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    I had real problems with both the glossy and the photo quality papers as regards fading, red shifting and colors being not quite right. After several months I began using the Matte paper and the problems went away. I did find that the photo quality and glossy papers are very sensitive to changes in the relative humidity and to air borne contaminants such as paint fumes etc., fading and undesirable color shifts occuring with remarkable rapidity with both types of paper while the matte seemed pretty much immune to the problems. I have had a few customers ask about the matte paper but when I explain the advantages of it, they all were satisfied, ans as they keep bringing in work, I guess they became reconciled to it. Wish there was a solution to the ink problem...I take it the chances of finding a supplier in Egypt or in one of the more stable areas around there is not viable? Anyhow, good luck. Tom

  • #2
    Even with Epson and the promise of arhcival quality lasting for 100+ years is on the matte paper. The glossier it gets the less time it will last. Epson doesn't even make a high gloss for their archival ink printers.
    DJ

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    • #3
      I have a problem with the ink smearing if it gets wet no matter how long it drys and on matte. I have a HPdeskjet952c and always use the HP heavy weight matte photo paper with the recommended ink...is there any home printer that produces prints that don't smear when wet? I mean a raindrop/damp fingers...I would love to not have to upload to a photo place and wait the extra couple days...I hope you don't mind me adding this to your question Tom.

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      • #4
        No problem Jill, please jump in any time.These discussions are open to all and the more folks who participate, the better! I had only limited exposure to HP printers and my experiences with the particular one was not positive, so I aquired an Epson 1270 and have been very happy with it. I have never heard of the Epson printers having the problem you describe, must be frustrating to see your hard work reduced to a smeared mess! I would suggest perhaps consider selling the HP and tracking down an Epson...Just my opinion though. The major problems with the Epson line seem to be more related to the longevity of the prints than to anything else and a lot of the problems were due to the peculiar reactions which occured with the Epson inks and their glossy RC papers, which exibited severs problems with cyan component and general fading. These were very sensitive to air born contaminants and elevated ozone levels, additionally in my experience they were also quickly and severly impacted by elevated humidity and temp. However the heavyweight Matte paper exibited none of these problems, and is cheaper than the glossy papers while producing excellent results. Tom

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        • #5
          Well, Tom, I've learned something VERY useful - thanks! Now what do I do with my stocks of photo paper ... ?

          Do you use archival inks? If so, what make? I don't know where to begin looking for these, especially since I've seen some test results on the web which were not wholly promising. Is there one that works particularly well with the Matte paper?

          I can get Epson supplies in South Africa, so that's not a problem.

          Thanks for your help - much appreciated.

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          • #6
            I just use the standard Epson dye base inks and the Heavyweight Mattepaper. The other paper you have could be put to use printing things which are not intended to last very long, like One year calendars or that sort of thing. Also, advise your customers to, if at all possible, display the prints on the matte paper under glass and out of direct sunlight, UV rays are real photo killers... matting the prints is also to be highly recommended. The regular Epson brand inks seem to have good staying power, and the only inks I am aware of that are listed as Archival are a pigment rather than dye based and require special printers and paper. Most fading seems related to improper display methods as regards the Epson products..I cant speak for other brands. Also, when printing on the photo quality paper dont use your printers highest DPI settings. I noticed that when I did, my prints came out "muddy" looking from over saturation of the paper with ink, where as printing at a lower setting produced satisfactory results. Good luck..Tom

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            • #7
              Sam
              Check this link out for an alternative archival ink that is supposedly good with Epson. Don't know if it will be any cheaper for you though or even if they are available to you in Zimbabwe.
              DJ

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              • #8
                Hi again Tom,
                I had to reread your first post after I read Sam's mention of what to do with all the photo paper. I see you mean that you don't use matte photo paper you use matte heavy weight paper. I guess I mean that as a question! That is the only thing that works for me with no smearing problems. I haven't found one that is thick enough for a good feel. I used an avery matte paper that has a coating for photo but it just feels very light. Doesn't smear and looks sharp but very light weight. What brand do you use Tom/everyone?

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                • #9
                  Jill, The only paper I've found, which is reasonably priced, and delivers consistantly good prints is the Epson Heavyweight Matte paper. The other matte papers I have tried have either been too expensive or just plain inferior. The Epson is 9 mil in thickness ( translated to the real world, it has a sturdy feel) and there is no comparison between it and the Avery photo series Matte paper which I once tried and still have about 40 sheets of left. The Epson would be worth trying as the feel and consistantly excellent results along with the longevity sure are a plus. There are other Matte papers out there which are reported to do just as well, if not better than the Epson, but the cost gets pretty high and as I live in an area where cheap has been raised to a highly polished art form, the cost plus the good results have pretty much sold me on the Epson paper. Tom

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                  • #10
                    Thank you so much for that advice! I will be buying that paper next. My photo paper was 9 ml so that would make me so happy to have that heavy weight and matte look.....I am so glad I asked!

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                    • #11
                      Tom - you really are a mine of information, aren't you?

                      When you say "improper display methods" what do you mean? The fading problems I've had are with photos that have been displayed in normal room conditions/temperatures, out of sunlight, etc.

                      Also, you say these pigment inks need a special printer - oh, oh, I suppose that rules me out. Do you know if you can get a normal printer altered in some way to accept the pigment inks?

                      Sorry to impose upon you again, but you do seem to know everything. (Flattery will get me everywhere, I hope!!!)


                      DJ - I'd seen that thread before and wondered about those guys Cippres was talking about. I'll do some more research on the Lyson inks and see what comes up.
                      Last edited by Sam; 01-08-2002, 09:48 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Sam, Three main factors to consider in display are to avoid UV light as much as possible..this means no direct sunlight and avoid flourescent lights as they are "rich" in UV component unless sheilded. The second relate to relative humidity and temperature. Basically the higher the temp and RH the shorter the life of the photo, regardless of whether the image is formed by silver or dyes/pigment. Ideally the RH should be no more than 50% and the temp in the 50-70 degree range...not very practical in the real world unless you live in a climate controlled vault. Third, displaying the photo/print unprotected...they should be matted and framed under glass. By doing this you can offset some of the problems of humidity and to a lesser degree RH as well. The main problem with prints fading has been the search for the "magic" ink/paper combination, something similar to what silver based and early color photography went through. Currently, the dye based inks Epson markets and their line of paper( the Heavyweight Matte) give good results even under adverse RH and temp and UV conditions as do some of the other manufacturers products, but Epson seems to be pretty near the top of the heap. Unfortunatly, there is no way currently to successfully retrofit a dye based printer with the print head necessary to accomodate the pigment based inks, The physical make up of the inks themselves seem to preclude that and of the printers avaliable which use the pigment Archival inks, only the Epson 2000 is anywhere near affordable...you also must use special paper with the pigment based inks and that paper is not interchangable with papers designed for the dye based inks. Of all the papers Epson puts out, the most resistant to fading under accelerated "torture test" conditions is the heavyweight matte...all the others, with the possible exception of their new glossy colorfast paper dont resist fading well at all, and from what I have read there are very few other offerings from the desktop printing arena which do any better...quite a few show severe fading after only a few months...If you can aquire some, it would probably be worth considering obtaining a package of the Heavyweight Matte and whatever ink you can and experimenting...I cant stress enough though, the importiance of frame and mat under glass for display and avoiding direct sunlight or flourescient light. Hope this is of some help...Tom
                        Last edited by thomasgeorge; 01-08-2002, 10:29 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Sam
                          Next time you decide to take a vacation somewhere, I would say plan to buy alot of computer supplies while you're there and bring them back with you. Or mail them to yourself. Too bad your place of residence makes getting good supplies so difficult.
                          DJ

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                          • #14
                            Good heavens, Tom, was that a comprehensive answer or what???

                            Huge thanks for that.

                            I think one of the things I've only just come to appreciate is the importance of displaying behind glass. The one photo of my daughter that faded badly after less than a year was just in a card mount, not a glassed frame.

                            But I do wonder why glass should make such a difference?

                            DJ - that's what every Zimbo does - stockpiles on each trip to S.A. In fact my hubby is there right now and he has an ENORMOUS shopping list of mostly computer stuff to get, given him by me! Poor man, he'll be hours filling out all the customs forms at the border. But then if he will go gallivanting, he must pay the price!!!

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                            • #15
                              When mat/frame/glass combination is used for display, you have the following advantages:
                              (1) The glass, even if not specially formulated or treated to block UV light, does block a certain amount of it.
                              (2) the Glass/mat/frame combination acts like a barrier to air born contaminants (spores,dust etc.), sudden changes in RH and to a lesser degree, Temperature. While not air-tight (unless special mounting/framing/materials are used, it is still a huge improvement over display of unprotected photos/prints
                              (3) Provides a rigid mount for the photo/print to prevent curling/cockling and the associated problems of the paper becoming creased or cracked.
                              I guess the bottom line is: "frame 'em then hang 'em". Tom

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