Musings — OEM vs ColorCone Ink

Originally all of my printing was done on an Epson Stylus Pro 4880 a really great printer for paper 17×22 inches.  However, through my own fault it suffered a catastrophic failure and rather than pay the hefty price for a new own I bought the Epson 3880.  Prints are wonderful and the printer does not clog as much as the 4880 did. 

Recently I decided to order additional inks for my Epson Stylus Pro 3880 and, much to my horror, I saw a huge increase in ink prices…some 25-30%.  So, what is an older retiree to do if he wants to continue selling prints.  OEM is generally the only way but I am intrigued with the color inks by Joh Cone ( a pioneer in digital print making.  Most famously, Jon is known for his Piezograph brand of monochrome inks and software. 

Reviews seem to vary on his encapsulated inks.  Many say ConeColor inks are a great alternative to OEM inks because the color gamut is virtually the same.  However, when it comes to print longevity there is a great disparity….one review says it’s only 25% of OEM while others say print fading is almost the same as OEM.  Definitive testing needs to be conducted as ConeColor inks are much much cheaper.  The downside of course is it cancels Epson’s warranty.

One thing about ColorCone…they offer flushing fluids and cartridges if your Epson system is thoroughly clogged.  

Just some random thoughts…but, I might just go ahead and try the inks.


I’m what you might call a roadside photographer.  I’m almost 80 years old and frankly it’s getting harder and harder to take the trails for long walks.  So, what is a photographer to do but roadside picture taking whether you are an advance photographer or just taking pictures on the family vacation.  Do not let time of day or schedules on vacation discourage you. Many good-great pictures await you within 100 yards of your car.  If you can, plan your vacation day and get out there for the golden hours.  Experiment…don’t only use the “P” programming or “A” auto settings on your camera.  Underexpose by 1/2 or a full stop and see the difference in color saturation.  Just a few rambling thoughts for consideration. Enjoy your picture taking!

Sony World Photography Awards

Open Competition

Submission Deadline:  January 7, 2021 13:00 GMT

Sony’s World Photography Awards  is open for submissions.

“Photographers of all abilities can enter multiple single images to the following categories: Architecture, Culture, Creative, Motion, Landscape, Lifestyle,  Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Still Life, Object,  Street Photography, and Travel.”



Photo Contests

Photo contests are a great place to showcase you work; however, not all contests are created equal.  I encourage all photographers at all levels of expertise to enter, but my advise is do your homework. 

Several contests sole purpose, it appears, is to make money through high fees.  Research their reputations to see if there are complaints i.e. using the names of judges who were never contacted.  Visit sites like the  World Photography Organization, “whose purpose is to raise the level of conversation around photography worldwide, through a year-round programme of exhibitions, awards and competitions.”

The internet is a great place which will assist you in finding great contests like the Sony World Photography Awards, Nikon’s Small World Competition, or the International Photo Awards (IPA).

Good Luck!