One of my favourite sites is Wilhelm Imaging Research. Henry Wilhelm has spent many years researching image permanence. Now he almost exclusively focuses on digital image permanence (photos printed on desktop and wide format printers). On his site you will find way too much information on different ways to measure image permanence, but there are several useful sections, especially extracts from popular magazines written so that people like us can understand it. Especially interesting is an extract from PC World which compared brand name inks with no name inks. After extensive testing using his methods, he found the cheap ink printed almost as well as the genuine ink, however the no name ink would have faded after 6 months whereas the Epson ink will last for around 92 years!

Also on the site are the results of tests on many printers, with amazing results. Prints done on the Epson R800 will last up to 400 years! Of course, and this is a point made over and over again on Henry’s site – you will only achieve long lived prints by using the genuine ink and the genuine paper made by the manufacturer of your printer. Think about it when you want to print photos that last.

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