BY MICHAEL SIMPSON
I have been interested in photography
since I was a teenager and I remember
the early days of color slide processing.
Things have definitely come a long
way since then. While the costs of the
digital cameras have dropped, the
quality of the photos produced has
increased. In this series, I will show
you how to create some cool
electronic projects that will allow
you to control your camera in ways
you may find very useful. Along with
these projects, I will also show you
how to use a couple of products that
you probably didn’t know existed.
no longer function after a certain number of drops.
Some manufacturers have even gone so far as to limit
the age of the cartridge, as well. It has gotten so bad
that at least one manufacturer now licenses the use of
the cartridge and considers its reuse a breach of
I started printing several 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 prints
and after just a few, realized it would be much cheaper
to just take them to my local printer. While searching
the Web, however, I came across the Niagara Continuous
Ink Flow System.
The Niagara system allows you to add external ink
tanks to your ink jet printer. This does three things:
The quality of photo printers has finally reached a point
that you can now print a picture that will match the
quality of any printing service. As a matter of fact, I
recently dropped off a roll of film to a
rather reputable printer and was amazed
at their low quality. Almost all the pictures
had dust specs.
Unfortunately, if you have done any
ink jet printing you will quickly find out
that the cost of ink is outrageous. It’s a
known fact that the printer manufacturers
make their money on the inks they sell.
In the past, you could purchase one of
those refill kits and it would save you
about half the cost of the original ink.
The problem with this is that it can get
messy, and the manufacturers are starting to
place electronic chips in the cartridge that
counts the ink drops. These cartridges will
1) You don’t have to change cartridges.
2) The cost of ink is a fraction of what it used to be.
■ FIGURE 1. Vials of
replacement ink just
waiting to keep the new
cartridges topped off!
April 2008 39