Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Toolbox: Printers For Pro B&W
Printers and ink sets for superior black-and-white prints that last a lifetime
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
|FINE-ART PAPERS FOR BLACK-AND-WHITE
When printing black-and-white, choosing the right paper for your final print will depend a lot on your own personal tastes. There are a variety of papers available with significant advantages for working with black-and-white, and it's important to remember that the choice of paper will affect a print as much as your choice of printer, so go with quality over economy when looking to make a print that will last.
The big three of photo printing—Canon, Epson and HP—all offer standardized papers optimized for use with their printers, and one of the advantages of choosing to print your own work over a lab is that you have a tremendous variety of paper surfaces to choose from. With standards like glossy, matte, canvas, watercolor, satin or luster, surface types can subtly or drastically influence the look of your image.
When using third-party papers, it's important that you use ICC profiles to optimize your printer or you may be mismatching colors, hues and tones, as well as wasting ink and paper. Most are available for download from their respective sites.
Available in sheets or more economical rolls, inkjet papers work by absorbing ink sprays into the layers of the paper. Often, layers are built over a sturdy resin base, with thick, stronger papers having heavier weights that are measured in grams per square meter (gsm). The gsm is a good indicator of how durable the paper will be for handling and for printing.
The overall whiteness of a paper is important, as well, especially with black-and-white. Be aware that brightening agents (or OBAs) will make a paper more white, but also can reduce the ultimate life of a print because of gradual color shifting. For more exact specifications, Wilhelm Imaging Research (www.wilhelm-research.com) is a great resource for comparing different paper types with printers and inks.
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