A while back I started using Red River paper, Gloss and Lustre.
I am into posting photographs weekly at our Church of happenings over the last few weeks or months.
I am posting 5x7's and had been using the Red River Arctic Polar Gloss because that was the cheapest paper I had.
Last week I accidentally printed some new photos on Epson Ultra Premium Lustre which I have been using for my own photographs. I posted them.
I got a number of comments about the yellowish paper. Stand-Alone it looks OK -- beside the Red River Gloss, it looks yellowish, the Red River being a very clean white.
So I am wondering what people think about the paper colours ...
- is there a reason the Epson papers are not as white as some others?
- its not just Epson, I tried some Ilford paper a while back, same off-white colour
- is very white "too white" sometimes??
#1. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 0Fovea Nikonian since 26th Sep 2002Sun 22-Apr-12 10:31 AM
>>I accidentally printed......
This might sound silly, but did you change the profile to premium luster before printing?
#2. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 1Sun 22-Apr-12 11:11 AM
Yes -- its not the after-printing colour, its the base colour of the paper.
The Epson looks white until you put it beside another paper at which point it takes on an off-white slightly yellowish cast.
#3. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 0
The amount of 'whiteness' of a paper is related to the amount of optical brightening agents (OBA) used in the paper. OBA's flouresce in the presence of UV light and cast a blue tint that our human visual system perceives as a clean white.
The considerations and debate for their usage concern not only whether they are the right look for the subject (too white for portraits?), but how long they last (the OBA effectiveness fades with time), and whether the image will be displayed where UV light exists such that the effect can be seen (in museums or behind UV protected glass).
For these reasons, most 'fine-art' archival papers tend to limit OBA usage or shun them altogether. For casual photos though, I personally like some amount of whiteners.
#4. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 0
I'm not familiar with RR Artic Polar Gloss but I am with Epson Premium Luster. Anytime you critically view two different papers side by side you will tend to see the differences in their brightness. I suspect Artic Polar Gloss derives its name from the extreme white of the paper. As mentioned this is undoubtedly due to heavy use of OBA's. Ilford, to their credit, uses even less OBA's than Epson, I would presume, based on the warm tones of their papers.
Papers are very much a personal choice and whether you want a very bright white paper depends on the look you are trying to achieve. In my opinion papers with brightners need not be avoided like the plague - but you should be aware of what is in the paper you are using. With modern inks and glass and much less volatile brightners it is not so much an area of concern as in the past. So, what happens to the print when the agents that flourece on the paper lose their ability to brighten the substrate? The inks do not fade they simply take on the reflective native characteristics of the paper, just like as if you had used a paper with no brighteners. There might be a subtle shift in color due to the change of the paper because the paper profile was built taking the brightness of the paper into account, but it would be minor.
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#5. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 4Sun 22-Apr-12 06:13 PM
Thanks Ernesto -- that is exactly the kind of thing I was wondering.
I did check my old sample pack from Red River, and their normal Lustre is a bit more yellowish than Epson, its only the Arctic Polar that is so white.
So if I stop using the overly white papers for a while nobody will know
Actually if I get the large package (250) of the Epson Ultra Premium Lustre its a pretty good price and its available locally.
#6. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 4kmh Nikonian since 04th May 2008Sun 22-Apr-12 09:13 PM
The above comments about OBAs can be visualized and quantified with the Java application SpectrumViz from the site
www.pigment-print.com, which provides the reflectance spectrum of almost every print paper. The sprectrum from Red River's Arctic Polar Gloss has a huge peak at 440 nm, indicative of substantial OBA content. By comparison, the corresponding peak for Epson Luster Premium (don't know if it is the same as Ultra Premium Luster) is quite subdued.
The nice thing about SpectrumViz is that it allows you to gauge how much OBA is used in various papers, thus helping to choose which papers you might want to use. Most manufacturers say very little about this important aspect of their papers.
Cheers to Ernst Dinkla for creating this valuable application.
#8. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 7kmh Nikonian since 04th May 2008Tue 24-Apr-12 01:55 PM | edited Thu 26-Apr-12 01:40 PM by kmh
Here is a quick explanation of SpectrumViz. What Dinkla measures with his spectrometer is the percentage of light that is reflected back from the paper at each wavelength of light in the visible spectrum. SpectrumViz provides plots of those measurements.
The first plot that you see when you run the app shows the reflection from four types of materials that are used in inkjet papers: cotton paper (red), titanium dioxide (green), baryta (BaSO4) (yellow), fluorescent brightening agent (FBA) (blue), which is also referred to as optical brightening agent (OBA).
Baryta is notable because it has uniformly high reflectance over the entire visible range, which is why it is used in high-quality papers. Titanium dioxide is used in many inkjet "photo" papers, according to Wikipedia and it has very nice reflection properties, as well.
The blue curve for FBA (or OBA) is unusual in two ways: first, it is highly peaked, and second, its reflection is greater than 100% at 440 nm. This result may seem crazy, but it only means that UV light at shorter wavelengths gets converted to blue light through the process of fluorescence. When used in a paper, this abundance of blue light makes it appear white or bright, but only when UV light is present. The peaked nature of the OBA curve allows us to identify the presence of OBA in papers.
Now, let's take a simple example to see how to interpret the reflection curves for inkjet papers.
This plot shows the reflection spectra from the two Epson Hot Press papers, Bright and Natural, in red and green, respectively. The spectrum from the Natural paper falls off relatively smoothly from longer to shorter wavelengths, which is what we expect for cotton rag paper from the previous figure. Epson says no OBA is used in this paper, which is confirmed by this plot because we see no bump at 440 nm. The Bright paper, however, exhibits a moderate peak at around 440 nm. Thus, it is clear that this paper achieves its brightness by increasing the blue light emitted by the paper. The size of the peak at 440 nm is a measure of how much OBA is used; the peak value of 100% corresponds to a moderate amount of OBA.
The reflection spectra for the papers you asked about follows.
The green reflection curve is for Red River Arctic Polar Gloss. It has a gigantic peak at 440 nm, reaching a peak value of 118%. The shape of the peak even matches that for OBA. Thus, a high amount of OBA is used in this Red River paper; it even appears to have a strong blue tint when you look at the paper. The green curve for Epson's Premium Luster paper shows only a slight bump at 440 nm, if any, which indicates a low OBA content. The dotted curve represents reflection from the back of the paper, which shows that a higher concentration of OBA is used in the paper than in the front coating.
Aardenburg Imaging & Archives provides useful information about many papers, including results of their longevity tests. Their table, which lists the tests that they are doing or have done, includes the OBA content in each paper. It says the OBA content in Epson Premium Luster is low and that in Red River Arctic Polar Gloss is high, confirming the above interpretation of the plots from SpectrumViz.
I recently tested the effect of covering various types of paper with conservation glass, which prevents UV light from hitting the papers. The details of the results are posted on dpreview. The conclusion is that when UV is eliminated, for example, when displayed under museum or conservation glass or perhaps sprayed, papers that use OBA appear warmer. The potential shift in the tint of the paper for some display conditions may affect the appearance of a print. This issue should be of concern to photographers.
Hope this helps, Ken Hanson
#10. "RE: Yet Another Paper Question ..." | In response to Reply # 9mklass Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 25-Apr-12 10:14 PM
Red River's web site does not list any specs for OBA's for their papers, although they do say some have less. Depending on how long you expect you prints to last, this may not be a real issue to be concerned about.
I have used RR Arctic Polar Satin and Arctic Polar Luster, and they do have the same brightness as Arctic Polar Gloss. Prices are equally good.
As a rule, all of the RR Arctic Polar papers are bright white, while teh Ultra Pro papers are described as "Slightly warm" hence the apparent yellow tint. (Natural papers are "yellower" still.
It really depends on the image you are printing and the effect that you want to achieve, as to which paper to use. But unless you are showing them side by side, most people will not notice the difference. It is pretty subtle.
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