Paper, paper everywhere …

This week I have mainly been profiling papers, to paraphrase a certain TV show.

We live in “interesting times” with regards to inkjet paper choice. Glossy vs matt, smooth versus texture, OBA or not … the list goes on, with many subtle permutations along the way to confuse the unwary.

Still, I had to start somewhere. I’m using an Epson 3880 (nice bit of kit by the way). Profiles created with a ColorMunki. I have tried to use a Sypder3 in the past but frankly it was a nightmare for print profiling. It also didn’t like the wide gamut display I switched to a while back. The ColorMunki is the bees wotsits by comparison. I digress … (nothing new there).

I’m trying to narrow papers down to just a few for different purposes:

  • Every day glossy. Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper (PGPP) does nicely. Bit thin for the weight of 255 and TBH more glossy than I personally prefer, but fine for a quick print and meets people’s expectations of such. Cheap if you keep an eye out for special offers eg 2 for 1 (keep an eye on 7dayshop.co.uk, Amazon).
  • Decent semi/satin/luster. Olmec Satin has turned up trumps here. A classic RC paper (was ICI Imagetec), non-reflective surface, very white, not too thick, good price. Suits album work.
  • Decent cotton matt paper, as I’m more likely to be printing on matt to show off an image. After numerous sample packs I’ve gone for Innova Smooth Cotton High White. I like the texture and as you’ve probably guessed I like a fairly white paper (although this doesn’t seem to be too heavily loaded with OBAs). Decent price for what you get.
  • Sunday best. The goal was to find a not too glossy PK ink paper, light texture and not too cringing makingly expensive that I’d never actually print anything. So far Canson Platine 310 is looking good, the surface is lightly textured, semi-gloss and the test pics are excellent. I’m in mid-profile as I type to see if I can beat the OEM profile.

FWIW, I decided not to go with the Baryta type papers, not only are they a tad pricey for non-commercial use but by all accounts a bit fragile too.

Another way of putting it was I went through the Hannemuhle sample packs, found what I liked and then identified “budget” versions. I’ll take 90% of the performance at a discount, thank you.

[sounds of postman]

Argh, Somerset have just sent me a sample pack. Here we go again …

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