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Tests show Calidad inks "not suitable for printing photographs

May 2007

Sydney 3 May 2007: Epson has issued its strongest warning yet against the use of third party inks in its printers with the release of independent test results showing that one of Australia and New Zealand's best known third-party ink brands, Calidad, has one of the poorest results for print life ever measured.

"When Epson users see these results they should be in no doubt that using third party inks in their Epson printers will lead to rapid fading and loss of their precious photographs," Epson's Marketing Communications Director, Mr Mike Pleasants said.

"I am sure that no parents would want to give or receive as a gift a framed photograph of treasured children, friends or relatives, or that special occasion, that can suffer significant fading in less than a year," Mr Pleasants said.

Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR), the world's leading independent laboratory and research institute for image permanence evaluation, tested samples of Calidad inks that are marketed as being suitable for use with Epson's home and office printers that use Epson's DURABrite pigment based ink.

The Calidad package for the cyan, magenta, and yellow inks include the claim that the inks are "Waterproof," "Fadeproof," and "Pigment Ink." When tested with Calidad Photo Paper Glossy the inks had a WIR Display Permanence Rating of less than one year. Epson DURABrite inks used with Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper used in the same Epson Stylus C87 printer achieved a WIR Display Permanence Rating of 40 years.

The conclusion of the tests, according to Henry Wilhelm, President of Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc., is that displayed prints made with genuine Epson DURABrite pigment inks on Epson paper will last more than 40 times longer than prints made with the Calidad inks on Calidad paper.

"The Calidad ink cartridges appear to contain low-stability dye-based substitutes for Epson high-stability DURABrite pigment inks. The Calidad inks have poor resistance to atmospheric ozone that may be present in homes and offices, and the Calidad inks also give up waterfastness when printed on plain paper," Mr Wilhelm said.

"If the Calidad Magenta ink is indeed a pigment ink as Calidad has claimed, it is by orders of magnitude the lowest stability pigment ink that we have ever tested. Calidad's claim that the inks are "Fadeproof" has no basis in fact and the company is misleading consumers in making such a claim. Wilhelm Imaging Research considers the permanence of the Calidad inks to be so poor that they are simply not suitable for printing photographs," Mr Wilhelm said.

For more information please contact Janina Nowowiejska at CommunEcom Strategic Communications on 02 9949 9788 or 0415 244 615 or by email at:

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