Archival inksets for inkjet printers.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Conway Yee, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. Anal hairsplitting on your part. If any part of the ink is vaporized (which it
    must be in order for this printing process to work), then it's "boiled". You
    may object to this characterization as portraying the ink in a big pot on top
    of an old fishwive's stove, bubbling away, but "boil" is indeed what's
    happening in there (even if it's only to a tiny fraction of the volume of ink).
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 28, 2003
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  2. Conway Yee

    Conway Yee Guest

    I'm afraid that MediaStreet is the company that refused to provide me
    with any test data. Over the course of several email exchanges, they
    kept on referring to >100 years and Wilhelm Research but refused to
    provide anything substantial as to exactly HOW this data was
    determined. I was only provided with the paper type that was used for

    After several exchanges, they claimed that testing was expensive and
    time consuming but refused to confirm that such testing was even

    Specifics was only claimed for Generation 4 and then only >100 years;
    they referred to Wilhelm Research as the source of the data. They
    refused to provide me with the report or how the data was obtained. A
    search of the Wilhelm Research website was fruitless.

    I thus suspect that the Mediastreet claims are horseshit.

    Conway Yee
    Conway Yee, Dec 28, 2003
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  3. I read a great interview with the head of Wilhelm Research (can't remeber
    the mag now), one of the very interesting things they said was that using
    brand X ink on brand Y paper will almost always result in very unstable
    prints, even if the color looks fine, some lasting as little as 2 months but
    most were in in the 1-2 year range.
    George Preddy, Dec 28, 2003
  4. Conway Yee

    Tom Phillips Guest

    I'm not hairsplitting. He is by trying to differentiate between one type
    of inkjet delivery method vs another. They're all inkjets on the
    sprayaed end and none are "archival." That's the issue Rafe B is trying
    to avoid.
    If you know so much more than HP engineers, David, who state
    definitively (as quoted from their tech docs) their bubble jets don't
    "boil" ink, you should call them and explain why they're wrong to state
    it's a "myth" that *they* object to.

    Tom Phillips, Dec 28, 2003
  5. Conway Yee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: (Fred McKenzie)
    The Wilhelm generated tests are about as scientific as you can get with
    something like this, where you're doing accelerated testing and projecting
    estimated print life based on those results. He publishes his test methods so
    you can duplicate them if you wish ... the main complaint I've heard about his
    tests are that they are too rigorous :)
    This is a good test for outdoor signs or something similar but has no practical
    use for photos displayed in a museum or on a wall because the light intensity
    is too high, you have no UV protection and the temperature is too high.
    This is all true, except it's not just the ink but rather the ink on a specific
    type of paper (the same ink from a 1280 is rated between 6 months and 25 years
    for example, depending on the paper type). The Epson restrictions are pretty
    much how people would display a photo anyway. The Wilhelm longevity estimates
    are based on certain light levels (450 lux for 12 hrs/day), humidity (60% RH)
    and temperature (75 F), displayed under glass. Vary the conditions and the
    results will vary too.
    Sure, and when tested to these same conditions by Wilhelm he found the Type C
    Kodak process prints graded out to 18-22 years, and Ilfochrome (formerly
    Cibachrome), which was called "archival" by the manufacturer, graded out to 29
    years. To the same tests the newer pigment inkjets are grading out much
    The print life estimates are just that, estimates. If you have a better way to
    project the estimates feel free to speak out.
    "Consumer Reports" ... what a joke. Actually there have been extensive efforts
    undertaken since 1969 to standardize on test methods for measuring print
    longevity. In the USA the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has
    formed various committees to try to agree on what to test and how to test it.
    Do a Google search on 'ansi it9.9' if interested.

    Wilhelm has been on the various ANSI committees since 1979 and served as the
    secretary for many years. In his book (available in PDF format on his web site
    now) he says it's hard to get agreement because the various companies want the
    specs written to make THEIR products look better, and hard to agree on how much
    dye density loss would define 'fade'.

    As one example, Kodak claims 100 year print life for one of their recent papers
    and published the test criteria ... using their numbers but Wilhelm's much
    tighter test conditions the estimate would drop from 100 years to about 18
    years. Kodak had 5 members on the ANSI IT9.9-1990 committee (23 total members
    from all the major film companies, National Geographic, Smithsonian, National
    Archives of Canada, etc), including the chairman ... no surprise they didn't
    want to use Wilhelm's test conditions, is it?

    Right now the Wilhelm estimates are the most rigorous and complete tests we
    have. Take them with a grain of salt, but in absence of actual non-accelerated
    tests (which would last longer than we will likely live) they are the best we
    have right now.

    Bill Hilton, Dec 28, 2003
  6. Conway Yee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Tom Phillips
    No, he's independent and doesn't accept consulting work from any of the
    companies he tests. He does charge them (I heard $5,000 per test) but that's

    His original funding came from someone interested in trying to save all the old
    Technicolor films from the 1930's and onward, which were detoriating rapidly by
    the 1960's.

    Here's a brief bio on him ...
    LightJet is great, but when tested to the exact same tests (on Fuji Crystal
    Archive paper) as the Epson Ultrachrome inks they project to a very similar
    print life. I know dozens of top photographers who've switched from LightJet
    prints to the Epson 9600 or 7600 with Ultrachrome inks.
    Dye transfer maybe. Ilfochromes have a shorter print life estimate than
    LightJet or Ultrachrome inks though, and Type C prints are rated maybe 18-22
    What process are you referring to? What color prints have been around for 150

    Bill Hilton, Dec 28, 2003
  7. Conway Yee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Conway Yee
    I gave you the inkjetart page claiming Wilhelm had tested Gen 4 ... why not
    email or call them and see if they can supply that info to you (hint: act like
    a potential customer). Wilhelm's web site has only a small percent of the
    tests on it.

    I still think you'll be disappointed in the gamut of this ink though.

    Bill Hilton, Dec 28, 2003
  8. Conway Yee

    Conway Yee Guest

    The Wilhelm generated tests are about as scientific as you can get with
    Could you provide a pointer to the methods and the results of the
    tests? For aftermarket inks, I have only been able to find his
    results which state "tests are ongoing" for a pdf file which is
    labelled out-of-date data.

    Conway Yee
    Conway Yee, Dec 28, 2003
  9. Conway Yee

    Conway Yee Guest

    I gave you the inkjetart page claiming Wilhelm had tested Gen 4.
    I can try to obtain the data from inkjetart but they are only a
    distributer of the ink, not the manufacturer.

    I mentioned in an earlier post, I went through a series of emails
    about this EXACT question with the manufacturer, Mediastreet.
    Mediastreet, the Generations 4 manufacturer, not only REFUSED to
    provide the data (testing methods and results) but also refused to say
    whether the data EXISTS or whether the tests are ongoing. I only got
    marketing info saying to buy such and such ink and such and such
    paper. BTW, Mediastreet is no longer pushing Generation 4 but rather
    Enhanced Generations (G5 or G6, I can't recall which).
    Likely true.

    Conway Yee
    Conway Yee, Dec 28, 2003
  10. Conway Yee

    Rafe B. Guest

    I think you'll find all you need on Wilhelm's web site,
    particularly with regard to the testing methods.

    Clearly, the man can't test every single printer-paper-
    ink combination that exists, and no doubt he is paid
    well by the companies who ask him to test the
    combinations that he does.

    Wilhelm suffered a tough blow to his credibility with
    the so-called "orange fiasco" with the early Epson
    1270 inks and papers. Since then, his test methods
    have changed -- to include a glass cover over the
    paper and controls on atmosphere and humidity --
    and he's no longer posting results that were based
    on the earlier procedures. (If you prowl around on
    the web, you can find some of these early results
    posted elsewhere.)

    Harald Johnson's book, "Mastering Digital Printing,"
    talks extensively about the test methods used by
    Henry Wilhelm and how you might (if you were
    ambitious enough) perform similar tests on your own.

    There's even a discussion of the so-called "orange
    fiasco" which led to the change in Wilhelm's test

    I don't particularly hold Wilhelm in awe, and I
    acknowledge that there's a commercial interest
    in every result he publishes. Impartial testing of
    commercial products has always been a thorny
    issue, hasn't it?

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Dec 28, 2003
  11. Conway Yee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    The Wilhelm generated tests are about as scientific as you can get with
    He discusses the test methodology at length in his 700+ page book, which you
    may be able to find in your library. Recently he made the book available as a
    PDF on the web via his site ... the table of contents is at ... try Ch 2 first for info on
    his testing methods.

    Bill Hilton, Dec 28, 2003
  12. Conway Yee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Rafe B.
    Not really ... he ALWAYS said his results were for prints under glass. That's
    why he didn't see the Epson 1270 fading, it only happens in a very few
    instances to prints exposed to air (most people, including me, never saw it
    even with unprotected prints so it's no wonder it was hard to spot). His early
    estimates were accurate for prints under glass or sleeved, but not for ones
    exposed to whatever airborne contaminant was damaging the prints in certain

    He did add additional tests for "gas fastness" (as opposed to his "light
    fastness" tests) after the Epson episode, specifically to catch this type of
    problem, but he still says the results of his tests are for prints under glass
    at the same conditions as earlier (450 lux 12 hrs/day, 60% rh, 75 F), at least
    as far as I know.
    Download the pdf for Ch 8 of his book, where he excoriates Kodak for screwing
    wedding and portrait photographers in the 1950's with their bogus longevity
    claims ... he's not afraid to take on the biggest names in the industry when he
    feels they are lying. Looks pretty "impartial" to me. No wonder Kodak hates
    him, their products usually do a lot worse than their competition and worse
    than their own numbers indicate, since Kodak uses much more forgiving
    parameters for light intensity and allowable amount of fade. One recent
    example ... Kodak claims 100 year print life for a new paper but at 220 lux
    (instead of Wilhelm's 450 lux) and with a 30% density loss ("noticeable but not
    objectionable", they call it :) vs Wilhelm's 6-8% allowable density loss.
    Translating to Wilhelm's test would put the print life at under 20 years
    instead of 100.

    Bill Hilton, Dec 28, 2003
  13. I think Wilhelm is doing the best work in this area.

    It's true that he missed the Epson 1270 gas fading
    issue. [ Hey, guess what, we're all imperfect. ]

    But he's made a nice recovery on that. Here's a paper
    he delivered 3 months ago on the gas issue:

    Comparison of Different Methods for Estimating
    the Sensitivity of Inkjet Images to Gas Fading

    [ bottom-line: print to ColorLife paper if you want longevity
    with Epson dye-based inks ]

    Stanley Krute, Dec 28, 2003
  14. Conway Yee

    Rafe B. Guest

    OK, I stand corrected. Any idea then why some of
    his early results were taken off his site? For example,
    I've got a PDF (taken from elsewhere on the web)
    dated June 20, 2000. But it's nowhere to be found on
    Wilhelm's site. (That date is in the file, not the DOS
    or Windoze file date. The title is, "With New Pigmented
    Inks, Dye-Based Inks, and Inkjet Papers, An
    Unprecedented New Era Has begun in Color

    I remember feeling embarassed for the guy back
    when the 1270 "orange fiasco" hit. It ended up
    being a *huge* controversy on the Leben Epson
    list, and became the numero-uno topic for months.

    It was one of the few times that I was glad not to
    have the "newest and greatest" printer from Epson.

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Dec 29, 2003
  15. Couple things: first of all, interesting that you dismiss Wilhelm as being a
    biased industry shill, yet you seem to take HP's pronouncements as gospel.

    And what do you call it when a liquid turns to a gas? "Vaporization"? OK, I'm
    saying that's the same thing as "boiling". Now, if we were talking about a
    solid turning directly into a gas (as occurs in the Tektronix "Phaser"
    solid-ink printers), then we're talking about sublimation. Here, it's just a
    simple single phase change from liquid to gas.
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 29, 2003
  16. Conway Yee

    Rafe B. Guest

    I'm mostly avoiding you, Tom. But one more
    time, for the gipper...

    You initially made a bogus claiim that inks
    needed a certain chemical formulation so
    that they could be sprayed via electrostatics,
    and this formulation made them non-archival.

    That claim is total BUNK and remains so.

    It MAY have been true for IRIS printers but
    is not at all applicable to current inkjet

    This led to my brief explanation of the two
    major inkjet printing technologies, thermal
    and piezo. Which in turn led to your semantic
    hissy fit over my use of the word "boil."

    You still haven't bothered to define what
    you mean by "archival." In that regard, Mr.
    Wilhelm -- for all his faults -- is a step ahead
    of you.

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Dec 29, 2003
  17. Conway Yee

    Tom Monego Guest

    far. Wilhelm's book is in publication and may take some reading on your part.
    Also most of his accelerated testing is taken from fabric dye testing which is
    a quite established field. There is a textile department at MIT you might want
    to talk with someone in that department. If you are looking for how the data is
    Anyway Wilhelm's older data was on an archive section of his website, took some
    digging to find it when I was looking for it a couple of months ago, but it was
    there. Inkjetart had it on there website a while back.
    Mediastreet is a fairly large corporation and the people that answer the phones
    aren't the most informed. This company has made a substantial effort into
    making long lasting inks and good papers (low acid or acid free). They were
    part of the reason Epson started making pigmented inks as a lot of folks were
    not buying Epson ink for their large printers (Epson 9000, and 7000) and were
    buying Media Street and MIS inks. I have used but don't use Mediatreet products
    Trying to make a lasting image has been the goal of inkjet printers since
    Graham Nash started Nash Editions in the mid 80's. You can go with photo
    reproduction if you want to be safe BUT you will only get 15-30 year ilfe with
    most color prints, b&W is a different story, make 3 color separations of you
    color work, it will be archival. Kodak says 100 but the same criteria that
    gives 100 year life to Mediastreet inkjets and 80 year life to Ultrachrome inks
    only gave a 20 year life to the same color print material.

    Tom Monego, Dec 29, 2003
  18. Conway Yee

    Conway Yee Guest

    Wilhelm's older data was on an archive section of his website, took
    Yeah, I found the older data on Mediastreet's inksets. On the Wilhelm
    Research site, it listed Generations 4 as "in progress." Not very
    useful information is it? Inquiries to Mediastreet did not get

    Conway Yee
    Conway Yee, Dec 29, 2003
  19. Conway Yee

    Tom Monego Guest

    What exactly are you looking for? Is it an inkset for an existing printer? This
    thread is getting away from your original question. If you are looking for an
    inkset and paper combination and want data to make certain it is long lasting,
    Wilhelm is your only source, if he doesn't have it it doesn't exist. As I said
    before a lot of printers felt MediaStreet ink was alot better than the dye inks
    supplied by the manufacturers. Data was just not available. There are ways to
    find out Wilhelm has his methods on every page in that article, Harald
    Jackson's book on Mastering Digital Printing has good advise, also look into
    Blue Wool comparison testing.
    If you want backable data, get an Hp or Epson archival or Ultrachrome Printer.
    Those are at least thouroghly covered.

    Tom Monego, Dec 29, 2003
  20. & If that is what you say,.... I am sure you won't mind proving what
    your disputing regarding Tom's statements.
    Gregory W Blank, Dec 29, 2003
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