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Author Topic: Hahnemuhle Sugar Cane 300gsm  (Read 14993 times)
Colorwave
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« on: March 31, 2009, 04:39:03 PM »
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I just got an announcement about Hahnemuhle having a new fine art paper made from Sugar Cane.  Intriguingly, the announcement came from Spectraflow, not one of my regular paper vendors.  Shades of Paper is often an early adopter of new papers, but no mention of it there or at Inkjet Art yet.

Has anybody the Sugar Cane yet?  I'm assuming that it prints similarly to Photo Rag or Bamboo, but would love some firsthand experience with it from other users (or vendors) before springing for a test roll.  Also, what is the surface texture like?  The Hahnemuhle site says it looks like a pastel paper, whatever that means to them.  I hope it doesn't handle like HP Hahnemuhle Textured Fine Art, that is so fragile and chalky that I've given up on it as a textured paper.

On a related, but separate note, I've decided to drop offering Photo Rag as a standard matte rag paper in favor of Breathing Color's Optica One 300gsm.  I like the sharpness of detail, the color gamut (better in the reds, particularly), and the absence of OBAs.  My current lineup of fine art papers includes Breathing Color's Elegance Velvet for a textured surface, as well as Hahnemuhle Bamboo.  For certain images, I still carry and love Photo Rag Satin, too.  

FWIW, I print with a 44" Z3100ps and mostly use in house profiles made with APS.
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RafalA
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2009, 10:02:55 PM »
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I spoke to my dealer today (Beau Photo in Vancouver) and the paper guy said they haven't received any word on shipments to North America yet.

As it is available from some UK places online, I, too, would like to hear some opinions before getting a roll.
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Mussi_Spectraflow
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 11:59:48 AM »
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We were lucky enough to secure a few early samples of the paper. I'll be publishing a mini-review of it and perhaps the bamboo later this week. The paper is quite nice, produces a good deep black around L* 18 on a 7900. The texture is somewhat directional and has a tooth slightly smoother than the German etching. The durability of the surface seems to be good, I didn't notice any flaking even when I rubbed it with my finger. No comment on how it tastes...yet. Ignoring the fact that it is a green paper, it stands on its own quite well as another nice option in the Hahnemuhle lineup. That said, the fact that it is made from renewable and recycled materials, without sacrificing on quality, is a real innovation, and hopefully a sign of things to come.
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Julian Mussi

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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2009, 12:26:09 PM »
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Julian,

Thank you for the quick review. Good to hear it compares favorably to the rest of Hahnemuhle's lineup; I look forward to reading you full review and how it compares to the Bamboo (which I quite like).
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Colorwave
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2009, 12:43:38 PM »
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Yes, thanks for the post, Julian.  You seem to be first on the block with this new product, so congratulations. I'm looking forward to it, and understand from Hahnemuhle that inventory is expected in a couple of weeks.  I'm expecting it to be a popular offering here in Hawaii.  Green, and nice in it's own right is an excellent combo.
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Mulis Pictus
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 04:04:19 PM »
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Hi,

Quote from: Colorwave
I just got an announcement about Hahnemuhle having a new fine art paper made from Sugar Cane.  Intriguingly, the announcement came from Spectraflow, not one of my regular paper vendors.  Shades of Paper is often an early adopter of new papers, but no mention of it there or at Inkjet Art yet.

Has anybody the Sugar Cane yet?  I'm assuming that it prints similarly to Photo Rag or Bamboo, but would love some firsthand experience with it from other users (or vendors) before springing for a test roll.  Also, what is the surface texture like?  The Hahnemuhle site says it looks like a pastel paper, whatever that means to them.  I hope it doesn't handle like HP Hahnemuhle Textured Fine Art, that is so fragile and chalky that I've given up on it as a textured paper.
I was lucky enough to get 2 sheets of it few days ago. I don't have Bamboo at hand, but comparing to Photo Rag, it has much more obvious texture, which seems similar to Albrecht Durer, a bit more directional (parallel with one side), a bit less sharp or grainy. It also feels much heavier than A.Durer. I measured L* 17.65 for Sugar Cane and 17.73 for A.Durer. (on Epson 7900) So far I like this paper.

Quote from: Colorwave
On a related, but separate note, I've decided to drop offering Photo Rag as a standard matte rag paper in favor of Breathing Color's Optica One 300gsm.  I like the sharpness of detail, the color gamut (better in the reds, particularly), and the absence of OBAs.  My current lineup of fine art papers includes Breathing Color's Elegance Velvet for a textured surface, as well as Hahnemuhle Bamboo.  For certain images, I still carry and love Photo Rag Satin, too.
Are you sure Optica One and Elegance Velvet are OBA free? I checked BC's UK pages (I buy BC stuff from UK) and it mentions "OBA free" only for Sterling Rag Smooth, so I would expect the other papers contains some OBAs.

Mulis
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Colorwave
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2009, 04:46:20 PM »
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Hmmm . . . looks like you are right, Mulis.  I'm not sure if I misunderstood, or if I was given wrong information, when I spoke with my sales rep, but a quick search seems to prove you right.  Their Chromata White Canvas and Sterling Rag are OBA free, but by not mentioning OBAs with the Optica One and Elegance Velvet, one can most likely assume that they have them.  Interestingly enough, it doesn't seem like Sterling Rag is offered here in the US, only a slightly thicker satin rag paper called Allure Rag at 285 gsm.  Is the Sterling Rag something you have tried and liked?
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bill t.
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 11:18:20 PM »
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Wait!  "Sugar Cane?"  What day is this.

I do like Optica1, as a matte paper it makes very luminous prints even by glossy standards.  Too heavy, IMHO, but those customers who buy prints only love it.
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Mulis Pictus
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2009, 01:11:59 AM »
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Quote from: Colorwave
Hmmm . . . looks like you are right, Mulis.  I'm not sure if I misunderstood, or if I was given wrong information, when I spoke with my sales rep, but a quick search seems to prove you right.  Their Chromata White Canvas and Sterling Rag are OBA free, but by not mentioning OBAs with the Optica One and Elegance Velvet, one can most likely assume that they have them.  Interestingly enough, it doesn't seem like Sterling Rag is offered here in the US, only a slightly thicker satin rag paper called Allure Rag at 285 gsm.  Is the Sterling Rag something you have tried and liked?
I did not try the Sterrling Rag yet. I might get a sample roll with my next order of canvas from BC.

Mulis
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MHMG
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2009, 08:27:33 AM »
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Quote from: Mulis Pictus
Are you sure Optica One and Elegance Velvet are OBA free? I checked BC's UK pages (I buy BC stuff from UK) and it mentions "OBA free" only for Sterling Rag Smooth, so I would expect the other papers contains some OBAs.

Mulis

I can confirm Mulis's suspicion, having recently received a sample of Optica One printed on an Epson 4880 with K3VM inks from a new member of Aai&A's digital print research program. This paper is loaded with optical brighteners in the ink receptor coating (BTW, initial image quality of the submitted sample was outstanding). I have just started it in light fade testing, so it's too early to determine light fastness performance of this printer/ink/paper combo, but generally speaking, matte papers with this much OBA in the top coat have triggered the lower exposure boundary limit of the AaI&A conservation display rating (CDR) well before the overall image fade triggers the upper CDR fading limit. Subtle paper "yellowing" and the attendant effects on highlight color accuracy occurring early in test are what cause the lower limit to be reached more quickly (i.e., less accumulated exposure dose).

Papers that utilize OBA's more sparingly or that have no OBAs, when used in combination with pigmented ink sets, are generally performing much better in my tests.  Note that an AaI&A CDR rating is a more demanding standard than commonly cited industry-sponsored lightfastness ratings (i.e., CDR scores specify little or no noticeable visual change compared to industry standard tests that allow for "easily noticeable" visual change). Current industry-sponsored tests have a liberal paper yellowing criterion that essentially gives OBA fade a "free pass" in the display rating predictions.

best,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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jdoyle1713
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2009, 09:54:51 AM »
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Quote from: Mussi_Spectraflow
We were lucky enough to secure a few early samples of the paper. I'll be publishing a mini-review of it and perhaps the bamboo later this week. The paper is quite nice, produces a good deep black around L* 18 on a 7900. The texture is somewhat directional and has a tooth slightly smoother than the German etching. The durability of the surface seems to be good, I didn't notice any flaking even when I rubbed it with my finger. No comment on how it tastes...yet. Ignoring the fact that it is a green paper, it stands on its own quite well as another nice option in the Hahnemuhle lineup. That said, the fact that it is made from renewable and recycled materials, without sacrificing on quality, is a real innovation, and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Well Mussi It doesnt taste that good..I actually tried that! Sorry I haven't been chiming in lately as I have been quite busy with our move to a larger facility to hold more paper!! Sugar Cane rolls are due in to me early next week Cut sheets not for another 2 to 3 weeks!

Cheers to all
http://www.shadesofpaper.com
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Colorwave
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2009, 07:37:07 PM »
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Quote from: MHMG
I can confirm Mulis's suspicion, having recently received a sample of Optica One printed on an Epson 4880 with K3VM inks from a new member of Aai&A's digital print research program. This paper is loaded with optical brighteners in the ink receptor coating (BTW, initial image quality of the submitted sample was outstanding). I have just started it in light fade testing, so it's too early to determine light fastness performance of this printer/ink/paper combo, but generally speaking, matte papers with this much OBA in the top coat have triggered the lower exposure boundary limit of the AaI&A conservation display rating (CDR) well before the overall image fade triggers the upper CDR fading limit. Subtle paper "yellowing" and the attendant effects on highlight color accuracy occurring early in test are what cause the lower limit to be reached more quickly (i.e., less accumulated exposure dose).

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
Mark-
Any comments on the testing cited by Breathing Color?  They mention the Fine Art Trade Guild and Blue Wool fade testing.  I could probably guess your response, but would love to hear your thoughts on their validity.
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MHMG
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2009, 11:19:48 AM »
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Quote from: Colorwave
Mark-
Any comments on the testing cited by Breathing Color?  They mention the Fine Art Trade Guild and Blue Wool fade testing.  I could probably guess your response, but would love to hear your thoughts on their validity.

Hello Colorwave,

To the credit of Breathing Color, the company actually puts a lot of effort into discussing image permanence issues on its website. Unfortunatey, it's hard to find the "meat" in the archival quality certificate BC awards to its own products.  Here are two excerpts from the BC Archival Quality Certificate:  

1) "Breathing Color is committed to performing extensive independent testing by third-party accredited laboratories in order to ensure that our fine art products meet and exceed the standards set forth by Fine Art Trade
Guild (FATG) for pH and lightfastness".

 2) "THIS CERTIFICATE SERVES TO ENSURE THAT [this product] Meets the Archival Standards set
forth by Fine Art Trade Guild for pH and lightfastness".

What I wasn't able to find on the website was what third party ran the tests, copies of the actual tests, or what printers and inks were used to conduct the light fastness portion of the Fine Art Trade Guild's Blue wool derived light fade test. The lightfastness part of the FATG specification by its very design is a "system test". You can't just test the paper. You must test the real artwork, which for a fine art inkjet print means the printer screening pattern, the ink, the paper or canvas, any post treatments or coatings, and most importantly the artist's actual image. The FATG light fade method is therefore a sacrificial test on one real print in test. Hence, this test is mainly applicable to a limited edition run of prints all made at the same time. At best, a manufacturer could only copy but not precisely replicate an FATG lightfade test by choosing a generic test target image, but it would still have to be a total system analysis not a test of the media by itself.

Not too belabor the issues, but the FATG light fade test is really quite interesting and worth a little more discussion.
As I understand it, the Guild has specified a visual test which artists can perform on their own artwork (or it can be run in an accelerated light fade chamber). It is based on comparison of the artwork fading to ISO blue wool #6 color patch fading when both are exposed to the same incident light source. The ISO Blue wool dyes (there are eight of them) have been studied to death and have a long history of use in the museum and archives community as well as the textile industry where they originated.  They also have batch to batch variability issues and many other quirks, but I don't mean to disparage them. They have served their intended purpose well over the years.

The Guild's test method is roughly this:  One print and one BW#6 color patch are stored in the dark while another identical print plus BW#6 patch is exposed to light (presumably a sunlight window test). The viewer must observe a just noticeable change in the BW#6 color patch before seeing any noticeable change in the artwork when comparing the light exposed samples to the dark stored samples. If the artwork shows signs of fading or discoloration prior to fade being observed in the BW6 patch, the print fails the FATG test specification. On its fundamental merits, this approach is really quite good because it sets a rigorous standard for allowable change at the test endpoint that I believe most fine art printmakers would find desireable, ie., little or no noticeable light-induced fading of the artwork at a specified exposure dose. Another positive aspect of using an actual image is that the test addresses the important issue of image-specific fading whereby different combinations of colors and tones can contribute to easier or harder-to-notice signs of fading. However, a disadvantage is obviously the sacrificial nature of the test such that the method appears to be useful only for limited edition print sets where one print can be sacrificed.  All that said, the Guild's basic testing concept actually had a great deal of influence on me as I was working out the instrumented colorimetric approach I now use to specify the AaI&A conservation display ratings (CDRs). I simply take the test standardization and the measurement of "little or no visual change" a few steps further by using spectrophotometric instrumentation to detect that change and by bolting down the spectral illuminant and the temperature and RH during the test cycle in order to create a fully standardized test protocol. Moreover, the AaI&A CDR scores give comparative figures of merit for product (total system) performance whereas the guild test is a pass/fail rating only.

In a search through the art conservation literature, I found the critical exposure dose information we need to know in order to understand the light fastness of the Blue wool #6 patch and consequently the Guild's pass/fail performance expectation. The reported exposure dose is 100 Megalux-hrs for just noticeable fade of the BW6. Also, it is important to note that this 100 megalux hour exposure was achieved with a UV excluded light source (consistent with what museum lighting specialists would do when illuminating valuable artwork on display).  Additionally, the UK Guild test has generally been interpreted to mean 100 years on display before any just noticeable light-induced fading occurs. That means 100 years is being equated to a 100 Megalux hour exposure dose.  Hence, the FATG's 100 year interpretation for BW6 lightfastness establishes a one-to-one Mluxhrs-to-years correspondence which means an assumption of approximately 225 lux for 12 hours per day average illumination levels. This is about half the illumination level cited by WIR in its predictions (450lux per 12hr day) but nearly twice what Kodak cites for its predictions (120 Lux per 12 hr day). You can probably understand why I finally concluded that predicting years on display for light-induced fading becomes a fool's game. Letting end-users extrapolate rated Megalux hour exposure doses to their own specific lighting conditions may be a little harder for the end-user than dumbing down the rating to "years on display" but it's not that hard. Moreover, it will result in a more honest assessment of lightfastness performance.  Prints in Real world display conditions can encounter "normal" illumination levels that range well over 1000:1.  Significance of a global "average" print illumination value doesn't mean a whole lot compared to having more specific knowledge of a print's true display environment, and as you can see from the 4:1 discrepancy between WIR and Kodak predictions, defining that "average" illumination condition isn't an easy factor to quantify and agree upon, either. Megalux hour ratings resolve that dispute.

Finally, to summarize my own light fade method in use at AaI&A with respect to the FATG  BW6 comparative performance expectation, it appears that if AaI&A test samples reach 100 Megalux hours in test before triggering the CDR limits (note that I do include some UVA energy content in my light fade testing), then 100+ Megalux hour CDR scores should qualify print materials to also pass the UK Guild light fastness test. I've got some Breathing Color canvas and paper samples printed with Epson K3 and K3VM ink sets in test now, so we will find out in about a year if they reach the 100 Mlux-hr mark without triggering CDR limits. Its take a while to rack up 100 MLux-hrs in my less aggressively accelerated testing units. If the samples do achieve 100+ Megalux-hour ratings, the results are for these tested systems only.  Other printers and inks would inevitably have different CDR scores.

I'm curious to know what you thought I might say, but I hope my remarks offer a reasoned reply to your question.

Best regards,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

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MHMG
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2009, 11:47:08 AM »
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Just one more message to bring us back a little more on the topic of Sugarcane!

I've got some HN Bamboo paper printed with a couple of different pigmented ink sets already in light fade testing. I'd love to have an AaI&A member submit a printed sample of its "green" companion, the new Sugarcane paper, for light fastness testing.  

Jim Doyle, not to put you on the spot here, but corporate membership in the AaI&A digital print research program is not too steep, and financial sponsorship of the test results to make them fully accessible to the public isn't prohibitive, either.  You've got the best machines to print the samples, soon will have the paper, and you'd be helping the LL community to gather some independent lightfastness test results if you elect to sponsor a test or two.

Just a small self-serving plea for some help to keep the digital print research program expanding! Jim, I hope you don't mind.


Best regards,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Colorwave
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2009, 01:15:33 PM »
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Quote from: MHMG
I'm curious to know what you thought I might say, but I hope my remarks offer a reasoned reply to your question.
Mark-
First of all, thanks for the incredibly thorough answer about the fade testing.  I get a sense of your commitment to this topic just by reading your words.

As for what I thought you might say, since it seemed vague and was only a pass fail result, provided in the self serving interest of a manufacturer, I expected you to poke some holes in the results.  You did, as well as a few broader concepts behind this type of research, as well.  That isn't to say that it seems without any merit, just not as much merit as we would like.  

I don't know if Breathing Color chose to have their products tested by the Fine Art Trade Guild in lieu of Wilhelm, or in addition to Wilhelm.  I assume, as a for profit enterprise, that WIR costs more for their test regimen than FATG.  Like any company, Breathing Color is not likely to tout negative results in their marketing, though, either.  Perhaps it is just a matter of Breathing Color not having the resources to fund Wilhelm testing.  As best I can recall, I don't think I've seen other manufacturers mention Fine Art Trade Guild findings in their sales pitch, so that got my attention, and I find that an interesting distinction.

Back a little more on topic, I understand that Hahnemuhle incorporates the OBAs into the paper, rather than just applying them as a surface coating.  If they are going to be there for the sake of initial print brilliance, does it seem to make a difference how they are incorporated in the paper?  I'm guessing that the Bamboo (and probably the Sugar Cane) have less OBAs than other Hahnemuhle papers, based on the more natural tone of the paper surface.
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MHMG
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2009, 02:57:45 PM »
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Quote from: Colorwave
Back a little more on topic, I understand that Hahnemuhle incorporates the OBAs into the paper, rather than just applying them as a surface coating.  If they are going to be there for the sake of initial print brilliance, does it seem to make a difference how they are incorporated in the paper?  I'm guessing that the Bamboo (and probably the Sugar Cane) have less OBAs than other Hahnemuhle papers, based on the more natural tone of the paper surface.

Yes, absolutely.

HN Bamboo has no OBAs in it at all. I don't know about HN Sugarcane until I get hold of a sample. Compare Bamboo (more warm white) to HN photo Rag, (closer to neutral under D50 illuminant), for example. Photo Rag has some OBAs in the paper core but none in the coatings. When used sparingly in this manner, the light-induced changes to initial paper color over time is sometimes just barely noticeable, and sometimes no worse than non-OBA containing products because the non OBA containing papers occasionally use other types of dyes to "level" out the manufacturing batch-to-batch color consistency. Those leveling dyes, to the extent that they are added to bring the specific batch color back into initial specification, can also fade in test. I have at least one example of this effect in the AaI&A light fade database. It a non OBA-free paper in the Museo line of fine art papers.  That said, the truly weak performers in terms of initial paper color retention with respect to light-induced changes, are the papers that incorporate high levels of OBA into the image coating layer.  Breathing Color Optica One is likely going to be a representative example of this type of product, but I won't know for sure until the test is further in progress. Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Matte (aka, Enhanced Matte, Heavy Weight Matte, and Archival Matte), Epson Exhibition Fiber paper, and Hp Pro Satin Photo paper are some other examples of heavy reliance on OBAs in the ink receptor coatings. These papers all exhibit noticeable "yellowing" in the highlights upon exposure to light (yet still get a free pass in the current industry-sponsored tests).

OBAs are colorless dyes that fluoresce under the UVA part of the spectrum to influence the colors of everything around them. Like other classes of dyes, some are probably more stable than others, although to date I've seen no evidence of much difference among different inkjet paper manufacturers in terms of intrinsic OBA lightfastness. However, Colorwave, as you suspected, location and concentration of the dyes is indeed really important, and this fact is manifested most by the "ultra bright white" variety of papers that all seem to rely on heavy incorporation of OBAs in the ink receptor layer. To sum up, what my test show so far, is that staying away from OBAs altogether is a simple and safe approach if you can adhere to it, but as long as one avoids the OBAs in the top coat, other locations in the media (e.g, paper core, and anti curl layers) often allow the paper to perform as well as other OBA-free papers. I think fine art printmakers should probably keep an open mind about OBA usage at this point in time but definitely avoid the obviously weak systems once they are identified. A good reason to keep building the AaI&A light fade test results database!

Best,
Mark
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MHMG
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2009, 03:08:15 PM »
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Quote from: MHMG
I have at least one example of this effect in the AaI&A light fade database. It a non OBA-free paper in the Museo line of fine art papers.

Sorry, I meant to type, "It's an OBA-free paper in the Museo line of fine art papers".


Mark
http://www.aardendburg-imaging.com
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jdoyle1713
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2009, 06:57:10 PM »
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Quote from: MHMG
Just one more message to bring us back a little more on the topic of Sugarcane!

I've got some HN Bamboo paper printed with a couple of different pigmented ink sets already in light fade testing. I'd love to have an AaI&A member submit a printed sample of its "green" companion, the new Sugarcane paper, for light fastness testing.  

Jim Doyle, not to put you on the spot here, but corporate membership in the AaI&A digital print research program is not too steep, and financial sponsorship of the test results to make them fully accessible to the public isn't prohibitive, either.  You've got the best machines to print the samples, soon will have the paper, and you'd be helping the LL community to gather some independent lightfastness test results if you elect to sponsor a test or two.

Just a small self-serving plea for some help to keep the digital print research program expanding! Jim, I hope you don't mind.


Best regards,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com


Mark

I am sure we can work something out..I am not against testing or anything thats some great info for sure! Give me a call next week and we can discuss ok
If its for the purpose of this group its a no brainer many of you are Team Shades most LOYAL customers

Cheers
Jim Doyle
http://www.shadesofpaper.com
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Colorwave
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2009, 03:55:49 PM »
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On the subject of the new Sugar Cane material, can we expect the price to be in line with the Hahnemuhle Bamboo?  I was taking a look at my paper prices last night and hadn't realized or had forgotten that the Bamboo is one of the better bargains out there, in terms of comparable papers.
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2009, 04:45:29 PM »
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Quote from: Colorwave
On the subject of the new Sugar Cane material, can we expect the price to be in line with the Hahnemuhle Bamboo?  I was taking a look at my paper prices last night and hadn't realized or had forgotten that the Bamboo is one of the better bargains out there, in terms of comparable papers.

Yes Ron, the Hahnemuhle Bamboo and the NEW! Hahnemuhle Sugar Cane are priced identically!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 04:53:16 PM by SarahNewman » Logged

Happy Printing!

Sarah Newman
Spectraflow, Inc.
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