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Author Topic: Epson Exhibition Fiber  (Read 8521 times)
jcote
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« on: February 09, 2008, 08:46:58 AM »
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The new review of Epson Exhibition Fiber paper by Mark Dubovoy & Michael Reichmann is right on the money.

I will state right up front that I have done work for Epson in the past and have quite a few friends who work for Epson in the US. I will further say that I am normally biased toward using Epson branded products, including papers. However, like Mark and Michael, I have been trying to find IJ printing papers which look like air dried fiber papers I use to use for enlarger prints.

As both Mark and Michael said, paper is a very personal thing. My favorite black and white print paper for the enlarger was Agfa Portriga, which was way to creamy for a lot of people. My favorite all around inkjet paper has been Crane's Museo Silver Rag. It does not have the character of Portriga but I like it best all around for color and BW.

I was very excited when I received my 2 8.5 x 11 sample packs of Epson Exhibition Fiber a little more than a month ago. It was easy to develop a good profile and my prints looked positively 3d. Everything Mark says about the quality is true and more. The only two downsides for me are that I find it just a bit too glossy and a wee bit too bright white.

When I bought my first box of 13x19 size at my local Roberts store, they commented on how expensive it was. This paper is indeed really expensive. I did not pay list price and it is still around $5 US per sheet of 13x19.

I also share Mark and Michael's concerns with the archival quality of the paper.

But....the prints I make on this paper are staggeringly good. I have a couple of prints hanging in the Hilbert Circle Theater (Symphony Hall) in Indianapolis now and some non-photographers have commented on the "3d look" of the prints. I have not decided on whether to stock this paper and make it my standard fine art paper yet. I hate to be gouged and Epson is over charging for this paper. I think it does look better than anything I have used for inkjet printing, but I am not sure that its downsides may not keep me waiting for my perfect paper.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 08:48:17 AM by jcote » Logged

Ken
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 10:30:11 AM »
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My favorite black and white print paper for the enlarger was Agfa Portriga, which was way to creamy for a lot of people.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173511\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Nice to see another Portriga fan, John. I go back to the Kodak Ektalure days, if you want to talk "warm." After a 1:13 selenium bath, it was "delicious." On the other side of the color spectrum, Agfa Brovira was a wonderful silver-rich emulsion that was my standard. Even though it was a graded paper, it was very compatible with exposure time variations and developer dilution and time... and a whole world of "flashing" in the print room.

After working for AP, I couldn't stand to look at a glossy print. I always dried the Agfa papers face down on the apron. For digital printing, I was quite happy with Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 for a couple years... until I saw the D-max and saturation of Innova F-Type Black Max. Now if only there was a paper with Photo Rag's surface and Innova's D-max.  

I posted a question in the "Printers" forum about using Epson's Exhibition paper with the Epson 2200 printer. The folks at Epson didn't recommended it because of the longer ink drying time. However, several users here responded that they had tried it on the 2200 and had no problems. As you mentioned, the price is much too high to buy a box and wind up using it as a bird cage liner.
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 11:28:17 AM »
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I'm a former darkroom printer that brown toned just about everything---snow, white sand and so on.  Love the look of warm tone prints.  After converting entirely to digital I still love brown tone prints---my ideal tone is Lenswork Magazine's wonderful brown tone.  I've tried the new Epson Exhibition Fiber and love the stuff.  I brown tone in Photoshop and print in RGB in Imageprint or QTR or using the Epson driver with Pixel Genius EFP profile, depending on which printer I'm using.  My brown tone prints on the epson paper do have a 3D quality with deep Dmax.  I love the stuff...takes me back to my darkroom days no doubt.  I would like to see this paper offered in a softer white base too, but for now the stuff is too good for me not to use it.  I also print on the Crane Silver Rag which is very warm, and a different look.  Would love the see this epson paper in rolls too.  eleanor



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Nice to see another Portriga fan, John. I go back to the Kodak Ektalure days, if you want to talk "warm." After a 1:13 selenium bath, it was "delicious." On the other side of the color spectrum, Agfa Brovira was a wonderful silver-rich emulsion that was my standard. Even though it was a graded paper, it was very compatible with exposure time variations and developer dilution and time... and a whole world of "flashing" in the print room.

After working for AP, I couldn't stand to look at a glossy print. I always dried the Agfa papers face down on the apron. For digital printing, I was quite happy with Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 for a couple years... until I saw the D-max and saturation of Innova F-Type Black Max. Now if only there was a paper with Photo Rag's surface and Innova's D-max.   

I posted a question in the "Printers" forum about using Epson's Exhibition paper with the Epson 2200 printer. The folks at Epson didn't recommended it because of the longer ink drying time. However, several users here responded that they had tried it on the 2200 and had no problems. As you mentioned, the price is much too high to buy a box and wind up using it as a bird cage liner.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173522\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 12:24:17 PM »
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I just got some Harman Gloss FB AI. How does the Epson paper compare to the Harman?

Sharon
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Ken
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 01:58:11 PM »
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my ideal tone is Lenswork Magazine's wonderful brown tone.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173526\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Perfect description, Eleanor.
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jcote
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2008, 04:28:36 PM »
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I just got some Harman Gloss FB AI. How does the Epson paper compare to the Harman?

Sharon
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173534\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sharon,

I am speaking only for me when I write this. I was given a few envelopes of samples of the Harman Gloss FB AI when it came out. When I printed it on my Epson 3800 it had a lot of problems. First, it was very easy to scratch the image off of the surface. Second it looked different at every angle and in the shadow areas it had a mottled look when viewed from an angle. I did not like it.

As far as how it looked compared to the Epson Exhibition Fiber, I would say there was almost no comparison.

Has anyone ever tried the new F surface papers branded by Calumet Photo? I was in their big new store up in Chicago the other day and they had out a bunch of samples and I must say they looked pretty good. They have both a bright white and a warm toned paper.

ELEANOR: Thanks for the tip on the brown toning. I will give it a try!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 04:30:33 PM by jcote » Logged

stevesanacore
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 10:34:14 AM »
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The paper sounds good enough to try, but I would only consider it when it's offered in rolls. Do you know when or if that will be?

Thanks.
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 03:31:14 PM »
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If it's of any help the surface differential on Harman Gloss FB Al almost disappears with a light spray  of Premier Art Print Shield. Similarly this tratment removes bronzing in deep black on Crane Silver Rag. I would  suspect it has a similar effect  on other very smooth papers. I'm not sure how it measures, but the spray also visually deepens the blacks and gives cleaner and brighter colours. This effect is very obvious if a piece of paper is used to shield one half of a print from the spray and  the two halves are compared.
Cheers
Brian
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deanwork
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 08:25:08 PM »
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I think you really need to try the Ilford Gallerie Gold fiber gloss. I just did. It is very similar to Portriga though not quite as warm. Great color gamut, great dmax and I like the texture better than all of them and I've tried them all.  The Epson is the same as Innova Ultrasmooth Gloss only a tad thicker. They are both twice the price of the Ilford which is much as I'm going pay for rolls of this stuff. The Innova Semi-Matte is my second choice, really great gamut, but it is a tad to blue like the other Innova f gloss ( though warm in comparison to Epson Luster believe it or not, so all this is relative). Very nice t for color, just too expensive.

john





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The new review of Epson Exhibition Fiber paper by Mark Dubovoy & Michael Reichmann is right on the money.

I will state right up front that I have done work for Epson in the past and have quite a few friends who work for Epson in the US. I will further say that I am normally biased toward using Epson branded products, including papers. However, like Mark and Michael, I have been trying to find IJ printing papers which look like air dried fiber papers I use to use for enlarger prints.

As both Mark and Michael said, paper is a very personal thing. My favorite black and white print paper for the enlarger was Agfa Portriga, which was way to creamy for a lot of people. My favorite all around inkjet paper has been Crane's Museo Silver Rag. It does not have the character of Portriga but I like it best all around for color and BW.

I was very excited when I received my 2 8.5 x 11 sample packs of Epson Exhibition Fiber a little more than a month ago. It was easy to develop a good profile and my prints looked positively 3d. Everything Mark says about the quality is true and more. The only two downsides for me are that I find it just a bit too glossy and a wee bit too bright white.

When I bought my first box of 13x19 size at my local Roberts store, they commented on how expensive it was. This paper is indeed really expensive. I did not pay list price and it is still around $5 US per sheet of 13x19.

I also share Mark and Michael's concerns with the archival quality of the paper.

But....the prints I make on this paper are staggeringly good. I have a couple of prints hanging in the Hilbert Circle Theater (Symphony Hall) in Indianapolis now and some non-photographers have commented on the "3d look" of the prints. I have not decided on whether to stock this paper and make it my standard fine art paper yet. I hate to be gouged and Epson is over charging for this paper. I think it does look better than anything I have used for inkjet printing, but I am not sure that its downsides may not keep me waiting for my perfect paper.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173511\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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TylerB
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2008, 08:59:53 PM »
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The paper sounds good enough to try, but I would only consider it when it's offered in rolls. Do you know when or if that will be?

Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173728\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The Innova this is based on is very difficult to deal with from rolls, I can't imagine trying to deal with the curl in the Epson thicker version. I'd consider laying a drain field with it, but not print on it.
Maybe artistic cylindrical table legs?

It's been my suspicion from the beginning that it's only available as these sheet sizes for that very reason.
But I've been proven wrong over and over again...

Tyler
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2008, 09:00:59 PM »
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Ilford GFS and Epson EFP are just completely different experiences in paper - tone, surface texture, thickness and price. I think the choice is very subjective. Both are stunning in their own ways. The real issue I see with Epson EFP is that it contains OBAs, hemce until we have longevity ratings that take OBA fading into account, one is spending about six dollars per sheet (13*19) for a product of unknown archival properties in respet of OBAs. It's other archival properties are now under test (Wilhelm Imaging) so there will be these ratings after Wilhelm publishes them. There are no published independent ratings for Ilford GFS either, but the company has said it contains no acids and no OBAs, (and it costs about one-third the price of EFP per sheet). The price factor would likely matter more to those not selling prints than it would to those selling individual prints for hundreds of dollars each.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Brent Daniels
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2008, 12:05:25 AM »
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Hello

This new Epson exhibition Fiber Paper (will be called something else here) is not yet available here in Australia. However Epson Australia is making some samples available to me in a few days.

Does anyone have any ideas to which paper type I should try when testing this paper? Also I would be interested in where one can get the Pixel Genius profile mentioned? I have looked through their site and can not find any offerings of printing profiles.

Thank you for any help.

Cheers
Brent Daniels
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jcote
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2008, 06:08:18 AM »
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Does anyone have any ideas to which paper type I should try when testing this paper?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173895\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Brent,

For me, what Mark says in the afore mentioned article works well. He says to use the premium Luster as paper type, even though the info that comes with the paper says use Premium Gloss which puts a little more ink on the paper. This paper will take a lot of ink before you overload it.

Good Luck,
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2008, 07:30:48 AM »
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Hello

This new Epson exhibition Fiber Paper (will be called something else here) is not yet available here in Australia. However Epson Australia is making some samples available to me in a few days.

Does anyone have any ideas to which paper type I should try when testing this paper? Also I would be interested in where one can get the Pixel Genius profile mentioned? I have looked through their site and can not find any offerings of printing profiles.

Thank you for any help.

Cheers
Brent Daniels
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Brent,

Here's the link to the profiles - I use the one for the Epson 3800 and it's fine:

[a href=\"http://photoshopnews.com/2007/10/15/pixelgenius-posts-icc-profiles-for-epson-exhibition-fiber-paper/]PixelGenius Profiles for EFP[/url]  Use the settings they recommend, because those correspond with how they made the profiles.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Pete Berry
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2008, 01:25:22 PM »
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As both Mark and Michael said, paper is a very personal thing. My favorite black and white print paper for the enlarger was Agfa Portriga, which was way to creamy for a lot of people. My favorite all around inkjet paper has been Crane's Museo Silver Rag. It does not have the character of Portriga but I like it best all around for color and BW.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173511\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ahaaa! With your mention of Agfa'a papers, John, I've dug up a collection of prints from the 60's printed on Portriga - some on the semi-gloss, and a couple on the incredible matte - Brovira Portriga Rapid, I think? These took a nice collection of gold and silver in the '64 and '65 N.C. State Fairs, and still look very good except for the dings and scratches of innumerable moves and winnowings. Haven't printed B&W in 30 years or so. Fond memories awakened - thanks!

The "fall-into" quality of the blacks made it for me then, and seemed to give the prints an inner luminosity. The nearest IJ matte paper I've seen so far is Ilford's Galerie Smooth Fine Art printed with my old i9900. Simply incredible blacks that just don't translate quite so deeply with my iPF5000's pigments, or with the several premo art mattes from Innova and Hahne I've tried when viewed alongside, but which look quite nice alone.

I've too been searching also for the perfect new-gen. fibre paper, and so far find the Ilford GFS closest to my taste (my long-ago Agfa patterning?). The EEF sounds a bit too bright, haven't tried it. Harmon Gloss is very nice, but too glossy and cool. Hahne.'s offerings, too much texture, and the GFS's surface just looks more unintrusive, deep, and alive.  

I'm looking forward to laying my hands on some Silver Rag for comparison, but with Ilford's incredibly low pricing, ($77/17x40 roll - Atlex) it's going be a hard one to beat.

Pete
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2008, 01:49:51 PM »
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A question - I'm going to outline my current thoughts to the following three papers and based on them, I'm asking "the group" if there is something else I might be interested in - the theory being that if I tell my biases that perhaps I'll get a better targeted recommendation

First off - all of these Baryta (and EEF) papers represent a huge leap for me - I am simply not a fan of ANY of the matte ink "art papers" - I tried the highly touted photo rag from hahnemuhle and ended up throwing the box (of 50) into the trash - I couldn't stand it. Same with the Somerset velvet and so on.

But these Baryta/EEF glossy black ink papers are entirely different - so far I like the ones I'm about to list and if pressed could live with any of them, but I do have some preferences, so given my biases, what do you guys suggest?

(Background wise, I used to print B&W (but I was an Ilford Galerie guy more than an Agfa guy) and some RA4 and Ciba color)

Disclaimer: I don't have exotic profiling gear for printing, so I'm dependent on manufacturers profiles. I realize this puts me (and possibly some of my choices) at a disadvantage, so I may have to rephrase my question as "given the manufacturers profiles, what other paper should I look into besides these?"

---------------
Epson Diminishing Bank Account Exhibition Fiber:
- So far my favorite paper. My beryllium master card application has been approved, and I should soon reach credit limit on it buying this paper in 17x22 for my 3800. Why I like: of the papers I've tried, it has by far the best dimensionality - there is a depth in the image that surpasses the other papers, and that counts a lot for me. Blacks are excellent and there is a very nice sense of seperation in all of the tonal values. For landscape shots, there's nothing I don't like about it - I don't mind the admittedly bright white and there's just a "something" that this paper has that I've never seen from an inkjet paper. For portrait/fashion/art, the only "knock" is the super bright white - I find with some images I need to drop an adjustment layer onto things to knock down the max white a little bit, and I also cheat and use (gasp) other-than-pixel genius recommended paper types for portrait work even with their profiles as I just like the overall print better. (for landscape and color portraiture I follow their recommendations to the letter). This is a great paper in both color and B&W. The only other downside is that the surface seems VERY easy to damage when the print is still "wet" or fresh - I've burned more than a few sheets when a speck of whatever falls onto the surface before it's dry. And of course, this stuff is insanely expensive.

Ilford Gold Silk Fibre:
- This paper is just the slightest touch bland, or perhaps, subtractive, for my tastes compared to the other two, but I appreciate its more subtle approach for some shots involving people/fashion/art. It's a nice surface (although I prefer EEF's surface more) and it's a nice alternative to EEF. The blacks aren't really where I would like them to be and if anything, I wish the prints on this paper just had more oomph. I'll probably keep it around because it's the yin to Epsons yang, or vice versa.

Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta:
- This is a really great paper whose prints I love in almost every respect except the surface texture. The blacks are solid, the prints have more dimensionality than the Ilford, and the prints have the "ooomph" that I crave. Only thing is I'm just not wild about the surface - it's a bit too much paper fiber / long-grain rice (??!) for me, although I could live with it for sure.

So, while I do honestly like each paper and realize that this is all subjective and the differences mentioned above are slight, not massive, my own rankings would be:

a) Epson EEF
 Hahnemuhle FAB
c) Ilford Gold fibre silk.

So what should I try next?
Is the Harman something I should be trying to find? (I can't get it locally....) Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

-m
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Colorwave
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2008, 02:30:00 PM »
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If it's of any help the surface differential on Harman Gloss FB Al almost disappears with a light spray  of Premier Art Print Shield.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173805\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
When I tried the same, all I could see afterward was the stipple pattern from the spray, which completely changed the smooth quality of the Harman Gloss surface.  A light coat looked like a stipple/spatter, and a heavy coat looked like orange peel/heavy spray texture.
-Ron H.
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2008, 02:52:49 PM »
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Quote from: Colorwave,Feb 11 2008, 08:30 PM
When I tried the same, all I could see afterward was the stipple pattern from the spray, which completely changed the smooth quality of the Harman Gloss surface.  A light coat looked like a stipple/spatter, and a heavy coat looked like orange peel/heavy spray texture.
-Ron H.

Hmm. Maybe it was a bad can. I've used dozens of cans of this stuff and very seldom pick up a spatter. It could be technique. I spray only from left to right, travelling at about 1m/sec, can strictly vertical from about 30cm away.
HTH
Brian
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2008, 07:05:47 PM »
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a) Epson EEF
 Hahnemuhle FAB
c) Ilford Gold fibre silk.

I have not tried the Ilford, but that would be my ranking for the first two. The Harman FB AI would be 3rd for me.

You might try the Harman, just for the learning experience. Probably don't need to look much farther though. I agree with all of your observations about the Epson and Hahnemuhle (though I am a little more positive on the Hahnemuhle.)

Best,
Michael
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2008, 09:44:17 PM »
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You might try the Harman, just for the learning experience. Probably don't need to look much farther though. I agree with all of your observations about the Epson and Hahnemuhle (though I am a little more positive on the Hahnemuhle.)

Thanks - I might try the Harman just for the heck of it. And don't get me wrong - any of the three that I have tried, if any one of them was the only one of these Baryta papers that was available, I'd be using it in a heartbeat compared to what I used to be using - so any negative comments I make have to be viewed within the context of a narrow variance - all are solid papers.

-m
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