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epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:27 pm
by daveym
A few weeks ago I put up a post regarding dye vs pigment ink as I wanted to frame my prints but was using a standard dye based HP printer. I wanted to avoid using sprays to seal the prints for longitivity and know that a standard dye printer is not ideal. Therefore I've decided to go for a low cost epson printer (Premium XP-900) which takes the Claria photo HD inks. I can't understand how the ink works as this says it's a mixture of dye and pigment ink, and going on pictures of the ink set up there seems to be 6 ink cartridges but the packs include only 5 cartridges. I can't seem to understand how that works when there is space for 6 cartridges but only 5 come in a pack and apparently there is a mox of dye and pigment based inks.

Unfortunately I can't afford a printer that features the Ultrachrome inks but I want to be able to print some pictures to frame and that won't fade. Would this printer be suitable using claria HD inks and is there a way to set the inks when printing so it only prints pigment as I don't want prints to fade and I assume claria inks with pigment are fade resistant as opposed to dye based. Would I still need to spray or varnish prints to give that extra finish as I would still be worried that ink could run if varnishing? Originally I was debating about getting a colour laser printer and varnishing over but from research pigment based inks seem to be far superior and cheaper than laser prints and dye based inks so if anyone can shed any light on claria HD inks this would be appreciated.

Also what is a good weight and type of matt paper to use for prints in frames. Would anyone suggest matt photo paper or a special type of matt standard paper?

Re: epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:27 pm
by David McCormack
My understanding is that the XP 900 does not use the HD Claria inks but it does use the Claria Premium inks. This ink set contains 5 inks. Cyan, yellow, magenta and the photo black are all dye based inks and used for full colour printing. When you print just black text only the printer uses the 5th ink which is a black pigment ink... it gives crisper text. So for colour photos this printer uses dye based inks only.

Have you considered using a UV glass in your frames?

As for a good quality matt paper you can't go wrong with the Permajet range. Order a sample pack and try the MattPlus 240. I use the Alpha Rag from their fine art range which is a lovely cotton paper with no OBA's :D

Re: epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:16 pm
by daveym
Thanks for your reply David. I will definitely try that paper you mention. I havn't thought about UV glass as I've got a supplier for standard glass and I'm already holding large quantities of the glass myself as I bought this to place into the current frames I have been using as they currently come with acrylic in them so I can't really think about changing to a UV glass at the moment.

I've looked at alternative Epson printers and for another £100.00 I can get one that takes the Claria HD ink cartridges. (HD - XP15000).

I understand these would still be dye based inks but is there any difference between the premium inks and HD inks as from what I read the HD inks seem to be the most professional of the dye based ink. It mentions that HD ink is scartch and fade resistant as the ink is absorbed into the paper as opposed to being on the surface such as standard dye ink. I wondered if it would also be semi waterproof say if I rubbed a damp cloth onto the print?

Re: epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:10 pm
by Chris_h
Have you thought about outsourcing your printing? The problem with the smaller printers is the ink is so expensive per ml it can sometimes be cheaper to get someone else to print for you. On a cheap small printer the ink cartridges probably hold between 5 to 10ml per cartridge. To give you an idea on the large format printers the cartridges often come in 700ml per colour and there are usually at least ten of them. By the time you factor in your ink, mistakes and cost of the fine art paper which is very expensive if you are not ordering enough quantity to get a good discount you will probably find it just as cheap to send them to a lab to be printed.

You could look at an older large format printer such as an Epson 7800 or the smaller 4800. They are quite old now, but the quality will be fine and the inks will be cheap. Although with the older Epsons you do really need to use them everyday if not you will spend a fortune in wasted ink running the cleaning cycle to clean a blocked nozzle.

Re: epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:49 am
by baughen
Sounds like you may benefit from going on a printing course such as the ones run by the Imaging Warehouse. Their courses are based around Permajet products (and Epson).The cost of the course could be recouped by choosing the right paper etc.

Re: epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:20 am
by David McCormack
Good advice from baughen about going on a printing course.

At the end of the day, if you want to display and sell your printed images you need to use good quality pigment inks and if you’re talking Epson printers that means a printer that takes Ultrachrome inks. I’m still using an Epson R2400 with Ultrachrome K3 inks that is over 10 years old and prints beautifully. It was even boxed up for two years and all the heads clogged, but with a full service (by me using the Permajet Clever Clogs cleaning kit) it prints like new.

The Claria inks (except the pigment black) are all dye based inks including the HD inks. The only difference with the HD is the extra two inks… light cyan and light magenta. Claria inks are really aimed at keen amateur photographers and the Ultrachrome range at professionals and fine art printers.

Epson also make Durabrite inks which are pigment based. They are aimed at office use for crisp text in full colour but would also make decent photo prints I think? Have a look at the Workforce range of Epson printers. This one uses Durabrite Ultra pigment inks and is cheaper than the HD - XP15000 you mentioned.

You may get more help about printers on a photo forum such as

Re: epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:44 pm
by daveym
thank you all for your reply.

That link for the espon printer was very useful David and it looks ideal for my requirements so will probabaly go ahead and buy one of those.

many thanks for your help.


Re: epson claria photo HD ink

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:13 am
by Steve N
Get the best you can afford, if it's out of your price range. then save up, because if you are selling to the public , you need to make sure it last. I knew an artist who only use student quality watercolour paints, sold a lot of originals for high prices, about 4-5 years later it came back to bite him on the bum, most of the people who bought from him just had white paper in the frame :sweating: :oops: he had to pay a lot of money out :head: :head: