Preserving ink-jet prints

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Mike O'sullivan, May 30, 2004.

  1. I am aware that home prints are not as durable as those printed in a pro
    lab, but is there any treatment that would make such prints last longer? I'm
    thinking, say, of a coating of clear varnish.

    Thanks.
     
    Mike O'sullivan, May 30, 2004
    #1
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  2. You can't coat photo glossy paper. Best idea I've found yet is a cheap
    laminator from Kmart.
     
    Not for Publication, May 30, 2004
    #2
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  3. Krylon (and many others) make spray lacquers for coating
    prints. You can get gloss and matt (and sometimes semi-gloss).
    There have been a number of threads on this subject on the
    www.dpreview.com forums, so try a search there.
     
    Graeme Cogger, May 30, 2004
    #3
  4. Thanks evreybody for the suggestions.
     
    Mike O'sullivan, May 30, 2004
    #4
  5. Mike O'sullivan

    Skip M Guest

    There are several spray on coatings for inkjets, glossy or no. My wife just
    used something called Premier Art Print Shield, a UV and water resistant
    lacquer, meant for inkjet and water soluble images.
     
    Skip M, May 30, 2004
    #5
  6. Actually, inkjet prints may quite possibly be *more* permanent than
    those printed in a pro lab on photo paper. They may be more
    susceptible to physical damage, but less prone to fading over time, in
    particular. Depending on the paper used at the pro lab, and the
    inkset used in the printer.

    Clear varnish adds a third variable to the equation. I've seen lots
    of examples of protective varnishes damaging photographic prints over
    the years. So if you want to consider varnishes, find one that has
    been tested with the particular paper and ink combination you're going
    to use. Otherwise you're taking a random risk with precisely the
    pictures you most care about.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 30, 2004
    #6
  7. Mike O'sullivan, May 30, 2004
    #7
  8. Mike O'sullivan

    Tom Monego Guest


    1) Get the proper ink/paper combination. HP has photo inks which last a long
    while, on a specific paper. Epson has the Color Life papers to use with their
    dye inks or blow a wad on an Epson 2200 or even a 4000.
    2) Put the prints behind glass or plexi
    3) Mount with archival materials, not cheap foam core.
    4) Spray with a UV spray. most gloss papers will become glossier if sprayed
    right.
    5) Use a hard laminate preferably a low heat or cold laminate, Office
    laminators are very hot and could damage the ink or ink receptor. Nice thing
    about hard laminates is that you can use an inexpensive matte paper and use the
    laminate for the surface. I use Epson double weight matte and get extremely
    good life out of a gloss or luster laminate.

    Tom
     
    Tom Monego, May 30, 2004
    #8
  9. Mike O'sullivan

    Jeremy Guest

    Most archivists and preservationists go in the opposite direction, because
    coatings tend to actually accelerate fading over time.

    The newest generation of printers from Epson claim to have the longest
    archival qualities--but you need to use Epson paper to get the longest life.
    Beware using archival inks on cheap off-brand papers--that will cut down
    life dramatically.

    My own solution is to have real silver-halide photo paper prints made by
    OFOTO.COM. They use Kodak Dura-Life double weight paper, and they are
    "REAL" photographic prints. And, they are cheaper than doing it myself!
    Only drawback is the 5-7 day turnaround time.

    Printer and ink technology is continually improving, so there may be other
    solutions on the horizon. But for now, I'm sticking with OFOTO.
     
    Jeremy, Jun 1, 2004
    #9
  10. Mike O'sullivan

    Jeremy Guest

    Can you please name even a single inkjet/paper combination that has tested
    to be more archival than real photo prints? Are you repeating
    manufacturers' claims, or are there any empirical tests that have
    established inkjet prints as lasting longer than "real" photos?
     
    Jeremy, Jun 1, 2004
    #10
  11. <http://www.wilhelm-research.com>. Henry Wilhelm is the leading
    independent researcher, and now independent testing lab, for image
    permanence work. He's one of the main ones who broke the scandal
    about the Kodak materials back in (I think it was the) mid 1970s.

    His tests estimate Epson Ultrachrome inks on Epson Ultrasmooth Fine
    Art paper as having a display life of over 100 years, and a dark
    storage rating of over 200 years. ("over" means testing is
    continuing, the samples haven't faded yet).

    So, depending on what you think the life of photo papers is, yes,
    there are inkjet materials estimated by experts to last longer than
    photo papers. Fuji Crystal archive paper was tested by Wilhelm to
    last for 60 years according to a 30-Jan-2000 article I have
    archived. Kodak Duralife was rated at a tentative 18 years in the same
    article. Ilfochrome at 29 years.

    Of course, his and everybody else's numbers for inkjet materials are
    based on accelerated aging studies, which are notoriously dificult,
    that is, likely to be inaccurate. Still, that's the best information
    available to date.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 1, 2004
    #11
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