There are a large number of new papers and inks being shown at PMA this year,
with better archival properties and new surfaces - both traditional RC type
papers and fine art textures. Oriental, long known for their papers in the traditional
film market was showing a new line of inkjet papers, the Graphica Fiber Base
Glossy, ideal for those looking for traditional silver halide print quality,
Graphica RC Professional in gloss and luster finishes, Graphica Designer Art
Canvas, which can either be stretched like traditional canvas or mounted and
matted like traditional papers. The papers are available in cut sheet sizes
for desktop printers and roll sizes up to 42 inches.
MediaStreet was showing their new black only ink set and papers. Currently for
the Epson R series printers, MediaStreet has expanded beyond their Niagra continuous
ink system into what looks to be a very strong entry for dedicated black and
white ink jet printing. Their profiles have several tone curves that mimic traditional
alternative processing. The Niagara system now supports the Epson 4000, R300
and R800 printers as well as the Canon i9900 printers.
Arches, who makes the popular Infinity fine art papers was showing a new line
of papers from Canson. Surfaces include Torchon, Canvas, Mi-Teintes, and Watercolor
for the fine art photographer, and both PhotoGloss and PhotoSatin for a more
traditional look. The Canson line will be available in cut sheet and rolls up
to 50" width.
Hahnemuehle introduced a new series of fine art papers - the White Etching 100%
Rag in both 350 and 500 gsm as well as a new Photo Rag Bright White 308 gsm
Good news for many though is that Ilford has announced that black and white
film, paper, and chemicals will continue to be available, good news for the
many fans of Ilford film products.
Ferrania has a new line of archival paper out that offers excellent fade protection.
Compatible with dye and pigment printers, the paper is available in gloss and
Kodak has finally made their Professional line of inkjet papers available in
10", 16", and 24" x 100' roll sizes. These papers have
the look and feel of traditional Kodak gloss (F surface) and luster (E surface)
paper with the familiar Kodak logo on the back.
One of the main problem areas for many digital photographers is getting a print
that is reasonably close to what you see on screen. Assuming that you have a
calibrated display (and if you don't, stop reading this article and profile
your monitor!) the problem may lie in your printer settings. It's all
too common to find that someone having problems is actually managing the printer
settings twice - once in the print driver and once in their image editing software.
As the price of wide format photo printers like the ones offered by Epson,
Canon, and HP continues to come down, more and more digital photo enthusiasts
are adding them to their digital darkrooms. For less than $400, you can now
print photo quality 11x14" images (actually, up to 13x19), saving money
and time without sending these prints out to a photo lab.