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-   -   Do digital prints last as long as traditional photo processi (

eded99 Jan 3, 2005 6:01 PM

I'm really scared that my digital pics wont last as long as my traditional camera pics is this true?

bern888 Jan 3, 2005 6:29 PM

I really havent done digitals long enough to say theres no worry. But I trust the latestprinting technology would be good enough to leave you with no worry past your time on earth at least. I have shot Weddings with my previous digital 4.0MP E-10, and Im having customers still inquiring about some reprints after 3 years. I have always acetated myWedding albums, so that might be a solution for longlife for any photographing, film or digital.

I have also copied digital prints on toCDs from computer filesand had themprocessed in the photo lab. That is definately a secure method for longlife.

S1Artiste Jan 3, 2005 6:42 PM

eded99 wrote:

I'm really scared that my digital pics wont last as long as my traditional camera pics is this true?
It can be true... depends on how the prints are made. You'd need to give more details.

...ben Jan 3, 2005 11:10 PM

I think that the life span of a digital photo is more dependent on these factors:

1. quality of paper printed on
2. printer technology used, may include ink technology
3. how you store the pictures

But the good thing about digital photo is that you can reprint one after a few years using better technology with your original file in it's original resolutions, whilenegatives may show signs of old age. But that is assumingyou kept the digital file properly.

ecm Jan 5, 2005 11:46 PM

I think you're right to be concerned.

I've read several reports on inkjet technology - no matter what's being said by the manufacturers, it just doesn't last as long as it should. I've personally had supposedly "100 year" pigment-based inks on good inkjet "photo" paper fade to almost nothing in a matter of 2 years when exposed to fluorescent lights. Regular prints were just fine on the same wall.

If you want your prints to last, get them done with a traditional "wet" process - look for something like a Fuji "Frontier" processor that can print your digital pics to regular photo paper like Fuji Crystal Archive. They won't last forever, but they'll last just as long as your film prints, at least. Valuable prints should be kept properly mounted on acid-free matting under glass (or at least treated with a proper UV protectant) to keep UV out, or kept in proper storage conditions.

Anyways, my two bits.

BillDrew Jan 6, 2005 9:10 AM

As noted above, how long the print lasts depends on how the print is made. However, the "negative" - your digital image file - will not degrade at all while the chemical negative will degrade.

JimC Jan 6, 2005 9:50 AM

Paper can make a huge difference.

I can remember printing the same image at 8x10 size for family members about 3 or 4 years back. I used2 different types of paper with the same inkjet printer.

One of the papers faded quickly (after only a few months). The other paper still looks fine today (even though one of the prints has been exposed to a lot of sunlight coming through windows).

BTW, Kodak makes an interesting paper now. Kodak claims photos will last for over 100 years in a typical home environment, even if you don't keep them under glass or in an album.

Kodak Ultima Picture Paper

digcamfan Jan 6, 2005 2:25 PM

Acid free paper in acid, free archive sleeves (available at any office supply store).

Keep them out of prolonged direct sunlight and they will outlast your children.


For really important photos, you can always burn to CD and place CD with the photo frame.

I have prints that are five years old in open, not direct sunlight x 5 years that have not faded at all.

They were printed from an HP 990 CSe.

Santos Jan 6, 2005 2:52 PM

Most people are not aware that digital files have a definite, and not unlimited,lifespan. There have been reports of CD Roms degrading over time and becoming unreadable.

Another problem is technology becoming obsolete. If any of you have documents created with Wang word processing software, try to get them read now...and that technology was in widespread use as recently as 10-15 years ago.

Have a look at...

Wilhelm Research is the acknowledged leader in the study of the archival properties of paper media... you can get much more info from themat ...

.... Santos

ecm Jan 6, 2005 5:22 PM

Ah! Thanks for the links - I couldn't remember the name. I've looked through a lot of the stuff at Wilhelm Research - it's a great resource for this question, I'd recommend a thorough read-through to the OP.


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