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Color photo printing

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  #1  
Old 12-05-2011, 06:18 AM
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smurfing smurfing is offline
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Color photo printing

Hi

Could anyone advise/help me please?

When I print any photograph and it is put on display (in daylight) they always seem to have a very limited life before the colors start to change dramatically
This seems to leave the only option of having to reprint every couple of years
Is there something wrong (have used different printers all giving the same problem) or is it being caused by "sun bleaching"

Many thx
Smurf
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2011, 07:05 AM
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Re: Color photo printing

Not all inks are created equal, and the same is true of the photo papers they are printed on. Most low end ink jet printers use inks that fade away in daylight in a year or two. Higher end ink jet printers use archival inks that will last 50-100 years exposed to daylight.
If you want to have photos printed with archival inks and papers, and do not want to invest in a higher end ink jet, use an external print shop. Quality inks and papers are what most use.
Regards, Murray
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2011, 07:50 AM
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Re: Color photo printing

I agree with Murray as the greatest problem with inkjet prints is the nature of dye-based inks to react poorly to months or even several weeks exposure to the sun - they start to fade!

Pigment inks seem to offer a longer life expectancy and there are claims of between 50-100 years and even up to 200 years (depending on storage). Interestingly enough (and AFAIK) the manufacturers do not actually offer a warranty of longevity of even just 1 year!

It is doubtful that a system is available that is completely resistant to the suns rays - it eventually bleaches everything.

So I guess all you can do is try and minimise the problems which may mean looking to display prints in an area that does not receive any direct sunlight.
Also it is likely that if you use cheap third party inks that these may not be as good at fade resistance as the manufacturers own.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2011, 09:33 AM
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Re: Color photo printing

Hi Smurf

I agree with Murray and Tony that the ink (and paper) is the foremost consideration. You did not mention anything about the specific situation for you display. Another factor in the speed of degradation (after ink/paper consideration) is protection from UV light. If you are talking about images that are not huge and in a frame, then using glass that does not transmit UV rays can be a consideration. The high end of this type of glass can be expensive (marketed as museum glass) yet thought I would mention that as well. Depending on your situation this may not be cost effective yet it is easy to check the costs.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:00 AM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Color photo printing

hi,
well my 2 cents worth.. smiling... this is something i looked at several months ago when i was doing research on inks and inkjets.. and which one better....my opinions...

1. the printer printer purpose will determine what kind of ink that is used in the cartridges.. for example a office or home general printer will basically a regular ink.. where as a photo printer... will use special formulated ink... (dye or pigmented)

2. both the kind(quality) of ink and paper makes a difference in preventing fading...!
on the paper, how well it designed to absorbe and seals , help determine how long lasting...actually found this sort of strange... since when it come to glossy's to get the vribrant color the paper does very little absorbing of the ink..

a example .. hp... to get the longest lasting inkjet printing... you use hp vivera ink ( not regular hp ink) and use thier premium photo paper .... epson the same way use the special formualte ink and ther hi end paper...

3. now if the printer has only regular dye or pigmented ink .... one thing you can do, to protect printed photos, is use a uv spray ... they do 2 things... one is they help protect the photo from harmfull uv ray which major factor in fading plus it seals the photo from air getting to the ink again preventing oxidation ....

note: uv sprays for photo been in use for ages.... they were used a lot back in the days on those kodak camera that print out photo you always added a coating... also to day, unless kodak has improved there ink... people use a coating to seal them...

anyway that my 2 cents worth.. have good week
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2011, 10:35 AM
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Re: Color photo printing

Wow guys

That was quick and just what the doctor ordered
Many Many thanks to all

May I send everyone early greetings for the festive in case I dont get another chance

Many thx again

Smurf
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2011, 01:30 PM
chet webley chet webley is offline
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Re: Color photo printing

AHA! Finally a subject that I know a fair bit about... My main work is as a large format printer for signs, exhibitions and advertising - The longevity problem crops up ALL THE TIME.

JerryB has pretty much nailed it.

As previously mentioned, there are many types of ink, each of which has it's positives and negatives. The 2 biggest problems that an ink has to counter are UV and pollution.

Dye and Pigment inks tend not to last as long as Solvent (oil based) inks. Generally, Dye & Pigment inks are brighter and have a larger gamut than Solvent inks, but a Solvent ink will (generally) last far longer. And then there's Giclee inks.

Currently, as far as I know, the greatest longevity available (as previously mentioned) are from HP Vivera inks printed on an acid free paper, such as Hahnemule fine art rag - This will give "archival" prints, and are touted as lasting up to 200 years. If you keep it in a draw. An only look at the print on Sundays. In the dark (probably).

I believe (as in I read it somewhere) that some epson printers using Giclee inks can also produce archival images on acid free media.

An "unprotected" solvent print will still survive for about 3 years, outside, in a sunny climate for about 3 years - The problem is, the UV doesn't just attack the ink, it also deteriorates the media (usually also oil based).

We extend the life of all of our prints (except the archival quality ones) by laminating them. We can either do this with a self adhesive film, or a liquid. In the cases of exterior solvent prints, we have been able to get prints to last > 7 years. (when I say "last" what I mean is, the print has not deteriorated to the degree that the amount of fade is enough to show up against what one "remembers")

The best thing you can do to extend the life of any of your inkjet printed images is to use the original inks that are supplied by the printer manufacturer and the best quality paper you can get your hands on (acid free if possible). Even then, to get the best out of your images keep them out of direct sunlight.

If you are outsourcing your prints, ask if your supplier is able to use acid fre media, or laminate your prints for you - you're more likely to come across these options at a place with large format equipment. Beware though, it adds significantly to the cost.

I happen to have on my wall a print on rather inexpensive "everyday" paper, printed on an HP5000, using 3rd party dye inks - It's now 7 years old and looks fine. It's framed, and I've always hung it on a wall out of direct sunlight.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2011, 02:14 PM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Color photo printing

hi again,
this subject caused me to do some research ... along the lines of paper...
and this might be of interest, it short course on inkjet paper...

http://www.shortcourses.com/display/display2-6.html

surprising thing to me was paper can have so many different layers, i always thought inkjet paper only had just 2 or 3 layers not a dozen as the article indicates... ... smiling..

archival paper- 100% rag will last 100 years or more and the article give the perception it doesn't discorlor .. however some manufactures will put optical brightners (OBA) and they can cause the paper to yellow.. so it best to get not only acid free but OBA free ....

well i have talk enough...lol
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2011, 02:59 PM
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Re: Color photo printing

Quote:
Originally Posted by chet webley View Post
......Dye and Pigment inks tend not to last as long as Solvent (oil based) inks. Generally, Dye & Pigment inks are brighter and have a larger gamut than Solvent inks, but a Solvent ink will (generally) last far longer. And then there's Giclee inks.

Currently, as far as I know, the greatest longevity available (as previously mentioned) are from HP Vivera inks printed on an acid free paper, such as Hahnemule fine art rag - This will give "archival" prints, and are touted as lasting up to 200 years. If you keep it in a draw. An only look at the print on Sundays. In the dark (probably).

I believe (as in I read it somewhere) that some epson printers using Giclee inks can also produce archival images on acid free media...
Chet I am a little confused by your terminology 'And then theres Glclee inks'.

AFAIK the term Giclee was coined in the 1980's by Nash Editions and was used to refer to 'Fine art printing' originally on IRIS printers but applying to any fine quality ink jet printer - not your average computer printer at that time. In other words a 'Hoity Toity' name for inkjet printing still employed by some processing labs to try and differentiate their printing from others.

I believe that the HP Vivera inks and the Epson Ultrachrome K3 are both pigment based inks with long life and fade resistance on the correct paper stock.

From the first part of your post it seemed that you were suggesting that dye and pigment were similar and that another ink Giclee available. Although later in your post you state that Epson printers use Giclee inks.

These surely must be the Ultrachrome K3 (or HP Vivera) or are you saying there are others?

You also said 'Solvent (oil based) inks', aren't inks either solvent or oil based in the commercial printing industry, can they be both?
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2011, 03:21 PM
chet webley chet webley is offline
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Re: Color photo printing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony W View Post
Chet I am a little confused by your terminology 'And then theres Glclee inks'.

From the first part of your post it seemed that you were suggesting that dye and pigment were similar and that another ink Giclee available. Although later in your post you state that Epson printers use Giclee inks.

These surely must be the Ultrachrome K3 (or HP Vivera) or are you saying there are others?

You also said 'Solvent (oil based) inks', aren't inks either solvent or oil based in the commercial printing industry, can they be both?
Tony, you're quite right - I've just done some reading *blush. I had been led to believe that Giclee was a type of ink, not a process. I was also under the impression that "some" Epson printers used it. As you have pointed out the Epson / Ultrachrome and HP / Vivera is a type 'Hoity Toity' inkjet printing

As for "Solvent (oil based)" inks, this page describes the type of ink we use on that machine:-

http://www.digitaloutput.net/content...ntCT.asp?P=542

"Confusion Abounds
Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines solvent as "a substance, usually a liquid, which dissolves another substance." This can describe any liquid – including water. But in the inkjet world, the term is used to describe any ink that is not water-based. On top of this, the terms the industry uses to describe inks include soft, mild, safe and green, as well as hard, real, true and strong. No wonder people are confused.

One of the more intriguing terms used is eco-solvent ink. To most people, "eco" means ecological. But these inks generally contain glycol esters or glycol ether esters – both derived from mineral oil – hardly a renewable resource or an ecologically sound process. Perhaps the terms mild and aggressive might best be suited to describe the two groups that include solvent inks."

Cheers
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