RE: RC paper longevity

From: joachim oppenheimer ^lt;>
Date: 11/06/04-10:51:07 PM Z
Message-id: <>

I think we are in essential agreement: fiber based is superior and we are
arguing about degree of superiority. I can discount my own experiences and
judgment as I may be faulted for possible procedural inadequacies, but I
recall at least one confirmatory study on the subject in my files I could
ferret out with time-consuming effort. In regard to a sample of own
experience, I published a book in 1990 with 32 photos where I had used RC
paper, properly fixed and well washed and subsequently well stored. Six
months ago, in anticipation of a second edition I examined these photos and
they showed some of the expected deterioration after about 12 years in dark
storage. Similarly stored fiber based prints in the same environment (some
for years longer than the RC prints) have been fine. While this does not
qualify as a controlled study, I am satisfied that RC loses out over time.
Would I use RC again? Yes, for this purpose - but not for exhibition or on
my walls. Joachim

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Jack Fulton []
  Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2004 9:42 PM
  Subject: RC paper longevity

  Joachim's assessment of RC paper photographic prints is not quite correct.
however, fiber based paper is better for longer term and physical beauty.
  Properly exposed, processed and washed, the standard longevity is about 75
years. i write this after having received this past week the "Draft Photo
Policy" from the "National Register" and "National Historic Landmarks
Survey" as I do a little bit of photography in this context.
  In this draft report it states: "Any type of black-and-white photographic
print expected to last seventy-five years or longer before showing signs of
fading, discoloration, or other forms of deterioration will be accepted.
This standard approximates the minimum expected longevity of black-and-white
photographs printed on resin-coated (RC) paper, which the National Register
and National Historic Landmarks Survey have accepted since the early
  They further state that digital images meeting the seventy-five yar
standard will be accepted. In addition, they say no chromogenic image on
paper meets the standard though implying further technology may change that.
  Jack Fulton

  On Nov 6, 2004, at 4:58 PM, joachim oppenheimer wrote:

  Good luck. Variable contrast plasticized papers are an excellent learning
experience and the resultant prints may be useful for reproduction in
publication, but be warned that they are not suitable for long-term storage
or display. They deteriorate gradually and noticeably in a few brief years.
It is possible that there is something new in the field that I am not aware
of , but I doubt it. Use fiber based graded papers for best long-term
results. Joachim.
Received on Sat Nov 6 22:51:21 2004

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