Red River Paper Compared to Epson Papers

Started Mar 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mark McCormick Senior Member • Posts: 1,220
Re: Red River Paper Compared to Epson Papers

Four samples of Red River Ultra Satin Pro 2.0 recently entered light fade testing. One printed with Epson OEM Claria dyes, one with MIS D2 dyes, one with ConeColor pigment for Epson R3000 printer, and one with Epson OEM Ultrachrome K3VM.  First 10 megalux hour exposure readings will be posted probably near the end of April.

All light fade tests are systems tests (i.e., the results depend on Printer/ink/media and possible coating choices). My sense is that because most of Red River's customer base are budget conscious printmakers, RR has a disproportionate number of customers who also use third party ink sets. While there are undoubtedly some good third party inks out there, many are simply not comparable to OEM quality when it comes to light fade resistance. For example, the RR Ultra Satin Pro sample printed with MIS D2 ink noted above is already showing very visibly obvious fading at well under the 10 megalux hour dose which is where the first instrument reading will be taken in the test cycle.  Hence, I've felt for some time that RR is at a disadvantage in terms of full and fair representation in the Aardenburg Database. The new batch of samples in test will go some ways toward rectifying the situation, but I'm still waiting for an AaI&A member to submit some Aurora and or other RR papers printed with OEM inks.  I'd do it myself, but my personal plate of R&D is very full at the moment.... in fact read on:

There's a new problem looming with RC papers that the industry has completely ignored to date, perhaps because it takes both a light exposure cycle and a relatively long dark storage cycle (weeks, maybe months) to manifest. For lack of a better term, I will label it LIDSS for "light-induced dark storage staining". It takes both a substantive light exposure dose and a relatively long dark storage period to observe the problem.  Most researchers, myself included, usually measure light exposed samples immediately or relatively soon after exposure, so the subsequent dark storage component of this discoloration phenomenon is overlooked.  However, my oldest batches of samples in test started to get phased out of light fade testing last year, and recently in examining those samples again, I noticed some severe media white discoloration on numerous RC papers that can only be explained as this "light induced dark stain formation". Indeed, some very popular OEM branded media exhibit the problem. The reference samples that never entered test (i.e. dark stored under same conditions since they were printed) do not show this easily noticeable stain formation, and edges of the light-exposed samples that were masked under matt board in testing are also free of the discoloration, hence it's definitely a light-induced staining phenomenon that only reveals itself after storage in the dark for a while.

Most, maybe all, the non RC papers don't show the problem, either, but i need to carefully check some of the "traditional fiber base" photo prints that use TiO2 as a whitening agent rather than Baryte. Ti02 is a likely photo reactive agent in the chemical reaction, but other additives like anti-oxidants, OBAs or OBA degradation products, BHA, etc,. maybe be involved.   Additionally, the stain can be bleached away almost entirely if the sample is re-exposed to high intensity light, but it is currently unclear what lower intensity and duration of light-dark cycles on display would keep the stain level  suppressed. I consider this problem to be quite interesting from a research perspective yet potentially very serious for collectors that want prints to remain in very good condition both on and off display.  There's much more R&D needed to figure out which papers do this and why, plus I need to study the kind of exposure reciprocity behavior that the phenomenon exhibits.

The Aardenburg Imaging & Archives sample collection and measurements database are now beginning to bear new results that go well beyond the original scope of the research!



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