We’ve been printing for a little while now, and I’ve become more and more interested in the different kind of papers you can get. While browsing the internet I came across a paper created by Epson called Exhibition Fibre Paper, which turns out is also called Traditional Photo Paper here in SA. I chatted to our Epson rep and organised a sample of this paper to try.
The paper is part of Epson’s “Signature Worthy” range of premium papers, and from first impressions I can see why!
Epson have tried to mimic traditional fibre based paper from darkroom days, and I think they’ve done a pretty decent job. The Epson paper has a really nice feel to it, with a slight gloss and is acid and lignin free, and at 330 gsm it’s pretty thick too. Which it turned out caused some minor issues when it came to printing. Because the paper is so thick it’s necessary to adjust the platter gap on the printer to the widest setting to prevent a head strike.
The only concern with this paper is the added optical brightening agents. These agents are added to papers to make them as white as possible. If you put the paper side by side with a paper from the Hahnemuehle range (with no brightening agents) you can clearly see the difference. The Hahnemuehle paper is just slightly warmer. This is something to remember because over time, the Epson paper will eventually turn very slightly yellow.
Once the print had come out the machine I was totally impressed by the richness of the blacks in the print. I think for black and white prints a baryta style fibre paper is a must.