longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

Started Oct 9, 2012 | Questions
jrs5fg New Member • Posts: 4
longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

These seem to be some of the more notable aftermarket ink suppliers, but I'm a photographer who sells prints so longevity is important to me -- any word on the longevity of these inks?

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Apotheker Regular Member • Posts: 494
Re: longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

I suppose you are using a pigment printer, as longevity is a must for you. Then pigment inks of both brands are OK. Dye ink is something you must be careful. I have used OCP CLI-8 ink in my Canon MX850 and OCP K3 pigment in my Epson Pro 3800. I have made exact the same print with corresponding profiles on the same type of photo paper (microporous). 5 months later (prints have been facing the window, during spring, summer and now autumn) and the dye ink of OCP has been bleached out significantly, whereas the pigment ink print is just as good as freshly printed.

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OP jrs5fg New Member • Posts: 4
Re: longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

I'm a chemistry student (selling prints is not my main source of income), but as the volume of my printing increases the price of ink becomes important-- so I haven't moved to pigment printing yet.

Are there really no photostable aftermarket dye inks out there ? Based on my experience in photochemistry, a long-lived ink formula is something that would cost at most only a few million USD to develop (hmm, I wonder if I could go into the aftermarket ink business...)

rodbam Veteran Member • Posts: 9,046
Re: longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

If your dye ink prints are framed behind glass then they will have a long life but unprotected prints really need to be made with pigment inks for longevity.

Good luck inventing a new dye ink, I will buy it.

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Regards Rod

Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Re: longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

jrs5fg wrote:

I'm a chemistry student (selling prints is not my main source of income), but as the volume of my printing increases the price of ink becomes important-- so I haven't moved to pigment printing yet.

Are there really no photostable aftermarket dye inks out there ? Based on my experience in photochemistry, a long-lived ink formula is something that would cost at most only a few million USD to develop (hmm, I wonder if I could go into the aftermarket ink business...)

Most dye inks that are mentioned as good in this forum (plenty of info - try a search) is always coupled to the actual paper used - as that plays a significant part in the stability process - and I do mean Significant!

There are reports of how soon images fade when left in bright, even sunny, locations.  All I can say is if that was applied to watercolour paintings - they would not last as long as some of the less reputable dyes.  I have some inkjet prints made over 14 years ago, family shots, that have been on display in fairly bright room conditions and they have not faded.  They were made using PrintRite dye inks but printed on to acid-free Canson Montval watercolour paper.  I still use that paper (and Geler Mate) for all printing, even though now all done with pigment inks from inkjetfly.com.

You are more likely to see fading, even away from bright lighting, using plastic glossy photo papers.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
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ThrillaMozilla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,076
Re: longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

The reports on some of these inks seem quite inconsistent with each other.  It may depend on which printer(s) the ink is formulated for, or it's possible that formulations have varied over time.  But in any case, my own tests are consistent with some published tests but not with others.  I strongly suggest that you run your own tests and publish the results.

The inks are generally rather unstable if they are exposed to air.  Some media protect ink from air, and this results in much better permanence.  My tests show that some papers do a much better job of this than other papers, and you can't necessarily predict which one, although the paper the manufacturer recommends for your printer is probably a good choice.  In my case the paper HP marketed as their supposedly very best paper for permanence was quite unsuitable.

I suggest that for fast results, you test on plain paper.  I found the fastest fading on paper.  You should be able to get a very good idea of what will fade in well under 30 days.  If you use paper, you don't even have to run the ink through the printer.  And do compare them with the OEM ink.

I did test both brands that you mentioned for Hewlett-Packard HP564 cartridges.  I published some of the results at www.nifty-stuff.com/forum.  Since the members bent over backwards to think of reasons why my results could not possibly be valid, I didn't bother to publish any more results.  However, I can tell you that I found the Image Specialists dye inks for my printer to be extraordinarily unstable on all media.  (Again, the situation may be very different for your printer.)  I found Ink-Tec and OCP to be pretty good.  Inc-Tec magenta is a little inclined to fade, as is one of the OCP inks--cyan, as I recall.  Photo black (dye) is quite unstable in all third-party inks I have tried.  Even the H-P OEM photo black ink is a little inclined to fade.  For my purposes, the ideal would be Ink-Tec cyan and/or yellow, OCP magenta and/or yellow, and OEM PB.

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ThrillaMozilla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,076
Re: longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

Small clarification.  For my printer, HP recommends the Advanced paper, which is fine.  I had an old sample of Premium Plus, which is (was) marketed as their very best for permanence, and (1) it's not recommended at all for the printer, (2) ink did not soak in correctly in some very saturated color areas, and (3) colors were not at all permanent.  I did not try a new package of that paper because it's not recommended for the printer, although the paper formulation has supposedly changed.

One other clarification.  My tests were not very exacting, but the results were very self-consistent.  I used paper, two kinds of photo paper, and two kinds of printable CDs.  Most were printed with the printer.  I left them in the sun in the car (light, heat, and whatever gases are there), and compared them with duplicates kept in the dark.  I also wrapped some prints around a fluorescent bulb.  Some faded very rapidly; some did not.

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ThrillaMozilla Veteran Member • Posts: 3,076
Re: longevity of OCP ink / Precision Colors?

There's one other small thing I forgot to mention.  I received some mislabeled OCP ink (I forget which U.S. distributor it was).  I ordered the dye black ink for my printer, but they sent me pigment mislabeled as dye.  They replaced it without charge.  I don't know who mislabeled it.

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rodbam Veteran Member • Posts: 9,046
Yes the papers

Gday Brian

I agree the paper is most important & I can remember you saying that even for cast free B&Ws the paper is important as I have now seen this for myself.

I have an IS dye ink 13x19 print framed without glass (I broke it) printed on Canon Premium fine art matte hanging up for over a year now with no visible fading at all yet some others done on more affordable acid & lignin free papers have shown fading after just one month. The buggers no longer make the fine art Premium matte & their other fine art papers are three times the price.
Regards Rod

Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Re: Yes the papers

rodbam wrote:

Gday Brian

I agree the paper is most important & I can remember you saying that even for cast free B&Ws the paper is important as I have now seen this for myself.

I have an IS dye ink 13x19 print framed without glass (I broke it) printed on Canon Premium fine art matte hanging up for over a year now with no visible fading at all yet some others done on more affordable acid & lignin free papers have shown fading after just one month. The buggers no longer make the fine art Premium matte & their other fine art papers are three times the price.
Regards Rod

Interesting (OT) that your b^ggers did not get you a "you can't use that language on DPR" message.  I had to change my signature to read "genius" instead of my previous "genie^rse" as I found was not being allowed to post - was always OK before, like for several years.  Ah well!  Such is the strange ways of "them"!

Anyway - back to the papers topic.  As I have often remarked, I have used acid-free watercolour papers for years.  My main one is a 370gsm Canson Montval and the 190gsm Geler Mate.  There are plenty of others around that also work well - and I used them with both dye and pigment with perfect success.  Most local art shops (and some online suppliers) can offer inexpensive samples.  They are not expensive either - and do not have special coatings nor base brighteners/whiteners either.

I found the MOAB profiles useful - just picking a "near" description seemed to work pretty well.  http://moabpaper.com/icc-profiles-downloads/  Also, Leo's inkjetfly.com profile for their pigment inks on my 1400 for Epson Glossy worked well for other papers too - meaning the matt watercolour types. 
MOAB provide the profiles free and also destructions on how to use.  They are sorted into printer types so the link will offer full info.  Small cropped 7x5 areas printed as tests soon show what works best for any printer/ink combination.

Of interest - years ago in the conventional darkroom when I made Platinum prints, the Canson Montval was the paper I used for coating with the emulsion.  What goes around, comes around.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

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