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Author Topic: Epson Matte Papers Versus Fine Art Papers  (Read 7214 times)
goran
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« on: July 14, 2008, 12:36:27 AM »
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I am looking for matte papers for my new Epson R2880 printer.

I have laoded the MK ink so there is no way back
(never ever no more glossy printing)  

The only thing I miss from my old 1280 is the deep blacks on Heavyweight Matte Paper.
(This was once "Love at first sight" and now I miss this "Deep Black Beauty".  )

(I hope this new printer will clog less then the old one.)
(I don't want to print every day just to avoid clogging.)

I have only tested The Heavyweight Matte Paper (still the same name in EU).
I have Archival Matte Paper (also still the same name in EU) on order.


The "UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper" may be on my test-list (it is very expensive).

I want my paper to be espesially good for studio portraits.
(If I have to choose one subject.)


Question 1:   -------------------------------
What is the difference between Ultrasmooth, Velvet
and Watercolor fine art papers ?

Deep blacks, and so on ... ?

Question 2:   -------------------------------
How do these fine art papers compare to the Matte Heavyweight
and Archival Matte Papers ?

(They are of course thicker.  )

Question 3:   -------------------------------
What is the difference between:

Velvet fine art paper
and
Somerset Velvet fine art paper
---------------------------------------------

/Goran Sweden
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MHMG
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 08:01:56 AM »
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Quote
Question 1:   -------------------------------
What is the difference between Ultrasmooth, Velvet
and Watercolor fine art papers ?

Deep blacks, and so on ... ?


Question 2:   -------------------------------
How do these fine art papers compare to the Matte Heavyweight
and Archival Matte Papers ?

(They are of course thicker.  )

Question 3:   -------------------------------
What is the difference between:

Velvet fine art paper
and
Somerset Velvet fine art paper
---------------------------------------------

/Goran Sweden
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ultrasmooth has no OBAs.  Some say Velvet Fine Art has no OBAs either, but OBAs are present in the paper base yet not in the coating. Slight loss of whiteness over time on the latter due to OBA activity loss. Yet most people won't find this OBA fading objectionable because the incorporated OBA doesn't influence the paper color dramatically since it doesn't reside in the ink receptor layer.  Archival matte and heavyweight matte have lots of OBAs in top coat and throughout. Their initial bright white color is heavily dependent on the OBA performance. "Yellowing" or loss of bluish white color will be easily noticeable in a few years on display due to heavy reliance on relatively fade prone OBAs to achieve their initial paper color. I don't have any data on the Watercolor Fine Art paper.

An important point to note is that the impact of OBAs on longevity is not just a simple "yes it contains" or "no, it doesn't containin OBAs". The significance with respect to image appearance over time also involves where the OBAs reside in the product and at what concentration levels. There may also be differences in the inherent stability of different OBA compounds, but I have yet to cofirm that in my research on inkjet papers.  Again. The MatteHW and Archmatte papers are pretty loaded up on OBA, but the others are not.

From samples I've received from other printmakers, blacks are comparable for all of these papers with the K3 inkset (shouldn't be different for K3 plus vivid magenta in the 2880), between 16 to 18 L for max black. None of the papers are likely to give you that rich deep black you saw when printing with your dye-based printer on matte coated papers, but then again, those dye prints with the velvety blacks will start to look very ugly in several years on display when catalytic fading of the dyes aggravated by the coating chemistry begins to alter color fidelity in bizarre ways (e.g.,skin tones and shadows turning green, etc). Good that you have moved on to the 2880.

I understand that  Velvet Fine Art, and the Somerset Velvet fine art use the same paper base which is made by Somerset but ink receptor coating may be different or at least coated at different plants. But I'm not 100% sure about this. Maybe others can confirm.

The fine art papers are indeed pricier, but they will suit you better for high quality reproduction and fine art print sales.

cheers,
Mark McCormick
[a href=\"http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com]http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com[/url]
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bill t.
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 08:57:25 AM »
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Of those three papers, UltraSmooth will give by far the most "photographic" interpretation of your images, similar to the Epson Enhanced and Heavyweight matte papers.  Ultrasmooth can give you very deep blacks.

Velvet and Watercolor give a much more "artistic" or "graphic" interpretation.  For these you will probably have to adjust most images in Photoshop to be quite a bit more open than you would with Ultrasmooth.  Velvet can give a very deep black, but it is difficult to keep good tonal separation in the dark gray areas.
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booksmartstudio
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 09:47:14 AM »
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Try Innova Smooth Cotton, or Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308, or Bright White.  Very deep blacks here and not as scratch prone as the Epson Ultrasmooth paper.
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Kory Gunnasen
Digital Printing Lab Manager
Booksmart Studio
http://www.booksmartstudio.com
http://www.korygunnarsen.com
Chris_T
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2008, 11:03:56 AM »
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Quote
I am looking for matte papers for my new Epson R2880 printer.

I have laoded the MK ink so there is no way back
(never ever no more glossy printing)  

The only thing I miss from my old 1280 is the deep blacks on Heavyweight Matte Paper.
(This was once "Love at first sight" and now I miss this "Deep Black Beauty".  )

(I hope this new printer will clog less then the old one.)
(I don't want to print every day just to avoid clogging.)

I have only tested The Heavyweight Matte Paper (still the same name in EU).
I have Archival Matte Paper (also still the same name in EU) on order.
The "UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper" may be on my test-list (it is very expensive).

I want my paper to be espesially good for studio portraits.
(If I have to choose one subject.)
Question 1:   -------------------------------
What is the difference between Ultrasmooth, Velvet
and Watercolor fine art papers ?

Deep blacks, and so on ... ?

Question 2:   -------------------------------
How do these fine art papers compare to the Matte Heavyweight
and Archival Matte Papers ?

(They are of course thicker.  )

Question 3:   -------------------------------
What is the difference between:

Velvet fine art paper
and
Somerset Velvet fine art paper
---------------------------------------------

/Goran Sweden
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208006\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Can you elaborate on what you meant by "Deep Black Beauty", which I assume you were referring to HWM on 1280? How "deep" is the black, i.e. which zone, or rgb values? Color or b/w? Which profile? What kind of image, i.e. deep black without shadow details, or deep black with shadow details? Without these context info, answers are meaningless.
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goran
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2008, 12:53:16 PM »
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Thak YOU ALL for your very interesting answers !
------------------------------------------------

Quote
Can you elaborate on what you meant by "Deep Black Beauty", which I assume you were referring to HWM on 1280? How "deep" is the black, i.e. which zone, or rgb values? Color or b/w? Which profile? What kind of image, i.e. deep black without shadow details, or deep black with shadow details? Without these context info, answers are meaningless.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208098\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

"Deep Black Beauty"

No 1:

It is a kind of black color on a surface.
And it is really deep black.
( And RGB = about (0,0,0)  )

When I compare it with the R2880 black.
I would say it looks as if the R2880 print was
treated with some UV protection spray. A Very delicate
spray but still taking that "velvet-cloth-feeling"
away.

It may be that the pigmet-color have to act that way.
And if so probably no other paper-surface will be better.

Question: ----------------------------------------------------
Is there a more "velvet-cloth-feeling" to the Velvet Fine
Art Paper than to the Heavyweight Matte Paper ?

I mean like velvet-cloth. Imagine really black velvet cloth.
----------------------------------------------------------------

No 2:

It also takes details in the blacks away.

This is quite strange. But it will in some way indicate that it is
more than a surface-feling. It indicates that the deepest black
on the R2880-print is not as black as the 1280-print.

But the gradation in the shadows is far far better with the R2880.
(Se my recent post: My R2880 arrived Germany / (Mini-Review)+QUESTIONS)

------------------------------------

So i would say it is both a feel of the surface (a surface without a spray layer)
and the blacks has a higher Dmax.


/Goran Sweden
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MHMG
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 02:39:16 PM »
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Quote
"Deep Black Beauty"

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208134\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Goran, I know exactly what you are trying to describe. It is an optical effect of the dyes with some of the porous coatings that pigments don't induce. It even defies quantification with a densitometer or spectrophotometer. Most instruments in photography and printing use 0/45 degree optics where the instrument illumination and the detector are situated at 45 degree angles. This is a good approximation for many types of photo surfaces and correlates with how the human eye detects the light reflected from those surfaces. But the dyes on porous coatings don't quite behave that way, and look distinctly deeper. It is a light scattering phenomenon whereby the dye prints seem to trap the light better than their pigment counterparts. I've done measurements on this phenomenon where I printed one gray scale with pigment and one with dyes on the same paper  and then densitometricly matched one dye patch to a pigment patch reading the same density. Yet visually to my eyes and to those of colleagues I worked with, the two patches didn't match. The dye version of the "same" density patches looked noticeably deeper still. Not all the way up the scale, but definitely in the darker part of the scale near dmax. So, you are chasing an illusive quality that is rather unique to the dyes on these types of papers. There is a different appearance, and unfortunately I don't think you are going to find a paper that will get you to that same visual look using pigmented inks. That said, people are making some pretty amazing pigment prints these days with the right choice of papers.
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MHMG
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2008, 03:05:50 PM »
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Quote
"Deep Black Beauty"

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208134\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Goran, I know exactly what you are trying to describe. It is an optical effect of the dyes with some of the porous coatings that pigments don't induce. It even defies quantification with a densitometer or spectrophotometer. Most instruments in photography and printing use 0/45 degree optics where the instrument illumination and the detector are situated at 45 degree angles. This is a good approximation for many types of photo surfaces and correlates with how the human eye detects the light reflected from those surfaces. But the dyes on porous coatings don't quite behave that way, and look distinctly deeper. It is a light scattering phenomenon whereby the dye prints seem to trap the light better than their pigment counterparts. I've done measurements on this phenomenon where I printed one gray scale with pigment and one with dyes on the same paper  and then densitometricly matched one dye patch to a pigment patch reading the same density. Yet visually to my eyes and to those of colleagues I worked with, the two patches didn't match. The dye version of the "same" density patches looked noticeably deeper still. Not all the way up the scale, but definitely in the darker part of the scale near dmax. So, you are chasing an illusive quality that is rather unique to the dyes on these types of papers. There is a different appearance, and unfortunately I don't think you are going to find a paper that will get you to that same visual look using pigmented inks. That said, people are making some pretty amazing pigment prints these days with the right choice of papers.
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goran
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 02:58:40 PM »
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Here comes the WIR-rating for Epson matte papers.

(1) Displayed without condom (that is without glass protection).
    (I would never put a nice print-suface behind glass.)

(2) Kept in album.


---------  Color prints with the Epson 4800/2400  ----------------


Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art Paper:----------57 years------->300 years

Sommerset Velvet for Epson:----------------37 years------->200 years

Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper:-----------------34 years------->200 years

Epson Watercolor Paper Radiant white:-----68 years------->200 years

Epson enhanced (=archival) Matte Paper:---45 years--------110 years

Epson Matte Paper Heavyweight:-------------now in test------185 years


---------  Color prints with the Epson R800  ---------------------


Epson enhanced (=archival) Matte Paper:-----65 years-------110 years

Epson Matte Paper Heavyweight:---------------70 years-------185 years


---------  Color prints with the Epson 11880  --------------------


Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art Paper:-------------57 years-------->300 years

Sommerset Velvet for Epson:-------------------37 years-------->200 years

Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper:--------------------34 years-------->200 years

Epson Textured Fine Art Paper:-----------------68 years-------->200 years

Epson enhanced (=archival) Matte Paper:-----48 years----------110 years   



/Goran Sweden
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MHMG
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008, 04:47:31 PM »
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Goran, I think most printmakers are very aware how abrasion sensitive inkjet papers are.  If you don't display behind glass, and you don't put a heavy overcoat on your prints that is capable of being cleaned, usually an acrylic polymer coating or laminate of some kind these days, you probably won't be able to surface clean your prints. Yet, such post coatings usually alter the surface quality you prize, so it isn't necessarily an option. You will either end up storing the prints in an album or storage case and viewing only occasionally, or you will end up with extremely dirty prints in a decade or two.  So, unless you live in a Hepa filtered clean room, it is highly unlikely that inkjet prints without a protective barrier of some kind will go 25 years or more on continuous display and not look filthy.  They will need to be cleaned of grime and their sensitive surfaces will more than likely preclude any success at doing so.  

The WIR "bare bulb", "under glass", and "UV filtered" ratings are more to inform about the impact of UV included versus UV impact on fading characteristics. It's just not that realistic to think that 25+ year bare bulb ratings mean a print can actually weather the usual grit and grime (let alone gaseous pollutants) for that long a time without dirt and discoloration on the print surface.

Also, the WIR endpoint criteria are liberal enough on paper dicoloration that loss of optical brightener activity usually doesn't trigger an end to the test.  In my own tests I been conducting lately, I'm finding that the bright white papers (like enhanced matte, archival matte, etc) lose OBA activity generally well before any of the typical industry densitometric endpoints are reached in test. So, OBAs pose an interesting question. If you aren't attracted to a bright white paper, and a "natural", ie., yellower paper color will do, then you may not even care if your print loses its bright white appearance in a few years, or better yet you may elect to choose a paper with no OBA's. In either case, the OBA fading issue becomes irrelevant.  However, if you initiallly prefered the bright white color of an OBA containing paper over a natural white paper color and color balanced your prints with that paper color in consideration, then loss of OBA activity may well bother you.  In which case, your real world print longevity experience won't correlate with the WIR ratings you listed.  There are other issues with endpoint criteria as well, but enough for now...
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