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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2008, 04:13:34 PM »
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You may be interested to know that Epson does not manufacture its own paper. This is done by specialist paper manufacturers.

Furthermore, if a paper is specified to work particularly well with the K3 inkset, that is not an assurance it will work equaly well with Claria or other inks - Claria is a dye-based ink and these papers have most likely been optimized for pigmented inks. If you are finding the results with Claria unsatisfactory, you should bring this to the attention of Ilford or Hahn's tech support and see what they say about it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2008, 10:16:35 PM »
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I don't think the R1800 has a platen gap adjustment. If it does then shame on me -- a RTFM problem on my part.

It has a thick paper setting, is that similar to a platen gap adjustment?
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neoprinter
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« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2008, 12:55:33 AM »
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MarkDS, interesting that you mention that.  I emailed Epson's support about why they didn't mention Claria ink for their paper, but of course got no response.  The bottom line is that pigment inks were introduced a few years ago because dye inks at the time were not very stable.  Now with the Claria ink, which uses complex dye molecules rated at 98 years on display by Henry Wilhelm, better than pigment inks, there is finally the answer for color photographic printing that pigment ink printers can't satisfy.  Pigment inks are good for fine art reproduction of paintings and watercolors, the colorants of which use pigments, and even black and white photographs with Epson's Advanced black and white (small gamut), as silver prints are made up of silver particles similar to pigments, but they don't work for color photographic prints.

Actually Mark I said that prints made with Claria inks are way better than prints made with pigment inks.  How did you miss that?  Perhaps I forgot to mention that the image on the Hahnemühle looked fine, but the surface of the paper sucked, no matter how it was printed.  I never mentioned Ilford either.  Obviously Epson's papers are made by other companies, I don't know what that has to do with the exorbitant cost for the Exhibition Fiber.  Try reading posts and understanding what's being said, so your replies make sense.
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Mike Arst
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2008, 01:49:07 AM »
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I said that prints made with Claria inks are way better than prints made with pigment inks.
I know nothing yet about this new line of Claria inks. For a while there it was pigmentpigmentpigmentpigment. Dye-based inks -- no, not for professionals, not for people who take print longevity seriously. That's kid's-stuff. Thing of the past! Think  pigmentpigmentpigmentpigment! And now, "suddenly": dye-based ink again. And what does it offer? "Rich, vibrant colors." "Long print life." (Or whatever the ad copy du jour says.)

And of course that's the claim for the pigment-based inks, too.

Ok, why? What is this about, anyway? Does the new ink offer some significant advantage over pigment-based inks? Are the printers that use the Claria ink somehow "better"? If every road leads to "rich, vibrant colors" and "long print life," then why one over the other? Five years from now, will the Epson printers that are the size (and price) of a compact car all be using dye-based inks again? Is this new ink just some kind of marketing gimmick, or a serious leap forward?

Though the Epson 1280 was a huge pain in the neck (endless head-clogging) there were times when I got d-max, especially on Pictorico gloss film -- better than anything I've seen with the Ultrachrome ink (I haven't used K3 inks, though). And that despite the endless published figures for d-max with this, that, and the other paper/pigment-ink combination. Numbers, schmumbers -- there it was in front of me: honest-to-godfrey _black_ in the shadows. Wow, just like a "real" print.

So the black was deep and intense with that film product. And then again, there were crappy batches of dye-based inks that caused the prints to turn orange-y in a short time (it was no urban legend -- saw it with me own eyes). I have no idea how well the Claria inks work with the film but it would certainly be rewarding to get that dense a black in prints again. (Although Pictorico's having _doubled_ the price of the film, overnight, pretty well knocks it out of the ballpark for me.)

In what respects have the prints made with Claria ink seemed better than prints made with Epson's current crop of pigment inks? Brighter colors? Larger gamut? Better blacks? Cheaper by the picoliter? And then there's can we really know at this point what kind of print life we'll have with the new non-Epson papers, and any type of ink, when there aren't yet any published figures (per Wilhelm or whoever else)?
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neoprinter
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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2008, 02:42:58 AM »
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The stability of prints made with Claria inks on papers Wilhelm has not published tests of yet will in my estimation be quite good.  After all, the papers we are discussing here aren't specifically rated for pigment inks either.  Prints look better than Crystal Archive prints, for example, image wise, but on much better paper, and more long lasting also.  

Canon also has a high stability dye inkset probably (Wilhelm is testing) called ChromaLife100.  If enough people put pressure on Epson and Canon to market larger printers using these new high stability dye inks, we'll finally have the ideal solution for color photographic prints.  No more bronzing, no more differential reflection, just beautiful prints.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2008, 02:50:49 AM »
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I know nothing yet about this new line of Claria inks. For a while there it was pigmentpigmentpigmentpigment. Dye-based inks -- no, not for professionals, not for people who take print longevity seriously. That's kid's-stuff. Thing of the past! Think  pigmentpigmentpigmentpigment! And now, "suddenly": dye-based ink again. And what does it offer? "Rich, vibrant colors." "Long print life." (Or whatever the ad copy du jour says.)

And of course that's the claim for the pigment-based inks, too.

 And then there's can we really know at this point what kind of print life we'll have with the new non-Epson papers, and any type of ink, when there aren't yet any published figures (per Wilhelm or whoever else)?
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[a href=\"http://www.wilhelm-research.com/epson/WIR_EpR280_2008_01_16.pdf]http://www.wilhelm-research.com/epson/WIR_..._2008_01_16.pdf[/url]

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/epson/WIR_..._2007_12_28.pdf

and where you read "now in test" or "still in test" it can be "not fit for publishing". Ozone tests tend to be filled with those terms. Ozone fading is more prone to happen in unframed matte prints and (much) less in RC papers unframed. If you read the Epson docs on Claria it is not always that clear it is a dye, more likely a pigment ink with particles that are so small and open that they are close to dye. Inkjet dye and pigment are quite related so there's no hard boundary at the categories.

There's no test yet of any of the Fiber/Baryta papers with any ink other than some vague manufacturer's numbers.

Image Engineering in Germany has some other independent tests but no Claria yet.


Ernst Dinkla

try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2008, 06:23:21 AM »
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It has a thick paper setting, is that similar to a platen gap adjustment?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172625\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Most likely - try it and see what happens - only a bit of time and a sheet of paper.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2008, 06:49:00 AM »
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Try reading posts and understanding what's being said, so your replies make sense.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172646\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry, I don't respond to keyboard warriors spewing out blanket generalizations to attack the general credibility of any members. That kind of attitude may have a home in some other forums, but not here. However, I'll limit this to two observations: (1) the intent of my suggestion in this thread is simply to point out that not all inksets and media are necessarily well-mated to eachother and (2) the question raised about the relative merits of Claria vs. K3 is an interesting one in its own right and deserves some intelligent FACT-finding, to the extent feasible.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2008, 07:34:40 AM »
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I know nothing yet about this new line of Claria inks. For a while there it was pigmentpigmentpigmentpigment. Dye-based inks -- no, not for professionals, not for people who take print longevity seriously. That's kid's-stuff. Thing of the past! Think  pigmentpigmentpigmentpigment! And now, "suddenly": dye-based ink again. And what does it offer? "Rich, vibrant colors." "Long print life." (Or whatever the ad copy du jour says.)

And of course that's the claim for the pigment-based inks, too.

Ok, why? What is this about, anyway? Does the new ink offer some significant advantage over pigment-based inks? Are the printers that use the Claria ink somehow "better"? If every road leads to "rich, vibrant colors" and "long print life," then why one over the other? Five years from now, will the Epson printers that are the size (and price) of a compact car all be using dye-based inks again? Is this new ink just some kind of marketing gimmick, or a serious leap forward?

Though the Epson 1280 was a huge pain in the neck (endless head-clogging) there were times when I got d-max, especially on Pictorico gloss film -- better than anything I've seen with the Ultrachrome ink (I haven't used K3 inks, though). And that despite the endless published figures for d-max with this, that, and the other paper/pigment-ink combination. Numbers, schmumbers -- there it was in front of me: honest-to-godfrey _black_ in the shadows. Wow, just like a "real" print.

So the black was deep and intense with that film product. And then again, there were crappy batches of dye-based inks that caused the prints to turn orange-y in a short time (it was no urban legend -- saw it with me own eyes). I have no idea how well the Claria inks work with the film but it would certainly be rewarding to get that dense a black in prints again. (Although Pictorico's having _doubled_ the price of the film, overnight, pretty well knocks it out of the ballpark for me.)

In what respects have the prints made with Claria ink seemed better than prints made with Epson's current crop of pigment inks? Brighter colors? Larger gamut? Better blacks? Cheaper by the picoliter? And then there's can we really know at this point what kind of print life we'll have with the new non-Epson papers, and any type of ink, when there aren't yet any published figures (per Wilhelm or whoever else)?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172653\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Mike,

It is very interesting that the same developer of both Claria and K3 has chosen to stick with K3 for their most recent and most-likely forthcoming crop of professional printers (the x800s and x880s or xx880s), and left Claria for their lesser expensive printers. Of course, those of us at the consumer end don't have an insider's comprehension of why Epson has made these choices. Usually, such strategies result from a combination of technical and commercial considerations.

On the technical side, you may recall from his article "Battle of the Barytas" that Michael Reichmann measured the dMax of three baryta papers and Epson Exhibition Fibre all printed using the K3 inkset. Of the latter, coming in at 2.25 (versus about 2.15~2.17 for the barytas tested) he said "even a casual comparison shows it to be a deeper and richer black than any of the other papers tested here. Quite astonishing actually – possible the richest black I've ever seen on any paper, traditional or inkjet." I don't think Michael has tested Claria inks.

Anyone doing this one would need a printer using these inks, a decent spectrophotometer, and a program for showing gamut plots; then using the same test image for Claria as for K3, one could make the necessary measurements and plots using the same three barytas and Exhibition Fiber papers. This would go a long way to complementing opinions and observations with a technical basis.

I'm not able to do this as I don't own either a Claria-based printer or a spectro, but if any other readers of this thread are so equipped, a contribution along these lines would be really insightful.

I print with Epson 4800 and 3800 printers. By now I have produced about 50 13*19 prints using Ilford GFS (baryta) in my 3800 - both B&W and colour - and I am impressed with the results. The blacks are very rich and I have seen no evidence of bronzing. There is some gloss differential because of blown highlights (e.g. some very bright snow in day-time and street lights at night-time which get clipped). Some people are very sensitive to gloss differential, others not. I'm not, because when when a print is viewed at an angle which maximizes image and minimizes glare, the g-d is not visible.

Another observation about "black", which was true in the film era and true now - blacks come in a range from cooler to warmer with "neutral" in-between. What black one prefers for a particular image is a matter of taste.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 07:36:57 AM by MarkDS » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2008, 08:08:23 AM »
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Mark
I agree with you about gloss differential on Ilford GFS. It is most noticeable as it is coming off my HP B9180 and viewed at a very acute angle on the tray. But when it has dried and is viewed at a perpendicular angle or behind UV plexiglas it is negligible to unnoticeable.
Ken
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2008, 08:47:36 AM »
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Mark
I agree with you about gloss differential on Ilford GFS. It is most noticeable as it is coming off my HP B9180 and viewed at a very acute angle on the tray. But when it has dried and is viewed at a perpendicular angle or behind UV plexiglas it is negligible to unnoticeable.
Ken
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172708\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Hi Ken, that's interesting, coming from another printer and inkset completely. What do you think of the overall quality of the blacks and colour you are getting from the B9180/GFS combination?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mike Arst
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« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2008, 01:53:22 PM »
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Anyone doing this one would need a printer using these inks, a decent spectrophotometer, and a program for showing gamut plots;
I'd prefer to see the results on paper with an image printed on several kinds of paper with the pigment ink and then again with the Claria ink. No idea where that could be done, though. (I could have gotten a rough idea how a print on the Pictorico film would look with Epson 1280 dye ink by reading about it somewhere, but there's no way the written description could have had the impact of seeing the results in the flesh, as it were.)

From Epson's web site, I see that the Claria cartridges hold more ink and cost much more than those I use in the R1800. So why not, I wonder, make a printer like the R1800 with the capability to use similarly larger-capacity cartridges of pigment-based ink? Size limitations? The R1800 and other more expensive printers along those lines have more cartridges, after all. In a page devoted to the Claria ink, Epson makes a pretty big deal out of the ink's resistance to smudges, scratches, and damage due to moisture. So is this basically a "consumer" item, for people who expect that their 4x6s will be drooled-upon by the baby or used as a chew-toy by the dog? (Note: "resists tooth-marks" is not among the claims.:-) Their claims for print longevity are: Claria -- 98 years on display, 200 in an album. Ultrachrome -- 250 years. Oh, yes, and while the Claria-ink-using Epson 1400 is recommended for "beginning scrapbookers," the R1800 is recommended for "dedicated scrapbookers." Having seen this, I do feel better about my choice of printer. :-)
(www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/Landing/Compare1400R1800.jsp)

At the same time that I admire Epson for its obvious Great Leaps Forward inkjet-printing-wise, I find the whole enterprise confounding. Somewhat unkindly-like, some days I think the company should rename itself "Churn." Presentation Matte. Premium Presentation Matte. ULTRA Premium Presentation Matte. What's next, Semi-Ultra-Premium Presentation Matte? Almost-But-Not-Quite-Premium Presentation Matte? Decidedly-Premium-And-Probably-Close-To-Ultra Presentation Matte? Two, three years down the road: "Hey! Let's change the names of all the papers again, and save tons of money by having to re-do all of our packaging, plus confuse our customers with the new names! Push the envelope! Fabulous!" Yeah, churn...

Then there's the business of having a gazillion printer models, each with its own cartridges that aren't compatible with those of the previous or next models. Obviously you aren't going to have a lot of luck using dye-based inks in a pigment-ink printer, so no point making those cartridges interchangeable. And yet, why SO many different incompatible cartridge designs, even for printers that are using the same kinds of inks? Is there some rule of manufacturing dictating that they have to do this? I doubt it. No, as with the camera manufacturings ensuring that no two models produce the same RAW Format: they want to. It must increase their engineering and manufacturing costs, add to their QA/testing costs, and it surely puts retailers into the position of having to decide which customers to irritate by carrying only some inks and not others. (Only the biggest stores could possibly keep all those different inks in stock.)

T'is a puzzlement.
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« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2008, 11:07:14 PM »
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I'm uncertain as to whether Epson will get a brain and introduce a larger printer for the Claria ink, and leave paper to paper companies.  They remind me of Microsoft, trying to get their fingers in everything, even areas outside of their expertise.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172527\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The've done great with cameras, right?  Oh wait, nevermind . . .
-Ron H.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2008, 06:02:07 AM »
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The've done great with cameras, right?  Oh wait, nevermind . . .
-Ron H.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172906\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd like to ask you guys where you think the world of fine-art archival ink-jet printing would be today were it not for the R&D and manufacturing initiatives that the Seiko-Epson Corporation took upon itself from back in the 1990s? I'd also ask you to consider whether the solutions they developed to get us where we are did not require an integrated technological approach including inksets, papers to receive the inks and the printer hardware to lay it down - precisely; it all needs to work together. In a discussion thread about the merits of baryta-based papers working with current inksets from the major printer manufacturers, whether or not Epson was successful with cameras is hardly relevant; I could remind you they've produced some highly succesful models of scanners, projectors, flat panel screens and digital storage devices, but that is also not relevant.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2008, 09:03:00 AM »
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Could someone suggest which of these papers has a surface most similiar to unglazed, air dried glossy fibre?
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2008, 09:06:48 AM »
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Mark
Sorry for the delay in response to your question. It's been a long time since I did my own B&W enlargements so it was difficult to get a reference. That why I fell back to my usual consultant to confirm my impressions - my wife!  To say I was astounded by the Ilford GFS, would be an understatement. I had used the Harmon the week before and was overjoyed. But on the basis of MR's article and the sheer economics of the 2 papers, I cajoled the Canadian importer to get a retailer to carry the product for me. I'm using the canned icc profile and find it to produce a very neutral grey. I have no equipment to measure the Dmax but the range of tonality together with the controls available in LR seem to give me better output than I remember from a wet darkroom. To me the pictures seem to jump of the paper. I know this is all subjective, but what the heck, so is photography.
Ken
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2008, 11:03:10 AM »
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Mark
Sorry for the delay in response to your question. It's been a long time since I did my own B&W enlargements so it was difficult to get a reference. That why I fell back to my usual consultant to confirm my impressions - my wife!  To say I was astounded by the Ilford GFS, would be an understatement. I had used the Harmon the week before and was overjoyed. But on the basis of MR's article and the sheer economics of the 2 papers, I cajoled the Canadian importer to get a retailer to carry the product for me. I'm using the canned icc profile and find it to produce a very neutral grey. I have no equipment to measure the Dmax but the range of tonality together with the controls available in LR seem to give me better output than I remember from a wet darkroom. To me the pictures seem to jump of the paper. I know this is all subjective, but what the heck, so is photography.
Ken
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172999\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Ken,

Yeah, my wife is often my consultant as well. Fresh eyes untainted with "a prioris". Wonderful. Maybe you are responsible for the fact that we can now get Ilford GFS at a reasonable price here in Toronto. I was just checking with CCBC, my usual source for papers andf inks yesterday. He sells the 13*19 50 sheet package for 134, versus 112 from B&H, but the stuff is heavy so shipping costs a lot. A bulk order reduces per unit shipping cost drastically and on this basis CCBC is just about competitive with B&H delivered. It's good to know we can now buy it locally without being skinned. As for image quality - yes - colour vibrancy and blacks are superb. I printed Bill Atkinson's test image - always the first thing to start out with a new medium - and those red strawberries just pop off the page, not to speak of the greyscale ramp which is lovely smooth from black to white. I am also using Ilford's profile (from LOGO GmBH) in an Epson 3800.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2008, 11:05:12 AM »
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Could someone suggest which of these papers has a surface most similiar to unglazed, air dried glossy fibre?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172998\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think the Harman would be the closest to what you are looking for. Of the three baryta papers it has the least textured surface.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2008, 02:22:20 PM »
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I have to agree with most of what you say here, thanks for being so detailed!


There is however one paper that you didn't mention that to me is the best of them all, it is the Innova Satin fiber ( called Innova Semi-Matte) in the US. I've used this paper a lot with Ultrachrome inks for color and it has for me the positive qualities of the Epson Fiber and Innova Ultrasmooth Gloss, but with a much more appealing texture. Personally I haven't seen any black and white work that I like on any of these emulsions because they just don't get to where a metallic silver print can, but for color my favourites are the Innova Satin, and the Ilford Gold. I'll probably use more of the Gold because it is TWO TIMES CHEAPER. It is a tad too warm for most things, but I'm not complaining.

john




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Like everyone else, I’ve been looking forward to the new baryta papers (and Epson’s non-baryta work alike).  I waited until I could get all five of the new papers to try them.  To cut to the chase, the Harman Gloss FB outclasses the pack, especially if you like a low-sheen completely smooth paper—a refined glossy, in so many words.  If you prefer the slight stipple of “luster” or “semigloss,” then look no further than Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk.  The oft-maligned Innova Fibaprint Ultasmooth Glossy delivers a surprisingly decent 3rd place performance.  Epson Exhibition Fiber can’t hold a candle to the best two baryta papers.  And Hahnemuhle Fineart Baryta 325 is even worse than Epson.

It’s interesting how enamored the “fine art” printers have been of these papers.  While wonderful warmth and texture have been achieved on the specially coated matte papers with rag (cotton) or non-lignin fiber bases, many photographers seem to have turned up their noses at printing on plastic sheets—the coated resin-based papers.  Some of the astonished remarks from “fine art” printers about these papers may reflect their prior rejection of any resin-based glossy papers.   There have been glossy papers with paper bases in the past, but until now these lacked the sharpness and color gamut of the RC papers. 

New coatings with baryta (barium hydroxide) or aluminum oxide can match the RC papers, but on a real paper base.  Now that glossy is newly acceptable, it is interesting to compare the new coatings to the most interesting of the “old” RC papers:  Epson Premium Semigloss (or Semimatte roll, but I was too lazy to do all the prints on roll paper) and Pictorico Photo Glossy Paper—one of the few ceramic particle coated papers on a paper base (this is not the ultra high gloss Pictorico Film with the Cibachrome-like gloss).  The best of the new papers—Harman and Ilford—are wonderful, but not so astonishing when you go back to look at Epson Premium Semigloss—if only it didn’t have “Epson” water-marked on the back. 

I only profiled 3 of the papers myself with an Eye-One and Gretag ProfileMaker 5.  I compared the gamut of Harman Gloss, Ilford Gold, and Innova Ultrasmooth to Epson Semigloss and Epson Luster.  Visually, Harman Gloss has a larger gamut overall, especially in highlights and a bit in the deepest shadows.  Ilford covers slightly more of the dark end of L (in L*a*b ).  The RC papers extend marginally further into cyan and magenta (and Luster covers marginally more light yellow), but otherwise have smaller gamuts.  Epson Exhibition Fiber, based on Pixel Genius’s profile, has the smallest of all the gamuts.  Actually, Hahnemuhle’s gamut appears even smaller, but I attribute that to a poorly made profile supplied by the manufacturer.

What follows is an impressionistic evaluation of the 5 papers based on printing the same images on all five papers using the manufacturer provided profiles for the Epson 4800. 

1.  Harman Gloss FB Al
- Very white:  not as white-blue as Epson and somewhat more white than Ilford
- Smooth “flat” sheen:  no stipple, some just discernible smoothed texture
- Even, low-glare sheen:  less reflective than Epson, but smooth without stipple so more like a true glossy but without the hard mirror shine of some RC glossies
- Least glare from light at an angle
- Just about completely indiscernible gloss differential
- Sharpest even printing at 1440 “Superfine” setting (except compared to resin-based papers):  no detail lost through ink spread
- US$1.56 / sheet:  50 8.5x11” sheets for US$77.95 (Atlex)

2. Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk
- Natural white: a mimimal “parchment” coloration, but only when compared directly to papers containing optical brightening agents (OBA)
- Very fine, evenly distributed stipple
- Subdued sheen, not reflective—close to Epson Semigloss with slightly less sheen
- Some glare from light at an angle, but not objectionable because of the fineness of the texture and subdued sheen
- Some gloss differential in areas of paper white within images, just this side of indiscernible in blacks
- 2nd sharpest (printed at 2880 printer settting)
- US$.80 / sheet: 50 8.5x11” sheets for US$39.95 (BH Photo)

3. Innova Fibaprint Ultrasmooth Gloss
- Very bright white, but slightly green compared to Epson (it’s not green—just marginally towards green when placed next to Epson)
- Not exactly a stipple and not as evenly smooth as Harman:  like a stipple that has been partially “rolled” smooth
- Just as reflective and shiny as Epson but with less stipple, so “glint” is marginally less noticeable than Epson
- Glare less than Ilford
- Gloss differential less than Ilford
- Tied with Ilford for sharpness
- US$1.91 / sheet: 25 8.5x11” sheets for US$47.81 (BH Photo)

4. Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper
- Bright white:  the most “blue white” of all of these papers
- Fine, even distributed stipple: less than Premium Luster and more than Premium Semigloss
- Very reflective sheen—like a mirror glossy but with stipple, unlike Luster and Semigloss;  “reflective with bumps”
- Glare from light at an angle equivalent to Ilford, but more uneven
- Gloss differential equivalent to Harman
- Pixel Genius’ profile reveals amazing shadow detail because the darks don’t load up
- US$1.75 / sheet:  25 8.5x11” sheets for US$43.80 (Atlex)

5. Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta 325
- Very bright white, 2nd only to Epson
- Evenly distributed stipple, but bumpier than Epson and much bumpier than Ilford
- Ink on the paper makes the paper look almost like a microscopic canvas because the layer of ink exaggerates the bumpiness
- Thickest of all the papers
- Worst glare from light at an angle
- Gloss differential equivalent to Harman in paper white, but somewhat more in blacks
- Mfgr. supplied profile is minutely lighter than the others, which improves shadows with no disadvantage to mids and highs (despite smaller gamut)
- Hahnemuhle recommends 1440 printing “resolution”:  through 10X loupe this reduces sharpness but even staring closely from 10” this isn’t noticeable
- US$1.49 / sheet: US$29.70 for 20 8.5x11” sheets (BH Photo)

6. The RC comparison
- Pictorico Photo Glossy Paper and Epson Premium Semigloss are sharper yet than Harman, but only negligibly—there’s not much farther to go—after all, it’s ink on paper.
- Epson Premium Semigloss is almost a dead heat with #2 ranked Ilford;  Ilford is slightly warmer and has slightly less sheen

Over the years, I’ve tried nearly any paper that promised some distinct benefit—and I’ve then cut way back to using only 2 or 3 papers that represent best of a certain class of paper because it’s just not worth the cost and difficulty to frequently switch papers for marginal or no benefit.  So many people looked forward to the Epson and Hahnemuhle papers, but I find myself very disappointed in them.  They just don’t look good to me--the problem is the surface.  The combination of highly reflective surface with pronounced texture seems unlike any other photo surface--and not in a good way.

Harman Gloss FB Al is the best paper in this evaluation.  It really is unprecedented.  It offers the gamut and sharpness of rc papers with less gloss differential than rc glossies.  It has a wonderfully muted sheen that offers the impact of a glossy print without the mirror brashness of rc glossies.  Ilford Gold Fibre Silk is the best value of the lot and is nearly a dead ringer for Epson Semigloss, with a slight warmth and reduced sheen.  These are both really superb papers.   These are the two for me.
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2008, 02:36:23 PM »
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Mark
No need for shipping charges. I got my Ilford GFS at Downtown Camera on Queen St. The 50 sheet packs of 13x19 were 125 & 8x10 were 46. Seems like the loonie is starting to flex its muscle.  
Ken
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