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SeanPerry

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Favorite Papers
« on: June 03, 2022, 02:52:08 pm »

I hope this finds everyone doing well. I know paper preference is such an expressive/personal consideration, but I’d welcome learning about your favorite papers for long toe shadow contrast and deep blacks with no OBAs.

For MK – Hahnemühle PhotoRag and Canson Rag Photographique have been my favorites, and for PK – Silver Rag, PhotoRag Baryta, and Canson / Epson Platine.

Any others out there you really love? What do you think about the ones I listed above? Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts and insight!
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Doug Gray

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2022, 03:24:58 pm »

I hope this finds everyone doing well. I know paper preference is such an expressive/personal consideration, but I’d welcome learning about your favorite papers for long toe shadow contrast and deep blacks with no OBAs.

For MK – Hahnemühle PhotoRag and Canson Rag Photographique have been my favorites, and for PK – Silver Rag, PhotoRag Baryta, and Canson / Epson Platine.

Any others out there you really love? What do you think about the ones I listed above? Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts and insight!

I have used and like these two and especially the Canson becuase it has an exceptionally high white point L* and is very neutral. Also zero WP difference to within < .05 dE between M0 and M2. Not just no OBA but the substrate has no uV fluor either. BP has the usual matte limitations of course, but the high WP improves the dynamic range which mitigates that.

Canson Rag Photographique
Epson Platine

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SeanPerry

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2022, 03:33:58 pm »

Thank you Doug! It has been a while since I looked side by side at the Canson and Epson Platines. I recall reading that Canson made for Epson, and I wondered if they were identical. Have you compared them?
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Doug Gray

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2022, 06:11:57 pm »

Thank you Doug! It has been a while since I looked side by side at the Canson and Epson Platines. I recall reading that Canson made for Epson, and I wondered if they were identical. Have you compared them?

The platine paper is not a matte but more like a luster paper which has low black points but a diffuse relfection angle of 20 degrees or so. What I like about matte paper is that it's impervious to lighting created specular effects. If you hold it in your hand near a window you won't seen the variation one sees with with a luster or worse, glossy paper. Sometimes I like those effects, sometimes i don't. Matte prints are the most predictable when hanging in uncontrolled lighting environments.
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deanwork

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2022, 06:25:34 pm »

These are the two that I primarily use also, and have been my staple for over ten years. Lately I’ve seen the price of the Epson Legacy Fiber sky rocket and the Canson Rag Photo go down. Currently still use the Epson Platine. 

Canson has gone back to join up with Arches again and they have a line of matte Canson Arches Infinity such as the spectacular CA. 88 and two version of BFK, and a much improved beautifully  textured Aquarelle

I consider these state of the art with amazing tonal range and resolution for matte media. They have pigment brighteners also but some are brighter than the any previous best ones. Also darker dmax on the very smooth very sharp 88. All of these were traditional silk screen papers back in the day, but much improved.  It’s great to see that there is still room for real advancements in this area. I haven’t tried any of the latest semi-gloss CA line but will very soon. Order a sample pack.  I haven’t seen anything happening in the Hahnemuehle line for a long time  except for obscene prices, though Museum Etching is still awesome, if your rich enough to afford it in big rolls.

John






I have used and like these two and especially the Canson becuase it has an exceptionally high white point L* and is very neutral. Also zero WP difference to within < .05 dE between M0 and M2. Not just no OBA but the substrate has no uV fluor either. BP has the usual matte limitations of course, but the high WP improves the dynamic range which mitigates that.

Canson Rag Photographique
Epson Platine
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SeanPerry

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2022, 06:44:50 pm »

Thank you John! I’ll order a sample pack of the new papers, and appreciate the info. I’ve been happy with the ones you and Doug mentioned too. I’m working on improving our workflows with Piezography Pro inks, and exploring what’s possible on the media side. It’s also been a minute since I printed on Museum Etching, but I remember it being wonderful.

I want to order a sample pack from Museo as well, I haven’t had a chance to see and compare since they went direct.

All best,

Sean.
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TheNinth

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2022, 11:07:06 pm »

I have used and like these two and especially the Canson becuase it has an exceptionally high white point L* and is very neutral. Also zero WP difference to within < .05 dE between M0 and M2. Not just no OBA but the substrate has no uV fluor either. BP has the usual matte limitations of course, but the high WP improves the dynamic range which mitigates that.

Canson Rag Photographique
Epson Platine

I have tried my way through sample packs of the Hahnemühle glossy papers (detailed review) as well as their matte textured collection (detailed review).

If I'd be looking for a high-gloss paper Photo Rag Baryta would also be my choice due to its warm tone. However, I prefer a bit of a more muted finish and so my favorite is Photo Rag Pearl, which I love especially for black and white prints. Also FineArt Baryta Satin is a very interesting paper, made from alpha-cellulose but otherwise with similar properties.

From the matte papers, the standard Photo Rag 308 is my go-to paper, but when looking for more texture I go for Museum Etching, again because of its warm tone and in my eye most pleasing texture of all the Hahnemühle matte textured paper.

Regards, Robert
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SeanPerry

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2022, 01:19:07 pm »

Thank you Robert! I appreciate your sharing the Hahnemühle review links + experience.

All best,

Sean.
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StuartR

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2022, 09:13:28 am »

I was coming here to see if there was anything new and exciting, and I am a bit amused to be in exact agreement with Robert. I use Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta as my main photo black paper at my studio, as I think it is the best balance of quality, performance, archival characteristics and handling. Clients universally seem to like it, even if they do not choose it. The only downside I have with it is the now extreme cost, the short rolls and the strong curl at the end of the rolls. These are no worse than similar papers, in my experience.
I also really like Photo Rag Pearl for the reasons that Robert indicated, and I think Fine Art Baryta Satin has a lovely surface and I like the warm tone. I miss true warmtone papers, like Glossy Baryta Warmtone, but that line of paper was always a nightmare to handle...tons of headstrikes, extremely stiff off a roll, prone to print destroying scratches. But when it came out well, there was nothing that could closer match a darkroom print (at least an Ilford Multigrade IV fiber print).

I also use Photo Rag 308 as the standard matte paper, but I use German Etching as a textured, as it is not so stiff as most alpha cellulose papers, and I find that the price vs Museum Etching is worth it in my studio.

If you are looking for something different, I also really like the Awagami papers, though they bring a totally different aesthetic. While the Kozo papers are the most distinctive, I quite like Inbe thick white, which feels like an artist's sketch paper. It is thick enough to have some dimensional stability and not wrinkle from a higher ink load, but it feels fundamentally different and more organic than most Western papers. It cannot compete with them in areas like Dmax, however.

Meanwhile, I am looking into Canson. My experience has been mixed, in that I have found that the papers I have used of theirs (mostly baryta) have been too stiff and prone to head strikes, even with the platen gap maxed out and the suction on full. But I am going to give Platine Fiber Rag, as it seems to have very nice characteristics and is SO much cheaper than Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta at this point...at least from my supplier. The difference is around 85GBP per 44" roll before VAT, not including the extra 2.5m of paper on the Canson.

What I really wish was available (or I would love to know about) would be a thinner, lighter GSM version of the best photo black papers. It is great that we can get Photo Rag 188, but there is no OBA free baryta or high quality photo black rag paper that is available in a lighter paper weight. For certain jobs the weight is helpful, but for others it is just paying for extra pulp. I would love to offer a lower cost option to my customers that would not be a plastic based RC paper with more questionable archival life. Furthermore, having a very thin photo black paper would offer really great opportunities for making artists books. I have made a few books now using the thin Awagami papers, and they look amazing, but it would be wonderful if it were possible to used a coated paper too. It would also solve issues like ink transfer, which is a problem with the matte papers (dark ink from one page will rub onto the facing page if there is a lot of paper movement).
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KeithR

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2022, 03:19:50 pm »

There is only one camera store here in Minneapolis that stock a large supply of various brands (not just 3 or 4) and also print out notebooks of prints (same B&W and the standard color Bill Atkinson image) of each surface and brand so that you can examine the differences side by side. Spent a lot of time in the dedicated area doing this and discovered that I was big fan of the Canson line and settled on the Platine, Baryta and Rag Photographique. I have also just recently picked up the Arches 88 and Baryta Matte to try out. So far, I have only tried the Baryta Matte with Piezography Pro (Epson P800) and found it to print VERY cold using almost NO Cool Tone in the highlight position! Haven't had the chance to print color (Epson P900) with it yet. I haven't cracked open the Aeches 88 yet.
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SeanPerry

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2022, 12:40:09 pm »

Thank you @StuartR and @KeithR!

It seems a pretty tight family of papers for this community. Will look into the Inbe Thick White, I've been printing on similar ones from Hiromi Paper. I think some of them are Awagami. I'm also excited to try the Arches88.

I'm also curious if Silver Rag today is the Silver Rag I used to really love. I'm ordering a new sample pack. I remember it being very warm, but maybe had the deepest black of all the papers I tested.

If I see a lighter weight cotton rag somewhere, will share back here!
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StuartR

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2022, 03:56:57 pm »

Please let us know about the Silver Rag. It used to be fantastic. I have not tried it for years though...since it was Crane. I probably bought it in 2010 or 2012 the last time. Now it seems to be only sold direct? Hmm...it is a bit disconcerting to me that it is not available at the larger stores like B&H and Freestyle etc. But I hope it has the feel and quality of the old paper.
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Smoothjazz

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2022, 10:45:02 pm »

Lots of good papers mentioned. I have really liked the Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl and Fine Art Baryta Satin- but lately have started experimenting with the Photo Gloss Baryta (320 gsm). Has anyone else tried this paper? It seems to bring out more detail in prints, but also has a high gloss finish.
I have also experimented with spraying it with the Hahnemiuhle protective spray lacquer, which adds more DMAX to the blacks in my B&W printing.
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StuartR

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2022, 02:30:31 pm »

I mentioned Glossy Baryta Warmtone above, which is basically the same paper with a warmtone. This paper used to be Harman by Hahnemühle Gloss Baryta, and before that it was Harman Gloss Fb Al. It was made in the Harman factory, and I believe it used the same paper base and coating technology as the Ilford darkroom papers.

As you have seen, it is capable of superb results. The challenge with this paper is that it is very unruly when it comes to handling. It is a stiff and strong paper that tends to holds its curl in a roll very strongly and is prone to head strikes or scratches from the paper rubbing against the printer at some point in the process. The sheets have a tendency to curl up towards the edges, which makes they very difficult to print on without first mechanically bending them flatter before placing them in the printer. From what I understand, this is the result of a strong anti-curl layer. The problem is that the layer is designed to make the sheet lay flat AFTER the printing, not during the printing. So the reverse curl causes the paper foul the printer more often than other papers.

At one time this paper was my go-to for my own exhibition work. In the end, however, I had so many problems with it that I switched to Photo Rag Pearl and Photo Rag Baryta for most jobs. More disconcertingly, Hahnemuhle no longer seems to stand behind it as an archival paper. I remember its archival life being marketed as being long when it was a Harman paper. But Hahnemühle positioned it in its "Photo" line, which is designed for shorter life. They quote its archival life up to 30 years, which I think is likely not accurate. I contacted Hahnemuhle about this, as I have produced exhibitions for museums on this work on the understanding it was archivally stable, but they will not stand behind it. They said:
"With regards to the Gloss Baryta 320 you are correct in saying that it is a part of our Photo Range of papers. For the best archival properties you need to use a paper from our Hahnemühle Fine Art range. The papers in our Photo Range have varying levels of achievability  and whilst these are at least comparable to industry norms for these type of papers they do not have the  same levels as our Fine Art Papers. As you will see in the attached flyer we quote a longevity period of 30 years for the Photo Range products"

This is in contrast to what Harman said in their information about the paper: "The technical benefits of this layer include greater detail and definition, extended tonal range, and excellent
archival properties." Excellent archival qualities. The chemically stable substrate, proven over a century of real world use, prevents image degradation.
Baryta fibre papers are the benchmark for archival photographic images." "Preliminary accelerated test results for light fastness carried out using the printer manufacturer’s original inks, and directly compared with the best media specifically recommended by Canon, HP and Epson for use in their own printers indicate that HARMAN PHOTO Professional Inkjet GLOSS FB Al paper matches, and in some cases already exceeds, the published predictive life for those papers."

So anyway...believe who you trust more I guess? I feel like Hahnemuhle did not really have a good place to put this paper and put it in its Photo line which is primarily RC papers, and they just peg all of those at short term papers. I have a feeling that Gloss Baryta will have a mid-range archival life since it has some OBA's, but is also an alpha cellulose based paper using baryta. These days I stick with Photo Rag Baryta as it is so easy to handle and because Hahnemuhle sticks behind it as an archival grade paper.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2022, 02:42:05 pm by StuartR »
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dgberg

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2022, 07:07:39 am »

Being a fine art printer by trade I just love a nice paper print. When we do print on paper it is usually Hahnemuhle FAB or Canson Etching Rag as they are the most popular.
Only problem today is that requests rarely come in for paper prints. With the cost of labor, materials, frames, mats and glass it has become quite expensive for high end framing.
The artisans and photographers that do buy paper prints are buying smaller sizes to put in plastic sleeves to cover rent in the juried arts and craft shows they enter.
We do get quite a few requests from these folks for smaller note cards and 5x7 sizes but we pass on all that work. You just cannot charge enough to make any money printing small.

My personal favorite is the Canson BFK Rives, just beautiful.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2022, 07:16:39 am by dgberg »
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StuartR

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2022, 12:22:24 pm »

That is interesting. I am also a fine art printer and run a Hahnemuhle Certified Studio in Iceland. It is a much smaller demographic here, I guess, but I print only on paper. I concentrate almost entirely on the gallery and museum market, but everything is on paper. I don't know of any artists using canvas at all and I cannot remember the last time someone requested it. It seems to be covered by the more commercial operations and geared towards people displaying stuff in their house...

You do see some seeking out printing directly on aluminum or trying to get something like Diasec or acrylic face-mounting. I agree about small sizes, however...it is really challenging to make anything out of it. Rather than phase it out completely, I set a minimum job size of a few hundred dollars, as that means that I only really get jobs large enough to be worth doing. I am a one-man operation and geared primarily towards the high end, so with all the work in invoicing, meeting and working with clients, doing it for one or two small prints is a non-starter. I also agree about framing...it is the largest cost of most exhibitions here by far. Rather than leave paper, most will still print on paper, but have the work mounted on Di-bond or aluminum. Another thing people do here at times is frame but skip the glass...obviously the work looks great without anything in front of it, but it is then quite susceptible to damage. I think the cost of museum glass here is so high that some artists that want frames cannot afford the glass, but would rather risk the damage than just have the highly reflective plate glass over the images.
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dgberg

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2022, 08:28:39 am »

It is just two different business models, both are good. Mine is canvas and Chromaluxe metal plus a few paper prints.
The design firms that handle the hospitality artwork specify canvas. Mostly 30x40 usually ordering $5k to $10K at a time.
So it is a totally different business then what you are doing.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2022, 11:29:41 am by dgberg »
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disneytoy

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Re: Favorite Papers
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2022, 03:11:03 pm »

they have a line of matte Canson Arches Infinity such as the spectacular CA. 88 and two version of BFK, and a much improved beautifully

John

How close is Canson Infinity Arches 88 Ultra Smooth to Epson Ultra smooth?

Thanks!
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