How archival are color prints (RA-4), is there anything to extend life?? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

How long will a color photograph(RA-4) last under normal circumstances, such as 11x14's or larger? and also, is there anything to lengthen the life of a color print(RA-4, like a selenium toner for black and white prints.

All the info would help thank you

-- Nate Wiliam (, October 08, 2001


Nate, I do not know of any chemistry that will extend the life of RA4 prints. However, the papers you choose can make a difference. Fuji Crystall Archive papers are considered the best on the market for longevity. They have been rated from 75-100 years and will out last Cibrichrome when displayed. They will not beat Cibrichrome in dark storage.

Hope this helps.

-- Stephen Willard (, October 08, 2001.

nate,the life of a ra4 print is dependent on several factors including the original paper used. fuji crystal archive is the current paper of choice though it is not always the best for color,depends on the image and film it was made on. in addition how you store or display the print plays an important aspect in the overall longevity. color images should be stored with ub-buffered interleaving paper and mounted or matted w/un-buffered board. failure to do this will hasten a color shift on any ra4 or earlier ep2

-- robert lyons (, October 08, 2001.

no color printing process is considered to be archival by NARA. the color materials that i currently prepare for HABS/HAER are LF CTs, scanned to generate ~60mb files, and digitally printed at 8x10 on fuji crystal archive paper. information on the predicted life of various papers and processes can be found here:

-- jnorman (, October 08, 2001.

sorry - the links from above are:, October 08, 2001.

sorry - the links from above are: lists/cdl/1997/1185.html
http://www.nara.go v/arch/techinfo/index.html

-- jnorman (, October 08, 2001.

Hey, thanks for the link to the Consditslist post about the 2240 processor....I'm on that list but have missed that one....we use an Ilford processor as well, and have done some in-house pollution/uv fading/toning experiments that was interesting...there's another page you all might find interesting. This group deals with indoor air pollution in museums. There are some interesting topics on this site, including visual examples of peroxide attacks on RC prints (which I'm familiar with as well), and a good pdf file examining accelerated aging methods used in inkjet print evaluations...

But, as to the question of RA4 papers and a, that wouldn't work out because c-prints are dye-based, and selenium & sulfide toners work by converting the silver in the paper to another compound...thereby making it more hardy to pollutants & silvering out.The current crop of Fuji SFA3 papers is said to be very good in the long run (by accelerated testing), but Cibachrome Classic papers (the type on a polyester base), have excellent dark storage lifespans, but last just so-so under, no color material is really seriously longlasting. The general rec. is to never display original color prints. keep them in safe storage (cool, dry & dark), and use copies for display...or rotate them out after short periods of time, and monitor lighting...for sheer numbers, Wilhelm's book (although it's getting dated now),"The Permanence & Care of Color Photographs" can give you tons of info on lifespans, storage & display.

here's the IAM group:

-- DK Thompson (, October 11, 2001.

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