Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Obviously the artist matters more than the printing media, but I think there's a grain of truth in the notion that collectors prefer Ciba/Ilfochromes to other media. If the same artist were offering giclee/Ultrachrome/inkjet, C-prints, and Ilfochromes of comparable quality, I'd bet the serious collectors would take the Ilfochromes over the others, in part because it's been around longer and has a more proven track record of archival stability. Fuji claims that Crystal Archive is at least as good, as do the producers of the inkjet pigments, but we all own faded C-prints and have probably seen inkjets that have shown problems such as fading and metamerism.
Except Crystal Archive dyes and Ultrachrome ink pigments can't be compared to C-prints as they're different technologies. You've set up a false analogy, totally without proof or merit.

My experience with inkjet pigments inks is that they are far more stable than C-prints - and Wilhelm (and other independent testing sources) verify the stability claims. They're probably also more stable than Ilfochromes which have an archival rating of about 30 years.

I've done my own accelerated aging tests on C-prints, Ilfochromes, and inkjet prints by setting prints in a south facing window that gets direct sun for at least 10 hours per day. I live in New Mexico at 5,000 feet so we also have a lot of UV energy. The first test I did was in 1988 with a C-print and a Cibachrome. The C-print (Kodak paper) faded badly in about 1 month. The Cibachrome color shifted about 7cc magenta after 6 months. My latest test is with an inkjet print with pigment inks. After 1 year in the window, the print has not changed from the control print kept in a drawer.

This is certainly not scientific testing as the amount of illumination is not consistent from day-to-day, and is not monitored for total radiant flux on the surface - but, in real world terms, it certainly shows that a pigment inkjet print on rag paper is at least (if not more) stable than an Ilfochrome under direct sunlight.

It's not exactly like pigment technology is a new thing. Pigments have been used for hundreds of years to create all types of art work. Color pigment inks have been used for at least 200 years to create printed works (etchings and lithographs). While pigment inks formulated for inkjet printers are "different" (carriers / viscosity) than lithographic printing inks, the chemistry and formulation of inkjet inks is far more controlled and tested - specifically because the manufacturers are sensitive to archival issues.

Metamerism is a totally different issue - and is not archival issue - but an ink / receiver (paper) compatibility problem. Metamerism can be eliminated - you just have to know what to do (use a good RIP and the correct ink/paper combination).

Color crossover in Ilfochrome CANNOT be eliminated easily. The only way to control it is to treat an Ilfochrome print like a dye transfer print and make black and white separation positives and print each one individually though separation filters. This makes Ilfochrome printing as much a pain in the butt as a dye transfer print - but without the look or longevity OF a dye transfer print. My, there's a bonus.

If "been around longer," and "more proven track record of stability" are true issues, then your faux collector would be demanding color photographs made only by dye transfer or carbon pigment. I don't see any lines forming at galleries with people demanding a certain technology or "nothing."

Sorry, David - can't find one shred of truth in your postulations.