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Author Topic: Favorite OBA free matte papers  (Read 2937 times)
Peterretep
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« on: November 07, 2012, 10:35:21 AM »
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In the next week or two I'm looking to start in on some printing on my Epson 7900. I've been using Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 and Epson Hot Press Bright for most of my work. With greater image permanence in mind I'd like to get away from papers like there two that contain OBA. Any suggestions for a good quality matte paper without OBA but still bright?

Thanks

Peter
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Atlex.com
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 10:59:05 AM »
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Here are some good suggestions that won't have the OBA's.
Moab Entrada Rag Natural
Canson Rag Photographique 210gsm and 310gsm

Sample packs available for these if you're interested.
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Peterretep
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 11:06:13 AM »
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Thanks Atlex, the Canson you mentioned I have used and like quite well but didn't realize it was OBA free.

Peter
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MHMG
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 11:08:39 AM »
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I've been using Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 and Epson Hot Press Bright for most of my work. With greater image permanence in mind I'd like to get away from papers like there two that contain OBA.

Thanks

Peter

Actually, the two papers you mention here do exceptionally well in fade testing because they use only small amounts OBA in the paper core, so "yellowing" of the media white point over time due to OBA burnout is very small.  Some OBA-free papers can shift as much due to light bleaching only in the opposite direction, meaning that they will move a little brighter and cooler in visual appearance. In both cases the shifts are relatively minor and only "just noticeable" under side-by-side viewing conditions with dark stored prints, so not enough to say it's a big problem (like we have with high OBA content papers).  Moreover, when paired with Epson Ultrachrome inks, the very subtle shift towards yellow in the highlights of these two papers can offset the shift towards blue in light colors like skin tone highlights. The blue shift in the skin tone highlights is caused by the preferentially faster yellow pigment fading in the Ultrachrome set compared to the other inks.  Bottom line - You lose a little media white point color accuracy but gain a little better skin tone accuracy over time on display.  

Bottom line - Both of these papers can safely remain on any print provider's "highly recommended" list.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 11:14:05 AM by MHMG » Logged
Rob Reiter
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 12:25:52 PM »
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I also vote for the Moab Entrada Natural and the Canson Rag Photographique. Compared to the H. Photo Rag, the Moab has slightly more tooth and the Canson is noticeably smoother, besides being OBA-free.
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robgo2
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 01:56:25 PM »
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I am very fond of Epson Hot Press Natural.  Also, I have heard good things about Museo Portfolio Rag, except that it fares poorly in longevity tests.  Can anyone confirm this?

Rob
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MHMG
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 03:37:01 PM »
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... Also, I have heard good things about Museo Portfolio Rag, except that it fares poorly in longevity tests.  Can anyone confirm this?

Rob

Here are some lightfade test results for a couple of different printers:

ipf5000/Canon Lucia ink/Portfolio Rag                     Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 60-94 Megalux hours
ipf5000/Canon Lucia ink/Hahnemuhle Photo Rag       Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 116-156 Megalux hours

Epson 7800/Epson K3 ink/Portfolio Rag                   Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 28-56 Megalux hours
Epson 7800/Epson K3 ink/Hahnemuhle Photo Rag     Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 64-84 Megalux hours

Note: divide megalux hour ratings by two if you want "years on display" predictions according to industry standard extrapolation of 450 lux illumination for 12 hours per day.

So, about half the light fade resistance for the Lucia ink set comparing portfolio rag to HN photo rag, similar fade factor ratio for K3 ink set, but lower overall mainly because K3 is less fade resistant than Lucia. Yet K3 with HN photo rag brings the Epson 7800 on par with the iPF5000 printing on Portfolio Rag. Media makes an important contribution! It's not just inks.

Both Lucia inks and portfolio rag have undergone some reformulations since these tests were done, so more new tests would be worthwhile, but the ink receptor coating of the Portfolio Rag is claimed by the manufacturer to be the same (only known change was said to be in the supplier of the base paper). Hence, I'd think these results will still be reasaonably valid.

cheers,
Mark
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 03:52:52 PM by MHMG » Logged
hugowolf
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 07:26:13 PM »
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Canson Rag Photographique is probably your best bet. It also has less tendency to recurl and does better with color than the Hahnemühle Rag 308. Innova IFA11 is nice, but distinctly warmer. Epson hot pressed natural is also a warmer.

Brian A
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 10:03:57 PM by hugowolf » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 02:32:49 AM »
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Bottom line - Both of these papers can safely remain on any print provider's "highly recommended" list.

Based on the A-I fade test results I would not change anything either. Some of the suggested alternatives are not tested yet and OBA content or lack of OBA does not tell all. The Epson Hot Press Bright shows more OBA in the spectral plots than I expected based on the b value but it holds well so far. Any paper brighter may not be a good idea though.


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Peterretep
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 05:33:11 AM »
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Thanks for the input and recommendations. It's reassuring to know my choices in paper to date rate high on the list. The Moab Entrada Natural is a paper I haven't tried yet that sounds like it is worth checking out. I've read some reviews regarding quality control with the Moab paper though. Anyone using Moab Entrada Natural experience excessive dust with the need to brush the paper before printing or problems with flaking after printing?

Peter
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robgo2
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 08:26:04 AM »
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Here are some lightfade test results for a couple of different printers:

ipf5000/Canon Lucia ink/Portfolio Rag                     Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 60-94 Megalux hours
ipf5000/Canon Lucia ink/Hahnemuhle Photo Rag       Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 116-156 Megalux hours

Epson 7800/Epson K3 ink/Portfolio Rag                   Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 28-56 Megalux hours
Epson 7800/Epson K3 ink/Hahnemuhle Photo Rag     Aai&A Conservation Display rating = 64-84 Megalux hours

Note: divide megalux hour ratings by two if you want "years on display" predictions according to industry standard extrapolation of 450 lux illumination for 12 hours per day.

So, about half the light fade resistance for the Lucia ink set comparing portfolio rag to HN photo rag, similar fade factor ratio for K3 ink set, but lower overall mainly because K3 is less fade resistant than Lucia. Yet K3 with HN photo rag brings the Epson 7800 on par with the iPF5000 printing on Portfolio Rag. Media makes an important contribution! It's not just inks.

Both Lucia inks and portfolio rag have undergone some reformulations since these tests were done, so more new tests would be worthwhile, but the ink receptor coating of the Portfolio Rag is claimed by the manufacturer to be the same (only known change was said to be in the supplier of the base paper). Hence, I'd think these results will still be reasaonably valid.

cheers,
Mark

Mark,

Thanks for the very informative reply.  So, based on these data, would you personally cross Portfolio Rag off of your list, and is Hot Press Bright more stable than Museo PR, despite its containing OBAs?

Rob
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MHMG
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2012, 07:50:53 AM »
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Mark,

... So, based on these data, would you personally cross Portfolio Rag off of your list, and is Hot Press Bright more stable than Museo PR, despite its containing OBAs?

Rob

I haven't personally used any Portfolio Rag since it was officially Crane Museo Portfolio Rag (i.e., base paper supplied by Crane Paper company). At the time, I gave it very high marks for initial image quality, cut sheet lay-flat and other handling characteristics, and very nice packaging including individual paper interleaving that one could also give to the client with each print. So, there was a lot to like about Port rag. To put its lightfastness test results in perspective, I would point out that many photo gallery owners believe (rightly or wrongly) that Fuji Crystal Archive II prints are "archival enough" and museums and collectors have shelled out some very high prices (e.g., over 1 million dollars) for color prints made on Crystal Archive papers.  Some curators and collectors even still mistakenly believe that traditional RA-4 process color photographs are more archival than ALL inkjet media. Again, I mention this to put the AaI&A light fade results into a context for what may be perfectly acceptable performance for many folks. If Crystal Archive is a litmus test for high-end photo galleries and museum collections nowadays, then the light fading results cited for the K3 ink on Portfolio Rag exceed the lightfade resistance of Crystal Archive. Crystal Archive gets an Aardenburg conservation display rating of about 15-30 megalux hours.

That said, the Museo ink receptor coating chemistry used on the Museo Matt papers like Port Rag and Museo Max does reduce both Ultrachrome and Lucia pigment stability with regard to lightfade resistance compared to other paper choices, whereas the binder chemistry of the HN photo Rag does put it at top of the heap with respect to both Lucia and Ultrachrome pigments.   Hence for my personal work, I choose HN Photo Rag more often than not, despite the fact that edge curl can be a problem when printing to cut sheet.

Epson's HotPress Bright white, notwithstanding its medium OBA content, also turns in very good performance with the K3VM and HDR ink sets, so I have no trouble recommending HotPress Bright White paper to other printmakers who desire a slightly cooler media whitepoint than HN photorag. However, don't get Epson's Hot Press Bright white confused with Epson's Enhanced Matte paper (also variously called "Archival Matte" and "Ultra Premium Presentation Paper"). This stuff is loaded with OBAs in the ink receptor layer, will show both ozone induced and light induced media white point deterioration very easily, and therefore should definitely be avoided.  Ditto for Exhibition Fiber paper. Both media are really problematic due to very high OBA content in their top coats.

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

« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 08:16:54 AM by MHMG » Logged
robgo2
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2012, 10:52:37 AM »
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I haven't personally used any Portfolio Rag since it was officially Crane Museo Portfolio Rag (i.e., base paper supplied by Crane Paper company). At the time, I gave it very high marks for initial image quality, cut sheet lay-flat and other handling characteristics, and very nice packaging including individual paper interleaving that one could also give to the client with each print. So, there was a lot to like about Port rag. To put its lightfastness test results in perspective, I would point out that many photo gallery owners believe (rightly or wrongly) that Fuji Crystal Archive II prints are "archival enough" and museums and collectors have shelled out some very high prices (e.g., over 1 million dollars) for color prints made on Crystal Archive papers.  Some curators and collectors even still mistakenly believe that traditional RA-4 process color photographs are more archival than ALL inkjet media. Again, I mention this to put the AaI&A light fade results into a context for what may be perfectly acceptable performance for many folks. If Crystal Archive is a litmus test for high-end photo galleries and museum collections nowadays, then the light fading results cited for the K3 ink on Portfolio Rag exceed the lightfade resistance of Crystal Archive. Crystal Archive gets an Aardenburg conservation display rating of about 15-30 megalux hours.

That said, the Museo ink receptor coating chemistry used on the Museo Matt papers like Port Rag and Museo Max does reduce both Ultrachrome and Lucia pigment stability with regard to lightfade resistance compared to other paper choices, whereas the binder chemistry of the HN photo Rag does put it at top of the heap with respect to both Lucia and Ultrachrome pigments.   Hence for my personal work, I choose HN Photo Rag more often than not, despite the fact that edge curl can be a problem when printing to cut sheet.

Epson's HotPress Bright white, notwithstanding its medium OBA content, also turns in very good performance with the K3VM and HDR ink sets, so I have no trouble recommending HotPress Bright White paper to other printmakers who desire a slightly cooler media whitepoint than HN photorag. However, don't get Epson's Hot Press Bright white confused with Epson's Enhanced Matte paper (also variously called "Archival Matte" and "Ultra Premium Presentation Paper"). This stuff is loaded with OBAs in the ink receptor layer, will show both ozone induced and light induced media white point deterioration very easily, and therefore should definitely be avoided.  Ditto for Exhibition Fiber paper. Both media are really problematic due to very high OBA content in their top coats.

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



Mark,

Thanks for the very detailed and thoughtful reply.  I have been testing Museo Portfolio Rag for B&W, and the prints from my Epson 3880 are gorgeous.  The vast majority of my prints are stored in boxes, so I think that they will still look good long after I have disappeared from the earth.  Portfolio Rag's longevity is probably good enough for my purposes.  Just so you know, I am a newcomer to printing on matte paper, so I am still learning and searching.  Hot Press Bright will be next on my list to test.

Rob
www.rgoldsteinphotography.com
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Peterretep
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 10:05:56 AM »
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Have any of you who use Moab Entrada Natural any complaints similar to what I've read regarding excessive dust and/or flaking?

Peter
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chez
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 12:52:35 PM »
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Have any of you who use Moab Entrada Natural any complaints similar to what I've read regarding excessive dust and/or flaking?

Peter

Yes, if using sheets definitely brush the paper before loading into printer. If you are using rolls, good luck.
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