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Subject: Color microforms

Color microforms

From: Doug Nishimura <dwnpph>
Date: Sunday, April 19, 1992
I guess I should field the standards question about color fiche.  I
can't speak for BSI, but I can about ISO.

1)  Image permanence standards come in three varieties:

     a) manufacturing specifications which specify requirements that
        must be met and, for short test, the test methods.

     b) Test methods.  These are used for long tests that won't fit as
        part of a specification document.

     c) Storage practices.  These are the ones most familiar to archive

2)  The American standards (ANSI) in photo are so much more advanced
    than anyone else's in the world (much as it hurts a Canadian like me
    to admit such a thing) that to date, all of the ISO photo permanence
    standards have been ANSI documents with minor word and unit changes.
    This is why the ANSI sub-committees have members from all over the
    world including Switzerland, Japan, Canada, UK, and Germany.  Only
    Americans can be members of the full committee.  By their membership
    on these sub-committees, they ultimately play the biggest role
    possible in shaping the ISO documents that will eventually be
    created from the ANSI documents.   This gives you some idea of the
    power of ANSI (photo permanence) at ISO and lack of power that the
    other member countries have.

3)  ISO meets only once in three years while ANSI meets at least twice
    per year. In addition, it takes over a year to get changes in a
    document from a committee proposal (through ballot, etc.) to a
    finished publication. Thus even when ISO documents are updated to
    the most current ANSI document, they are still (often) far behind
    ANSI.  (Again, I'm only talking about photo/image permanence

4)  There are no color specification documents in either ISO or ANSI.
    The most recent color standard was approved last year and is
    currently being published.  This TEST METHOD document took about 11
    years to complete. There is no standards that say that color must
    last a minimum of X number of years.

The bottom line is that you should take the advertisement literally.
They may very well have contributed to ISO and BSI, but it doesn't say
anything about their product (virtually all of the major manufacturers
in the world including Fuji, Kodak and Agfa also contribute to the ISO

As an added note, even groups who have members on standards committees
tend to stretch things for marketing.  I got an ad sent by a colleague
in Washington with regard to permanence.  The claim: "TOP LIFE
EXPECTANCY [XXXXXXX]'s LE rating of 500 is the maximum.  So it will last
virtually indefinitely, if properly processed and stored to ANSI

In truth, the LE500 rating is given to film that meets the ANSI
manufacturing specification and is based on life expectancy when
processed and stored to ANSI standards.  The figure means Life
Expectancy 500 (years) and is simply an index number that replaces the
old term "archival".  The old "long term" film has been replaced by
LE100 and "medium term" by LE10.  In reality, I HAVEN'T EVER SEEN a
modern, wet processed, silver halide film from the MAJOR manufacturers
THAT when processed to ANSI standards WON'T MEET the LE500 rating.  This
ad also implies (to anyone who knows the terms and what they mean) that
500 years is the same as "virtually indefinitely".


                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:52
                  Distributed: Monday, April 20, 1992
                        Message Id: cdl-5-52-003
Received on Sunday, 19 April, 1992

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