Six colour printers any better?

  Wilham 21:35 24 Aug 2003

As I understand it, making colour prints is a subtractive process, and commercial production of quality fine-art prints involves more than the three magenta/cyan/yellow starter colours found in the usual inkjets.
The May 2003 PCA gave two reviews of the HP2210 (p64, p80) and neither mentioned its six ink property: but I was influenced by the ads and I bought one. In order to use 6 ink I find I have to replace the black cart, HP56 (supplied), with a photo HP58 (extra).
It seems to me the photo cart makes little difference, perhaps skin tones maginally more natural. I did find HP58 emptied quickly, so I wonder if it did all the work?
I'd like to read other opinion/reviews, to decide if it really is a 6 ink process.

  BURGMAN02 21:52 24 Aug 2003

Wilham........I have a 3 colour printer and a friend a 6 colour. On a 7"X 5" print I can't see any difference, BUT - are my eyes what they once were?

I think it's perceptive.

  fred 21:58 24 Aug 2003

I had a HP printer on which I had the choice of replacing the black cartridge with a tricolour giving me six colours. The difference in quality was like comparing a sepia print to a colour photo. Well worth doing provided you bear in mind the extra expense on ink.

  Wilham 21:59 24 Aug 2003

I've just pressed the cart's on kitchen roll. HP57 is the expected cyan/magenta/yellow. HP58 photo is green/red/black.

  Wilham 22:07 24 Aug 2003

If anyone knows a s/w source of above I'd be delighted. The spots are all the same on a grey-scale but differ in tint... an objectiv test for a printer.

  jospar 22:54 24 Aug 2003

I use two printers at the moment, mainly due to the fact my lexmark is a all-in-one, so I need the scaner part at the moment.

My lexmark was o.k on photo printing but you could always tell that it was done at home, there never seem to be any life and seemed a bit dull or shall I say flat. One area I noticed was that it seemed to wripe out any depth to the pictures.

But I have invested in a Epson stylus photo printer, this has a 6 colour cartridge, and unlike most other 6 colours, all the colours are contained in one cartridge so no mucking about removing and changing the black cartridge everytime you want to print a photo.

And the photos are superb, colour repersentation is brillient. They are alive, with great depth of field to them, I can't tell (nor did work colleagues) the difference between the ones I printed on the printer and ones that I had devleoped at the lab.

Concering the ink, well running cost are lot cheaper than my lexmark, if I used branded cartridges, Epson colour are £18.99 but for the photo cart for the lexmark, which is still only tri-colour this cost £32.99.

I was suprised to how long my Epson cartridge lasted, I printed 70 6x4 photos and 3 A4 size with one colour cartridge. All at the top photo setting.

I thought at first that I didn't like the idea of the Epson carridge being 'chipped' but this hasn't possed any problems, in fact it has enable me to run a test.

I brought a compatible colour cartride from site that seems to have a lot of reccomentations onthis site. The Epson cartridge cut out half way through a photo, being chipped I had no loss of quaility before running out, and was able to change the colour cartridge and carry on printing the photo. The quality of the compatiable cartridge is the same as Epsons, you can not tell were the branded cartridge finishes and the compatiable starts.

And with the cost difference under a fiver each if I buy a pack 5+ 1 free. So guess where I'm getting my cartridges from. And the best bit being that I don't have to run around several shops to find the ones I want which has happened several times now with my Lexmark cartridges, these get delivered to my door the next day.

  Wilham 23:33 24 Aug 2003

Epson failed me, and it was just after the warranty expired. The print head dried out, cost more to repair than replace the printer.. I don't give up easily but no way could I clear the ink-way.
Loads of folk say they've used Epson for umpteen years and no hassle,... it doesn't help me. The info is confirmed p335 in Oct C Shopper, Which? v block and printer's a write-off. I'd forgive them if they made the head replaceable.
While it still worked Epson printed good quality.
Why don't they produce see-through cartridges?
Your interesting comments make good sense.

  jospar 00:01 25 Aug 2003

I know what you mean, having had several printers now, I must amit the Lexmark hasn't given much trouble except that it really doesn't like running under XP, it will under home with some protest, but I have neather managed to get it to go under XP pro.

I am hoping that the Epson is realiable in the long run, I was put off HP, has the one in work is nothing but trouble, one day it will work with out a hitch, turn it on the next and nothing. We've had it checked but no one found anything yet. Our theory, it seems to play up, when we are having problems with a internet connection to head office, so we reckon that its the companies main sever that causeing the problems?

So hoping that I don't have to put a thread titled Help epson........

  Wilham 21:06 25 Aug 2003

In this thread BURGMAN02 and fred offer contrasting views on 6-ink,- showing different experiences. Even the separate brief PCA assessments of the same HP model 2210 in May 2003, p64 and p80 , gave contrasting costs of ink as "2.8/4.4 ...costs are low", and "4.4/7.4 ..quite expensive". Decimals are pence per page black/colour. When professionals can't agree where does it leave us amateurs?
I wish luck to jospar. If any one of the 6 epson inks runs dry unnoticed, doesn't the Epson statement in the Which? v Epson ref I gave earlier forecast doom?
Or am I just nit-picking?

  961 19:55 27 Aug 2003

I have an Epson for colour prints from my digital camera, and an HP for day to day.

The Epson uses 6 colours, the HP 4, although it can use 6. The Epson has the print head in the printer and if it dries out and goes awol after the guarantee is up that's too bad. The HP gets a new print head with every cartridge.

I would always suggest HP unless you are after 100% best product for photos. And even then, 4 colour is good now unless you are doing portraits and want 100% skin tones

HP is good enough and the printer keeps going

  Wilham 20:14 27 Aug 2003

I'm pleased you mention skin tones because to me it was the only distinguishing factor in the printout between HP 3 and HP6 ink usage.

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