Interesting Canon comment on "dye" fade resistance

Started Oct 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,156
Re: Interesting Canon comment on "dye" fade resistance

Petruska wrote:

" Canon's Katsuichi Shimizu made at the Pro-1 launch.

Today's dye technology, he said, has "a 300 year lifespan, and the fading durability is almost identical to pigment.

A very broad generalization probably ignoring light and gas fade resistance and only talking about thermal stability (i.e., storage in albums).

"But in the minds of photographers, a printer must be pigment-based to sell."

On this point, I tend to agree with Katsuichi Shimuzu's observation.  Many photographers have decided to keep print longevity claims simple by using pigmented ink printers on "acid-free" papers and then describing their prints as "archival pigment" prints.  Archival has no precise definition, but few question it. Yet the notion that all pigments are comparable in lightfastness and always better than all dyes is factually incorrect. There are pigmented inkjet ink sets in the marketplace today that are worse in light fade resistance than some of the best OEM dye-based inks on select papers, but then there are also pigmented ink sets like the HP Vivera pigment set or pure carbon pigments for B&W printing that are dramatically more fade resistant than any other competing dyes or pigmented ink sets in the marketplace today.  However, even images printed with these most stable inks can be hugely undermined in color and tone retention by media that bleaches or discolors in its own right whether that media is acid-free, 100% cotton base, OBA-free, etc., or not.

Comprehensive system-specific tests are always needed to sort out the details. The printer manufacturers simply don't provide those test results for the majority of media they sell, and the media manufacturers and third party ink vendors even less so.

Mark McCormick

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