Dull colors and contrast with R3000 and Ink Thrift



Technical Support,

I have an Epson R3000 and have recently begun using Ink Thrift inks. I’m also using Epson Premium Photo Paper Glossy, Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster, as well as Red River Polar Pearl Metallic. The ink was added to new, unused carts, the supply lines to the print head were purged, and numerous nozzle checks show a clean and uninterrupted pattern. I have used the manufacturer profiles for each of the papers listed in addition to Vermont Photo Inkjet’s profiles for the 2880 and 3880 printers. I’ve also let the printer manage the color profile. My issue is that the photos I’ve produced since switching to Ink Thrift lack contrast and the colors, particularly blues, lack depth. Areas that should be black appear slightly hazy and dark blues appear light with a purple tint. This is true for all three different papers and is consistent regardless of which profile I use save the printer managed profile. Photos printed in which the printer is allowed to manage the colors are off in the other extreme. Contrast is improved but blues are way over saturated.

My computer is a MacBook Pro Retina and I’ve tried printing from Aperture, Preview, and Photoshop CS6 again with consistently similar results.

Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated.

Hank Thomas


Hi Hank,

Because dye inks have such different color gamuts than pigment inks, these inks will require ICC profiling in your R3000. You are trying to use them with generic ICC profiles we produced for two different printers and Epson drivers. You can’t fo that. ICCs are very specific to printer model, ink, media and driver settings. Driver settings are critical component of an ICC.

You need to produce ICC profiles for the papers you are using and the R3000 printer driver settings that you are using. We recommend ColorMunki or you can have customs made. But, ColorMunki will also allow you to calibrate your display. There are other solutions such as Spyder that may be lower in cost.



I am a hobbiest and can’t afford to spend upwards of $400 for a profiling setup. The R3000 and Epson papers are highly proliferated. Does Inkjetmall have no intention of supplying ICC profiles for such a common printer/paper combination? Was I foolish in assuming this when I read on your website that the R3000 is one of the “Ink-Thrift supported photo and wide pro printers?”

Hank Thomas


The R3000 is one of the InkThrift supported photo and wide pro format printers that we supply inks and cartridges for. But, InkThrift is not an ICC supported ink system as is ConeColor.

We do have a very prominent ICC link to click on the InkThrift product page that takes you to Vermont PhotoInkjet website where it talks about ICC profiling and it says “Because dye inks have such different color gamuts than pigment inks, these inks will require ICC profiling in your R3000.” On that page we offer some very limited support for a few printer models with only a “generic” profile for “matte” paper and a “generic” profile for “glossy” paper. We do not have any for the R3000 listed. And we do not offer any ICC libraries as we do with the more expensive ConeColor pigment inks.

Perhaps Red River offers free custom ICC profiles for customers who buy their papers. But, of course Epson will not unless you buy their ink to use with their paper. Perhaps, you can get a free ICC profile the next time you buy Red River paper. If they have some comparable grades to Epson - you can switch to all Red River grades and perhaps they will provide you with free ICC profiles. It is worth the asking.