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Author Topic: Paper Review  (Read 14130 times)
pobrien3
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« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2006, 09:37:05 PM »
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I don't even know what naugahyde is - is it matt or glossy?     I guess we luddites aren't stating our case very clearly - I for one am not demanding exact replicas of the 'old' fibre papers.  What I'm looking for is an output media that feels more organic than plastic, and does not intrude on the image.  The media should permit good contrast, high D-Max and wide DR.  Richard Lohmann talks about passivity of the surface, and that hits the nail on the head.

Recently I reprinted 20 images I made of the English Lake District and Tanzania, which I originally shot on MF in about 1988-89. Originally I had the transparencies professionally printed on CibaChrome at very high cost and, until I discovered CFL in Aus, were the best prints I'd had made.  My reprints on the lowly R1800 are without exception better.  Sharper, better DR, better highlight and shadow detail.  The paper is also not that different to CibaChrome (never really liked that media).

True, much of the improvement was because I was able to make the improvements in DR and sharpness in PhotoShop, but that's all part of the digital darkroom too.  Now, I want to print these improvements on a media with a less plasticky feel, which looks and feels like good quality.  We mustn't forget the tactile component to the printed output.  It's that 'blink' experience - does it feel like a 'real' photo?!
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2006, 10:53:09 PM »
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I like the Innova F type gloss! It took me a week to get over the "alligator skin" But then I tried it and for some images a very classy, quality and a 3 dimensional look. Like the view you get through binoculars (images are thin and stacked for and aft) an interesting effect. Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Pete JF
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« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2006, 12:08:49 AM »
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I just entered a competition using a paper available in the UK called Da Vinci Gloss Fibre, I suspect that its similar to the Crane paper.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75604\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Free1000,

The Da Vinci is the same, exact paper as the Innova F gloss...it is also being sold by Lexjet in the U.S. A. as Sunset Air Dried Gloss.

I would say that there are major differences between Da Vinci Gloss and Crane Silver Rag. The Silver Rag is a much warmer base...no optical brighteners in a cotton base...The Crane also has a much more pronounced texture or stipple to it.
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Blind Photographer
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« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2006, 05:12:08 AM »
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I should have read the posts here:  http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....t=0&#entry75665 before I said anything, as everything I wrote had already been said, and better  

The only part I've kept is this:

So the papers aren't what everyone hoped for, okay.  But  when something closer to traditional materials comes along we can think of the current papers as additional choices in media, which is always a good thing (especially for those of us who are mixed media artists and/or print things other than photographs)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 07:11:26 AM by Blind Photographer » Logged
Blind Photographer
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« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2006, 05:45:08 AM »
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Tony K:  You mentioned something about "fine art" in your first post.  Would you say printing on these materials excludes an image from being considered "fine art?"

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Hi,

What really made me respond to the essay posted was the credible point of view, this inkjet stuff is for the birds if you display them side by side to chemical prints.

These respected manufacturers want to sell the best and latest in inkjet paper coating, fine! But do not mix Fiber based and Ciba, the real stuff, not the RC alias, with these emerging technologies. Who are they kidding?

Unfortunatly if one wants to produce digital images, there are not very many commonly available off the shelf products to choose from. That is the number one problem. In my case the shipping charges through mail order is equal or higher than the actual paper cost...
Second, these new and improved papers are nearly obsolite by the time mass marketing occures.
It is true, one may be able to produce inkjet prints in a more "convinient way" than through wet chemistry...or is it???Clearly, what went before the latest inksets and paper coatings are useless as an artistic media since the latest and greatest is "superior" or is it?

Aside from the subjective opinions, the development and distribution cycle does not allow any credebility, following or "worship" and legend bulding to any part of the inkjet chain.

Can all this used for artistic expression, as the flavor of the month perhaps...

What I also object to is, a viewer should respond to the content of the image and to the harmony of technical delivery, therefore their acceptance of an injet print from an R1800 or R800 or the 4800 should not be used to vindicate the technology. Specially, using other historically established and credited materials and processes thrown in as a credible background.

I also wonder about the teachings of our masters, use the best possible materials to express your vision. So, who had thrown out this very sensable advice, when inkjet printing remains inferior in colour gamut and in use of B&W printing. Hiding inpurities with b&w inkjet printing with "toning" is not an artistic choice, it is a necessity.

TonyK
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75619\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Tony, I see this "inkjet is junk" attitude quite often and I don't think you can back any of that up except with opinions and personal preferences.  I don't understand why a person would bother making posts that show such overall disdain for inkjet printing in the "Printers, Papers, and Inks" section, and among photographers who print in such media.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 05:49:01 AM by Blind Photographer » Logged
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2006, 11:13:08 AM »
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Hi,

What really made me respond to the essay posted was the credible point of view, this inkjet stuff is for the birds if you display them side by side to chemical prints.

These respected manufacturers want to sell the best and latest in inkjet paper coating, fine! But do not mix Fiber based and Ciba, the real stuff, not the RC alias, with these emerging technologies. Who are they kidding?

...

Aside from the subjective opinions, the development and distribution cycle does not allow any credebility, following or "worship" and legend bulding to any part of the inkjet chain.

Can all this used for artistic expression, as the flavor of the month perhaps...

What I also object to is, a viewer should respond to the content of the image and to the harmony of technical delivery, therefore their acceptance of an injet print from an R1800 or R800 or the 4800 should not be used to vindicate the technology. Specially, using other historically established and credited materials and processes thrown in as a credible background.

I also wonder about the teachings of our masters, use the best possible materials to express your vision. So, who had thrown out this very sensable advice, when inkjet printing remains inferior in colour gamut and in use of B&W printing. Hiding inpurities with b&w inkjet printing with "toning" is not an artistic choice, it is a necessity.

Tony, you're going to have a tough time selling the "inkjet is crap" idea around here. Michael switched from darkroom/chemical to inkjet years ago, specifically because of the improvements in control over the print process, overall print quality, archival longevity, and gamut afforded by inkjets. Many other master level photographers, like Alain Briot and Bill Atkinson have done so as well, for the same reasons. If you like the surface look and texture of Cibachrome better than inkjet papers, that is merely your personal preference, not categorical proof inkjet prints are inferior. Inkjet surface texture is somewhat different than chemical prints, but well-made inkjet prints can compete well against traditional media in color gamut, dynamic range, color fidelity, longevity, and image clarity.
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Tony Klimo
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« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2006, 09:32:49 PM »
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"Blind Photographer", Johnathan

Actually, reading the essay shocked me. It clearly outlined the past and present situation with inkjet printers. In the past to sell the technology, the word "photo like" was coined. To most it meant photo quality... when clearly the continous tone, emulsion based phographic reproduction it was not. It had to do much more with offset printing.
I got into inkjet printing because it offered different media based printing such as canavas for one, on fabricks etc...
I have had very positive experience with watercolor and fine art papers, the "improvement" over the years has been positive. The advancement of B&W reproduction is very positive as well.

The essay however brought home the point to me once again, that there should never have been any referance made to chemistry based image reproduction in marketing the digital printing alternatives. Since they do not match, look alike or even come close.
Even though at present this "difference" is diminishing, the essay did indicate the danger of not having any base to compare future advancements due to the lack of traditional supplies.

Choice is slowly removed and very little is being said about it. Save the essay mentioned.

I will go out on the limb, there was a famous Canadian painter who for lack of better financing had to paint on cardboard.
I thin it answers your question.
TonyK
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Tony Klimo
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« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2006, 11:18:35 PM »
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Hello Jonathan,

The irony is that it was Michael who introduced me to the simplicity of Cibachrome printing. Even though my darkroom was very basic and was set up for B&W printing, I have had no problems printing consistent high quality Ciba prints.
The same could not be said about my venture to print digitally.

The essay did mention the questionable association of these new papers to traditional photo chemical materials.
Your point is well taken, however personal choices are being stripped away by false association of these new products as viable replacements. If the chemical darkroom work is so horrid, the digital printing is so liberating, why is there a need for this insecure association. Clearly, FB papers and Ciba/Ilfochrome represent trusted quality, yet have nothing to do with these new papers or thechnology. No question, these maybe "better" than what was before, yet they could only mimick the brilliance of the Cibachromes dyes. It is not an opinion, it is a fact. Otherwise the papers would be called XYZ Cibachrome dye enbeded fine art inkjet papers.

Point is we sold out the technology of the past for close enough and quality mimiking vaporwear.

Can the present crop of inkjet papers and printers used for fine art reproduction, I answered that one above. By no means did I wish to convert you all back to darkroom work, since I use present technology as well. The candid and opposing point of view by a credible artist who had no problems calling these papers false was refressing to read.

All the best!
TonyK
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Pete JF
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« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2006, 12:09:04 AM »
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Tony,

yeah, but the point about having nothing to compare advancements to is moot unless you are like, 6 years old. There are going to be plenty of reference points to traditional materials for a long time. This thing is happening right now and of course everyone's looking for that something that made them schwing in the darkroom. Expected, normal, it's ok and all that. We have the reference right now, that's all that really counts.

Soon there will be a decent gloss. You are correct, the manufacturers should never have opened there big mouth...or should they have? They had to because they need to be able to describe what they are doing and make familiar references. People have been bitching about wanting this type of product for a while and now that k3 inks are mostly eliminating gloss problems, they are scrambling to get our hearts and dollars. The companies that have put forth on this subject are saying...man, we got your air dried fiber base gloss photo like ink jet paper, right here, right now...sorta.

Whatever, they should learn to temper their statements and, more importantly, not be so damn impatient about getting these products on the market until they are ready. That's really the bottom line. Unrealistic, money to be made. Of course, they are making money off of all of our wants. When the stuff is REALLY there and ready, they can compare it to what they are imitating, cardboard, air dried muck. Restless consumer, I try not to be that but im pretty much that.

Choice is being removed because people aren't buying the old stuff. Im very much enjoying the potential of the inkjet print but im getting frustated and would like to get a little bit of a groove happening here so I can work without looking over my shoulder or over the fence.

I have to say that this whole process of waiting is really screwing me up in the creative sense. I feel like things are popping up from holes all around me/us and im lunging at them, getting them...but then another thing pops up that looks like what i really wanted, so, i lunge for that...on and on, printers and inks (especially), papers (especially too). c'est la...think Ill go down to the corner and get a reeses peanut butter cup, that's nice and steady.

The thing that gets me is when reviewers say...truly the death of the darkroom. jeez, c'mon guys. the darkroom is having a few final giggles before the last spasm that knocks over the bucket.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2006, 10:56:02 AM by Pete JF » Logged
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2006, 09:11:17 AM »
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It does sometimes seem like the market is in constant ferment, everyone being compelled to chase the latest fashion or notional advance. On the other hand, no one is holding a gun to our heads, demanding that we buy the newest paper. I've been printing on the same cotton rag papers for several years with complete satisfaction. I do check out a sample pack of newer papers now and then to see if it fits my needs; if not, I've only lost a little time and $20 or so. I'm not quite sure if I like the Innova f-type gloss surface, but the d-max and tonality are fabulous. I have to live with it for a while.
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Tony Klimo
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« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2006, 07:47:09 PM »
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Hi,

Actually, what holds a gun to my preverbial head about digital, is the succesful or near succesful extintion of "traditional" supplies from my corner photo store. And the full erasure of proofing and printing from film without the "degrading" scanning step.
The present essay in question is only interesting because the process of extintion occured at the time, when we did not have the present day "quality" capture and output.

TonyK
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2006, 08:44:23 PM »
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Actually, what holds a gun to my preverbial head about digital, is the succesful or near succesful extintion of "traditional" supplies from my corner photo store. And the full erasure of proofing and printing from film without the "degrading" scanning step.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=75899\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So coat your own paper and do contact prints. I have friends that shoot 8x10 and do this and I love their stuff. Even in the latter days of the darkroom, there were diminishing options for quality B&W papers. Most everybody seemed to prefer (or at least use) Ilford Multigrade RC (or its ilk) ... though this wasn't to my taste. I don't expect to see a viable replacement for either silver-gelatin or CibaChrome anytime soon. But this doesn't mean that inkjet isn't a viable medium in its own right ... and maybe even *better* in many respects. Also, it's great to see a move away from plastic. There's a lot to be said for learning where and how to use what's currently available rather than pining after the good old days. There's no way I would go back to traditional media for colour output. There's also a number of interesting options for combining digital and traditional B&W media. Personally, I don't understand the indignation from the original article. It just sounds like posturing to me.
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Rob C
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« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2006, 12:18:41 PM »
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Hi guys (why is it almost always guys?)

I enter this fray with a little hesitation because though I have been active in photography since my teens and a professional since 1960, the digital revolution, which is really what it has been, has changed all the rules, if not the expectations and my own views on the matter are somewhat mixed.

Take the matter of black/white printing. I feel little false modesty in saying that I was a damn good printer up until the start of the 80s at which time I left the UK and the course of my career changed from being a fair mix of colour and b/w to exclusively colour transparency, and above all, Kodachrome 64. Velvia didn't play much of a role because I was involved mainly in model shots and not so much landscape. However, even by that time, RC paper had more than started to eat away at fibre material. I never liked RC paper because from the start, the very first tests I made, it felt and looked a very inferior product and nothing I tried later changed my mind about it. Ciba was great if you had two close tones...

As all my printing was professional in a non-social photography context - I did stuff for advertising and PR and so forth, not weddings etc. - my experience was almost totally with gloss paper. My out and out favourite was Kodak's WSG, either single or double weight, single for press and double for other, more permanent uses. And I always glazed it. That the repro industry required unglazed would appear to have been a myth of its time. My few attempts with matte papers were horrid; I hated them with a vengeance (the papers more than the attempts).

And then, surprise, surprise, I started to have ideas about how my transparencies might look as print. So, in came a scanner and also a little printer, and turning SOME of those old trannies into b/w revealed a whole new life for them. I too was unhappy about using matte paper at that time, basing the fear on my wet experiences of matte. I shouldn't have worried. Epson Matte Paper Heavyweight is all I have ever used for the past few years and in my opinion, what it comes down to is this: if you do have good traditional darkroom experience you will find an affinity with Photoshop in that you understand brightness and contrast. Sticking to a single basic type of paper and a simple printer teaches you, if expensively, how to get the best out of what's available - 'twas ever so. And, importantly, you must not forget that for exhibition or sale, that print is going to live behind glass, at which point the matte print effect vanishes and the picture is transformed into an excellent high gloss one. I have both on my wall at home: an original gloss on fibre and a matte via digital. You would have to see them with the glass off to tell which was which.

Oddly, it seems that my humble printer using Durabrite ink produces finer black and whites than do the 2100 and 2400 models...

I think that to chase a new paper every time one is announced is a hell of a waste of effort, unless, of course, your business is making reviews.

As with film, learn to use few very well and you have little need for anything else.

Ciao - Rob C
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Rae
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2006, 11:02:45 AM »
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It's been interesting reading all the postings about peoples impressions on these "new" papers.  I was the photographer that Richard mentioned in his article.  At my artists reception I asked Richard to look at a series of b&w images I had hung together.  They were a mixture of traditionaly printed and digitaly printed (on museo silver rag), I asked if he could pick out which was on the silver rag.  Without hesitation he was able to pick all 3 prints.  I must say that I was hopeful, that they would blend in.  I asked him to do this because I wanted to see if he could see the same thing that I saw.  The ruff abrasive surface of the museo rag, even behind glass.

I had taken Richard's digital class this past year after many years of putting the digital world aside.  I really wanted to make my life easier, the idea of working and printing at home without my wet darkroom was so enticing.  So when Richard read the reviews about this new paper that was equal to traditional fibre-based papers, he was excited.  So the program ordered a roll of museo silver rag.  Some of us in the class had come from traditional printing and were expecting the same results.  That excitement was soon shattered.  This paper is not a replacement for the beautiful fibre based papers that I've printed on traditionally.

Saying all this - I do hope that the photographic world will keep on these paper makers to strive for better end results.  I know that there are different levels of what people expect from digital output, however this photographer has not yet seen the final outcome of how I wish my prints to look like.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2006, 01:29:13 PM by Rae » Logged
Mark Graf
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« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2006, 09:03:32 AM »
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The following article describes the problems with matte paper pretty well:

http://daystarvisions.com/Docs/Rvws/EpsonPaper/pg1.html

But even with their shortcomings, I also stay with mattes for most of my color prints. I just cannot stand the other papers' surfaces.

I have been using a variety of matte papers for awhile now, and have never seen the extent of the dramatic differences shown in the above article about matte surfaces.   I tend to use them to avoid offgassing issues normally associated with RC finish papers, and that it is costly for me to switch on my 4800.
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pobrien3
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« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2006, 10:13:56 AM »
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A number of the larger prints I make are colour closeups of flowers, and these very saturated colours are a challenge for any printer's gamut.  Put a matt paper in the mix and so much detail is lost...
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free1000
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« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2006, 04:35:37 PM »
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Interesting discussion.  I've actually been on 'Epson strike' since I bought my 4000. I decided that it had simply got too expensive to chase this technology on to K3 just to find out it wasn't quite good enough.

I have to say that the Innova gloss seems to have cracked the problem of tonality and produced nice deep blacks.  I have been comparing some prints made with QTRip and the 4000 against some lightjet prints onto Agfa traditional fibre based paper. The inkjet prints compare very favourably indeed.

Apart from the problems with the surface texture, and the bronzing etc that comes with the older Ultrachrome inks, I think that this generation of papers is getting awfully close to the quality of traditional papers.

I don't think that the issue is for me about copying the look of traditional papers in itself. Its not nostalgia in my case.  Its just that a traditional darkroom print still sets the benchmark for certain quality parameters,  dMax, tonality, surface texture, archival qualities and that inkjet papers havent quite hit this mark yet. I think that one more iteration of technology will probably do it though.

On the other hand, a gloss print on the R1800 surpasses my older Cibachrome prints (though I did like the slightly metallic look of the cibas). The R1800 prints look different, but are every bit of a match for the cibachrome. This is my proof of the conjecture that many of us aren't just hankering after the old, but just waiting for B&W inkjet to surpass silver.
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EarlyMan
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« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2006, 09:42:28 AM »
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sorry to disagree -

i'm sure there will be lots of disagreement with my opinion, but i found the article rather hilarious. why do the NEW crop of papers have to imitate the OLD papers? he implied that the old papers were the "gold standard"; something that needed to be strived towards with the new papers.

i've been a photographer for over 30 years, so i grew up with fiber based papers and wet darkrooms.  i've been shooting digital exclusively for nearly 5 years and have never looked back.  since every photo ever made has been an interpretation of the actual scene in one respect or another, why can't papers with different characteristics from what was available previously be a part of that interpretation?

i agree that positioning these papers as modern replacements for silver based fiber papers was a bad marketing ploy, but thats to be expected from marketing, isn't it?  

-E
« Last Edit: September 14, 2006, 09:55:52 AM by EarlyMan » Logged
Pete JF
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« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2006, 10:27:59 AM »
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Early Man,

Are you against the attempt to try to create a paper like this or are you having problems with marketing issues? I don't understand your argument enough to disagree at this point.

These papers were designed to fill a niche and they came up a little short. Not really bad marketing here, they just plopped them onto the market a little too soon and the actual quality didnt measure up to what they had hoped for. That's how I see it.

BUT, they are the closest thing to a decent gloss up until now. Hopefully, soon, they will improve on these products and we can all go about our business, printing on  whatever paper floats the boat.

Heck, just about every paper out there in the glossy arena has been designed to imitate a set of characteristics that were previously available in the traditional, chemical paper world..why not this old favorite?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2006, 10:30:02 AM by Pete JF » Logged
jdyke
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« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2006, 07:54:40 AM »
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I'd like to quote from an LL journal interview with someone that I consider to be a master photographer...actually a legend - Clyde Butcher.

......'If it looks good and it lasts, who cares how you get there'

I think that this is one of the best comments I have heard in a while.  People can argue unitl they are blue in the face whether a paper looks like a traditional fibre print.....if that is what you are trying to acheive that's ok.  But stuff moves on - if you put a traditional print and an inket print on good paper and show them to a person who has never seen either - which one will they choose?  Its all down to personal preference.

I personally like the new range of papers - no they are not perfect but I think they are light years ahead of some of the current RC papers.  The biggest problem with them all in my opinion at the moment is that there are no permanence figures available for any of them.

But what I will say is that a B&W print, printed in QTR, Epson 2200, Da Vinci Fibre Gloss (same as Innova just different branding) with a few coats of printguard (for gloss diff) gives me the best B&W prints I have had digitally so far.  Period.  

And yes they look different to my old silver prints - but who care's - they look good and that's the bit that matters to me.

One thing I do agree on though is that the manufacturers should not be selling them as 'close to traditional paper' as this is likley to cause som friction as this thread has proved. They could also do with dropping the price a touch to prevent divorce happening  


JD
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