What Is The Best Ink For Printing High Quality Photos?

Finish photos with the best quality ink and paper to get an everlasting image.

HP Photo Cartridge

There are an endless number of different point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras available in this day and age that allow the average person to take personal photographs that look just as good as the pros. Through different camera settings, lenses and editing software, we are able to capture a flawless image that faithfully reproduces some of the most important moments in our lives.

However, for as much time as people spend editing and altering their photographs in order to capture the best possible image, they rarely spend as much time or effort thinking about how they are going to finish off their photo and archive it. While your only option used to be dropping off your film at a lab and waiting for it to be developed, people are now able to get professional prints right at home from a number of high-quality photo printers.

While a great photo printer can print an unlimited amount of photos right from the comfort of your own home, truly great home printed photos are created when these printers are combined with high-value printer ink and paper in order to produce an everlasting photograph with the best possible quality.

Good Photos Depend On A Good Ink Cartridge

Photos are one thing that you want to make sure hold up over time and will always look great when you go back to them year after year. However, if you do not buy high-quality ink to print your photos, they can easily fade due to heat, light, humidity and air-born contaminants. Therefore, when selecting printer ink, you want to make sure that it will stand the test of time.

There are two popular types of printer ink to choose from when printing photos at home:

  • Dye-Based Ink: This type of ink is made of different colorations that are dissolved in a liquid. Depending on the manufacturer, dye-based ink can be primarily made of water (such as with Canon Ink) or with glycol (such as with Epson Ink). The advantages of this ink is that, since it is made of liquid, the ink flows easily onto paper and dries very quickly. However, the downsides to dye-based ink is that they are not usually waterproof and can fade faster than other types of ink. (A photo printed on quality paper with dye-based ink typically lasts from 5 to 25 years.)
  • Pigment-Based Ink:  Pigment inks were first introduced in 2000 and have revolutionized the digital photo printing industry. These popular inks have an insoluble powder pigment that is suspended, not dissolved, in liquid. This makes the ink more stable and able to resist fading much longer than other inks. (Properly stored pigment-based prints on high quality paper can last 150 years or more!) The only downside is that dye-based inks are more viscous and may be incompatible with some papers that do not absorb ink easily.

Printer Photo Paper Is Just As Important

While high-quality photo ink can make all the difference when it comes to printing photographs at home, it is also important that you are choosing printer photo paper that is just as high quality. This will help make the photos that you print look much more realistic, and it will also give photos better contrast and realistic details that you simply can’t get with multipurpose paper.

Greg Gladman
Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers.

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