Canon Black ink fade test..

The Hat

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I decide to add a bit of colour to my test today, but I’m not really interested how well it does because I won’t be changing any of them,..
3 colour_test_print.jpg
 

The Hat

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I don’t reckon this black test will go the full 6 months, its already looking pretty poor now, but I will carry on a bit longer, because I wanted the test to go to destruction with no exceptions, and it is, one thing that’s coming out better is the colour test, its holding its on for now, but time will tell.. Starting second month now..
 

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Aren't you a little bit early with your report - May 9 instead of Nov 1 ?
An update on the progress of my fade test..

We’re nearly into August and 3 months on, and I don’t reckon my test prints could fade any more than they already have, over the past 4 weeks they just look the same, I reckon they have faded to a point where they can’t fade any further or get any lighter..

But I did say November, so I’ll wait till then to show all the results.. (Update September)
 
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The Hat

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I decide to add a bit of colour to my test today, but I’m not really interested how well it does
I know I said I wasn’t interested in how the colours were preforming, and I’m not, but others just might especially the OEM 56 pigment bottle ink for the Maxify..
 

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Probably is none of my business, but wouldn't be possible for you to print also samples on "good" paper from a reputable brand, in addition to that crappy Lidl stuff ? :hide
A late reply:

I am a cheap guy too, but hoarded brand papers of reasonable quality (kind Ilford Smooth Pearl, HP Advanced Photo Paper, stuff most "experienced" photographers wouldn't touch ;)) together with Hahnemuhle and the like.
I also buy sometimes off-brand papers sold (in Europe) as Innova, Olmec, Pro-Line.
Also the glossy papers sold (in the past) by Aldi and Lidl are for me of good quality.

Of coarse these papers have OBA's (a print in our bedroom still glows in the dark after 5 years), and the surface is less "artistic", but do you want results now or after 75 years in a museum ?

I abandoned 3th party inks almost completely (again by hoarding OEM inks or switching to bottles as for the Maxify).

After seen the quality enhancement on the former papers I made custom profiles again for some very cheap stuff I bought in the past and were poor with 3th party inks. Except for the surface structure from some distance the colours and contrast are now very acceptable compared too more expensive papers.

I speak about resin coated papers, not cast coated, the latter is really bad stuff.

In my experience good ink on crappy paper is much better than crappy ink on good paper.

On topic again: as @The Hat proved again, many 3th party (black) dye inks fade while you're looking at it. Glad I turned that page long ago. 3th party pigments are on average 100 times better.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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You are very much nailing down the essence - awarenesss for the properties and limitations of inks and papers is utmost important for the user - using the correct combinations creates the best output for the intended purpose.

crappy ink on good paper.
that's just wasting money
 

The Hat

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O’ boy.. ! I decided to end my black ink tests 1 month early..

I can see any point in going the full six months because at the rate these tests sheets are going, there will be nothing left to see, yes it’s that bad.. but there are a few surprises elsewhere.. I’ll post the results in the first week of September..
 

Ink stained Fingers

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there will be nothing left to see, yes it’s that bad.
I rather think you should create a new class of prints - vanishing art prints - and compete in a way with Banksy who created that self-destroying paint a while ago.....................
 

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I was looking forwards to these test results, but as the months rolled by I changed sides, because I wasn’t expecting the outcome to be as poor as this, I wanted to test to destruction and I did..

I’ll start with the bog standard plain copy paper, the prints on the left are only an illustration that were printed out freshly just to show what I started with..
Black ink banner.jpg
Firstly I’ll start with the Canon 53 bottled ink, because it’s the only ink that had any proper resistance to fading, now if Canon 53 colour bottled inks are as good as their black then they are well worth the extra cost, these results couldn’t have been better..
Canon 53 Black.jpg
The next is just the typical 3rd party black dye ink that can be bought from many 3rd party suppliers, and from what I can tell, most if not all suppliers sell exactly the same inks, this ink is called FotoRite photo dye black ink from CityInk Express..
The next ink from OctoInkjet looks a mirror of the FotoRite dye ink, I only tested these two inks because that’s all I’ve used for the past 10 or 12 years, so I won’t lay any criticism towards these two inks, because I couldn’t have got any better ink anywhere else at that time..

FotoRite Black.jpg OctoInkjet Black.jpg
Clearly these dye inks ware incapable of stand up to my very harsh test, and I don’t reckon any other 3rd party dye ink could either, so don’t blaming the ink or the suppliers for their poor preformance, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to expose their prints to anything like this in their own everyday environment..

I moved on to the performance of the dye ink on Photo glossy paper.. This Photo Paper is not what most would call quality Photo Paper, again it’s the glossy paper I use for all my A4 colour prints, and I’m perfectly happy with it, it's Sihl Premium glossy paper from United Office.

There is not much between these two 3rd party inks on the glossy paper either, but this is what you should expect if you use 3rd party dye ink with average cheap quality photo paper, and you expose them to bright light for a long period of time.. But you can reprint the images again if they get to poorly, that’s what I do..
The Canon 53 bottled ink faired out quite a bit better..

Canon Photo  Black.jpgFotoRite photo  Black.jpgOctoInkjet Photo  Black.jpg

This next bit was not supposed to be in this test but I taught why not and added them in a week later, for this I used Image Specialists dye inks From OctoInkjet printed on my i9950 and the Canon 56 pigment inks on my Maxify.. Again printed on the Sihl Glossy Paper..

Now I reckon the dye inks stood up to the test extremely well, compared to the black dye ink, these inks are 12 years plus old and still going strong, but are mostly unavailable anymore..
Now the Canon bottled 56 pigment inks faired out lousy, in fact the colour vamoosed nearly as fast as the coloured dye inks did, at least the dye inks were still mostly present and held their colour and didn’t disappear.

Canon 56 Pigment Inks.jpgimage Specialists Dye inks.jpg


It would seem from these tests that the only way to be sure to get quality inks is to use OEM cartridge inks, because these Canon 56 pigment bottle inks are as poor as any 3rd party pigment ink.

On conclusion, will this change what inks I use or buy going forwards, not in the slightest, I’ll continue to buy 3rd party ink as long as they remain cheaper than OEM inks, and I will continue to support 3rd party ink suppliers because they allow me to print as much as I want, without incurring the huge cost of OEM..


With the rise of bulk CISS tank printers, the OEM bottle ink industry may seem Like a better alternative to 3rd party inks, but are they really, we don’t know how good all the bottled inks are to the real OEM cartridge inks, well the 56 pigment inks were certainly crap in my test..

P.S. It’s just a pity Image Specialists are no longer with us..
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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That's a very interesting and comprehensive test, and I only can agree with your conclusions

- all inks fade - some slower and some faster -

- pigment inks don't fade necessarily slower than dye inks - just because they are pigment inks

- if fading performance is of concern for a user only evidence by a test can show the real performance - but data of fading performance is scarce so it's easy for vendors to promise 'UV resistance' without proof and consequences

- I'm not commenting again that Canon or Epson don't tell their customers about significant performance differences of their bottled Mega/Ecotank printer inks - for a pretty similar price
 
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