by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2007
In summary then Photo Rag remains the baseline from which other materials should be compared and our long-standing advice of choosing this material as your introduction to the range is as valid as ever. Although Photo Rag may be used with Photo Black ink (on the Epson 4800/7800 series) there is a penalty on Dmax and a slight loss of punch in the print - this is a problem that does not arise with the Epson 3800 as ink changing is a trivial matter.
Photo Rag Duo 276 PhotoLine
This is a new addition to the range in that it replaces the 316 and 196gsm materials in a rationalisation of the range. The surface of both sides are coated which makes the paper suitable for card-making and bespoke flyers should you wish to create a striking impression as you visit a gallery (eg image on one side with your contact details etc on the reverse). It could also be used in a portfolio with images on either side, saving both weight and money. There is a slight difference in the surface texture either side of the media so you may choose your preference for the 'main' side of your print.
Photo Rag Bright White 310 PhotoLine
This media is the baseline Photo Pag with additional OBA to make it even brighter, a request from the photographic community, we understand. Using the Hahnemuhle profile and WCRW media setting produced an error of 5.0LabΔE/3.22ΔE2000, an excellent result. This was not improved statistically by the use of VFA media setting but the print was more neutral and the Dmax was lifted a couple of notches. The skin tone error was improved from 3.7 to 2.0 LabΔE but some people might actually prefer the slight tan applied by the WCRW setting. There was a slight hint of purple warmth to the VFA print when viewed in natural North Daylight reminiscent of a light selenium tone on a halide print. Metamerism was one of the lowest we have recorded at 0.9 LabΔE. Overall this is a combination that would benefit from the user experimenting and choosing the rendering of their liking, it is certainly worth investigating for the monochrome specialist who is not put off by OBAs.
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