Inkjet Colors vs. Time

Back in December 2007 I printed four copies of a picture on various papers with the Canon S630 and hung them on a floor joist over my workbench, directly below a fluorescent shop light. Having just hung those screwdrivers where the pictures used to be, it’s time to see what’s happened.

The pictures, scanned on an HP C7670A (aka Scanjet 6300C) against the neutral gray of the ADF platen:

Inkjet Colors vs. Paper vs. Time
Inkjet Colors vs. Paper vs. Time

The papers, clockwise from lower left:

  • Glossy
  • Matte
  • Plain
  • Inkjet

While the scanner isn’t renown for its color fidelity, the overall results look about right; the platen really is that shade of gray and the upper-right picture has a sickly green hue.

The faded edges along the right side of the left-hand image show where the adjacent sheet overlapped: the colors didn’t fade nearly as much. The small rectangles on the lower left corners of the right-hand images show where I put clothes pins to keep the sheets from curling.

All of the images have a blue overtone; the magenta dye fades out with exposure to UV from the fluorescent fixture.

As you’d expect, the glossy paper looks best, with very crisp detail. The inkjet paper is next, followed by the matte, and the plain paper in the upper right obviously doesn’t support the ink well at all.

Of course, after five years I no longer have any of those papers and am using entirely different ink

To show that the scanner really does matter, here’s the same set of images from a Canon LiDE 30:

Inkjet Colors - Canon LiDE30
Inkjet Colors – Canon LiDE30

In both cases. that’s without any color correction / gamma compensation / whatever. I should fish out my scanner calibration targets and go through the whole color calibration dance again; with any luck, the Linux color management infrastructure will be less inadequate by now.

IIRC, we were doing public safety radio at an event at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds with the Mt Beacon Amateur Radio Club. This was before the Diamond antenna mounts disintegrated, too.

Memo to Self: If you love it, don’t expose it to UV.