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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?...THIS IS PROBABLY A RIDICULOUS QUESTION, BUT HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED, OR THOUGHT ABOUT PUTTING A DIGITAL PRINT INTO FIXER. ...
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Old 29-10-2007, 20:24   #1 (permalink)

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THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
 
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Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

THIS IS PROBABLY A RIDICULOUS QUESTION, BUT HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED, OR
THOUGHT ABOUT PUTTING A DIGITAL PRINT INTO FIXER.

AS THE LIFE SPAN OF A DIGITAL PRINT IS UNKNOWN AT THE MOMENT.
WOULD PUTTING IT IN FIXER INCREASE IT WITH OUT FADING SO QUICK.

I AM NOT SURE WHAT FIXER WOULD DO TO THE INKS, BUT I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE
WORTH A TRY.
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Old 29-10-2007, 20:29   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

Be surprised if it did anything other than make the colours run as it's totally different technology/chemistry

Modern archival inks have a rated life up to 100 years and of course all our Pixalo pics will be on the internet forever!
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Old 29-10-2007, 20:36   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

Don't try this at home!

Traditional wet processing is based on chemical reactions in the emulsion of the photo paper, and the fixer is essentially to ensure that all of the developer has been neutralised to prevent any further development and kill any more sensitivity to light.

Digital prints are ink or pigment based, so the fixer would not have any reaction with the dyes/pigments other than to (I suspect) b****r them up.

With the correct media, there are claims that prints can last 100 years with pigment inks and 30 years with the modern dyes. I do wonder if these claims are based on prints left in a light proof drawer at a constant temperature and humidity.
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Old 29-10-2007, 20:43   #4 (permalink)

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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

MARKULOUS AND DABHAND, THANKS FOR THE EXPLANATION, I SAID IT WAS A
RIDICULOUS QUESTION, BUT WAS NOT SURE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN.

YOU DON'T KNOW UNLESS YOU ASK. BEING NEW TO THIS DIGITAL STUFF, I SOMETIMES
HAVE TO ASK STUPID QUESTIONS.

THANKS.
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Old 29-10-2007, 20:45   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

No such thing as a stupid question
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Old 29-10-2007, 21:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

Dabhand has given a clear explanation but I you are clearly concerned about the lifespan of a digital print. You can use inkjet printers with archival inks. This is often the case if you use the manufacturers inks and paper but you may lose this if you use cheap substitutes. There are companies such as Lyson who specialise in producing high quality archival inks. Another alternative is to use a commercial printing service with Fujii pictrography printers which produce a print which is similar to a conventional photo-chemical print.

If you plan to sell pictures you certainly need to ensure that they will last a reasonable time. My old Epson 1270 when used with Epson ink and premium paper has archival properties but probably only 10 years or so. In order to test this I have hung several of my pictures on an internal wall in a very sunny spot. So far there does not seem to be any noticeable change after 3 years.

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Old 30-10-2007, 13:36   #7 (permalink)

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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

Thanks Dave, I Have Just Bought A Canon Pro 9000 Printer, Which I Am Using
With The Inks That Came With It, At The Moment.

I Am Not Sure Which Way To Go When These Run Out, As I Know A Set Of Canon
Inks Are Expensive , I Have Looked Into Other Makes That Are Compatible With
This Printer, But They Say You Have To Remove The Chip From The Original
Cartridge And Put It On The New One. I Am Not Sure About This, Will It Damage The Chip. I Am Also Using Canon Paper At The Moment, Again Not The Cheapest, But Again It's Trial And Error.
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Old 30-10-2007, 16:38   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
No such thing as a stupid question
Rubbish Graham, I ask them all the time But don't worry, I know what you mean

With regards this thread's question, I think I have something worth adding, if not, sorry

Whilst sodium-thiosulphate solution (aka 'Hypo' aka Fixer) would wreck a digital print from an ink jet printer, in addition to using inks with long resistance to fading, you can also buy an anti-fade spray for inkjet prints that works very well.

This spray has anti-UV effect and so keeps the colours bright and strong for a lot longer.

Here is a link to a company I use that sells it: Inkjet Fixative Spray - SVP

It comes in three different finishes, gloss, matt or satin. I use Satin but I believe the others are equally effective. It basically makes the ink waterproof, smudge proof and light resistant. Some people don't understand why waterproof is important or helpful. The reason is this: air humidity is a common cause of fading. Why? Because air mositure is absorbed by the paper fibres and then dries and as the moisture 'evaporates' from the paper it takes tiny levels of the ink jet chemical with it, hence fading over time.

Anyway, hope that is of some use to someone. I sell posters made on my own printer and use this spray as a matter of course. I have done a side-by-side test putting two posters on the wall where they get strong sunlight. Over a period of a few months the difference was noticeable. BTW, no matter how good your inks, if on display in strong sunlight most of the day, ANY print will fade quite quickly, be it inkjet or chemically printed!

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 30-10-2007, 17:15   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

Thanks for that Rob - I'll have to look into that.
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Old 30-10-2007, 18:03   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Using Fixer For Digital Prints ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
Don't try this at home!

Traditional wet processing is based on chemical reactions in the emulsion of the photo paper, and the fixer is essentially to ensure that all of the developer has been neutralised to prevent any further development and kill any more sensitivity to light.

Digital prints are ink or pigment based, so the fixer would not have any reaction with the dyes/pigments other than to (I suspect) b****r them up.

With the correct media, there are claims that prints can last 100 years with pigment inks and 30 years with the modern dyes. I do wonder if these claims are based on prints left in a light proof drawer at a constant temperature and humidity.

Nice and clear
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