Photo Paper Reviews

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Edited by George Schaub  |  Sep 18, 2012  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2012  |  3 comments

Every year the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), a worldwide association of photo and imaging magazine editors, meets to pick the Best of Class in a wide range of photo categories. As the sole US member of the association, Shutterbug joins editors from Europe, Asia, and Africa in the nominating, judging, and selection process. One of the most exciting aspects of photography today is the constant advancement of technology and design, and this year’s Top Products reflect that spirit and those accomplishments, including new categories of Video D-SLR and Mobile App. Editor George Schaub joins all fellow TIPA members in congratulating those selected to receive the prestigious TIPA award. (To learn more about TIPA, please visit the website at: www.tipa.com.)

Edited by George Schaub  |  Sep 13, 2013  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Every year member magazines from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) gather to consider and vote on the top products of the year in 40 categories, ranging from cameras to tripods to software and printers. This year’s selections represent technological sophistication along with features and functionality that make them leaders in their respective categories.

Dave Howard  |  Oct 01, 2001  |  0 comments

With the inexorable advance of the digital juggernaut, it's always encouraging to witness the introduction of a new, traditional, photographic paper. Adorama's Ador Variable Grade Fiber Base paper being reviewed here is replacing...

George Schaub  |  Jul 11, 2014  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2014  |  0 comments

If you, like me, had come to associate “watercolor” with a stippled and rough surface, my first tip on this paper is not to be concerned with the moniker. It is a somewhat rough surface, but more in its tooth than its topography, and is more akin to high-quality painting stock than some of the stuff that had been passed off as watercolor inkjet in the past. And while this paper might be aimed at the “fine art” market (reproduction of paintings and drawings for portfolios and presentation and possible sale) it is also quite apt for photographers who want rich color on an “archival,” matte/textured surface. Epson describes the surface as “unique,” and you can feel and “hear” the surface as you run your thumb over it. I found that while the surface texture is somewhat rough it does not intrude on the ink laydown; in fact, it seems to enhance it.

George Schaub  |  Mar 15, 2016  |  0 comments

Claims about inkjet print permanence have been bandied about for years and while there have not been (and certainly cannot be) “real world” tests without the use of a time machine, it’s generally accepted that “accelerated” aging tests are a good indication of when a paper/ink combination will start to lose color fidelity/density, or even when the paper base and coating itself will cause problems. Indeed, this discussion can be as contentious as it is competitive, such as what happened six years ago when Epson properly threw down the gauntlet to Kodak, whose in-house test methodology and claims for their papers were subject to dispute.

George Schaub  |  Sep 01, 2007  |  0 comments

The digital trend these days seems to be film and silver halide print emulation. Not long ago we reviewed Alien Skin's Exposure software, which had push-button manipulation of digital images to make them look just as if they had been exposed on certain types of film. DxO's FilmPack, subject of a future review, offers similar image "looks." And at a recent...

George Schaub  |  Jun 08, 2012  |  0 comments

Ilford has relaunched their Galerie brand of inkjet papers, with one segment dubbed their “Prestige” brand. This is a first hands-on test of their Galerie Prestige Smooth High Gloss 215 gsm, based on pre-launch samples I was supplied.

 

In olden times printing papers were classed by weight, support (RC or fiber) grade (or VC, for variable contrast) and surface, and we’re beginning to see those classifications emerge again in the inkjet paper world, albeit in a different way than silver papers but nonetheless by weight and surface and support. If I were to classify this new Ilford Smooth High Gloss I’d call it a single weight, RC, and high gloss (Super F) "material", leaving grade aside of course as the contrast in digital is more determined by processing than paper grade.

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Feb 01, 2003  |  0 comments

Why do we need different contrast grades?
Because we don't all make perfect negatives. Paper grades allow us to compensate for negatives that are a bit too contrasty, or somewhat...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Sep 14, 2012  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2012  |  0 comments

You can use Harman Direct Positive Paper (hereafter HDPP) in a whole spectrum of ways. At one end of the spectrum is the “Wow! Lookit!” of a school science project. At the other is a creative tool that will probably prove useful and profitable for some fine art photographers, and even some advertising photographers. We keep thinking of new ways to use it, but then again, you have to. It is a classic example of “creative limitation,”

George Schaub  |  Mar 21, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

In olden times there was paper for printing color and for printing black and white. Structure, emulsions, and processing chemistry all determined how you matched media and paper, and it was all pretty self-evident. Surface choices were wider for black-and-white printmakers and while there were some choices for color (gloss, matte, semigloss) much of the surface treatment for color prints was added with sprays and varnish. Of course that’s all changed, and the “rules” regarding media and paper matching have been tossed.

George Schaub  |  Aug 15, 2012  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2012  |  14 comments

The Ilford name certainly echoes for those with a photographic memory, and now the Galerie brand name sits on a host of inkjet media, some fiber-based and quite a few RC-based products, the subjects of this review.

 

It must be said at the outset that any mention of RC-based papers usually makes printmakers head for the door. The bum rap RC gets is based on first impressions from 40 odd years ago, when it was quite clear that RC (Resin-Coated, plastic) base materials were poor relations used for convenience rather than quality. RC papers in the silver realm came a long way since their first introduction, and now Ilford claims that RC inkjet papers will do as well. While they have a fair amount of proper disclaimers about ink type and storage conditions, they state that when using pigment inks their RC surface papers will not undergo significant fading or discoloration in a range of from 30 to 100 years.

Frances E. Schultz  |  Oct 24, 2011  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Ilford’s new Multigrade Art 300 (MGA 300) paper is a completely new, different, silver halide, wet-process printing paper: the company’s first new paper in 13 years. The tonality is rich and subtle, and the feel of the prints is incomparable. As a bonus, it is perfect for handcoloring.

George Schaub  |  Feb 01, 2011  |  0 comments

OK, so I have on the meditation tape and have done my breathing exercises and now I’m ready to print on Hahnemühle’s Bamboo paper, which they dub prime for “spiritual black and white and color photography.” Made from 90 percent bamboo fibers and 10 percent cotton, and washed in “pure spring water,” the paper comes with a bit of New Age hype but at the end...

George Schaub  |  Mar 01, 2011  |  1 comments

The substrate and the image often go hand in hand, with a natural tendency to choose a matte surface for one type of scene, bucolic landscapes, perhaps, a hard gloss for commercial work, and a luster for deep blacks and a fine art feel.

George Schaub  |  May 01, 2010  |  0 comments

Part of the fun of making inkjet prints is the wide variety of printing surfaces and weights from which you can choose. You can go the budget route and have some fine papers to work with, or choose papers that have brand cachet and a price tag to match. That cachet generally pays off in a level of quality and durability that many printmakers both admire and hope to discover in their printing...

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