Cartridges: “New” Epson Cartridge T124 “Alomst Empty” Ink Cartridges

Epson t124120, t124220, t124320, t124420 ink cartridges from Epson - very low amount of ink in this cartridge.New Cartridge – Epson T124 very low ink volume ink.

New printers from Epson means one thing, new cartridges.  Epson has released some new printers recently, and this cartridge (T124120, T124220, T124320, T124420) series contains about 3-5ml of ink and will be good for about 40 pages of color printing.  The black cartridge will last slightly longer if only text is printed.  These cartridges are a joke, and should be avoided at all costs.

The T124 cartridges are the same physical size and shape as the T125 cartridges, but the T124 is about one-third full.

The T124 series ink cartridges work with the following Epson AIO printers:

T124120, T124220, T124320, T124420 ink cartridges for the Epson Stylus NX125, NX127, NX420 wireless

These cartridges come in four (4) different colors:

These cartridges contain a very low amount of ink – look at the T088 Epson cartridge for what you are getting. Cartridges contain 3ml of ink, and are good for maybe 50 pages.

Epson stylus NX125, NX127, NX420 cartridges to avoid - the "half-full" T124 series ink cartridges.

Try to never purchase these cartridges (if you can help it) as they contain very low levels of ink (3ml-5ml) – look to the T125 series ink cartridges we profiled here as a better alternative.  The “more full” T125 series ink cartridges will run you $2.00-$3.00 more but contain twice the amount of ink as these “joke” cartridges.

Epson Stylus NX125 inkjet printer.


Epson Stylus NX127 inkjet printer.


Epson Stylus NX420 inkjet printer.


Cartridges: “New” Epson Ink Cartridge T125 Series

New Epson Ink Cartridge  – T125

Epson stylus ink cartridge T125120, T125220, T125320, T125420 ink cartridgesNew printers from Epson come with a secret feature – a new cartridge (T125 series ink cartridges).  There are four (4) flavors of these cartridges (t125) for Epson’s low-end 4-color all-in-ones like the:

The T125 series cartridges come in 4 flavors, black, cyan (blue), magenta (red), and yellow.

T125 series ink cartridges from Epson - Four (4) in the series.

Cartridges use durabrite pigment based ink resulting in durable inkjet prints.  These printers are fine, but they are identical in function to the previous generation (NX400, NX100, NX110, Workforce 500) of Epson printers, with the exception of wireless printing which is standard on the NX420, and Workforce 520 printers.  If wireless printing is not a big deal for you, then look at some of the other Epson offerings like the NX400, and Workforce 500. The older the printer, the more 3rd party printing choices there are out there.  New printers are impossible to work with – look for coupons and deals.

Pricing and part numbers from the Epson Website.

Epson pricing for the T125, T125120, T125220, T125320, T125420, inkjet print cartridges for the NX420 and others.

New cartridge = New chip.

A new cartridge means (2) two things for those looking for a compatible (cheaper) cartridge – a new chip, and new plastic cartridge molds. It also means that ink cartridges will be hard to find in the first 30-60 days (Epson) of release, and generic cartridges will arrive somewhere in the next 180 days (not available currently).  Epson is employing a two chip configuration on all their cartridges, so the T125 series are almost impossible to refill, and even harder to make “re-manufactured.” Compatible cartridges cannot be imported to the USA (thanks to a legal victory by Epson several years ago), so you will not be seeing compatible or generic cartridges at your local Staples, Office Depot, Target or Walmart.  Look online, and look in about 30-60 days.  If you need cartridges immediately, stay away from the T124 cartridges.

Theses cartridges are identical to their predecessors, but with a new chip, and new plastics to deal with, count on getting ripped off with Epson brand inks for the foreseeable future.

Printers that use the T125 series ink cartridge:

Epson Stylus NX125 inkjet printer.


Epson Stylus NX127 inkjet printer.


Epson Stylus NX420 inkjet printer.


Epson Workforce 520 inkjet printer.

WF 520

Epson: Ink Cartridge Yields For T078, T077 Series

Epson Stylus Photo R260, R280, R380, RX580, RX595, RX680, Cartridge Yields.

The T078 has 7ml ink, the T077 contains 11ml

Cartridge yield information for the above mentioned printers.  The T077 and T078 ink cartridges from Epson represent a “you can pay us now, or you can pay us now” cartridge strategy.  The cartridges are the same physical size and shape, but one (T077) is full of ink, and the other (T078) is only half full.  This is also reflected in the price as the T078 cartridges are slightly cheaper ($16.99, $12.99) than the T077 ($19.99) cartridges.

The effective cost per ml is the same on these cartridges, so there is no major savings by going with the higher capacity ink cartridge.  Just try and find the best deal.

We cracked open this cartridge and took a look here –

Link to original (T078-T077) cartridge yield page on Epson’s website here:

T078 Series (half full cartridges 7ml) – $16.99 black, $12.99 colors

  • Black – T078120 Cartridge: “About 300 pages”
  • Color – T078220, T078320, T078420, T078520, T078620: “About 515 pages, average of all colors”

T077 Series (full cartridges 11ml) – $19.99 each

Black – T077120 (High-Capacity): “About 480 pages”
Color – T077220, T077320, T077420, T077520, T077620 (High-Capacity): “About 855 pages, average of all colors.”

Epson T078, T077 Ink Cartridge Page Yield Info Graphic

T078 cartridges contain 7ml of ink, T077 series cartridges contain 11ml of ink.

All the more reason to use a CI System (CISS) for these printers – if you are a high volume printer, and are tired of sending countless inkjet cartridges to landfills a CIS is the way to go for your printer.

Look here for systems for your:

Epson Stylus Photo R260

Epson Stylus Photo R280

Epson Stylus Photo R380

Epson Stylus Photo RX580 (multi-function)

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 (multi-function)

Epson Stylus Photo RX680 (multi-function)

Excellent series of 6-color photo printers from Epson, and they work well with aftermarket inks.  Replaced in the Epson lineup by the Artisan series (50, 700, 710, 800, 810) inkjet photo printers.  These photo printers that use the T078 and T077 series of inkjet cartridges are still a solid choice for anyone serious about photo printing.

Review: Epson Artisan 50 CIS (CISS) Continuous Ink System

Review: Epson Artisan 50

with continuous inking system (CIS, CISS).

Epson Artisan 50 Inkjet Printer - about to be put to good use with a CIS, CISS, CI system.

CI System (CISS) and printer bundle here.

Great printer – 6-color photo printer, small form factor, outstanding prints, just a great 4×6, 8.5×11 top quality photo printer.  Will also do legal size paper, and prints to CDs and DVDs with included tray.  Professional quality photos – and when combined with a CI system, a perfect everyday printer for all kinds of documents.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished inkjet printer from the website.

Detailed specifications available on Epson’s website:

The Artisan 50 replaced the Epson Stylus Photo R260, R280 (260, 280) as the only 6-color letter size “just-a-printer” offering from Epson.  Every other 6-color Epson printer  is a multi-function printer (Artisan 700, 710, 800, 810), or large format (1400, R1900).

Epson Artisan 50 with CIS, CISS, continuous ink (inking) system (solution).

The elusive refurbished Artisan 50 6-color printer with CI system – $59.00 at the Epson store.

When you can catch it – man they sell fast.  The refurbished printers include the same warranty as a new printer, and we have been happy with the quality.  You can also purchase new for $93-$99 from Amazon.




Short specs on the Artisan 50:

  • 4″ x 6″ photos as fast as 11 sec
  • Ultra Hi-Definition photos
  • CD/DVD Printing
  • 4.8 ppm black  – 5 ppm color
  • 6 (six) Individual ink cartridges
  • Dye based Claria inks
  • Prints from (4×6) to legal size (8.5×14)

This is just a printer.  There are no multi-function capabilities, and it will not print larger than legal size paper.  Great for what it does, but if you need a fax or a scanner, look elsewhere.

What About The Cartridges:

T078 – T077

The T078 and T077 (high capacity) ink cartridges cracked open and compared - which one has the most ink, and by how much?

The T078 and T077 (high capacity) ink cartridges cracked open and compared - the T078 has airspace! The T077 is completely full.

We cracked these cartridges open for a look a while back, you can see pictures and read more here:

Cartridges for the Epson Artisan 50 are priced out of the stratosphere – the printer uses six (6) individual ink cartridges.  Epson plays the same full vs. half-full cartridge game as HP and Lexmark.  There are two cartridges you can use in this printer; the “half-full”T078, or the “full” T077 series.

Epson even puts a sticker on the inside of the printer so there is no confusion.

Epson T078 T077 Cartridge Numbers Printed On Inside Of Epson Artisan 50 Inkjet Printer

T078 series “standard capacity”

– or what they really mean (half-full).  These cartridges contain Epson Claria dye based inks.  One for each color, and black; the T078 series cartridge contains about 7-8ml of ink.  Average price of $13-$14 per cartridge, or $75.00 for a full set.

T077 series “high capacity”

– or the more correct term (mostly-full), available through the Epson store.  You can sometimes find them on Amazon – here. Cartridges contain Claria dye based inks.  One for each color, and black; T077 series cartridge contains about 11-12ml of ink.  Average price of $20 per cartridge.  A full set of the T077 cartridges will run you $95.00 minimum.

Cartridges? Who cares…

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished refurb inkjet printer with CI system (CIS, CISS)

We really don’t care what the cartridge situation is – this printer was born to use a CIS, or CISS (continuous ink (inking) system).  The only thing interesting about the Epson cartridges is how many we will *not* have to purchase over the life of this printer.  This lets us focus on paper – Epson paper is quality stuff, however we think Red River Paper is the same quality and about half the price.

Ink and paper products for the Artisan 50 photo inkjet printer from Epson


Consist of these few steps (all covered in the included instructions):

  1. Equalize ink levels (tilt ink supply reservoir forward)
  2. Remove shipping plugs – (replace with breathers)
  3. Remove printer cartridge cover*
  4. install CIS cartridges and route tubing
  5. Trick “lid-open” latch (q-tip works great)*

*3.) This step is not difficult, however knowing how to remove the cartridge cover saves a few coins from the swear jar. The cover must be removed with a CI system so the tubing can escape, and the cover would not close anyway. The cover is not needed, it gets in the way, and it does not hurt the printer to remove it.  Off it comes.  See our install video for a working example.

Removing the cartridge cover – not hard if you know *where* to pry.  Upper right-hand corner of the print head – remove the hinge with a flat head screwdriver. *Then* the cover is ready to come off.

Where to pry the cover off an Epson Artisan 50 inkjet printer for use with a CI System, or CISS, CIS, Bulk Ink.

Epson Artisan 50 cartridge cover hinge, clip and where to pry or place the screwdriver

Press cartridges down firmly to seat. Epson Artisan 50.

5.) This printer is perfect for use with a CI system.  There is plenty of clearance inside the printer for the tubing to run free, and the printer is easily tricked concerning the “lid is open” message with a q-tip.

q-tip open cover hack for Epson stylus photo Artisan 50

Ready to print!

At this point run a few test prints and see if you want the external inks on the left or the right, or maybe you want the ink tank in the back?  By running some test prints we can see how the tubing behaves and decide the best position for the external tank.

This printer has 6 colors, and produces incredible photos.  We ran off 15 or so photos on some Epson and Red River glossy and matte papers, and our prints all looked fantastic.

The Artisan 50, and most Epson 6-color photo printers less than $300, use a dye based ink – so colors are brighter and more defined.  Our CI system has dye inks as well, and they look perfect.  Nice to be able to print without having to worry about the ink price.

Installation video (instructions):

We decided the external tank should go on the left, but we might change our minds.

Installing the system is easy enough…

CD-DVD printing:

Popular choice among CD-DVD printers.

The Epson Artisan 50 6-color inkjet photo printer will also print directly to CDs and-or DVDs.  Make sure to get the “inkjet printable” recordable media, and print directly on the media – no more labels!

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished refurb CD-DVD tray insterted and ready for printing

The coolest CD-DVD printing we have seen was with the Artisan 700-710-800-810 series; so cool we made a video.  The CD-DVD tray is stored inside the printer – much harder to lose this way.

With the Artisan 50 CD-DVD printing is easy with the included CD-DVD print tray.  The media sits on the plastic tray, and once lined up, it is sucked into the printer were the media is printed to.  Works fine, but take your time lining up the tray, and whatever you do, don’t lose it.  Must use the bundled Epson CD-DVD printing software utility to print CDs or DVDs.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished inkjet printer with CD-DVD tray inside printer during printing

Video of the CD-DVD printing process:

Takes about 3-4 minutes to print a CD or DVD, but the results are fantastic!

Plenty of room inside this printer…

Epson ink monitor is still watching you…

Epson Artisan 50 ink monitor image

The Artisan 50 is really perfect for a CI system.  The print head is of the same family as the old R200, R220, R340, R320, RX620, RX600 series.  The quality of prints is fantastic, and the CI system has plenty of room to operate inside the Artisan 50.

What to do when the cartridge runs out of ink?

There are chips on the end of each cartridge – these chips “keep tabs” on your estimated ink usage and will report empty at some point.  There are several ways to reset the ink levels, but with our system there is a button.  Press the red flashing button on the printer to get the print head to the “replace cartridge” location.  Simply press and hold the white button 3-4 seconds.  Now press the red flashing button on the printer  and your cartridges are now reset.

It is important to note – the cartridges cannot be reset at just any point – the Epson ink monitor must report out of ink (for any cartridge), and then a reset of all cartridges can be done.  Once reset, all chips report full cartridges.

Artisan 50 Inkjet Printer Refurbished CIS, CISS Ink System Custom - reset the cartridges when they indicate empty.

Notice these cartridges, the Epson T078, and T077 series inkjet cartridges, also work in the Epson Stylus Photo – R260, R280, R380, RX595, RX595, and RX680 series inkjet printers.

Ink quality:

We also tried some different papers.

Tried some Epson premium presentation matte (double sided) S041568 (it was ok), and some Epson high quality ink jet paper S041111 (not awesome).  We then tried some of our Red River paper sampler – a luster photo satin, and about 15 different glossy photo papers – color adjustments took some time, however we were pleased with the quality of the prints we saw. We have no problems recommending this system, and printer to anyone – the print quality is outstanding.


Get it.  Well worth the price, and flexible.

If you are looking for a solid “just-a-printer” the Epson Artisan 50 is a very good choice – new or refurbished.  Low entry cost ($60-$129) for the printer, and a continuous inking system works fantastically well.  Lab quality photo prints, fast 4×6 photo prints, and when bundled with a (CIS, CISS) CI system the Artisan 50 inkjet photo printer becomes a great everyday use printer.

If you are planning on using Epson brand ink cartridges, all bets are off – the Epson brand ink is a killer.

Here is the refurbished printer link – (or try – $59.99

New printer – website – $99.99.

And there is always Amazon…

Epson Artisan 50 CIS, CISS, inking systems.

Epson Chip Technology – Refill Deterence

Hackintosh? No, iNkByEpson.

Die chip, die!

As we have previously reported, the T068, T069, T088, T078, T077, T099, and T098 series ink cartridges are not reliably refillable due to the “self-destructing” chip on the outside of the cartridge.  It has been discovered that once ink levels reach a certain point (estimated at 25% full) there is an internal chip in these cartridges that will kill-reset the outer chip.  It renders the outside chip un-resettable, and if you can’t reset the chip, there is no point in refilling the cartridge, as it will not work in the printer w/out that chip reset.


Great couple of posts about hacking into the chips Epson uses to estimate the number of prints.  Epson chip technology is incredibly complicated, and it is all for one reason – the prevention of refilling.  Fascinating look into what goes on at a higher level.

Creating a “fake” Epson chip:

Hacking the actual chip:

Engineering a home-brew CI System:

The Epson Cleaning Cycle – How Much Ink Used?

So how much ink is used when an Epson printer executes a “cleaning cycle?”

You might be surprised.  We connected our recently acquired waste ink kit from Octoinkjet (ink-anarchy in the UK) and ran a single cleaning cycle on our Epson Artisan 800 do-it-all inkjet printer.  The results were amazing to us – there is a ton of waste ink produced with the Artisan 800 inkjet printer when running a cleaning cycle.  If you are using Epson brand inks, you want to keep your head cleaning to a minimum.  Seriously, that is expensive “cleaner.”

Continuous inking systems – no sweat:

For those of us using a CI system, it’s nothing more than amusing – and with an external waste ink bin, it’s kinda cool to watch.

I hate posting videos back-to-back, but we are having fun with a new camera and iMovie.  Plus, it’s all about content right?

Waste-away my ink…

It’s in High Definition! Sorry iPhone users.

Epson Ink Types Explained – Durabrite, Claria, K3?

When is generic ink ok?

Types of Epson ink explained.

Generic ink prints as good of a grocery list, or birthday flier, as branded ink.

Epson offers 4 different “ink formulas” or “brands” of ink and this reveals a lot about how Epson divides it’s customer base.  There are basically 4 different Epson “brands” of inks – durabrite (pigment), Claria (dye based), UltraChrome (pigment), and UltraChrome K3 (pigment).  It really comes down to pigment, or dye based inks, and which printer has the functions you need.

Go Generic:

For 90% of us, generic inks are not only cheaper, but they do the job very nicely thank you.  My grocery store list does not need to be printed on $4.00 a page paper, with $6000.00 a gallon ink.  But if I did decide to print that occasional greeting card, or special photo-in-a-frame-instead-of-a-real-gift, “last minute” anniversary present – I want it to look good.  And for 90% of us, generic inks are just fine.  Find a good dealer, and stick with them – refilling-remanufacturing an inkjet or laser toner cartridge is more of an art form than a standardized process.

Now if you intend to sell your work, or want it to last 500 years you might want to keep reading.

Durabrite Ultra (pigment):

Average users.

Epson durabrite pigment based inks.Durabrite Ultra, or as Epson parses it – DURABRite Ultra.  This is a pigment ink which means it is resistant to water, prints will last longer, however colors will be dull in comparison to dye based inks.  Pigment ink is “thicker” than dye based ink, so more clogging may occur.  Pigment based inks are organically based and much of the ink is soaked into the paper.  Good for archival purposes – when printed on the right paper, and kept behind glass (out of the sun), prints can last for decades.  If you use crummy paper, the pigmented ink may have trouble bonding to the paper, and increase the chances of fading, flaking, or missing colors.

Printers that use this ink are normally the 4-color printers that are designed for home use, and maybe small office.  If it’s a 4-color printer from Epson, most likely you are getting the “durable” durabrite “brand” inks.  Nothing fancy here.

Claria Hi-Definition (dye):

Photo enthusiast.

claria high definition ink dye based ink from Epson.Used mainly in the Epson Photo printers, as this dye based ink produces much brighter colors.  However, dye based ink is almost all water, so fading can be an issue.  As long at the materials are printed onto good paper – we cannot state that enough, paper makes all the difference – and kept from the sun and other elements, your prints should last decades as well, if not more. The Hi-Definition part is the “secret ingredient” – sounds like opportunistic marketing to us.  This is nothing more than a common dye based ink.

As mentioned above, this ink is standard with an Epson entry level photo printer – like the RX680, Artisan 800, or Photo 1400.  Most all generic inks we have run into are by default, “dye based” inks.  There may be some exceptions, but we have not seen them.

UltraChrome Hi-Gloss (pigment):

Photo hobbyist/professional/student

Ultrachrome Ink From Espon Pigment Based - Glossy SprayIf you are using this ink, you are a serious about what you are doing.  Maybe not making money at it quite yet, but honing your craft and the occasional paying gig.  Some really good printers use this “brand” of Epson ink.  Epson tries to overcome some of the dullness of the pigment inks (folks at this level can tell the difference) by adding a “glossy” component to the ink.  Designed for high end color photo printers. Included with the R1900, R1800.

UltraChrome K3 (pigment – blending focus):

Professional – printer – resale

Ultra Chrome K3 Inkjet Printer Cartridges From Epson.Three levels of black in these cartridges, so the color tuning has to be perfect.  Epson has engineered an incredible line of printers that will do professional work.  Epson is so proud of this “brand” of ink, they claim it is “suitable for high quality prints worthy of resale or gallery exhibitions.”

You can find this ink in the Epson Stylus Photo R2400, R2880, 3800, or 3880.  If you sell your work, and want it to last, this is the ink (and printers) for you.

Selling your artwork or prints, Epson inkjet printers are the way to go.


There is a HUGE disclaimer for Epson ink on their website – this also applies to any other inks you might use.  Sun will fade your pictures, and the elements will aid in their demise – from Epson’s own website:

“…displayed in a glass frame under indoor display conditions or in album storage. Actual print stability will vary according to media, printed image, display conditions, light intensity, temperature, humidity and atmospheric conditions. Epson does not guarantee the longevity of prints. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or UV filter or properly store them.”

Well, most anything will last 100 years if you cover it up, or take care of it. Thanks Epson for the heads up.  Think paper.  Have to have good paper to start with.