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Image Permanence: Comparing the Technologies

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Abstract:

In today's market, the consumer has a wide array of technologies to choose from when making photo prints. The most prevalent of these include piezo inkjet, thermal inkjet, silver halide, color electrophotography and dye thermal imaging. Some of these are available as inexpensive printers for the home or business, and some through use of a kiosk or retail supplier. This presentation provides the results of testing of representative samples of each of the technologies that are readily available to consumers.

Due to a growing awareness of the need for image longevity, consumers are recognizing the value of using a technology that will provide a lasting image. To date there is no industry standard or test methodology, so TPR has used commonly used methods and procedures for accelerated exposure under several conditions that have been shown to affect image stability. The tests include the effects of long-term UV exposure, gas fastness, dark keeping and humidity exposure. Prints from the following sources were tested:

Desktop Inkjet Printers

Canon MP600

Epson RX580

Epson CX7800

HP Photosmart 5180

Kodak EK5300

Lexmark X9450

Desktop Laser Printers

Dell 3010

HP Color Laserjet 2600

Konica Minolta 2400W

Retail Kiosks

Altech CW01 (thermal)

HP Edgeline Kiosk (inkjet)

Kodak Kiosk (thermal)

Mitsubishi CP-9550 (thermal)

Sony (thermal)

Photo Labs

Fuji Crystal Archive (sliver halide)

Kodak Professional Super Endura (sliver halide)

Kodak Royal (sliver halide).

Tested prints included fine lines and bleed patterns as well as color density patches and typical photos. Absolute predictions of image life can be contentious, so a comparison of each technology and its image stability performance is made and conclusions are drawn. No attempt has been made in this test to assess or compare image quality parameters.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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