View Full Version : HP38 Refill Compatible inks for Photosmart Pro B9180
6th August 2010, 09:08 AM
Hi all (or anyone who may be viewing!).
I have a Photosmart Pro B9180 sat at home in my office collecting dust simply because I cannot afford the £200 to constantly put new HP38 inks in (needs 8 of the things!)
I have been looking into trying out some form of continous ink system, where you buy the refillable cartidges and the ink separately etc. I've looked on this forum and seen some other discussions that have mentioned the likes of Lyson, 3000rpm.com and Fotospeed.
There are also some that I have seen on Ebay, most notably Inkfast Direct.
Has anyone had experience with any of the above on this or a similar printer?
The Pro B9180 is a superb printer with exceptional quality, and the Viveira inks are very good quality, so I'm dubious about whether a 3rd party refil solution could match them close enough to make them a viable option. But if they do, even slightly, then they will of course save me an absolute fortune.
I live in a bit of a remote area. Getting out to constantly get prints developed at labs is a time consuming and costly approach, and I also love being able to test print several times in the comfort of my own home.
I'm desperate to find a solution for cheaper ink for this printer because I recently purchased a Canon Pixma MP640 for A4 and 6x4 prints, but although the quality is great for landsapes etc, it's no alternative to my HP Pro when it comes to black and whites and any kind of human portraits - which in the case of wedding prints should be as natural as possible in my opinion and not over-saturated as cheaper printers tend to do.
Any words of wisdom from anyone out there would be greatly appreciated!!
6th August 2010, 10:01 AM
I can't remember the model number of the printer, but it was a six ink slot HP, which I was given, and is still doing active service for my mother. I tried it with a 3rd party inking system, and from a photo printing point of view it was more hassle than it was worth.
The ink on the printer would block off every so often, which would require a clean of the heads. One thing with HP is that their inks seem to be designed specifically for the way their print heads work. It wouldn't give any warning before the clogging, so it could be half way through an A4 print and then bam, one wasted fine quality paper. In the end what was being saved on the inks was being lost in paper stock.
Also, with the third party inks, the image never looked 'quite right' from screen to print, even with the right profiles and calibrating set for the computer screen, printer, paper stock.
If you want the best prints off of it, stick with the genuine article.
As you've already got the Canon printer, if that is cheaper to run, what I'd be inclined to do is run that for your general stuff, and only fire up the HP for things that you are going to see a return of income on (eg, if you are selling prints). Though all said and done, it is still a lot cheaper to use a professional print house than it is your home printer, and if you've got a tame printing house, then if you have a calibrated and managed workflow from camera, through the post capture edit, and you talk to the printers saying this is in X profile, then there really shouldn't be any need to rattle out piles of test prints before you send them to the printer.
6th August 2010, 10:05 AM
If I were you Boony I would think long and hard about using third party inks in your expensive printer. Do you really want to ruin a 200 quid plus printer for the sake of saving a few quid on ink carts- and if you bought such an expensive printer for the quality, then why compromise that quality by putting inferior inks in it. You run the risk of burning the heads out and having to buy a new printer.
A few things you need to know about printers which use pigment ink- and I believe yours does. Pigment ink isnt like dye inks. It comprises of several eleements. A single colour pigment cart is made up of a very very thin solvent based carrier in which is suspended micron sized particles of pigment. What happens is that the heads heat up and form a vacuum and draw out micropicolitre sized droplets of ink.The pressure forces the ink to be fired at the paper. This happens in fractions of a second and each dot makes up your photo. What happens in cheaper inks is that sometimes they lie and in fact they are NOT pigment and are dye based- and you should NEVER use a dye based ink in a pigment printer- or they are pigment carts but to make them cheaply they use water instead of the solvent carrier.
what happens???? your expensive printer becomes a brick.The heads clog or at worst burn out. I know I did it to my Epson R1800 and I was gutted that I tried to save a few quid to get cheap carts and ended up knackereing a £400 printer. Take my advice, do your research. Before you use ANY third party cart in your expensive printer, find out if anyone else has used them and if they had any problems. To date the only other ink I use in my current replacement Epson R1800 printer is from Lyson. The initial outlay is expensive as you have to buy a bulk pack of ink and replacement cartridges.( they also do a very high quality continuous ink system for most printer brands) but in my printing I found the gamut on Lyson to be greater than Epson inks and in mono printing their blacks are superb with next to no metamism( bronze colour cast that you can see when tilting the print to the light)
Hope this helps
6th August 2010, 10:58 AM
I sadly have a lot of knowledge in this area. I've been through exactly the same process as you. Within a few weeks of switching to CISS my B9180 had multiple failures - someone else I know has had no problems with the same system. I have now had a £500 printer and £200 CISS system sitting useless on my desk for 4 months. In the Autumn I will throw it in the trash and buy another, but can't quite face doing it yet. The price of B9180 cartridges have doubled since I bought the printer and it started to get silly. Next time I will just factor in the cost of genuine cartridges. It would cost me £120 to replace the printheads that are beyond cleaning. I cant face going that when for an extra £400 I can get a complete set of cartridges, 4 brand new print heads, a brand new printer and 12 month warranty. Yes £120 is less than £500, but I supect I would soon face similar printhead problems.
My advice is don't do it - or at least be preapred to destroy your printer.
Hope that helps.
PS Want to buy a CISS for B9180 :-)
6th August 2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks very much for the fast replies guys, and the lesson on pigment inks, which was very useful as some of the 'cheaper' solutions do seem to want to use Dye based inks and claim them to still be compatible with my HP.
I should note that I didn't actually buy the B9180, I probably would never have purchased such a professional and expensive piece of kit. I actually did a straight swap with an A4 Photosmart (D7360) which was a good printer but I wanted A3 and someone in my family wasn't making use of the B9180 so was prepared to swap!! Ludicrous I know. My early prints on it were fantastic, then I went to buy some new ink and wow - cost was so high. For what I was paying to refil my original A4 HP Photosmart completely I was now paying for just 1 cartridge.
I would never put a 3rd party ink into my printer without first researching and gathering opinions, hence why I am here. I have actually been onto the Lyson's site, though they do appear from the outset to be predominately Epson and Canon focused. I'm struggling to see their HP range. I have contacted them for some further information and will see what they say.
I'm not making regular money from photography at present, only occasionally so paying out for the inks is at times hard to justify, though going forward I have opportunities to gain more from my work so will hopefully be able to put aside some funds for prints.
As for using a lab, I understand that this would probably be cheaper and take the hassle away from me, and I also understand the importance of a solid work-flow from camera to print. But let's face it, as good as using labs is, you still can't beat having the luxury of setting a photo up after all editing has been done and hitting print and viewing the results a minute later. I will use labs, but I will most certainly continue to have some form of home-based printing capability. Though on the grounds of what's been discussed here today - it will be with my B9180 using HP's own inks!!!
Many thanks for your comments, they are very much appreciated!!
6th August 2010, 11:13 AM
Chris - thanks for replying, especially seeing as how you've experienced what I'm talking about with the exact same printer. It's a shame to hear that things didn't work out, though based on my current research I am not surprised. Did you and the other person both use the same CISS??
6th August 2010, 11:24 AM
Yes - from the same supplier and his customer service is great. At the end of teh day I can't prove that his system caused the problems with my printer - arguably the problems might have happened anyway. If you just cant afford the cartridges, it might be worth taking the risk?
6th August 2010, 03:26 PM
the only other option if you wany a CISS system would be to get an empty system from ebay + lyson inks
or sell the HP and get an A3 Epson? then you can get inks easier for that :)
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.11 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.