Compatible Ink Cartridges

Are there really any compatible cartridges which are as good as the originals? I have a Canon i865 (possibly changing soon to a Canon ip 5000). The original Canon cartridges in my nearest shop are 11.99 Euros each (I need 5). Various ‘compatible’ are advertised at prices way below this, but those I last purchased (paid about 20 Euros for the 5) simply don’t seem to be as good ie less colourful.
I have no doubt Canon and other mainstream printer suppliers use a third party ink supplier - anyone know who?

This is a loaded question. A number of compatible tanks are perfectly fine. I’ve never used anything but bulk ink and compatible tanks. The colors may be slightly different, but it’s only a matter of adjusting your driver settings. Even Canon inks vary in color.

I’m not sure what’s available across the pond, but any of the tanks you find HERE will serve you fine.

Note that a newer Canon model printers use chipped tanks. This is not hard to get around, but it does require some effort.

Thanks CDan - hadn’t given a thought to chipped tanks. Why do they insist on making life hard?
I’m quite happy to buy of the NET - I live in a rural area and it would cost me more to traipse around looking for the goods than it would to pay shipping.

Thanks once again jflan - appreciate your help.

I use compatible ink in all five of our Canon inkjet printers and have for years. I buy prefilled cartridges from here:�i865 They are inexpensive and have given me no problems in our Canon i9100, i960, iP4000, MP780 and N2000 printers.

Thanks UTR - had a look at the link you gave me - prices are not bad. Has been suggested it might be my print head (the printers, not mine). Sounds very much also that I’ve not been buying the best compatible for the job.

What, color shifts? Not hardly the head. If it passes the nozzle check test, then the head is fine. The G&G and Procolor tanks are widely accepted as good quality ink. If you can find a tank with Formulabs ink in it, that’s the best. But most tank makers don’t specify what brand ink is used. You have to get bulk ink and refill yourself if you want to know for sure what ink it is.

Believe it or not, Canon only officially states the life of a print head is approximately 10 sets of cartridges (based on their printed page estimates). They typically last much longer but it goes to show they are to be considered a replaceable item just like ink cartridges. IMO, replacing the print head is well worth it since the i865 uses non-chipped cartridges. You’ll save enough money from buying one set of compatible cartridges to more than pay for the print head.

I have replaced the print head on our MP780 and the symptoms weren’t a completely failed head. It would print fine for a while then quit printing one or more colors until a major cleaning occurred. I tried various cleaning cycles and actually removed the head and cleaned per some procedures I found on the web. It would pass the nozzle test but it always went back to the same problem after a few prints. After replacing the head it has worked fine with no issues. I can’t complain as I got a lot of use from the original head and saved a TON of money from using compatible cartridges. Enough to buy 20 or more print heads. All of the other printers are still using their original print heads.

My point is that just because a print head hasn’t completely failed doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be replaced. At least this was my experience. Especially considering how inexpensive print heads are for the i865. Here’s a link to a good supplier of printer parts:

That’s not the way heads work. Your problem was blocked passages in the tank/head carriage, between the tanks and the head. This could have been solved with a cleaning kit, using tanks filled with solvent, or simply by soaking the head. It’s also cause by faulty tanks, unvented tanks, or tanks that have been refilled too many times.

In any case, a faulty head certainly will not cause color shifts, only banding or absent colors. So, if the nozzle check test is good, so’s the head.

I soaked the head in solvent and always use fresh cartridges (i.e. no refills). It would show just fine with a nozzle check and maybe print a few pages well but would shortly revert to the same problem of cyan and magenta not being delivered to the media. The print head had been through quite a few prints since this is used as a home office and photo printer. If it were a clogging issue I would expect it to print for a longer period after a nozzle check showed everything as working fine. I use the same ink and cartridges in the rest of our BCI-6 based printers and they are still going strong with their original heads. I doubt the ink is the problem or the cartridges.

Could have been an over-heat condition…
Thanks for the printhead linky :slight_smile:
Here’s another:

Actually, I chalked it up to a heat related problem since these type of print heads boil the ink in order to shoot it out of the nozzle. It might have been a result of running the ink tank too low (which I had a tendency to do) and letting the cyan and magenta nozzles run hot. Running Canon print heads with empty ink tanks is a sure way to kill them. Now I just replace the cart when the “Low Ink” indicator goes off. At $1.59 per cartridge it isn’t like I’m wasting a lot of money by not running the tanks completely dry.

Thanks to one and all. I have cleaned the printhead using special cleaning cartridges but am still having problems mainly with printing photos.
When I did a ‘nozzle alignment check’ which shows a test of 12 patterns, 3 items (H/J/K) did not print at all. When I print a photo, the ink is almost colourless and remains on the photo paper in small droplets, which do not dry and can be wiped off with the thumb.

The head alignment test and nozzle check are 2 separate tests, but it sounds like it will fail either one.

Thanks again CDan - I’ll either search for a new head (for the printer!) or look towards a new machine.

of course there are lots of compatible cartridges especially canon that functions the same as the original…

ink cartridge