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Author Topic: Any recent mat papers comparable to Velvet Fine Arts?  (Read 2231 times)
AaronD
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« on: March 08, 2010, 02:37:01 PM »
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I have been using a Epson 2200 and VFA for years and have never found a paper with richer blacks - but now I've got a 3880 on the way and would like to know what people have tried in a mat, 100% rag paper that equals or betters VFA.  I will try the new Epson Hot Press Natural, I think, but others?

I will eventually try papers for photo black ink, too, but I'm taking small steps to begin with and need to get a small show printed pretty quick...

Thanks in advance!

-A
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neile
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 11:58:41 PM »
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I did a quick search through my paper database and came up with 24 papers I've tried that meet your 100% Cotton, Matte, requirements. Of those, using my printer (Canon iPF5100) and my test image, the ones I measured the deepest blacks on are:

Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth
Hahnemuhle Museum Etching
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright White
Bergger PN33

Moab Entrada paper is nice too and has similar blacks to the above. All these papers vary quite a bit in paper tone and texture. The Bergger PN33, for example, is hideously ugly due to its texture. The Photo Rag Ultra Smooth, on the other hand and as its name suggests, is quite smooth. Entrada has a nice, light, texture.

You can download the database and do your own filtering to come up with a candidate list of papers to try. All of them are generally available in small sample packs with a variety of papers so you can try them on your own to find one you like. I can't recommend a personal favourite from this list as I don't like printing on matte paper

If you really, truly, want rich blacks you should take some of the baryta papers for a spin. They're "glossy", but the blacks are amazing.

Neil

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Neil Enns
Dane Creek Folio Covers. Limited edition Tuscan Sun and Citron covers are now in stock!
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2010, 09:24:59 AM »
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To elaborate on Neil's point (and his very useful database!!), the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultrasmooth is a wonderful paper.  I've just done some prints for friends and they were knocked out by it.  It is my preferred matte paper for printing on.  Clearly if you want a deeper black you need to go to the glossy baryta papers.  The two glossy papers I print on are Ilford Gold Fiber Silk and Museo Silver Rag.  The former is a touch warmer.
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BradSmith
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 12:46:39 PM »
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Neile,
Thanks very much for making your paper database available.  And I looked at your site and like the idea of using your print folios.  I think I'll be ordering some when your colors arrive.
thanks
Brad

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Sven W
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 11:10:48 AM »
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I'm very fund of Epson's new line of fineart papers: Cold Press (textured), Hot Press (smooth).
Available as Natural(no oba) and Bright white. Also on rolls later this Spring.

Figures for ColdPress Natural White printed with Epson HDR inks:

Dmax Value: 1.7
Black L* Value: 15.0
White L* Value: 96.5
Media LAB Values: 96, 0, 2
Gamut Volume: 1,129,178

/Sven
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AaronD
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 10:58:26 AM »
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Guys, Thanks so much for the great info!  The printer has arrived but I haven't taken it out of its box yet.  I gotta get some stuff out of the way before I do because I know I'll get nothing else done once I get into it.  Finding the right paper isn't the worse kind of problem to have.....
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Idololab
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 02:57:16 PM »
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Quote from: AaronD
I have been using a Epson 2200 and VFA for years and have never found a paper with richer blacks - but now I've got a 3880 on the way and would like to know what people have tried in a mat, 100% rag paper that equals or betters VFA.  I will try the new Epson Hot Press Natural, I think, but others?

I will eventually try papers for photo black ink, too, but I'm taking small steps to begin with and need to get a small show printed pretty quick...

Thanks in advance!

-A
Hi AaronD
I can confirm that VFAP has the higher D-max from all matte papers I never used in my 2800,4800 and 9900 printers (I don't now yet about the new Hot Press Natural).
If you want to try some very good "photo black" papers I strongly recommend Fineart Baryta from Hahnemuhle(http://www.hahnemuehle.com/prod/en/213/602/fineart-baryta-325-gsm.html) and IFA49 (Ultra Smooth Gloss) from INNOVA(http://www.innovaart.com/en/fibaprint-info/16.html) Happy printing!!!

George
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George Marinos
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TylerB
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2010, 09:22:11 PM »
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Coincidentally in the same position of needing a VFA "equivalent" for larger prints for a customer, I got multiple samples of all the fine art Canson sheets, and the new Epson Signature sheets. I already have a lot of experience with the Hahnemuhle papers and know none of them are very similar to VFA. After some very quick and dirty small chart profiles and measurements to compare, I'd say the Epson Cold Press Bright is going to be the closest. VFA has brighteners in the sheet, and measures a negative B value, only the "bright" version Epson papers have negative B values amongst all those tested. Surface textures of the two papers are in the same ball park.
Many of these are lovely papers and all look like they are going to perform well, but in terms of VFA similarity, Epson Cold Press Bright looks like the closest and also a great performer.
Hope that helps.
Tyler
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