I love this paper. I've tried all the first round and recent fiber based gloss offerings, and several of the Barytas. I've also seen some prints made on the Ilford Baryta (seems to be quite a bit of gloss differential there).
Hands down, hands up, whatever those things mean, this is the most useful and elegant paper I've seen yet. For black and white it just sings and for color it's equally good. When you print this stuff large, the surface looks great.
Not something I can say about some of the other papers from this family...Crane Silver Rag looked shaky when pushing it large, the texture just overwhelmed everything. The original, dimply, Innova fibre gloss just can't take a big print. The surface looks awful (much worse at large sizes) and the paper itself won't sit flat without an adhesive.
Great surface on EEF, smooth and subtle and truly elegant. Epson seems to have done their homework on this stuff and didn't trip on their feet to try to get this stuff out to quickly. Major kudos to those involved.
Minimal gloss diff (and I tend to challenge this artifact). It seems to naturally minimize the gloss diff issues and if I know it's going to be a huge factor on certain prints I comfortable knowing that a light hit of spray will solve the problem.
I actually like this paper with one coat of spray. If you take a close look at your old air dried gloss prints you will see that there actually is a fair amount of gloss. For me, the spray unifies everything. That said, I hate spraying.
You don't need to spray it. What pleases me is seeing how gracefully the ink lays down on this sheet.
I cannot see any bronzing going on with this paper.
Brighteners in the paper? I can live with it, wet papers had it.
Comparing prints I've made on EEF to my old graded Ilford Gallery wet prints yields a much more satisfying conclusion, in that, they rank. I'm talking about the original Ilford Gallery...they dumped a lot of silver out of that formula over time. The early stuff could produce incredible blacks. The EEF stacks up strongly across the tonal range in this regard.
What else...it sits perfectly flat. My experience with the Innova fiber gloss, and a few others, always involved considerable prayers to ward off head strikes, lots of them. The EEF just sits flat and stays flat after printing. The addition of ink to one side does not make it curl.
I've had a 16X20 hanging on my wall, taped on the two top corners, for a couple of months and it hasn't changed a bit..flat as the day it came out of the box. This is a big plus if you frame over mattes and don't want to dry/cold mount the print. Just museum tape in a hinged matte, works fine.
It's expensive. Yep, it is, but, I've been tossing money at these other papers for a while now and I'm willing to pay because this paper has everything I've been wanting since I started making inkjet prints. And, I can print color on it, it looks fantastic.
I'm sitting here beaming at a bw 16x20 under glass. I keep walking away from what I'm doing to go look at it.
Improvements? I think these companies will always be moving towards as smooth a surface as can be tolerated by the materials (through the entire print process), manufacturing processes, and their inherent limitations. The EEF is right there and if they try to make it smoother, more power to them. If not, I'm liking it the way it is. These are still a new set of challenges for all of these companies and, no doubt, things will continue to progress.