Questions about refilling Pro-100 carts: fading over time?

GrantCee

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Having become a fan of refilling the carts on my ix6520, and soon will be refilling those on my recently acquired ip4300, I'm now turning a jaundiced eye to how much I'm spending to feed my Pro-100.

I like the Chromalife 100+ ink/Canon paper combination for their ability to stand up under display conditions. I print primarily to display in my home, and the most important thing to me is colorfastness over time. The cost, however, is starting to bother me particularly when I see how cheap it is to refill the other printers! I'm therefore considering a switch to third-party inks.

I've been in touch with Mike at Precision Colors, who was most helpful and superbly honest about the longevity of his inks (and probably all third-party inks) for the Pro-100 compared to the Chromalife inks. However, he was unable to advise me specifically simply because he wasn't familiar with the display conditions I have.

There are three distinct display areas in my home:

1) The living room; pictures are on a large wall facing a bank of windows with a southern exposure. We get no direct sun through those windows; there is a sun porch which shields the room from direct rays, but it does get quite bright in there whenever the sun is shining. Also in that room is our woodstove, which is our sole source of heat during the heating season. During the winter months the woodstove keeps it in the mid-70-degree range (Fahrenheit), so it's usually warm. We have a mix of high-CRI fluorescent overhead and LED or CF table/floor lights.

2) My office, which has one east-facing window and rarely gets direct sun except for 15 or 20 minutes at sunrise on a clear day (which, in Oregon, only occurs in the summer.) It's illuminated about 12 hours out of the day by a high-CRI fluorescent overhead fixture. Temperatures in this room tend to be cooler in general than the living room, simply because it's further from the woodstove.

3) Bedroom/hallway area: generally dark; if the overhead lights are on it's only for a few minutes out of the day. The hallway has no windows; the bedroom has a north- and east-facing windows, and the east one might get as much as an hour of direct sunlight during the sunrise.

I prefer to display all prints without cover glass to reduce glare. (I would consider changing that method if the consensus was that it would greatly increase print life.)

Situation #3 is pretty easy; almost any print with any ink would probably last years in those rooms. I'd like everyone's feedback on #1 and #2, however; if I were to switch to a third-party ink like Precision, how long could I expect a print on display in each situation to last without noticeable fading?

(I had considered the possibility of going to a 9500, but frankly I've had my fill of pigment printer clogs. I've found the dye printers can often go months without issue, and I rather like the fiddle-free nature of that!)

If it's a matter of reprinting every few years I think it's a no-brainer to switch. If, however, we're talking mere months it would be more attractive to stay with Canon inks and wince every time I make a purchase!
 

Ink stained Fingers

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You are addressing quite some difficult questions, about everybody considering or doing refill gets into the situation to recognize that refill inks don't offer the same light stability as OEM inks which is valid for Canon and Epson users alike. If you are really looking for prints with a very high fading stability there is about no way around pigment inks like those with the Pro-10 or the new Pro-1000 if you want to stay with Canon. There are various factors difficult to assess even from your detailed description of the image locations - the amount of ozone in the air and the UV contents in the light which can vary in an extreme range - even fluorescent lamps are by far not alike , halogen lamps may come with a UV shield or not etc. Glass would help somewhat but not as much as you may expect, and other methods like sprays and varnishes or lamination don't do miracles either. It should not be too difficult to print something on a pigment ink printer on a regular basis, and not to forget such a printer altogether. You would use much less ink for a few prints every week than going through extensive cleaning cycles after month. And I would not let a dye printer idle for months either.
 

mikling

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https://www.usa.canon.com/sites/Chromalife100Plus/album.html
https://www.usa.canon.com/sites/Chromalife100Plus/light.html
https://www.usa.canon.com/sites/Chromalife100Plus/gas.html

Note: Read the highlighted block in the right corner
https://www.usa.canon.com/sites/Chromalife100Plus/improved.html

Now where is the connection to that Chromalife 100 to 100 years so many think the 100 is about. The testing is done in an average room...whose average? I hope it is not like the average inflation/CPI numbers I hear from the government and central banks because we know where those numbers belong. I remember as a young lad, I put GT stripes on my econobox of an auto. Sure made it faster!

A few members have tested the Pro-100 OEM ink and have found it is not close to pigment at all. If you purchase a Pro-100 and use OEM ink to get permanence, you will not and it will come nowhere close to pigment ink.

Which is more economical? Purchase a Pro-100 and use OEM ink or purchase a Pro-10 and refill. Within the first two or three refills of the Pro-10, the total outlay for similar prints will be the same. Thereafter, the Pro-10 runs away with the lower cost versus using OEM dye ink on the Pro-100. For many that point will be reached within a year! So really which is less expensive?

Want to use dye inks and want a better shot at longevity? Hunt the world for swellable photo papers. These have been discontinued for a number of years because the world did not understand. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/231277-REG/Ilford_1980219_Galerie_Classic_Pearl_Paper.html
If you read the reviews, you see clearly people are using this paper incorrectly. I still have some of this beautiful paper in my stash. Wish I could get more.

I really don't know if this paper is really still for sale.

http://www.tricera.ca/ilford-galerie-classic-gloss/dp/2016
http://www.kenmorecamera.com/p-635-ilford-galerie-classic-pearl-11x17-25.aspx

Another of the last swellable holdouts was the HP Premium Plus....the OLD VERSION. Not the new one that is different...not swellable. Many years ago I picked up a big stash for a song....they were returns to Staples and out they went. I know why they were returned. They took too long to dry. Again the customer did not understand why this paper existed and why it took long to dry...they returned them.

The very last holdout for these type of papers was Fuji apparently. I never got my hands on any of the swellable Fuji type.

Typically swellable papers are very linear papers and can bring out the best of what a printer can do when profiled.

Remember there is a reason why Canon makes a Pro-10 (pigment) and Pro-100 (dye) and use the same tooling for many many of the parts. Canon knows why they must still offer a Pro-10.

About the 9500 clogging from no use? Hardly likely unless it is broken. If you can get a 9500 now at a reasonable cost. There is NO reason not to.
 
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GrantCee

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Thanks for the replies, but so far all I see are the theoretical answers I had before. What I'm hoping for is someone who refills a Pro-100 (or even a 9000 mkII) to chime in and let me know what their actual field experience has been: how are prints on walls holding up in the real world? Would my experience likely be the same or different?
 

Roy Sletcher

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Thanks for the replies, but so far all I see are the theoretical answers I had before. What I'm hoping for is someone who refills a Pro-100 (or even a 9000 mkII) to chime in and let me know what their actual field experience has been: how are prints on walls holding up in the real world? Would my experience likely be the same or different?


Short answer! It varies depending on conditions and circumstances. :(

Speaking for myself I have prints on my walls printed on my Pro100 using precision colour inks on predominantly Red River papers, that have lasted for several years (let's say at least a couple) without noticeable degradation. Two windows, relatively bright room with no direct sun. Some under glass, some not. And of course, in summary, the above paragraph proves or guarantees nothing. You have to try for yourself, a little faith is needed.

Best to try for yourself. How long do you expect prints to last? Part of the enjoyment for me is to swap the prints with later pictures that I like months or years down the road. Given the low cost of refilling compared to OEM I can afford to indulge myself.

Some people have reported prints fading within months or even weeks, but that seems to be the exception.

You seem to have the ideal environment to do some comparative testing. Why not try. For less than 100 bucks you can print the equivalent of at least 5 complete changes of OEM carts. Even if you print 3 of every image to replace any "Faders" you are still ahead on the economics.

I am rambling as usual, but just my view. Other may chime in with their experience.

rs
 

turbguy

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Don't worry about fading...there are WAY too many variables. Print away and report your results if you like.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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the subject of print fading is not just a subject for Canon users but as much for Epson users with much of testing and experience http://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/which-pigment-ink-for-epson-1500w.9323/page-12#post-89882 . The choices for Canon users are somewhat less , and the options mentioned above are worth a try. swellable papers are a real niche product - o.k. - you need to take the prints out of the output bin one by one and let them dry individually - those papers are not 'instant dry'. You either go the safe route with pigment inks or start experimenting with this ink and that paper, print the same motive with different inks, watch them over time and sort out the inferior options . Any fade performance number or index by a manufacturer refers to a particular test procedure, and it is quite impossible to translate that into real life situations at your place. You just could compare inks and papers by those indices as long as they are tested under the the same conditions, but not more. E.g. - a number of 30 Megaluxhours won't mean anything to you, and you wouldn't know whether that's good or not.
 
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The Hat

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@GrantCee, The first thing to say is, all dye ink prints will fade some faster than others, whether they are in a room that has plenty of light or not, florescent and other lights all bounce UV light all over the place unless the lights are covered by a diffuser, so I reckon that just about covers all of the conditions you have mentioned in situation #1, #2, and #3.

The beauty of having photos mounted in every room is you can see them each time you pass, and the important thing is, you wont notice your prints fading because it happens so gradual and it can take years before your attention is actually drawn to this fact.

The only long term option to this solution is to use pigment inks, then you can live happy ever after, both OEM and 3rd party dye inks will fade and so will pigment inks eventually, but so slowly that you won’t ever notice.

The joy of using 3rd party dye ink is purely their cost and you can have the pleasure of reprinting each photo again over the years as they fade, it’s not a chore, its more like a trip down memory lane, and the opportunity to relive that moment in time once more when that precious photo was taken.

Here is a test print I did back in 2011 using three different printers, this print has been in my hallway for 5 years, how much has it faded ?, all the inks were 3rd party I.S. inks…

Untitled-1.jpg click to enlarge.
 

stratman

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One can lengthen the life of a print with proper framing materials and methods and using museum quality glass. The additional costs may be reason instead to reprint the image on an as needed basis.
 
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