Is Off-Brand Ink OK?

The proof is in the prints

Photo-quality inkjet printers can be found for under $100, but you may find that it's almost as cheap to buy another printer as it is to replace the ink cartridges made by the printer manufacturer!

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What about low cost third-party (i.e., made by another company) ink cartridges? Be careful! Here's why:

Color: Third-party inks may not be a good color match to the original inks. Reds may still be red, blues blue and greens green, but exact color shades may differ. This will affect your prints' color accuracy.

Fading: While original ink manufacturers like Canon, Epson, and HP now make inks that resist fading for decades, some third-party inks may fade much faster, perhaps in a year or less.

Fade away: Some inks will fade when exposed to light (especially UV light found in daylight). This results in color shifts, loss of saturation, and a lightening of the image.

Clogging: The most serious problem with third-party ink is potential clogging of the print heads. Once clogged they can be very difficult or even impossible to open up again.

So is it worth it? Probably not if you want accurate color, long print life and reliable photo printing. The printer manufacturer's ink may be the best value in the long run. 


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