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Old Nov 18, 2006, 8:56 PM   #1
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These printing places such as Kinkos, Costco, and the online sites-does anyone know the "shelf life" of the prints? How soon before they fade and/or disintegrate? I'm sure they aren't archival. I hope someone has some idea! thanks.
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 10:14 PM   #2
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I don't know -- but maybe the businesses in question would if you asked them.

If they can't give you a good answer, ask them what paper/ink combo' they're using and maybe the paper manufacturer and/or ink manufacturer has data on the longevity of the combined products. Or, maybe Wilhelm Imaging Research -- http://www.wilhelm-research.com/ -- could help with predictions on those combinations.

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Old Dec 12, 2006, 11:16 PM   #3
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janeywaney wrote:
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These printing places such as Kinkos, Costco, and the online sites-does anyone know the "shelf life" of the prints? How soon before they fade and/or disintegrate? I'm sure they aren't archival. I hope someone has some idea! thanks.
There are several factors that will determine how long they last, not all of which are controlled by you, but many are.

First, a lot will depend on how good the staff at the Costco you used is, were the machines serviced right, were the chemicals added right and at intervals when they should have been.

Once you have the images, do you use the right materials to store them, are they going into books or on to walls in frames? If so, are those walls subject to sunlight or lots of artificial light? Will you always store them right, or will your albums wind up in the attic or somewhere else where they are subjected to high heat and humidity for some or any period of time?

My parents have many prints from the 60's and 70's, many of which have color shifted or started to fade. Their method of storage has been mainly to keep them in their original folders and in drawers in the house, so they've not been subjected to high levels of humidity or heat at all. They've just flat not lasted due to not using the right materials to hold the photos and probably in part due to printingtechnology that wasn't as good then as it is today. I should take my laptop and scanner home over the holidays, scan in the important ones and fix them in Photoshop before it's too late. Sounds like a good project.

No one can tell you definitively how long your prints will last. All you can do is make an effort to use the right materials and store them right in addition tokeeping your original files backed up on whatever thecurrent storage media isso they areavailable to print again, just in case you have to.


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