Dye Sublimation Media

About Dye Sublimation Media

Dye Sublimation Photo Printers use two consumables: A film ribbon and a roll of photo paper. These come supplied together and can usually be changed at the same time. The type of media is printer specific (otherwise known as Dye Sublimation Media). However there are some media that you will be able to use for more than one model of printer. The type of media will dictate the print sizes that can be printed.

Mitsubishi Print Media
Mitsubishi Print Media
HiTi P310W Paper and Ribbon
HiTi P310W Paper and Ribbon

The majority of Dye Sub Photo Printers use Roll Fed Media although some (older) models use sheet fed paper. This is designed to match so the ribbon and paper will produce a fixed number of prints per ribbon. Shown on the outside of the box and will always yield the number of images specified regardless of what is printed on the paper.

Please note that media for some of the printers are region specific, if the printer was purchased in Europe, the media will only work with that printer purchased in Europe.

Dye Sub Media Tips and Tricks

Media is changed easily throughout printing, but best to keep unused media in the original box. Always store away from dust. Some newer printer support rollback technology which allows multiple print sizes (usually 8×6″ and 6×4″) to be printed for 6×8″ media. All without wastage. Even printer without this technology can usually still print 6×4″ photos from 6×8″or 6×9″ print media.

Manufacturers like Mitsubishi produce Perforated Print Media which allows the printing of exciting different formats.

Dye Sublimation Photo Printers can produce very high quality images. Although the ribbon usually only contains cyan, magenta and yellow they can produce 16.77 million colours and super monochrome prints. Fingerprints will not show on the prints and placing the prints under a running tap without causing any damage to the image!

Torn Dye Sub Ribbon?

Very occassionaly when your printer is moved from a very cold area into a very warm area condensation will appear on the paper roll within your printer. If you attempt to print when the paper roll is damp the ribbon will tear and the printer will stop printing.

The solution is usually very simple, join the ribbon with a small piece of sellotape and wind some of the ribbon onto the take up spool. The take up spool is where the used ribbon is stored. You may lose a print or two but when the printer has acclimatised to the normal ambient temperature your printer will continue to work. Drying the paper roll may accelerate this process which usually takes 30-60 minutes.

Left over paper after the ribbon is used?

This is normal. There is always slightly more paper provided than is needed. Just discard the unused paper and roll. Media should always be changed completely with the paper and ribbon being changed at the same time.

Can you just buy the Dye Sub Ribbon on it’s own?

If the ribbon and paper are supplied in the same media pack then you cannot purchase individually as there would be no need to as both should be replaced at the same time.

Do I need special media to print Panoramic Photos?

No, the media used to print panoramic prints is the same media. The printer however must have the ability to print Panoramic prints.