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Author Topic: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs  (Read 11125 times)

TylerB

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mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« on: December 24, 2014, 05:52:02 pm »

I've been helping someone find more options for photo surface papers, luster/pearl/fiber gloss types, that are more affordable than the premium baryta offerings, and premium manufacturers.
Based on Ernst's great info here-
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
and of course Mark's at Aardenburg, it seems there are virtually none of these papers without significant OBAs and reported changes in paper white over time.
I did note in Ernst's info, with interest, Moab's Juniper Baryta Rag. Of course it is a baryta paper, but their offerings are generally more affordable. But I find no prices for it on line anywhere.
I have not yet downloaded and studied every pdf from Mark, but in the meantime, if anyone has any recommendations it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
I hope everyone's holidays are great.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2014, 05:58:21 pm »

I did a mini-review of Moab Juniper Baryta on this website not too long ago. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/printers/another_two_barytas_in_the_neighbourhood.shtml There isn't pricing on the Moab yet because it hasn't been released. They say it contains NO OBAs. I believe it is supposed to be issued in January, but not sure of that.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Pic One

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 10:30:45 am »

I've been helping someone find more options for photo surface papers, luster/pearl/fiber gloss types, that are more affordable than the premium baryta offerings, and premium manufacturers.
Based on Ernst's great info here-
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
and of course Mark's at Aardenburg, it seems there are virtually none of these papers without significant OBAs and reported changes in paper white over time.


I'm beginning to think that the OBA thing may be overblown as a consideration.  For example, you can look at the Epson/Canson paper tests at below link and come to realize that the OBA papers at the bottom of the list - eg. Photogloss or PhotoSatin RC papers have longevity ratings quite similar and sometimes better than non-OBA papers (eg. Platine, etc..).

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/Canson/WIR_Canson_2012_02_20.pdf
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Mark D Segal

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2014, 11:03:09 am »

I'm beginning to think that the OBA thing may be overblown as a consideration.  For example, you can look at the Epson/Canson paper tests at below link and come to realize that the OBA papers at the bottom of the list - eg. Photogloss or PhotoSatin RC papers have longevity ratings quite similar and sometimes better than non-OBA papers (eg. Platine, etc..).

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/Canson/WIR_Canson_2012_02_20.pdf


Not clear what you are getting at here. Unless my eyesight eludes me, there is not one paper in the linked list from Wilhelm indicating the presence of UV brighteners.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2014, 03:33:42 pm »

Not clear what you are getting at here. Unless my eyesight eludes me, there is not one paper in the linked list from Wilhelm indicating the presence of UV brighteners.

Wilhelm Research did not check the OBA content correctly and did not properly check paper white shifts in time. 

For both you better go to Aardenberg-Imaging.com


Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots




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Mark D Segal

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2014, 03:45:53 pm »

Wilhelm Research did not check the OBA content correctly and did not properly check paper white shifts in time. 

For both you better go to Aardenberg-Imaging.com


Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots






Interesting statement Ernst, and may throw light on the question about UV brighteners in Gold Fibre Silk. Would you care to explain how you know this?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 04:01:57 pm »

I'm beginning to think that the OBA thing may be overblown as a consideration.  For example, you can look at the Epson/Canson paper tests at below link and come to realize that the OBA papers at the bottom of the list - eg. Photogloss or PhotoSatin RC papers have longevity ratings quite similar and sometimes better than non-OBA papers (eg. Platine, etc..).

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/Canson/WIR_Canson_2012_02_20.pdf


See my other reply why the Wilhelm information does not help much in this argument.

It is a shame BTW that the OBA content in the Canson RC papers was not noticed in Henry Wilhelm's test or overlooked in the summary. The Baryta Photographique does not have that much but the RC papers are high OBA content papers and show it: Lab b -7.4 where the range starts at zero and ends at -11.

There are papers with some OBA content that do quite well in fade tests. For example the Epson Hot and Cold Press Bright White fine art papers and there are more. The now obsolete Canon Heavyweight Satin Photographic RC paper too. The normal Hahnemühle PhotoRag has some OBA content but does quite well on paper white shifts. For a cooler than neutral paper and a high white reflection there is no other choice than going with OBA content.

Paper white shifts in time are one thing. There is the other issue that an OBA content paper is more prone to color inconstancy in changing light conditions and related to that requires a more balanced profiling choice. Mark McCormick also mentioned the strange dark storage issue of OBA papers.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots


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deanwork

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2014, 04:25:07 pm »

Ernst is exactly right. Wilhelm has years of display ratings for paper we know for a fact from Aardenburg are not stable. Look at the rating for the Hp Pro Satin, a very nice looking paper that I used for a couple of years, but one that deteriorates rapidly in the paper base, turning gray and influencing all the high value hues in any print. This is just one of many examples.

I use the Canson Premium Satin now as a lower cost rc media, which though is not to the standards of a non oba fiber gloss media, is much better than the HP stuff I used to use.

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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2014, 04:41:12 pm »

I've been helping someone find more options for photo surface papers, luster/pearl/fiber gloss types, that are more affordable than the premium baryta offerings, and premium manufacturers.
Based on Ernst's great info here-
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
and of course Mark's at Aardenburg, it seems there are virtually none of these papers without significant OBAs and reported changes in paper white over time.
I did note in Ernst's info, with interest, Moab's Juniper Baryta Rag. Of course it is a baryta paper, but their offerings are generally more affordable. But I find no prices for it on line anywhere.
I have not yet downloaded and studied every pdf from Mark, but in the meantime, if anyone has any recommendations it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
I hope everyone's holidays are great.


You must have noticed that almost all the RC papers, gloss to matte, have OBA content with the exception of some proofing papers that either have little or no OBA content. I use Epson Proofing White SemiMatte RC that has a tiny bit of OBA in the paper base according Mark McCormick. The surface may not be everyone's taste but for portraits it should be good. Good gamut BTW.

In the baryta/fibre qualities you see a dividing line, the ones with little or no OBA content are mainly Cotton based and by that more expensive. The cheaper ones with alpha cellulose base or ECF paper have on average a higher OBA content.

OBA content often goes along with a lower price, it is simply cheaper to create a whiter/brighter paper with OBAs. I see some changes in the market, more in the matte qualities though. A purer white paper base + good whitening agents like TiO2 and baryta or composites should not make inkjet paper that expensive. For example the Innova Decor Art and the Felix Schoeller True Fiber Matt have Lab numbers equal to Canson Rag Photographique while they are based on alpha cellulose and their weight is 200 gsm. The price less than a quarter of the Canson paper price. I do not know their light resistance etc but samples hanging bare here for more than a year show no sign of shifting paper white, A more thorough test is required.

Recently I measured some offset papers, among them uncoated ones that have similar light reflectance numbers and no OBA content. So it is not impossible to create affordable papers with qualities we like to see. I measured them because a photographer and the print company owner liked to select a paper for a photobook with less chance that the edges of the bookpages showed yellow discoloring in time. Their choice was for an offset coated type to improve the image quality.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots
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TylerB

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2014, 09:15:57 pm »

In my experience the OBA content and stability over time is indeed an important consideration. First of all the paper base LAB changes over time shown in the Aardenburg data can't be dismissed. Secondly, for myself and some others, excessive OBA results in less than the best prints. Highlight subtlety, finesse, and a pleasing presence seems absent on these papers. The blue hue itself is a problem, no matt board matches, making highlights seem off, and I've had very subtle near white yellows go gray and just odd looking. I realize this is a subjective judgement and others may prefer the look, but the difference in "presentation" is very real. So that, as well as the longevity problems, make these papers less than desirable for some of us.

Thank you for the detailed post Ernst, very informative. I agree there should be some non-rag papers utilizing methods to get to a neutral white without OBAs and hope some come on the market for a wider range of price options. Also, the Epson papers you mention prove there may be better ways of incorporating them as well. I hope a non-rag photo surface paper shows up that is moderately prices, shows a more stable base hue, and is somewhat neutral, I'm still ooking.
I did notice with interest Canon Photo Paper Pro Luster LU-101. It may perform a bit better than others, but I find no sizes other than desktop sheets.
So I'm still looking and interested in recommendations. Obviously there are many papers that have not been tested.
T
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deanwork

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2014, 10:28:37 pm »

Yea me too Tyler. If you find something please let me know. I have tried a lot the various offerings, like the Innova matte, Canon, etc. but I've never found one that I would consider anywhere close to the premium rag options.

I wish Canson would produce a less expensive nice quality smooth alpha matte paper using their pigments as whiteners.

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Pic One

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2014, 07:19:41 am »

Wilhelm Research did not check the OBA content correctly and did not properly check paper white shifts in time. 

For both you better go to Aardenberg-Imaging.com


Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots



I took a look at Aardenburg but either I couldn't understand what i was looking at, or the results were directionally similar to that which WIR indicated.   There weren't many same-brand OBA vs Non-OBA paper test results at Aardenburg;  in fact it is somewhat difficult to find results for OBA papers or non-matte (eg RC) papers.   That said, going back to Canson example I used, Aardenburg seems to have results for Baryta Photo (which I think everyone now agrees supposedly has OBAs?) and Platine (which I believe people believe does NOT have OBAs) on Epson printers.  They seem to be only 2 non-matte Canson paper choices.   Overall on the AAI site, results for coated papers seem to be much fewer and far between, making it difficult to review results from same printer/paper company combinations.

Anyway, skipping to 100 LUX report page for each paper (Epson 9900), I find it difficult to see any appreciable test result difference between the 2 papers (Baryta Photo vs Platine)

The main point I think I'm trying to make, is if one is shopping in a store and there are 2 papers sitting on the shelf from the same paper company, one with packaging saying "No OBAs" and the other without mention (and probably with OBAs), there's no guarantee the non-OBA paper will necessarily outperform any better over time than the OBA-containing paper.
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2014, 08:56:44 am »

I took a look at Aardenburg but either I couldn't understand what i was looking at, or the results were directionally similar to that which WIR indicated.   There weren't many same-brand OBA vs Non-OBA paper test results at Aardenburg;  in fact it is somewhat difficult to find results for OBA papers or non-matte (eg RC) papers.   That said, going back to Canson example I used, Aardenburg seems to have results for Baryta Photo (which I think everyone now agrees supposedly has OBAs?) and Platine (which I believe people believe does NOT have OBAs) on Epson printers.  They seem to be only 2 non-matte Canson paper choices.   Overall on the AAI site, results for coated papers seem to be much fewer and far between, making it difficult to review results from same printer/paper company combinations.

Anyway, skipping to 100 LUX report page for each paper (Epson 9900), I find it difficult to see any appreciable test result difference between the 2 papers (Baryta Photo vs Platine)

The main point I think I'm trying to make, is if one is shopping in a store and there are 2 papers sitting on the shelf from the same paper company, one with packaging saying "No OBAs" and the other without mention (and probably with OBAs), there's no guarantee the non-OBA paper will necessarily outperform any better over time than the OBA-containing paper.

There are 26 tests of Canson papers, mainly fine art and within that group the only 2 Canson fibre/baryta papers that exist; about 6 tests for the Platine and Baryta each. OBA content is described accurately in the media list and in the test result PDFs. If you had selected one Baryta PDF and one Platine PDF, both at 140 Mlux test time and both without an additional varnish or gloss enhancer applied, you would have seen a paper/media white shift from 100 to 80 for the Baryta and a paper/media white shift from 100 to 98 for the Platine. As the paper white shifts have no relation to the inks used you can compare several tests of them, see similar results and decide whatever you find sensible. The Canson Baryta Photographique is not a bad performing OBA paper BTW. Your fictional store and the choice given between Epson Exhibition/Traditional Fiber and Canson Baryta Photographique could end in a worse example. Check that paper/media white shift too.

An addition;  check also the Z3200 Vivera ink on the Canson Baryta Photographique, the worst behaving patch in that test is not an ink patch but the paper white patch that went to below 80 in 120 Mlux hours, pulling some light color patches with it. It is all relative but ignoring the optimal choice or knowingly compromise on a choice for other reasons is always better than throwing a dime in the store and then buy a pack in blissful ignorance.

The Canson RC papers are from the Felix Schoeller stable if I recall it correctly.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots

« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 09:18:51 am by Ernst Dinkla »
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Pic One

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2014, 04:39:47 pm »

So is there any value to the WIR tests at all?   I guess you could say I now have a few concerns.  The reason I ask is that a while back, I based a paper purchase decision on some of their test results.  Basically I was looking to put together a 5x7 print photo album, and one of the hopes was that I was picking a paper that would would yield print results of real longevity.

I already had a bunch of Canson Rag Photographique, but reading the WIR results (for Epson 3880) for bare-bulb unframed (just one data point) it gave the Rag Photo 37 years (125 years under UV glass).  OTOH, the same scenario for Inkpress Cooltone Rag, WIR gave it a 107 year rating bare bulb and  >300 years for under UV Glass.   

So, I went and purchased the Inkpress... figuring that whatever storage quality you assign a photo album, the Inkpress would last about 3x longer.   I don't know whether the Inkpress Cool Tone has OBAs or not.. it's not mentioned in their literature, though the Canson Rag Photo PR seems to indicate that it is free of OBAs.   This to some degree started me thinking that there were much more important factors in play than OBA content.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2014, 04:50:40 pm »

So is there any value to the WIR tests at all?   ......................  Basically I was looking to put together a 5x7 print photo album, and one of the hopes was that I was picking a paper that would would yield print results of real longevity.


I think Ernst has raised some real issues that for starters warrant a response from WIR. I don't know whether Henry Wilhelm or staff reads this forum or cares to participate, but that's their call. That said, for your stated purpose you should probably be looking at the paper ratings for dark storage, because the photos will be in a shut album most of the time - however, that only deals with light fading as far as I understand it. The most relevant question for you is the fade rate of the UV brightener when the prints are in dark storage. It isn't clear based on what I've been able to understand from the data what the fade rate of OBAs is for prints in dark storage. Perhaps Aardenburg Mark or Ernst have a view on this, as it would be your most critical consideration in respect of that issue.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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deanwork

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2014, 09:08:42 pm »

That is a very good question. I used to have Epson Enhanced Matte, Red River matte, and some Innova matte paper turn gray in the paper base even in dark storage in a few years and  they were all cheap paper underneath but loaded with oba to make them look white.  A lot depends on the quality of the oba, and how much is used and whether is it added in the making of the paper or later in the coating, which is often the case with budget papers. I think the Hahnemuhle quality papers with moderate oba content do quite well in dark storage. I've never seen any of them change.  I actually spray all mine with a uv coat to protect from pollutants in the environment and I think that helps a lot for all of them. These inkjet receptor coatings act as a magnet in absorbing any chemicals in the air or objects they might come in contact with.

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Mark D Segal

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2014, 09:37:29 pm »

Well, as a reality check - I actually have a stash of bound volumes of prints I made in 2000 and 2001 using an Epson 2000P and Epson Enhanced Matte paper. I just had a look through them right now, and there is no evidence whatsoever of any graying or yellowing - and that also includes some sheets of Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper. There isn't mottling, and the white of the coated surface retains its very distinct whiteness relative to the yellowish tint of the backing. As we know, both these papers were loaded with OBA, so I now have an accumulated record of 14~15 years of successful dark storage despite them. How many more years will it take for deterioration to become apparent - I have no idea. I also had Enhanced Matte prints on the fridge door in the kitchen, and they yellowed (rather evenly I must say) within two years,  So my evidence suggests exposure to light also has a major influence on the breakdown of the OBAs, such that dark storage is much less risky than display in this respect. Not "scientific", but observed reality, surely worth something.

My more recent prints on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk exposed to indoor/daylight in the kitchen (fridge and walls) for the past 5 years or so show no evidence of yellowing. So whatever OBA is or is not in this paper, it is clearly much less susceptible to fading under light than that in Epson Enhanced Matte. This may be because there is very little, and whatever is there may be in the base rather than the coating, but this is speculation on my part - I don't know how they mix the brew.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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MHMG

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2014, 12:59:00 am »

Well, as a reality check - I actually have a stash of bound volumes of prints I made in 2000 and 2001 using an Epson 2000P and Epson Enhanced Matte paper. I just had a look through them right now, and there is no evidence whatsoever of any graying or yellowing - and that also includes some sheets of Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper. There isn't mottling, and the white of the coated surface retains its very distinct whiteness relative to the yellowish tint of the backing.

OBAs are dyes, and thus ozone gas fading is a huge dark storage variable for papers with OBAs, especially when they are incorporated in the microporous coatings. Tyler has it right. Sealing the microporous layer with an acrylic spray like Premier Print Shield helps a lot in preventing ozone from attacking the OBA dye molecules and also in preventing other airborne pollutants inducing other types of discoloration as well.  Without any protection from an additional coating or a picture frame glazing or careful storage in a fully enclosed document box of some kind, inkjet media with OBAs in the coatings and to a lesser extent in the paper core are vulnerable to OBA burnout (i.e., loss of fluorescence). Some real world data on the  light fading and gas fading of Obas can be found in this article:

http://aardenburg-imaging.com/cgi-bin/mrk/_4433ZGxkLzBeMTAwMDAwMDAwMTIzNDU2Nzg5LyoxMzM=

You can replicate the ozone gas fade problem for OBA containing papers quite easily in most industrialized parts of the world where indoor ozone levels are typically present enough to matter.  Take a high OBA content paper like Epson Premium Presentation Paper matte (aka, Epson Heavyweight matte, Epson Enhanced matte which is same coating on a cotton substrate), place it on a table in a dimly lit or dark storage area but with good airflow going across it. Cover half of the print with something like acrylic, glass, or even a book.  Let it stay there it a few weeks, then uncover and look at the whole print carefully in good daylight or even more critically with a blacklight. The uncovered part will likely already show signs of change. Ozone will already have started to degrade the air exposed portion. It can happen that fast :o

The typical bound book or photo album structure does help to cover the album page surfaces to a large degree, but air tends to penetrate first at the edges. You will see the first signs of yellowing around the edges of book pages for that reason. With books made of poorer quality paper, heat and humidity microclimate effects tend to act on the edges preferentially as well, but with modern media containing OBAs, the yellowing due to ozone attack and subsequent loss of OBA performance adds one more degradation pathway to the mix.  If follows then that further placing a book into a slip jacket or another document box will also help retard the airflow and stabilize the microclimate around each page. That said, choosing more durable media for long term permanence goals clearly has great merit whenever maintaining a more optimum long term storage environment is not able to be guaranteed (as happens a lot ;D).

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

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2014, 07:35:36 am »

I think Ernst has raised some real issues that for starters warrant a response from WIR. I don't know whether Henry Wilhelm or staff reads this forum or cares to participate, but that's their call. That said, for your stated purpose you should probably be looking at the paper ratings for dark storage, because the photos will be in a shut album most of the time - however, that only deals with light fading as far as I understand it. The most relevant question for you is the fade rate of the UV brightener when the prints are in dark storage. It isn't clear based on what I've been able to understand from the data what the fade rate of OBAs is for prints in dark storage. Perhaps Aardenburg Mark or Ernst have a view on this, as it would be your most critical consideration in respect of that issue.
Though my last question was specific to albums/dark storage, I am of course interested in permanence out in the light as well.  For dark storage, I imagine it is quite difficult  ;) to do any quick testing for this.   You can accelerate the effects of light on photos in order to get test results after a reasonable amount of time..  can't accelerate the dark.

I think that papers that do well in the light and/or are more exposed to air/ozone, won't do any worse in the dark.   But the question is whether there is any validity at all to WIR's results.  Is the Inkpress (rated for 107 years bare bulb with no glazing) going to last at least this long in an album, or did WIR completely ignore OBAs and effects light/gas have on them?

A completely separate question.. but maybe the answer is related..  how can 2 cotton rag, acid free inkjet papers have such markedly different longevity results? -- Canson Rag Photo seems to be a number of people's shortlists for recommended papers, but there are theoretically other brands with triple the longevity?
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Jager

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Re: mid range photo surface papers and OBAs
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2014, 07:45:58 am »

So is there any value to the WIR tests at all?   

Well, there's the question, isn't it?

Given that WIR testing still considers print permanence to be "good" until very advanced deterioration (in terms of human perceptibility) has occurred, I think not.

The Aardenburg testing is far more relevant to what we think about when we worry how long that nice picture we took will last.  

None of which means that papers with OBAs are necessarily the awful things they are sometimes presented as being.  You can still love an OBA-addled paper like, say, Epson Exhibition Fiber.  You just do it knowingly.  Like the angelic little girl who grew into the promiscuous teenager.  You still love her, even if that love is laced with tragic disappointment.
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