Archival inksets for inkjet printers.

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

  1. Conway Yee

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    I know it somewhat changes the subject, but I can't help
    but wonder why the "archival" qualities have much

    If I take pictures of the grandkids, blow them up to
    nice (in my eyes, anyway :) 8x10's using no name glossy
    paper and 3rd party inks, why do I care much how long
    they last?

    If they've faded/discolored/cracked/whatever or if I should
    be blessed with great grandkids who handle them with
    jam covered fingers - then for another dollar I simply
    print another?

    Or, is there something here I'm not yet understanding?

    Take care.

    Ken Weitzel, Dec 29, 2003
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  2. Conway Yee

    Rafe B. Guest

    Go back and review the thread.

    No current inkjet technology relies on
    electrostatics to propel the ink.

    Thermal inkjets heat the ink; a small
    amount of vapor then propels the
    ink out the nozzle. (Hence the term
    "bubble jet.")

    Piezo inkjets literally deform the
    cavity behind the nozzle, thereby
    propelling the ink out the nozzle.

    There is absolutely no need for
    an "ionizing agent" in the ink, in
    either case.

    Tom's claim was that this "ionizing
    agent" causes inkjet inks to be non-


    Fact of the matter is that pigment-
    based inkjet prints on appropriate
    media most likely will far outlast
    conventional color prints (C-prints)
    and even Cibas (R-prints.) The
    bad news is that pigments don't
    have the gamut or Dmax of dyes.

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

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Oh c'mon. The factual technological basis of how something actually
    functions is far removed from an opinion (extrapolation) on something
    based on a testing model, which is what Wilhlem does. One is fact, the
    other is theory.

    Like I said, you can take it up with HP, who state bubble jets don't
    boil ink. The ink isn't boiled, since 99.7% of it is never even heated.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  4. Conway Yee

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Not doing a very good job...
    Not the issue.
    I merely mentioned it, since it showed you didn't seem to understand how
    it even actually worked. It's you who continues to focus on it's
    nonrelevance. It's not the main issue. And as I said, go to any high end
    lab or dealer for an "art" print and what they give you is a Giclee --
    an Iris. The industry claims this is archival. It's not.
    You just aren't interested in what's actually being said, since I did
    define it in very definite terms of how long real photographs, both
    black and white and color, have actually been around. They have a proven
    track record for longevity. Inkjets don't. All they have is Wilhelm
    whose methods have revealed serious errors in the very recent past.

    I suggest you read the objective, journalistic excerpts I posted from
    the US News article, where image preservation experts are quoted as
    recommending digital images be preserved using photochemical output. The
    reason for this is also clearly and objectively stated, i.e., that
    inkjets simply aren't "archival" due to a number of reasons, a few of
    which I also mentioned.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  5. Conway Yee

    Tom Phillips Guest

    I'm sure Gregory read the thread. I've not noticed him to not pay
    attention, even if we disagree. It's you who either aren't paying
    attention to, or aren't reading, what's being said.
    Piezo is a form of electrostatic. Giclee is an Iris. These are common
    output. Even if inks in bubble jets aren't ph modified, that's not the
    only reason inkjets aren't archival, something I clearly stated you just
    find convenient to ignore.
    Previously you asserted an inkjet will "easily outlast conventional
    color prints." Interesting, considering no inkjet has so far lasted even
    as long as the color prints I have hanging on my walls, which show no
    deterioration or fading at all.

    In any case it's an assertion you cannot prove. Someone else stated the
    fallacy that C prints last maybe 20 years in "excellent storage
    conditions" and Cibachrome "maxes out at about 30 years." I have pointed
    out I have such prints older than this and also that stable color images
    have been around for well over 100 years and counting.
    Well, that's also just one more reason not to use inkjets. The color
    space of digital devices cannot reproduce the color gamuts of
    photographic dyes, no matter how many inks are used.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  6. Conway Yee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Ken Weitzel
    Wilhelm says one reason the ANSI committees have such a hard time coming up
    with 'standards' is that there are different requirements for "professional
    portrait and wedding photography, amateur snapshot photography, fine art
    photography in museum or private collections, or commercial display in stores,
    airports etc".

    What you describe is amateur snapshot photography and you're right, you can
    just print another shot if the grandkids or pets eat the corners.

    What we're arguing about in this thread is more "fine art photography" print
    life, which is what Wilhelm's tests are geared to with the requirements for
    display under glass and certain temp/humidity values. If you are selling your
    work then the person buying it at a premium price is probably interested in
    having it last more than a couple years. If you've shot someone's wedding or
    graduation you wouldn't want to have to reprint it every 5 years when the
    prints fade, for example.

    Bill Hilton, Dec 29, 2003
  7. Conway Yee

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Rafe B.
    Probably just saving disk space by taking down results from printers no longer
    available? I doubt he's trying to hide anything. You can still find plenty of
    links with his data on the Epson 1280, for example ...,aid,105461,pg,1,00.asp pg 3 for a chart,
    or for pretty much all the
    Epson ink and printer combos from the 1270 on.

    Before the 1270 there wasn't much useful to report on inkjets since the print
    life was only a couple years, so there's not much missing.
    Ah, I remember it well :)
    I had the 1280 (same ink and paper as the 1270 but 2880 dpi instead of 1440).
    Still have it, actually, at least until the 4000 arrives and I give it away.
    Never saw the orange fade problem myself.

    Despite all the internet furor, you have to remember that the printer shipped
    in Japan and Europe for months before it arrived in the USA and no one ever
    reported fade problems before it arrived here. In the USA it was reviewed by
    several magazines I subscribed to, like Byte, PCWorld, Shutterbug, Outdoor
    Photographer and a couple others ... not ONE of those editors saw the orange
    fade :)

    When Epson offered a buy-back only 1% of their customers took them up on it,
    and estimates were that only 5-8% of the owners were affected by the quick
    orange shift.

    The guys who did see it really saw it and it was a real problem, but it wasn't
    as wide-spread as you'd think from reading the internet. And the work-around
    was to keep the prints sleeved or under glass, which is what Wilhelm was
    testing for any way, so it was hard to fault him for not catching something he
    wasn't looking for.

    In a different post I noted Wilhelm's comments about the different requirements
    for fade tests for various usages (fine art vs snapshots vs outdoor signage
    etc). I think Wilhelm thought he was testing for fine art conditions but
    people buying the Epsons were expecting the same results for snapshot
    conditions, and the two worlds collided with the gas fastness problem :) It
    was not a pretty sight.

    Bill Hilton, Dec 29, 2003
  8. Conway Yee

    Conway Yee Guest

    What exactly are you looking for? Is it an inkset for an existing
    As for materials and methods, my question has been answered...Go to
    Wilhelm Research's book.

    As for paper/ink combination, I am inclined to believe Mediastreet's
    marketing information.

    As for duration of Generations 4 inkset with the appropriate paper, I
    still don't have anything more than what is claimed by
    Mediastreet. There are several issues with this. First of all, I can
    not find the >100 year duration claimed for the inkset at the Wilhelm
    Research website. Second, the Mediastreet only claims this for the 4
    and 6 color Generations 4 inksets, not the 7 color inkset that the
    Epson 2200 uses. Thus, the duration is questionable and even the
    existance of the duration data is questionable. Inquiries directly to
    Mediastreet were rebuffed with prejudice.

    Conway Yee
    Conway Yee, Dec 29, 2003
  9. Conway Yee

    Tom Monego Guest

    If you are using a 2200, Ultrachromes are the way to go, Wilhelm has just
    released new data that gives very good life estimates to prints under glass or
    coated. This data is a link on the home page! I really think that Mediastreet
    took a hit with Epson bringing out the Ultrachrome Ink set, they raised the
    color gamut/ longevity ratio. The company may not have the $ to hire Wilhelm.
    Lyson has brought out an Ultrachrome clone called Cave Paints, it may be more
    difficult to find data on these than Mediastreet. The company claims a larger
    gamut, longer life and one deep black ink for all papers. No testing that I
    can find, but a very reputable European company.

    Tom Monego, Dec 29, 2003
  10. Conway Yee

    Tom Monego Guest

    Very difficult to prove that inkjets will outlast color prints, considering
    that the basic technology is only 15 years old, the inks we are talking about
    are no more than 5 years old, Ultrachromes 2 years. But your lack of knowledge
    of the ink jet process especially paper in showing. Most printers dealing with
    the art crowd are printing on ph neutral papers, many of which don't have
    optical brighteners, this paper technology is migrating to photobased papers.
    The papers all have coatings to absorb the ink and hold it in ceramic,
    synthetic or gelatin matrixies. This paper is more equivelant to water color
    papers than photopapers, much higher quality. In fact the RC matrix of
    C-prints is a plastic that has been improved since it came out but still is no
    where near as good as thge papers used in art level printing with inkjets. The
    fact is that when Wilhelm (yes that name again) subjected Kodaks new Endura
    color paper to the same criteria as he was using for his inkjet tests his
    numbers were 1/5 the life expectancy than what Kodak came up with. I would
    suspect that the actual is somewhere in between.

    I'm not questioning the achivability of B&W prints, there is no question here,
    but color prints is another story, in a stable environment they may have a
    very good life expectancy. Right now my inkjet prints beat C-prints in south
    window tests, and I use long lived dyes (until my lease on this printer runs
    out). This is not a scientific test just a gross comparison.
    ou are right about some old process color lasting, but there was a reason
    that they didn't catch on in a big way, complexity of process, and most of
    them used colorants closer to what is used today in inkjets than photos, did a
    senior thesis on this too long ago. Autochromes are OK if kept in a museum
    environment but the starch starts to rot if it is exposed to any humidity at
    all. Also no one knows how to make these as the Bros Lumiere had a patent on
    this and CIBA destroyed everything after they bought the company. The process
    that lasted the longest was dye transfer, and I'm not sure if that is
    available anymore. The only way I have heard to be sure your color images will
    last is to make 3 color separations on B&W film.

    Color photography and printing is changing the next 20 years are going to be

    Tom Monego, Dec 29, 2003
  11. Conway Yee

    Tom Phillips Guest

    On that I agree. But the changes don't appear to be for the better.
    Kodak's attempt to kill off dye transfer -- one of the most stable
    archival color printing processes ever conceived (as well as the demise
    of superb color separation processes like Technicolor...) epitomizes the
    human race's endless penchant for substituting mediocrity for proven
    quality, and all for the sake of money.
    Tom Phillips, Dec 29, 2003
  12. Conway Yee

    Derek Gee Guest

    To the best of my knowledge, Wilhelm made NO erroneous claims about inkjet
    print longevity. It was Epson's marketing department, who didn't realize
    that Wilhelm's methodology put the prints under glass, where they were
    shielded from oxidation. Most home users don't put their inkjet prints
    under glass.

    Derek Gee, Jan 2, 2004
  13. Conway Yee

    Bob Salomon Guest

    Whose paper?

    Go try a some Tetenal 294 gm Spectra Jet if you want a heavy photo
    weight paper for ink jet. Or Tetenal 260 gm Spectra Jet.
    Bob Salomon, Jan 3, 2004
  14. Conway Yee

    Tom Phillips Guest

    They relied on his data and Espon's erroneous claims of archivalness
    were in fact backed by Wilhelm's tests. Sounds like a revisionsist
    assertion since it contradicts the events as reported.

    If in fact it had been a case of a reseacher providing "qualified"
    archival testing and data, either that data would have to have been
    deliberately ignored (which is not something I've heard), or the
    researcher (Wilhelm) engaged in shoddy work and misrepresentation by not
    stating his qualified methodology was based on specific display or
    storage conditions.

    Of course, deliberate misrepresentation is hardly foreign practice in
    the digital industry.
    Tom Phillips, Jan 3, 2004
  15. Conway Yee

    Derek Gee Guest

    No, Wilhelm's data was correct. If you seal the prints under glass, they
    aren't exposed to air to oxidize and turn orange!!!!
    Wilhelm's methodology was stated on his website, and may have been in his
    book. If Epson chose to IGNORE that then it's their fault, not Wilhelm's.
    True, but it was Epson's response to the orange-print problem that made
    everyone mad. They first pretended it was only happening to a few
    individuals, then they claimed the paper was the problem, when in fact it
    was the INK! They didn't reformulate the ink until they came out with new
    generation printers. They only grudgingly gave refunds to dissatisfied
    consumers. I wonder if HP or Canon would have handled a similar problem any

    Derek Gee, Jan 5, 2004
  16. Conway Yee

    Tom Phillips Guest

    No, since Epson was in fact forced to make chemical changes to correct
    the problem as best they could. If it were merely an issue of protecting
    inks from oxidation by sealing under glass (not 100% effective) no
    chemical fixes would have been necessary.

    Realistically, the general public does not print out low res snapshots
    from their digital cameras to frame them under glass like a work of art
    in a museum. Plus, the notion that putting something under glass will
    make it archival is baseless. While glass may offer some protection from
    atmospheric pollutants (but may also *trap* those pollutants), it won't
    prevent oxidation of something that is prone to rapid oxidation anyway.
    If the only way to make it archival is to prevent exposure to air, only
    sealing it in a vacuum will help.

    yes, well, I tend to rely on more objective third party or journalistic accounts.
    Tom Phillips, Jan 5, 2004
  17. Tom Phillips wrote (in part):
    I think you would find that sealing it at a slight positive pressure
    with dry nitrogen, argon, or even helium would be just as good.
    Jean-David Beyer, Jan 5, 2004
  18. Like?
    Robert Peirce, Jan 6, 2004
  19. I doubt anybody will do that. How about spraying with some kind of
    sealer? I recall reading somewhere that hair spray is pretty good, but
    that could be an urban legend.
    Robert Peirce, Jan 6, 2004
  20. Conway Yee

    Derek Gee Guest

    They didn't make the ink changes until the NEXT year when the new series
    printers arrived.
    I agree that putting the photos under glass was not 100% effective. Not
    sure if that reflects the general publics inability to frame pictures, or
    whether it reflects a particular type of photo.
    I agree that Wilhelm's methodology is stupid, but at least he stated what it
    was. I would never have sealed them under glass.

    There is no objective account that you can rely on. You don't always know
    the how the third party tests are conducted and if there is any validity to
    the tests they conduct. The only ones doing scientific studies that I know
    of are Wilhelm Imaging Research, and the Institute of Image Permanence at
    the Rochester Institute of Technology. Both will likely charge you money to
    conduct tests of inkjet inks, unless they have found a grant for such
    research from somewhere else.

    Derek Gee, Jan 6, 2004
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