Just how much difference is there between pigment ink and dye ink ?

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#1
I'm still dithering about what printer to buy - I want to print A3 and am looking at printers like the Canon IP8750, Canon P100 or an Epson SC P600.
I'm slightly put off the Epson due to internet tales of woe about clogging heads, and I am not likely to be printing on a daily or even weekly basis at times..
I am also keen to get some sort of quality refillable inks.
However, my biggest issue is that I've never seen a print done on both types of ink so have no idea how much difference there is. Ideally I want to see the same picture done on both.
The IP8750 is the most appealing as I can get it with a Permajet ink-flo system for £340 - ideal, but aside from longevity how much better would prints from say an Epson P600, which with a Permajet ink-flo is £750, and comes with the afore mentioned clogging worries. I plan to use Permajet inks, paper and profiles etc at least to start with..
Any thoughts ?
I'm leaning towards the cheaper Canon for obvious reasons, but any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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#2
I have a Epson SC-P600 and use Marrutt inks. I don't print regularly and have no problems with clogged heads.

Just keep the printer turned off when not in use and closed up to prevent dust from getting in.

I would also invest in a printer potty, so any ways ink isn't deposited into the base of the printer.
 
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#3
Epson have definitely got over their print head problems with the sc600 and it really is a great printer. I’ve been using Epson for the last 20 years and now have had the sc800 for the past 3 years and not a problem, really great results although I always use Epson inks.
 
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#4
I wouldn't have an Epson printer if they were free because of past problems.

Canon and HP for me now.
 
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nandbytes

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I decided to take the plunge with the canon IP8750 just under a year ago. While pigment ink printers are generally deemed to be better quality I can't see a huge difference. The IP8750 produces stunning results.
I think pigment prints last longer and are more robust but I don't print often enough to warrant pigment ink printers and all the trouble that comes with it.
I also don't have the space for huge pigment ink printers. The IP8750 prints A3+ without being huge. I can just about fit it in my room.
So for me money wasn't and isn't really a consideration, it's just that IP8750 gives the best quality for the other trade-offs.
If I was a regular printer and/or sold or displayed my prints then I'd definitely go for canon Pro series.
 
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I decided to take the plunge with the canon IP8750 just under a year ago. While pigment ink printers are generally deemed to be better quality I can't see a huge difference. The IP8750 produces stunning results.
I think pigment prints last longer and are more robust but I don't print often enough to warrant pigment ink printers and all the trouble that comes with it.
I also don't have the space for huge pigment ink printers. The IP8750 prints A3+ without being huge. I can just about fit it in my room.
So for me money wasn't and isn't really a consideration, it's just that IP8750 gives the best quality for the other trade-offs.
If I was a regular printer and/or sold or displayed my prints then I'd definitely go for canon Pro series.
Still dithering, but your post is helping push me towards the IP8750 - should I get the printing bug big time then maybe I can look into a pigment ink printer.
Thanks for all the replies so far !
 
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Martin Smallridge
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#8
Just as a primer...
- Pigment ink is made up of solid particulate matter is held in suspension, not dissolved. It tends to give off a more muted colour. The key plus is that they have markedly better fade resistance and are traditionally used for archival printing.
- Dye ink on the other hand is a soluble material that dissolves into the base ink solution and is absorbed into the paper/media substrate. It tends to produce a more vivid result. Downside is that dyes are more prone to fading. However OEM inks (eg: ChromaLife 100) have been developed as synthetic dyes that specifically deal with fading and are reportedly much better now.

I'm slightly put off the Epson due to internet tales of woe about clogging heads, and I am not likely to be printing on a daily or even weekly basis at times..
I am also keen to get some sort of quality refillable inks.
However, my biggest issue is that I've never seen a print done on both types of ink so have no idea how much difference there is. Ideally I want to see the same picture done on both.
The tales regarding Epson and, well, basically ANY pigment ink are reasonably accurate historically, particularly when it comes to the CIS or high volume cartridges systems as the pigment traditionally had a tendency to settle or clump together and then your clogging began. I wrote a (non-commercial) blog article about the trials of CIS and pigment that covers all the nasty aspects and some pro-active info, although it is pretty old, it does still have a lot of useful info in it.

That said, some of the newer inks use an encapsulated resin process that is ionically charged.
Techobabble translation: The pigment particles are coated in a resin and given a magnetic charge that helps them repel each other thus stops the particles from clumping.
Inktec K3 are one of these but there are likely to be others and I suspect some of the last few generations of OEM inks are the same. So it is possible to avoid these issues now, however, if you aren't printing regularly you still run the risk of clogging over time... So, may be worth just avoiding.

Dye inks don't tend to suffer from clogging but do have their own achilles heel in that they tend to be "food" for algae and other biologicals and eventually the biocide/algae-killer in the ink will degrade to the point that the biological will have a feast. Needless to say, this means clumps of algae, clogged jets and unhappy printers, particularly Canon/HP as the ink is a coolant as well as being the ink. Epsons tend to be less affected and more resilient as the ink/nozzle is not heated.


Beyond that, not sure what else to tell you but one key thing to bear in mind regardless of ink type, is that Canon have a policy of only manufacturing replacement printheads for (I think) three years after a model has been retired. So, there are Pro-9500 printer owners for example who have discovered that they can't get new heads as of about June of 2018. Other really good printers like the iP4500 were retired in about 2016 IIRC so if you are reliant on a Canon printer, you really need to bear in mind that the printhead is a consumable and without it you are well and truly stuffed. Frustrating really as a lot of good printers are being dumped because of this issue...

But I digress... Hope that info was useful... There's always outliers and exceptions to the above.
 
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Asha

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#10
I've never used epson.
Perhaps I was put off by the stories of clogged heads when I was searching for an A3 printer a number of years ago.
I ended up wth a Canon pixma 9000 pro which has never faulted, clogged heads or otherwise ( sometimes it has sat for upto 3 months with no use!).
As it is I recently purchased a new, smaller printer as I no longer print any larger than A4 and, without hesitation, I went Canon again.
Wether the issues with epson have been resolved or not, I found that the clogged head problem continued to deter me from an epson purchase.
As it is the new Canon Pixma ip7250 is printing out results practically on a par with the 9000.

It's a shame that I live overseas as I would be happy to loan the 9000 to you to try out to give you some idea of quality as it's sat here unused. ( afaik it is still manufactured, mk II or even more modern perhaps)
 
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#14
Just as a primer...
- Pigment ink is made up of solid particulate matter is held in suspension, not dissolved. It tends to give off a more muted colour. The key plus is that they have markedly better fade resistance and are traditionally used for archival printing.
- Dye ink on the other hand is a soluble material that dissolves into the base ink solution and is absorbed into the paper/media substrate. It tends to produce a more vivid result. Downside is that dyes are more prone to fading. However OEM inks (eg: ChromaLife 100) have been developed as synthetic dyes that specifically deal with fading and are reportedly much better now.


The tales regarding Epson and, well, basically ANY pigment ink are reasonably accurate historically, particularly when it comes to the CIS or high volume cartridges systems as the pigment traditionally had a tendency to settle or clump together and then your clogging began. I wrote a (non-commercial) blog article about the trials of CIS and pigment that covers all the nasty aspects and some pro-active info, although it is pretty old, it does still have a lot of useful info in it.

That said, some of the newer inks use an encapsulated resin process that is ionically charged.
Techobabble translation: The pigment particles are coated in a resin and given a magnetic charge that helps them repel each other thus stops the particles from clumping.
Inktec K3 are one of these but there are likely to be others and I suspect some of the last few generations of OEM inks are the same. So it is possible to avoid these issues now, however, if you aren't printing regularly you still run the risk of clogging over time... So, may be worth just avoiding.

Dye inks don't tend to suffer from clogging but do have their own achilles heel in that they tend to be "food" for algae and other biologicals and eventually the biocide/algae-killer in the ink will degrade to the point that the biological will have a feast. Needless to say, this means clumps of algae, clogged jets and unhappy printers, particularly Canon/HP as the ink is a coolant as well as being the ink. Epsons tend to be less affected and more resilient as the ink/nozzle is not heated.


Beyond that, not sure what else to tell you but one key thing to bear in mind regardless of ink type, is that Canon have a policy of only manufacturing replacement printheads for (I think) three years after a model has been retired. So, there are Pro-9500 printer owners for example who have discovered that they can't get new heads as of about June of 2018. Other really good printers like the iP4500 were retired in about 2016 IIRC so if you are reliant on a Canon printer, you really need to bear in mind that the printhead is a consumable and without it you are well and truly stuffed. Frustrating really as a lot of good printers are being dumped because of this issue...

But I digress... Hope that info was useful... There's always outliers and exceptions to the above.
I meant to quote this in my reply, but for some reason failed... I blame my phone and the Internet. Can't be my fault...
 
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