Digital Help
Q&A For Digital Photography

Digital Help is designed to aid you in getting the most from your digital photography, printing, scanning, and image creation. Each month, David Brooks provides solutions to problems you might encounter with matters such as color calibration and management, digital printer and scanner settings, and working with digital photographic images with many different kinds of cameras and software. All questions sent to him will be answered with the most appropriate information he can access and provide. However, not all questions and answers will appear in this department. Readers can send questions to David Brooks addressed to Shutterbug magazine, through the Shutterbug website (, directly via e-mail to: or or by US Mail to: David Brooks, PO Box 2830, Lompoc, CA 93438.
--George Schaub

Epson Discontinues 13x19 UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper
Q. In the Shutterbug Test Report on the Epson R2400 (December 2005 issue), you mentioned using Epson's UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper. I searched the Epson website and found Epson Product Code SP91209, 13x19 sheets, listed in the Fact Sheet, but Epson Sales denies the existence of that paper. Who at Epson could I contact to obtain some of this paper? By the way, your article was quite informative. I purchased the R2400 and am finding that it is every bit as good as you said.

A. Epson's UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper is only listed in the Epson professional supplies section of their website. The product code for 13x19 size is S041896. The person you talked to that denied the existence of this paper is probably in the consumer division of Epson. The Epson box it came in is very clearly and boldly marked "Epson Professional Paper."
To make it a bit easier you might try one of Epson's authorized pro dealers, Digital Art Supplies. You can go to the page on their website that displays the paper at: digitalartsupplies/fineartpaper.html. You will find this: "Epson's 100% cotton hot press fine art paper. This is a mold made paper with a very smooth finish that is optimized for Epson Ultrachrome & Epson Archival Inks. The paper is acid free & truly archival rated in excess of 100 years light fastness by Henry Wilhelm."

(Response to e-mail from DB)
Thanks for the reply. Sad news: the paper is not available in 13x19 for the R2400. I talked to Digital Art Supplies and you got one of three boxes of the paper that was never marketed and is no longer available. The paper is not available, even though it is shown on the website.

Thanks so much for getting back to me with the news. It is really interesting that Epson would provide support in a driver media setting and profile for this paper with the R2400, and then immediately discontinue it. They did provide me with a box of it to use in my tests of the R2400.
If you are interested there is a third-party paper that is quite similar in characteristics, and makes even better prints with the R2400. It is a paper distributed by Jobo USA (Fototechnic) called Perma Jet Fine Art Alpha. You can find references to the product at: Samy's Camera on the West Coast and both B&H and Adorama are Jobo dealers on the East Coast.

Some Fine Points On The New R2400 Epson Printer
Q. I have a couple of questions concerning your Test Report on the Epson R2400 printer.
1) Did you use any of the .ICC profiles from Epson? If so, how did they compare to your own calibrated profiles?
2) What Print Quality setting works best--Best Photo or Photo RPM?
Thanks for your article--I just bought the R2400 to replace my 2000P. Shutterbug has quickly become one of my favorite reference photo magazines.
Ken Feeser

A. In my tests of the R2400 I printed using a number of Epson brand papers, including Enhanced Matte, Velvet, UltraSmooth, and Premium Glossy/Luster. All the Epson papers were printed with the Epson supplied .ICC profiles using the same Photoshop (Let Photoshop Control Printing) workflow necessary when using custom profiles. The "canned" Epson profiles perform quite effectively. However, if you have the professional capability to build calibrated custom profiles using a photospectrometer, you can usually improve on canned profiles, as well as fine-tune print performance to personal and individual preferences.
The Photo RPM setting only provides a print image quality advantage with smaller size prints made on Premium resin-coated paper. For all fiber-matte papers and larger prints Best Photo is appropriate.