First quadtone dye-ink system

Started Aug 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,136
Re: First quadtone dye-ink system

Michael Thomas Mitchell wrote:

... I said fade issues were not a major concern for me, and that they would be less of an issue with black. This is something that even Roark talked about, specifically mentioning that black is the most stable of the dye inks, and that it does not "shift" in the same way color inks do. (Roark: "Black ink is typically much more lightfast than the color inks.") Roark goes on to say that, while no dye inks are "archival", the Claria color inks are rated for nearly a century.

Folks who are interested in using Claria black dyes only or other black dyes for that matter in a monochrome printing application may want to take a closer look at some light fading test results in the Aardenburg light fade database for these black only prints on various papers. (e.g., ID#s 181-184, also 259 and 260 just getting started in test, also, for full color performance, ID#s 42,43,53). The Claria black and the Canon chroma life 100 (I haven't tested the chromalife 100+ inks nor MIS nor HP in a black dye only monochrome printing scenario), are quite prone to oxidizing and turning brown. The Chromalife 100 is so severe it actually goes reddish brown quite quickly. I rate the Claria black only approach at about 20 megalux hours lightfastness which is comparable to traditional color chromogenic color paper light fade resistance. That may be enough for your purposes, but it is considerably less fade resistance than say, and Epson ABW mode print with Ultrachrome pigmented inks, and considerably less than what one would claim if only look at the dmax black patch performance only. That said, add a spray coating like Premier Print shield, and one can triple the light fade resistance of the Claria black dye not by UV blocking but by major reduction in the photo oxidation reaction rate.

It's important to note that the majority of desktop OEM printer drivers use the black dye to create Dmax black and black text only in color printing applications. The driver feathers the black dye out of the other colors and tone blends very rapidly (in other words, a super ultralight gray component replacement method by the printer driver). In fact, the black dye only exists in two patches on the AaI&A standard color target, ie., the E5 (dark brown) and F5 (max black) color patches. The F5 patch has excess black ink load so as the dye molecules are sacrificed to fading, the maximum density patch continues to hold its color and tone quite well due to the reserve ink load in that color patch. However, take a look at the E5 patch in a Claria color print test sample, and the dark brown is becoming lighter, shifting towards red, and more saturated in color. That's the black dye component more rapidly fading out of the dark brown color. There is no excess black dye there to take up the slack. This E5 fade rate due to the black dye performance makes the E5 patch one of the weakest color patches in the target in terms of fading, and causes a contrast gradient problem as well which would look like a posterization problem starting to appear in a pictorial color print over time if it has any significant shadow tone gradients in the print.

The legacy densitometric fade tests most often quoted by the manufacturers don't have these very dark colors in the testing target, so the high scores that Claria dyes have received are not accounting for the very dark color fading rates.

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