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Paper Choices

Nigeyboy 10 870 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 1:13PM
Hi all

Since some major building work and redecorating at home, I am going to get a selection of my images printed - a split of portraits of the kids, and some colour and B&W landscapes.

Having looked through various online printers, the choice of paper is a little bewildering to me! From Matt and gloss (i'm fine on these BTW!!), Rag, and various German papers i cant even pronounce!!

Question is really - whats the best medium to choose? I don't want to skimp on quality here and want the best quality images i can get. Is there a 'best' paper for portraitd, B&W etc?

Thanks in advance!

Nige Grin

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seahawk 11 1.2k United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 1:50PM
I use Pinnacle Lustre at 300gsm you can obtain it here . It is reasonably priced and very good quality, as good as anything else out there IMHO. I prefer it to gloss, which is too shiny for me, and as I use a dye-ink printer Matt paper is not a good option. My B&W prints look good on the Lustre paper.
Nigeyboy 10 870 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 1:56PM
Cheers seahawk - I will be using an online printers, as I am looking at A3 sort of size.
Chris_H 14 1.5k 1
1 Feb 2013 2:11PM
I like Hahnemuhle photo rag 308 and somerset enhanced velvet are both very popular with photographers and have nice surfaces that produce good colour and detail. I use both of these myself for my own printing. Their are some similar papers designed just for Black & White too. There really is a massive selection out there.

I prefer matt papers personally, particularly if they are deigned to be framed as the glass then becomes the gloss.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 2:22PM
I'm using the Permajet Parchment 285 for the bulk of my prints these day as it has a lovely texture yet presents a very finely detailed and richly coloured image on my Epson R3000

(I'm with Chris regarding the use of matt papers behind glass as I hate the double reflection you can get with lustre / gloss papers - unless you use non-reflective glass, which I think degrades the image somewhat)
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
1 Feb 2013 7:07PM
There is an elephant in this particular room.

The problem, in relation to the way you pose the question, is that choice of paper is as much part of the overall process of taking and producing a photograph as parameters such as depth of field, white balance, image proportions, sharpening, etc., etc., etc.

In other words, different genres, subjects and treatments require different papers.

At present, printing my own, I use Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk, Fotospeed Platinum Baryta, Ilford Galerie Smooth Gloss and Smoth Lustre, depending upon the subject and treatment. Ilford have now brought out a Galerie Gold Mono paper that I haven't tried yet but I suspect might soon end up as another option on my shelf.

Just as you might use an ivory mount for one print and a charcoal one for another, so does the paper type/surface form an integral part of the overall presentation of the photograph.

Not very helpful, I know, but facts is facts!
phred 11 71
1 Feb 2013 7:28PM
My thoughts are.
If the image is to framed and mounted behind glass, then really paper type and finish doesn't really matter.
Try and get the best quality print you can afford, haven't used them for a long time but Loxely are amongst the best you can get.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2013 7:54PM
Not my experience Fred, I find that those who buy my work notice and comment upon the differences between papers, to the extent that some now specify the paper they want the image printed on


experiences differ as do tastes Smile

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