Thought I'd check-in here to see if anyone had any recommendations/experience with Epson printer Claria ink replacement. I've done some looking into this and the practice (of going with OEM replacement cartridges/ink) seems fairly ubiquitous/common. I'm looking to replace the cartridges in one of my Artisan 1430 printers and the following after-market ink sites seems to have decent replacement kits for this printer [links removed by moderator]
Has anyone else done this? Anyone have any experience with the above vendors and their dye sets? Any issues I should be aware of before following through with this?
No experience, but you might take a look over on the Luminous Landscape forum, e.g. this thread:
Thanks for the pointer 21. Although the thread was originally asking about pigment inks (Claria is dye-based) the underlying discussion raises some good points regarding the various tradeoffs of going with OEM refills vs manufacturer COTS cartridges. Hmmm, I can't dispute the fact that the cost tradeoff is mediocre over time, but the idea of refilling cartridges (for less $$ and to save on refuse) is appealing.
Is there anyone else out there that uses OEM (Claria replacement) ink and refills their Epson cartridges?
The big drawback is in ICC profiling. Epson's inbuilt profiles (and third-party paper profiles for an Epson printer) all assume you're using Epson's ink, so the proofs will usually be out of whack when you're using off-brand cartridges or refills. I tried a bunch and typically the red/cyan tones were all over the place, so skies were... amusing. If you have a colorimeter you can always build your own custom profile for any combination of printer/ink/paper, but most people don't.
Personally I use off-brand inks on the old Stylus printer that whaps out stuff like invoices and it's never been a problem in terms of clogging up (though the ink levels on Epson's monitor utility are sometimes a little skittish). I'll buy whatever's cheapest, don't care. In the past I tried home refills, but it's a lot of faffing about and the unbranded cartridges aren't much more. I do have one of the little "chip resetter" tools so I can stop the thing wailing at me if Cyan's empty.
The printer I use for photos gets Claria ink, mostly so I know the soft proofs are accurate, but since everything that comes out of that tray is destined for sale, quality and reliability matter - someone asks for a reprint in 6 months, they expect identical colors. I could probably get the same results with off-brand ink if I calibrated everything and ran a bunch of tests, but it's not worth the hassle.
Ah, yes, of course - I hadn't considered the ICC profiles! This definitely increases the hassle factor. I do have a Colorimeter, but have never had to create custom (printer) ICC profiles. What's involved in that? Depending on the effort vs. success curve I may still consider this (but the likelihood is dropping fast ).
BTW, I haven't checked, but I wonder whether the 3rd party ink replacement shops provide these profiles (either for the specific Epson papers I use or for other common/good independent papers)?
Colorimeters are relatively simple to use, you print their special test sheet of colored patches and scan the device across them. Note that a screen calibrator is a different thing, some dual-purpose devices exist but in general a print profiler is more expensive as it has to include a calibrated light source as well as the detectors.