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Continuous Ink Systems

6 Dec 2012 3:30PM
Does anyone have any experience of Continuous Ink Systems? I have a HP9180 and am toying with the idea of using a Continuous Ink System but don't know if the quality will be poor. Has anyone used one or can recommend a supplier? or am I best off staying clear?

Thanks in advance

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6 Dec 2012 3:40PM
I have been using a PermaJet CIS on my Epson 2880 for the last couple of years and never had any issues or problems with it. I can choose between inks or high quality dyes and the quality is excellent. I produce prints for the gallery and retail using this set up, so they have to be at a high standard
robert5 17 92 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2012 7:18PM
i have a HP9180 and use cis system its fine and you save money with this system and you can see the inks you are using more off.
6 Dec 2012 8:48PM
Cheers guys, Bob, what system do you use?
canonfan46 9 1.1k United Kingdom
6 Dec 2012 9:51PM
I was just reading this and wondered if there is a CIS system for a Canon Pro9500 II printer ?
arhab 6 43 2 Indonesia
7 Dec 2012 12:32AM
non genuine ciss printer will make your day full of problem. a lot of printer in indonesia modified using the ciss system because of the expensive of the ink. my experience is, if you have a lot of time and patience to handle the problem on the system then i recommend it. actually in indonesia epson had released the genuine ciss system l800 for photo, guaranted for 15000 print or one year.
canonfan46 9 1.1k United Kingdom
7 Dec 2012 1:03AM
Thanks arhab, I thought that might be the case.
RoyBoy 13 288 2 United Kingdom
7 Dec 2012 11:37AM
I once bought a Lyson CIS system and a brand new printer. in spite of two attempts by the supplier to provide a bespoke colour profile, the image quality was rubbish. The CIS system went, quite literally, into the rubbish bit. 300 thrown away after very limited use.

I also know of three good photographers who have tried them and also ditched them. Blocked nozzles seem a real problem and reduced printer life due to frequently nozzle cleaning. Two of them use the Permajet system, which I in fact think is probably the best out there.

Sorry .... This is probably not what you wanted to hear
canonfan46 9 1.1k United Kingdom
8 Dec 2012 2:35AM
Not at all Royboy, thats why I asked.
Better to hear negative reports before spending the money.

You mentioned the "Permajet System".
I use Permajet papers but I havent heard of any CIS by them. Is it any good?
p12owe 5 101 2 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2012 8:42AM
Some time back, when I used to do a bit of graphics work, I had a cis system installed on my epsom 1290 with great results... ...for about three days!
My aim at the time was to produce low volume, but high quality copy for client proofs rather than photographic prints, however the thing quickly ended up in the bin due to endless niggles.
I suppose you get what you pay for and the results may have been different had I had bought a top of the range printer and system... but my own opinion is that unless you want to spend a lot of money and a lot of your time cleaning print nozzles, banging the table and ruining expensive papers, it might just be easier (and cheaper) to steer clear!

If you do go down this road, let us know how you get on, I would be interested to hear if reliability has improved at all.
dcash29 12 2.3k England
8 Dec 2012 9:10AM
Continuous Ink Systems are OK when you do your research before purchase, follow the rules and know what you're doing.

Roy....Lyson had loads of complaints about pigment blocking. I wouldn't have thrown it away till i got my money back

If you don't use your pigment printer every 3 days don't buy a CISS

You don't have to buy an expensive system to get great results
thewilliam 9 6.1k
8 Dec 2012 10:08AM
We use a CISS with our HP office printer and it still works well after a couple of litres of ink. Just think what cartridges would have cost!

The danger of non-standard ink is that some can block the print-heads. For Epson printers, the print-heads are not user replaceable and in the case of wide-format, it can cost more than the second-hand value of the printer to get the job done. I wouldn't risk it with Epson.

With HP printers, the print-heads are consumables so there's a far smaller financial risk. HP wide-format printers are also a lot more frugal than their Epson counterparts so we decided to always use real HP inks in our new Z3200. After 9 rolls of paper, 24 inch x 100 feet, several of the fun-size starter cartridges are still half full.
canonfan46 9 1.1k United Kingdom
8 Dec 2012 12:19PM
What system are you using william and do you think it might work well with my HP Pro9500 II?
thewilliam 9 6.1k
8 Dec 2012 4:16PM
Our CISS came from Advanced Inkjet Systems but they stopped doing the ink which we now get from Promax Imaging.
OctoMartin 6 10 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2013 5:31PM
Few nuggets of information from years of working with CIS systems...

The first CIS systems were produced by a company called MIS Associates (inksupply.com) but at some point mass produced versions started appearing out of China and the hand build MIS versions were drowned in a mass of cheap, shoddy tat IMHO... Designs and quality control have improved over time but there are still some total lemons out there.

Most CIS systems you get now are bottom fill systems with pressure balanced reservoirs (using marriott bottle principles) to effectively allow a constant ink pressure rather than one that changes with the amount of ink in the reservoir.

The constant pressure part of things is a positive step but the bottom fill aspect is an absolute killer (and not in a good way) when it comes to pigment inks. By drawing off the ink from the base of the reservoir, there is a much higher concentration of pigment particles being drawn into the cartridge and subsequently into the printhead nozzles making them much more prone to clogging.

There are a number of ways to counter this ranging from:
- purchasing a CIS system designed specifically for pigment ink printers (eg: fotospeed, inkrepublic)
- ensuring that ink reservoirs are regularly agitated to ensure pigment is kept in solution
- use dye inks instead (not ideal obviously)
- developing a maintenance routine whereby you pull ink through the CIS loop using something like a pull through adapter (ie: syringe pulling through the exit port on the cartridge) to flush out deposits/concentrations.. Dump back into the correct ink bottle, shake up and then reprime. Effectively refresh the whole of the CIS loop for each ink.

For Dye ink printers the clone CIS systems will work fine if you've done your homework and found a good supplier with documentation, support, etc...

A few caveats though..
Canon and HP Photosmart printers are simply too sensitive to pressure changes and have a port/printhead interface that makes it far too easy for air to enter the reservoir to nozzle loop, thus causing ink starvation problems. In case you didn't already know this, ink is also a coolant for the nozzle elements so starvation is never a good thing (Read: bye-bye nozzle and/or printhead). As a general rule, I personally don't recommend CIS systems for these printers at all.

Finally, regarding the Canon Pixma Pro 9500... Just don't!.. When you factor in printhead/cartridge design, pressure variations, concentration issues (as above), etc... you just don't need to go there. You can now refill and reset all the chips for PGI-9 cartridges and refilling is an absolute doddle (translation: very easy Smile) so best to go that route. All in my opinion obviously but you could do worse.

Only other thing to note is that like all third party ink solutions, you have to know your inks, and be prepared to put some time in researching and learning about what works, and what doesn't. They can save you money but the quid pro quo' is in time and experience.

Hope that helps.

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