So way back when, I fell in love with photography (or being a photographer?) and built a darkroom and started using my dad’s SR-T303 (black body, lots of brass showing through, mystical “passed” sticker…) eventually, I discovered RC paper (Ilford’s 44M pearl finish became a favourite).
So long story short, Agfa, Kodak and Ilford all swore blind that RC paper was archival. Your paper and images would last forever with a dramatically reduced wash time (and of course no need for a dryer or glazer). I was 12 or 13 then (more or less) and I believed them.
Decades later, after many house moves and many loft excavations, ancient prints from all those years ago are surfacing and in every single instance, the fiber-based sheets (mostly Ilford Gallerie) are still perfect, if not oddly even more precious, while the RC prints (including several gifts from famous photographers who were family friends) have all perished.
I printed the above pic in 1982 on Ilford 24M semi-matt paper. Processed with love and washed properly, but no. It was all a lie. RC does suck after all.
I say this as I keep reading about “archival” giclée prints (I bought a very expensive “Leaf” print at Metro way back in the early days) and the claims of long lasting dyes feel a little bit familiar:-(
Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives. Please. (at least for now, until the boffins agree on some next steps)