Printing Paper & Ink - Claims & Counterclaims



The following is an excerpt from an article found here:

Claims and Counterclaims

The latest salvo in the longstanding debate comes from HP and Epson; the companies dismiss claims by third-party paper vendors such as International Paper, Kodak, and Staples that their papers will produce archival-quality prints on any inkjet printer.

Specifically, Epson and HP strongly dispute Kodak's claim that prints made on their printers with Kodak's special paper will last 120 years before fading. Similarly, the printer vendors dispute International Paper's claims that prints made on the company's recently introduced National Geographic Premium Paper High Gloss will last "more than 100 years." (Staples, while claiming that photos printed on its papers "resist fading," makes no specific claims as to how many years a photo printed on its paper will last before showing signs of fading.)

"We've heard a lot of promises from our competitors," says Nils Miller, HP's ink and media senior scientist. But so far he says he hasn't seen a "miracle paper" from a third-party supplier that can deliver the same print longevity and quality with all printers.

Epson says users of its paper, in combination with Epson premium inks, can expect images to last up to 104 years before showing signs of fading. HP says its premium inks used with HP photo paper will last 115 years. These claims are based on internal testing by Epson and HP and on tests by Wilhelm Imaging Research, an independent laboratory based in Grinell, Iowa.
May 15, 2005
Real Name

Thanks for sharing this article. I have a magazine article in "fine art printer", a German language magazine, on paper manufacturers and their claims. Kokak is using a 120 Lux/12 hour a day calculation for their paper longevity statements, also Agfa Photo (not Agfa Gevaert, which is a different company). According to the magazine, you can expect the following amounts of light:

Bright sunny day - 100,000 Lux
Cloudy day - 20,000 Lux
Summer in the shade - 10,000 Lux
TV studio - 1000 Lux
Properly lit office - 500 Lux
Corridor light - 100 Lux
Moonlight - 0.25 Lux

Furthermore, according to the same article, Kodak and Agfa Photo use UV glas on top of the prints during their testing, while others (Wilhelm) use regular glas.

The same article goes further and reports that tests of Kodak-Edge and Kodak-Royal photo paper at the Wilhelm institute produced 19 years versus the more than 100 years Kodak is claiming.

It is suggested to estimate longevity on the basis of 450-500 Lux for 10-12 hours a day to get proper results.

Of course, if the prints go into a photo album sitting in a dark drawer, and you view it once a year, chances are good they will last much longer.

However, in addition to light, chemicals are also reducing print quality. In particular ozone (either natural from the air, or from electronic devices such as laser printers) and formaldehyd are killers, same as PVC (polyvinylchloride). Pigment inks have an advantage due to their smaller surface, and typically last longer.

In short, manufacturer claims are often far from actual truth. Unless the manufacturer can give specific details on how the paper/ink was tested, any claims about longevity are not worth much.

The Wilhelm institute is said to give comparable, reproducible test results, using a method that comes closer to real life situations.



My thoughts;

If you have an Epson- use Epson Papers.
If you have an HP-- use HP paper.
If you have a Dell-- use Dell paper.

Other papers- buyer beware.


Bill Zunic

I have 3 Epson 'bubble-jet photo printers'. I bought Kodak and Canon paper because that's what the local store had in A3 otherwise Epson paper was available in A4. I shoot weddings and portfolio for money mostly.
I printed on the Kodak A3 paper which smudged every time. The canon paper did the same thing.
I called Epson, thought it was the "Pro" printers... they told me that Epson paper wouldn't smudge... they were right.

I like the look of the prints from this equipment while other photogs frown on the use of bubble-jet prints. I'm gonna buy a A2 Epson printer and offer the different enlargments as my work for sale, especially to brides.

5x7's are easy to get processed in numbers at the local Kodack shop.

There have been photos produced by these printers, pinned to my wall and roof with no lamination or glass, just bare photos for about three years and they still look fabulous.
A very busy wedding photog buddy once used a bubble-jet print to show a bride the bad quality of such prints... he scratched the ink off the photo.
He sat there telling me about how the technology was bad and the printing process of Digital Capture hadn't caught up in the labs yet.

If anyone lives in or visits western Sydney, you are welcome to come around and debate the quality of the prints I can produce from my 4MP D2h.
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