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 Post subject: basic ink question
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:11 am 
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I’ve been using my HP cheapie inkjet for about a year now and mostly print 8” x 10” semi-glossies. For my needs it is fine. However, the standard inkjet prints are not color fast. That is, they will smear if a drop of water lands on them. Is there a special ink or spray that will fix (harden) my prints, so they are like professional (drug store) prints?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:16 am 
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Hmmm, it's been a long while since I tested inkjets, so I know some of the others here will have better and more up-to-date advice, but from the days when I tested them, I think you may have needed a different printer technology - either a dye sublimation which produces actual photo prints, or a pigment inkjet model which embeds its ink in the paper rather than placing it on top where it can be marked.

Alternatively lamination could be the way forward!

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:14 am 
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Most newer mid to high end printers have a much better nozzle release, which totally eliminates this as far as I know. I am not sure if you can get soemthing to fix this instead of getting a new printer. However I suggest you clean the heads regulary if it keeps happening.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:25 am 
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Wonda Boy, thanks for your comment. However I wasn't too clear -- nothing is broken. By fix, I mean the setting or hardening of the ink so it is colorfast, like a print you get from the drug store. Nothing is broken on the printer.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:55 pm 
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Hi Brian, I'm sure you know this, but just to confirm, the prints you get from a lab or drug store are produced using a dye-sublimation process which is different to inkjet and will always produce a more colour-fast result. You can buy mini dye sub printers for home use, which could be an option if you want colour-fast postcard sized prints...

I still think you're looking at a new printer though if you want better colour-fastness than your existing model...

Or if you only need colour fastness on a smaller selection of prints, you could output these ones at a drug store and just keep using your existing inkjet for the rest. I do this quite a lot myself, using lab services for some prints, and a home inkjet for others...


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 Post subject: die sublimation
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:58 am 
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No, I didn't know Gordon. Thanks. I have seen those printers for small prints, but not for 8x10. Anyway, the process is expensive so I didn't consider it. Your suggestion of getting an occasional print done at the drug store is a good idea -- my local store has a full print service. I'm surprised that everyone else is in the same boat with inkjets. Perhaps CHEAP die sublimation prints (or the equivilant) are something for the future. Thanks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:45 pm 
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I think it depends on the paper you are using. I use Epson Premium Glossy photo paper 10x15cm and Kirkland A4 Glossy inkjet photo paper (Costco) with my 2 year old Epson Stylus Photo RX425 using cheapy epson compatible cartridges from fleabay.

I test by deliberately pouring water onto the printed paper and theres no smearing. :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:32 am 
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That's interesting el. Just to be sure, I pulled out a couple of 6 mo. old prints (so I knew they were completely dry) and tried a drop of water on them. Sure enough, they smeared right away. I use HP Premium gloss paper and HP ink. The ink is simply not indelible. I've been shelling out the big bucks for genuine HP ink, perhaps the cheaper stuff is better. I could be wrong, but I doubt that using a different paper could help the HP ink set up any better. Thanks for the info. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:14 am 
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Yes it is quite interesting.
I also, to be sure did a test this morning just after I read your reply. And yes it did not smear at all.

Here is an example of cheap ink I am using.

I guess maybe its a combination of both ink and paper (though not really sure)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:35 am 
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Hi el. I had to find time to do a little research on this. First, I found that your Epson is using the cyan, magenta, yellow inks (which is supposed to be truer color) instead of the red, green, blue that I'm using in my HP. Also Epson was using a die-type ink, which I assume is the main reason for its durability. So then I went to the HP site and viola, they now have a Vivera ink cartridge (I'm pretty sure it wasn't shown before :roll: ). I haven't checked prices yet (I'm sure they're more expensive) but I can probably find a refills that are cheaper, as you suggested. So, thanks el, you helped me find some good alternatives that will likely work well. I may even be able to keep my old printer. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:24 am 
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Hi guys,

Pigment based inks are more durable than dye based inks as far as fading is concerned. Both types may smear if water is dropped on them.

There are protective sprays which help as can a good choice of paper. Have a look at the results of this Google search.

Bob.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:04 am 
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I had seen these sprays for art work, but I didn't know they would work on photos. This seems to be a quick and easy solution -- it doesn't cost that much either. Also, you're confirming el's thoughts about paper (I don't really understand that part, but whatever works). Thanks bob -- really appreciate the help.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:31 pm 
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Location: England, UK
I just bought a new Epson RX685 for £99.99 (50% off) from Comet yesterday. It was originally £199. I was actually looking for an A3 printer but they were so expensive. So I went for this one on sale. I liked it beacuse it can print directly onto printable CDs/DVDs. So I also bought printable Cds and when I got home I did some test prints. Printouts are more vibrant compared to my old printer.

I immediately did some SMEAR test!

To my surprise, a drop of water onto the printed CD dissolved the print!
And my 6x4 print did not!
This concludes that the one thing that makes the difference is the printing paper!!!

Now Im in the hunt for waterproof printable CDs/DVDs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:48 pm 
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Well I'll be... I never would have thought that. Since I use the glossy paper, it probably acts like the CD (neat new feature, by the way) and keeps the ink from binding with the paper. However, you said you use glossy paper too -- perhaps it's the brand? This is perfect timing since I just ran out of paper :lol: Thanks el, and congratulations on your new printer.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:57 pm 
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Location: England, UK
At last i found a Waterproof Printable CD/DVD.
The brand is called Taiyo Yuden with Watershield. :D

It doesnt smear even when soaked with water for 2 minutes!

There is also Imation with AquaGuard but only available in US at the moment.

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