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Author Topic: A Light Fastness Comparison of Epson K3, Epson HD, and Canon Lucia EX Ink Sets  (Read 2820 times)

gkroeger

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To all: As you read this, consider that it is a great time to join or make a donation to Aardenburg! This kind of work doesn't grow on trees.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 07:17:50 pm by gkroeger »
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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To all: As you read this, consider that it is a great time to join or make a donation to Aardenburg! This kind of work doesn't grow on trees.

+1

Cheers,
Bart
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== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

deanwork

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I am So glad that I restored my Canon 8300 for production color work and used it over my Epson large format printers.

Compare those skin tones,  Epson vs Canon EX after 100 years. Canon looking great while K3 and HD are long gone toward magenta.

Also look at the gray patches. Canon holding neutral while both Epsons drift bluer in some patches. However none of the gray patches look really bad. Uv glass could help them a lot.

Aardenburg shows what most of us never considered - that fade rates are not always progressing in a linear way over time.






quote author=Abdo link=topic=126315.msg1061116#msg1061116 date=1533938605]
Receive today ....

http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/compare-k3-hd-ex-ink-sets/
[/quote]
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Mark D Segal

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To all: As you read this, consider that it is a great time to join or make a donation to Aardenburg! This kind of work doesn't grow on trees.

Absolutely, and I have done so again; this kind of serious work is really valuable for anyone who cares about the long-term archival properties of their photographs, and it is good to have more than one scientific institution in the community doing it, bringing a different perspective to bear on the subject.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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shadowblade

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There goes any pretence of archival printing. Looks like the commercial proof printers and advertisers have won - these days, it's all pop and saturation over long-term durability. Better hang on to those iPFx300/x400/x450 and Z3200 printers and use them while they last...

Aardenburg shows what most of us never considered - that fade rates are not always progressing in a linear way over time.

I thought that was well-known. All it takes is a bit of logical inference - in an ink containing multiple components, the dye components are going to fade first, then fading of the encapsulated pigment, then, finally, fading of the unencapsulated pigment after the encapsulation fails. And, in a way, it actually is close to linear - just not a single line, but a number of different linear fade rates, with dog-legs at each point where the underlying parameters change.
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stanbowman

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This comparison report from Aardenburg is comparing the older Canon Lucia EX inks and not the new Lucia Pro ink set of the new Canon Pro wide format printers. Problem now is that the Lucia EX inks are used in the older Canon 8300/8400 series and my 8300 has now gone beyond its service life at Canon as of last October. So I am considering getting a new printer to replace my 8300 and have been looking at the new Canon wide format printers like to Pro4000. But then just recently Henry Wilhelm released a paper where he compared the new Lucia Pro inks, Epson HDX inks and HP Vivara inks and the Canon inks ranked the lowest, and in fact well below the older Lucia EX inks. Pretty disappointing. Certainly makes me consider moving over to Epson.

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/Canson/WIR_Canson_2018_07_12.pdf
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 09:15:35 am by stanbowman »
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MHMG

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Seems like this report is more or less showing us what we all more or less knew. That Canon Lucia EX inks are pretty good for longevity. Problem now is that these inks are used in the Canon 9300/9400 Imageprograf large format printers and the 8300 has now gone beyond its service life at Canon as of last October. Canon will no longer service my 8300 and it is near impossible to find someone nearby to come service my printer. So I am looking at the new Canon wide format printers like to Pro4000 with the new Lucia Pro inks. But then just recently Henry Wilhelm released a paper where he compared the new Lucia Pro inks, Epson HDX inks and HP Vivara inks and the Canon inks did not do very well. In fact the older Lucia EX ink have better longevity. Pretty disappointing. Certainly makes me consider moving over to Epson.

Did you know about the Epson HD ink set's non linear fading characteristics? It was common knowledge that Canon's Lucia EX was better than Epson's older K3 and HDR ink sets with regard to light fade resistance, but did you know your older Canon Lucia EX ink set also has superior fade resistance overall to Epson's newest HD ink set? Unless the Epson HDX ink set's addition of orange and green inks improves the scores over HD (it might with the Aardenburg testing protocol, but Epson makes no such claim), then moving from what you have now is going backwards no matter whether you choose Epson's latest printers or Canon's... assuming the Wilhelm/Canson results on the Lucia Pro-11 inks hold up to closer scrutiny and reveal a greater truth about all media choices, not just select Canson media, for the Pro-11 ink set.

Canon Pro-11 inkset testing is in the works at Aardenburg.  Just not ready to report yet. As for HP's recently announced Z9 printer, none of us have a clue about this printer's ink set lightfastness properties as of today. HP and Wilhelm both teasing (but not demonstrating) it's better than the older Z3200 Vivera ink set, but I'm skeptical. The Z3200's Vivera Pigment ink set will be really hard to beat. Time will tell once HP puts enough Z9s into real users hands and the Z9 is no longer the mystery meat like it is right now.

If your iPF8300 is still in working order and print longevity matters to you, my advice would be to just keep using it for now.

Lightfastness studies can run long and deep. Patience is required.

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 06:23:27 pm by MHMG »
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Mark D Segal

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..................But then just recently Henry Wilhelm released a paper where he compared the new Lucia Pro inks, Epson HDX inks and HP Vivara inks and the Canon inks did not do very well. In fact the older Lucia EX ink have better longevity. Pretty disappointing. Certainly makes me consider moving over to Epson.

Whenever I am asked for advice about whether to buy this or that printer, my standard response is to organize one's thinking around the key factors about the results and the operation of the printers that are most important to oneself and make a decision based on "all relevant things considered". I believe that print longevity is one of the fundamental attributes of photography; but that said, I think when we need to make these printer purchase decisions we owe it to ourselves to ask where does longevity sit amongst the priority concerns and "how much longevity" is enough longevity, which of course raises the obvious questions about what we are going to do with the prints, and especially what are they destined for after we pass on - a more prominent consideration the older (and maybe wiser) one becomes. These considerations - what we are doing with them and how important will be their condition in the after-life - affect respectively the extent of longevity and what range of longevity really matters to us.

So, if longevity is such a critical variable to the extent that one factor alone would move you from one make to another, that's OK, it's your preferences; but then what about how the prints will be managed once they are made? If they are going into dark storage, which is what happens to most of mine, it really doesn't matter to me whether I'm using an Epson printer and their condition will be fine for over 200 years, or I'm using a Canon printer and their condition will be fine for over 300 years. BUT, if I were displaying them unframed and using Canson PrintMaking Rag and saw that some deterioration may set in after 77 years for the Epson inks but 39 years for the Canon inks, that would probably concern me. So as usual with these things "....it depends". I would suggest that important as longevity is, we shouldn't be making these important purchase decisions unidimensionally.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

gkroeger

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I worry much more about how to preserve the digital masters of my images for 100 years or more.

Glenn
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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I'm 79 years old now. My mother made it to 106 years old. So for me, 27 years is probably enough...
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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

Mark D Segal

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I worry much more about how to preserve the digital masters of my images for 100 years or more.

Glenn

I think that concern is very well placed; when we look at the history of formats, the devices for reading formats and the measures that could be needed for keeping one's stuff accessible and readable, it's not re-assuring.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

mearussi

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Longevity is more a concern about the reputation of the seller. If you buy a print and it fades within a few years you're not going to have a very high opinion of the photographer regardless of how beautiful the picture was originally.

Of greater concern, for those selling their prints, is how  beautiful the print is initially. This is what always held me back from buying a HP Z3200. From the reviews I read it had the smallest gamut and the poorest tonal transitions of the three, i.e. if it wasn't pretty enough to sell it really didn't matter how long it lasted.

Another concern is overall operating costs. Having to pay $900 every two or three years for new heads kept me away from the Canon. So I choose Epson as the best compromise because it had decent display life, good gamut and tonal transitions and, except for the x900 series, heads that lasted for more than a decade.

I'm rooting for the new HP. I hope it is better than the others. But it needs to be a lot better to justify the extra $2,000 price tag.
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MHMG

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... I would suggest that important as longevity is, we shouldn't be making these important purchase decisions unidimensionally.

Today's market reality is that print longevity is almost always at the bottom of the "features" list when folks choose a new inkjet printer. People buy modern inkjet printers first and foremost on some calculus of immediate value to them, ie., price, perceived reliability, popularity, size and weight, and so forth. Print permanence is almost always at the bottom of the "desired features" list and confounded by simple assertions that all printer and media manufacturers are more than willing to endorse., e.g., "all pigment ink sets are archival", all "acid-free, lignin-free papers are archival", yada, yada, never mind the actual ink chemistry, drop size, screening, and channel blending printer driver algorithms, ink receptor coating properties, and media yellowing characteristics all contribute to the print permanence outcome. The truth is far more complex. That's why printer,ink, and paper compatibility studies are useful.

My prediction based on today's current aqueous pigmented inkjet ink performance:  Media, not ink, is going to be the next battleground for print permanence claims.

Lost in the embarrassingly naive  "how long does it last" discussion of print permanence is the very real manifestation of aging as an equation of state, ie., what is the condition of the print at any point in time along its journey from brand new to very very old. All art and antiquity appraisers understand that it's the authorship, rarity, and current visual/physical condition of the object that counts, because all man-made objects exist in various states of deterioration at various points in time. For families with vintage family photos in their possession, it becomes even simpler than that. Does the print still have sentimental value? If so, it's worth keeping, no matter how bad it looks, yet prints in good condition always convey the original intent of the work better than prints in poorer condition.

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


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MHMG

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...Of greater concern, for those selling their prints, is how  beautiful the print is initially. This is what always held me back from buying a HP Z3200. From the reviews I read it had the smallest gamut and the poorest tonal transitions of the three, i.e. if it wasn't pretty enough to sell it really didn't matter how long it lasted.


Those reviews were wrong. Period. The Z3200 makes exhibition quality prints that stand up, head unbowed, against any printer on the market. In some sense, Hp actually shot itself in the foot because it baked into the on board calibration a custom ICC profiling default setting that used a target with only 364 color patches. The output from that was not what the printer could do with respect to ultimate print quality. You have to take the time to up the game with the on board spectrophotometer and produce profiles with 2000+ color patches. I see further image quality improvements (worth fighting for) with 4000-6000 patch counts which would otherwise drive me insane if not for the fact that the Z3200 can measure them unattended and spit out a .csv file I can run through any modern ICC profiling software.

The Z3200 has the goods, You just have to know how to coax it out of this amazing printer :)

cheers,
Mark
http://aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 08:41:28 pm by MHMG »
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Paul Roark

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Note that the Canon pigments print well in Epson printers, and my generic dilution base (matte paper only) as well as the MIS "amber" base (for glossy) appear to be fully compatible with the Canon pigments.  As such, any Epson printer for which there are empty carts available can print with these pigments.  The light blue "toner" I have used for some years to neutralize my predominantly carbon black and white prints is composed from these components, and I've never detected any incompatibilities or problems with it.  (The toner is in a single ink position, with 100% carbon inks in the others.)

Regarding the likely paper life issue, I think Arches watercolor paper (I use 140 lb smooth Hot Press) will outlast any of us and any other paper due to it's lack of a coating.  It takes two MK inks and QTR (total ink load of about 126) to get a good dmax.

FWIW

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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MHMG

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I'm 79 years old now. My mother made it to 106 years old. So for me, 27 years is probably enough...

No son or daughter, niece or nephew, friend or casual acquaintance who will care about your photographs? Say it ain't so! I'm getting depressed :'( If you don't think so, my advice is extend yourself, go out of your way, don't be shy, you will find someone who does care! I just visited your website. I already care :)

All the best,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 09:57:53 pm by MHMG »
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mearussi

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Those reviews were wrong. Period. The Z3200 makes exhibition quality prints that stand up, head unbowed, against any printer on the market. In some sense, Hp actually shot itself in the foot because it baked into the on board calibration a custom ICC profiling default setting that used a target with only 364 color patches. The output from that was not what the printer could do with respect to ultimate print quality. You have to take the time to up the game with the on board spectrophotometer and produce profiles with 2000+ color patches. I see further image quality improvements (worth fighting for) with 4000-6000 patch counts which would otherwise drive me insane if not for the fact that the Z3200 can measure them unattended and spit out a .csv file I can run through any modern ICC profiling software.

The Z3200 has the goods, You just have to know how to coax it out of this amazing printer :)

cheers,
Mark
http://aardenburg-imaging.com
Interesting, that's good to know. I guess that's the drawback of these printer reviews, the reviewer never has them long enough to fully know the printer.
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MHMG

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Interesting, that's good to know. I guess that's the drawback of these printer reviews, the reviewer never has them long enough to fully know the printer.
Yes, that's the challenge for all modern equipment reviewers in the internet age...tight deadlines to publish on a time sensitive schedule with goal of being first out of the gate with the latest news, yet too little time to spend in a meaningful way with a complex piece of equipment.

cheers,
Mark
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Ernst Dinkla

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Those reviews were wrong. Period. The Z3200 makes exhibition quality prints that stand up, head unbowed, against any printer on the market. In some sense, Hp actually shot itself in the foot because it baked into the on board calibration a custom ICC profiling default setting that used a target with only 364 color patches. The output from that was not what the printer could do with respect to ultimate print quality. You have to take the time to up the game with the on board spectrophotometer and produce profiles with 2000+ color patches. I see further image quality improvements (worth fighting for) with 4000-6000 patch counts which would otherwise drive me insane if not for the fact that the Z3200 can measure them unattended and spit out a .csv file I can run through any modern ICC profiling software.

The Z3200 has the goods, You just have to know how to coax it out of this amazing printer :)

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

True, the Z3200 used with skill still delivers excellent prints, gamut as nice as more recent models (BTW  the Canon iPF8400  was better in the greens than the Pro4000 is now). The extra PS version (or optional) HP APS profiling software had targets with 918 patches (RGB) and 1458 patches (CMYK) so there has been a solution to get profiling correct. That said it became more difficult to run APS when new OSses and HP firm/software updates appeared.

That said we had nice threads here about alternative methods to profile the Z3200 and Z3100 but I have not seen it culminating in a web page that describes the process thoroughly. Did I overlook something?

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
March 2017 update, 750+ inkjet media white spectral plots

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