Inkjet vs chemical prints

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
mike earussi Veteran Member • Posts: 8,231
Re: Inkjet vs chemical prints

NAwlins Contrarian wrote:

If you are just talking about having them printed for you by a lab, for color inkjet wins by a landslide in longevity and color range. You also have a much wider range of papers to choose from in the ink jet world.

We really need to differentiate typical lab inkjet prints versus high-end lab inkjet prints. The large majority of typical commercial lab inkjet prints, often called 'dry lab' prints, use dye inks similar to home photo printer dye inks, and papers similar to both home inkjet glossy and luster, and typical wet-lab (RA-4 process) color papers. I have seen no evidence that they offer substantial advantages over wet-lab / RA-4 process color prints.

The prints that can have substantial advantages in longevity and color range are pigment-ink inkjet prints on high-end 'art' papers. But then they tend to cost a lot more. And to get the color range, you probably have to use and upload them in a color space wider than sRGB.

My local Costco uses a Epson 7880 and OEM inks and prints on Fuji luster paper with excellent quality, and only charges $9 for a 20x30.

For lab black and white the edge goes to wet prints but it's really close. Longevity is slightly better or the same as pigment inkjet prints. The range of papers is far larger for inkjet.

I was disappointed but not shocked to read the recent posts from Mark McCormick of Aardenburg about optical brightening agents in black and white papers for wet processing (e.g., https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62951050 and https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62955048). The takeaway appears to me to be that for prints on display, OBA yellowing in current and recent-decades B&W wet papers makes them on the whole less archival than pigment inkjet prints on OBA-free papers.

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