by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2006
270gsm Heavyweight Semi-gloss Double-Sided
This is a silk-finish, resin-coated paper with a slightly cool base-tone from a moderate loading of OBAs. It produced a clean, bright image of good saturation and a Dmax of 1.98.
The colour data were good. The average error across the Macbeth chart was 4.2 Lab ÄE/ 2.79ÄE2000 with low errors in the skin tones (0.8 and 1.6 for dark flesh and light flesh respectively). Overall the skin tones were slightly desaturated and rotated slightly towards yellow, but nothing that would justify making corrections for even the most critical user.
We also tested this paper on the Epson 4800 using Olmec's own profiles. Despite some uncertainty about the exact settings to employ we obtained a good-looking print with an average error of 7.1 ÄE Lab/4.2ÄE2000. The greys were neutral and mapped to the base tone. The lighter skin tones were desaturated by about 10% and slightly too blue. The greyscale was quite open in the shadows down to 10 RGB points, a tone density shift which elevated the errors in the data but without producing a serious visual problem. Overall this was a good-looking print with low metamerism (1.2ÄE Lab), a high Dmax of 2.2 and a good greyscale. The double-sided nature of the paper opens a number of possibilities for short-run promotional material where a very high-grade finish is needed and the cost can be justified.
260gsm Heavyweight Satin Single-Sided
Although the finish is similar to the 270gsm Heavyweight Semi-gloss, this is a cooler paper, with heavier OBA loading. Using the same 4800 profile as the Semi-gloss test produced more desaturation and a higher blue bias (see graph) with average errors of 7.7Lab ÄE/4.46ÄE2000. Skin tone desaturation was higher than the semi-gloss, although still around 10%, but there was a 5° rotation towards red. The Dmax was higher at 2.25 and the metamerism was a very low 0.6 Lab points.
We also tested this paper on the Epson 950 printer. Use of the Olmec profile produced a very poor result with a massively dark print. However bespoke profiling improved matters greatly, reducing the error to 4.8Lab ÄE/ 3.02ÄE2000.The flesh-tone colour errors were very good indeed on this combination but the shadows were drifted towards green and slightly posterised. Some profile optimisation would have been beneficial but we ran out of paper!
The surface finish was more defined than the Semi-gloss, some would feel that it had more character. Overall, though a very nice paper indeed.
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