My main goal was economy, so I visited a couple of
my local stores and purchased some of the cheapest 4x6
printer paper I could find (see Table 1).
All the papers tested well. The JetPrint Everyday and
Staples Photo Supreme Satin were the only non-glossy
papers tested. They both had a slight green tint.
The worst paper was the JetPrint Premium. These
would not hold the ink and beaded up when used with
the original Epson Claria Ink. Even after weeks they
remained tacky. The Niagara system did much better
with this print. The prints were clear and were dry in
24 hours. They did, however, leach ink days after the
print was made.
The LexMark and Kirkland papers were constant
favorites. With the Kirkland 5¢ price per sheet, I consider
it the best bang for the buck. Using this paper, at the
most it will cost only 7¢ per photo on average.
I printed well over 1,000 4x6 photos and over 100
8x10 photos, and am still on my original ink set. The only
colors that show any amount of use are the Yellow, Light
Cyan, and Light Magenta. My estimate is that I have used
under $17 in ink. This is actually under my original
calculations. I am sure as I use more ink I will get a
much better handle on the actual costs and am sure I
will be quite happy with the results. MediaStreet sells
4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, and 32 oz bottles of ink. Using the
larger bottles will save you even more.
The folks at MediaStreet have advised me that the Ink
used in this kit will act much like standard ink and won’t
hold up to the claims of the Epson Claira. Keep in mind
that when it comes to ink, the claims from manufacturers
regarding longevity have yet to be proven.
The bottom line is that if you want to print fine art
that will last 100s of years, you should probably look at
a pigment printer and pigment ink. For dye-based inks,
the Niagara IV Ink Flow system presents the best economy
I have ever seen. As for the pigment printers, there are
Niagara systems for those, as well.
If you decide to go with a pigment-based printer, MediaStreet sells
a pigment-based system called the ■ FIGURE 12
TABLE 1. 4x6 paper tested.
Epson Premium Photo Glossy
Kirkland Professional Glossy
LexMark Photo Glossy
Staples Photo Supreme Satin
Staples Photo Basic Glossy
front. The height adjustment has solved my problems, but
your exact results may vary depending upon your altitude.
You start by making both the bottom of the printer and
ink tanks at the same height, then adjust one or the other
based on some testing over time. If you are getting excess
ink on the prints, raise the printer. If the tanks are not able
to supply the printer, raise the tanks.
I want to show you a couple cool programs that
are available for your camera. I will also start with an
interface that will allow you to control your camera
with a microcontroller. With this interface, we will be
able to build sonar, remote control, and time lapse
projects. How about a lightning detector to help you with
capturing some great storm effects? NV
I did have to raise my printer an
inch off of the table because I was
getting excess ink on the backs of
the prints and some spattering on the
■ FIGURE 13
April 2008 43