Public links to four samples of Crystal Archive Type II Luster paper have just been posted on the AaI&A Light fade Test Results list. The list can be accessed from the AaI&A accelerated aging tests page. An easy way to locate the samples in the list is to click on the text of the “Printer” title in the list’s header field so that the list is sorted by printer model, and then scroll down to “Fujifilm Frontier 390” on the list. Or use your browser’s “find” feature to highlight “Frontier” or “Crystal Archive”.
Fujicolor Crystal Archive Type II color photographic paper is arguably “best in class” with respect to the image permanence properties of traditional silver halide color photographs. There are indeed other excellent dye-based reflection color print materials besides Crystal Archive Type II paper. Ilfochrome (formerly called Cibachrome) and Kodak Dye Transfer prints come to mind. However, Crystal Archive paper represents the most common photographic color process technology that the vast majority of consumers have in abundance in their personal family photo albums and on display in their homes. For this reason, Crystal Archive type II paper serves as a very good benchmark for the light fastness performance and overall image stability of traditional color photos.
Silver halide color photography has been continuously improved over decades of very active and intense research at companies like Eastman Kodak and Fujifilm. We’ve reached the high water mark with silver halide color photo processes where any more significant advancements in image stability are not likely to take place. Therefore, Crystal Archive Type II paper is a very important material to have well represented in the AaI&A digital print research database. It can also serve as a useful comparison to other modern digital-only types of printing processes such as dye-sublimation and inkjet prints. Crystal Archive Type II paper is designed for both analog (optically enlarged) photographic printing using RA-4 process compatible chemistry as well as digitally mastered photographic printing (e.g, in the Fujifilm Frontier 390, Durst Lambda, and Cymbolic Sciences Lightjet printers). Crystal Archive paper technology thus spans the era of both optically enlarged photographic color prints as well as modern digitally mastered photographic color prints.
The four Crystal Archive type II samples in test have accumulated 10 megalux-hours of total exposure to date, and the test reports will continue to be updated at 10 Mlux-hr intervals to perhaps the 100 megalux-hr mark. The four print samples currently in test were printed on the same Fuji Frontier 390 processing machine at a local Walmart store over a nearly 4 month interval between June 16, 2008 and September 6, 2008. The very consistent test scores so far is a good indication of the tightly controlled manufacturing and processing conditions as well as the accelerated aging test conditions here at AaI&A.
Mark H. McCormick-Goodhart
Director, Aardenburg-Imaging & Archives