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Author Topic: Matte paper comparisions and choices  (Read 4356 times)
Let Biogons be Biogons
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« on: February 27, 2007, 09:49:59 AM »
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I am looking to get a sense of the accumulated experience and insight of this forum into a matte paper choice.  I am looking for roll matte paper to feed a 7600 that will not switch from matte black ink.

Of the photo papers I have either tried or heard about that I am thining about are:

Hahnemuhle photo rage bright white 310
Innova Smooth cotton High white 315
Innova Fibaprint Matte (Ultra smooth)
Moab Entrada bright white
Hawk Mountain Condor bright white 310

These are mostly 100% cotton papers, except for the Innova Fibaprint.  I've been very happy with the Innova Fibaprint Semi-matte Satin on another printer, and an therefore considering the Matte.  Does anyone have any experience with this fiber-baased matte paper?  How does it compare, in your experience with the H. photo rag?  (DMax, color gamut, flaking, etc.)

Further, if the 100% are ultimately a better choice, how do these 100% cotton paper compare?  I just got a sample of the Hawk Mountain Condor, and it appears to have more surface texture than the HPR, which I am not sure is desirable.  Does anyone know how the Innova smooth cotton and the Moab Entrada papers stack up?  The Moab and Hawk Mouintain options are certainly a bit cheaper, but do you give up much by going to them?  Are here other bight white matte paper, not listed here, that I should consider?

I appreciate all your input on this.
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NikosR
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2007, 10:13:26 AM »
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You will get as many answers as there are users of the papers you mention.

One thing that may be objective (sort of) is archival quality in combination with the inkset you are using. You can get info for some of these papers from the web. 100% rag or not is mainly a factor in this and not in quality of the looks. Weather archival quality is imprtant to you is subjective.

Next thing is surface. That's totally subjective and also dependent on the nature of the photos to be printed.

Next thing is base colour and use or lack of OBA's. Leaving the archival characteristics of OBA enhanced papers aside, this is subjective too. Generally, for traditional photography the whiter the base the better (which usually contradicts with the archival requirements) .

The rest of the paper's characteristics, which are dependent on the inkset as well, are difficult to quantify sort of performing extensive tests using densitometers, spectrophotomters and gamut comparison software. I doubt that many people are in the position to exhaustively test and compare papers in this way.

Cost is also an important factor.

So take my advice and select the papers that seem to fulfill your archival requirements, your surface and base colour taste and your budget. Then just print your favorite images and try to see which ones you like best. Having access to good profiles will also affect this comparison.

Having said this, from the papers you mention I have only used the Photo Rag and the Moab. Both contain generous doses of OBA's. I like PR the best although I prefer the smoother surface of PR duo (which has less OBA's added and thus is more creamy).

Nikos
Athens, Greece
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Nikos
rdonson
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2007, 10:29:29 AM »
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Are you looking for something like this?

DryCreekPhoto paper recommendations
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
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madmanchan
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2007, 10:52:59 AM »
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Or look here:

http://www.cjcom.net/articles/digiprn5.htm

(series of articles mostly focused on B&W printing, but this page describes matte papers)
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Jakub
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2007, 02:31:46 PM »
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I really like the Moab Entrada Natural. No OBA's, coated on both sides. Easy to
find matching matboard.

Walter
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2007, 06:55:09 AM »
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Quote
I really like the Moab Entrada Natural. No OBA's, coated on both sides. Easy to
find matching matboard.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the suggestion, Walter, but I was looking for a bright white paper.  Some OBA's really don't bother me so much.  What do you think of the Bright White version of the Moab Entrada?

Quote
Are you looking for something like this?

[a href=\"http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/printers/epson_media.htm]DryCreekPhoto paper recommendations[/url]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=103502\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've seen this in the past, it's somewhat dated and doesn't cover any of the Innova papers in which I am interested.  

Any thoughts on the Innova FibaPrint UltraSmooth matte paper,  perhaps in comparision to HPRBW?
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madmanchan
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2007, 07:39:23 AM »
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http://www.cjcom.net/articles/digiprn5.htm#Photo%20Fiba

See post above.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2007, 08:09:13 AM »
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You will get as many answers as there are users of the papers you mention.

Well said. Aside from personal tastes, the kind of images (color or b/w, high/low key, high/low contrast/saturation, etc.) and the viewing conditions (with/without glass, lighting, etc.) would make a huge difference. It is really too bad that these context are not provided by the posters when they offer their opinions.

Quote
So take my advice and select the papers that seem to fulfill your archival requirements, your surface and base colour taste and your budget. Then just print your favorite images and try to see which ones you like best. Having access to good profiles will also affect this comparison.


Agreed again. Ultimately, your paper choice depends on *your* kind of images, your needs, your taste and your budget.
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fike
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 01:55:16 PM »
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One nice thing about Moab Entrada is that they have a lower cost paper with nearly identical qualities.  Their Kayenta uses the same profiles and looks identical.  The Kayenta is half the price of the Entrada, so I use it for proofing.  Another nice thing about the Entrada and Kayenta is that it is double-sided.  I don't know how many of the others are double sided, but that can save you lots of money when experimenting with many different configurations.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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TrailPixie.net

I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
jdyke
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2007, 08:11:54 AM »
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You may also consider Harman FB matt.  This is a new 310g paper from Harman (Ilford) with a Baryta coating (used on traditional fibre papers).  I saw some samples at the UK Focus show this week and was so impressed I bought a pack.  

I will let you know my findings but from my initial impressions of the samples the paper is a very very very smooth paper (smoother than any other matt paper I have tried) with very good gamut and dmax for a matt paper.  As for longevity....I was told it was excellent but as with most new papers there are no figures yet.

I'll let you know how it prints....

Jon
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2007, 09:57:18 AM »
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I have settled on two for my uses and will share my reasons, but like when choosing lovers I realize everybody's tastes are different...

First, I prefer a smooth surface to the textured surfaces, so that narrowed my choices significantly.  Next, I looked for a paper that did *not* have a lot of dust on the surface or flake after printing -- this narrowed my choices further and unfortunately seemed to limit me to the more expensive offerings.  Lastly, I looked to a paper that held my Epson inks well.  With those caveats, I have settled on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gm and Epson UltraSmooth FA 325gm.  The Epson has a phenomenal surface but is quite warm while the Hahn surface is still nice but brighter white.  Both profile superbly and hold the Epson ink very well.

I would like to try Moab's Entrada offerings again, but have not gotten around to it lately; I need to get some samples to experiment with.  Anyway, I understand Moab may soon offer some more usable sheet sizes like 17x25 and this would be a big advantage for me...  

Cheers,
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madmanchan
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2007, 10:19:10 AM »
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Interesting you should mention HPR308, Jack, esp. since you mention preferring smoother surfaces. I've recently made some prints on both HPR308 and Entrada (natural) and found the Entrada smoother. Just FYI.

I was also under the impression the HPR flakes some. Did you find a way around this? Normally I give papers a good firm brush before hand to dislodge little gremlins. But Ethan at Dry Creek mentioned that even with HPR some flaking might occur afterwards.

(BTW, the firm brushing beforehand is really important with the cut sheets of Entrada in my experience ...)
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2007, 11:03:38 AM »
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I was also under the impression the HPR flakes some. Did you find a way around this? Normally I give papers a good firm brush before hand to dislodge little gremlins. But Ethan at Dry Creek mentioned that even with HPR some flaking might occur afterwards.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104226\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I find all of them have paper dust -- so I blow each sheet before printing.  If I do this, I get no white spots after printing on either paper.  So to clarify, while they both have dust, neither has flaked for me.  

And I definitely agree: with art papers, brushing or blowing is a must.  HOWEVERBUT! The surface of Epson Ultrasmooths is so finely textured that brush marks can show on it, hence my preference now for blowing with canned air.

I will try Moab again at some point, but would really like to get some samples first.

Cheers,
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jdyke
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2007, 07:34:01 AM »
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Just an update on this thread:-

I have now finished my testing of the new Harman Baryta Matte paper.  
Very bright White - not sure about OBA's  - not mentioned in the literature baryta coating often makes things brighter so who knows.
Very Very Very smooth surface (no flaking but does scratch)
Good dmax although I am unable to measure it but it seems deeper than Photo Rag.
Gamut seems very good for Matte paper especialy in the greens and yellows which often lack punch.
I have had a good custom profile made for my Epson 2100 (2200) and I am not seeing any shadow blocking (tiny amounts) which is pretty amazing for the Epson driver!
All told I am very impressed with this paper and would reccomend people to try some.

Jon
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DavidJ
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2007, 03:03:39 PM »
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Just tried the sample sheets of the Harman paper I got at Focus in February. I have not carried out any comparisons with other papers but first impressions are very favourable -  white - very smooth surface, good and subtle colours with good blacks, excellent detail in highlight and shadow areas. Prints made on an R2400 using the profiles from the Harman web site.

David
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David Allen
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