Does the number of Ink Tanks make a difference?

Discussion in 'Printing' started by sokar, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    I was hoping that the printing gurus amongst this forum could provide some advice regarding 2 different printers that I am considering purchasing.

    I currently own a Canon MX320 modified with the aftermarket Ink tank system. After fighting with this unit for several years and constantly dealing with printer head clogging and replacement, it has finally died a natural death. In my experiences, aftermarket ink tank modifications are not worth the hassles nor the frustration.

    I am considering the Epson L800 or the Epson L200. One is a muti function printer and the other is a dedicated printer; that is not an issue for me. These printers are manufactured primarily for the Asian market, and are cost effective to purchase and operate. Both have the factory fitted Inktank system and therefore are extremely cheap for photo printing high quality photos, with a factory warranty + genuine Epson ink.

    Both these units print at the same resolution (5760x1440 dpi with Variable Sizes Droplet Technology), but use a different number of Ink Tanks to supply the individual units.

    The L200 uses 4 separate ink tanks and the L800 uses 6 separate coloured inks. Would there be any difference in photo print quality, or would the end result be the same considering the print resolution is the same for both units?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    short answer is yes.... but like many things in photography it is heavily dependant on the expectations of your audience

    if you are doing family snaps to share with family and friends who are not critical pixel peepers... then a 4 colour model will probably be fine... on the other hand if you are looking to sell prints or even exhibit prints to a more critical audience, then the 6 ink ( and plus... i believe there are models with up to 12 inks) might be a better choice.

    We have a Epson 3880 in our house... it dedicates 3 inks to Black and white printing.... no actually 4 inks as it has different black for gloss or matte and another 6 for colour

    Like many questions on forums you have to define your situation more clearly and couch the question in relation to your expectations.

    there is no 'best lens/camera/printer or whatever'... only a best item for a specific purpose

  3. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    Thanks Kevin for your response,

    I just searched the 3880 and that is an impressive set up. A4 would be the largest size I would want for the home set up and anything larger would be completed by outsourcing a printing service.

    My printing would be mainly for home use, and I would like to try different papers / ICC outside of the factory supplies. For my needs it would need to be a cost effective solution, hence my searching for a small (A4) system that carries a substantial amount of factory ink on board with the ability to refill and not suffer similar issues of my previous experiences with aftermarket modifications.

    Thank you for your advice.