This has probably been covered many times here and maybe someone can tell me how to refine my searches for the forum. In the absence of that, I currently print using an Epson 3880 on Epson Ultra Premium Lustre and Ilford Galerie Pearl as I like the pearl finish. I've heard, however, that I might get better whites by using something like Red River Arctic Polar Satin. What are some of your recommendations for this type of paper, especially to get clean whites but still have deep blacks (I'm talking about color prints as well as black and white)? Thanks in advance.
I would agree that Red River Arctic Polar is a bit more white, and I found it to be a good quality paper. Purchasing the top quality papers from any of these manufacturers is pretty much a no-risk affair, with particularly small differences in the lustre/satin arena.
Since you like the Pearl finish, another recommendation might be the Canson Baryta Photographique. I find it to be versatile for both color and B&W. As always, order a sample pack if you want to discern the fine differences between textures and feel.
You might also try Epson's Exhibition Fiber, which uses the premium luster settings. It has optical brighteners like many of the papers, so it produces very bright whites. It also produces quite deep blacks, although not visually as deep as the matte papers. Exhibition Fiber is my go-to paper for color prints. Personally I prefer the matte papers for my B&W work, but the Exhibition Fiber does make a good B&W print too.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Sat 11-Feb-12 02:08 PM | edited Sat 11-Feb-12 02:47 PM by mklass
I think you will find the Arctic Polar Luster does give you whiter whites with about the same surface as the Epson Ultra Premium Luster or Ilford Galerie Pearl. The Arctic Polar Satin is actually smoother, closer to Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.
Another good option is MOAB Lasal Exhibition Luster. It's a tad smoother that the Artic Polar Luster, but not as smooth as the Arctic Polar Satin. It is also quite white.
You can order a sample kit for a pretty reasonable price for both MOAB and Red River. That gives you a the opportunity to compare the colors and textures side-by-side.
Thank you for the responses. This forum has become a most useful "tool" to improve technically and artistically. I will order some samples packages from Red River and also Moab and see what I like and may also try some matte surfaces.
Not that I am an expert and I am probably not as discerning as others on here when it comes to paper tonality, etc but with that said, I really do love Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl for color at times but especially for B&W. The texture, etc. reminds me of cotten based B&W photo papers of old dried against canvas (as oppose to chrome). It uses PK inks. I get rich blacks and clean whites.