptible to flow issues which are manifested by inadequate nozzle checks.  When clogs or flow problems develop, they often result in great angst as well as expense as measured by ink wastage.  Our experience to date suggests that the IJF inks had no greater propensity to clog than the IR Gen2 inks and were superior to the IR Gen1 inks in this respect.  In our test environment with ambient air temperatures between 66-70 deg. F and 40-55% humidity, clogs/flow issues occur less than once every month or two with the IJF or Gen2 inks compared to the nearly bi-weekly problems encountered with the Gen1 inks.  Usually, these issues are easily rectified and are of little consequence.

 

Without a doubt there is a market for high quality non-OEM inks.  The entrance of several manufacturers into this business has produced a wider array of products for the enthusiast.  Inkjetfly is meeting this challenge and has introduced an ink set for the R1800 that offers a large color gamut which exceeds OEM and its counterparts.  The IJF gamut is nearly 30-40%  greater than its nearest competitor, Ink Republic.  Of minor note, we observed a small amount of yellow hue appearing in the lightest elements of the gray step-wedge.  This had no apparent affect on color reproduction and in fact the IJF inks knock off their competition.  And while glossiness has improved, it doesn’t quite mimic OEM or that of the IR Gen2 inks.  Probably one of the more significant developments is that, IJF has produced a photo black that now approaches OEM density.  Hopefully, they will release this product, version 3 with their current inks.  Finally, early longevity studies are appearing favorable for IJF.

 

So, which non-OEM inks should one choose?  If the user desires optimum color reproduction and their paper preferences tend towards matte or lustre, then the IJF inks would be a top choice.  On these media, bronzing and gloss differential are much less apparent.  In contrast, if the user prints exclusively on gloss or semi-gloss, the IJF inks are likely to produce some degree of gloss differential depending on which version of pK is utilized.  With the potential release of the V3 pK, this effect would be largely negated and the IJF inks with their large gamut and dense blacks would be a clear favorite.

 

 Addendum 2-15-2009

The gray-scale image has been replaced with an image obtained from a direct photograph shot on a copy stand of the test prints.  The original gray-scale image was composed of a scan of the test prints.  Scanning apparently introduced fluorescence of the inks which unfairly accentuated the slight yellow cast.   My apologies for any confusion which this might have caused.

 

Addendum 2-18-2009

Additional photographs added, text edited, and images reformatted.

 

Addendum 2-27-2009

Explanation of table added.

 

 

© 2009  Reproduction, republication, or redistribution of this content including images and text is prohibited.  Linking is encouraged.

Advertisements

9 responses

21 02 2009
Dominic Chan

I find it unexpected that IJF IS and IR Gen1 have such different black points (19.2 vs 14). Both of them use PK and MK inks from Image Specials.

22 02 2009
inkquisitor

We remeasured the test strips and they are indeed accurate. One possibility is that the inks are from different lots. Another explanation is that what IR claims is IS really isn’t IS ink. Perhaps, they were custom manufactured for the respective vendors or even mislabeled or diluted?

22 03 2009
migla9

I also have an IR system using MIS inks that I’d like to switch over to the IJF inks. Can you describe how you flushed the heads and what cleaning solution you used?

26 03 2009
inkquisitor

Assuming that you are obligated to using the same CIS, then be sure to rinse out and dry the system carefully. In terms of the print head, we used the cleaning system purchased through Ink Republic. We carefully flushed the heads with approximately 0.5-1.0 cc of cleaner for each color with a paper towel underneath. Next, we primed the CIS and let it sit overnight before running a cleaning cycle and nozzle check. We did this several times during the tests with the Gen1, Gen2, and IJF inks with the variety of pK’s. Fortunately, we never encountered a clog with this method.

There are some who do not advocate flushing the print head, claiming that doing so subjects the head to damage. We can neither support nor refute this claim. Instead, they suggest that one park the print head over a windex soaked piece of paper towel and leave it overnight.

Since, we do not know whether any ink compatability issues exist we think that it is wise that the head be flushed to obviate any potential mixing and resultant clogs.

10 10 2009
Adam

Did anyone test OCZ inks made in Germany from rjettek.com? I wonder how they compare with other inks reviewed here.
Thank you!

16 10 2009
shafri

hi. i can only see comparison between IJF, IR and OEM. what about the other non-OEM brand? EffilInk, some other lower quality (alot cheaper) non branded ink? i believe there are lots more brand out there.

17 10 2009
inkquisitor

That would be great. Please go ahead and review those inks. We would be happy to host your findings. Unfrotunately, the test R1800 developed a fatal head failure and it was retired.

28 05 2010
inkquisitor

Friends,

Recently, a reader under the screen name of “Pben” posted rather serious and disparaging comments towards one of the ink companies reviewed on this site. We attempted to contact the author at the email address associated with this comment and found that the address was non-existent. Further, a trace of the originating comment was located to a region outside of Philadelphia, PA. The host company has been contacted and an investigation is ensuing.

While, the ink company posted a refutation of the reader’s comments, we felt given the unsubstantiated nature of the original allegations, that it was in the best interests to remove the offending comments and subsequent refutation.

We at Inkquisitor, give serious consideration to accuracy, honesty, and integrity. As such, unsubstantiated and disparaging comments will be investigated and removed. Thank you for your continued interest.

30 05 2010
Leo Chang

Thank you for removing the unsubstantiated and disparaging comment. We really hope our competitors can spend more time on improving their own products rather than doing such things.

Sincerely,

Leo
inkjetfly.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: