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Author Topic: Zeroing in on paper for my Z3100 and B&W  (Read 8437 times)
Jim Cole
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« on: January 01, 2009, 04:19:56 PM »
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Hi all,

I know this topic has been beaten to death here, but after several weeks of testing a half of dozen papers, I am getting close.

I really wanted to like the Ilford Gold silk. The tonality of the images on the nice warm substrate are simply beautiful, but the gloss differential is simply unacceptable. It's not visible under normal viewing conditions when under glass, but I want to be able to hand a print to a gallery director without embarassment. I tried the new HP Baryte paper preset and profiles with the Gold Silk and lo and behold, the gloss differential virtually disappeared which was great, but along with it went the shadow detail under the heavier ink load. I may be able to use this paper for lighter images.

HP's Pro Satin, which I love for my color images, performs very admirably with B&W images, but I want the look feel of a fiber paper for my B&W work.

Epson's Exhibition Fiber prints beautifully, but it's too white for my taste and the OBAs are a possible long term problem.

Harman's Gloss FB Al is a beautiful paper, but too white as well and the surface is the only one that still shows very faint starwheel marks from the Z3100 and is too sensitive to handling.

My favorite so far is Museo Silver Rag. Absolutely beautiful reproductions and my favorite warm tone paper. My only issue (which I hope is only with my sample) is that there are surface imperfections in multiple places on each 8 1/2 x 11 and 13 x 19 sheet. They are circular and about 4-5mm in diameter and the ink doesn't take well so it looks like gloss differential. I am working with paper that I bought over two years ago when it first came out, so maybe I am dealing with early production problems. Before I buy a few hundred dollars worth of this stuff, can someone let me know if current production has eliminated the coating problems. I haven't really read anything here that would lead me to believe that it is an issue, but I want to make sure.

I have one other paper on order that I am going to put up against the Silver Rag and that is the Photo Rag Baryta. I should have it early next week and I'm excited to see how it performs. One of these two papers will take the leading role in my B&W printing. Anyone here specifically compare the Silver Rag with the Photo Rag Baryta for B&W work?

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim
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Jim Cole
Whitestown, IN
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 06:02:57 PM »
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Quote from: Jim Cole
I have one other paper on order that I am going to put up against the Silver Rag and that is the Photo Rag Baryta. I should have it early next week and I'm excited to see how it performs. One of these two papers will take the leading role in my B&W printing. Anyone here specifically compare the Silver Rag with the Photo Rag Baryta for B&W work?

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim

Jim-
I'm printing mostly on Hahnemuhle Photo rag pearl, after trying pretty much all the papers you mention on my Z3100. I like the very deep blacks of Crane's silver rag, but couldn't quite get past the surface texture, which looks just a bit too artificial and regular to me. Photo rag pearl has lovely hand feel, and the standard Photo rag 'eggshell' surface texture. No OBA's, neutral warm paper white, and nice rendition of both color and black & white. For what it's worth, I've mapped out the resulting profile gamuts using Chromix Colorthink, and the gamut map for Photo rag pearl is as good as any other fiber/gloss paper I've looked at. It is a bit smaller than HP pro satin's gamut, but good enough for my work.
I have made a bunch of test prints and profiles using a 13x19" box of Hahnemuhle Photo rag baryta. So far I'm not especially impressed. It has a gamut a bit smaller than that for Photo rag pearl, and visibly doesn't do as good a job with saturated reds/oranges. The paper doesn't really look like the traditional Photo rag. Its surface texture after printing is finely stippled, to my eye looking like a somewhat finer version of Epson premium luster. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it, but I'm not ordering rolls at this point. As always, YMMV.
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bill t.
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 06:35:05 PM »
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Quote from: Jim Cole
My only issue (which I hope is only with my sample) is that there are surface imperfections in multiple places on each 8 1/2 x 11 and 13 x 19 sheet. They are circular and about 4-5mm in diameter and the ink doesn't take well so it looks like gloss differential. I am working with paper that I bought over two years ago when it first came out, so maybe I am dealing with early production problems. Before I buy a few hundred dollars worth of this stuff, can someone let me know if current production has eliminated the coating problems. I haven't really read anything here that would lead me to believe that it is an issue, but I want to make sure.
I went through a lot of 24"x40' rolls at that time, never saw anything like that.  No defects at all, as a matter of fact.  Always felt SR was a little weak in medium-dark tonal separation, and the lengthwise textural bias (on rolls) picked up gallery spotlights too much for my liking.
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 07:57:43 PM »
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Geoff and Bill,

Thanks for the responses.

Geoff...of course you like the one paper I didn't test that I was considering. I did try the Photo Rag satin and, although the bronzing texture is cool, it was a bit over the top. I forgot to add that one to my discussion of tested papers. If I do not like the Photo Rag Baryta, I may have to try the Photo Rag Pearl as a last ditch effort to find the most pleasing paper.

I do admit that I agree with you and Bill about the surface texture of Silver Rag, but I found that to be the least offensive characteristic of all the papers I've tested.

In your discussion of the Photo Rag Baryta, you mentioned only your reaction to some color work and the surface texture. Did you run any B&W on this paper?

Bill...Thanks or making me feel better about the latest quality control of the Silver Rag. As I mentioned above to Geoff, I agree about the surface texture on the Silver Rag, but it doesn't bother me that much. Of course, I haven't seen the effect on prints from rolls where you mention that the effect is unsatisfactory under gallery lighting. Since gallery work is the main reason I am spending so much time and money on finding the best paper for me, I will take that comment seriously.

If you do any B&W printing, what is your paper of choice?

Thanks again to both of you for your comments,

Jim
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Jim Cole
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 10:21:38 PM »
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Jim-
Hahnemuhle Photo rag baryta does work very well for black & white, if you like its surface texture. Tonal separation in shadows and 3/4 tones looks quite good, and d-max is as good as it is on most of the fiber/gloss papers. As noted, I'm still trying to decide whether I can put up with the surface stipple. At least it looks better to my eye than the absurdly shiny Harman gloss FB AI. As always, this kind of thing is a matter of taste; many people love the Harman gloss papers, but I find them very unappealing.

I also like Hahnemuhle's Photo rag satin for its unique surface sheen, and it really works great for the right image. However, I was unpleasantly surprised when I mapped out its gamut in Colorthink. I was aware that it didn't have the saturation of other papers, but its gamut is way smaller than than of Photo rag pearl or baryta. It's quite comparable to the subdued gamut of plain cotton rag papers.
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 12:56:01 AM »
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I need to add a "me too" to many of the comments above.  

I like the look of Silver Rag from a bit of distance, or under glass, but find it has just a little too much texture for my taste.  

Gold Fibre Silk had way too much bronzing for me.  

HP Satin Barite looks very nice to my eye, and has probably my favorite surface, but it had major buckling problems with only a moderate ink load that make it unacceptable for medium to large prints.  

Photo Rag Satin is a paper I love for specific types of images that are generally more high key and open looking.  Unfortunately, they pulled the plug on that paper and have stopped making it.  

Photo Rag Pearl is a paper that I need to try again, but a little over a year ago I tried it and wasn't terribly impressed with it.  What paper preset setting do you find works best, Pearl (less ink)?

My favorite paper at the moment is Photo Rag Baryta.  I get good results with color and black and white and am happy with the tone of the paper and mostly happy with the texture.  it has none of the buckling issues I experienced with the HP paper.  I wish the texture was just a bit less pronounced, although it is much more pleasing, subtle and organic than the Silver Rag.

Only my $0.02.
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 01:12:53 AM »
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Geoff and Ron,

Thanks for the additional comments. I think I will hold out hope for the Photo Rag Baryta next week.

If anyone else wants to lend their $0.02, it is appreciated.

Happy New Year!

Jim
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Jim Cole
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deanwork
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 11:16:02 AM »
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Yes the Photorag Baryta is excellent on this printer, though the price is high compared to the Ilford.

Are you using the new HP Z3100 media setting called HP Baryta  downloadable from their website? If not that is your problem. This does the job for me with the Ilford Gallerie and the Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta on the Z3100 for color and black and white work. It gives the amount of gloss optimiser that is necessary. Silver Rag also works well with this setting. You have to calibrate your paper telling the printer you are using the HP Baryta media, then linearize as you normally would. Down side is you have to do this each time you switch from one to another of these papers. But, they behave similarly for monochrome.

john





Quote from: Jim Cole
Geoff and Ron,

Thanks for the additional comments. I think I will hold out hope for the Photo Rag Baryta next week.

If anyone else wants to lend their $0.02, it is appreciated.

Happy New Year!

Jim
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009, 11:59:31 AM »
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Quote from: deanwork
Are you using the new HP Z3100 media setting called HP Baryta  downloadable from their website?
john


Hi John,

Thanks for the contribution. Glad to hear you are getting good results with the Photo Rag Baryta. I'm looking forward to testing it when I get it.

I mentioned in my first post that I had tried the HP Baryta preset and profile on the Gold Fiber Silk (properly calibrated) and it did virtually eliminate the gloss differential, but at the expense of shadow detail under the heavier ink load. I have used it and will continue to use it on some of my other "vintage look" B&W that tend to have less dark tones, but I do not think it suits my limited edition B&W work which is heavier in the darker tones.

I get outstanding results on the Silver Rag using the HP Fine Art Pearl setting with an APS profile, the only issue being the rather strong manufactured looking surface texture. This is the winning paper in my book unless the Photo Rag Baryta comes thru with great tonality, a paper color that I like (warmish) and an acceptable surface texture. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks again,
Jim
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Jim Cole
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William Morse
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009, 02:18:54 PM »
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Hi Jim-

Have you tried reducing the ink load a little? I haven't tried the GFS recently on the z3100, but on the z3200 with the GFS preset the L values are about 3, so there should be plenty of room to reduce the ink load and still get great blacks.

Bill

[quote name='Jim Cole' date='Jan 2 2009, 12:59 PM' post='248816']
Hi John,

Thanks for the contribution. Glad to hear you are getting good results with the Photo Rag Baryta. I'm looking forward to testing it when I get it.

I mentioned in my first post that I had tried the HP Baryta preset and profile on the Gold Fiber Silk (properly calibrated) and it did virtually eliminate the gloss differential, but at the expense of shadow detail under the heavier ink load. I have used it and will continue to use it on some of my other "vintage look" B&W that tend to have less dark tones, but I do not think it suits my limited edition B&W work which is heavier in the darker tones.
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Wm. Morse Editions
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 03:56:31 PM »
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Quote from: William Morse
Have you tried reducing the ink load a little? I haven't tried the GFS recently on the z3100, but on the z3200 with the GFS preset the L values are about 3, so there should be plenty of room to reduce the ink load and still get great blacks.
Bill


Hi Bill,

I haven't tried that yet as I made an assumption that if the ink load is reduced, it would also reduce the application of GE which when using the HP Baryta preset makes the GFS usable from a gloss differential standpoint. Am I wrong to assume that the increased application of GE in the Baryta preset will also be reduced bringing back the really unacceptable levels of gloss differential? I may have to experiment a little.

Thanks for the suggestion,
Jim
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 03:58:10 PM by Jim Cole » Logged

Jim Cole
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 07:01:29 PM »
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Hi Jim-

I haven't tried it on the 3100; on the 3200 you can adjust the GE sepaately. Try it, it's a quick process. I reduced the ink load to 90%, and found that at least the Dmax remained essentially the same. Haven't tested the color gamut yet.

Bill

Quote from: Jim Cole
Hi Bill,

I haven't tried that yet as I made an assumption that if the ink load is reduced, it would also reduce the application of GE which when using the HP Baryta preset makes the GFS usable from a gloss differential standpoint. Am I wrong to assume that the increased application of GE in the Baryta preset will also be reduced bringing back the really unacceptable levels of gloss differential? I may have to experiment a little.

Thanks for the suggestion,
Jim
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Wm. Morse Editions
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Restored Early 20th Century Photos of China
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2009, 11:05:51 PM »
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Thanks Bill, I'll give it a try even though you cannot adjust the GE separately on the Z3100. I see how the 90% does with the IGFS.

Jim
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2009, 04:15:02 PM »
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UPDATE on the Ilford Gold Fiber Silk using the HP baryte paper setting and profile:

I tried setting the ink limit to 90% and then 80%. At 90% there was little difference except a very slight increase in separation of the 3/4 darks, but still not good enough. Gloss differential was about the same as at 100%. At 80% the overall print initially looked great with increased tonal separation everywhere, but then I noticed the shadow darks where things got wierd. Its like the darkest blacks actually got lighter than the next lighter tone with the result that detail disappeared completely. Gloss differential was the same as at 90 and 100%

Looks like the IGFS is finally out of the running for my B&W work. Even when using the GE on whole page, there was still a gloss differential problem at around 244 and up.

Those of you who have tried the Photo Rag Baryta paper that I am waiting on, what paper preset have you found to work?

Thanks,
Jim
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2009, 04:24:52 PM »
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I can't say I'm familiar with your particular printer, but I'd see this more as a linearization or profiling issue than a potential ink limiting issue.. until all else fails.

Can you leave it unlimited and make a QTR mono profile for it to try to covert to before printing? Or at least send a test file with overly opened up shadows to see if there is actually delineation in there?

Sounds more like there is a non linearity down there than necessarily too much ink.
I've seen some of John's IGFS Z test prints and they looked great to me, and some of them were my files with very particular shadow, black, and near black information.

Tyler
http://www.custom-digital.com/
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2009, 05:22:41 PM »
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Quote from: TylerB
I can't say I'm familiar with your particular printer, but I'd see this more as a linearization or profiling issue than a potential ink limiting issue.. until all else fails.

Can you leave it unlimited and make a QTR mono profile for it to try to covert to before printing? Or at least send a test file with overly opened up shadows to see if there is actually delineation in there?

Sounds more like there is a non linearity down there than necessarily too much ink.
I've seen some of John's IGFS Z test prints and they looked great to me, and some of them were my files with very particular shadow, black, and near black information.

Tyler
http://www.custom-digital.com/


Tyler,

It could very well be a profiling issue, but I have tried two different paper presets one with my own APS profile and the other with HP's profile. The profile I did using the Fine Art Pearl paper preset actually had really nice tonal separation, but the gloss differential was worse than any other paper I have used. I think the new Z3200 that allows you to modify the levels of GE may solve this problem, but then again maybe not.

It was in search of a solution to the gloss differential problem that I read the suggestion by another poster here that the HP baryte Paper preset with HP's provided profile had virtually eliminated the gloss differential. I found the same thing when I made a print using one of my vintage looking B&W prints which have very little deep shadow detail. With that test print I was impressed, but it failed the test with the darker B&Ws.

I have a feeling even if I attempt to build a new profile using a different paper preset, that the gloss differential will still be more than unacceptable. Don't know if I want to waste any more resources testing the IGFS paper.

John, if you're still listening, Tyler says he has seen some very nice prints from your Z with the IGFS. What you are seeing is different from what I am seeing. Are you using APS or the built-in profiling system?
Thanks everyone,

Jim
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 05:24:33 PM by Jim Cole » Logged

Jim Cole
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2009, 07:37:26 PM »
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Well after many weeks of searching for the best paper for my B&W images, I have picked a winner!

Today I received my 2 boxes (8.5x11 and 13x19) of HM Photo Rag Baryta from Shades of Paper and proceeded to calibrate the paper as the HP Baryta preset and printed my test print using the HP Baryta GE profile. Rats! No joy with the print. Way too dark in the shadows with loss of detail and after having no success at reducing the ink load with this preset on the IGFS paper, I decided to leave it alone and try plan B.

HM recommends using the Fine Art Pearl - Less Ink option which is what I used to add a new paper to my Z3100 driver, calibrated and then built a new APS profile for the Photo Rag Baryta. Time for the 8x10 test print using GE Economy...

Absolutely beautiful, no bronzing, no gloss differential ( I rarely run whites past 245 on my B&W prints).

Compared to my previous favorite Museo Silver Rag, the Photo Rag Baryta:

1) Is noticably sharper without a loupe
2) Better (higher) contrast without detail loss
3) Great blacks (about the same as the Silver Rag) but
4) Much better tonal separation in the dark blacks with nice highlight detail

It has the perfect warm tone for my liking and I've decided that the surface texture is just fine and less obtrusive than the Silver Rag. Perhaps a bit too stippled, but fine.

This paper is exactly what I have been looking for. I am a very happy camper.

Time to start production on my B&W.

Jim
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Jim Cole
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2009, 04:37:43 AM »
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With HFAB and HPRB I use more ink setting and achieving a higher density of color, especially red (though perhaps not sufficient)
As for the hp Baryte, let me share my experience that the use of the adjustment of both the paper manufacturer sways the head to grind down the surface. The solution is to use the setting above. Excuse the bad English of the translator of google.
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deanwork
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2009, 09:34:30 AM »
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For the Z3100 I've tested them all in the past and all of the following work well. In order of my most used :




Photorag Baryta - Best overall, non oba, and great for  black and well also. Have had no problems at all profiling this paper as long as you are using the HP Baryta paper preset ( on their website)  for ink limits and density! It works very well on the Z.

Innova Semi-Matte ( satin in europe) great all around and the best texture of them all, but with oba cooler base.  

Crane Silver Rag


Don't know if anyone tested the HP  Baryta here but I hated it, lots of gloss issues and rippled due to poor ink absorption - too thin.

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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2009, 10:58:44 AM »
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Quote from: deanwork
For the Z3100 I've tested them all in the past and all of the following work well. In order of my most used :




Photorag Baryta - Best overall, non oba, and great for  black and well also. Have had no problems at all profiling this paper as long as you are using the HP Baryta paper preset ( on their website)  for ink limits and density! It works very well on the Z.

Innova Semi-Matte ( satin in europe) great all around and the best texture of them all, but with oba cooler base.  

Crane Silver Rag


Don't know if anyone tested the HP  Baryta here but I hated it, lots of gloss issues and rippled due to poor ink absorption - too thin.


Be aware of the fact that the Z3100 and Z3200 HP Media Presets for HP Baryte are quite different. The last lays down too much ink for HP Baryte and the first not enough in my opinion. This will influence printing on other fiber and baryte papers as well.

http://www.pigment-print.com/review/QTRBaryteSatP.gif

On gloss differences, the Zīs Economy mode will not spray GE on RGB 255.255.255 spots in the image. However it is quite easy to use a printfilter in Qimage that pulls the Red to 254 and that sprays GE on white in image area and not on the Qimage created borders. There is no shift to cyan visible in the print then. An edit on an ICC print profile needs both Red and Green shifts to 254 to work with Photoshop. It will influence borders created in PS though. A profile like that doesnīt work with Qimage so that is why I use the print filter.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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