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Cropline

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Hope this is the proper place; please relocate if it's not.

So Wilhelm say one this about C-41 print longevity and Kodak and Fuji say something else. How many here have or know of photo's that have lasted decades with minimal fading under frame and glazing and displayed in indirect sunlight?
 

EdSawyer

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I have an RA4 print I made in 1994 that fits that description. still looking good. Maybe some really minor fading. but it gets some direct sun too, maybe 10-15 min a day, through dual-pane windows and it's under glass.
 
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Bulk fade tests:
Fuji Crystal Archive is the best
Inkjet pigment is the best
E.K. Dye Transfer is terrible
Gloss Optimizer is excellent (from my limited tests)*

http://fadetesting.tumblr.com/

Plastic is iffy. PrintFile archival pages turn yellow after 15 to 20 years of dark storage.*

This is the worst...but what is it?

https://danieldteolijrarchivalcolle...nter-you-use-some-media-fade-away-in-no-time/

Bottom line with color...exhibit copy inkjet prints or copy wet prints with the idea to remake after they may have faded. Never exhibit original one of a kind color prints. Only store in dark storage.

*I have not included test photo as the posts include ads for my books.
 

Ces1um

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My local lab uses Fuji paper and they tell me it should last 100 years under normal storage. That remains to be seen however. I can tell you my polaroid originals photos have been put on the front of my refrigerator and after one year the colour photos have faded and the black and white have become notably sepia. I know it's a little off topic but for what it's worth...
 

halfaman

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In a hall of my parents home there is a photo from beggining of 80's of my brother in his first communion ceremony suit (catholic stuff), it has been always there for the last 35 years or so under the room tungsten light and some indirect sunlight. Seems to be taken yesterday, no sign of any kind of fading or degradation. Colors and contrast are spot-on.
 
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Agulliver

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In the hallway of my parent's house, there are three photos of me taken in 1976 in frames under glass. They've always had windows close by. They've been on display since 1976 and only started fading noticeably around 2005. So about 30 years on display. They're still perfectably viewable and the negatives exist. I scanned them just last year, and they are perfect...kept in an envelope in a dark drawer.
 

RPC

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Papers today are much more stable than in past decades. Still. I have a few photos that have been on display in my living room since the early 80s that have hardly noticeable fade. Others faded noticeably and were removed. Senior portraits at my parents house done in the early 70s still look reasonably good. All were processed at various labs and I believe the differences are primarily due to the processing, proper blixing, washing, stabilizing, etc. That has a huge effect on longevity that is often overlooked.
 

DREW WILEY

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As usual, lots of blatant misinformation is inevitable on these kinds of threads. C41 is a film process. I presume that chromogenic color prints made from color negatives, internegatives, or even scans are in mind, which are now the RA4 process. Real world testing is quite a different thing from marketing BS or rumor. Inkjet just haven't been around long enough to make broad generalities. But the bigger problem is that there are so many potential ways of doing these, and so many different inks involved, that what applies to one specific case might not apply to another. The same could be said about dye transfer in the past, or even true pigment prints (which inkjet is not). I hung early Cibachromes in indirect mountain sunlight for over thirty years without noticeable fading. Direct sunlight is a different story. Chromogenic prints have been around in some form or another long enough to give us a general ideal how they will fare, and how certain products probably have notably improved in terms of display longevity. But by how much I have no idea. I've got a number of big Crystal Archive prints in environments that will tell the story eventually; but I might not be around personally to witness the result. Gradual yellowing due to residual couplers is often the limiting factor rather than just fading per se. Fuji is rather mum on this point except to provide an extrapolated estimate of yellowing vs fading, and to cryptically suggest in their literature that the gloss polyester medium is more immune to yellowing than the RC paper base. But don't take Wilhelm as the Bible. He deserves credit for renewing interest in this whole subject, but his methodology was fraught with all kinds of preconceptions about the utility of accelerated-aging "torture" tests, which do not always accurately predict the many variables present in the real world. Others since him have helped patch some of the holes in his methodology. It is true that casual processing options through
mini-labs and drugstores often cut corners for sake of speed, or otherwise used so-so chemicals and minimal washing, so ended up with especially fugitive prints.
 
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My earliest CIbachrome prints were made in September 1978. Fourteen in all framed and looking as good today as when they were first made, if not for a few specks of dust under the glass. I do not have a complete figure for the total number produced because many were framed and sold, many proofs and contrast seconds also came out... probably around 700-800 all up, which is not particularly large, but kept me and a lot of other people busy!!

The earliest RA-4 prints were produced in 1993; some are framed (garishly!), more still were placed in archival sleeves and never went to framing, probably because of Ilfochrome taking over from 1994 to 2010, when I stopped. These sleeves prints are still beautiful to look at (AGFA papers). Like Drew, there are 7 framed Ilfochrome Classic prints on display in indirect sunlight with nothing at all to report, and we have some pretty darned strong indirect sunlight down here in the South in Spring, Summer and Autumn!

Inkjet prints in their many weird and wonderful iterations are the unknown quantity still at this time for the simple reason that nobody has been around them long enough to determine very long term stability, but with all the manufacturers keen to see their name up in lights, there is no shortage of innovation and quality. How long they will last, conservation-framed and displayed properly is anybody's guess. I only started Inkjet printing from 2011 and could not be any happier with the result and the gobsmacking variety of media.
 
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halfaman

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All were processed at various labs and I believe the differences are primarily due to the processing, proper blixing, washing, stabilizing, etc. That has a huge effect on longevity that is often overlooked.

Proper processing is key for sure. I talked earlier about my brother communion photo from earier 80's but there is also a photo of my college graduation photo taken in 2002 in the same room. It is in terrible conditions with a very noticeable fading and evident magenta cast that start 7-8 years ago. Taking into account that colour papers were more reliable concerning dyes stability in 2002 than in earlier 80's, it only leaves one option... processing.
 

Photo Engineer

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Results will vary all over the place due to conditions and product. Light intensity and air pollutants are factors in fade as are processing which includes water quality.

Fuji is not the best, nor is Kodak. It depends on how you test the material and how you processed it.

PE
 

Sirius Glass

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Results will vary all over the place due to conditions and product. Light intensity and air pollutants are factors in fade as are processing which includes water quality.

Fuji is not the best, nor is Kodak. It depends on how you test the material and how you processed it.

PE

And how you mount it.
 
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