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How The Prints Fared

One really surprising result is not with the inks tested, but with one of the papers. Kodak's Ultima Photo Paper, when used with the Lexmark X5470, independent of the brand of ink, completely delaminated after a year. It actually started after about six months.


This peculiar little artwork is an example of printing on Kodak paper with any of the Lexmark-compatible inks in the survey.


By delamination, we mean that the top coating of the paper, holding the ink and providing its gloss finish, came away from the lower substrate, taking the image with it. The effect is quite strange, as a thin layer of ink on the top layer then began to degrade until after year, there's little remaining.

We don't know what caused this effect, though as it's specific to the Lexmark prints, we assume it's something in the formulation of inks designed for Lexmark printers - not just the manufacturer's own - which has reacted with the paper coating. The effect isn't seen on other papers used with the Lexmark printer, nor on prints from the other three machines made on the same Kodak paper.


Very little is left of this image, printed using StinkyInk ink on HP Premium Plus Glossy paper.


The other zeros in the chart are more ink-related than paper-related. The HP OfficeJet 6310, when using InkTecShop or StinkyInk inks, produced prints which have faded virtually to the point of image Invisibility. After a year, there is virtually nothing left to see.

Ilford, one of the leading photo paper makers, offers a compatibility chart, showing which of its papers are best suited to which makes and types of printer ink. The chart can be found as a PDF file on the Ilford website.

See also:

The Inkjet Investigation

The Inkjet Investigation Part 2

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