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 user 2006-04-05 at 11:57:00 am Views: 54
  • #14901

    Ink and paper make a world of difference
    APRIL 06:THERE’S a feeling among consumers that printer makers recommend their own ink and paper to make more money. Not so, say the major players.
    Connect asked HP, Kodak, Canon and Epson: “Why should consumers always use your paper and inks with your printers? And what happens if they don’t?” Here are their responses.

    Tests show that third-party inks require more head cleaning on an inkjet printer and cause more blockages than genuine inks.
    Every ink has some fixed and some variable characteristics. Viscosity and temperature are two key ones. Every type of paper has its own characteristics. Absorption rate and permeability are two key ones. To achieve optimal print quality, every printer vendor programs its printer drivers with the characteristics of their own ink and paper types.
    Epson printers have a table of how viscosity of the ink in the printer (known by the printer talking to the chip on the ink cartridge) varies with temperature. The printer also has a small thermometer to measure ink temperature.
    When these are known, the printer automatically varies the droplet size and shape (and sometimes angle of firing) to match the current viscosity of the Epson ink, so you get an optimal result according to the type of Epson paper the ink is being applied to. If either the ink or the paper is not genuine Epson, then their precise characteristics are unknown to the printer and it will then apply ink to the paper in the way that is optimal for Epson ink and paper, which in all likelihood will not be correct for an alien ink-paper mix. The result will be of less quality.

    Because HP carefully co-designs the printer, ink and photo paper together as a system, using HP inks and paper gives maximum reliability, ease of use and the best print quality. A non-HP ink can cause a multitude of problems within the printhead/cartridge. Glued areas can gradually delaminate because of chemical incompatibility. Tiny channels can get plugged because ink designs are not “torture tested” with the same rigour as HP inks.
    A non-HP ink will not use the exclusive colourants contained in genuine HP ink, so colours are different to what was intended by the engineer who designed and optimised the “colour maps” in the printer. Wilhelm Imaging Research ( shows that genuine OEM inks outlast after-market inks by a factor of 20x or more.

    Canon has dedicated considerable resources to the research and development of Canon inks and photo paper to ensure Canon printer owners obtain best-quality photos. The combination of Canon’s ChromaLife100 inks and selected Canon photo papers allows photos printed at home to last as long as, if not longer than, photos developed by labs.

    Kodak has a range of high-quality photo paper available in a number of sizes. These have been optimised to be used with a variety of printers because Kodak doesn’t produce printers. Kodak’s EasyShare range of photo printers use a thermal dye-printing method where the ink is applied to the paper in layers. The final layer also provides a protective clear coating. The result is an instant waterproof and smudge-proof 6×4 borderless print that will last for decades.