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Prints turn  blotchy after a couple of years?


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Need a bit of old school assistance with this issue.

More a general question as it relates to production from both Noritsu and Theta (Durst) processors.

Customers are returning a few of our prints after a couple of years showing random blotchy marks on their portraits. I thought it may have been a problem with  stabiliser  or squeegee rollers causing this delayed reaction, or contaminants in one of the tanks but I'm at ends to explain it's origin. Might have been microscopic evidence of algae in the wash.......I dunno.

Anyone  else seen this before or can offer some advice.

Appreciate your help in advance.

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Stabiliser is one of the most abused chemicals on your machine. Its the only way of removing chemicals from the surface of the prints and should be clean.

I go back far enough to remember when we washed prints, the difference between prints washed in cold water and warm water was very dramatic. The emulsion would grab hold of Bleach fix and contamination when it hit the cold water trapping it to degrade the image sometimes very quickly.

You could have a moisture condensation problem if its only odd prints, but a lot of stabiliser tanks I find are smelly dirty and ignored. Its only washing up liquid after all...

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One possibility by consensus so far seems to be the manner in which the print was mounted i.e behind glass (framed). Depending on the package  requested, we don't frame or mount on site other than onto foam core. That choice is left up to the customer. If their framer wiped the glass with some cleaning agent and left residue on the surface then this may have the destructive  effect as shown in the sample.

Moisture  or  condensation between the print and glass over time will probably have a similar effect, suppose that depends on the environment of  where the photo was hung. Stuffy poorly ventilated room, occupants who smoked heavily etc..........

I'm still open to more suggestions!

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