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Author Topic: Cheaper alternative to Hahnemühle photo rag 308 with epson 3800 at A2?  (Read 8267 times)
Quintin Lake
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« on: January 13, 2011, 08:58:55 AM »
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Having purchased a few hundred sheets of A2 size Hahnemühle photo rag 308 over the past year I finally cant stomach any longer the high cost at the rate i'm printing! I love the matte look, texture and rigidity. I primarily print colour at A2 size on the Epson 3800. Does a chapter alternative exist that maintains 90% of the quality of this paper or it this really the only choice for this quality and longevity.

Its been a few years since I last researched matte fine art papers so apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere (but if so I'd appreciate a pointer)

Many thanks

Quintin
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aaronchan
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 11:06:14 AM »
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Epson Hot Press Natural might be a good alternative for you.
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sm906
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 12:16:56 PM »
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Quintin,

give Moab Entrada Natural Rag a try. I compared the two papers, and many others, about a year ago, to find "my" papers. On HP Vivera inks I liked the Moab better. It is less expensive than the Hahnemühle (and double sided).

Thomas
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Quintin Lake
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 01:18:29 PM »
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Thanks for the suggestions.
I should have mentioned i'm in the UK. The Moab paper seems a lot cheaper and if you preferred it to Hahne seems a good choice. These are the best prices I could find in the UK

Moab Entrada Rag Bright 300 25 Sheets Colour Confidence
£65.05

Photo Rag 308 gsm A2 25 Sheets  Silverprint
£91.15

Epson Hot Press Natural Paper (330gsm) A2,  25 Sheets  Imaging Expert
£94.69


Any other suggestions - is there anything out there even cheaper!?
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neile
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 02:06:26 PM »
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I was going to suggest the Moab Somerset Museum Rag (my review is at http://www.danecreekfolios.com/blog/2010/7/7/moab-somerset-museum-rag-paper-review.html), but I checked Moab's site and it doesn't list it in an A2 size. Of course that may be because I was the USA site?

At any rate, it's an awesome matte paper.

Neil
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Neil Enns
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professorgb
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 11:48:26 PM »
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I second this.  However, be aware that this is a very dusty paper.  I brush the paper with a fine horse hair paintbrush before printing on it.  Otherwise, I get lots of white specks.

For a smoother surface, I particularly like Red River Polar matte.  It works a treat on B&W.  It's not a rag paper, but a very good cellulosic paper.

Quintin,

give Moab Entrada Natural Rag a try. I compared the two papers, and many others, about a year ago, to find "my" papers. On HP Vivera inks I liked the Moab better. It is less expensive than the Hahnemühle (and double sided).

Thomas
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David Watson
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 04:25:22 AM »
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Hi

I would recommend Fotospeed High White Smooth as an effective lower cost alternative to the Photo Rag.  Speak to Fotospeed directly quoting your volume and if you are prepared to bulk up your orders a little they will give a good price.  BTW they are a British company.

http://www.fotospeed.com/High-White-Smooth-Fine-Art-Photo-Paper---315gsm/products/2005/

David
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 05:20:13 AM »
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Have a look at Somerset Velvet. Lighter than Photo rag, but still a good feel, much cheaper too.

If you can get to Silverprint during working hours they have samples of all their papers to browse through, so maybe worth the trip.

Another place to see, handle and get samples of all of the major brands in the UK is the Focus on Imaging at the NEC next month. If you register now it should be free to get in and it's less than an hour from Oxford (just the NEC rip you off eight quid to park).

Paul
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2011, 06:23:58 AM »
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Check some of the papers mentioned here on how well they cope with inks and how their paper white holds in time. Photorag does that very good according to Aardenburg Imaging. If that isn't a criterion then much cheaper options are possible.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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Anthony.Ralph
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 05:36:40 PM »
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[..]

Another place to see, handle and get samples of all of the major brands in the UK is the Focus on Imaging at the NEC next month.

[..]


It's on from 6-9th March. Well worth a visit.

Anthony.
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Niki Dinov
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2011, 12:51:26 PM »
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What about this - ILFORD GALERIE GOLD FIBRE SILK?
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2011, 02:55:26 PM »
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What about this - ILFORD GALERIE GOLD FIBRE SILK?
It is not a matte paper which is the subject of this thread.
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studio5150
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2011, 02:42:11 AM »
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Hi Quintin,

I'm in the Los Angeles area but I thought I should offer up my recent experience as you are in the same spot I was about 2 years ago. I print on an Epson 3800 and 9800 and produce fine art editions for several artists showing in museums and galleries around the world. I started trying various paper samples looking for an OBA-free alternative to the Photo Rag, as it does state in the specs that it has some. And of course I also wanted a lower price.  I settled on the MOAB Entrada Rag Natural. I've used both the 290 and the 300 gsm, depending on the availability and price. Occasionally I find the double-sided 300 on sale and it ends up costing less than the single-sided 290, but not often. I only need single-sided anyhow.

In the past 2 years, I've used the Entrada Natural paper almost exclusively. I really love this paper and so do my clients. I print mostly warm-tone black and white images, but have also used the Entrada to produce some gorgeous color prints from old Kodachromes. I have experienced very little (negligable) amounts of the dust spots mentioned in another post. No more so than with any other matte surface fine art paper. I usually spot them with a Conte charcoal pencil.

For my comparisons I printed the same images on Entrada and Photo Rag and found the blacks to be a bit richer on the Entrada. This is printing through Photoshop and using profiles provided by the manufacturers. I sometimes use Colorburst RIP with other papers and tried the Colorburst profile for Entrada but wasn't happy with it. The profile provided by MOAB was so good that I haven't bothered to try adjusting the CB profile. Of the OBA-free papers, MOAB Entrada has been the closest in base tone and surface quality that I can find to Photo Rag and I feel the image reproduces better on Entrada. The Photo Rag base appears just a tiny bit brighter, perhaps because of OBA's present? I'm not sure as it's just from my observation, not through any measurement.

Hope this helps in your search and that MOAB paper is available where you are at a reasonable price should you choose to use it. Happy printing!

Althea

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AaronPhotog
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2011, 03:25:49 PM »
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Quintin,
The new Epson Hot Press Natural produces a better black than the older Entrada Bright that I tested, and even slightly better than the prior matte black "leader" in my tests, Epson Velvet Fine Art (see my recently revised paper inking tests in the technical section of my website, http://www.dygartphotography.com).  Although I still need to retest some of the newer Entrada papers, the Hot Press paper produces a significantly better d/max than the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Photo Rag 308.  The sheet color is slightly brighter than the Hahnemuhle, the surface is very similar, and it's a nice thick 100% cotton rag sheet.  Of course, papers have different response curves and different personalities, so the numbers may not be your final determining factors, but they are a good way to start your evaluations.

Aloha,

Aaron

« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 03:30:23 PM by AaronPhotog » Logged

Aaron Dygart,
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neile
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2011, 03:49:36 PM »
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Those of you using the Entrada Rag really do have to give the Moab Somerset Museum Rag a try. It's really very nice!

Neil
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Neil Enns
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sm906
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2011, 04:06:17 PM »
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...than the older Entrada Bright that I tested...

Aaron,

thanks a lot for sharing your paper tests on your website.

What do you mean by the "older" Entrada. Which of its characteristic did changed and when?

Thomas
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AaronPhotog
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2011, 09:17:20 PM »
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Thomas,
The only thing I meant was that the test was was made before Moab became a Legion brand paper in new packaging.  I don't know whether it is the same now as it was then or not, as I've not ordered any Entrada.  I've recently tested the Moab Somerset Museum Rag 300 and Enhanced Velvet 225 in the newer packaging.  I'll see if I can get some newer samples of Entrada papers to retest.

Aloha,

Aaron
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Aaron Dygart,
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2011, 09:47:11 AM »
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Those of you using the Entrada Rag really do have to give the Moab Somerset Museum Rag a try. It's really very nice!

Neil
I recently bought a some of this to try out after reading so much good buzz about it, but I'm a bit disappointed. The sheets I bought come out of the box flat but quickly develop curl at both ends, this paper is also quite 'flimsy', considerably less stiff than Photo Rag (probably partly responsible for the curling). With Luxia Ex inks, DMax is not quite as good as Photo Rag 308, but gamut is otherwise very similar. The texture is OK but a little too directional, if that makes sense.

So far I have yet to find anything that truly meets or exceeds the look/feel and performance of Photo Rag. To me it has just the right amount of texture, and the DMax and gamut are excellent. The fact that it's a fairly well-known entity with regards to permanence is also reassuring (last time I checked HPR with Lucia inks was still the permanence champ in the AA&I database).

The Epson Hot Press may be next for me to look at. I tried the Cold Press at one point, wanting to try something with a little more texture. In the end I decided the texture was too much, but the DMax and gamut were excellent (only matte paper I've tried that beat Photo Rag in this regard). Assuming Hot Press uses the same coating it should perform similarly.

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TylerB
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2011, 12:52:34 PM »
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An affordable alternative to HPR that actually outperforms it under some circumstances, but looks very very similar is PremierArt Smooth Generations Alise Fine Art. The other papers mentioned so far underperform HPR in my testing to some degree, both gamut volume and dmax, or don't represent a great savings over the HPR. The drawback is that the bright version's OBA content is not doing well in Aardenberg tests. This may not matter to many users, and it's only the paper base white that would be effected over time. There is an unbrightened version that would hold up better in that regard, but will not be quite as bright as HPR.
PremierArt Smooth Generations Alise Fine Art is an under-appreciated economical paper in my opinion. The other issue that must be mentioned is that many do not really detect any quality difference in papers that technically perform less well than others, given equally good profiles etc, so these decisions tend to be both objective and subjective.
Tyler
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2011, 03:04:02 PM »
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The drawback is that the bright version's OBA content is not doing well in Aardenberg tests. This may not matter to many users, and it's only the paper base white that would be effected over time.
Tyler

The FBAs are in the paper coating only and not throughout. And more dependent on FBA for its brightness. In that sense very different to Photorag. That it doesn't hold its brightness at Aardenburg doesn't surprise me.

Several messages in this thread with the image qualities of the papers reported: inksets could make a difference for a particular paper. Adding the printer or inkset to an observation of image quality, Dmax etc gives it more value I think.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

New: Spectral plots of +220 inkjet papers:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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