Preventing print outs from sun fade

  Paroxetine 14:09 13 Jul 2003

Hi all,

Does anyone recommend a way of preventing ink jet print outs from fading over time? I have seen some inks which will last 20 years if printed on certain types of paper. Which would be the best to change, the ink brand or the paper brand?

Reason I ask is that I just took up digital photography and wanted to make sure the pictures lasted as long as possible, without deteriorating too much.

Any advice or comments gladly welcome. Oh, and printer is a HP 5552c.

Many thanks


  -pops- 14:21 13 Jul 2003

All dye based colours will fade in time. This includes ALL of the colours used in normal printing processes. Colour photographs from wet chemistry photography (conventional photography) are just as susceptible, perhaps moreso.

Pigment inks tend to be more stable than soluble dye based inks so the Epson C series will be somewhat more stable than some others.

For maximum stablity have your pictures printed as Ilfochrome prints. This is silver based photography but the system used to form the colour is completely different to any other used processes. Other than that, store your pitures in the dark away from fumes. Note: "fumes" includes fumes given off by certain grades of paper - these can emit sulphur dioxide which will bleach the dyes

If you have to display them, place behind UV absorbing film or spray with a UV absorbing varnish. Both of these are available at art shops.

Hope that helps


  jazzypop 14:39 13 Jul 2003

It's much cheaper to just reprint them when they fade - one of the benefits of digital artwork :)

The 'preserve as long as possible' should apply to the digital version, not the paper version.

  Jester2K II 15:01 13 Jul 2003

A printed picture behind glass will last many times longer than one not. I have seen claims before of up to 70 years (?????) before noticable fade behind glass and only 2 weeks without glass.

  BrianW 15:21 13 Jul 2003

If you can afford the extra, use the HP fade resist papers. Another thing not so far mentioned, whilst probably obvious makes an enormous difference - try to hang you prints out of direct sun, (particularly morning sun, don't know why but my experience is that this causes the worst fading)

  Diemmess 15:37 13 Jul 2003

I think with jazzypop, enjoy and be prepared to reprint from disk when fading occurs,

Any glass will cut out a small amount of UV light which is the main cause of fading.............Out of direct sunlight is better still, but if there are lots of walls in sunlight the less white they are the less UV will be reflected.
In this country the morning sun is so much more likely to have high UV before the general city smog thickens and acts as a UV filter

Like most chemical processes, being in the dark, a bone dry atmosphere, and as cold as possible may dramatically slow up fading, but somewhat spoil the fun. .............If the print is vital, a good old fashioned album or protection in a portfolio will extend its life for ages.

  Paroxetine 17:21 13 Jul 2003

cool, thanks for the comments. nice to see a good variety of feedback. I think for personnal use it would be best to just reprint as needbe.

I was looking though at selling some (hmmm, you never know somoene might want one :) ) and as an extra service wanted to suggest or include 'fade resistance' to it. Will look at the UV spray when in town next but think its better to simply suggest the above - use glass, keep out of direct sun etc.

Thanks so far, and will keep open a while longer.


  LAP 17:28 13 Jul 2003

We use photo quality injet paper which is much cheaper than the glossy film paper, print, cut to size then laminate and cut to size again. The response from family and friends has been very positive regarding the quality and at present no fading. Fingers crossed. Anothers point of view..Lap..

  woodchip 17:39 13 Jul 2003

It does not mater if it's real photo, Digital Photo or a painting by Rembrandt if it's exposed to light long enough it will fade. as above keep on disc and just reprint

  Stuartli 17:45 13 Jul 2003

Compatible inks are likely to prove shorter lasting than manufacturers' originals - the best course, as suggested, is to keep them out of strong light as much as possible.

I stayed in a top hotel recently and, out of curiosity, opened one of the drawers of an obviously little used cabinet; inside was a newspaper dated from 1938 which was in excellent condition although having gone slightly yellow.

If it had been in the light it would have deteriorated to the same level in a matter of days.....

  Stuartli 17:51 13 Jul 2003

That should have read a piece of newspaper dated 1938 used as a lining...

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