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Author Topic: Defeating OBAs and Glass for framed prints in one go  (Read 6882 times)
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2010, 06:20:12 PM »
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Canson Platine Fibre Rag is a great paper. It does not have OBAs, is acid free and have a*=0, b*=0! Moreover profiles created for this paper have wide color gamut and very large Dmax. Great paper indeed.
I got a sample pack from Shades of Paper and was very impressed with it. 
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2010, 07:44:28 PM »
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I got a sample pack from Shades of Paper and was very impressed with it. 

I did the same, it has not arrived yet, but from what all I am reading, I'm going to try it out as well as a Museo sample pack. Of the Museo line, I'm particularly interested in the Silver Rag. I'm going to compare the Platine to the Silver Rag and Ilford Gold Fibre Silk. The GFS is a tad warm for my taste, so I'm going to see if I can come up with something warmer than H. Photo Rag Baryta for whenever a warmer paper is indicated, but not too warm. The more I use H. PRB, the more I love it, a fantastic paper creamy surface and fantastic smooth feel. I like the PRB with water and winter-scapes, and I'm hunting for something warmer for red-rock and fall-color work.
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Nino Loss
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2010, 08:50:47 PM »
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I am so happy that this thread turned out to generate so many very interesting remarks and suggestion! Thank you!

First of all, I must try Canson's Platin Fibre Rag. From what you write it seams almost ideal: no FBAs, big gamut, excellent white point, high dMax, 100% cotton, acid-free and buffered... How does it compare surface and gamut wise to the other two contenders mentioned here, Canson's Rag Photographique and Museo Silver Rag? BTW I rely heavily on your observations, because in remote places, outside of Europe and America, Museo isn't well distributed. And planing to try out any new paper implies considerable investment of time and money to bring it here.

Regarding my original intention to varnish a print and to leave it without glass, I understand that the varnish and the way to apply it, is the weak point. But Golden's MSA varnish has very good reputation especially concerning yellowing. "Aging Characteristics: Accelerated and intensified aging tests of this varnish indicate it resists yellowing and will not become brittle under long term conditions of interior exposure." (quote from http://www.goldenpaints.com/technicaldata/msavar.php).

Also there will be a lot less reflection than when the print is under regular glass. In addition to any reflection from the print and the glass, the reflection of the print on the inside of the glass and back is what bothers me.  (Real anti-glare glass is simply too expensive here. As it is not available, I would have to import it  Cheesy).

Very new to me is the idea, Ernst Dinkla, expressed, to consider the varnish (or parts of the coating, as in the Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl) as something like an encapsulation method for the OBAs, sorry the FBAs ;-) I have to think about that. Thank you Ernst! Maybe an encapsulation in varnish, front and back of the print would be interesting?

nino
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2010, 10:58:34 PM »
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I think Henry Wilhelm's take on this is correct. Most of us aren't working at a level where it would make a difference; but for photographers who 'tune' the color balance of their images to an exquisite degree, OBA's may be an issue down the road. It's not so much that saturation or color intensity will fade. Rather, the relationship between colors, or between highlights and 3/4 tones, will gradually shift as the OBA's fade. All those carefully tuned relationships fall out of balance. And as far as I'm aware, their's no good data on the rate of decay of OBA's, since it's all proprietary stuff. How quickly do OBA's decay in room light? In dark storage?  Is ozone an issue? Nobody knows. I'll just avoid papers with them as much as I can till it's all sorted out.
We all have our take on this, and really there is no right or wrong.  We each just have to decide where our priorities are and how important we think it is to make sure our images look their best a century or two from now.   As you mentioned, most of us aren't at that level. For a very few photographers, this may be an issue.  I  freely admit I'm no Ansel Adams, and don't take portraits or images of historically significant people.  I'm just glad a few people appreciate the work I do now.  If a museum ever calls and wants a piece for their collection I may feel a little differently ... but I'll wait till they call.  I'm pretty confident my prints will look just fine for several decades at minimum.

To me the most significant issue is whether one color fades at a different rate than another (such as magenta in the early days of "glicee" printing).  If that happens you can't "tune" a print to fix it.  As long as the fading is fairly even, at what point does the print no longer look acceptable?  Wilhelm's test of papers like Epson Exhibition fiber seems to indicate the OBA's aren't really an issue, as that paper under UV glass is rated at 150 years - I assume this means they feel at that point the colors have sufficiently faded to render the print unacceptable. (This is better than the 127 year rating of Somerset Velvet, a non OBA paper).  If (When)  the OBA's cease functioning at some point in time, that doesn't change the ink, so while it might not be ideal, assuming the relationships you speak of will be thrown so far out of kilter to render the print unacceptable doesn't fall in my definition of logical.

Personally it seems choosing a paper and "tuning" an image today so it might look better in 100 years ( and maybe compromising how it looks now and for quite some time to come) seems like trying to figure out where to eat dinner a year from next Tuesday when it's 6:00 pm today.  But then I'm that type of personality ... I rarely put much thought into anything other than what's happening in the next 1 to 24 hours.
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robgo2
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2010, 12:56:37 AM »
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Canson Platine has smooth glossy and true pure white surface.

Actually, I disagree with this description.  Platine definitely has more surface texture and less gloss than either Baryta Photographique or Ilford Gold Fibre Silk, but it is a fine tooth that is pleasing (to my eye) and which enhances the visual sense of depth.  The surface is very slightly warm.  Dmax as judged visually is very good, especially considering that the lack of OBAs.  Platine's surface is much less susceptible to scratching than the aforementioned papers as well, which, to my mind, is a huge advantage.  I also like the fact that it is cotton fiber based, meaning that it stays flatter in the printer and feels better in the hand.  My advice to anyone who is interested is to get a sample pack to try for yourself.

Rob
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probep
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2010, 01:26:28 AM »
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Actually, I disagree with this description.  Platine definitely has more surface texture and less gloss than either Baryta Photographique or Ilford Gold Fibre Silk, but it is a fine tooth that is pleasing (to my eye) and which enhances the visual sense of depth.
Yes, Platine has some surface texture. BTW on the cover of the Platine package it is written: "Ultra smooth glossy. Pure write. No Optical Brighteners."
But Canson recommend to use "Semigloss" setting for printers.
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The surface is very slightly warm.  Dmax as judged visually is very good, especially considering that the lack of OBAs.
Very slightly warm? Hm, I don't see that. BTW, with the i1Pro I got L*=96.9 (D[paper]=0.035!), a*=0, b*=0.1.
For my Epson Pro9500 printer Canson Platine has extremely large Dmax=2.48 (no one paper in my collection has such large Dmax) and gamut volume as large as Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper has.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2010, 07:18:27 AM »
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As I understand it, on the subject of OBAs behind glass or other UV protection, their visual benefit is defeated regardless of longevity. Most of my prints are intended to go behind UV glass or plexi (with the exception of Sintra mounts). Unless leaving a print uncovered and unprotected, what is the point of using OBAs in the first place? I'm far more concerned about protecting a fine art print from UV and other environmental hazards.

By the way, even though I have commented on Ilford Gold Fiber Silk as being too warm for my taste, it is a VERY nice paper. It should be on everyone's list of papers worth giving a try at one time or another, especially if looking for a warm paper. If one needs RC paper, Ilford Gallery Smooth Pearl is terrific, too. The price on Ilford papers is another positive. I'm using the Ilford GSP for mounting on Sintra, where the resin coating is necessary to keep the adhesive from penetrating through the paper. The Sintra mounts will have spray-on UV protection. Anyone's take on RC-paper choices would be of interest.

Cheers,

Greg
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2010, 07:57:52 AM »
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As I understand it, on the subject of OBAs behind glass or other UV protection, their visual benefit is defeated regardless of longevity. Most of my prints are intended to go behind UV glass or plexi (with the exception of Sintra mounts). Unless leaving a print uncovered and unprotected, what is the point of using OBAs in the first place? I'm far more concerned about protecting a fine art print from UV and other environmental hazards.
Because of the three fold or so price differential between UV plexi and non-UV, I don't use the former for personal use.  The only thing that it "protects" against is degradation from UV (it has no impact on other environmental hazards whatever those might be).  As long as one is careful where the image is to be displayed (not in direct sunlight or other UV source) the chances of any degradation is minimal.  As noted, if you are using OBA paper, UV plexi defeats the purpose of it. 
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2010, 09:03:13 AM »
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Because of the three fold or so price differential between UV plexi and non-UV, I don't use the former for personal use.  The only thing that it "protects" against is degradation from UV (it has no impact on other environmental hazards whatever those might be).  As long as one is careful where the image is to be displayed (not in direct sunlight or other UV source) the chances of any degradation is minimal.  As noted, if you are using OBA paper, UV plexi defeats the purpose of it. 

UV plexi is indeed expensive, and I only use it when shipping framed prints, but I am a believer in UV protection. Having lived in the same house the past 23 years, I see what UV does to everything, indoors and out. On the indoor destruction, it is plenty visible without direct sunlight. I am amazed by what I appreciate to be the remarkable destructive nature of UV radiation. My dermatologist is doing quite well, btw. 

As for the additional expense, when I look at all the time and money I have invested into a final print, I find it a contradiction to not protect with anti-UV quality material.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2010, 09:16:28 AM »
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UV plexi is indeed expensive, and I only use it when shipping framed prints, but I am a believer in UV protection. Having lived in the same house the past 23 years, I see what UV does to everything, indoors and out. On the indoor destruction, it is plenty visible without direct sunlight. I am amazed by what I appreciate to be the remarkable destructive nature of UV radiation. My dermatologist is doing quite well, btw. 

As for the additional expense, when I look at all the time and money I have invested into a final print, I find it a contradiction to not protect with anti-UV quality material.
Yes, my dermatologist is doing well also.  My question to you is about the indoor source of UV radiation.  I doubt that any existing light sources (as long as they are far enough away) are likely to cause any fading.  It's more likely a result of other things.  If you use Solux bulbs you can get a UV filter for them.   We clearly don't have enough experience with new pigment inks (other than through the work of testing groups such as Aardenburg) to say what is or is not likely to contribute to fading.  Certainly with dye-based photo papers of the past, fading was a fact of life.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2010, 09:38:32 AM »
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Yes, my dermatologist is doing well also.  My question to you is about the indoor source of UV radiation.  I doubt that any existing light sources (as long as they are far enough away) are likely to cause any fading.  It's more likely a result of other things.  If you use Solux bulbs you can get a UV filter for them.   We clearly don't have enough experience with new pigment inks (other than through the work of testing groups such as Aardenburg) to say what is or is not likely to contribute to fading.  Certainly with dye-based photo papers of the past, fading was a fact of life.

True enough, I don't personally have any experience with today's archival inks and indoor fading issues. I'm certainly prone to overkill on the fear factor, too.

I like the idea of UV lighting filters, I'm not familiar with their use, but will look into it when I get around to reconfiguring better lighting for my prints. 

Still, for our buyers, I want them to never appreciate any degradation in print quality. It is easier to provide the extra UV protection than to expect our buyers to do the same with regard to displaying the work in an appropriate environment. It might be overkill on my part, but that would be me.
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Nino Loss
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2010, 09:48:36 AM »
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There are two issues in regard to exposure to UV: One would be the deterioration of the print, and the other one, the activity o UV brighteners. So when in a regular indoor situation we may not have to worry about the deterioration, because of the low levels present, we might still have the action of the UV brighteners despite those low levels?
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Nino Loss
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2010, 12:49:47 PM »
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There are two issues in regard to exposure to UV: One would be the deterioration of the print, and the other one, the activity o UV brighteners. So when in a regular indoor situation we may not have to worry about the deterioration, because of the low levels present, we might still have the action of the UV brighteners despite those low levels?


In other words, is there a minimum level for UV to reach the print in order that the brighteners should be able to act?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2010, 02:51:40 PM »
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Indoors the total level of illumination is the factor that causes colorant light fading. UV light doesn't play the major roll there. Other factors are gas fading, for dyes more than for pigments and reduced by framing and/or varnishing as it will block gas exchange. FBAs fall in the dye category. There will be a strong relation between the FBA effect caused by UV light and the degradation of FBAs by UV light so both go along at the same rate. Interaction between gas + light + humidity are known effects so reducing one factor will help. Like the varnishing mentioned already. Fluorescent inks (dayglo) have the same problem. The thicker the ink layer the longer the effect lasts, the reason silkscreen printing is still used for that  kind of printing. A varnish is usually printed on top of the dayglo ink if it has to last even longer.

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

spectral plots of +100 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2010, 03:31:30 PM »
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Indoors the total level of illumination is the factor that causes colorant light fading. UV light doesn't play the major roll there. Other factors are gas fading, for dyes more than for pigments and reduced by framing and/or varnishing as it will block gas exchange. FBAs fall in the dye category. There will be a strong relation between the FBA effect caused by UV light and the degradation of FBAs by UV light so both go along at the same rate. Interaction between gas + light + humidity are known effects so reducing one factor will help. Like the varnishing mentioned already. Fluorescent inks (dayglo) have the same problem. The thicker the ink layer the longer the effect lasts, the reason silkscreen printing is still used for that  kind of printing. A varnish is usually printed on top of the dayglo ink if it has to last even longer.

met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

spectral plots of +100 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm


Thanks, Ernst

From what all I can gather on this subject, one is better served avoiding paper with OBAs/FBAs regardless of using glass, varnish, or no protection, or at least that is my opinion if I'm going to buy, yet alone sell, a fine art print... interesting subject for a newbie like me.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2010, 06:35:20 PM »
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From what all I can gather on this subject, one is better served avoiding paper with OBAs/FBAs regardless of using glass, varnish, or no protection, or at least that is my opinion if I'm going to buy, yet alone sell, a fine art print... interesting subject for a newbie like me.
My thinking is similar. If I found a paper that I really liked in every respect except for light/moderate use of OBA's, I probably wouldn't let that stop me from using it (especially if the test results from AA&I were good). But if I like another paper just as much and it doesn't have OBA's, why not choose the OBA-free paper?

Most of the OBA-heavy papers are are too cool-looking for me, anyway.

I really like the look and feel of Photo Rag Baryta, and print quality is excellent in every regard; so the fact that it's OBA-free is just an added bonus.

For matte papers, I just got a roll of Canon Rag Photographique 310. My initial impression is good. I think it must be the whitest OBA-free paper I've ever seen - a nice bright paper white that's almost dead neutral. I might wish it had a hair more texture, but otherwise it seems really nice. I'm just starting to test/profile with it, so I can't really comment on things like gamut and dmax yet.

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MHMG
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« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2010, 06:56:59 PM »
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Thanks, Ernst

From what all I can gather on this subject, one is better served avoiding paper with OBAs/FBAs regardless of using glass, varnish, or no protection, or at least that is my opinion if I'm going to buy, yet alone sell, a fine art print... interesting subject for a newbie like me.

One is indeed well served to avoid inkjet papers with high levels of fluorescence (correlates to high OBA content) because as a general rule, these papers wreak havoc with color managed workflows, show obvious whitepoint and highlight color "yellowing" over time, and the very bright-white appearance that endeared the printmaker to use said papers can be killed immediately at the framer's studio if the customer chooses a UV-absorbing glazing (OP3 plexi, museum glass,etc.). Where the "OBA versus no OBA" subject becomes decidedly more ambiguous is when the paper manufacturer uses OBAs to fine tune the whitepoint rather than dominate the whitepoint with fluorescence. In this situation, some "OBA tweaked" papers can exhibit better whitepoint stability performance over time than some OBA-free papers. In other words, the OBA burnout will not have a huge effect on the image appearance and the actual fading of the colorants will dominate. Then it gets down to ink/paper chemistry compatibility such that some OBA-free papers can underperform with certain inks while some OBA-tweaked papers can outperform. Product-specific testing with testing protocols that are designed to accurately identify the OBA fade characteristics in addition to the colorant fade properties, is then required for a more rigorous answer. Without such testing, it can easily become an erroneous decision to reject a paper, say for example Hahnemuhle Photo Rag that contains low levels of OBA in the paper core, on the basis that it might have poorer stability with one's chosen printer and inks than a similar yet OBA-free paper.

kind regards,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Light Seeker
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« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2010, 06:20:15 PM »
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I got a sample pack of the Jon Cone Type 5.

That's good to see. I'm curious to hear your impressions.

For matte papers, I just got a roll of Canon Rag Photographique 310. My initial impression is good. I think it must be the whitest OBA-free paper I've ever seen - a nice bright paper white that's almost dead neutral. I might wish it had a hair more texture, but otherwise it seems really nice.

Rag Photographique is also an extremely sharp paper. For a touch more texture, and a slightly warmer paper base, try Canson BFK Rives.

It sounds like Canson Platine Fiber Rag is well worth looking at. It should nicely complement Silver Rag & Cone Type 5 with it's smoother surface and (relatively) whiter paper base. I'm going to pick up some to try. (Trying different papers can be quite addicting!)

Terry.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2010, 09:45:58 PM »
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(Trying different papers can be quite addicting!)

Terry.

Indeed
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narikin
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« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2010, 01:31:45 PM »
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One is indeed well served to avoid inkjet papers with high levels of fluorescence (correlates to high OBA content) because as a general rule, these papers wreak havoc with color managed workflows, show obvious whitepoint and highlight color "yellowing" over time, and the very bright-white appearance that endeared the printmaker to use said papers can be killed immediately at the framer's studio if the customer chooses a UV-absorbing glazing (OP3 plexi, museum glass,etc.). Where the "OBA versus no OBA" subject becomes decidedly more ambiguous is when the paper manufacturer uses OBAs to fine tune the whitepoint rather than dominate the whitepoint with fluorescence. In this situation, some "OBA tweaked" papers can exhibit better whitepoint stability performance over time than some OBA-free papers. In other words, the OBA burnout will not have a huge effect on the image appearance and the actual fading of the colorants will dominate. Then it gets down to ink/paper chemistry compatibility such that some OBA-free papers can underperform with certain inks while some OBA-tweaked papers can outperform. Product-specific testing with testing protocols that are designed to accurately identify the OBA fade characteristics in addition to the colorant fade properties, is then required for a more rigorous answer. Without such testing, it can easily become an erroneous decision to reject a paper, say for example Hahnemuhle Photo Rag that contains low levels of OBA in the paper core, on the basis that it might have poorer stability with one's chosen printer and inks than a similar yet OBA-free paper.
Mark.  http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com

Thanks Mark,
useful information. Can you explain a little the difference between FBA's in the coating and in the paper - the former being 'bad' and the latter' maybe 'acceptable?  And perhaps give a real world example of each.  I like Innova Ultrasmooth Gloss IFA49, but this has lots of FBA's in it, in the coating I believe, as does Epson Exhibition Fiber (ahem), and yet I adore the results (for now...) Most OBA/FBA free papers are way too yellow/creamy for my taste, though am hoping to try the new Epson Hot Press soon, and see if thats an acceptable compromise.


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