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Author Topic: Z3100 - Best Glossy Paper?  (Read 2379 times)


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Z3100 - Best Glossy Paper?
« on: April 20, 2007, 11:58:47 AM »

We do ltd edition, high dynamic range, fine art landscapes that are always framed, under non-glare glaze (to control what lighting we can, avoiding lighting flares). To date we've printed almost exclusively on Fuji Crystal Archive Gloss papers (via Chromira or Lightjets). We've found that any "commercial" aspects of glossy paper are nicely ameliorated by the nonglare combo.

It seems like most landscape photographers printing on inkjets to date have gone with semi-matte or matt (ie, stayed away from glossy papers, perhaps because of metamerism, bronzing, et al issues). However, with the advent of Z3100 and its Gloss Enhancer et al, it seems like glossy on inkjets might at last give c-prints a run for their money (?).

The question is: what is the absolute best Gloss paper for high dynamic range color landscape printing on the Z3100?

We've been led to believe that using HP's papers and their default profiles (which are better than can be made with the Z3100's built-in spectrophotometer) can yield "exhibition quality." (this would also let us avoid going the ColorByte RIP route to get better profiles - and ImagePrint 7 still doesn't yet exist for the Z3100).

Unfortunately, while HP makes a "Professional" Satin paper (11.3mil), they don't make one for Glossy. Thus, HP's top two glossy papers seem to be:
Q7991A HP Premium Instant-dry Gloss Photo Paper-24 in x 75 ft 10.3 mil $97

Q8663A HP Professional High-gloss Contract Proofing Paper-24 in x 100 ft 7.48mil  $80
While it's a 200 gsm, acid free paper, I don't understand the implications of its "proofing" label and am a bit nervous. I also wonder why HP doesn't offer it any wider than 24" rolls.

In comparing gamut volumes and shadow detail (with ColorThinkPro), surprisingly the Proofing paper comes out on top:
Q8662A HP Professional High-gloss Contract Proofing Paper 7.48mil {809,999GE/810,087gamut}
Q7991A Premium Instant-dry Gloss Photo Paper 10.3 mil {802,885GE/788,691GEgamut}
Q6574A Universal Instant-dry Gloss Photo Paper 7.4mil {645,582GE/638.,625gamut}
Strangely, the Proofing paper's gamut vol. doesn't benefit from GE(!?!).

Anyway, in the real-world, has anyone print high-dynamic range, fine art, color landscapes on either of the glossy papers?

Any opinions on the implications of "Proofing" paper?

Or is there a better glossy paper for our use (in which I case I gladly pay the ~$25 to get it professionally profiled)?

Are any of the above papers more/less likely to stay flat when framed  (when conservation mounted via T-Hinges and corner mounts - ie, not laid down)? We are challenged by framed images developing "waves" in humid environments and have found that just because paper is heavier, doesn't mean it will stay flat when framed. For example, Hahnemuhle rag papers seem to absorb/release more moisture given its cotton-rag composition vs. Fuji Crystal Archive's more plastic-based papers.


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Z3100 - Best Glossy Paper?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2007, 08:33:04 AM »

That is a very interesting question. I don't have the answer. I only tested all F-Type papers all Satin and Semi glossy papers and I'm now starting with Matte papers.

I don't print Glossy that often so I'm not in the mood of buying all different kind of Glossy papers and test them.

So anyone out there how really tested a lot of different glossy papers ?


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Z3100 - Best Glossy Paper?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2007, 12:20:58 PM »

I've done a few tests of glossy stuff on the z, and I generally print extremely saturated images with a big "wow" factor.  

Here's what I've found.

1. Satin and gloss paper measured DMAX are essentially the same (e.g. comparing Red River's satin and gloss versions of UltraPro); you get no benefit from the gloss paper when measuring with instrumentation.  

2. Gloss enhancer on "economy" mode is worthless on gloss paper -- you want "full page" mode.  Even then, some folks have taken to running things through a second time with nil output just to lay down another layer of it.  Test to see if you're happy.

3. The z still has gamut failings with dark saturated colours compared to other manufacturer's printers.  You'll need to make adjustments to your prints (push up saturation in the well rendered light saturated tones, pull it back a little in the darks) to get the "wow" effect you want.  Don't rely on automatic gamut mapping (perceptual/relative) to do this for you, it will turn saturated colours into mush.  See this series of images which has been hand-balanced to print well and looks stunning in person at full size)

All that said, the z has a big gamut (same size as my dye-based canon, although with different reach) on gloss/satin papers and you should have no problem creating salable pieces with the usual investment in paper testing, profiling, experimentation and image fine-tuning.


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Z3100 - Best Glossy Paper?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2007, 02:12:49 PM »

Oh, right -- one more thing.  

Proofing paper is optimized for fast printing, quick dry time and its general "disposable" nature as a testing media.  Gamut is fine but the paper is not as physically durable and isn't usually buffered for longevity.  You're supposed to print on it, hand it to the client who says GO/NOGO (or "can i have just this one little change") and then do the final work on "photo" paper.
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