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Author Topic: Crane Museo Silver Rag/beta testing  (Read 15460 times)
eleanorbrown
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« on: December 31, 2005, 02:37:01 PM »
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For the last several days I have been working with beta samples of Crane's
new paper Museo Silver Rag.  I formerly printed black and white and color in
my darkroom but five years ago went completely digital.  I have been looking
for a paper to mimic my old silver darkroom papers but no no avail.  Now my
searching is over.  I am thrilled at the prints I'm making on this new
Silver Rag paper, both in black and white and color.  The paper could pass
for a silver gelatin paper, is a nice weight, and a soft white base color
and lays flat.  The surface--smooth-- has a slight subtle elegant texture
that shows through the coating--this texture looks like silver gelatin paper
textures (not like epson luster paper).

I've printed on my 7800 printer using Imageprint in both standard three
black mode and Phatte black mode.  Have also printed on my 2400 using the
epson driver, advanced black and white mode.  All prints are superb.  The
paper surface is tough--resistant to scratching and highly water resistant
after the inks have had a chance to completely dry.  (I soaked a print in
water until saturated, with no ink run off, even when rubbed with a paper
towel).  I look forward to using this new paper for most of my printing in
the future.  Eleanor
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2005, 02:51:52 PM »
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Eleanor,

Thanks for your comments. I have been speaking with another beta tester of this paper and he also thinks very highly of it.

I expect to receive some very soon for testing. My understanding is that it will be officially introduced at PMA in late February.

Michael
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2006, 11:28:58 AM »
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For anyone interested in deep shadows, I sent in some test prints on this paper to Crane and they measured my Dmax (using K3 inks) at 2.46.  eleanor
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2006, 06:50:39 AM »
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Eleanor,
Impressive
PK or Mk?
RIP?
Print settings?
eg 1440 ,or 2880,
Enhanced matte ?
Best
Brian Gilkes
Pharos Editions
http://www. pharoseditions.com.au
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2006, 10:29:00 AM »
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Brian, photo black only.  Imageprint on my 7800, epson driver (advanced black and white) on my 2400.  1440 is very good, 2880 better.  eleanor

Quote
Eleanor,
Impressive
PK or Mk?
RIP?
Print settings?
eg 1440 ,or 2880,
Enhanced matte ?
Best
Brian Gilkes
Pharos Editions
http://www. pharoseditions.com.au
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55468\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2006, 11:28:20 AM »
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Eleanor,

I'm VERY interested in deep shadows and often have problems with them using Epson Enhanced Matte with the Epson profile/driver on an Epson 4800 (K3 inks). ImagePrint may contribute to improving them a bit, but that is a 1000 dollar solution which I don't need for any other reason.

I'm interested in your description of the paper surface and the inks one can use with it.

Is the surface "egg-shell" or is it shinier than that? Is it stippled at all?

When you say the base color is soft-white, not clear exactly what that means - is it creamy or yellowish at all? Is it more or less brilliant than Epson Enhanced Matte?

Would it work satisfactorily with Epson's Matte Black or does one need to use Photo Black ink, unless going the ImagePrint route and Phatte Black?

Also, do you have any idea in what sizes and weights it will be made available and what they are likely to charge for it?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Tonsil
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2006, 12:02:00 PM »
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I too have recieved a pile of this paper for beta. This paper is "ok" in my opinion.

It has a slightly warm base..it is NOT as bright as Epson enhanced matte. It is a slightly warm white, not super warm or yellowish, but noticeably warm. I wish it had a brighter base. Creamy would be a decent description. I do believe that this paper has the same base as some of the Crane's matte offerings.

The paper is stippled for sure and that bothers me.

As an imitation of an "air dried glossy silver print", IMHO, it does not achieve this. It has to much texture. If you compare Silver Rag to a sheet of Epson Pro Semi Matte, the stippling on the Silver Rag is larger in texture and more glossy. I could never consider this to be an "eggshell" like surface. It has more texture and more gloss than that. In my opinon, "eggshell" is not the texture that they should be striving for.

The paper is designed for photo black ink. It has a defined, glossy surface.

I have made some very nice prints with this paper but I would have to say that it needs to be smoother. I couldn't find any prints in my back log of traditional, wet darkroom prints that this surface matches. Close...but to much texture.

An air dried "glossy" silver print is a fairly smooth surface with a bit of texture(very subtle) this paper's surface has to be a bit smoother to be that.

the weight of the paper is wonderful, luxurious, elegant. It is a very heavy stock and feels great. It sits with a very slight curl. not much of a curl, but a little.

All in all, it may answer some people's needs for an approximation of a traditional bw fine art paper...I think it needs to be tweaked in terms of surface and brightness before it gets there.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2006, 12:59:24 PM by Tonsil » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2006, 12:44:26 PM »
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Thanks Tonsil, much appreciate the feedback.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
eleanorbrown
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2006, 02:47:35 PM »
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I have gone through a lot of silver gelatin prints (different papers) and some papers are more creamy than this new Museo offering, and some are brighter white.  I would say the Museo is similiar in color to Agfa Classic and is an almost exact match in color to Westminister Bright White mat board if any of you have used that.  Looking at the Museo silver rag BEFORE printing with my K3 inks, it had a soft diffuse gloss (if you hold the paper obliquely to a light spot you get reflection over the whole paper).  When I hold my gelatin silver papers in this same manner i get more of a "spot" reflection on the paper surface...not like glossy, but not difuse either.  After printing on the museo silver rag with my K3 inks at least, the surface takes on more gloss.  It does have some stipple gloss after printing but also has a really elegant (my opinion) very subtle texture that barely shows up when hung on the wall under spots).  I like this a lot....not crazy about the stipple glare but that's something I can live with as the paper has so many really great qualities.

I held this paper next to Museo II matte paper and the paper color is essentially the same.  All in all I am quite pleased with this paper tho there will probably be some more tweeks before the paper is released.  I have printed the same file on Museo II matte and Museo Silver Rag.  With the Silver Rag I can push my shadows down deep...really deep and they maintain some separation.  Trying to do this with the matte paper, well the shadows really started to block up.  I like the fine art matte papers, but I will most llikely be doing the majority of my fine art work on the Museo Silver Rag in the future...both color and black and white.  It's hard to describe results in words, as everyone is going to see these things a bit differently. I do think this paper is definitely worth trying a box when it is released however.    eleanor
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2006, 03:26:36 PM »
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Thanks Eleanor and Tonsil
As always the attraction of the surface will be a matter of personal taste.
The paper would have to be smoothish to hold tonality in the deep shadows. This is where most  naturally textured matte art papers fall down as Eleanor has noticed with Museo II.
I am using some Museo single coated stock at the moment, which I believe is the same as Museo II, bar the verso coat. This is IMHO a superb paper, with a very natural surface that prints with very luminous colour with K3 inks. I would not like to see it any whiter.
The slight creamy colour in these papers will most likely be due to lack of optical whiteners. The use of these chemicals in many current papers lifts the white point up a bit, but if the black is deeper then the visual dynamic range will be sufficient to give the print "brilliance", in the Ansell Adams sense.
Whiteners are also somewhat problematic as they may contribute to poorer archival qualities.
I have ordered the Silver Rag and look forward to testing it.
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2006, 03:40:19 PM »
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Thanks Eleanor. Most interesting. I find gloss paper helps some with deep shadow detail, but from direct comparison, not dramatically.

Brian, if you carefully read the footnotes to Henry Wilhelm's test results for Epson Enhanced Matte paper you will see that in respect to yellowing the brighteners are not the long-term problem - the real issue is atmospheric pollution, hence the importance of storage and display conditions.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2006, 06:51:10 AM »
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Mark,
There are a number of problems with whiteners/optical brighteners  that Wilhelm and others have pointed out. For example most of these chemicals fluoresce in the presence of UV light.  This means the prints will look whiter outside or near a window than under tungsten where the effect is minimal or lacking. The effect can boost luminosity of some colours more than others. I would suspect this is more noticable in highlights. The brightening becomes progressively weaker with exposure to light. There is some evidence that some whiteners can decompose to form coloured products. This may not be the case with the Enhanced Matte product .
There will be a number of relevant papers at The Institute of Physics Conference on "Preservation and Conservation Issues Related to Digital Printing and Digital Photography"( London, 24th and 25th April 2006) .  Corinna Parraman and Qiang Wang from the Center for Fine Print Research at the University of West England are to present a paper on the question of optical brighteners.
The Wilhelm Institue performs a valuable job, but is not totally independant, in that they test what they are paid to test. Thus you are very unlikely to see them publish results on Epson K3 pigmented inks on Crane Museo Silver Rag comparing it to , say Hahnemuhle Photo Rag.
The latter paper has heaps of brighteners.
All this aside I agree atmospheric pollution is probably more serious. Oxides of nitrogen an sulpher react with moisture to give acids which makes a joke of "acid free"paper; ozone oxidises inks to various degrees-seriously. These can be sealed out by appropriate framing or museum storage - but not the brighteners.
Cheers
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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jani
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2006, 08:09:08 AM »
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Wilhelm Research has tested a couple of Hahnemühle papers, at least with the HP DesignJet 5000:

http://www.wilhelm-research.com/hp5000PS%2...permanence.html
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Jan
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2006, 08:30:52 AM »
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Jan, thanks for bringing that to our attention. Footnote 5 is the critical one for the issue here. I wonder whether the paper is the same Hahnemuhle with an HP trademark on it, or whether it has been reformulated for HP's inks.

Brian, thanks for the useful insights here. As for Wilhelm's independence, I don't have the technical background to assess it, but as far as I can see he's built his reputation on the basis of scientific objectivity. As you know there is no ISO standard in this area yet, and professional circles treat Wilhelm-Research as the next best thing. Of course, to survive he needs clients so he tests what he is paid to test - he isn't a public service. I don't think that impacts on the reliability of what he publishes. He shows a huge range of results of each manufacturer depending on the ink and the paper tested.

The one point in your post that attracts particular attention is the possibility of optical brighteners decomposing into "coloured products". Where can one find more information on this? I would also be interested to know whether Wilhelm's tests cover this prospect (This may be hard to find out because Wilhelm has never replied to any emails I've periodically sent there - he's probably swarmed with email and is very selective.). As you know, tests can be fine for what they are designed to uncover, but if they aren't designed to uncover an issue, then with the best will in the world they may not tell the whole story. Right?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2006, 03:01:02 PM »
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Right Mark,
Firstly I respect Wilhelms objectivity and acumen and in no way suspect the company is bending results to present client products in a better light. It is a fact , though, that cross company products eg Epson printers with Cone inks or /and  Crane paper are seldom, if ever tested. From their point of view this makes perfect sense. In the real world, that does this sort of thing, it is frustrating that we have no one to turn to to provide the information that our clients- museums, galleries and artists, often request.
There is an issue the Wilhelm is completely open about, but is of some concern with critical clients such as museums, and that is the extrapolated cut off point of about 30% loss in colour density. The trained human eye can detect  much less than this .
In any case figures are only comparative guides. A pale image containing high proportions of light magenta and light cyan will fade faster than a dark or saturated one containing relatively more of the denser inks.
As far as the optical brighteners go , I will endeavour to source some research as my information is largely anecdotal. I have obseved , however a yellowing in the whites, particularly on very white photo type papers, one matte art paper and a canvas.The yellowing appears where prints are exposed to fairly high UV light (inside , but near a large window).Similarly unframed prints in a plan drawer, that is exposed to atmosphere but not light , have not exhibited the phenomenon. In any case we are 2 km from the nearest lightly used road and 30 km from the outskirts of town , surrounded by a National Park. Pollution is not a problem. I would not name the products without much more rigorous testing, but can only advise you get what you pay for.
Cheers,
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2006, 05:53:24 PM »
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Brian, you say "you get what you pay for" - usually yes, but with qualifications. When a good product is produced in such massive quantities that scale economies allow very competitive pricing, the paper can be cheaper than an equal or lesser quality product that has much less production volume. There is most likely niche stuff out there that is expensive because of pricing strategies and high cost structures - not because the chemistry and the material is that much superior.

I'll be interested to read what you find re the optical brighteners for Epson Enhanced Matte.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2006, 05:34:30 AM »
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Mark,
I agree. I said that because the substrates that exhibiting the yellowing were of the "ours is just as good but half the  price" genre. So far the output of the major mills is looking ( comparatively) good.
I haven't tested  the Epson stock, as I do not use it. The same goes for Ilford. HP etc.  I tend to source papers direct from the mills. For some reason I like to be able to nail where things come from. This is more philosopho-archeological than empirico-rational. If I do test the Enhanced Matte it will, nevertheless, be treated te same as the rest. As a a matter of interest , I would note that the Epson Enhanced Matte profile maximizes ink volume used.
Brian.
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2006, 07:37:43 AM »
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Brian,

This is getting very interesting. I'm curious to know (and perhaps other readers may be too) what you test the papers for and how you test them? Also I'm very interested in your observation that the Epson Enhanced Matte profile maximizes the usage of ink. I can't think of a reason why Epson would want to do this (  ), but more seriously, firstly, how do you know this, and secondly is it because that kind of paper simply requires more ink, or because their profile does good things for prints that happen to cause more ink to be used, or are there other profiles out there - e.g. IP profiles or your own home-made profiles that perform just as well on Enhanced Matte and simply use less ink in the process?

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Chris_T
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2006, 08:57:27 AM »
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Quote
I'm VERY interested in deep shadows and often have problems with them using Epson Enhanced Matte with the Epson profile/driver on an Epson 4800 (K3 inks). ImagePrint may contribute to improving them a bit, but that is a 1000 dollar solution which I don't need for any other reason.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I also experience the same problem with deep shadow details and saturated colors with EEM, Epson profiles and Epson 2200.

Most of Eleanor's images (very nice, btw) at [a href=\"http://www.eleanorbrown.net/]http://www.eleanorbrown.net/[/url] tend to be pastel and without very deep shadow details. With images like these, I am quite satisfied with prints on EEM with the Epson profiles. But I would have problems printing images like "mainesunset", CF004061 and CF002080 on EEM. The deep shadow areas will appear washed out and lacking contrast. But they will print very well with RC papers.

It is difficult to tell whether the problem is due to difference in the papers' gamuts, or due to the profiles.
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2006, 09:46:28 AM »
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I do have quite a lot of images that have deep shadows but possibly the images don't exhibit that on my site so much, as I have been used to printing on the fine art matte papers.  However with this new Museo Silver Rag, to my delight I'm finding that I can push my shadows waaaayyy down deep and the Crane paper printed on my 7800 with Imageprint show separation down in those shadows both in color and black and white.    I'll print a file on a fine art matte paper and think, gee, this looks good, but then when I print the same file on silver rag, the image has so much more "pop" and a wonderful dynamic range.  I'm loving printing really deep now.  I have a show for Fotofest here in houston on Ft. Travis Images and I'll be printing those prints on beta samples of Museo silver rag.  the prints on this paper can take a lot of light (as in spots) which really shows up the detail in the shadows (which I'm printing darker now). Oh, and I'm shooting with deep shadows in mind now too (like back in my darkroom days!!) Eleanor



Most of Eleanor's images (very nice, btw) at http://www.eleanorbrown.net/ tend to be pastel and without very deep shadow details. With images like these, I am quite satisfied with prints on EEM with the Epson profiles. But I would have problems printing images like "mainesunset", CF004061 and CF002080 on EEM. The deep shadow areas will appear washed out and lacking contrast. But they will print very well with RC papers.

It is difficult to tell whether the problem is due to difference in the papers' gamuts, or due to the profiles.
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