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Author Topic: Buffered vs. Unbuffered  (Read 5528 times)

ashwee5185

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Buffered vs. Unbuffered
« on: March 18, 2011, 12:34:18 PM »

I have heard so much mixed opinions on the matter-- I was hoping somewhere here would have a definite answer. Fingers crossed! Should I be using Buffered or Non-Buffered matboard for displaying my inkjet prints? I am under the impression that you should use a Buffered board with silver gelatin prints and Un-Buffered, acid free board for digital inkjet and chromengenic printing. But I do not know for sure. I called Epson for a final say and they had no idea.

I looked and called around to different sources and have only received wishy-washy answers and speculation. Does anyone out there know for sure? I appreciate you input and help in this matter!
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MHMG

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Re: Buffered vs. Unbuffered
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2011, 02:01:10 PM »

I could give you a long technically involved answer based on my conservation science background and the material science in question, but I won't subject  you to that abuse.  Suffice to say, it doesn't matter much (which is why even the experts are so non-committal in their answers to this question) except in extreme instances of high heat and humidity that are going to rapidly damage the print anyway... OK maybe a little more info ;)

The major factors determining your print longevity are your material choices for inkjet paper,inks and possibly coatings combined with the actual environmental conditions, ie., the light intensity on display, the temperature on display or in storage, and the relative humidity on display or in storage.

Picture frame glazing, matting and mounting (which should be specified acid and lignin-free but largely irrelevant whether buffered or unbuffered) goes a long way to reduce the external air pollution effects. Note that some companies marketing conservation quality matt board will have their products also certified with the PAT test (photographic activity test) that is available as a testing procedure at IPI (the Image Permanence Institute in Rochester, NY). It's a worthwhile test for silver gelatin print processes, certainly doesn't hurt and may be beneficial for some ink jet print processes if the matt board passes it.

Any internally generated degradation components from the print itself that would accelerate overall print deterioration are largely out of your control. There are environmental conditions where a sealed package is better than a vented package and vice versa, but unless you can fully specify the environment in which the prints will be kept (e.g. as in a tightly controlled museum storage area) there can be no certain recommendation as to how "sealed" or "vented" your framed print should be. Moreover, without rather heroic measures, you really can't seal picture frames tight enough or vent them well enough to have much of an impact on this aspect of the aging behavior.

hope that helps.

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 02:04:25 PM by MHMG »
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ashwee5185

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Re: Buffered vs. Unbuffered
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2011, 02:51:38 PM »

Thanks Mark for that thoughtful reply. It was very helpful.  :)
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LynnNoah

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Re: Buffered vs. Unbuffered
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2011, 10:19:38 PM »

In August 2010 I asked Epson email support this question for mounting my Exhibition Fiber prints from the 7900.  Here is their reply:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Epson. It is my pleasure to respond to your inquiry.

For inkjet color prints un-buffered boards are recommended. Just make sure the un-buffered board is acid free and you should have no issues caused by the board.

Should you require further assistance with this issue, please reply without history (when possible), as our email system contains all previous correspondence. If you have a different technical support issue, please submit another email request via our website (http://www.epson.com/support), and we will respond in a timely manner.

Thank you again for contacting Epson.

Ricardo B

I also googled this question and got similar answers with some supporting tech data.  My problem now is finding unbuffered board in brilliant white -- I formerly bought from Light Impressions but for the past year or so they have been charging my credit card and failing to send the order and are very hard to reach.  Most recently I was able to cancel two very overdue orders but am still trying to get my $600 back from them.  Can anyone recommend a dependable source for unbuffered board?

Thanks, 

Lynn Noah
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neile

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Re: Buffered vs. Unbuffered
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2011, 10:29:35 PM »

I also googled this question and got similar answers with some supporting tech data.  My problem now is finding unbuffered board in brilliant white -- I formerly bought from Light Impressions but for the past year or so they have been charging my credit card and failing to send the order and are very hard to reach.  Most recently I was able to cancel two very overdue orders but am still trying to get my $600 back from them.  Can anyone recommend a dependable source for unbuffered board?

Yeah, Light Impressions is basically a scam these days. They used to be good, but now? Everything is backordered and they charge immediately. Bah.

http://www.framedestination.com/ is often recommended here as a good source for framing and matting supplies.

Neil
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Neil Enns
Dane Creek Folio Covers. Limited edition Tuscan Sun and Citron covers are now in stock!

howardm

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Re: Buffered vs. Unbuffered
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2011, 07:57:52 AM »

might also want to try archivalmethods.com   

they are the original people behind Light Impressions (before the split, move to the west coast and crappy service)

Bill Koenig

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Re: Buffered vs. Unbuffered
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 02:23:16 PM »

I've been buying from Frame 4 yourself for the last 3 years, never had a problem. There located in the Chicago area. Away's great service.   

http://www.framing4yourself.com/index.htm
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Bill Koenig,
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