We had an opportunity to talk recently with Marion Meissner, Leader of Print and Test Services at ILFORD Imaging in Switzerland. Marion was just back from speaking at Vision 11 in London. In its 13th year, Vision is a London based photo festival billed as the place “where art and technology meet.” Marion spoke there giving a presentation that included the topics “How to get a good image with inkjet printers” and “How to display and keep a good image.”
I learned a lot from Marion in our short conversation and reviewing the materials from her presentation. She spoke about the need for accurate input profiles for any device we use to capture or produce an image. And of course we all know that we need to have accurate profiles for both our monitors and printers in order to get beautiful images from an inkjet printer. Marion’s presentation also touched on the phenomenon of metamerism, color appearing differently under different types of light. And of course she spoke about current technologies in inkjet inks both dye and pigment.
Marion took time to talk with us on the phone from Switzerland. You can hear a short clip of our conversation here:
Most current inkjet printers used in the photographic industry are pigment based ink sets. While dye ink sets produce a slightly larger color gamut, pigment inks produce high quality results with greatly enhanced print permanence.
In this illustration it’s easy to see that dye inks absorb into the receiving layer on the paper base while pigment inks remain on the surface of the media. Pigment inks are more archival but the trade off is some loss in color gamut (colors that can be reproduced). Dye inks have advanced in their stability and permanence over time and pigment inks have improved as well closing the gap with gamut reproduction so that most professional quality inkjet printers for photographers are pigment based.
Getting a good print from either of these two technologies is highly dependent on the inkjet media that is used to make the print. ILFORD GALERIE media are designed with the most up to date paper coating technology. ILFORD GALERIE Smooth Pearl and Smooth Gloss inkjet papers are ideal for both dye and pigment inks. While bronzing is an issue using pigment inks on glossy surfaces, ILFORD Smooth Gloss is recommended for use with pigment inks greatly reducing the need for gloss optimizers that reduce differential gloss.
ILFORD GALERIE Smooth Pearl and Smooth Gloss inkjet media are “universal” media that equally support dye and pigment inks. This can be a real plus for students and others who routinely use both types of priners.
We plan to feature many more discussions with Marion and others from our research and manufacturing facility in Marly, Switzerland. This is just a start. We’re very interested in your questions and comments about inkjet media technology. Please be sure to leave a comment here if you have a suggestion for topics you would like to see us feature here.
If you’re already a user we want to hear from you! Leave us a comment and let us know what your favorite surface is from the ILFORD GALERIE line!