Home Buyer's Guide Printers-2012
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Fine-Art Printers

Today’s inkjet printers, inks and papers bring out all of the detail and color captured by a high-megapixel digital camera

This Article Features Photo Zoom

PAPER & INKS

No matter how terrific your printer, you'll compromise your final print if you're using lower-quality ink or paper. Paper quality is critical for a stunning print. This isn't a place to cut corners. Epson put a special emphasis on paper this year by coming out with a new line of paper called Signature Worthy. The idea behind these papers is that they're so good, you would want to put your signature on your photo.

Printing paper has become a little bit of an industry unto itself. There are quite a few manufacturers of excellent printing paper, too many to list all of them here. Some of these manufacturers offer specialized papers while others offer a whole range of paper for any type of photography. One thing that can be important with special independent papers is that you get the printing profiles from the manufacturers in order to optimize the paper with your printer.

Before investing in a stack of large-sized printing paper, you may find it helpful to try sample packs, or even just small packs of paper in a small size just to see if you like the look of the paper. The look of the print is heavily influenced by the brightness of the paper and the surface, such as glossy, luster, matte, fine art and so forth. None of these is arbitrarily good or bad, right or wrong. Some photographers swear by glossy paper, and others hate it. You have to find the paper that you feel gives you the best results from your printer and your images. The only way to do that is by making test prints and seeing what you like.

Here are some examples of quality photo papers you might try.

Projet Metallic inkjet papers from Adorama give images a unique look with a metallic finish. Warm- and cool-tone versions are available with either a glossy or pearl surface. Photo Paper Pro Platinum is Canon's flagship glossy paper, and offers high color rendition with a traditional photo paper glossy look. Canson BFK Rives is a traditional mould-made printing paper offering a pure white tone with a velvety texture. Epson Signature Worthy Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster offers photographers a semi-gloss photographic paper with a vibrant color gamut and enhanced blacks density.

Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta combines the properties of a cotton rag paper with the fine surface texture of a traditional baryta board. Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl is a heavyweight paper with a pearl surface that eliminates glare and fingerprints. Inkpress Pro Silky offers a semi-gloss surface that allows handling without fingerprints, and remains the same in printed and unprinted areas with all inks. Innova FibaPrint Warm Tone Gloss is based on traditional fiber-based material used in conventional photography and emulates a warm-tone base color of traditional papers.

Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta combines the properties of a cotton rag paper with the fine surface texture of a traditional baryta board. Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl is a heavyweight paper with a pearl surface that eliminates glare and fingerprints. Inkpress Pro Silky offers a semi-gloss surface that allows handling without fingerprints, and remains the same in printed and unprinted areas with all inks. Innova FibaPrint Warm Tone Gloss is based on traditional fiber-based material used in conventional photography and emulates a warm-tone base color of traditional papers.




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