Kodak's response to the Henry Wilhelm article
We agree that a common standard is needed, and Kodak is co-chairing an industry committee to seek out the most accurate testing parameters with the consumer in mind.
Kodak uses controlled, accelerated test conditions to simulate the long-term effects of light, heat, humidity, and ozone on image quality. Typical home conditions are 23 degrees Celsius, 50 percent relative humidity, 0.01 ppm ozone/12 hr/day, 120 lux/12 hr/day. These conditions are documented in our paper published in the Proceedings of the 13th IS&T Photofinishing Symposium, February 8-10, 2004.
All four factors -- light fade, ozone fade, thermal fade and humidity keep -- can affect the longevity of a print. Many competitors ignore the weakest link in their testing, such as factoring out ozone fade or humidity keep. As such, they aren't representing a true home environment.
Kodak's new Ultima Picture Paper with ColorLast technology is a significant advancement in picture longevity, with over 100-year degradation resistance when used with state-of-the-art inks. These state-of-the-art inks are widely available in current consumer photo-quality printers.
The typical home display paper, a white paper documenting our testing methodologies, and a listing of ink/printer combinations that provide over 100 years longevity when used with new Ultima Picture Paper are available from the "Science Behind ColorLast Technology" link at http://www.kodak.com/go/inkjet/
The Ultimate Kodak challenge
Kodak are sending some sample packs of paper to photo-i. Regular readers will know that I do not usally test third party media within any printer review. However, I will do a real world test on this media, i.e. I will print the same image using a; HP7960 & HP media, Canon i965 & Canon media, Epson R800 & Epson media. Each of the printers will also be used for printing on Kodak's paper. I will print three pictures on each printer (3 own brand & 3 Kodak Ultima), one print will be sealed in a dark box, the other will be placed in a sunny living room (I did say a real world test didn't I) and the last print will be pinned on a kitchen notice board - the kitchen is a good place for any test as the picture will be subjected to heat, vapour and anything else that may be floating about. Forget the labs, the kitchen is the ultimate test for anything!
I will publish the first results later in the year.
Simulated fade picture
Home Display conditions document (PDF)
Technology behind Kodak Ultima paper (PDF)
Print life chart for paper and inks (PDF)