Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Best paper for black and white?  (Read 53028 times)

cerett

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 78
    • http://
Best paper for black and white?
« on: January 07, 2015, 12:16:21 pm »

I would like some opinions as to the best paper for black and white printing using photo black ink on an Epson large format printer. I know this is going to be quite subjective. I really like Epson Exhibition Fiber. However, I understand that Canson make some excellent papers for this purpose. Your thoughts?
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 12:24:55 pm »

I would like some opinions as to the best paper for black and white printing using photo black ink on an Epson large format printer. I know this is going to be quite subjective. I really like Epson Exhibition Fiber. However, I understand that Canson make some excellent papers for this purpose. Your thoughts?

You may wish to have a look at this article, where one paper by Ilford specifically compounded for black and white printing is discussed. Also, much more has been published and discussed on this website re this topic - worth doing a review. And you are right, it is indeed subjective. I think one of the very first decisions you need to make is whether to print on matte or glossy-type finishes. You'll get more differentiated and richer shadow detail with the latter, but many do like the feel and atmosphere of the former. Epson Exhibition Fiber paper has a considerable load of optical brightening agents in it that can fade over time, which is not necessarily a good thing. There has been a lot of recent discussion in this forum about that too. I suggest you read-up.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Ernst Dinkla

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3880
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 04:47:08 pm »

You may wish to have a look at this article, where one paper by Ilford specifically compounded for black and white printing is discussed. Also, much more has been published and discussed on this website re this topic - worth doing a review. And you are right, it is indeed subjective. I think one of the very first decisions you need to make is whether to print on matte or glossy-type finishes. You'll get more differentiated and richer shadow detail with the latter, but many do like the feel and atmosphere of the former. Epson Exhibition Fiber paper has a considerable load of optical brightening agents in it that can fade over time, which is not necessarily a good thing. There has been a lot of recent discussion in this forum about that too. I suggest you read-up.

The OBA load of the Epson Exhibition Fiber is like the OBA load of the Ilford Mono Silk if measured with a spectrometer that actually measures the OBA effect, so one with UV in its light source and measuring down to 380 NM. Lab b -4.1 to Lab b -4.7  The spectral plots attached here show that too. Whether the Ilford Mono Silk shifts its paper white as fast in time is harder to predict without proper testing.

This thread on the Ilford Mono Silk is still worth reading, the main conclusion is that the Ilford Mono Silk is a cooler paper than IGFS due to the higher OBA content (IGFS is not free of OBA either), it does not show a longer dynamic range than the Ilford Gold Fiber Silk so whatever qualifies it as B&W paper and IGFS not, is unclear to me.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=70745.0

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots

« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 04:48:57 pm by Ernst Dinkla »
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 04:58:22 pm »

Hi Ernst, yes I should have mentioned that Ilford Mono is also OBA-rich. In my testing I also failed to see what qualifies it as a B&W paper over and above what one can do using IGFS with far less OBA; I really like the B&W prints I can make with IGFS. Shadow detail is rich and tonality is superb if the photo itself has good tonality. But there also many other such good products on the market.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Jager

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 203
    • E vestigio
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 05:17:39 pm »

I love Epson's Exhibition Fiber for photo-black B&W.  Alas, it's high OBA content and concomitant poor print longevity very much constrain what it can be used for.  I still do a lot of my B&W proof printing with it, just because I like it.  For final prints I like Jone Cone Studio Type 5, Canson Baryta Photographique, and Canson Platine Rag.  All excellent B&W papers.

deanwork

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2015, 12:53:41 am »

The Canson Platine is excellent and quite bright for a paper with no oba at all. It is almost as bright as the Hahnemuhle FA Pearl and a lot whiter than the Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta or Photorag Pearl that I also like. The Canson Platine is by far the sharpest paper in this class. I hadn't realized that until I started using it recently, but there is a big difference in the resolution of it and the other Hah fiber gloss papers.

john
Logged

Phil Indeblanc

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2017
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2015, 01:35:52 am »

Just ran a BW on the Realistic Litho and it looks classic and really pleasing. I have very little matte usage experience, but seen many.
I haven't done any comparisons to others, yet you can easily tell this paper has a slight "antique" tint to it. I think any printer would work well with it.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 04:05:59 am by Phil Indeblanc »
Logged
If you buy a camera, you're a photographer...

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2015, 08:17:42 am »

..............The Canson Platine is by far the sharpest paper in this class. I hadn't realized that until I started using it recently, but there is a big difference in the resolution of it and the other Hah fiber gloss papers.

john

Hi John, I'm intrigued by this statement - how do you determine this - is it just by observation of the same (sharp) file on this and other papers, or are you using some kind of resolution target to quantify it? Also, I wonder how Canson Platine compares with its Baryta Photographiqe in respect to resoution. Is it likely that the difference you obtain is due to differences of the surface texture?
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

dchew

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1018
    • Dave Chew Photography
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 01:57:56 pm »

Yeah Mark me too! I have them both here and all the praise of Platine has me intrigued to do a comparison.

Mine of course will be completely subjective with no use of any science whatsoever  :)

Dave
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 02:00:08 pm »

I just trotted down to Vistek to pick up a package and do likewise. They have it on sale - ending today. Prices in CAD lower than B&H in USD.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

deanwork

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2015, 11:10:11 pm »

I didn't need to observe a resolution target or anything like that, it's super obvious.

Well I don't know if Canson has changed the coating on the Platine since I tried it a few years ago but I don't remember it being this sharp or this white initially, but it could have been.

I did 20x24 prints for a client that had decided to go with the Platine to match other prints in his portfolio. We had been printing them with Hahnemuhle FA Pearl and Photorag Baryta ( similar texture to Platine), so had the same exact files with the same printer sitting on my table and there is a drastic difference in resolution. The files were shot on a D800 with a Leica lens, and others from 4x5 with Schneider optics and drum scanned by me.

 On the Canon IPF the gloss differential and bronzing are more pronounced on the Platine, but I am spraying with the Hah uv spray to eliminate that. Back a few years ago when I tried the Canson Baryta the gloss diff. was pretty bad on the Canon and Hp machines so I didn't go far with it. Another thing about the Platine, is that the paper brightness is almost as white as the Han FA Pearl that has some oba. I didn't remember this either.
john
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 11:15:29 pm by deanwork »
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2015, 11:18:17 pm »

I bought the paper, created a profile and measured it. The gamut volume is about 3.5% larger than Ilford Gold Fibre Silk, but its black point shows in ColorThink's Profile Inspector as L5 Platine versus L3 IGFS (i.e. IGFS a tad blacker). I think both differences are insignificant. I shall run a few prints tomorrow to look for the resolution difference and report back what I see. It was a terrible nuisance printing the profile targets because the paper is heavy and just curly enough to jam in the printer (Epson 4900)- needed settings adjustments and continuous babysitting to get the prints out of the machine unscathed.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

deanwork

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2015, 12:41:13 am »

I have no idea how it is printing with Epson inks. I don't use them

john
Logged

dchew

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1018
    • Dave Chew Photography
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 06:57:11 am »

As I mentioned above, the positive comments from John and others regarding Canson Platine had me intrigued. I have a box of this paper (13x19), tried it once or twice but have never used it for a job. Not sure why; maybe because my initial reaction to an RC front with a soft matte back just felt weird. I don’t know.

So I ran a comparison test between Canson Infinity Baryta Photographic (CIBP) and Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag (Platine). First, a note about comparison testing: this was my test not anyone else’s, so it was done to mimic how I would print b&w images:
Printer: Epson 7900 w/ OEM inks
Image prep: Export from LR – sized at 360ppi, sharpen for gloss-standard
Size constrained to 11" and/or 17"
Path: ImagePrint 9.0.2.2
Profiles: ImagePrint's gray profiles
Tone: slight warm tone using narrow gamut tool: 70/50 and 60/50 *

*For those of you familiar with LR split tone, it is kinda similar to 50/3 for highlights and 50/2 for shadows. I like a slight warm tone on the prints. It is one of the reasons I like ImagePrint; I think there is better subtle control over the toning process.

First of all, I don’t think the average Joe non-printer would ever know the difference between these two papers. Certainly not without touching them. In fact, in my opinion the feel of these papers is by far the biggest difference. I think Platine has a cotton rag base; CIBP a cellulose base.  I had similar feed problems that Mark reported above. Platine has a bit of reverse curl at the edges that need to be turned back from at least the two feed corners so it doesn’t jam in the 7900.

Platine has a slightly rougher surface. Really just a few bigger “pock marks” vs. CIBP.  I don’t mean that to sound as if there are imperfections in the Platine. It is just a bit more “organic” compared to CIBP’s perfectly uniform surface. Platine is slightly warmer; no scratch that – CIBP is slightly cooler!  Aardenburg rates Platine LAB 96.6/0.1/0.2, and CIBP as 97.9/0.1/-0.1 (UV incl). They also rate CIBP with a slightly denser black, but not something I think anyone could see; more on that later. CIBP has a small amount of OBA while Platine has none. CIBP scored a little higher in Aardenburg’s fade testing when printed using Epson AWB. I suspect this is one of those cases Mark (MHMG) has talked about where the paper yellowing due to OBA fading counteracts the ink’s bluing. If that intrigues you, sign up on their website and download the reports. :)

<rant> Seriously, I think everyone who lurks on this printing forum should at least sign up on that site, if not provide an additional donation. They are doing wonderful work from which we all benefit. <end rant>

I printed the three images at the end of this post. The first has a lot going on but is good because all the branches can be used to judge sharpness, and they expose any overly-aggressive sharpening. It is an IQ180 image from a technical camera. The second is a general image, but the fence shows sharp clues, while the clouds provide good tone info. Sony A7r_Lecia f/2-90. The third has some obvious dense black areas. It is from an oh-so ancient Canon 5D_70-200 f/4 (not even 10 years ago – ugh).

What do I see in regards to sharpness? Not much. Both of these papers are fantastic. I would rate CIBP to have a slightly sharper perception, but I think it is because the light tones feel crisper, almost like there is added ‘clarity’. It very well may be because the paper is brighter. Someone else may look and rank them differently, so I understand John’s comment and I am interested in Mark’s feedback. It is impossible to evaluate the differences between these two papers without looking really close. And when you look that close you can tell which one is which because of characteristics other than sharpness, like paper color, surface texture and obviously feel.

In regards to gloss differential and bronzing with Epson inks, I have to admit I’m not sure of definition and difference between those terms. But holding the paper at various angles the ink looks remarkably similar in how it reflects light. Sometimes I think the Platine has slightly more of that “3-D baseball card” feel, but that is being really imaginative. The image below from half way up Mt. Rainier would show any problems, and I just can’t see any. One curious note on the deep black area at the bottom of that image: CIBP has some very slight banding through ImagePrint that is only noticeable up close in very bright light. Platine has a very light “dusty” or hairy look. Like there are some paper fibers on the surface that don’t get completely saturated with ink. Mark, I’m really interested to hear if you see that too. It might be tied to ImagePrint's controls. Again, this is under really close inspection.

So, if you abhor OBA’s, Platine is a great choice. I still give CIBP a slight edge in appearance, but it is very slight. When looking at only one print, I would challenge anyone to to decipher which paper it is from anything farther than 2 feet away. If paper feel is important, then that would surely be the deciding factor. I think that is the biggest difference between these two papers.

Anyway, I am glad you all drove me to take another look at Platine. My next roll might just be this stuff since I think it will handle a bit better as roll paper. I don’t know if it will replace CIBP as my go-to paper, but it might. Depending on my preference on feel and my growing fear of OBA’s.

Dave





« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 10:20:25 am by dchew »
Logged

deanwork

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1920
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 09:08:34 am »

That is interesting. Yes, they are both quality papers with probably the same great Canson coating.

My comments were in a comparison between Platine, with  Hahnemuhle Photorag Baryta, and Hahnemuhe FA Pearl.

I would expect both of the Canson media to behave similarly. For me I did find years ago that both the Canson fiber gloss papers as well as the Ilford Gallery Gold were more prone to scratching in the white border areas ( where you see it ) and both exhibited a lot more bronzing with black and white imagery or heavy shadow areas, as well as more gloss differential in the near pure white areas of a print. o be fair though the finer the texture the more prone papers are to seeing this.

They two Canson fiber gloss media also curl more, which may not seem significant but it is if you are trying to work fast and don't have a large dry mount press or time to flatten them. And they can jam toward the end of the roll, which is not pretty. I found this with the Innova papers of this type as well. I like the way that Photorag Baryta flattens out relatively quickly. It is not a minor thing.

As to matt rag media, I switched to Canson shortly after they were released because a comparison between H Photorag 308 and Rag Photographique showed the Canson to be sharper, have better dmax, and there was no flaking of the coating as we had always experienced with Photorag, German Etching, and William Turner. I still use William Turner however because no one makes a  heavily textured rag with this beautiful of a texture in my opinion, but it is very delicate and should be sprayed.

john
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2015, 11:05:28 am »

Posted to another thread, but perhaps belongs more here:

As I had heard good things about Platine and seeing your comments on sharpness and resolution, as I mentioned the other day, given it was on sale, I decided I should finally try it. I ran some tests using 13*19 sheets in both colour and B&W, using very high resolution files (the B&Ws are from a Sony A7R, the colour is Bill Atkinson's printer test page). In my case, I am using an Epson 4900 and the comparison paper is Ilford Gold Fibre Silk (IGFS), which is my standard printing paper. Between these two papers and from the Epson 4900 with the Epson HDR inkset, there is zero perceptible difference in sharpness or resolution in any of these prints. Rendition of shadow detail is also pretty much the same. There is also extremely little difference in the appearance of the unprinted paper white.

The major difference in my case is that I think the Platine with its cotton rag backing created a huge clogging issue which never before arose with this printer in the middle of a printing session. It is proving very stubborn to rectify as well. I think I shall need at least another round of print-clean (done three already) to flush out whatever started gumming up the works. Printing with IGFS this kind of thing simply hasn't happened before. Normally, I only get broken nozzle checks if the printer had been left too long without being used. Unless this is a big coincidence with the cause being something else, it seems to be that this paper/printer combination isn't healthy and I shall not be switching to it. At its normal pricing the Platine is about twice as costly as the IGFS with no apparent advantage in respect of image quality - at least none that I could see. I used custom profiles for both papers, made in the same way with the same profiling kit (X-Rite Pulse Elite).
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2015, 12:03:37 pm »

Just a quick follow-up to my previous post. After EIGHT cycles of cleaning-testing-printing-cleaning-testing-printing I finally got a clean nozzle check pattern out of the 4900. The main offenders where Photo Black and VLM. Brutal.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

howardm

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1983
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2015, 12:11:48 pm »

too bad Canon has orphaned the 5100.  I'd be all over a 5400 17" unit.

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12512
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2015, 12:26:08 pm »

Canon printers also clog, but it's managed differently. The print heads have spare nozzles. When enough of them are clogged you replace a print head - expensive. There seems to be no free lunch. It would be very hard to know (with acceptable statistical procedure) which approach is more economical in the final analysis because none of us consumers have the data. In any case, it's academic for all of us who have no space or no need for anything wider than 17 inches.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

howardm

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1983
Re: Best paper for black and white?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2015, 12:51:53 pm »

I know.  I'd much rather deal w/ 'will definitely eventually need a new head' vs. 'head will clog hopelessly at any moment enough to make you want to toss the printer'.  What's your time worth?  How much did you waste trying to un-pooch 4900 after that recent 'experiment' ?

Heck, I get  worried about my rare MK/PK swap on the 3880 screwing up the printer's performance (head clog, valve stick, etc etc).
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up