Dye Inkjet vs. Pigment Inkjet

I was on the Dye Transfer Forum for a couple of weeks before they banned me from posting. I made the mistake of discussing archival tests of dye transfer prints and egomaniac Ctein went into a rampage. Well, at the DT Forum you must take the abuse for if you dare to answer back you get the boot.

But I’m not going to bend you ear about all this. After 51 years of censorship it is just another day at the office for me.

When it comes to the dye versus pigment debate, pigment has always won when it comes to archival stability and light fastness. And is especially true with Eastman Kodak dye transfer prints which are very susceptible to fading in light.

In decades of archival testing experience I’ve never found liquid dye to compare to pigment when it comes to light fastness. The early liquid dye inkjet prints were terrible. Sadly, all my early liquid dye inkjet test prints got lost in a move between storage units.

They have improved the liquid dye based inkjet printers over the years. Below is a recent 2 month sun test of a liquid dye inkjet print made in 2020 with a Canon Pixma MG2522 inkjet printer.

Selections are from Dye Stability Testing of Color Imaging Media Edition II by Daniel D.Teoli Jr.

Canon Pixma MG2522 liquid color dye inkjet print.

‘S’ exposed to sun for 2 months ~ ‘D’ was in dark storage.

Here is an Epson pigment inkjet print made with an R2000 printer exposed to sun for 1 year. No discernable fading with pigment ink as well as no change in Epson gloss optimizer. (The gloss optimizer extends to the crop marks.) Dark storage showed no change in gloss optimizer after a decade of dark storage.


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