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Fade resistance testing: Red River Paper and the Epson 2200 (UltraChrome™)

Paper Estimated Print life
(no glass protection)
Red River Estimation of Print life with Glass Protection
Polar Gloss 35 Years 58 Years
Polar Satin 33 Years 55+ Years†
Polar Matte Papers 48 Years 80 Years
Premium Matte Papers 55+ Years† 80-100 Years

† At the end of testing, no observable fade was recorded. A print life beyond 55 years is probable.

Display Life Predictions assuming 450lux for 12 hours per day.

Summary

Beginning with the Summer 2003 round of tests, our lab added six new fade parameters to more accurately predict print life.

Parameter Patch that experienced failure End-point where failure is noted
Magenta Fade Red 30% loss
Yellow Fade Red 30% loss
Cyan Fade Green 30% loss
Yellow Fade Green 30% loss
Cyan Fade Blue 30% loss
Magenta Fade Blue 30% loss

Every item printed with the 2200 UltraChrome ink scored above 30 years as we expected. When glass protection is added, you can probably acheive between 55 and 100 years print life. It is helpful to note that virtually all major manufacturer's print life tests are done with the benefit of glass protection. Red River is one of the few to offer "raw" data regarding what happens to prints left out in the open.

Conclusions

The Epson 2200 is a remarkable printer that offers print life that meets or exceeds the needs of most professional photographers.

As always, Red River is not making any guarantees regarding how long your print will last. As noted, there are many environmental variables that can effect your print's life. You can be as careful or loose with where you display inkjet prints. It is obvious that Epson's UltraChrome system offers outstanding quality as well as what is considered standard photographic life.

*All tests conducted at the Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology

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