Does printer ink really cost more to make than it does to mine silver?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by RichA, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    I doubt it. But by weight, it costs more.
    RichA, Oct 24, 2011
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  2. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    Sad, but true.

    ....but when you want to produce a decent quality print there is no free
    ride, from the $800-$1800 printer, to the 8 cartridge system @ $12-$15
    each depending on the deal you can find.
    I know what it costs to feed my Epson R2880.

    Unless, of course, you have a better idea.
    Savageduck, Oct 24, 2011
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  3. RichA

    Guest Guest

    so don't buy it.
    Guest, Oct 24, 2011
  4. RichA

    Charles Guest

    "RichA" wrote in message

    I doubt it. But by weight, it costs more.

    Yeah, and bottled water costs more than gasoline.
    Charles, Oct 24, 2011
  5. RichA

    eatmorepies Guest

    My better idea was to buy an Epson 3880. In the Uk the 3880 cost £950 ish
    and the 2880 £480ish. The 3880 comes with 9 cartridges each with 80ml of
    ink - I guess the 2880 comes with 12 to 15 ml in each cartridge. I can print
    A2 if I want and I imagine the 3880 is more sturdy than the 2880. 3880 ink
    is cheaper per ml then 2880 ink.

    eatmorepies, Oct 24, 2011
  6. The cost of ink for the R2880 is roughly $1.02/ml, while
    ink for the 3880 is $0.74/ml. Of course for the 4880,
    in 220ml cartridges, ink is $0.51/ml, or just about
    exactly half the cost of operating an R2880. For the
    7800 and 9800 series printers that can use 700ml
    cartridges ink is down to $0.40/ml.

    The significance is that for any given amount of use it
    is relatively easy to calculate which printer will cost
    less over any given time period. And at least up
    through the 4000 series it is often much less expensive
    to buy a much higher cost printer in order to reduce the
    cost of ink. (The 24 inch wide format and larger
    printer, such as the 7890 or 9890, don't necessarily
    qualify because they do not auto feed sheets and are not
    suitable as a general purpose printer.)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Oct 24, 2011
  7. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    Actually I am quite happy with the R2880, as I am not exactly doing
    production work, and I have a great deal of flexibility with regard to
    media choice for for printing. My current favorite is RedRiver Paper,
    13x19 Polar Pearl Metallic.

    I guess somewhere you must have read this:
    < >
    Savageduck, Oct 25, 2011
  8. RichA

    Trevor Guest

    Only if you don't factor in the printer or print head failing before you
    have printed the number of prints used in your simple calculations.
    Something that happens all too often unfortunately.
    Another alternative is to buy the cheaper printer and modify it for a 3rd
    party ink system. Of course not all ink is created equal, but neither are
    Epson/Canon inks beyond comparison.

    Trevor, Oct 25, 2011
  9. RichA

    Rich Guest

    I don't know. I remember the first black ink jets from Canon had large
    cartidges that cost about $25.00. I would get about 500 typed sheets
    from one. Average colour printer today gets about 20 full-bleed
    8.5"x11" sheets. That's about $3 a print, not including paper. You can
    do 8x10's for that at local print shops, including paper. Ink rose
    dramatically in price as printer costs dropped. Substitution, I'd say.
    Rich, Oct 25, 2011
  10. RichA

    Rich Guest

    Only natural spring stuff. The filtered tap water is cheap. I've seen
    cases of 24 for $3.00. I don't buy bottled water.
    Rich, Oct 25, 2011
  11. RichA

    Trevor Guest

    Right, and I've never understood either why a 8x12" print costs ~20-25 times
    the price of a 6x4" print locally, when it's only 4 times the size. When
    enlargements from negs required much manual handling the difference could be
    justified, these days it seems to be simply a giant rip off.
    Fortunately it's easy to create mural size from 6x4" prints at *very* low
    cost if you don't mind the joins :)

    Trevor, Oct 25, 2011
  12. RichA

    Savageduck Guest

    If I were going to use a printer for general text printing, with or
    without color, I would use a Laser printer. The economics of printing
    text with a laser printer over trying to do the same with a quality
    inkjet printer is a no brainer.

    I do not use my R2880 for general printing tasks. I reserve it for
    printing photographs.
    As a matter of fact even getting a multi-purpose inkjet for home office
    use is a misguided budgetary choice given the reasonable operating
    costs of today's laser printers.
    Savageduck, Oct 25, 2011
  13. It's pretty rare.

    The number of prints required to justify the more
    expensive printers is relatively few (200 a year), and
    doesn't come anything close to the typical life span of
    the printer.

    That of course is also more true of the higher grade
    printers. Consumer printers have significantly lower
    build quality, and they are commonly designed to expire
    sooner. Waste ink, for example, is commonly dumped into
    the bottom of the printer case, and after a predetermined
    number of prints the machines says that's it, it's done!
    The professional models have replacable waste ink tanks.
    The same applies to the higher cost printers though,
    except of course there is generally no need to modify

    I'm not sure that I'd agree that OEM inks are not beyond
    comparison, simply because nobody else seems to want to
    have a third part test their inks. But regardless of how
    one views that, not all printing requires the claimed
    benefits of OEM inks, such as fade resistance and in
    particular the color fidelity. For example, printing
    flyers or brochures hardly requires premium inks. It's
    open to debate just which photographs do either!

    The point though is that as stated with a high enough volume
    the more expensive models turn out to be cheaper over a normal
    lifespan of a printer.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Oct 25, 2011
  14. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Bottled water costs more than gasoline.


    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Oct 25, 2011
  15. RichA

    Eric Stevens Guest

    I picked a 3800 for the simple reason that when I get to the second
    set of ink cartridges (which I now have) it will have cost me less to
    run than a 2800 doing the same amount of printing.


    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Oct 25, 2011
  16. RichA

    isw Guest

    Are you confusing "cost to make" with "how much people can be conned
    into paying for it"?

    isw, Oct 25, 2011
  17. RichA

    Trevor Guest

    I wish my friends and I could agree with you, I really do. My experience
    says otherwise. But then I've never owned one of the $2,000+ printers, I
    have spent $600-$1,000+ three times on printers that failed well before
    expected. (Canon, Epson and HP)
    My friends experiences mirror my own.

    Maybe, but there are still many amateur photographers who find it hard to
    justify $1,000++ a year on prints. (cost of printer, paper and ink)
    Professionals, sure.

    Right, and some of those disposable printers are pretty pricey! There is a
    BIG jump from the $50 general purpose printers (that you can use any old ink
    on because you just throw them away when the heads are stuffed), and those
    that can produce quality prints to satisfy a photographer.

    You probably wouldn't want to if you've paid a few thousand dollars, but the
    ink is still bloody pricey, even IF it is less per ml than the printer
    manufacturers smaller cartridges.

    Agreed, but I really meant premium OEM inks Vs premium 3rd party inks.

    Depending on the number of prints made per year, which was my point.
    IF you don't make enough prints per year the printer will probably die or be
    obsolete before it's paid for itself. If you simply make more prints to try
    and justify the outlay, you end up paying even more money than you othewise
    would have.

    Trevor, Oct 25, 2011
  18. So your experience is with the cheaper printers which I've
    suggested are not necessarily that economical; and you are
    indicating that is in fact true.

    As I've said, professional models are significantly
    higher quality, and are meant for thousands of
    operations. For example the Epson 4880 printer is rated
    for 20,000 A2 prints, and the maintenance unit is rated
    for 160,000 "pump rotations" in continuous operation.

    Compare the 200 prints per year suggestion as about the
    break even point for 3 or 4 years of operation, and
    consider that it would be reasonable to expect to get 5000
    print per year for 4 years! If the actual use is only
    200 prints per year, at the end of 4 years it can be
    sold with a description of "virtually unused"!

    With less expensive consumer models you probably won't
    get 5000 prints in the life of the printer, never mind
    per year for several years. But that isn't really important
    for someone only print more or less than 200 per year.
    That's exactly the point of the details that I provided.
    If you print 2 prints a week, there is no economy of
    scale. If you do 5 prints a week there probably is. At
    10 prints a week there is no question.

    The whole point was that the information is available to
    make a sound decision rather than a wild guess.
    But all we are interested in here are "prints to satisfy
    a photographer".
    A relatively few years ago third party inks were all
    pretty questionable in terms of potential damage to the
    printer. Today there are at least two or three that
    have clearly proven themselves to be high quality and
    safe. The problem I have with any of them is that none
    have been rigorously validated by third party testing
    for archival qualities. For that reason I've stayed
    with Epson inks.
    Your point? That was the original point of my first
    post... repeating it is not exactly significant. I
    included the essential data required to determine
    exactly how many prints, not just some off the wall
    homespun theory.
    Sure. But the valid point still remains that for some
    given amount of use it is more economical to go with a
    higher cost printer in order to reduce the total cost of
    operation over the life of a printer. Hand waving that
    it may or may not be this or that is worthless
    therapeutic noise. The actual prices of ink, which
    allows exact calculations to be made, are what counts...
    and that was exactly what I posted to start with.
    You've added nothing of significance.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Oct 25, 2011
  19. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Cost: (roughly)

    Ink Jet: 10
    laser: 1
    Large photocopier (as printer): 0.03
    RichA, Oct 25, 2011
  20. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Most of the cost is in the electronic cartridges that cost more than
    they should to make because they engineer them to reject (in some
    cases) refills.
    RichA, Oct 25, 2011
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