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Author Topic: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?  (Read 15247 times)

mearussi

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2017, 09:35:46 pm »

Thanks so much, Yvan. Happy to hear you've found them useful. There is always so much more to learn, and this forum is an invaluable source of information for all of us.

In terms of the metal panels, I'm hoping we'll see some lightfastness data to compare the Allure with ChromaLuxe. I did recommend BC have Aardenburg test the panels prior to their release. My understanding is that once a product is on the market, any testing data from Aardenburg, whether favorable or unfavorable, is made public.

Thanks again and best wishes.

I don't understand BC's desire to add so much OBA since they recommend applying a laminate that presumably would contain a UV blocking agent thereby negating the OBA.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2017, 06:59:53 am »

I don't understand BC's desire to add so much OBA since they recommend applying a laminate that presumably would contain a UV blocking agent thereby negating the OBA.

The reason for adding OBAs is likely the same as it has been since these chemicals were introduced into wet darkroom papers many decades ago. I don't think one can presume upon what the laminates contain to mitigate OBA fading until the chemical composition of the laminate is known and the results of the lamination tested for this property - especially by Aardenburg. Especially with this medium, it's not paper and it's quite new, so we don't even know what visual impact to expect if/when the OBAs do fade.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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MHMG

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2017, 03:26:08 pm »

We do have a proposed metal prints project posted on the Aardenburg Website:

http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/portfolio/chromalux-metal-prints/

Funding any Aardenburg research is always a challenge, but our metal prints project proposal seems to have generated little if any interest to date. Perhaps the printmaking community's apparent lack of interest in Metal Print longevity is because many customers for metal prints consider them more for modern home decor to be swapped out occasionally for other images rather than heirloom prints to be passed down for generations. Or perhaps the Wilhelm Imaging Research ratings for the Chromaluxe panels have already satisfied folks who are interested in print longevity ratings.

I personally found it interesting that WIR tested the Chromaluxe panels with two uniquely different dye sets, one a 4 channel setup (CMYK), the other with 8 channels (c,C,m,M,LlK, LK, and K) yet rated the two different processes as having no statistically significant difference in outcome, i.e., as stated in the WIR/Chromaluxe press release "65 years for its ChromaLuxe aluminum sublimation photo panels when printed with Epson UltraChrome DS inks, and 64 years when printed with Sawgrass Sublijet-HD Pro Photo XF inks". In my experience, 4 channel versus 8 channel systems almost always show a uniquely different fading signature. Also, because the WIR/Chromaluxe press release draws a distinct competitive advantage for Chromaluxe metal prints over Silver Halide Color papers, the WIR testing begs the question but doesn't answer "How do Chromaluxe metal prints actually fade and/or discolor over time compared to conventional chromogenic color prints like Fuji Crystal Archive II?" 

Hopefully, we will be able to fund a study at Aardenburg Imaging & Archives that can answer these questions in the near future.

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

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2017, 04:02:01 pm »

Mark, that's great if you can get it going for Chromaluxe, but correct me if I'm wrong - Chromaluxe is a dye-sublimation process, whereas a unique feature of BC Allure is that it is inkjet directly printable onto the coated metal sheet if the inkjet printer has a flat media pass-through feed, so different chemistry from Chromaluxe with perhaps completely different fade characteristics. And then, as I mentioned above, just wondering what we could expect the OBAs to fade to, as we are not dealing with a paper substrate. Seems like "uncharted territory". I too hope you can get funded to implement such tests.

The furthest I can go for appreciating factors possibly affecting longevity in a paper product review is to mention whether or not there is an OBA presence based on evidence read off the paper white from the i1Pro2 (which I routinely try to remember to do), but more than that is not my area, and I appreciate the special focus you bring to it.

But getting back to the main lines of this thread, of which OBAs is but one, if I had to summarize in a nutshell what I think of my experience testing it, it would be something like this: without laminating it, expect to see prints that look pretty much like Epson Enhanced Matte prints. The finish and brightness are quite similar, and so are the image properties it displays. Put a nice laminate on it however, and it's really much enhanced by virtue of the improved reflectance; I've seen samples of the same photo in both states (laminated versus non-laminated). But the laminate is another process requiring the right machinery and expertise, which I am informed is expensive, so a job casual users would farm-out rather than do in-house. For those wanting a metal substrate for an inkjet print, the most readily useful alternative that comes to mind is dibond-type mounting, which I reviewed on this website in a dedicated article quite some time ago. Also requires special machinery and expertise, hence one uses a service. With "Dibond", we can print on our favorite papers and get them mounted.

So whether to use the one or the other really boils down to a few key factors: (1) either process means ordering-up part of it from a service provider, (2) which is cheaper, depending on the costs of the Allure panels and the lamination versus the cost of an inkjet print and the "Dibond" mount in one's neighbourhood, (3) whether one values the flexibility of paper types if going the "Dibond" route, (4) what one thinks of the image quality with/without lamination compared with one's favorite inkjet papers, and (5) last but not least, the longevity risk, which until better information becomes available we don't know for Allure, but we do know more or less for standard inkjet papers. So to answer the O/P's question directly: yes, obviously I have, but to recommend Allure over Paper+Mounting on metal, hard to say - as some of the key factors I mention here would vary from place to place and person to person.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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MHMG

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2017, 05:05:42 pm »

Mark, that's great if you can get it going for Chromaluxe, but correct me if I'm wrong - Chromaluxe is a dye-sublimation process, whereas a unique feature of BC Allure is that it is inkjet directly printable onto the coated metal sheet if the inkjet printer has a flat media pass-through feed, so different chemistry from Chromaluxe with perhaps completely different fade characteristics. And then, as I mentioned above, just wondering what we could expect the OBAs to fade to, as we are not dealing with a paper substrate. Seems like "uncharted territory". I too hope you can get funded to implement such tests.


Right, Chromaluxe Metal prints are printed with a Dye-sub inkjet process and apparently at this time there are only two logical ink sets available for Dye-sublimation transfer printing on the Chromalux panels, whereas Allure is printed more conventionally with an aqueous inkjet printer, so there is much greater variety of inks that could conceivably be chosen to print the Allure panels.  Add to this greater variety any laminated or roll-on or spray coated top coating, and the Allure product would need to be tested specifically as its sum total of chosen ink and top coat components dictate. Many combinations are possible, so light fade testing the Allure panels would also involve trying to figure what would be the most likely "best practices" and printer/ink/coating combinations for folks wanting to use the Allure product.  BTW, both laminates and aqueous acrylic coatings can impact light fade resistance either way, sometimes helping but sometimes hurting. The UV protection aspects of post coatings is highly overrated. When coatings help with light fade resistance it's largely due to the fact that they impede oxygen and moisture mobility into the image receptor layer.  When they hurt longevity, it's because their own solvent chemistry can degrade the ink encapsulation polymers and/or image binder polymers or also trap other residual solvents from the inks themselves that would be better evaporating faster from the media. Hence, the Chromalux metal prints are more of a "known" entity, differing only by the choice of the two currently available ink sets, and their abrasion resistance is such that they don't need any further top coat choices. When I put together the Aardenburg metal prints project proposal, I pretty much had only the Chromaluxe panels and the Epson and Sawgrass dye-sub ink sets in mind to keep the total costs of the project reasonable. There's no reason Allure panels couldn't be tested as well...just a project with more moving parts  :)

As for OBAs in the Allure product, the OBAs undoubtedly have to be incorporated directly into the microporous ink receptor layer on this product. This is typically the most vulnerable location for OBA fading. Somewhere in this discussion or another recent one on LULA, I recall someone citing a b*= -9 value for the Allure product. If that figure is correct, then Allure is a high OBA content product which is unlikely to test well in the Aardenburg light fade testing. The lower CDR limit will be reached most likely before 20 Meglux hours no matter what pigmented ink set is used to print the panel. Adding a post spray coat of Premier Print Shield(this coating formula has been shown to help not hurt light fade resistance) might extend the lower CDR to 30 or 40 Mlux hours. That said, a formal test in the only way to know for sure.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 06:14:24 pm by MHMG »
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2017, 06:08:08 pm »

Yes the b*-9 is from my article, which I obtained from reading the BCAllure OEM profile in ColorthinkPro; however not clear what to make of it. When I measured the 9 extended B&W patches from my target print made in my Epson P800 using their profile (i1Pro2 M condition - M0), I didn't obtain anything so bluish. In fact it was quite neutral across the tonal range, as it also turned out for my custom profile in both M0 and M2 conditions.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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MHMG

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2017, 06:34:02 pm »

Yes the b*-9 is from my article, which I obtained from reading the BCAllure OEM profile in ColorthinkPro; however not clear what to make of it. When I measured the 9 extended B&W patches from my target print made in my Epson P800 using their profile (i1Pro2 M condition - M0), I didn't obtain anything so bluish. In fact it was quite neutral across the tonal range, as it also turned out for my custom profile in both M0 and M2 conditions.

If you have an Allure sample handy, measure the i1Pro2 M0 and M2 conditions on the media white surface. If the Delta b* value (i.e., absolute value after calculating M0 minus M2 values) is 0.3 or less then no OBAs, if >0.3. to 2.5 Low OBA, >2.5 to 5 moderate OBA, >5 high OBA.

Usually when M0 b* value gets to be -5 or less (i.e., more strongly negative) on its own reading, then it's likely to have moderate to High OBA content even when not considering the M2 reading which is why I made note of the -9 value cited in your article. M1 readings lower the b* value, i.e., negative b* value becoming even more negative when OBAs are present owing to more UV energy output in the M1 illuminant specification, but are generally quite proportional to the M0 readings between various media. The delta b* guidelines I noted above using legacy M0 readings were developed for the Aardenburg testing protocol over 10 years ago. Moderate and high OBA content samples nearly always take a significant hit on the Conservation Display ratings that don't accrue to low or no OBA media. That's the reality of today's OBA content in modern media.

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

best,
Mark
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 06:40:11 pm by MHMG »
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Allure photo panels ?
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2017, 06:53:45 pm »

Yes, I had already done all that for the review; but I need to clarify a statement just above. There is a nuance. Reading the "paper white" alone, in M0 it is b*-9; however from L* 95 downward what I said above holds: the chroma channels are quite neutral by the numbers. In M2 (UV Cut), even at "paper white" the value of b* is 0.24 and the remainder of the scale quite neutral.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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