I am going crazy trying to figure out ink costs.
My quick calculation was based on my ink usage of my canon dye based printers (ip6000d and i960). I used 950 ml of ink printing 600 8x10's.
If I figured the IPF5000 would use the same 950 ml it would cost $549.
all figures approximate.
Now, if I figure from Luminous Landscapes 6 month update I get completely
First on 75% coverage of 11x17 averaging .4 ml of ink I came up with $.0016 per sq. inch
2nd on 80% coverage of 17x22 that was using 1.2 ml of ink I came up with $.002 per sq. inch
Both of these numbers are close
Now if I use my 600 8x10's that is 48000 sq. inches using the LL numbers I get $77 using the 11x17 numbers and $96 using the 17x22 numbers.
Is there that much different in ink usage between a pigment ink printer and a dye based printer
or is the difference in the paper since I print on glossy papers and I would guess that LL uses fine art papers.
or does Marc's mentioning of more ink colors using less ink also apply to this.
I recently received the ipf5000, and I have researched the costs involved to operate this printer. Cost was not my primary concern, quality was.
That said, itís still looks pretty economic to operate. While there are a lot of variables involved I have used the ink consumption data from Red River, and my own print logs to create an Excel print cost analysis sheet.
I believe that while my numbers are admittedly conservative they will be closer to the real world than some theoretical number. I have added 10% waste factor for ink, and roll paper. Remember there are head cleaning routines, and operator errors, etc.
I calculate an 8X10 on Ilford Classic smooth would nun about $1.20 each. This is based on a paper cost of $0.70 per 8.5 X 11 sheet and ink costs of $0.50. I calculate ink costs to be $0.0063 per square inch.
If you use roll paper you can get two prints per linear foot and reduce your costs to about $0.90 per 8 X 10 print.
Donít forget to amortize the cost of the printer. This could range from several dollars per print to well under a dollar per print based on volume.
Also you may find a need for a good rotary trimmer to trim those 8 X 10ís to the exact size. Again, more $$
Based on this, if we use $2000 for the cost of the printer, and amortize over two years, with an estimated 1200 prints per year for those two years. Your cost per 8 X 10 looks more like $1.73 each. The first year cost will be more like $2.56 each.
Where the large format printers come into their own is with the larger prints. Outside labs will run about $18.00 for a 16 X 24 on a standard satin / gloss paper. I calculate my cost at $4.40 without equipment amortization. Now your paying for the printer.
I hope this gives you some food for thought.