Started Mar 8, 2013 | Questions thread
Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,131

ronzie wrote:

If Costco uses wet process printing for 5x7s, they are pretty archival. If they use an inkjet, then they will have less fade resistance under strong light.

Actually, the dye-based inkjet minilabs now meet/exceed traditional RA-4 process wet lab machines even when comparing to best in class silver halide paper (i.e., Fuji Crystal Archive II). See:

Compare ID#77 (fuji drylab, ie. inkjet) to ID#79 (Fuji Frontier wet lab, i.e. Fuji Crsytal Archive)results. You will need to create a login/password to download the reports, but membership in the Aardenburg Digtial print research program is free.

In this direct comparision test of drylab versus wetlab consumer photofinishing, Early stage fading (relevant to museums and galleries) is roughly comparable with slight edge to the inkjet process, but as exposure accumulates to higher doses (more relevant to typical consumer display environments), the dye-based inkjet print does much better. Good pigmented ink sets are even better than dye-based inkjet as you noted but media choice matters.

Lastly, drylab is rapidly replacing wetlab machines at the big box stores like Walmart for environmental reasons as well as reduced demand for prints from consumers. I would expect Costco to make the switch sometime soon as well, if it hasn't already.


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Mark McCormick

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