Print Permanence; An Epson White Paper Page 2

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· Cotton Rag Paper
100% cotton fiber matte coated papers are most suitable for fine art printing. Cotton papers are generally acid free and lignin free. Some manufactures add alkaline buffers to cotton papers for increased protection from atmospheric contaminants. When used in conjunction with pigment-based inks, these papers provide excellent image quality and the longest overall print life on the market.

Challenges of Print Permanence Testing
Consumers can evaluate inkjet prints for image quality and for handling characteristics such as resistance to scratches, moisture, smudging, folding and tears, but comparative print permanence testing is the only way to predict how environmental factors will affect a print over time. The key environmental factors that impact prints include:
· Light
· Dark Keeping
· Temperature and Humidity
· Gaseous Pollutants
· Water

· Light
Exposure to light was and continues to be the leading cause of fading with traditional silver-halide color prints. It is important to remember that different silver-halide print products from the same or different manufacturers fade at different rates. Inkjet prints made with dye-based inks or pigment-based inks are also susceptible to light fading, but at different rates. In addition the paper used will affect the rate of fade and different grades of dyes will yield significantly different results both for color reproduction and lightfastness. When compared under equivalent test conditions, inkjet prints made with pigment-based inks and printed on papers designed to react favorably with them yield significantly better lightfastness than do most dye-based inkjet prints. They will also last longer when displayed in well lit environments than will traditional silver-halide color prints.

Because the subject is complicated, users must exercise care when trying to understand how manufacturers position and promote claims of lightfastness. Manufacturers generally recommend only certain combinations of specific inks with specific papers. The use of other inks or other papers, even from the same manufacturer, can result in far lower protection from fading. Dye-based inks in particular typically achieve higher levels of lightfastness only with specific papers, while pigmentbased inks offer greater resistance on a wide range of papers. Therefore, as explained below, caution should be used regarding sweeping print permanence claims for products such as Eastman Kodak's Ultima paper. Eastman Kodak uses significantly lower test criteria than industry accepted practices to achieve this rating.

[5] See www.kodak.com.

· Lux Levels
Lux is a unit of measure that indicates the quantity of light that falls on a surface.

The most widely accepted industry practice for accelerated lightfastness testing is exposure of photographic prints to glass filtered cool-white fluorescent illumination that simulates indoor display for 10 to 12 hours a day at a brightness level of at least 450 lux. This 450 lux or higher methodology has been accepted as a minimum by the large majority of manufacturers in the industry. Eastman Kodak has caused much confusion in the marketplace by basing its claims on a very low 120 lux level. At a minimum this level delivers 3.7 times less illumination than the industry accepted 450 lux or higher. The likely result is that users of Eastman Kodak products who expect their prints to last in displayed conditions may be disappointed over time. [7]

[6] "Standard" Indoor Illumination Levels Used by Printer, Ink, and Media Manufacturers

120 lux/12 hrs/day
450 lux or 500 lux/10 hrs/day or 12 hrs/day

Kodak

AgfaPhoto*

Agfa-Gevaert**
Fuji
Hewlett-Packard
Epson
Canon
Lexmark
Ilford
Konica-Minolta
DuPont
Ferrania
InteliCoat
Somerset
Arches
LexJet
Lyson
Luminos
Hahnemuhle
American Inkjet
MediaStreet

*AgfaPhoto GmbH (Germany)
** Agfa-Gevaert NV (Belgium)

[6] Filtration Conditions Used by Printer, Ink, and Media Manufacturers with CW Fluorescent Illumination

UV Filter
Glass Filter

Kodak

AgfaPhoto*
Agfa-Gevaert**
Fuji
Hewlett-Packard
Epson
Canon
Lexmark
Ilford
Konica-Minolta
DuPont
Ferrania
InteliCoat
Somerset
Arches
LexJet
Lyson
Luminos
Hahnemuhle
American Inkjet
MediaStreet

*AgfaPhoto GmbH (Germany)
**Agfa-Gevaert NV (Belgium)

Eastman Kodak has been criticized for using a combination of other test methods to increase print permanence claims for all its products, whether they are silver-halide, dye-sub or inkjet. For example, in addition to a dim 120 lux light level, Eastman Kodak uses more intense exposure over a shorter period of time than do others in the industry. This practice potentially introduces higher levels of reciprocity failure, in which a print could be predicted to fade more slowly than would actually occur if it were exposed at lower illumination over a longer time period. Image degradation processes usually proceed slowly; therefore test duration is very important because faster acceleration produces less accurate results. Eastman Kodak also follows an unusual practice of providing print permanence ratings only with 100% ultraviolet (UV) filtration, which further compromises the integrity of their ratings because all photographic materials fade more rapidly in the presence of UV. Most companies provide permanence ratings based on testing with a glass filter (approximately 30% UV filtration) to simulate framing prints under glass. Some companies provide ratings with both a glass filter and a UV filter for customers who choose to frame with special UV resistant materials. With all these factors in play at once, Eastman Kodak is making display-life predictions for all its products including Kodak's Ultima paper and its traditional silver-halide papers that are up to 5 times longer than if they relied on the more rigorous industry accepted tests. [7]

Using lesser standards, prints that have a lightfastness rating of 19 years based on comparative testing with industry accepted test practices could suddenly have a lightfastness rating of over 100 years with such low test criteria.

[6] See: Table 2 in "A Review of Accelerated Test Methods For Predicting The Image Life of Digitally-Printed Photographs -- Part II," by Henry Wilhelm, IS&T's NIP20: 2004 International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies, pp. 664--669,
November 1, 2004, available at www.wilhelm-research.com.

[7] See Table 2 in WIR Display Permanence Ratings for Current Products in the 4x6-inch Printer Category, Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc., December 7, 2004, available at www.wilhelm-research.com.

WIR Print Display Permanence Ratings 4x6 Inch Photo Printer Category

[7] Type of Printer/Paper/Ink
WIR v3.0 Endpoint at Both 1.0 and 0.6Densities Cool White Fluorescent Illumination Years of Display Based on 450lux/12hrs/day Prints Framed Under Glass
1. Epson PictureMate Personal Photo Lab
(pigment-based inkjet prints)
· Printed with Epson PictureMate Inks and PictureMate Photo Paper
104years
2. HP Photosmart 325 and 375 Compact Photo Printers
(dye-based inkjet prints)
· Printed using HP Vivera Inks (HP No. 95 or No. 97 Tri-color
cartridges) With HP Premium Plus and HP Premium Photo Papers,
High Gloss, Glossy, or Soft Gloss
82 years
· HP Photosmart 325 and 375 B&W prints using HP No. 100
Gray Photo cartridge With HP Premium Plus and HP Premium Photo Papers, High Gloss, Glossy, or Soft Gloss
115 years
· Printed using HP Vivera Inks (HP No. 95 or No. 97 Tri-color
cartridges) and Kodak Ultima Picture Paper, High Gloss
(ColorLast "Lasts Over 100 Years" version)
now in test
3. Fujicolor Crystal Archive Type One Paper
(silver-halide color prints)
· Printed with Fuji Frontier 370 digital minilab and Fuji
washless chemicals
40 years
4. Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock 6000 and 4000 Printers
(dye-sub prints)
26 years
5. Agfacolor Sensatis and Agfacolor Splendix Papers
(silver-halide color prints)
· Printed with Agfa d-lab.2plus/Select digital minilab and Agfa
washless chemicals
22 years
6. Kodak Edge Generations and Royal Generations Papers
(silver-halide color prints)
· Printed with Noritsu QSS-3011SM digital minilab and Kodak
washless chemicals
19 years
7. HP Photosmart 145 and 245 Compact Photo Printers
(dye-based inkjet prints)
· Printed using HP No. 57 Tri-color cartridge with
HP Premium Plus and HP Premium Photo Papers, High
Gloss, Glossy, or Soft Gloss
18 years
· HP Photosmart 145 and 245 B&W prints using HP No. 59
Gray Photo cartridge With HP Premium Plus and HP Premium Photo Papers, High Gloss, Glossy, or Soft Gloss
115 years
· Printed with HP No. 57 Tri-color cartridge and
Kodak Ultima Picture Paper, High Gloss (ColorLast "Lasts
Over 100 Years" version)
11 years
8. Konica Minolta QA Paper Impresa and Centuria For Digital
(silver-halide color prints)
· Printed with Konica Minolta R2 Super 1000 digital minilab
and Konica washless chemicals
17 years
9. Olympus P-10 Printer
(dye-sub prints)
8 years
10. Canon CP-200, CP-220, CP-330, CP400 and CP500 Printers (dye-sub prints) 7 years
11. Sony DPP-EX5, DPP-EX7, and DPP-EX50 Printers
(dye-sub prints)
4 years
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