Buyer Beware: Picture paper

(National) Jan. 27, 2005 - Daniela Dicarlo loves looking at her grandmother's wedding pictures, "I think this is 1941, the day before they attacked Pearl Harbor."

Daniela is getting married herself in a few months, but her wedding photos will be digital. She wants to make sure they stand the test of time.

Consumer Reports just tested Kodak's new Ultima Picture Paper with Colorlast that claims the colors will stay true for 100 years. Tester David Heim says there is one consideration you have to take into account, "A key consideration in how much a photo will fade is the ink you use to print it. We tested the Kodak paper with six inks."

One photo from each of the six printers was stored in the dark. A second was placed in a light box for six weeks straight to simulate what happens to a photo over time.

When the tests were done, the exposed photos were compared to their counterparts.

The results were mixed. Four of the six samples faded. Some were only slightly faded, but with others, the fading was more noticeable.

On the upside, photos printed with HP and Epson inks on Kodak's Ultima Picture Paper with Colorlast did very well.

The exposed photos, when compared to those stored in the dark, showed no fading at all.

Consumer Reports says the new Kodak Ultima Paper with Colorlast performed as well as HP and Epson papers did with their own inks. And at 46 cents per sheet, it's comparably priced to other premium photo papers.

Reported by Judi Gatson
Posted 6:44pm by BrettWitt

Copyright © 2005 Consumers Union of U.S. , Inc. All Rights Reserved.