by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2009
These two papers are upgrades of the papers previously offered by Ilford, under the same name, but in slightly different box livery. They are 290gsm weights with either a smooth gloss and an attractive pearl finish. The papers are billed with a new 'optically controlled' nanoporous coating. This is claimed to generate less internal reflection for an increase in colour purity (manifested as an increase in gamut volume and higher available maximum saturation).
The literature contains an illustration showing the gamut expansion across the entire spectrum. The amounts look to be about 5 Lab points so that a full yellow shifts from 100 to 105 points on the blue-yellow axis. This in itself is not a particularly large shift and to put it in perspective the fall in saturation of the rendering of the mid-range skin tone is of the same order (ie 5 Lab points).
The first thing we did was measure the gamut volume, using the profiles from the Ilford website. Although there are two profiles they are, in fact, from exactly the same patch dataset.
Unsurprisingly the audit prints were almost identical, far too close for the eye to detect any differences.
The gamut volume was compared with previous results
Smooth Pearl (Apr 08) 786,307
Smooth Pearl (Jun 09) 906,443
Fotospeed LustreDuo 924,066
Epson Premium Luster 909,950
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta 867,803
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