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Paper Chase - Ilford Galerie - part 1 of 1 2 3

by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2007

What goes around comes around! Some time ago we had a set of the Ilford papers sitting on the shelves but our testing was disrupted by the re-organisation at Ilford and we waited for the air to clear. Time moved on but with JP Distribution taking over the marketing we were prodded back into action. It is good to see Ilford back to the fore, although they claim (rightly) never to have moved out of it. The Ilford Studio is also well and alive and JP Distribution announced the arrival of version 7 as this piece was being compiled.

There are two distinctly separate sets of paper, the Classic range, intended for dye ink sets and the Galerie Professional Range intended for pigment. We will not concern ourselves with the dye range as we still believe that they have no real place in professional output for anything other than rough proofs and short-term applications.

ILFORD Galerie Professional Range

There are two distinctly separate sets of paper, the Classic range, intended for dye ink sets and the Galerie Professional Range intended for pigment. We will not concern ourselves with the dye range as we still believe that they have no real place in professional output for anything other than rough proofs and short-term applications.


ilfordgalerie-01.jpg

In the pigment range there are nine surfaces, most of which a bizarrely entitled 'Smooth' this or 'Smooth' that. "How come?" we ponder that High Gloss, Gloss and Pearl are all 'smooth' - sounds like the rantings of some crazy marketing guy to us, some papers are quite obviously smoother than others! Some of the surfaces are available as pre-mounted board, ready to go right in a frame without further ado, and also in roll form, a concept originally set out in the Ilford Studio system which includes both media, an Epson printer and a RIP. For a long time it remained the most accurate system that we had tested and it retains its place as a very competent, no-nonsense approach to creating prints. The availability matrix is thus complex when surfaces and sizes are considered and you are directed to the Ilford website at www.Ilford.com/galerie to obtain a full and current listing.

Profiles

Our first port of call for a paper provider is their website to look for icc profiles. Ilford provide a considerable number of profiles for Epson, Canon and HP printers for both consumer desktop product and wide-format machines. You may have to try a couple of places to find the profile that you need; they, for example, class the Epson 3800 as consumer whereas Epson consider it part of their professional offerings. In the Ilford 'professional' section there were only profiles for Epson printers, the wideformat HP and Canon machines were not catered for - no problem of course for the HP 3100 and 2100, which build their own profiles!

After a few teething problems with the website (it was only a few days old at the time) we managed to get hold of profiles and started testing.

The profiles are quite small (605KB) being made with only 288 swatches but they worked extremely well as you will see later. We also used the profiles to measure the gamut volume and these values will be slightly depressed by the less refined calculation of a smaller number of nodes. For ease we have summarised the data in a single table. The profiles were built using a DTP41 spectro at D50/2, identical to the measuring conditions that we employed.


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1st Published 01/08/2007
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