Open letter to Consumer Reports

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Mark Herring, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. Mark Herring

    Mark Herring Guest

    An open letter to Consumer Reports
    Mark Herring, 11 April, 2004


    After reading accounts in various forums, I read with some interest
    your recent articles (May 2004) on inkjet printers and third-party
    ink. I must tell you that I find your work superficial and
    amateurish---with the conclusions misleading at best and-in the
    limit-downright erroneous. Inkjet printing for both consumers and
    professionals has been maturing for many years, and is a complex and
    highly-developed technology. You have covered it only at the
    grade-school level.

    1. In your printer article, you state: "Eventually all photos fade,
    and inkjet photos have a reputation for fading faster than other
    types." While this may be true for a typical dye-based printer using
    normal glossy paper, there are many more variations extant. First-for
    dye printing-there are the so-called "swellable polymer" papers that
    absorb and encapsulate the ink. Epson Colorlife is only one example.
    These papers offer lifetime on the order of 25 years with dye ink.
    All of us have seen 1-hour photolab products fade more quickly.
    More seriously, you omit ANY discussion of pigment printers. The
    first of these in the consumer market was the Epson 2000. Widely
    criticized for its color rendition, it nonetheless offered 200-year
    print life on selected papers. More recently, Epson has introduced
    several pigment-based printers with trademarks such as "Durabright"
    and "Ultrachrome". You would have to have been marooned on a desert
    island to have missed their advertising, and yet you make no mention
    of any of these products-some of which are the MOST POPULAR printers
    in use.

    2. Your sampling of printers for test is totally skewed, omitting-as
    mentioned above-some of the most popular and widely-used models. Your
    article is slanted towards photo printing, and yet you list several
    HP models that are never considered photo printers (they are 4-color
    systems), and you OMIT the most widely used Epson models-including ALL
    of their 6 and 7-color "Photo" printers.

    3. Finally, your article about third party ink has serious problems.
    First, consider some basic logic: Inkjet printing has been around a
    long time. Why would anyone believe that a particular manufacturer
    had some magic formula for ink such that nothing else would work in
    their printers? This is simply not plausible. While it IS credible
    to believe that the typical printer manufacturer has taken the time to
    test an ink formula that works well in their printers, it does not
    follow that noone else can make compatible ink.
    If you sample the various forums relating to photo printing with
    inkjets, you will see mention of many sources of 3rd party ink, refill
    kits, and continuous-feed systems. You will also see testimonials
    from both advanced amateurs and professionals who use these products.
    It is wholly consistent with the amateurish nature of your article
    that you mention NONE of the most often recommended sources, including
    for example: MIS Associates, Mediastreet, Lyson, ColorBat, Weink.
    Read the forums---you will find many others.
    In summary, your articles have serious errors of omission and are
    unbalanced in that widely-used products and technologies receive no
    mention. Your blanket statements about third-party ink cannot be
    reconciled with the large user community successfully using these

    To maintain your integrity and credibility, I believe that it is
    incumbent on you to publish something more complete and competent.

    I am sure that all participants in these forums join me in urging you
    to respond.

    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Apr 12, 2004
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  2. Mark Herring

    Mark Herring Guest

    I'm referring to 2 articles.....

    Clear? Yes
    To the point: NO--because it left out key info---eg failure to make
    any mention of pigment ink.
    Accurate: Absolutely not. They reached a blanket conclusion on 3rd
    party ink wityou testing any of the more commonly recommended brands.
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Apr 13, 2004
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  3. Mark Herring

    Mark Herring Guest

    That would account for the number of people making really nice
    About what---I pointed out how they were INcorrect
    They dont' just TRY---they succeed. That's the business model.
    I get very nice text on my Epson's---always have
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Apr 13, 2004
  4. Mark Herring

    Larry Guest

    Anyone who would use "Consumer Reports" for a recomendation on anything more
    complicated than a suitcase or a can opener has SERIOUS judgement problems.

    I remember an article on TV sets they did years ago and they rated all the
    Sony TVs poorly because the snow in the picture was visible! They didnt seem
    to realize that the Sony showed the snowy picture because it COULD, and the
    other brands just had too soft a picture (lack of resolution) for the snow to
    show up on the screen.

    I stopped reading CR that month (a long time ago) and NEVER went back.

    That article was written when the Sony Trinitron was Hands down the best TV
    money could buy. (according to every TV technician I ever asked).
    Larry, Apr 13, 2004
  5. Mark Herring

    Larry Guest

    My point was, they were testing the televisions in poor signal areas, but DID
    NOT explain that in strong signal areas (or the few places that had good
    cable) the results would be different.

    Im not talking technical specs here, I'm talking about unvarnished truth. At
    the time they did the tests there simply wasnt a better television on the
    market, and to make the snow go away you only needed to turn down the
    sharpness control on the Sony. (another thing they didn't mention).

    The Sony TVs at the time were very expensive when compared to other makes,
    and that gave CR an axe to grind. They were NOT talking dollar value, they
    were talking picture quality, and they flat out got it wrong.

    In case you wonder, NO I dont happen to own a Sony TV at the moment, I have
    several Toshibas, and a couple of Panasonics.
    Larry, Apr 13, 2004
  6. Mark Herring

    Steve m... Guest

    Please remember that HP has at least 6 suppliers of their ink. As a result
    there are inconsistent batches across the product line. I myself have
    experienced the same as you with the first batch of ink I used. The second
    batch has not faded at all in a year. This is on the 56, 57, 58 system in
    use in a HP 7550. It's the ink producers that are the problem. (in OEM
    cartridges) And interesting that CR doesn't report this issue.
    I too have refilled my cartridges. I only do this a short term solution
    for black mostly. I rely on new cartridges for lasting prints. I have
    talked with my ink supplier about this issue just recently. He has assured
    me that they tested them and have found no fading yet (1 year period sitting
    in indirect lighting . probably around his house). We'll see. Try it
    yourself. They are at

    Steve m...

    "> I haven't read the article, but I agree with their statements as
    Steve m..., Apr 14, 2004
  7. Mark Herring

    Mark Herring Guest

    Excuse me, Jim........I have been posting here for some time. I think
    I know what a troll is, and I am not one. What exactly is behind your
    Mark Herring, Pasadena, Calif.
    Private e-mail: Just say no to "No".
    Mark Herring, Apr 14, 2004
  8. Mark Herring

    Tom Monego Guest

    Please explain, folks have found pigment inks to have problems with uncoated
    papers, but in I've done 5 years of commercial inkjet printinting, since the
    2000P has come out (the 7500, 9500 and 10000CF all use the same inks) I
    haven't heard one complaint of fading. Complaints about the black density but
    not longevity. I have heard people claim it was a 2000P but in general they
    admit they were talking of the 1270, 1280. Longevity hasn't been proven with
    the new photopapers either Fuji Crystal Archive is listed as a 75 year life,
    has only been arround since 2000. With even good dye inks you can beat the
    older photopapers in an accelerated fading test. Fuji also admits that the lab
    must run in tight control to get the longevity they claim, wouldn't trust
    Wally World or even Cosco to do that.

    Yes, you will see better print life if you spray them
    Your photos would have better life sprayed too. Again it was the Epson dye
    inks circa 2001 that were the faders.

    Tom Monego, Apr 14, 2004
  9. Mark Herring

    JM Guest

    Key word: reputation

    This isn't their opinion.

    I've seen some nice photographic inkjet output, but I find inkjet quite
    expensive. The inks are not permanent since one drop of water ruins the
    photo. And, inkjet is S-L-O-W! I don't like the fact the injet printers
    themselves are consumables. I went over to laser. I couldn't be more
    happier with the speed, and quality. I would never go back to inkjunk again.
    JM, Apr 15, 2004
  10. Mark Herring

    John Navas Guest


    In <> on Mon, 12 Apr 2004
    Tests by Wilhelm Imaging Research have conclusively shown that precise
    matching of ink formulation to both printer and paper is critical to
    quality and longevity. No matter how "good" the ink, if it's not
    precisely matched to the printer, to the color of the OEM ink, and to
    the particular paper, it's not going to perform well. The problem is
    that most third-party inks are generic, and thus a compromise that is
    often severe.
    John Navas, Apr 16, 2004
  11. Mark Herring

    John Navas Guest


    There is your (not HP) problem right there!

    Wilhelm Imaging Research has shown that paper and ink must be carefully
    matched to achieve archival performance. Substituting different paper
    (Kodak) than the ink was designed for (HP) can cause a dramatic drop in
    archival life.
    John Navas, Apr 16, 2004
  12. Mark Herring

    §c©©t§ Guest

    but --

    §c©©t§, Apr 18, 2004
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