by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2007
Fine Art Pearl 285 PhotoLine
The latest 'hot' media in inkjet printing is the traditional material 'look-alike'. They are characterised by the use of a surface coating which is a little short of full gloss and closely mimics a traditional fibre-based, silver halide material. Our tests have shown high gamut volumes, very high Dmax values and particularly accurate skin tones. There are about eight variants of this material now; many of them come from the same source. The new Fine Art Pearl seems to be unique in this list, as according to Hahnemuhle, they do not provide it for anybody else; it certainly looks slightly different, with a more regular surface texture and no obvious coating imperfections.
This is a bright white, 285gsm, Fourdrinier media, with a coating containing OBAs. The lift in the SPD is high at 106%, although the measured white point is not as blue as one might expect from this value. As we have found with other materials in this class, the precision in reproduction, on the Epson 3800, is very high, especially in the skin tones. Using Hahnemuhle's own profile, these average just 1.7 LabΔE points with the largest error in the set only reaching 2.7 LabΔE points. The earth tones were also good. In our audit target there are a set of swatches intended to mimic colours found in a typical landscape scene. They are normally the least accurate in a test. In this case they averaged just 5.4 LabΔE points. The yellows were particularly vibrant, a factor which biased the skin tone errors (such as they were) slightly yellow. The yellow had the highest error of the Macbeth colours; an unusual result, the blues normally occupy that position
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