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Author Topic: HP wins again  (Read 2379 times)

MHMG

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 05:07:43 PM »

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/hp/WIR_Print_Permanence_Statement_for_HP_DesignJet_Z6_and_Z9+_Printers_2018-05-15.pdf

And right below that announcement on the WIR Homepage is this:

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/hp/HP_Light_Fade_Testing_Methods_at_HP_Image_Permanence_Labs_and_Wilhelm_Imaging_Research_August_2017.pdf

WIR continues to double down on its thoroughly obsolete densitometric testing protocol with HP, Epson, and other notable clients' tacit approval, and many "experts" out there still don't seem to get it... Oh well...it is what it is ::)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 06:41:10 PM by MHMG »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 07:01:58 PM »

'Grocery stores... airports...". ;)

Cheers,
Bernard

deanwork

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 07:12:10 PM »

Next exhibition I have in a grocery store Iíll let every one know how stable my prints really are.

If you look at Wilhelmís test results with HP Z pigments on Canson media or Epsonís new pigments on Canson or their own media, heís got better ratings, often much better ratings for the cheap rc media which is loaded with dye brighteners, than he has for the very best Canson cotton media with no dye brighteners as well as other very high quality media from other manufacturers with either very small amounts of oba or none at all.

Having tiny little unreadable text at the bottom of his charts warning people to avoid these brighteners while at the same time publishing these totally false figures borders on fraud to me. I donít take his operation seriously anymore. Apparently it is all about who pays him the most cash to write these dumb statements that drives it all now. You can tell your clients whatever you want but that doesnít make it true.




And right below that announcement on the WIR Homepage is this:

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/hp/HP_Light_Fade_Testing_Methods_at_HP_Image_Permanence_Labs_and_Wilhelm_Imaging_Research_August_2017.pdf

WIR continues to double down on its thoroughly obsolete densitometric testing protocol with HP, Epson, and other notable clients' tacit approval, and many "experts" out there still don't seem to get it... Oh well...it is what it is ::)
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enduser

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 08:22:23 PM »

None of the labs I've worked in would ever have considered the phrase "As long as possible" to have any real meaning.  Might as well say "pretty good" or "OK", or "Not bad".
The whole business of launching these new printers has been marred by sending out poor sample prints and the use of what you could describe as "comfort speak"
But the HP people do seem to have a point of difference in the fade area.
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MHMG

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 08:57:18 PM »


But the HP people do seem to have a point of difference in the fade area.

I think HP does, too, which is why my personal "go to" WF inkjet printer today is the HP Z3200PS. However, media are increasingly becoming the weak link, and no testing lab currently understands all the microporous Inkjet media weaknesses very well (including Aardenburg Imaging, but I'm hard at work on it). The most stable OEM inks on a poorly performing media can yield overall worse results than less lightfast OEM inks on a highly compatible paper (third party inks are another story).

All that said, if WIR insists on using an obsolete densitometric testing protocol that can't even measure color the way human observers see it due to different metameric properties of the image forming colorants, and also misranks light fade resistance of the inks on various media, and also cuts like a meat cleaver through the subtle but very real and noticeable differences in media whitepoint stability, then the published system ratings (printer/ink/media scores) become fraught with a demonstrably false level of precision and accuracy.

Read what Deanwork just wrote. It's spot on :)

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 10:55:57 PM by MHMG »
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deanwork

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2018, 09:59:04 AM »

I love that term ďcomfort speakĒ. We need to start using it all the time when discussing these issues.

Which begs the question - is Wilhelm a scientist in any respect? He sure talks like he is one. What is his training in sensotrometry, chemistry, and the composition of photographic materials?

He is talked about as the global expert in digital media yet all I know is that he started out making archival print washers and selling them in the Whole Earth Catalogue in the 1970s which is where he got his reputation it seems.  Who actually designed this methodology he uses?



None of the labs I've worked in would ever have considered the phrase "As long as possible" to have any real meaning.  Might as well say "pretty good" or "OK", or "Not bad".
The whole business of launching these new printers has been marred by sending out poor sample prints and the use of what you could describe as "comfort speak"
But the HP people do seem to have a point of difference in the fade area.
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MHMG

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2018, 12:45:26 PM »

Henry Wilhelm is indeed an expert in the field. I have no quarrel with Henry's credentials, and I respect his technical knowledge greatly. I still consider Henry my friend.

The problem for modern print longevity testing is that densitometry, and the WIR 3.0 densitometric criteria set are both totally obsolete in today's modern digital world of multi-color channel printing. First, densitometers cannot accurately account for the spectral properties of many modern colorants. It's the whole metamerism issue only worse because even specifying the illuminant doesn't fix a densitometer's misreading of the colors. Second, the fading characteristics of modern systems can deviate dramatically from the visual fading pattern of traditional color photos for which the WIR 3.0 criteria set was empirically designed. Henry is keenly aware of these issues.

This technical challenge on how to measure print fading the way human observers notice it over time excited me as a researcher, and so I began collaborating with Henry in the late 1990s... It was blue sky research when we first started working on it. The industry simply didn't have a workable color and tonal accuracy equation to turn to as the market moved towards inkjet photo printing. Moving from densitometry to Delta E or dE2000 wasn't the answer, either, because dE doesn't track the critical visual parameter of image contrast nor does dE weight hue and chroma perception in complex scenes correctly.

The work product of our collaboration was the I* metric, a set of perceptually linear color and tonal accuracy equations using CIELAB as the underlying color model. It can objectively and fairly measure any color printing system, regardless of the color technology employed.  The I* metric can even be used to evaluate paintings and other 2d works of art on paper as well. Although I invented the I* mathematics, our two respective companies (WIR and McCG, Inc) both funded the work, and Henry's moral support and general enthusiasm for the project really helped keep it on track. I will always be grateful for that.

By the end of 2004 I was confident that the I* math was working correctly and from first principles. It was not empirically derived by some focus group or committee.  I'm very proud of the I* research, and I fully expected WIR to embrace the I* metric and begin phasing it into its operation in 2005, but for reasons still unknown to me to this day, it never happened.

Hence, I founded Aardenburg Imaging & Archives in 2007, and began using the I* metric myself. It's open source. Anyone can use it, and I really thought there might be some interest from the graphic arts industry as well. The I* metric can evaluate initial color and tonal accuracy between any two images or prints. They don't have to be faded :) Yet to this day, no other researchers have ever bothered to ask me about it. Go figure.

I look forward to one day testing the new HP Z9+ inkset using the I* metric and the Aardenburg testing protocol. That said, I think it's going to be while.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com


I love that term ďcomfort speakĒ. We need to start using it all the time when discussing these issues.

Which begs the question - is Wilhelm a scientist in any respect? He sure talks like he is one. What is his training in sensotrometry, chemistry, and the composition of photographic materials?

He is talked about as the global expert in digital media yet all I know is that he started out making archival print washers and selling them in the Whole Earth Catalogue in the 1970s which is where he got his reputation it seems.  Who actually designed this methodology he uses?
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2018, 03:12:28 PM »

Henry Wilhelm is indeed an expert in the field. I have no quarrel with Henry's credentials, and I respect his technical knowledge greatly. I still consider Henry my friend.

The problem for modern print longevity testing is that densitometry, and the WIR 3.0 densitometric criteria set are both totally obsolete in today's modern digital world of multi-color channel printing. First, densitometers cannot accurately account for the spectral properties of many modern colorants. It's the whole metamerism issue only worse because even specifying the illuminant doesn't fix a densitometer's misreading of the colors. Second, the fading characteristics of modern systems can deviate dramatically from the visual fading pattern of traditional color photos for which the WIR 3.0 criteria set was empirically designed. Henry is keenly aware of these issues.

This technical challenge on how to measure print fading the way human observers notice it over time excited me as a researcher, and so I began collaborating with Henry in the late 1990s... It was blue sky research when we first started working on it. The industry simply didn't have a workable color and tonal accuracy equation to turn to as the market moved towards inkjet photo printing. Moving from densitometry to Delta E or dE2000 wasn't the answer, either, because dE doesn't track the critical visual parameter of image contrast nor does dE weight hue and chroma perception in complex scenes correctly.

The work product of our collaboration was the I* metric, a set of perceptually linear color and tonal accuracy equations using CIELAB as the underlying color model. It can objectively and fairly measure any color printing system, regardless of the color technology employed.  The I* metric can even be used to evaluate paintings and other 2d works of art on paper as well. Although I invented the I* mathematics, our two respective companies (WIR and McCG, Inc) both funded the work, and Henry's moral support and general enthusiasm for the project really helped keep it on track. I will always be grateful for that.

By the end of 2004 I was confident that the I* math was working correctly and from first principles. It was not empirically derived by some focus group or committee.  I'm very proud of the I* research, and I fully expected WIR to embrace the I* metric and begin phasing it into its operation in 2005, but for reasons still unknown to me to this day, it never happened.

Hence, I founded Aardenburg Imaging & Archives in 2007, and began using the I* metric myself. It's open source. Anyone can use it, and I really thought there might be some interest from the graphic arts industry as well. The I* metric can evaluate initial color and tonal accuracy between any two images or prints. They don't have to be faded :) Yet to this day, no other researchers have ever bothered to ask me about it. Go figure.

I look forward to one day testing the new HP Z9+ inkset using the I* metric and the Aardenburg testing protocol. That said, I think it's going to be while.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

I admire your integrity of adhering to your friendship with Mr. Wilhelm, while at the same time being able to discuss business ethical standards.  After all you are both colleagues and you both worked together on the superior method of measurement (I*).  Also, if I remember correctly, the reason the densitometric approach is still in use is because of all absurd things, that it was Loooooong ago approved by the ISO standards committee and that I* has not been because of funding requirements and that research needed to be conducted in an academic setting in order to be approved by ISO?

So in many ways, even though Wilhelm is aware of and appreciates I*, he is in fact hamstrung by ISO standards and I* remains in limbo because of this dilema.  This appears an awkward situation because there is no "officially accepted, approved" method by which to make pronouncements, when in fact, the entire densitometric process is so outdated as to be obsolete. It does not surprise me that companies leverage this reality to incorrectly inform their customers, and make outrageous claims on longevity in the face of the lack of updated or current standards that are "approved".

Marketing has ever been thus.  And although Wilhelm knowingly participates in this "corporate illusion", there is little else he can do while at the same time staying in business.  It all seems like a CATCH 22 to me.  Unfortunately, now, ALL the companies have lost credibility, by allowing this chicanery to continue. 

It is a shame that Aardenburg is caught in the middle of this, particularly in light of the ethical stance of not accepting funding from the big 3 corporations to conduct studies. While your ethics are laudable, it does nothing for Aardenburg's bottom line, which is additionally eroded by slipping signifiers which prevail in the industry relating to the terms longevity, archival, permanence, etc. Apparently, the market reality is beyond what "real" photographers can any more trust, and is also far beyond what we most all can now even stomach.

Business bottom line trumps photography party line as gradually not only our prints fade, but so does our standard as time marches on.

Eventually, who will become the arbiters of these standards when both Wilhelm and Aardenburg are no more?

Our viewpoints will become moot, yet the proof will be in the pudding and the eating thereof, when in a hundred years, two hundred years, which images, in fact, will retain the integrity being bragged about currently.  There will be no disputes about which company made which claims, as probably current technology will be entirely obfuscated by advances.

All this being said, after being one the few lone voices in the wilderness for a very long time regarding Vivera inks and Z series printers, I am really glad I bought the last of my 4 Z Series printers, while I could, (with 5 year Care Pack) and hope to print the heck out of them while ink still remains available.

I don't care what they say about the new printers. The Z3200ps fits my kurmedgeonly style well.

Mark L
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Mark Lindquist
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MHMG

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 05:10:03 PM »

...
So in many ways, even though Wilhelm is aware of and appreciates I*, he is in fact hamstrung by ISO standards and I* remains in limbo because of this dilema.  This appears an awkward situation because there is no "officially accepted, approved" method by which to make pronouncements, when in fact, the entire densitometric process is so outdated as to be obsolete. It does not surprise me that companies leverage this reality to incorrectly inform their customers, and make outrageous claims on longevity in the face of the lack of updated or current standards that are "approved".

Marketing has ever been thus.  And although Wilhelm knowingly participates in this "corporate illusion", there is little else he can do while at the same time staying in business.  It all seems like a CATCH 22 to me.  Unfortunately, now, ALL the companies have lost credibility, by allowing this chicanery to continue... 

Mark L

I think you've probably got that right.  It's all good until Dorothy's dog, Toto, runs behind the curtain to reveal the real Wizard of OZ. He still turns out to be a nice guy :)
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enduser

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 08:23:25 PM »

We began making pictures on walls in caves and on rocks with pigments, then on paper-like substrates with brushes or anything that would lay down color. Then engraving was replaced by b&w photography which led to color photo on paper and now inkjet on paper. 

Does anyone share my belief that the next step will be electronic media? In a way that has happened in shopping places where static and moving electronic images are everywhere you look. I think the image will move to some form of electronic paper. Many people are working now to perfect something similar to an image on a paper-like electronic film.

Our printers will only be in museums then and a color picture will perhaps outlast any conventional print.
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MHMG

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 08:46:52 PM »


Does anyone share my belief that the next step will be electronic media? In a way that has happened in shopping places where static and moving electronic images are everywhere you look.


I guess you mean electronic displays, and sure, that trend is indeed already happening. It will continue unabated for many years ahead with both reflective and transmissive screens. The permanence and fine art issues will change to questions like  "Can I use a Sharpie to sign my electronic display and how long will it last?" :)

I will still be making physical prints. and teaching my grandchildren inkjet printing and film processing if any of them care to learn!
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2018, 09:05:12 PM »

Does anyone share my belief that the next step will be electronic media? In a way that has happened in shopping places where static and moving electronic images are everywhere you look. I think the image will move to some form of electronic paper. Many people are working now to perfect something similar to an image on a paper-like electronic film.

Our printers will only be in museums then and a color picture will perhaps outlast any conventional print.

Agreed... I predicted the same 9 years ago... :)

https://luminous-landscape.com/image-disembodiment/

Cheers,
Bernard

deanwork

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2018, 09:29:30 PM »

My opinion is all of these things are happening simultaneously. As far as the majority of ďart photographyĒ being shared its already Instagram. And Iím even talking about people with MFAs in Photography on their 60ís, as well as kids in their 20ís.

But at the same time there is a real resurgence in making digital negatives for 19th century process. Jon Cones business is having kind of a jump start it seems with people ordering his system all over the world. Iím having people in two states asking me to teach a workshop on digital aspects of alternative process and Iíve been testing several methods this month of doing it. Itís gotten me actually excited about hand made photography ( and chance) again.

A few years ago I thought HD flat panels were going to take over still photography in the gallery / museum context. Itís not happening anywhere Iím aware of. My feeling is itís just too cold of an art form and nobody is buying that kind of tv art. People can see that online streamed to their tv for free. And if you are in that realm anyway why not shoot 4 k video with sound that technology is available everywhere now. Once again who is buying video art, even in San Francisco? 20 years ago Bill Gates bought the digital rights to all kinds of artistsí archives, like Ansel Adams, etc. Everyone was going to be looking at still visual art at home on their hd flat panels. Seems quaint now. Never happened.




I guess you mean electronic displays, and sure, that trend is indeed already happening. It will continue unabated for many years ahead with both reflective and transmissive screens. The permanence and fine art issues will change to questions like  "Can I use a Sharpie to sign my electronic display and how long will it last?" :)

I will still be making physical prints. and teaching my grandchildren inkjet printing and film processing if any of them care to learn!
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John Nollendorfs

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2018, 01:32:56 PM »

I still think an image is not a photograph until you make a print! HP's ink system has clearly demonstrated superiority when it comes fade resistance. But I believe most of our prints  will end up in landfills before the image has faded.
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deanwork

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2018, 03:09:52 PM »

Not mine. They will end up under peopleís beds.



I still think an image is not a photograph until you make a print! HP's ink system has clearly demonstrated superiority when it comes fade resistance. But I believe most of our prints  will end up in landfills before the image has faded.
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MHMG

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2018, 07:02:57 PM »

Not mine. They will end up under peopleís beds.

Believe it or not, that's where one of Alexander Gardner's priceless Imperial glass plate negatives of Abraham Lincoln was found... decades later in a wooden box under the bed at his Granddaughter's home. It's now in the stewardship of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC!  So, John, you might be doing remarkably well if some of your work ends up being discovered under a bed someday ;D It means somebody cares at least enough to know it shouldn't be thrown away, and that simple act may eventually inspire others to care for it even more!

Not to beat the horse, but that's where the material choices of the artist/printmaker comes into play. Choosing one's printmaking materials wisely will help to ensure a photograph gets through what Mike Johnston (The Online Photographer) likes to call the "trough of no value".  And when it does, people might just value it more than ever for any number of reasons that may not be so obvious today. You never know.

For us modern day inkjet printmakers, that's where inks and media really do matter. I'm looking forward to seeing how HP chemists and engineers have addressed the ink/media longevity questions with the new Z9 printer model. Until then, I'm happy to keep soldiering on with my Z3200.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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mearussi

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2018, 09:36:28 PM »

We like to bandy around longevity numbers as if they were somehow absolute, but they're not, the numbers are meant to be comparative. We can say that the new Epson ink will last for 100-200 years depending on paper and display/storage conditions but we really have no way of actually knowing.

I can't speak for others, but my reason to care about fade resistance has nothing to do with whether my prints last for the next two centuries (my ego just isn't that big  ;)). It's just that I have seen so many badly faded prints in offices that, to me as a photographer who sells his prints, are an embarrassment to the profession as a whole and gives all of us a bad name and reputation, whether it's our photo or not, and I just don't want my print to be one of them. 

When I sell a print I have to assume it will be abused, either by too much light or indoor pollution, so I strive to print using the best OEM ink I can afford and then apply either a varnish spray or a roll on coating (if it's canvas) knowing that even this may not be sufficient, but it's the best I can do.

I'm not saying fade resistance is the only criteria, or even the most important one, but it's certainly in the top three along with color quality and smoothness of tonal transitions in determining which printer to use. But every time I see a post about someone asking how cheaply they can print using some 3rd party ink that will fade in a few years it's like fingernails on a blackboard, especially when they say they plan on selling prints using these inks, because I know when their prints fade in a few years (or less) that it will give the entire profession a bad name.

People generalize (and customers are people) so when they buy a cheap print from photographer A that fades fast you can't blame them for assuming that all the other photographer's prints could fade just as fast. How would they know? How can anyone know, even another photographer, given that the cheap 3rd party ink looks as good as OEM when initially printed?

There is no print certification system available or any objective way of assigning a FR (fade resistance) rating to one. We just don't enough test information even if we combined all of Mark and Wilhelm's test data, because their focus is on measuring the fading not in preventing it. The best I've been able to peruse from their combined sites is to use the best inks and then apply some some sort of protective coating to it (Eco Print Shield seems to be the best tested).

But until some sort of rating is available (if ever) the best we can do is to try to uphold high quality standards for ourselves and hope the good quality prints on the market out number the bad. 
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MHMG

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2018, 03:44:29 PM »


I can't speak for others, but my reason to care about fade resistance has nothing to do with whether my prints last for the next two centuries (my ego just isn't that big  ;)). It's just that I have seen so many badly faded prints in offices that, to me as a photographer who sells his prints, are an embarrassment to the profession as a whole and gives all of us a bad name and reputation, whether it's our photo or not, and I just don't want my print to be one of them. 

When I sell a print I have to assume it will be abused, either by too much light or indoor pollution, so I strive to print using the best OEM ink I can afford and then apply either a varnish spray or a roll on coating (if it's canvas) knowing that even this may not be sufficient, but it's the best I can do.

I'm not saying fade resistance is the only criteria, or even the most important one, but it's certainly in the top three along with color quality and smoothness of tonal transitions in determining which printer to use. But every time I see a post about someone asking how cheaply they can print using some 3rd party ink that will fade in a few years it's like fingernails on a blackboard, especially when they say they plan on selling prints using these inks, because I know when their prints fade in a few years (or less) that it will give the entire profession a bad name.


A very thoughtful comment, and one that I have not really considered before you mentioned it.  Thanks for that.


There is no print certification system available or any objective way of assigning a FR (fade resistance) rating to one. We just don't [have] enough test information even if we combined all of Mark and Wilhelm's test data, because their focus is on measuring the fading not in preventing it. The best I've been able to peruse from their combined sites is to use the best inks and then apply some some sort of protective coating to it (Eco Print Shield seems to be the best tested).


This is what troubles me the most in my research on print permanence. The independent labs simply aren't getting the necessary funding to test enough print process combinations (printer/ink/media) in order to motivate the manufacturers to make stronger and more steady progress. If you can't measure it, you can't prevent it. The I* metric can measure it very accurately, but without the funds to test a more comprehensive range of materials, that measuring sophistication may very well be a moot point.

The printer and media manufacturers in turn tend to count on this slow moving train so as not to have to ramp up R&D on image permanence beyond a basic minimal level. Inks matter, media matters, coatings matter, and absolutely no inkjet printer/ink/media processes behave like other traditional photographic processes which means print permanence research still matters.

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 03:51:31 PM by MHMG »
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: HP wins again
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2018, 05:41:53 PM »

A very thoughtful comment, and one that I have not really considered before you mentioned it.  Thanks for that.

This is what troubles me the most in my research on print permanence. The independent labs simply aren't getting the necessary funding to test enough print process combinations (printer/ink/media) in order to motivate the manufacturers to make stronger and more steady progress. If you can't measure it, you can't prevent it. The I* metric can measure it very accurately, but without the funds to test a more comprehensive range of materials, that measuring sophistication may very well be a moot point.

The printer and media manufacturers in turn tend to count on this slow moving train so as not to have to ramp up R&D on image permanence beyond a basic minimal level. Inks matter, media matters, coatings matter, and absolutely no inkjet printer/ink/media processes behave like other traditional photographic processes which means print permanence research still matters.

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
The other major problem is that without manufacturer input there will never be a common standard and way to measure it.  Standards organizations require input from all parties to arrive at a consensus standard that can then be used by all (during my work career I was involved with both ASTM and USP).  this is the biggest failing IMO.
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