Review Somerset Paper - part 2 of 1 2

by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2002


A full size macro shot of Satin and Textured papers, lit to show the paper texture. The differences are quite subtle. The box in the top right is a high magnification view of the surfaces.

Somerset Satin Enhanced With the Epson 1270 & 1290
This has similar properties to the Velvet Enhanced. On the 1270 there was a slight hint of patchiness in the shadow end of the grey scale. The highlights were biased cyan, the mid tones bluecyan and the shadows red-yellow. The maximum black was 15.3%. There was no discernible difference in the ink spreading between Satin and Velvet and so the choices could be safely made on feel of the paper alone.

Epson 950
Using the PhotoPaper setting produced a rather dull print. The grey scale progressed evenly down to 14% brightness at the black end. The bias of the greys appeared to be magenta in the highlights and mid tones gradually shifting to green in the 3/4 tones. The spectrophotometer told a different tale and produced data visiting all parts of the bias spectrum in a near perfect circle! This is going to take some more research later on.

Somerset Textured Enhanced
This was the roughest of the Somerset papers with a lightly dimpled surface. On the 1290 the colour bias of the grey scale was almost identical to Satin. The maximum black was 14.9% brightness. Again there was a slight hint of mottling in the shadow end of the grey scale. As with its companions you can safely choose which surface you like with complete confidence.

Profiling Results
Profiling the Somerset papers and making use of Generations MicroBright inks was tested on both the 1270 and the 1290. The results were superior to the unprofiled Epson 950 with the average error in the colours of a Macbeth Colour Checker being 44% smaller with profiling. The resulting print was visibly brighter and more saturated.

The opinion of the reviewers remains that Somerset is one of the better papers around and can be recommended without hesitation. As with all papers which are not tuned to a specific printer, some experimentation will be needed with settings and in some cases this will make quite a spectacular improvement. Our experience tells us that using a bespoke profile produces the best results, although it can be a time consuming exercise when done carefully. Rest assured the effort will be worth it!

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1st Published 01/08/2002
last update 06/11/2019 11:08:13

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