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Anyone know about dye sublimation Printers?
Thank you for any info,
I seem to remember something about dyesub prints not being very archival. Can't think of where I saw that off the top of my head. Hopefully someone else knows?
Hmmm - did a little searching on the web. It appears that (at least with the Sony), the dyesubs are now including a UV protective layer over the ink (all part of the printing process I think), which is helping with the longevity. I found this link which you might find interesting.
Dye Sub Printers
Not sure about the archival issue. I do know that early dye subs had very short print lives. but that may have been rectified with the lamination layer now used on most d/s printers. However there is an issue of paper availability. Generally they are limited to glossy "snapshot" type papers which are also heat sensitive and cannot be dry-mounted.
Thanks for posting the link about the Kodak dye subs. It is rather misleading however. Kodak has not discontinued all it's dye subs. I sent them an email and this was their response:
"Thank you for contacting Kodak Professional.
Some older DyeSubs were discontinued, but there are three current models
that fill the different needs in our portfolio.
The 8500 is the desktop model for under $1000.00
The 8660 is the Event Printer (taking on locations) with a higher duty
cycle and durability and runs around $5,000.00
The ML500 is the Mini-Lab dye sub for high speeds/high volumes and lists
at about $25,000.00
All of the new printers use the same paper and technology as the older
ones, but are equipped to print matte and glossy finishes and tend to be
If you should have additional questions, please be sure to revisit our
site as we are continually adding information to enhance our support.
For immediate answers to commonly asked questions, please visit:
For product and technical information, service, support, and downloads:
All the best,
I have been using a Kodak 8500 dyesub printer as well as a HiTi unit for the past few months and have been quite impressed with the quality and durability of the prints.
The overcoat layer is highly mosture resistant and informal tests I conducted which involved submersing the prints in water, spilling milk, coffee and orange juice on them showed a marked resistance to damage. Exposure of dyesub and inkjet prints to direct sunlight over a period of one month showed some fading of both prints, the inkjet print from an Epson 1270 using heavy matte paper, displaying slightly more fade. This was subjective as I donot have access to a densitometer. Depending on the manufacturer, there are matte paper/ribbon combinations avaliable. The Kodak unit uses a different ribbon for matte than for glossy but utilizes the same paper. The Matte prints are quite nice but are more prone to scratching. Print life is comparable with that expected from the Epson 1270,1280, and the 2000/2200 units according to what I have read on various sites. A lot depends upon proper display and storage of the prints however.
On the downside, you are restricted to using proprietary paper and ink ribbons. The bright side is that prints can be produced from around .28 cents for a 4x6 , .72 cents for a 5x7 and $1.80 for an 8x10. Depending on the unit you use.
Most of the units need calibration although this is a one time affair except for the fuji units which should be calibrated each time the consummables are replaced.
Getting a neutral B/W print from the units, unless using a KO, ribbon can be difficult , requiring some adjustment of the contrast/brightness settings.
All in all, after years of using inkjets I am quite satisfied that many of the early problems which plagued dye sub units have been overcome and if one is willing to part with some serious money and spend some time learning the "particulars" of the unit, the results are very impressive. Most of my customers, after viewing inkjet and dyesub prints side by side, elect to go with the dyesub.
Just my observations,so dont take them too seriously. I still use inkjet for large format prints and am quite satisfied with them as are my customers.
I think the main advantage of the dyesub units is in a high volumn output setting such as from digital cameras where you might have 20 or more photos to run off. The dyesub units are much faster than inkjets and once set up and calibrated, much more efficent.
That being said, I wouldnt immediately race off and mortgage the farm to get one. The modern inkjets produce excellent output and are more versitile as to the ink/papers avaliable than the dyesubs.
One other note, while scans of inkjet prints may show the halftone pattern, dyesub prints, at least the scans I have done on prints from my units, scan just like a traditional halide type print.
Again, this is simply my opinion and should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. But, if you can afford it, having a dye sub unit and an inkjet printer would not necessairly be a bad thing...sort of covering all bases as it were.....Tom
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