how long live thermosublimation prints? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

how old thez can be ? in the shade and in the sun? i just bought an olzmpus p-400, the image quality is very nice.....but i couldnt find any information how resistant are the prints...

-- rainer (, March 17, 2002


WHO CARES!! Like all the digital stuff you can just whip off another when the first ones fade. That is IF the printer ink or pigment is still available and IF the computers are still compatable in the next three years. If you are worried about longevity then get into Platinum printing!!!

-- ED (, March 17, 2002.

nice advice ED,....but for me it makes an difference if some print technique is made for 6month as ink-prints or if i could use them 5 years or similar. isnt it a diference?

-- rainer (, March 17, 2002.

It depends some on the brand of printer and type of inks, but my dye- sub prints faded and color-shifted in less than 6 months when exposed to daylight (not direct sunlight but daylight filtered through curtains).

-- Katharine Thayer (, March 17, 2002.

very bad to listen this....cause the manufactures promise that the dye-sub prints live much longer than ink prints...similar to conventional prints. this is not right?

-- rainer (, March 17, 2002.

Again, it depends. I believe that some manufacturers use pigment-based inks which are claimed to last longer than the dye-based inks.

-- Katharine Thayer (, March 17, 2002.

boy oh boy...... dye sub prints is a CURSE!! I remember a few years back when Kodak came out with their top of the line B3 size 8500 series(or so they claim) dye sub printer, I was so impressed with its output quality. Looks like real photos! So spent $1000 printing my entire portfolio from these printer.

Guess what, after 3 days, B & W prints turn PINKISH and faded plus image sharpness turns blury.(ALL properly stored inside my portfolio case, zipped up, so no direct light, under room temperature) At 1st thought only B/w inks were unstable. Then printed some more coloured ones, this time quickly HARD laminated ALL prints, just to keep humidity out! Guess what...... SAME THING HAPPENED!...... Kodak's dyesub printers are just out to C.H.E.A.T people's $$$$

Wish I could sue the Mac shop(where the printer is located) and Kodak for it! They should rename the printer from XLS8500----> C.H.E.A.T $$$ 8500 model.

If I were you, stay away from tho

-- V Keen (, March 18, 2002.

I've been using the Kodak printers for about 7 years, starting with the ColorEase. The only difficulty I've run into, is when laminating the prints with third party laminating systems...the dyes will bleed. When using the native Xtralife - a fourth ribbon - there is no problem. Treated in that manner it's permanence is about the same as C prints - maybe a little less. This doesn't directly address the Olympus P-400, but as far as I know the dye-sub process is a sound technology for commercial applications, where archival permanence is not an issue.

-- Bruce Wehman (, March 19, 2002.

more and more i know nothing......nearly everybody is telling another thing. i would be very happy if this prints can be under "normal" circumstances stable a few years a.e. normal circumstances for me would be not under direct sunlicght, but also not in a dark map.....if i cannot trust that they will be stable i have to sell my printer again i think.

-- rainer (, March 19, 2002.

This is (one of the reasons) why I took up gum bichromate: proven color stability.

-- Katharine Thayer (, March 19, 2002.

I have some dye-sub prints from a Mitsubishi printer which I made in 1991. They have been kept wedged in the back of a book made of bound together photocopier paper (acidic) and don't show any fading or shifts. They include B+W images, so I would expect colour shifts to be obvious.

I have been using a Kodak 8600 series printer for seven to eight years, and prints kept in a binder or folder show no fading or shift that I can detect. Prints on display fade in a couple of years, and B+W prints made with the colour ribbons turn noticeably pink even faster. One set of new-ish prints hanging in a corridor where new linoleum was laid turned pink overnight.

We don't use the Xtralife ribbons enough to make a firm statement, but my impression is that they significantly improve the lifetime of the prints. The extra printing time is insignificant.

I use the printer for my work, making non-dithered glossy prints to send to journals for scanning. I can use the printer privately, essentially for free provided I don't abuse the system, but for prints I am going to display, or give to others to display I still pay for Fuji Pictrography output. The gamut is wider and small details are fuzzed out by less. Supposedly the prints last longer, but I've only been making them for a year or so, so no personal experience yet.

-- Struan Gray (, March 20, 2002.

well..very interesting your responses. so it seems that the prints are under normal conditions good to use for me. maybe i will use the printer more for 5x6" prints- to avoid that my clients put the prints on their walls......and for demonstration or color corrections or contact prints the size is enough. after ICC calibration i could use the printer for proofs, as i understand the thing...

actauly i cutted a print in the middle and i was putting one half on the top of my house here in andalucia/ spain. there are 12 hours sun each day and we start to have now very good and clear weather...the sun couldnt be more intensive as it is here, so let us see what will happen with the print. if it survives 4 or 5 days it would not be bad...cause the sun intensity is o heavy....( i believe one year in germany in a closed room is not more uv light than one day here in the sun........)

-- rainer (, March 20, 2002.

just have passed three days , but with sun from the morning till the night and 35degrees temperature, or more. in the night a lot of humidity.....till now no colorchange or other damage....

olympus wrote me an email: Dear Mr Viertlböck,

thank you very much for your mail dated 19.03.02. Prints made with an Olympus thermosublimation printer have a lifetime from about 15 - 20 years if you store them under normal room temperature and humidity. There is no great difference between a storage in sunlight or in a photo album. If you store the images under high temperature or humidity, the lifetime will shorten.

We hope this information could be of any help.

If you need further information from OLYMPUS Europe, please feel free to contact us.

Best regards

OLYMPUS Digital Imaging Support Group Olympus Optical Co. (Europa) GmbH

-- rainer (, March 22, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ