Does this paper exist?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by ben_goren, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. I could have sworn I had asked this question some time ago, but I can’t for the life of me find a hint of it even with the broadest of Google searches.
    I’m looking for a paper that meets the following specifications, from most to least important.
    • Available for purchase in the US.
    • Printable on a Canon iPF8100 (pigment inks).
    • Matte surface (fine-textured with specular reflections minimized.
    • No fluorescent whitening agents (FWA) or optical brightening additives (OBA).
    • Paper color is neutral; that is, Lab a* and b* values not more than 1.
    • High brightness, with Lab L value 96 or higher.
    • Produces dark blacks.
    • Available in larger sheets or, ideally, rolls.
    I’ve had one recommendation from another source for Tetenal's Spectrajet Photo Archival Matte 241gsm, which would seem to meet all the requirements except for the very first….
  2. Matte surface==specular reflections minimized? So not a matte paper but luster?
    I don't know about all your specs, but Moab Paper's Entrada is a very nice Matte paper used by many. But it is not a luster paper but Matte!
    The only way I can really differentiate here in words is that there are hard surface papers like the Epson glossy and luster papers that are plasticized and then there are the matte papers that are more like an uncoated (but are coated) paper. Recently, several manufacturers have come out with archival paper that is baryta coated like traditional b/w fibre paper with a luster finish(what we called air dried glossy paper in the darkroom days!)--so you probably need to be a bit more specific.
  3. John,
    Sorry for the confusion. I’m looking for something with a matte finish so as to reduce, as much as physically possible, specular reflections. Specular reflections are glaringly (excuse me) obvious on glossy paper, noticeable but not so distracting on luster paper, and decidedly non- obvious on matte paper (but not entirely eliminated).
    As beautiful as luster papers can be — I just made some pre-profiling media evaluation prints on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta, and I’m salivating in anticipation of the first real prints — they’re unsuitable for the particular purpose I have planned.
    I suppose it would help if I mentioned said purpose, no? I’m working on creating a camera profile target. I’ll be printing a bunch of patches with the iPF8100 and then hand-applying yet-to-be-selected artist’s pigments with various spectral characteristics. It will combine some characteristics of a ColorChecker with other types of profiling targets.
    The requirements should make a bit more sense in that context, I hope….
  4. I'd get in touch with Museo and see if they have Lab values available for their papers.
    Their Museo Portfolio Rag uses no agents, is fairly neutral, and has about as little texture as you can get. Their coating also allows for nice dark blacks. I can't speak to whether it meets your very stringent brightness or neutrality criteria, though—that's a rather tough order to fill with no OBAs or FWAs.
    They're very friendly and knowledgeable, though, and I'm sure they'd be happy to help if they have either the figures or the necessary hardware on hand.
  5. Colin,
    Thanks for the lead. I have a vague remembey of somebody else recommending Museo the last time I (think I) asked this question.
    Their literature doesn’t specifically address paper color…but they do have lots of ICC profiles available. Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before to check profiles.
    It turns out that both the Museo Max and the Portfolio Rag have media white points of X=0.899, Y=0.933, Z=0.751, which translates to L=93.1, a=18.0, b=-5.63. Either something’s worng with their profile, something’s worng with my understanding of ICC profiles, or the paper has quite a pinkish cast to it.
    Note that, because of the marvelous way the eye / brain system adapts to ambient illumination and paper color, you might never perceive any kind of a color cast to the paper. Unfortunately, color casts do cause problems for colorimetry, which is part of the reason I’m on this particular quest…
  6. Hahnemuhle as I am sure most paper manufacturers, has their paper specs on their websites. Not sure about the lab a and b stuff but a 96% brightness without OBA's might be tough to find. I looked at HM site and the highest non-oba matt paper was 88.5 most are in the 82-83 range. All that said you should check out Hahnemuhle photo rag smoot. I personally think that museum etching is the best matt paper I have used but it might have too much texture for you and probably isn't bright enough.
  7. Hmm…I may have made a typo somewhere. I just re-ran the numbers, and now I get L=97.3, a=-0.112, b=1.61, which is considerably more neutral, to say the least.
    I will certainly investigate the Museo papers further. Indeed, they’re probably now right at the top of my list.
    Please excuse me while I go find a crow to eat….
  8. At this stage, I print exclusively on the two papers referenced above:
    Museo Silver Rag (an F-surface style)
    Moab Entrada Rag Natural (a truly matte surface)
    Both are 100% cotton, OBA free, have relatively high D-max (the Moab offers deep blacks for a matte paper), possess a fine surface texture, and are readily available in rolls. However, neither exactly meets your requirements for brightness and neutrality. Both are subtly but noticeably warm. Extremely bright, neutral papers generally possess OBAs. Several barium-coated papers (such as Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta and Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk) may have fairly low levels of brightening agents, but I don't know of any which are completely free of these chemicals.
    Best of luck.
  9. I think I may have found something suitable.
    I had forgotten that my printer came with a swatch book of Canon papers. I’ve since measured them all with an i1 Pro.
    At first, I got excited when the Hahnemühle Fine Art Photo Rag measured D50 Lab: 97.1 0.7 0.9. However, a plot of the spectrum reveals that there is some FWA present, though only a minimal amount — far less than in most papers with FWA.
    But, on the other hand, Canon Polished Rag, Canon Fine Art Watercolor, and Canon Fine Art Natural are all completely FWA-free. All three have similar spectral characteristics, though the Fine Art Natural is a hint (just barely) less bright. The Polished Rag has a slight semigloss finish, which rules it out.
    That leaves the Canon Fine Art Watercolor Paper, which measures D50 Lab: 97.3 -0.1 1.9. I'd prefer a lesser b value, but it’s really not all that bad. And the spectrum plot is about as flat as I suppose I can hope for.
    The best part is that I already have an unopened roll that I got a while back in preparation for making some giclée prints.
    So, I’ll keep my eyes open, but I think the search itself is basically over.
    Thanks, all!

Share This Page