Archive for the ‘Paper resources’ Category

Red River sale on Polar Pearl Metallic

Monday, October 11th, 2010

For the month of October, Red River Paper has 50-sheet boxes of the 8" by 11" and 13" by 19" Polar Pearl Metallic paper on sale for $30 and $80, respectively.

I’ve been using the Metallic for a few months now, and I really like it. It’s the first paper that I’ve found that approximates metallic photographic papers from Kodak and Fuji. It’s not an analogue to a paper like Kodak Endura Metallic VC; Polar Pearl Metallic doesn’t feel (to me) like it has as much depth as the Kodak paper. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: Endura Metallic was always an “extreme” photographic paper, and I’ve had to tell a few photographers that the Red River Metallic is more subtle than that.

Polar Pearl Metallic isn’t a paper you’re going to use every day for all your photos, but it is definitely worth playing around with, and October’s sale is a nice way to get a chance to do so.

Review: Moab’s Somerset Photo Satin

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

We recently purchased some of Moab’s Somerset Photo Satin, a new paper that we first encountered at this year’s PMA show in Las Vegas.

Somerset Photo Satin is a thick (300gsm), 100% cotton fine-art paper made by St Cuthberts Mill, one of the oldest paper makers in the U.K. It is quite white, with a brightness of 97.5%, and it is free of whiteners and other optical brightening agents (OBAs). It does, however, contain buffering agents designed to help protect the paper from atmospheric contaminants.

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Sale on pro paper at HP site

Monday, March 10th, 2008

HP is running a special “Buy 1, get 1 free” promotion on 13" by 19" paper for many of its professional line of papers for the B9180 and B8850 printers. If you’re a big fan of the HP/Hahnemühle Smooth Fine Art and Watercolor papers, or HP’s Professional Satin Photo Paper (one of our new favorites), Aquarella Textured Art or Artist’s Matte Canvas, it’s a good time to stock up. Simply add two packages to your cart, and one package is free; HP’s even offering free shipping on the deal.

Given that HP’s Smooth Fine Art is regularly $4 per 13" by 19" sheet—although it’s a more reasonable $2.40 per sheet via Amazon—getting it for $2 per sheet is quite nice.

Moab ships Somerset Photo Satin 300

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Moab by Legion is now shipping Somerset Photo Satin 300, a cotton-based, traditional fine art paper produced by St Cuthberts Mill in the UK. The paper, which is free of optical brighteners, has a very smooth finish and a neutral white color. While the term ‘Satin’ might lead you to believe that it has a glossy- or luster-style shine, there is almost no reflectivity in the sample images we’ve looked at, and the blacks were exceptionally deep, while still holding significant shadow detail. It is optimized for pigment inks.

Somerset Photo Satin is designed for use by photographers interested in selling their work, and is priced accordingly: it’s a little under $3 per letter-size sheet, and $6.50 for a 13"x19" sheet. It is also available in 17", 24", 44" and 60" rolls.

Old school postcard printing

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

We’re always on the lookout for interesting paper stock for our printers; most of the time, though, it’s paper that actually goes through the printer. Last fall, while wandering through our local photo store (Pro Photo Supply, if you’re in the Portland, Oregon area), we found some postcard stock from a company in Wisconsin called Romar.

Romar’s Post-Pix are definitely from the pre-digital era. They have a paper protector that hides a strong adhesive on the front of the card; you simply remove that and affix any 4" by 6" photo in its place. The result is a nice, thick postcard that holds up well in the mail, and makes a great statement with your own pictures.

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Glossy papers from Red River and Moab

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

We’ve been testing quite a few printers in the past month or so–in fact, there are 10 printers set up in various states around my office as I write this. When we evaluate a printer, we start out with the printer manufacturer’s papers with our test images; in theory, that combination should offer the best quality “out of the box.” Realistically, it’s also the way that most people will use their photo printer. (The printer companies have also understood that providing a range of high-quality papers is a smart business move, so it’s a much easier way to go than it was a few years ago.)

When you want to compare prints between printers, it helps to have a more-level playing field. Looking at a print from competitive printers on the same paper stock can help draw some clear delineations on the qualities of a specific unit. To get to this point, we profile the paper-printer combination with either X-Rite’s i1 or DataColor’s PrintFIX Pro, which gives us an ICC profile that we can use when printing from Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture. Both products do a very good job of creating ICC profiles for us: the X-Rite solution offers more automation, but the PrintFIX system–since replaced by the Spyder3 Studio–is significantly less expensive. We find the profiles created with both to generally be of high quality, although you can often find very good profiles on the paper vendors’ Web sites.

When printing on matte papers, we’ve found Epson’s Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte (formerly Enhanced Matte) to be a good strong paper that has held up well and reproduces images very well on printers from Epson, Canon and HP.

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