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Photo Engineer
07-12-2007, 07:39 AM
After 55 years my framed and hung in well-lighted rooms (no direct sunlight) Dye Transfers are showing just a trace of faded skintones. Boxed prints continue to appear perfect, as do Kodachrome prints from Kodak.

Anything I could do with Dye Transfer I can do better and easier with PhotoShop and inkjet.

I'll bet the digital prints won't last 55 years though.

The new Endura and CA papers might last even longer.

PE

z-man
07-12-2007, 10:03 PM
I'll bet the digital prints won't last 55 years though.

The new Endura and CA papers might last even longer.

PE

pe

bought into the epson "ultrachrome" pigment ink and support system 1 1/2 yrs ago because of the 95+yr rating-kept it cause it is only ink jet i can stand the looks of at least as far as putting my name on the delivered art

i agree that you can instantly get something like a dye transfer from the desktop

just like you can get something like baked goods out of a microwave cake mix box

it all depends on what your expectations are and what you and/or your clients will settle for

vaya con dios

rmazzullo
07-13-2007, 08:35 AM
After 55 years my framed and hung in well-lighted rooms (no direct sunlight) Dye Transfers are showing just a trace of faded skintones. Boxed prints continue to appear perfect, as do Kodachrome prints from Kodak.
I gave up Dye Transfer years ago for masked Cibachrome (from Kodachromes), then switched to Ektaflex (from Ektra 25 and 1000 negatives), now after several years shooting only B&W (Ilford Gallery and Agfa Portriga Rapid), I've gone digital. Anything I could do with Dye Transfer I can do better and easier with PhotoShop and inkjet.

Hello Bill,

When you get a moment, can you please post a sample of what you are referring to? Specifically, a comparison of a portion of a dye transfer print next to that same section of the same photo (if possible) printed via an inkjet printer? Which inkjet printer has the capability of duplicating the quality of dye transfer?

Thanks,

Bob M.

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 09:00 AM
pe

bought into the epson "ultrachrome" pigment ink and support system 1 1/2 yrs ago because of the 95+yr rating-kept it cause it is only ink jet i can stand the looks of at least as far as putting my name on the delivered art

i agree that you can instantly get something like a dye transfer from the desktop

just like you can get something like baked goods out of a microwave cake mix box

it all depends on what your expectations are and what you and/or your clients will settle for

vaya con dios

A major problem for me with pigment prints is the odd looking surface with a relief image that resembles a Kodachrome print. I don't like that.

In addition, it is being shown that all prints done by digital printers suffer from image smear over time. This is due to the fact that the inks and pigments are quite mobile and low in molecular weight.

Wilhelm institute knows this but has not made a big deal of it, but eventually a digital print begins to smear just like a tattoo. This was presented in detail at a recent ICIS short course that I took.

PE

z-man
07-13-2007, 12:47 PM
A major problem for me with pigment prints is the odd looking surface with a relief image that resembles a Kodachrome print. I don't like that.

In addition, it is being shown that all prints done by digital printers suffer from image smear over time. This is due to the fact that the inks and pigments are quite mobile and low in molecular weight.

Wilhelm institute knows this but has not made a big deal of it, but eventually a digital print begins to smear just like a tattoo. This was presented in detail at a recent ICIS short course that I took.

PE

thanx for heads up-sounds like a long time period version of dot gain-or is it something else?

i don't allways use ultrachrome supports-the 'dot gain effect'-different absorbtion characterstics-of different supports can be very useful for image purposes
and can also address the 2 dimensional ink layer that looks like tanning dev gelatine sometimes

if you can sacrifice highlights somewhat you adjust to print for total coverage by ink-i do that with a lot of images and/or print bw as 4/c for same reason and/or for artistic effect

the fact that the ink jet supports are manufactured with comparatively thick absorbtive layer to allow fast drying of dye inks is what i am concerned about

is the smearing just the ink, just the support or both-do those high ticket iris prints have the same problems?

how about 'giciclee's'?? is this all going to lead to a "bluebeard" effect?

ay de mi! ay senyor!

vaya con dios

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 03:09 PM
No hablo espanol, pero yo deso.

Digital prints need inks that are low in molecular weight to function. These inks are in water. With time and humidity, the image spreads. See the Wilhelm Institute page for samples.

PE

Neanderman
07-13-2007, 03:19 PM
Digital prints need inks that are low in molecular weight to function. These inks are in water. With time and humidity, the image spreads. See the Wilhelm Institute page for samples.PE

To get around this, I assume you would have to change to a dye that could be mordanted, correct? Which would mean either a different paper or some other form of pre- or post-treatment to the paper or printed image. And, based upon the problems that the dye-transfer folks have related in their Yahoo group, the best mordants are heavy metals, which presents a whole new environmental nightmare.

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 03:39 PM
The dyes are mordanted in digital prints, but apparently not well enough.

Dye transfer paper contained Thorium salts, as is well known in the field. So, yes, you are essentially correct, heavy metals were used to stabilize DT prints. Later versions of dye transfer type prints used anionic dyes and cationic mordants. The Ektaflex PCT family were examples of that, but later work included some metal salts.

PE

Bill Mitchell
07-13-2007, 04:59 PM
There is a reason that the Dye Transfer process is called that -- it uses/used Azo dyes which, while relatively stable, aren't in the same longevity league as mineral based pigments, such as those used in oil paints. I believe the process prior to Dye Transfer (and washoff relief) was tricolor carbon printing, which should be more archival.
Do printers use dye or pigment based ink for magazines, newspapers, etc? Do they fade because of the crappy paper, or because of the inks?

Bill Mitchell
07-13-2007, 05:09 PM
Hello Bill,

When you get a moment, can you please post a sample of what you are referring to? Specifically, a comparison of a portion of a dye transfer print next to that same section of the same photo (if possible) printed via an inkjet printer? Which inkjet printer has the capability of duplicating the quality of dye transfer?

Thanks,

Bob M.

No Bob, actually I can't (I haven't done Dyes for over 30 years).
In fact, I'm not even sure what you mean by "the quality" of dye transfer. Their yellows suck, the margins aren't necessarily very sharp, and without extensive contrast and highlight masking even Ansco Printon looked better at the time (at least until it faded into oblivian in 6 months).

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 05:37 PM
Pigment prints have the chance of being more stable than dye transfer prints, but still smear. Endura and CA prints contain stabilzing agents that confer extremely long life on the dyes.

The basis of my comments is the ICIS (International Congress of Imaging Science) short course I took last year, and conversations with Henry Wilhelm personally, along with other discussions here.

It is also based on many years of work in dye stability, and in keeping up with the work and tests run by Wilhelm.

I really wish you would not doubt that when I post something, I base it on my professoinal opinion as a photo engineer that was gained by over nearly 50 years of work in imaging science. I do grant that there are ongoing improvements in all products. Fuji just introduced their CAII paper with even better dye stability, and they presented a paper on the stability at the same ICIS conference last May. So, my knowledge came from the forefront of research.


PE

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 05:39 PM
No Bob, actually I can't (I haven't done Dyes for over 30 years).
In fact, I'm not even sure what you mean by "the quality" of dye transfer. Their yellows suck, the margins aren't necessarily very sharp, and without extensive contrast and highlight masking even Ansco Printon looked better at the time (at least until it faded into oblivian in 6 months).

Bill;

This is interesting. I have Printon prints stored in a folder with some Type C prints that I made in 1957. They both look fine. It really depends on storage.

PE

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 05:48 PM
For the information of everyone out there, azo dyes used in many digital prints and also in Dye Transfer and Cibachrome do not have to have very high stability. Some do and some do not. It depends on the dye, the matrix incorporating the dye or enclosing it, and the chemicals added to that dye.

Keeping depends on light intensity, heat, humidity and etc. It also depends on atmospheric contaminants.

At the present time, museums use 100 fc for illuminating displays. They estimate that a digital dye print made this last year will last for about 40 - 60 years and a digital pigment print will last longer (I don't have figures on that), while an Endura or CAII print can last for about 100 - 200 years. And the latter have no image smear.

Dye Transfer prints would fall short of the stability of todays chromogenic papers, Ilfochrome and pigment digital prints. At one time, DT prints had rather poor dye stability. It varied as Kodak improved the dye set. When I left the Ektacolor 70 project, Ektacolor 70 and DT were near parity for some tests, but differed for others. Since then, there has been a lot of changes in both Kodak and Fuji products in line with better overall stability.

PE

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 09:09 PM
Salaam alaikem. (sorry about the spelling)

To everyone, regardless of opinion or religion.

PE

z-man
07-13-2007, 09:42 PM
There is a reason that the Dye Transfer process is called that -- it uses/used Azo dyes which, while relatively stable, aren't in the same longevity league as mineral based pigments, such as those used in oil paints. I believe the process prior to Dye Transfer (and washoff relief) was tricolor carbon printing, which should be more archival.
Do printers use dye or pigment based ink for magazines, newspapers, etc? Do they fade because of the crappy paper, or because of the inks?

bill-

during my time as THE pre-press inspector for the largest high speed web converter in this country-probably the world-i had to ok each and every plate coming out of prep on my tour , before any tour supervisor would even accept the plate on the floor, let alone look at it and then hang it on press-the co subcontracted and delivered for everyone from the gov printing office on up- so while i was there i saw a lot of dfferent work

i had spent a yr running the print shop for a college in a major us university may yrs before and inbetween and after i would periodically work as a process camera operator, stripper and plate maker in many different shops

in my experience, even when clients are educated as to possiblities the bottomline allways trumps all considerations

if you pay for permanace in inks and in supports you should get it

not everyone in biz is honest-i allways tried to be, ex: flat color blue pigment ink(not 4/c process blu) for offset planographic press impression is very permanant and takes a very long time to dry; the client allways wants the work yesterday so a faster drying less permant ink would usually be chosen BY THE CLIENT

the high speed kodak copiers that use plastic pigments took most of this work for the reason that they are dry to pack and ship dirctly off press and permanant for as long as the support-CHOSEN BY THE CLIEINT- continues to exist

the client often choses an ink/support combination that is designed to be fugitive and self destruct soon after it is delivered to the end user

the output of the "printing" industry is as varied as the clients requirements

there was once a process that used gelatine emulsion prints as a master to form a lead mother from which printing "plates" were made in a waysimilar to the way vynal lps
were made

the out put was tipped into books and most could not tell them from original continuous -tone photo prints

photography-as we know it today -is the result of a long ongoing growth that is really just a side bar to the main issue- the "printing" trade

vaya con dios

Photo Engineer
07-13-2007, 10:20 PM
My statement was consistent throughout. I see no deviation.

Sorry Donald. You can disagree all you want. I suggest that others go to the Wilhelm Institute site for data that is objective in a sense in that they prefer 500 fc rather than 100 fc, but otherwise good.

Also, the RIT site for image stability is good.

That is more objective than us arguing.

PE

Photo Engineer
07-14-2007, 08:50 AM
I think it best that we leave the personal comments behind us. I appreciate the comments of all concerned.

Thinking about dyes overnight as I did, I would like to add to my above post on pigment dyes.

Although stable, many pigment dyes are made from heavy metals such as Cadmium, Lead, Mercury and etc. The rich magentas, yellows and cyans come from among these. Remember, cadmium yellow? That is one example, as is red lead another.

So, getting stability can be a two edged sword.

Just a pointer. I'm not sure what the pigments contain, nor how they are presented onto the paper. These should all be taken into consideration.

PE

Bill Mitchell
07-14-2007, 05:06 PM
Time to close this thread. It's useful life has expired.

jd callow
07-14-2007, 05:13 PM
I'm voting we keep it open and I'm asking all to play nice. I think there is a good deal of value to be found here. I'll prune the thread...

jd callow
07-14-2007, 05:24 PM
Soory if I deleted any good info, if missed some stuff, or if my deletions were a bit heavy handed -- I simply can't read everything. I see value here and would rather you have to repeat yourselves than to throw the baby out w/ the bath water.