Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Buyer's Guide 2009: Specialty Papers & Inks
Experiment with third-party and exotic inkjet media for creative results
Available in both dye- and pigment-based forms, Lyson inks are developed for most desktop and wide-format printers from Canon and Epson. The latest addition is Cave Paint R24, developed as an alternative for the pigment ink sets used in many pro-level printers. Lyson Cave Paint is formulated to deliver bright colors and rich blacks that resist fading and bronzing. Estimated Street Price: $52 to $149. Pricing varies by printer model.
Designed for Epson printers, the Niagara Continuous Ink Flow System from Media Street is a prefilled and preassembled system designed to cut down on cost and reduce waste. It replaces standard ink cartridges with special ones attached to easily refillable bottles. Bulk bottles can be purchased in 4-, 8-, 16- or 32-ounce sizes. Estimated Street Price: $300 (for the Epson Stylus Photo R1800).
Replicating the color space of Epson's UltraChrome K3 ink technology, Vermont Inkjet ConeColor Inks don't require any color management and can be used with existing ICC profiles. The pigment-based, high-performance inks come in 4-, 16- and 32-ounce bottles. The refillable cartridges are eco-friendly and reasonably priced. Estimated Street Price: $28 per 4-ounce bottle (Epson Stylus Photo 1400). Pricing varies by printer model.
The major printer manufacturers also continue to expand their range of paper and ink solutions optimized for their printers. In development for more than two years, Epson Exhibition Fiber paper is intended to look and feel like the air-dried, glossy silver papers we used in the darkroom, delivering deep blacks and subtle tonal gradations. The paper is designed for exclusive use with Epson's UltraChrome K3 ink. It's available only in sheets from 8x11 to 24x30 inches. Estimated Street Price: $59 (8x11).
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