Projet Inkjet Printing Papers; A House Brand’s Art Paper Offerings Page 2

I made prints with the other papers using the 3800 and a Mac PowerPC G5 with 10.4.11, and here I was sailing into unknown territory without profiles. I then did what I do first in these situations--I looked for canned profiles that might match the paper at hand and see how closely they match in terms of output. The 3800 and modern Epson pigment ink printers also can save the day by you surrendering control to the Epson Advanced Black and White Printing mode, which means you do not have Photoshop Manage Color and turn off the color controls, as you might usually do. I have learned to have great faith in the Epson Advanced Black and White Printing mode and in fact this produced excellent, screen-matching prints on all three of the matte surface papers, the WarmTone and CoolTone Rag 300s and the Linen Textured. As to canned profiles, the Rag 300 papers worked best on Archival Matte and the Linen on Radiant Watercolor. I printed both color and black and white with these profiles and frankly did not see much need for improvement or tweaking.

The Picture Rag WarmTone 300 is a nice, thick paper that almost approaches card stock, and worked fine on the rear, manual feed on the Epson 3800. Surface texture is a flat, smooth matte and paper color is warm but not too yellow. In fact, you are not bothered by an overly warm color and only notice it when you place it next to the CoolTone 300, which is very bright and cold white. I stuck with black and white with the WarmTone, and reinforced the look by choosing Warm in the Advanced Black and White Printing mode. I hesitate to print color on any warmtone paper and continued that prejudice in my tests.

I am usually also hesitant to print color on matte stock, but have changed my mind after working with the CoolTone 300. This is probably the most versatile of the "art" papers offered, as it yields a very neutral black and white with a bright base as well as excellent color, given the right subject and color play. I am not saying this is the best choice for all color work, but for many of the images I print it is right on the money. It is not only the way the paper takes the ink but the bright undercoat that makes colors really sing. And black and white prints with neutral tone reveal the full range of tonality of the image, plus really kick up the highlights with texture without nudging them over the edge, as some high gloss stock might do.

Picture Rag CoolTone 300
Linen Textured
Overall this was my favorite paper of the lot as it yielded a very cool surface for black and white printing that kicked up highlights and made mid-tone and shadow values "breathe" without the harsh look that glossy stock sometimes yields, plus provided an excellent base for color images with softer, pastel tones. Certainly this might not be your general choice for all color work, but images such as this, which rely on a spread of color or a low-saturation pastel feel, seem to really shine with this paper. Like the WarmTone 300 it is 100 percent cotton rag.
The most esoteric, the Linen Textured paper seems apt for limited edition prints of quirky images. I would choose this paper for images and effects that seem to be created with other printing mediums, such as etching, woodblock, or silkscreen, it's a printmaker's paper. This detail from a rock face in Red Rock Canyon was made with highlights moved to middle gray and printed using the Epson Advanced Black and White Printing mode and "cool" rendition. If you want to profile match this paper on a printer without an Adorama-supplied profile I suggest Radiant White and matte black ink.

The Linen Textured paper is the most esoteric of the lot I tried, with a surface that resembles Somerset Watercolor stock. While I am not a big fan of too much paper topography, this surface is not extreme and, for certain images, can have a nice effect. It is warm like the WarmTone 300 and slightly weighs less (250gsm). It is always interesting to me how paper stock can influence image choice, and for this paper I tended to choose abstracts that might resemble those obtained with other printing procedures, such as woodblock, etching, or silkscreen. I think this paper would be quite nice for work with Corel's Painter or other such special effects imagery.

I can make no prediction or point you to any independent tests regarding the archival qualities of these papers or the paper/ink combinations I used, but generally 100 percent cotton rag, acid-free papers do fine, which is what the Rag 300 papers offer here. In all, the Projet papers seem a good choice for those who want some versatile printing papers that will not break the bank. In 50-sheet packs the Picture Rag 300s run about $1.90 per sheet; the Linen Textured about $2.00 a sheet; and the Royal Satin about $1.25 a sheet. All these and more come in a wide variety of cut sheet and roll sizes.

For more information, contact Adorama Camera, Inc., 42 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011; (800) 223-2500; www.adorama.com. (Note: When visiting Adorama.com click on the "Digital" heading on the Navigation bar to find papers and profiles.)

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