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schafphoto
14-Mar-2016, 12:45
RE: New paper required for digital print cards.
The June 2015 update to the Heritage Documentation Programs Historic American Buildings Survey Photography Guidelines November 2011, updated June 2015 state:
"Digital contact prints can be made from TIFFs by scanning the film and printing it on 100 percent cotton, acid-free matte paper using pigment or carbon inks on an inkjet printer. The paper/printer/ink combination used for the digital prints must have a permanency rating of 150 years or greater by an independent rating organization.”

This is a substantial change from the previously recommended Epson 5-Star Matte paper to something much more stable and more than three times as expensive. The guidelines do not specify thickness or that optical brighteners should be avoided, but since they degrade and yellow over hundreds of years, my preference would be to use a “Natural” paper not one labeled “Bright White” that is equivalent to the heavy stock (10+ mil) used on traditional mount cards or the last recommended paper (Epson 5-star was 51 lb - 10.3 mil).

From my research I have found 8.5x11 Arista 100% cotton paper on the Freestyle site:
Arista-II Fine Art Natural Cotton Inkjet Paper
330 gsm , 10-15 mil, 8.5x11/20 sheets - Matte...
100% cotton, acid free.
at $18.00 for 20 sheets

or Epson Hot Press Natural Inkjet Paper 8.5x11/25 Sheets
100% cotton, 17 mil, smooth matte, 25 sheets for $23.00

These papers are available at about a dollar a sheet with tax and the occasional missfeed. Does anyone have any other suggestions for a budget-priced, 100% cotton paper, (without optical brighteners which will go yellow eventually) That will meet the new HABS / HAER / HALS standards?

Thanks

Willie
14-Mar-2016, 15:52
Don't they know there is no such thing as a "digital contact print" without making a digital negative first?

pchaplo
4-Jan-2018, 16:06
Stephen,

Thanks for this post. I didn't realize that the specification for the digital print had changed. How do you find the Epson Hot-Press vs the Arista-II Fine Art cotton? Did you find any other options?

Paul

schafphoto
5-Jan-2018, 01:14
Hi Paul,

When I pressed the issue with HDP, they admitted that Jarob's using the Epson 5-star bright white matte. When I pointed out that 5-star doesn't meet their own requirements, they said they would look into it. My understanding is that the UV brighteners in the prints will fade if exposed to UV light, so the prints will eventually dull and perhaps even yellow. But the pigment inks will hold and the paper base of the 5-star enhanced matte will last for a least a century. These prints are not on display they may last 200. On another note, don't bother to punch holes in the prints, they are no longer going in 3-ring binders in the Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress.
I'm getting 250 sheet boxes of the paper at Adorama. Sometimes you can get a 50 sheet box on sale at $11.00 but they are usually $17.00 I have tried the thicker papers in new Epson Surecolor P600 and the feeding didn't go well, so they will be getting 5-star until I hear from them.

-Schaf

ericantonio
5-Jan-2018, 11:43
Sorry to hijack this thread, I was going to ask what type of printer you use for this and I see it now, Epson Sureshot p600.

I want to learn about digital printing. Can you tell me what type of inks you use for that? Would love to be able to print 5x7's and 8x10's to give a presents this year.

schafphoto
5-Jan-2018, 17:28
Epson Surecolor p600.

I want to learn about digital printing. Can you tell me what type of inks you use for that? Would love to be able to print 5x7's and 8x10's to give a presents this year.

All the Epson pigment printers take specific Epson cartridges with no reliable choice or options. If you are looking for a printer and want archival, get a printer with pigment inks. If you want super saturated and 25 years is long enough then you have cheaper options like dye-based ink printers.

Canon and Epson would be my choice

-Schaf

Joshua Dunn
9-Jan-2018, 07:34
Schaf,

These papers are available at about a dollar a sheet with tax and the occasional missfeed.

For a high quality archival 8.5 x 11 paper, a dollar a sheet is not unreasonable. Missfeeds are almost never a result of the paper and almost always caused by how the printer is set up/functions. I think that you should focus less on cost (most papers worth printing on will be within 15 cents/sheet of each other) and more on which papers suit your vision. If you really are concerned with cost, lower your cost of printing by having a custom profiles made for any of your papers you are using. This will allow you to obtain much better print quality with fewer attempts (i.e. test prints) to get the result you want. In the long run that will save you a ton of money on paper and ink, it will pay for itself.

My understanding is that the UV brighteners in the prints will fade if exposed to UV light...

The optical brighteners you are referring to are not archival. They do fade over time although I don't think that means they actually yellow, just that they will degrade over time. This means they will lose there effectiveness as a brighter and makes them not meet the HABS / HAER / HALS standards. I personally don't print with any paper that has optical brighteners.

You mentioned Freestyle in your post and I see you are in Ventura, very close to LA. Do yourself a favor and check the next time Freestyle is giving a World of Inkjet Paper Seminar by Eric Joseph. If they are not holding one in LA anytime soon (they are held on the road most of the time) contact Eric Joseph directly. Tell him you would like to swing by Freestyle and pick his brain about papers. Bring a couple of digital files on a thumb drive and he will probably even print a few samples for you of your own photographs on different papers. Eric is an unbelievable resource for inkjet printing. The fact that he is so close to you is a huge benefit that you should take advantage of.

If you do see him tell him I sent you, I have done a ton of business with Eric and Freestyle.

-Joshua

jnanian
9-Jan-2018, 12:48
i still find it remarkable that HABS/HAER/HALS is accepting ink jet prints.
my regional SHPO offices mainly want files burned to disk and ink jet prints
which makes absolutely no sense to me. having had conversations years ago
with jack boucher he had somethings to say about all of this. ...

schafphoto
9-Jan-2018, 18:17
My understanding is that the UV brighteners in the prints will fade if exposed to UV light...

The optical brighteners you are referring to are not archival. They do fade over time although I don't think that means they actually yellow, just that they will degrade over time. This means they will lose there effectiveness as a brighter and makes them not meet the HABS / HAER / HALS standards. I personally don't print with any paper that has optical brighteners.
-Joshua[/QUOTE]

Hi Joshua,

Most of my knowledge about ink jet papers is from questions asked of Eric on numerous phone calls and visits to Freestyle. If the papers dull over time it does not mean they will meet HABS/HAER/HALS standards, they might just have a base white like the cotton papers. The standards are not being enforced at the moment. HABS/HAER/HALS themselves are using Epson 5-star matte, so I’ve decided to let HABS/HAER/HALS specify a new paper that will suit their government budget and archival standards. I’ve been working with HABS/HAER/HALS on updates and changes since November, nothing new since 2015. (except that you don’t need to punch holes in the prints any more).

My mis-feeds are one in 50 sheets when using the top multi-sheet feeder. Usually a roller transport glitch, often the paper was fed through blank and can be put back in the feeder. Mis-feeding is not as big a problem as my own user error. I have bought two Epson Surecolor p600s. They have both failed (error 0x53) after about 600 prints the plastic drive gear on the feed breaks and the printer is rendered useless. Both printers have been replaced by Epson under warranty. I now load fewer pages (about 10) into the multi-sheet feeder on top, whereas i used to put more in the feeder, this may not fix the cheap-plastic-feed-gear problem but I hope to get more than a year out of these two replacements. Jarob at HDP bought a Surecolor P800 and said he was happy with that (i didn’t have the room).

The problem with the thicker papers in the P600 is that my printer head hits the sides of the thicker cotton sheets when using the multi-sheet feeder because the paper is not bending as sharply upon intake. This can be solved by using the rear single-sheet feeder but on a typical project where I am printing 100 to 300 sheets you can imagine how labor intensive sitting by the printer would be.

As for calibration, now that my monitor is calibrated, my prints look good straight out of Lightroom on the Surecolor p600. By far the biggest errors are “ID10T” errors caused by me forgetting to do something simple. ;-)

At the moment HABS/HAER/HALS seems less worried about the prints and still is looking at the negatives as the 500-year archival artifact. Their latest guidance was that the prints are proofs of the negatives, and there is not the expectation that the prints will have a life Expectancy of 500 years (LE500), that’s how they justified the ink-jet print change. The Library of Congress does high resolution scans from the delivered negatives for dissemination to the public through the LoC website. While the delivered prints can be viewed at the LoC Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Madison Building, I believe they are kept in boxes or folders away from the light. In this way the UV brighteners will have a longer time to decay before they loose their “glow.” (Print half-life?)

Jack Boucher would be happy that we are still using silver film in 2018 with all its archival qualities, however the new born-digital capture standards are being developed now, and I can imagine that Jack wouldn't approve. I wish I had met him.

-Schaf

jnanian
9-Jan-2018, 19:22
At the moment HABS/HAER/HALS seems less worried about the prints and still is looking at the negatives as the 500-year archival artifact. Their latest guidance was that the prints are proofs of the negatives, and there is not the expectation that the prints will have a life Expectancy of 500 years (LE500), that’s how they justified the ink-jet print change. The Library of Congress does high resolution scans from the delivered negatives for dissemination to the public through the LoC website. While the delivered prints can be viewed at the LoC Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Madison Building, I believe they are kept in boxes or folders away from the light. In this way the UV brighteners will have a longer time to decay before they loose their “glow.” (Print half-life?)

Jack Boucher would be happy that we are still using silver film in 2018 with all its archival qualities, however the new born-digital capture standards are being developed now, and I can imagine that Jack wouldn't approve. I wish I had met him.

-Schaf

i only met him by phone schaf
he was really intense and knew me by name and project/s i had submitted. we had a long talk about "stuff"
(this is about 10 years ago) he was pretty sceptical ( understatement ) about the whole digital-thing. what is really strange
is that even though the ink/pigment images are a proof to view &c that they require such high standards for them, knowing they
aren't going to last very long. xerox images have an archival life higher than pigment based prints. to me at least, and i am a digital amateur :)
it would make more sense to have high quality xerox images than ink jet ones. ... ive seen xerox prints that rival any masterfully printed black and white silver print ...
i wish i could remember his name / website / article about him but there is someone with an 11x14 xeroxographic camera who makes mind blowing xerox prints.
( sorry for the mild detour !! )

schafphoto
9-Jan-2018, 19:47
( sorry for the mild detour !! )

I live for detours...

Joshua Dunn
10-Jan-2018, 07:28
Schaf,

The problem with the thicker papers in the P600 is that my printer head hits the sides of the thicker cotton sheets when using the multi-sheet feeder because the paper is not bending as sharply upon intake

I print on Canon printers and can adjust the height of the print head based on what type of paper I am using. Once I raised the print head height I no longer had any issues with head strikes on higher gsm papers (fingers crossed). You can also use a device like this one (https://www.freestylephoto.biz/115024-DandK-Expression-De-Roller-24-in.-Wide-1.5-in.-Diameter) to change the curve of the paper. Using this roller will allow you to put enough of a curve to the paper that when it is flattened in the printer the edge of the paper is ever so slightly lower in relation to the print head so the head won't strike the edge.

When I was speaking of profiles I was referring to custom printer profiles, meaning a custom printer/paper profile. You should of course have you monitor calibrated (I do as well) but both the number of colors and breadth of your grey scale will be greatly improved with the right printer/paper profile. I have found manufacturer profiles have been inferior when compared to a well done custom profile. You are probably aware that the goal of all these profiles is to get both your monitor and printer as close to the International Color Consortium (ICC) standard as possible. When both the monitor and paper are profiled correctly the results are can be amazing. Not to mention saving a lot of time and money on ink and paper.

-Joshua

www.joshuadunnphotography.com