Over the holidays I had the chance to try out a new Canon 5100 printer. I am relatively new to digital printing. All my prior experience has been with Canon dye-based printers. My personal preference is for sharp, saturated, glossy prints. I would like to share my findings. I tried both B&W and color images. Perhaps Iím not getting the most out of the papers or the printer. So your comments would be appreciated.
First I tried Canonís Premium Matte Paper that comes packaged with the printer. I found it to be unsaturated and appeared dull, so I set it aside. I decided to try a variety of 8 Ĺ x 11 cut sheet papers, almost all feed using the manual sheet feeder of the 5100. I bought a sample package of Hahnemuhle Fine Art paper. I tried a few of these, and also found them to be unsaturated, but substantially better in appearance. I read with interest the Luminous Landscape article on Baryta papers. I bought two of them, Hahnamuhle Baryta 325 and Harman Glossy FB Al. The Baryta 325 has excellent saturation with no gloss differential, but I would hardly call it glossy. It is really a weird finish in my opinion. The Harman paper gives nice glossy prints, saturated, and exhibits no gloss differential. Unfortunately the paper is not flat as is mentioned on Luminous Landscape; it is slightly dish shaped. The print heads of the 5100 rub against the paper in each print Iíve tried, leaving partial streaks. Every glossy paper Iíve tried, including Canonís Premium Bright Photo Gloss Paper and Pictoricoís Hi-Gloss White Film, lose their glossiness in the printed area and show gloss differential. The same glossy papers in Canon dye printers do not behave this way; they retain excellent glossiness with no gloss differential.
So Iím now going to order a roll of paper, to be my main supply. Right now I believe it will be Hahnamuhle Baryta 325. It gives the best combination of results on the 5100. I assume that no printer manufacturer makes a dye-based, large format printer. So I have to use pigment inks for large format. Again your comments would be appreciated. I also need to download the Luminous Landscape printing course.