are an on-line photo paper retailer selling all sizes and finishes of photo paper. ePHOTOzine member Brian Wadie
finds out how they perform.
As I was working with a limited number of samples (1 each of the fine art papers and 2 each of the different weights of Gloss and Satin) I carried out these tests using my Epson R3000
using the same settings I would for my normal print jobs.
First impressions were good as the samples arrived securely packed in a rigid cardboard container with no signs of damage.
I have commented on the subjective handling qualities of each paper in the relevant section.
I compared the gloss and satin papers against Jessops equivalent products (these have become my “Go To” papers for club competition work as they give excellent results at a very low price).
The fine art papers I compared against Hahnemuhle equivalents which are my standard papers for gallery and exhibition work.
I wasn’t able to get worthwhile scanned images from the fine art papers (a weakness of my all-in-one scanner) so I’m afraid you will have to make do with my written observations but I was able to scan the gloss and satin samples.
Gloss Paper Performance
I2P paper has a rather plastic, squeaky feel and has a slight surface texture, more so than the Jessops gloss. The surface appears very slightly less glossy than Jessops but is more white (Jessops has a slight grey tint). The 300 gsm will not load via top feed on the Epson R3000
but the lighter samples all loaded OK.
B&W print comparison
- Visually indistinguishable from the Jessops paper both show a rich, deep black and exhibit a good range of grey tones and all shades of grey from white to black are distinguishable on the grey scale wedges. Neither exhibit discernable bronzing or gloss differential.
Colour print comparison
|I2P Gloss B&W
||Jessops Gloss B&W
- Visually indistinguishable from the Jessops paper, both exhibit some gloss differential / bronzing on the test image.
| I2P Gloss Colour
||Jessops Gloss Colour
Satin Paper Performance
I2P 270gsm feels similar in weight and flexibility to the Jessops equivalent and the surface looks much the same for texture and sheen. The B&W prints were practically the same with good strong blacks and all shades of grey being distinguishable.
|I2P Satin B&W
||Jessops Satin B&W
With the colour test the I2P looks slightly more saturated / brighter - particularly the yellows and reds. Gloss differential was present in both the colour prints.
|I2P Satin Colour
||Jessops Satin Colour
I2P A3 240 gsm = £25/25 sheets = £1/sheet, Jessops A3 240gsm = £14.25 / 25 sheets = £0.53 / sheet.
Line definition and image sharpness
I could see no detectable differences in definition / sharpness between any of these papers which gave very well detailed prints in all cases.
I2P Gloss / Satin Pros
Excellent B&W prints with low gloss differential
Good colour reproduction but some gloss differential visible
Detail is excellent with both B&W and Colour
I2P Gloss / Satin Cons
Feel a little plastic when handling
The thinnest paper feels very flimsy
The heaviest weight paper would not feed through the top paper feed on my Epson R3000
Cost is quite high compared to, for example, the equivalent product from Jessops
Gloss / Satin Paper Rating
Fine Art Papers Performance:
Cotton Velvet 310
A lovely paper to handle, similar surface texture to Hahnemuhle Albrecht Durer with the stiffness and weight of Photo Rag 308. A colour landscape print gave excellent fine detail and good colour using the Epson Velvet fine art setting, letting the printer manage colour.
Cotton Photo Rag 310
A very stiff paper with quite marked edge curl, plain matt surface with minimal texture (less than Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308). A portrait of a young girl printed on it showed a pleasing rendition of skin tone with sharp and clear eye detail. The texture of the clothing was also well rendered. As good as anything I would expect from the Hahnemuhle equivalent (but what about archival quality?).
Cotton Museum 310
Another nice paper to handle, if anything it feels a little thicker than the others? I used it to print a B&W of a Snowy Owl in flight and got a top quality print on this paper. It exhibited a wide range of tones and a strong, rich black. There was good line detail in feathers and feather pattern. I experienced a few problems setting this one up with the printer reporting a couple of “Paper Skew” events before I finally got it to print (it seemed more difficult than the other samples to feed though the front paper slot).
I2P A3 = £2.50 /sheet, Hahnemuhle Photo rag 308 A3 = £2.60 /sheet
Fine Art Paper Verdict
Reading through their sales literature I see that I2P get their papers from Germany, so its possible that the similar performance of their product with that of the Hahnemuhle range is not coincidental. I would be happy using any of these fine art papers to produce prints for my own use or for competition prints but without knowledge of their archival qualities would not use them for prints destined for sale.
I2P Fine Art Paper Pros
Handling is excellent, feels very like similar product from Hahnemuhle
Print quality is excellent to outstanding, particularly with B&W
Fine detail is well resolved and the overall clarity of the image is as good as Hahnemuhle
Cost is similar to or very slightly less than Hahnemuhle equivalents
I2P Fine Art Paper Cons
For my use lack of knowledge of the archival qualities is a serious weakness (I haven't included this in the rating as not everyone will have the same concern)
There is distinct edge curl which needs to be straightened out to be sure there will be no risk of head-strikes
Fine Art Papers Rating: