Last week I received a roll of the “new” Silver Rag from Museo. I should have told them to send me a small sample of letter size cut sheets since I have an Epson 3880 printer and it is cumbersome to cut and decurl sheets from rolls. Nonetheless, I cut several sheets for testing with the “old” Silver Rag of which I have several boxes. According to Museo’s posts on LuLa, the coating process is unchanged but the paper stock is sourced from a new supplier. The stiffness of the new paper appears identical which is a positive for me since the Museo cut sheets stay flat during prolonged storage and don’t cause problems with head strikes as some other manufacturer’s sheets.
Visual inspection of the paper surface shows little or no difference. I did not observe any blotches, specks or any other foreign debris on the surface of the “new” paper. However, the “new” paper is slightly less smooth under a magnifying glass (evident in the printed color patches). I don’t think that this show up on prints but I have not tested that yet.
I used ArgyllCMS for generating target patches and reading them. I printed 482 random patches that included four white patches and a 21 step grey set on letter sized paper. Targets were dried overnight and read with an i1 Pro. Duplicate patch sets were printed and each set read twice changing the direction of the reading (ArgyllCMS permits bidirectional or unidirectional reading using an i1 Pro). CIE as D50 L*a*b* as well as XYZ data were recorded. Black and white densities were calculated using this data and tool on Bruce Lindbloom’s website
. Those results are:
“new” Silver Rag: white – 0.0387; black – 2.2453
“old” Silver Rag: white - 0.0375; black – 2.235
a difference that is measurable but likely visually indistinguishable.
Examination of the data on the color patches does not show much statistical difference at all except for three patches which are random colors. This was a result of a strange reading on one of the sheets of the “old” paper for which I have no explanation. I will probably print another set of patches just to confirm that these were anomalies.
I am satisfied that the with the exception of the very slight surface difference that these two papers are identical in color and grey scale response. I have enjoyed printing on Museo Silver Rag and will reorder once my current stock of paper is used up.