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Author Topic: Epson Cold Press Natural vs Hanhemuhle Museum Etching  (Read 2699 times)
IWC Doppel
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« on: December 06, 2012, 06:50:05 AM »
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As a relatively new printer I am after some advice.

I have an epson 3880 and print from LR4 / MAC. I have settled on textured fine art paper and print B&W for 95% of prints. I have used some cheaper papers and experimented with ABW and icc's and have had good results with Fotospeed textured natural 315g and a colurbyte soft textured 310g IJ553. Now I am ready for printing some keepers and want to look at a high quality paper.

I have a box of Cold Press Natural which is notably better on a full size print than the alternatives above. I have however looked at alternatives before 'stocking up' and I printed under identical conditions using the ABW mode on two sample packs (Hanhemuhle, Innova, plus Cold press Natural and the 'cheaper' noted above) with 12 images I have a-b'd and recorded my preferences and obtained 3 other results from other people.

The results place HFA Muesum Etching top in 4 out of 5 times and ahead of the epson Cold Press, but this is JUST one image. The William Turner came very high too. Before I rashly order 25 A2 sheets of Museum Etching and wish I had bought more Epson Cold Press Natural  (I have only 5 sheets left) , I would appreciate any advice from those who have compared on more than just one A4 image.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated  Smiley
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Geraldo Garcia
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 08:16:00 AM »
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I can't really talk about the Epson Cold Press Natural as I have never used it, but I can say a thing or two about the Hahnemüle's:

Museum Etching is one of my best selling papers, used for everything from colour and BW photos to painting reproductions. If you (or your client) want a somewhat heavy textured paper (but without too much tooth), heavy weight and warm toned, the Museum Etching is hard to beat. The only problem I have with this paper is the pronounced curl on the last half of the rolls, prone to cause head strikes. With cut sheets it is not a problem.

William Turner is also a good seller and works wonderfully with BW photos. It has a more neutral tone (not so warm) and is not as heavy weight as the previous. It also has a different type of texture with a lot of tooth (a LOT), and it makes it more prone to suffer from abrasion. Because of that I don't favour this paper for printing portfolios or anything that would require frequent handling, but for images that would be framed behind glass it is not a problem.

Best regards.
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samueljohnchia
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 08:56:01 AM »
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Museum Etching is absolutely my favorite fine art matte paper. It is also the most expensive paper that Hahnemuhle makes for inkjet printing. It costs quite a bit more than Cold Press Natural. The last time I checked, it is the most expensive branded inkjet paper, apart from specialist varieties.

Museum Etching is very luxurious and very thick. There is a warmth to the paper, and it feels soft, in a comforting way. It is not typical of a real etching paper, in a good way. It is truly beautiful to present in a folio box. It's surface texture is unlike any other paper I have experienced so far. It is very organic. This paper will not boast the widest gamut or the greatest dmax of the matte papers, but the way it carries ink is just beautiful. It can take a lot of ink without any uneven sheen or mottling in the darkest tones, which a great number of matte papers suffer from if you look at it hard enough, in relatively strong directional gallery lighting. However, Hahnemuhle's QC has been very bad of late, and I find myself throwing away about half of the prints I make because of surface imperfections, cotton seeds embedded in the paper and rarely, flaking of the coating. But when everything comes together, its really a thing of beauty.

I strongly dislike matte papers with a surface texture that appears manufactured. Epson's Cold Press papers have a surface that appears stiff and ugly to me. It does seem to be able to take high ink loads too, but I never liked it enough to print much on it. It says here that the base weight is 340gsm, but our local review says its 330gsm. B&H lists the 24 inch roll at 500gsm which I doubt is true. Epson lists the sheet version at 21 mil thickness, but the roll at 19 mil. Museum is about 23.6 mil. The weight for the roll version probably is lower - just be aware when you're buying paper. Other's who purchase sheets and rolls please help confirm if this is true. Many reviewers agree that this paper has a huge gamut and deep dmax. If these are qualities that suit your images, that this paper is worth considering.

I tested Canson's BFK Rives, their most premium offering, and found that their paper flattens very well after printing, better than Museum Etching. Many matte papers perform similarly enough that I tend to pick my favorites based on its surface. Unfortunately BFK has relatively deep 'pits' in its surface with annoys me, and doesn't replace Museum Etching for me.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 08:58:14 AM by samueljohnchia » Logged
hugowolf
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 09:24:08 AM »
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I have found Hahnemühle Museum Etching just a little too heavily textured. When I want that heavy a texture I use Arches Aquarelle. For lighter textured papers I use Hahnemühle German Etching and Canson Montval Aquarelle. German Etching is my best selling textured paper. I prefer the alpha-cellulose base for mounting applications because it trims a lot easier than cotton rag, and I never have to worry about the cotton seed problem which seemed to peak about a year ago. But it isn’t natural and does contain a small quantity of OBAs, although nowhere near the likes of Epson Hot and Cold Press Bright – is between bright and natural. I particularly like the way that German Etching holds detail better than other textured papers.

The Montval surface is a little delicate and has to be handled very carefully.

In general I find Canson papers have less tendency to recurl than Hahnemühle papers, but the German Etching is fairly good in this regard.

I may look at BFK Rives again when I’m thinking of restocking.

Brian A
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IWC Doppel
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 09:59:48 AM »
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Anyone have any other links to D-Max figures as I find these a useful reference.

I did come across some figures in dpreview and here http://www.cjcom.net/articles/digiprn5b.htm
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 10:23:00 AM »
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You will find Dmax numbers in the test result PDFs of Aardenburg Imaging. Lab values though. Where the ink, printer and paper are described at the start.


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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
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samueljohnchia
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 10:42:09 AM »
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I have found Hahnemühle Museum Etching just a little too heavily textured. When I want that heavy a texture I use Arches Aquarelle. For lighter textured papers I use Hahnemühle German Etching and Canson Montval Aquarelle.

Hi Brian, it probably is a batch difference but my German Etching sheets and 1 test roll seem to be more heavily textured than Museum. The texture is of higher frequency, and the peaks and valleys are greater than Museum. These papers tend to get rougher towards the end of the run (or is it the other way round?) and I may have gotten the rougher ones. Museum Etching has for me always had lower frequency texture - the peaks and valleys are more 'spread out', if you know what I mean.

I had disastrous results on Arches Aquarelle Rag. My sample sheet of Montval Aquarelle appears to have a "mechanical" texture too. Like a flattened version of Epson Velvet, with the scaly texture but more spread out. Never printed on it though, just commenting on the appearance of the texture. Of course IWC Doppel, you should pick what you prefer, whether or not it is recommended by someone else. All these papers are generally of high quality, and you will not go too wrong.
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samueljohnchia
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 10:45:40 AM »
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Anyone have any other links to D-Max figures as I find these a useful reference.

I did come across some figures in dpreview and here http://www.cjcom.net/articles/digiprn5b.htm


Are you on a 3880? Aaron has some Dmax figures here. There's no index so it'll be a bit annoying to find a specific paper.
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Jeff Magidson
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 11:30:38 AM »
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I'm currently loving Epson Cold Press. It's a very high quality paper at a good price. I print for others so availability, price, good packaging and good batch to batch consistency are important to me! For these reasons I like it above Han Museum Etching.

~ Jeff

http://artslidesboston.com
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2012, 12:59:49 PM »
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I have found Hahnemühle Museum Etching just a little too heavily textured. When I want that heavy a texture I use Arches Aquarelle. For lighter textured papers I use Hahnemühle German Etching and Canson Montval Aquarelle. German Etching is my best selling textured paper. I prefer the alpha-cellulose base for mounting applications because it trims a lot easier than cotton rag, and I never have to worry about the cotton seed problem which seemed to peak about a year ago. But it isn’t natural and does contain a small quantity of OBAs, although nowhere near the likes of Epson Hot and Cold Press Bright – is between bright and natural. I particularly like the way that German Etching holds detail better than other textured papers.

Brian A

Please explain to me what "...the cotton seed problem" was and why the paper in question is not "natural."  Cotton rag is alpha-cellulose, it just comes from cotton whereas alpha-cellulose can come from a number of different sources.

Alan
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IWC Doppel
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2012, 03:24:28 PM »
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Thanks for the insight guys. I am going to have another good look at my samples and possibly try another print on the three HFA's vs Cold press. I preferred the Museum to William Turner to Getman Etching first time.

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hugowolf
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2012, 09:29:00 PM »
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Please explain to me what "...the cotton seed problem" was and why the paper in question is not "natural."  Cotton rag is alpha-cellulose, it just comes from cotton whereas alpha-cellulose can come from a number of different sources.
I have had many sheets of Museo Silver Rag that were flawed due to specks that were possibly due to seeds.

As far as natural is concerned, I am merely using the terms used by Epson to delineate their unbrightened paper from their brightened paper. And ditto the ‘alpha-cellulose’ thing, but both Hahnemühle and Canson use the tern to differentiate between cotton based papers and wood pulp based papers; rightly or wrongly.

If you would like to come up with some more definitive and, perhaps to you, less controversial terms, then give me them.

Brian A
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IWC Doppel
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 01:08:29 AM »
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Are you on a 3880? Aaron has some Dmax figures here. There's no index so it'll be a bit annoying to find a specific paper.

Thanks, very interesting yes I have an epson 3880 I did find cold press natural which showed a very high d-max and interesting it performed better at 1440 dpi. I note these tests were on a 3800

Nice information though
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samueljohnchia
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 02:09:54 AM »
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Thanks, very interesting yes I have an epson 3880 I did find cold press natural which showed a very high d-max and interesting it performed better at 1440 dpi. I note these tests were on a 3800

Nice information though

You're welcome. About the non-linear behaviour of some papers at 1440 ppi setting, I cannot verify that for myself because I don't have a 3800, and I don't know how differently the 3880 performs. But then again the papers were tested until max ink load, so it does not reflect the actual behavior when used with the correct/recommended Epson driver media settings. The paper should be very good, until the saturation point is reached - Aaron's curves do show that. Choosing the media setting correctly is more important. All papers take ink loads differently, and deciding when too much ink is hitting the paper is the key.

I would still recommend the 2880 ppi setting (with finest detail checked) for maximum printing resolution. This is even more helpful for smaller prints that you will generally be looking at more closely. There had been a thread on print resolution which covers in great detail the results of testing from a number of folks, including Jeff Schewe. If you have some scrap paper, print a test target of a synthetic image and an actual real world image to see for yourself.

Thanks for the insight guys. I am going to have another good look at my samples and possibly try another print on the three HFA's vs Cold press. I preferred the Museum to William Turner to Getman Etching first time.

That too was the order of preference for me. I'm not entirely pleased with German because of the small amounts of OBAs present, and they don't really seem to make the paper much whiter. I'd rather do without them. You may even find that the amount of OBAs are not evenly spread out from sheet to sheet, box to box, something that Aaron too noted on this paper test page for Cold Press Bright. Canson has achieved something amazing with their newer papers, all very well behaved whether in rolled or sheet form, very little QC issues, stable and reliable pulp source, cotton based with no seed issues (so far for me), coating issues etc. And best of all, lots of their new matte papers have achieved a very neutral and bright white without OBAs, using a fine white silica coating and some other magic sauce that they don't seem to tell about. I've heard and experienced first hand for myself very annoying QC issues with hahnemuhle's papers, and these issues come and go. It's unpredictable and I cannot afford a paper switch in between a job for a client.

I believe you are printing your own personal work, which I do too for myself, so for that I just go with what my heart and my eyes tell me. If I like what I see, its good. Dmax and huge gamuts are quite overrated. Long smooth tonalities and sensual qualities are timeless.
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IWC Doppel
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 03:10:46 AM »
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You're welcome. About the non-linear behaviour of some papers at 1440 ppi setting, I cannot verify that for myself because I don't have a 3800, and I don't know how differently the 3880 performs. But then again the papers were tested until max ink load, so it does not reflect the actual behavior when used with the correct/recommended Epson driver media settings. The paper should be very good, until the saturation point is reached - Aaron's curves do show that. Choosing the media setting correctly is more important. All papers take ink loads differently, and deciding when too much ink is hitting the paper is the key.

I would still recommend the 2880 ppi setting (with finest detail checked) for maximum printing resolution. This is even more helpful for smaller prints that you will generally be looking at more closely. There had been a thread on print resolution which covers in great detail the results of testing from a number of folks, including Jeff Schewe. If you have some scrap paper, print a test target of a synthetic image and an actual real world image to see for yourself.

That too was the order of preference for me. I'm not entirely pleased with German because of the small amounts of OBAs present, and they don't really seem to make the paper much whiter. I'd rather do without them. You may even find that the amount of OBAs are not evenly spread out from sheet to sheet, box to box, something that Aaron too noted on this paper test page for Cold Press Bright. Canson has achieved something amazing with their newer papers, all very well behaved whether in rolled or sheet form, very little QC issues, stable and reliable pulp source, cotton based with no seed issues (so far for me), coating issues etc. And best of all, lots of their new matte papers have achieved a very neutral and bright white without OBAs, using a fine white silica coating and some other magic sauce that they don't seem to tell about. I've heard and experienced first hand for myself very annoying QC issues with hahnemuhle's papers, and these issues come and go. It's unpredictable and I cannot afford a paper switch in between a job for a client.

I believe you are printing your own personal work, which I do too for myself, so for that I just go with what my heart and my eyes tell me. If I like what I see, its good. Dmax and huge gamuts are quite overrated. Long smooth tonalities and sensual qualities are timeless.

Yes, I only print for myself and tolerant friends  Wink

I have settled (with cheap colour byte paper) on using ABW mode and I have maintained a +10% ink density, I have ordered a loupe for Xmas to see with a few test patterns how much I can add to obtain the deepest blacks. I also noted a thread that seemed to offer a solution for the mac/LR issue that stops the use of chan icc's in conjunction with ABW mode. By the way I read somewhere that ink density does not work the same way in ABW mode, I have not readjusted since settling on ABW mode from a stock icc where I set the ink density.

I am tempted to buy a box of A2 HFA Museum etching and spend time with my last few sheets of A3+ Cold Press Natural to see which paper to settle on. I have yet to print anything above A3+ and really looking forward to mounting somethng that size !
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samueljohnchia
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2012, 04:48:16 AM »
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By the way I read somewhere that ink density does not work the same way in ABW mode, I have not readjusted since settling on ABW mode from a stock icc where I set the ink density.

IIRC, ABW uses the sRGB tone curve internally, so the best possible match of tones will be achieved when sending data encoded in gamma 2.2, or even better, sRGB, which does not use a true gamma curve. It adopts a linear gamma near black, so for the best possible separation and to minimize quantization error, I would use this color space. You don't really need wide color gamut for B&W, obviously. Sending it ProPhoto RGB which it will convert using some internal recipe to grayscale is not so ideal, because of the gamma mis-match. There will be subtle issues in separation of the very dark tones, something already very hard to achieve to begin with.

I don't have an Epson so I cannot tell you whether I prefer the ABW mode. On my Canon's I prefer to build very high quality custom RGB profiles and send RGB data to the printer. I can softproof my work more easily, and achieve a smoother more linear grayscale (and more neutral to my eye). I also get better separation in subtle tones in the brightest highlights and deepest shadows this way. Toning is easier too, as I don't have to make guesses in the printer driver, print, assess, and go back again. I prefer to keep my B&W tonings away from the print driver, and in several adjustment layers in Photoshop.

In your pursuit to "obtain the deepest blacks", I suggest this reading on dmax by one of the most innovative black and white printermaker. (I'm not endorsing piezography's stuff or anything, I just recommend this article because I think it is a good one on art and craft.)
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IWC Doppel
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 07:12:16 AM »
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Very interesting read, having calibrated projectors I recognise the fundamental importance of the 0-10% of luminescence it's where the image shows depth and 'weight', crushing blacks just kills detail and insight. But equally important is the absolute black level (with a projector using ANSI contrast, which is essentially a chequer board)
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samueljohnchia
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2012, 07:47:04 AM »
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Certainly, a good black is important! All the papers that have been mentioned so far can hold a reasonable to very deep black for a matte paper. As you prefer the prints on Museum Etching to Cold Press, I'm thinking more than the dmax must be at play here. I doubt weak dmax would be a concern in this case.
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IWC Doppel
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2012, 05:18:46 AM »
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I have just ordered 25 sheets of Museum Etching A2, I'll let you know how I get on. My next step will be to look at using a colour icc or adjusting in ABW mode, I'll try to get my iMAC display as close as I can for Gray scale at the lower ire's

I'll let you know how I get on

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iluvmycam
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2012, 09:29:49 AM »
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Using Epson printers, I've had bad luck with all of Hahnemuhle's textured papers. While they are luxurious papers to print on. The ink flaking problems are too much for me. I settled on Epson cold press natural. (And Hahnemuhle Baryta for gloss.)

While I'm still getting under way with the cold press, so far no flaking of ink. (I brush as well as blow every sheet with compressed air, so dust is not the cause of the flaking problem with the textured papers. I can rub a finger on the print and the ink will just start flaking off in pinpoint spots.)

I guess the issue is; the textured papers just can't be handled much and must be under glass right away. Even when the textured papers are in crystal sleeves the flaking is a problem. This is impractical for museum work. The museums do not keep their paper collection under glass all the time, they end up getting handled a lot.

And insight into this problem?

I'd love to print on the textured stock, esp Hahnemuhle German Etching, if it would hold the ink and I don't have to spray every print I produce.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 09:38:51 AM by iluvmycam » Logged
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