Ted's Inkjet Fade Test, Round 2

Welcome to Round 2 of Ted's inkjet print lightfastness testing with the Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 722c and standard inks. For this test I have 4 new papers, and 2 papers from Round 1 of the tests. I will also be testing Lumijet's ImageShield product. It is a spray-on clear coating that filters UV radiation. We'll see how well it protects each of these papers. I'll be placing each paper in the sun both with and without ImageShield.

9/14/99 - The test begins

Here are the papers for this round:

Name Description
Apple Apple Color Ink-Jet Glossy Paper (M3655G/A)
This paper was not meant for the HP DeskJet 722c,
so it's not surprising how it fared against the others....
Ilford Ilford InkJet Photo Paper
(DTPGP9 CAT 192 2259, Purchased 8/99)
Hammermill Hammermill Jet Print Photo
(Item # 02601-1, Purchased 9/99)
Lumijet Lumijet Gallery Gloss
(Sampler Pak PRSMPL, Purchased 8/99)
DASPG180 Digital Art Supplies Photo Glossy 180
(Inkjet Photo Sample Pack, Received 9/15/99)
DASPPG264 Digital Art Supplies Professional Photo Gloss 264
(Inkjet Photo Sample Pack, Received 9/15/99)
I've heard that this is the same paper as
Tetenal Spectra Jet 264 glossy paper
ImageShield Lumijet's ImageShield
(Purchased 8/99)

The ink cartridge used is the standard 42ml black cartridge (51645A lot:?????? exp:11/2000), and the 39ml CMY cartridge from HP (C1823A lot:F3WPZR exp:9/2000). I purchased the cartridges Summer '99. I used "HP Deluxe Photo Paper" mode for all prints.

9/17/99 - Drying time is up!

The most noticeable thing about the prints as they hang on the wall is that Digital Art Supplies' Photo Glossy 180 (DASPG180) appears spookily similar to Lumijet's Gallery Gloss (Lumijet). The prints are much darker than the others, and the surface is very fragile. The adhesive tape I use to hang the sheets for drying removed the coating from both papers, and I noticed indentations in both papers from the paper transport (pizza wheel tracks). The backside of both looks the same, but one of them took the ink from my Pilot fineliner pen better than the other. We'll have to see how they both fare in the exposure tests....

Subjective Brightness Ranking After Drying

Rank Name Observations
#1 DASPPG264 Brightest.
#2 Apple Slightly warmer than the rest.
#3 Hammermill #1 thru #4 are very similar.
#4 Ilford
#5 DASPG180 Much darker than #4.
#6 Lumijet Looks identical to #5, see above.

That was just my assessment of the only really noticeable difference across this batch of papers. I wouldn't use it as any sort of measure of paper quality. It might be a measure of how well each paper presents the inks. #5 and #6 presenting the most ink. In round 3 I might try correcting this darkness for just these papers. I noticed no odd color casts, and all papers looked super sharp. Only the Apple paper was slightly warm, but it is a slightly yellow coating.

While I was applying the ImageShield, I once again noticed a striking similarity between DASPG180 and Lumijet. They both seemed to totally absorb the ImageShield immediately, whereas the others all had an obvious shiny coating until they dried.

Applying the three coats of ImageShield was a bit of a learning experience. My suggestion is to attach the prints to a board, and spray away. The first and second coats should be light to prevent runs. The spray can must be kept near vertical in order to work properly, so the board should be kept vertical as well.

Scans were done straight from my Storm TotalScan into Photoshop into the BruceRGB color space. Crop/rotates were done, followed by a change to sRGB (without conversion, just so the JPEGs had sRGB in them) and a save as JPEG. This should be equivalent to scanning straight into sRGB and saving as JPEG.

9/18/99 - In The Window

Just hung the prints up, but I noticed that the shadow from the window pane separators (I'm sure there's a much better name for this) may mess up the results. We'll have to see what happens. In the previous round I had the same problem, but I didn't notice any uneven fading. There was also a screen in the window that undoubtedly reduced the amount of light reaching the prints. I'm sure that slowed the fading.

The new location.

9/20/99 - Relocation

I decided to move the prints to a south facing window in the garage this morning. Hopefully the temperature extremes won't effect the test too much. The sun is great, and I don't think there is ever condensation on this window (just bugs). I noticed that the Apple paper had already started fading, and it was fading unevenly due to the shadows in the first location. This location should provide much more consistent and faster results.

9/23/99 - 6 Days, First Examination

After 6 days, there is noticeable fading in the Apple paper, and the Hammermill paper. The other 4 are holding their own as best they can. I've noticed a magenta shift in all of them and their contrast has been reduced, but it is similar to the originals. One thing I did note, the yellow in the background faded almost completely to white on the DASPPG264 paper. The other 3 didn't show this level of yellow fading. So, if I had to pick the best at this point, I would have to go with Ilford again due to the premature yellow fading in DASPPG264 and the pizza wheel tracks on Lumijet and DASPG180.

And what about ImageShield? Well, it does make a difference, but it is a rather slight difference. It has reduced fading slightly on all papers, but appears to have accelerated Magenta shifting on the Ilford paper.

10/2/99 - 15 Days

After 15 days, both Apple and Hammermill have decided to bond to the window, so I was unable to get them down without ripping them up. The fading on both is incredible. The Hammermill also decided to give up the ImageShield onto the window. I'm not running either of these through my scanner for fear of depositing something dangerous on the glass. Suffice it to say, these continue to be the bottom of the pack.

DASPG180 and Lumijet have faded almost identically. This is probably enough evidence to make the bold statement that they are one and the same paper. They have faded more rapidly than Ilford and DASPPG264, placing them in a tie for 3rd place. They both exhibit the same cyan color shift. Lumijet appears very slightly more faded than DASPG180, but this is probably due to slight variations in sunlight exposure between the two. Remember that the prints on these papers started out darker than all the others, so their total fading is more than can be seen in the chart. If they had performed better, I would recommend a rematch and lighten the print to make it match the print on the Ilford paper.

DASPPG264 comes in second place. The contrast is better than Lumijet/DASPG180, though the color balance has shifted decidedly toward magenta. ImageShield appears to have accelerated the fading of the yellow ink and slowed fading of the magenta and black inks on this paper.

Ilford retains its championship status once again. Of all of them, it held the most contrast and best color balance. It also seems to be most prone to curling due to the temperature extremes in my garage. This is probably nothing to worry about in normal display environments. The magenta shift induced by the ImageShield did not help Ilford at all. It looks much better without, although it has faded slightly more. Just in case the curling of the Ilford paper reduced the effective sunlight exposure, I will include Ilford and DASPPG264 in the next round for a re-match. This time I will make sure the Ilford is kept flat against the glass.

ImageShield continues to help ever so slightly. Prints protected with it have slightly better contrast, though the Ilford paper ended up with slightly worse color balance. If any paper appears to be a close competitor with Ilford in the future, I'll try ImageShield to see if it will push it over the top, or widen the gap.

Final Ranking

Rank Name Observations
#1 Ilford ImageShield hurts color balance.
#2 DASPPG264 Magenta shifted.
#3 DASPG180/Lumijet Essentially the same paper. Cyan shifted. Pizza wheel tracks.
#4 Hammermill A very odd paper.
#5 Apple Also very odd, and very faded.

The following are scans of the papers without ImageShield. You be the judge:

Paper 0 days 6 days 15 days Paper
Ilford Ilford
Lumijet Lumijet
Hammermill Destroyed Hammermill
Apple Destroyed Apple

Round 3

I'll include the following papers in the next round:

Where to next?

Volunteer if you have the time and a printer that I don't have...
-> Forward to Round 3 of the tests.
<- Back to Fade Testing.

Disclaimers: I did this to determine which paper I wanted to use for my photographic prints. I am not affiliated with any of the above companies. All trademarks are owned by their respective owners. There are no ads on this page, and there never will be. Use this information at your own risk. Perform your own experiments before committing to a paper for any purpose. I won't be held responsible for anything that happens to you as a result of reading this. Shake well before serving. The contents of this page are Copyright 1999, with all rights reserved by me, Ted Felix.

Copyright ©1999, Ted Felix