Epson Ink Question

I have just purchased an Epson Stylus Photo R200 printer. I didn't buy the original Epson ink cartridges, I bought compatibles, I bought photo quality inkjet paper 180/gsm, I'm just back from holiday and my digital photos I took when I print them turn out very dull, the colours are all dull. I've tried every setting from photo, best photo, enhanced photo but it doesn't make any difference. What I want to know this bad quality due to the fact I'm using compatible ink cartridges?...Is there any difference between original Epson inks and compatibles?

All help would be appreciated

Thanks Colin


Secret Goat Fetish
Political User
i have found compatible ink cartridges to be crap, on my lexmark the print heads are contained the the cartridge, so a new cartridge = new print head = better quality.
The used and refilled cartridges that are sold as "compatible" genrally are ok for a short while/ok for low quality prints, but are usesless for high definition pictures. i only use original cratridges, but i buy them from a wholesale outlet :D

dave holbon

OSNN Veteran Addict
I have an Epson Stylus Photo 890 (now about two years old) and have never, except in an emergency used the Epson original inks. There are two problems that I’ve encountered with most compatibles, the first being that some of them are very temperature sensitive by which I mean that if your printer is near a door or window that you open (say) because it’s to hot and it’s very cold outside the change in temperature will temporarily cause the printer heads to clog, no matter how many cleaning cycles you try, this problem does not go away until the ambient temperature is stabilised to room temperature = printer temperature.

The other problem that I have occasionally encountered in chipped compatibles is that the printer does not recognise a new cartridge being installed at all. This just means taking it back to the supplier and swapping it for another one. Current prices of some branded ink jest cartridges are more expensive than vintage Champagne. I’ve never had a problem with quality though this seems to be dependant on the selection of the correct paper and the printer software matching it.

:) :)

bush dogg

OSNN Senior Addict
Political User
I have the Canon I860 and use original canon cartridges the dull picture and bad quality happens to me also when I save the pic's to the system to print them later.

If I print from the camera or with the card in the reader they print nice,bright colors and clear.

I have printed the same pic from the camera and then the one saved to the system right after each other, the difference is unreal. (I never could figure out why) but now I only print from the cardreader or camera.

I don't know what route you take to print them if saving to system then try to print right from the cardreader or camera?


OSNN Advanced
Heard somewhere that a research on these compatible inks found that the quality are inferior to those made by the printer manufacturers. However, even the pictures printed using the original inks fade quicker over time compared to those that you get developed in photo shops.


I was in Morrisons a couple of months ago and I was looking at their kits and the such and there was a French brand device that reset the chips or something on the front of Epson cartridges to make them refillable.

I was wondering maybe that the cartridges may have not been reset to factory default so maybe the quality is not so good because of this.
to be honest you're better off getting a new printer every time your cartridges run out. Compatibles destroy the print heads and official cartediges are only £10-£20 cheaper for a fullset then the printer they go in....


LordOfLA said:
to be honest you're better off getting a new printer every time your cartridges run out. Compatibles destroy the print heads and official cartediges are only £10-£20 cheaper for a fullset then the printer they go in....
I was wondering why there were no new cartridges with the printer anyway, they usually do give you a b&w and colour for free.

Printer cost £35, cost of each cartridges retail, b&b £17 colour £19, yep better off buying a new printer each time.

I did a search for prices on that printer and the cheapest was £59.99, most expensive £89.99, so in this case getting a new printer each time is not worthwhile.


OSNN Veteran Addict
The paper could cause dull pictures also.

The paper has to be Photo Paper, preferably glossy. Not "photo quality". it should be thick like a photo. Also, cheap paper has given me worse results than cheap ink. Skimp on the ink, but buy good paper.

Good paper does not necessarily mean Kodak, or Epson. The ink system is matched to the paper you use. For best color rendition you shuold make sure the paper is recommended for your printer and ink. Ask wheer you buy the ink what paper works best with it.

And a cross check. Take your memory stick into a Kodak pavilion and print the same picture there. If it comes out good it may be the print settings in your printer driver. I have a canon using compatrible inks that prints like crap from one computer and looks good off another. I swear I have the same drivers installed but get different results.

Photo print software also makes color adjustments to the photo that can affect quality. Try the program that came with the camera, the one that came with the printer, Media player etc. See if one works better than others.

Sound like a pain in the ass? It is. My first epson 3 color inkjet did better than my 5 color Canon. I haven't tried a photo on my Brother 3 color yet (afraid to).

With the cost of paper and ink I take my print work to the Kodak kiosk.


Beware the G-Man
Political User
I have the Epson Photo R300 and I use Epson inks and Epson Premium Glossy Photo paper. My photos alway come out great. Compatible inks are not always that great. They are not made the same way. The OEM inks do cost more but they work the way they are supposed to. Hell, I have to change 6 color cartridges on mine. :yikes: But I won't use anything but Epson ink. All the settings you tweak will not make up for low grade ink. Photo paper can be your worst enemy. Use a premium grade glossy photo paper. They are as thick as postcards, but they work. Cheap paper, cheap results.
Have an Epson R300, use Inkrite compatible cartridges from Ebuyer, £16 the set as opposed to £60+ for originals. I have had mixed results, but found using a better quality photo paper helps (use epson paper, had bad results with Kodak paper) and where possible print directly from the camera (or memory card, multi format slots available on then front of R300)

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