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  1. #1

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    Archival qualities of RA-4 process

    We would like to start the RA-4 process. We have a number of pieces of equipment to help us, as well as the ciba tanks.
    Which RA-4 chemicals and which paper produces the longest archival results with best color. Your advice please.

  2. #2
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Both Fuji and Kodak papers top the list for image stability. Others fall far behind in this regard unless rebranded and equal to the parent product.

    PE

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    PE, what is the prevailling opinion on archival life of these 2 papers? Will the cyan fade as badly as old Ektacolor prints do, or has it been improved significantly in recent times? I recently got some guff for making such a claim, and unfortunately had no information to back it up.

    Is a museum making a wise investment by buying modern C-prints?
    Last edited by holmburgers; 11-11-2011 at 02:28 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: originally wrote Ektachrome, meant Ektacolor

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    The dyes are sensitive to different conditions and therefore can fade unequally depending on storage. The factors are light (FCH or Foot Candle Hours), spectral distribution, heat, humidity, air contaminants (O3, SO2, H2S and etc). The rough guideline is a neutral fade with prints lasting about 200+ years.

    Fuji tests using High Intensity light but Kodak tests with Low Intensity light. These differ in that the former is based on Mall and Office lighting and the latter is based on home and museum lighting which is lower in intensity.

    PE

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    Is it fair to say that significant improvements have been made in the last 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?

    That is to say, were we told in the 70's (we... I wasn't even born yet!) that the Ektacolor prints would last as long as 200 years?

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    200plus?????

    nuetral fade , does that mean the print will be a neutral white in 200 years?

    I would be thinking more in the lines of 30 +- years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    The dyes are sensitive to different conditions and therefore can fade unequally depending on storage. The factors are light (FCH or Foot Candle Hours), spectral distribution, heat, humidity, air contaminants (O3, SO2, H2S and etc). The rough guideline is a neutral fade with prints lasting about 200+ years.

    Fuji tests using High Intensity light but Kodak tests with Low Intensity light. These differ in that the former is based on Mall and Office lighting and the latter is based on home and museum lighting which is lower in intensity.

    PE

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    Archival qualities of RA-4 process

    "The rough guideline is a neutral fade with prints lasting about 200+ years. Fuji tests using High Intensity light but Kodak tests with Low Intensity light. These differ in that the former is based on Mall and Office lighting and the latter is based on home and museum lighting which is lower in intensity. PE "

    With such a long archival quality of the RA-4 process, what is it that I am losing by moving from Ilfochrome to the RA-4 process? Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    200plus?????

    nuetral fade , does that mean the print will be a neutral white in 200 years?

    I would be thinking more in the lines of 30 +- years.
    The 30+ is a digital photo lifespan for the same change, but with digital prints you also have image smear due to movement of dyes with humidity.

    And both Kodak and Fuji have worked hard to equal or surpass Ilford materials.

    This information comes from three sources, the ICIS Short Course on Image Stabiity, The RIT Image Permanence Labs, and Henry Wilhelm's web site with information on image stability.

    PE

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    ...Is a museum making a wise investment by buying modern C-prints?
    No, nor Ilfochrome prints. Were I king of the world (or museums, at least), only pigment prints would be allowed. And that doesn't refer to inkjet prints using pigmented inks.

  10. #10
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    Is it fair to say that significant improvements have been made in the last 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?

    That is to say, were we told in the 70's (we... I wasn't even born yet!) that the Ektacolor prints would last as long as 200 years?
    Somehow I missed this earlier.

    Sorry.

    Actually, in the 70s, Ektacolor 70 and then Ektacolor Plus papers just about doubled the stability of the previous products. They both used free radical chain stoppers in the magenta layer to prevent dye fade from Oxygen, and the yellow layer used a high glass transition dye droplet to prevent early fade. Neither used Formalin or Ferricyanide in the process.

    They were both planned to use a stabilizer, but Kodak marketing apparently changed the plan or the dye stability would have been even better.

    The new Endura and CA papers use modified couplers and solvents to extend the life of these products even more.

    The figure for 200 years can only be estimated and comes from a variety of testing sources. See my previous post.

    PE

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