Michael T. Rehker
Longevity of Printer Inks
I was wondering if anyone knew how long normal ink lasted on a picture printed on Kodak paper. I've had a few prints made from a Lexmark printer on Kodak, before I bought my Epson and I'm wondering how long the prints will last and still look good? What is the typical longevity of normal inks? Thanks
You can usually find that information on the website of the printer manufacturer and/or the paper manufacturer.
Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Lexmark+Kodak combos. ^_^;;
My own personal experience:
Prints I've made from my earlier printers(dye based epson 760) held up well when printed on epson photo paper and various other glossy RC(resin coated) papers.
Prints I made to some low cost glossy papers faded in about 6months to a year. By fade, I mean the various colors fade at different rates, so you get color cast shifts/etc.
How much sun/moisture the print is exposed to will also affect the longevity. I have a matte print made from my pigment based epson c80 on display in my office which is exposed to a flourscent light for about 8hours every day, framed and matted behind glass and it has not changed for about three years now.
Most epson printers of the pigment(durabrite/ultrachrome) variety will last at least 25-50 years if kept away from direct sunlight and displayed under glass/plastic. If using their archival papers and archivally matted/framed, will last 75+ years.
Their Dye based photo printers(760, 860, 960, 1270, 1280, etc) will last 25-50 years given the above same precautions. Dye based inks are more susceptible to fading when exposed to UV/sunlight.
As for the prints made on the lexmark+kodak paper, you could scan them and reprint on your epson system or you could just reprint from your original files.
The digital file I printed from is sort of the backup. Just as the negatives are the backup to the photograph print. If you lose the print, you always have the negatives/files to reproduce the image again.
But for consumer discount inkjet printers that are not specifically formulated to be long lifed, you can expect max life to be in the 2-5 years range. Much shorted if exposed to light, moisture, heat, and poor quality papers.
Check out epson's longevity site. They have a link to the research group that does longevity testing of various papers and inks. I don't have the link off the top of my head. ^_^;;
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