Matte Paper: Look For ColorLok
Whether you use cheaper third-party inks or your printer's official brand, the results can vary greatly depending on the paper you use. In general, there are two paper types: matte and photo paper. The former is the stuff you use on a day-to-day basis because it's cheaper.
Between brands, the differences are few, but if you're an Epson, HP, or Kodak customer, you should definitely find a matte paper with the ColorLok logo.
ColorLok makes your prints look better, even on plain paper. Paper with this logo has been pretreated with a solution that allows colors to look more vivid; blacks seem deeper and images appear sharper because of less horizontal bleed. This is especially true if your printer uses pigment-based inks. And if you enjoy printing double-sided pages, you'll find that you get next to no bleed-through, regardless of paper thickness.
The picture above demonstrates ColorLok in action. We used generic craft paper and placed a drop of ColorLok solution on the surface. Then, we added a drop of black pigment ink on top and did the same to an area of the paper without ColorLok. When you flip the paper over, you can see the difference. Even though we're only using cheap craft paper, ColorLok holds the pigment higher on the surface and reacts with the ink, causing it to dry faster.
Even if you own a printer brand other than HP, Epson, or Kodak, you should see some gains with ColorLok. The picture above shows the printing results from a Canon MG5220 on various matte papers. Notice how the text appears darker and sharper on the ColorLok-treated papers.
As a general rule of thumb, ColorLok helps increase ink saturation, which results in more vivid colors.
paraphrase of this article: We don't endorse buying first party, brand-name inks and paper; we're just here to tell you the extremes you can go through to find an alternative! p.s. HP is great!
Fade can be an issue on the photos that are left in direct sunlight (conservatory) but there is always the option to take the image to a kiosk for a better quality print, or simply print a different picture for the frame.
I don't keep large collections of printed photos in albums so I guess I might think differently if I did.
could it be BD? you guys probably have a sample but it must be under NDA
==> Does anyone else have this problem? Put in all new cartridges, print two or three pages, let it sit for several weeks and then find one or two cartridges almost empty? BTW I'm using cheap ebay cartridges, and don't plan to spend the money it would take to install a set of Canon units unless that's known to be the cure. I can't remember how the first set of (Canon) cartridges fared.
Thx - Arbie
Make sure to turn your printer off when you aren't using it. If it cycles on and off with your computer, it will cycle through its cleaning process each time. That could be your problem...