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Author Topic: Canvas Suggestions  (Read 9808 times)
KenBabcock
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« on: February 05, 2010, 10:44:37 AM »
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Hello folks!

My very first post here.  Glad I found this board.  You'll be seeing me here often

My name is Ken.  I live in  Guelph, Ontario.  That is about an hour or so NW of Toronto.  I've been a traditional oil painting artist for 25 years (I'm 34 now).  I got into photography a few years ago as a hobby (like I need more hobbies, only got a dozen or so now - LOL).  I've been printing on canvas for about 5 years.  I started with an Epson 2200 and upgraded to a 7600.  I reproduce some of my art work and photographs on canvas.

So far I've been using Canon canvas.  I've tried PremierART and Bulldog canvases in the past.  They're both extremely yellow in appearance compared to the Canon.  However, Canon canvas is VERY stiff.  It's almost impossible to stretch over stretcher bars without first wetting the edges with water.  I do like the appearance and texture of Canon canvas because it is very realistic to the traditional canvas I've used for oil painting.  The Bulldog canvas is pretty smooth and doesn't really look like canvas, but rather more like little dots or diamonds that have been pressed by machine into fabric.  Not very attractive at all.

Right now I've got a few customers who order canvas prints from me.  I'd like to expand that further and hopefully create some sort of a small business or even extra cash to pay for my hobby at least.  I'm a teacher (recent grad after changing careers) and only work part time thanks to the economic downturn.  Finding full time employment as a teacher may take a few years, so ideally I'd like to supplement my income with some printing.

So, what I'm looking for are some suggestions for canvas.  I've looked into most brands (Epson, Canon, Bulldog, Fredrix, Breathing Color, and many more).  The problem is that I can't look at or feel the canvas, obviously, before buying.  Canvas is way too expensive to be trying out, like I found out with Bulldog.  I'm looking for something that is toothy like canvas should be, bright white, easy to work with without having to drench in water to soften, and not too glossy.  I like matte canvas so that I can spray a satin finish over it later.  I'm not a fan of the super glossy surface like Epson has.  Price is also a consideration too.  I can't go too pricey otherwise customers balk at the cost of the canvas prints.

Any suggestions on canvas and if so where you personally purchase from and the price?

BTW I should mention that I just filled out an online form to receive a sample pack from Fredrix, so at least I will get to see the texture and feel before committing to purchase a full roll.

Thanks for any help!

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Inanda Images
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 11:29:41 AM »
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Hi Ken;
I am using a BF Injet Canvas for my clients these days. I have been getting it through http://www.sunrisempc.com/ who are in your neck of the woods. The only downside to this product is I have clean the cloth dust out of the 9880 before printing on paper again. Reasonably priced and they provide iffy ICC profiles. I had to tune the ICC profile a bit to get the results my clients wanted. Hope that helps.

BF website
http://www.bfinkjet.com/docs/home/home.asp

Mark Prins
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neile
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 02:29:40 PM »
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Welcome Ken!

If you search the forum you'll find several threads that discuss the various canvas options. Breathing Color Lyve is pretty popular, and they sell nice little test rolls (17"x20' for example) at very reasonable prices so you can test it out before committing to a full roll. I don't print on canvas much, but the stuff I have done on Lyve has turned out very nicely.

Neil

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Neil Enns
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 10:43:57 PM »
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Quote from: KenBabcock
Thanks for the suggestions.

I have looked into the Breathing Color Chroma White and Lyve before. However, the shipping charges to Canada are crazy. Plus, they only ship via UPS, which I refuse to use. UPS charges "brokerage fees" that are usually around the same price as the product itself when delivered in Canada.

Does the Chroma White and Lyve crack any at all when folding corners?

It doesn't crack if you coat it properly prior to stretching. You might try calling Breathing Color and seeing if they'll ship to you by USPS. No brokerage fees that way, and they still get to Canada relatively quickly. I agree, UPS (and FedEx) ground shipping to Canada is a total ripoff.

Neil
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Neil Enns
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2010, 12:28:39 AM »
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I am conditionally fond of Fredrix 777.  Has a symmetrical, non-corrugated, rather fine texture that makes sharp prints (for a canvas).   By "non corrugated" I mean the texture looks the same if I rotate the canvas 90 degrees.   Has brighteners, but not to the extreme.  Compared to Lyve has better gamut in the medium and brighter tones, and less gamut in the dark tones...which IMHO makes it a good canvas for artwork giclees.  I always glue it to Gatorfoam but I am told by others that it stretches well and it feels very supple even when coated.  Takes GlamourII very well.  By controlling the first coat I can either bring out or suppress the texture to a considerable degree.  Like all the canvases I have used there is some batch-to-batch variation in the canvas.  For instance just right now the 24, 36 and 44 inch rolls I have are all slightly different in texture and brightness.  But to its credit it does not have the highly polarized, "corrugated" texture that is the only thing that prevents me from using Lyve.  Fredrix 901 is very similar but with a little more texture.  About $110 shipped in the US per 24"x40' roll, and I know where you can get it for $100 in small quantities of rolls.

There is a well regarded Canadian canvas manufacturer, doh! the name eludes me.  I've still got a 36" roll of "Can 901" I bought a while ago with a return address of "Ontario Specialty Coatings Corporation" but that's not the official company name.  Very nice canvas btw, but has a little too much corrugation for me.
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 03:26:12 AM »
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Quote from: KenBabcock
Thanks for the suggestions.

I have looked into the Breathing Color Chroma White and Lyve before.  However, the shipping charges to Canada are crazy.  Plus, they only ship via UPS, which I refuse to use.  UPS charges "brokerage fees" that are usually around the same price as the product itself when delivered in Canada.

Does the Chroma White and Lyve crack any at all when folding corners?

Vistek also carries the Breathing Color line, I believe the closest store to guelph is in Mississauga. Not sure how their prices compare to US pricing though, as I can honestly say that I've never priced out media across the border(perhaps I should...my 44" roll of epson's premium satin canvas is almost out)
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 05:59:59 AM »
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Canvas is what we do. I have not tried them all but sure have tried my share. We started with a half dozen rolls of Epson's satin and matte. Next we tried Breathing Colors Chroma white and Lyve for several month trials
We then moved on to  Lexjet. Matte,Satin and Instant Dry Satin. We settled on the Lexjet Matte. Fantastic stuff and at .92 a sq. ft. it beats everything out there from a cost standpoint. Stretches easy,smooth texture and the colors printed from both the 7900 and 9900 are of the highest standard . Best of all we can control the final sheen with our Glamor II coatings so the Matte canvas is all we need to buy. Usually a 80% gloss 20% satin for a nice semi gloss finish. Some of these other canvases that we have used all have something good about each one. The bottom line is the higher cost versus any visual benefit from these other canvas products just is not there. In our gallery I have at least 40 canvas prints hanging. You can walk around that room and it is almost  impossible to pick one canvas from another. I think I may have somewhere between 4 and 6 different canvases on the wall and you just cannot tell them apart. Not saying fussing over a canvas choice is over rated but if I have trouble picking one from another you know the client can't either.
We were that impressed with Lexjet that they now sponsor our "2010 Canvas Workshops"
Give Kelly at Lexjet a call for some samples.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 07:34:40 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

David Saffir
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 02:31:18 PM »
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Your question is very interesting. I've tried several types of canvas products, and they all have strengths and weaknesses.

One thing I've been focused on lately is how I finish the print - in other words, coatings, sprays, enhancements, etc.

I've been using the HP Professional Matte Canvas lately with good results. Very smooth color palette, good screen to print match, it stretches nicely, and it accepts both aqueous liquid coatings (like Premier Eco Print Shield) and at least some of the solvent based sprays, like Hahnemuhle.

Cost is kind of middle of the road; it is handled by relatively few dealers. If you want a couple of referrals contact me off-list via email.

David

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Neuffy
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2010, 05:43:07 PM »
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Quote from: StevenSzabo
Vistek also carries the Breathing Color line, I believe the closest store to guelph is in Mississauga. Not sure how their prices compare to US pricing though, as I can honestly say that I've never priced out media across the border(perhaps I should...my 44" roll of epson's premium satin canvas is almost out)

I use Breathing Color media, and it's _way_ cheaper to order from the US - particularly if you can order 10 rolls at once.
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chez
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2010, 03:43:31 PM »
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Quote from: KenBabcock
Thanks for the suggestions.

I have looked into the Breathing Color Chroma White and Lyve before.  However, the shipping charges to Canada are crazy.  Plus, they only ship via UPS, which I refuse to use.  UPS charges "brokerage fees" that are usually around the same price as the product itself when delivered in Canada.

Does the Chroma White and Lyve crack any at all when folding corners?

There is another distributor of Breathing Color in Canada. Look up Amplis Foto out of Markham Ontario. The Lyve canvas for 24" x 40' is priced at:

1 roll at $162.00
3+ rolls at 135.00 / roll
10+ rolls at 119.00 / roll

That is in Canadian dollars. Shipping obviously varies depending on how many rolls and where you are located.

I have used Amplis without any problems. Give them a try if you are in Canada and want to use Breathing Color products.

harry
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bwphoto
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2010, 06:39:45 PM »
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Quote from: chez
There is another distributor of Breathing Color in Canada. Look up Amplis Foto out of Markham Ontario. The Lyve canvas for 24" x 40' is priced at:

1 roll at $162.00
3+ rolls at 135.00 / roll
10+ rolls at 119.00 / roll

That is in Canadian dollars. Shipping obviously varies depending on how many rolls and where you are located.

I have used Amplis without any problems. Give them a try if you are in Canada and want to use Breathing Color products.

harry

Thanks for the info on Amplis.  I am looking for a Canadian distributor as well......
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2010, 08:12:45 PM »
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It is always difficult when you are not located in an area rich with suppliers. So why not search for and email suppliers, describe your plans and needs, as you have above, and ask for some sample swatches to evaluate?

Businesses are looking for customers and most will do anything within reason to obtain a new customer.
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Jack Varney
michael a
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 12:54:49 AM »
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Quote from: Dan Berg
Canvas is what we do. I have not tried them all but sure have tried my share. We started with a half dozen rolls of Epson's satin and matte. Next we tried Breathing Colors Chroma white and Lyve for several month trials
We then moved on to  Lexjet. Matte,Satin and Instant Dry Satin. We settled on the Lexjet Matte. Fantastic stuff and at .92 a sq. ft. it beats everything out there from a cost standpoint. Stretches easy,smooth texture and the colors printed from both the 7900 and 9900 are of the highest standard .
Dan, Lexjet lists these three types of canvas on their web site, and two types of mat.  Which mat are you using?  From your experience, what is the difference in the two types of mat canvas?

Lexjet Instant Dry Satin
LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas
LexJet Universal Photo Canvas Matte

Breathing Color heavily markets the fact that Lyve doesn't have OBAs.  Does Lexjet canvas?  Does it matter if the canvas is coated?  Does that provide the same level of protection, if a gallery wrap is used with no glass, as the use of UV glass with paper prints?

Dan and anyone else --

Have you tried PremierArt Eco Print Shield?  The on-line explanatory video for Eco Print Shield says that it must be applied three times if you roll it on.  The video is also confusing.  It says that the mat and satin contain "diffusing agents."  But the video states that you don't need those agents for all three coats or the result is milky blacks.  So it seems to be suggesting that the first two coats should be gloss, and the third application would be satin or mat if that is the final finish you want.  But the dumb video doesn't say that explicitly, and the directions for spaying appear to suggest that you spray once using one finish.  Can anyone confirm whether three coats are needed?  For satin, do you apply three satin coats, or two gloss and a final satin?

How does Eco Print Shield compare to Glamour II?  Especially for rolling.  One coat or three?  Ease of application, especially with rollers?  Quality of the product?  Appearance in the final print?

Dan and others, thanks for any responses.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 12:55:41 AM by michael a » Logged
Dan Berg
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 05:11:37 AM »
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Quote from: michael a
Dan, Lexjet lists these three types of canvas on their web site, and two types of mat.  Which mat are you using?  From your experience, what is the difference in the two types of mat canvas?

Lexjet Instant Dry Satin
LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas
LexJet Universal Photo Canvas Matte

Breathing Color heavily markets the fact that Lyve doesn't have OBAs.  Does Lexjet canvas?  Does it matter if the canvas is coated?  Does that provide the same level of protection, if a gallery wrap is used with no glass, as the use of UV glass with paper prints?

Dan and anyone else --

Have you tried PremierArt Eco Print Shield?  The on-line explanatory video for Eco Print Shield says that it must be applied three times if you roll it on.  The video is also confusing.  It says that the mat and satin contain "diffusing agents."  But the video states that you don't need those agents for all three coats or the result is milky blacks.  So it seems to be suggesting that the first two coats should be gloss, and the third application would be satin or mat if that is the final finish you want.  But the dumb video doesn't say that explicitly, and the directions for spaying appear to suggest that you spray once using one finish.  Can anyone confirm whether three coats are needed?  For satin, do you apply three satin coats, or two gloss and a final satin?

How does Eco Print Shield compare to Glamour II?  Especially for rolling.  One coat or three?  Ease of application, especially with rollers?  Quality of the product?  Appearance in the final print?

Dan and others, thanks for any responses.

I will address as much of this as I can.
I primarily use the Lexjet Sunset Select Matte. We also have some of the Instant Dry which has a satin finish.(semi gloss)  ALL canvas need to be coated with something for moisture and uv protection. We use 2 products Glamor II and Clear Star Fine Art which is a solvent based finish we spray. The pluses for the Clearstar are almost an instant dry due to its solvent base. We have a spray booth so the solvents are a non issue at least for us. We really only use this in workshops for quicker turn times. The Glamor takes 4 to 8 hours to dry properly before you can stretch and we strretch the Clearstar coated media in less then an hour. The reason we do not use Clearstar on a regular basis is due to its cost. At $100.00 a gal for a laquer based product its just too expensive!
I am mixing the Glamor a little thicker these days and am only using 1 heavy rolled coat. Mixture 20% water 60% glamor II satin ant 20% Glamor II Matte.When we started we did 2 lighter coats but it just does not seem necessary. I do not spray the Glamor as I have Binks HVLP equipment in my spray booth for furniture and just do not want to contaminate the larger containers.
Back to the Lexjet Instant Dry for a minute. Lexjet promotes the Instant dry canvas with a coating that will absorb the ink in a special way and then not require a topcoat. Have found a few things out in our tests. First of all it is quite glossy. Our customers just do not seem to like glossy canvases. YOMV. When stretching this canvas with no coating we got substancial cracking on the backsides of the stretcher frames. So it does need coating like the rest of them. We did not do any flat Gatorboard mounts to date with this product. With no stretching it may be possible to get away with no coatings. Sorry I cannot answer the Eco Print Shield questions.
OBA's Now we are getting into an area I like to shy away from because its just not a big concern for me. Many folks have such strong feelings about OBA's  and this whole archival thing. As my mother used to say pick your battles and this isn't one of them.
Read up what Henry Wilhelm has to say about all this. The canvas and inks we use have at least a 100 years of life,thats enough for me oba's or not.
 I believe Breathing Color Lyve does not have oba's nor does the Lexjet Matte many others do.
Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 01:58:02 PM by Dan Berg » Logged

Doyle Yoder
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2010, 05:21:35 AM »
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Quote from: Dan Berg
Read up what Wilheim has to say about all this. The canvas and inks we use have at least a 100 years of life,thats enough for me oba's or not.

I really wonder how many years of life one will get with a non UV coating like Glamor II?

Doyle
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michael a
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2010, 06:14:26 AM »
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Quote from: Dan Berg
I will address as much of this as I can.
I primarily use the Lexjet Sunset Select Matte. .
OBA's Now we are getting into an area I like to shy away from because its just not a big concern for me. Many folks have such strong feelings about OBA's  and this whole archival thing. As my mother used to say pick your battles and this isn't one of them.
Read up what Wilheim has to say about all this. The canvas and inks we use have at least a 100 years of life,thats enough for me oba's or not.
Yes I believe Breathing Color Lyve does not have oba's most others do.
Hope this helps.
Dan,

Thanks very much for the very informative response.  Now we know which Lexjet paper to try.  Greatly appreciate your help.

One other question.  It is possible to buy, or build, smaller spray booths that could fit in the corner of a utility room and then be vented to the outside.  They are 4' x 7' x 2" and open in the front where you spray, with a fan in the back.  But such booths are still open and not enclosed like spray rooms.  Could that work for a water based coating like Glamour?  While recognizing that it would not work for a solvent?  (Among other issues, utility rooms by definition contain furnaces, hot water heaters and other sources of natural gas.  So spaying a solvent could be deadly.)  But again, would it work for a water-based product that I assume is not flammable?  Or is that idea nuts, and it is easier to stick with rollers?

I agree with you about picking your battles!  OBAs are a matter of nearly ideological conviction for some folks.  I've used papers both with and without them; am not an expert or anyone who cares that much; and asked more as a matter of curiosity.  Someone posted here that if you put a paper with OBAs behind UV glass, the OBAs can't do their job, since the UV glass blocks the very light that causes the OBAs to turn white!  I've never tested that though.  But it did strike me as a contradiction that UV glass is used to prevent fading, including by OBAs, and yet UV glass might prevent the OBAs from causing the paper to look white in the first place!
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2010, 06:17:11 AM »
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Doyle,
Good question!  
The clearstar has the uv inhibitor and the Glamor does not.
 I believe Wilhelms quote was 100 years with no coatings.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 06:18:09 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2010, 10:07:26 PM »
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Ken, 1st off, welcome to LL forum... there are some amazing people on here that are willing to help out...

about the canvas question...  I have tried Lexjet instant dry satin (thin and rough texture), breathing color lyve( my fav at the moment) , breathing color gloss (too glossy)  and black diamond (cheap feeling) ... all sprayed with Glamour 2 gloss .. I love the glossy look to a canvas... plus the coating is real important when stretching and the Colors just come alive when you coat it with glamour 2 gloss... the blacks get blacker and the colors pops...



I love to try new canvas papers.. im on a mission to find the best... lyve is doing great right now... but  CANSON not canon has
just started making Inkjet papers... they have been around for years, but now entering in the Inkjet Market... they have 3 canvas papers..

1 is a gloss canvas
1 artist canvas
1 matte canvas

the samples are really nice.. cant wait to run out of lyve so i can try these...

but really its a personal journey,, Ive seen some canvas papers that are horrible that people just LOVE... so really its a personal thing...


I have the wagner sprayer .. but it just didnt cut it for me... I went to home depot and got a HVLP gun and hooked it up to our compressor and put  a air limiter on it so it only comes out at 35 psi..
and it is just been more consistant...

good luck!
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Ken
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2010, 11:07:11 AM »
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Quote from: Inanda Images
I am using a BF Injet Canvas for my clients these days. I have been getting it through http://www.sunrisempc.com/ who are in your neck of the woods. The only downside to this product is I have clean the cloth dust out of the 9880 before printing on paper again. Reasonably priced and they provide iffy ICC profiles. I had to tune the ICC profile a bit to get the results my clients wanted. Hope that helps.

Mark -

Sunrisempc site... I can not find the BF canvas.

BF PC 12.2 UDH canvas... I had tried five other canvases. Eric at Booksmartstudio.com recommended the PC and MC BF canvases for high D-Max and color saturation. The test rolls had quite a bit of dust, as you had mentioned, but the full size rolls haven't had that problem.

Profiles... The BF site indicates they're working on providing profiles. I sent one email a week for four weeks to BF asking what they recommend as a substitute profile until they get theirs ready. I also asked if they had a preference for type of protective spray or other coating. They have never replied to any of the emails, even to acknowledge receiving them. I have seen posts by others on these forums who have quit using BF products because of their non-existent customer service.

Someone told me that BF makes the only product that Canson doesn't make for themselves, and that's the Canson canvas. I downloaded Canson's profile and tried it as-is. Turned out very much denser than displayed on my calibrated monitor. After some trial and error with ink density printer settings and adjusting gamma with an Exposure layer in Photoshop, I'm very happy with the results. As long as I don't need customer service, I'll continue using their canvas until something better, or equivalent, comes along. The Canson canvas is nice, but not quite up to the BF PC 12.2 UDH in my experience.
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2010, 07:01:51 PM »
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Quote from: Ken
Mark -

Sunrisempc site... I can not find the BF canvas.

BF PC 12.2 UDH canvas... I had tried five other canvases. Eric at Booksmartstudio.com recommended the PC and MC BF canvases for high D-Max and color saturation. The test rolls had quite a bit of dust, as you had mentioned, but the full size rolls haven't had that problem.

Profiles... The BF site indicates they're working on providing profiles. I sent one email a week for four weeks to BF asking what they recommend as a substitute profile until they get theirs ready. I also asked if they had a preference for type of protective spray or other coating. They have never replied to any of the emails, even to acknowledge receiving them. I have seen posts by others on these forums who have quit using BF products because of their non-existent customer service.

Someone told me that BF makes the only product that Canson doesn't make for themselves, and that's the Canson canvas. I downloaded Canson's profile and tried it as-is. Turned out very much denser than displayed on my calibrated monitor. After some trial and error with ink density printer settings and adjusting gamma with an Exposure layer in Photoshop, I'm very happy with the results. As long as I don't need customer service, I'll continue using their canvas until something better, or equivalent, comes along. The Canson canvas is nice, but not quite up to the BF PC 12.2 UDH in my experience.

Hi All,

A very timely topic.

As a background I'm printing with a Epson 9880 that I have had for about two years...with many thanks to this forum for help in selecting it and answering my questions while I was shopping for a printer. I'm printing mainly on canvas, repros of my paintings and other artist works.

I'm currently looking to switch to a new canvas. I have tried Epson, Hp Pro Matte, something called "Universal" canvas and have not been pleased with the results, mainly due "ink rub" and cracking while stretching. So far from what I have found online Breathing Colour seems to be on top. I have yet to test it but was looking to order today. I have read that in combo with Glamour II there is no cracking while stretching?

I have been using a Krylon Uv Clear coating to finish similar to what I would use on my original oils and acrylics...The look is terrific but it does not stand up to gallery wrap on my canvas stretching machine. (Build a homemade model if anyone is ever interested in doing so...bit of work but I can stretch a 12 x 16 canvas in under a minute, side staple or gallery wrap, and up to 36" wide).

Has anyone purchased directly from Amplis Foto? I found them online yesterday but thought they sounded like they would not sell direct to business but where a distributor.

I expect to be trying out some samples next week and will check back to see if there are any new updates...

Ken it sounds as though you are going through a similar search. Hope to hear how you progress.
best of luck,

Shawn
Whalen Fine Art & Framing
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