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If you're using ink cartridges to print photos, one thing you want to take into consideration is the print life. The print life of a photo is how long it lasts before the image starts to show noticeable signs of fading. So how long can you expect quality ink cartridges to last? That depends. Epson states that their ink cartridges last up to 92 years before noticeable fading occurs, according to a test conducted in 2003 by Henry Wilhelm, a photo longevity expert. According to the same test, some third party inks had a comparatively short print life, lasting a year or less before noticeable signs of fading occurred. On the flip side, if you're not concerned at all about print life and want to save on initial cost, the third party ink cartridges did produce quality-looking prints at the onset.