Can anyone advise me on a great photo paper for my Z3100? I see some opinions on this thread but hope to open it up to others. The HP Premium ID GLoss to me is simply a non-professional product. I need something for my very professional photo friends and clients that I can print out professional-quality photos with. I look forward to hearing from you all...thanks,
It's a pretty subjective issue, since we're basically talking about 'art' here. Everyone will eventually gravitate toward paper(s) that match their sense of what the images need. You'll get as many opinions as there are photographers. This is just my 2˘:
1) HP's Professional satin photo paper. This is thicker than the basic ID satin, and I really like the surface. This is sort of a 'soft gloss' with very little texture, and lacks the kind of hard mirror gloss that I find annoying. Yes, it's a bit plastic-feeling in the hand, but for anything matted & framed it's great. Base paper white is just a bit to the blue end of neutral, which means it's a very bright white. No doubt it has some OBA's, but it scores great on Wilhelm's longevity testing. And it's relatively cheap. Absolute image quality is hard to beat.
2) Hahnemüle photo rag satin. This is a quirky paper, but I love its look. Paper white is a bit warm/ivory, suggesting little if any OBA's. Once the Z3100 ink hits the paper it produces a subtle differential satin sheen that varies with tone and ink-load. The result is an apparent increase in tonal separation in the shadows & 3/4 tones. Blue skies take on a crystalline appearance and greens are terrific. D-max is only fair like most rag papers, but that satin sheen seems to increase shadow depth a bit so I can live with it, and I really love black & white prints on this paper. It has that classic HPR luxurious hand feel as well.
3) Hahnemüle photo rag pearl. No OBA's at all, ivory white paper base, and a perfectly good d-max with photo black ink. Minimal gloss differential, good color gamut, great hand feel. Surface texture is the usual subtle HPR 'eggshell'. It's becoming my standard paper for color prints when hand feel matters.
4) Crane silver rag. Great hand feel, little to no OBA's, very deep d-max, relatively subtle surface texture. The only downside for me is a rather warm paper white, so cool-toned black & white prints simply don't work. If your black & white prints are generally warm-toned, you'll love this paper.
5) Harman gloss FB AL. Incredibly deep d-max and great '3-D' appearance to prints; but the paper white is really quite blue, and the surface is very delicate and scratch prone. And you really need the newer softer pinch rollers for the Z3100 with this paper, or you'll get roller marks.