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Can any one tell me what is the best paper to use for B&W prints please.
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Have a look at the Hahnemuhle range which is expensive with superb quality.
It goes without question you should use a photo quality printer that will accept heavy paper depending of course on which paper you choose from their range.
Reducing the cost then Permajet is cceptable.
fotospeed High white smooth is very good so is Canon fine art premium matte. This works well with my Canon Printer but you will need a good black and white image to start with and be able to print with black ink.
There isn't really a best paper as it's all down to personal preference. Some people prefer a glossy/lustre type finish, others prefer a matt finish. The Baryta papers are a favourite paper type for many that specialize in black and white printing.
Check out the Permajet range. They cover the full range of paper types and offer a free custom icc profile for any of there papers, which is pretty much essential if you want to get the best results.
They do various sample packs which is a good starting place.
For a low cost paper to get you started, try Permajet's Oyster paper and also their Matt Plus. Permajet's Fibre base Royal 325 gsm would be a very good choice also and it has the advantage of extra weight and thickness which gives a better quality, more luxurious feel in the hand, compared to lighter papers.
The paper type obviously plays a large part in the quality of a black and white print, but it's also equally dependent on your printing/processing experience, printer type, ink type and a good quality custom paper profile.
Don't know if this is a daft or obvious question, but are you talking about traditional darkroom paper or something that goes through a printer in daylight?
As has been said, there is no "best" paper, but when I want a black and white print for exhibition or competition purposes, and I want it to look similar to a genuine photographic print on a smooth lustre paper, I find that Fotospeed Platinum Baryta satisfies my intentions. It seems to give me the fine gradation of tone that I would have looked for in the darkroom. By the way, that's using an Epson R3000 printer.
I've been evaluating papers for EPZ over the past year or so and the two best lustre papers I've found for B&W (and colour prints with strong contrast / saturation) using the Epson R300 are Epson Traditional Paper and Ilford Gold Fibre Silk. Fotospeed Platinum Baryta is also extremely good.
For non-gloss fine art papers my paper of choice is Permajet Parchment (which has a pronounced but subtle texture) and for non-textured paper I rely on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag 308.
As has been said, this can only ever be a personal decision, but my customers seem to agree with my selections
Your best bet is to make a small investment in some trial packs and see for yourself
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