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04-03-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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Photo paper

Does it really make that big of a difference if you dont use the same brand photo paper as the printer your using? Now that I'm using an Epson printer(Stylus 1400) I have noticed that there isnt as big of a selection in my shopping area of Epson paper as there is HP(ie at Staples). Not sure why this is as they sell just as many Epson printers as HP. I have never printed on anything but an HP that has a memory card slot(trying to expand my horizons ) before so I'm a newbie at printing any other way.
Also, now that I can make larger prints I was wondering what any of you use as far as fine art paper. I see that for larger prints Staples has alot of their own brand of photo paper(I know this is not fine art paper, just another thought) and was wondering if it's any good at all. Thanks for any help.

04-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #2
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The short answer is . . . yes. All paper is not created equal and all ink is not the same (e.g., dye based, pigment based) and there exists an interdependence of the two together on the final result. To add to the confusion, the need for a correct profile for the printer/paper/ink combination affects the outcome. There are articles on the web addressing the broadness of the subject. Here's a link to a short primer to start the journey . . . good luck.
04-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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I have to disagree with your short answer, jlp.
For number of years I've been using Red River Paper on Canon IP5200 printer and couldn't see any significant difference when tried Canon paper.
Of course, it could be different with Epson printers/paper.
04-06-2009, 11:57 AM   #4
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If you were printing some images (say 10 X 8 inch) for an exhibition and/or for sale, would prints from a home ink jet printer on good paper be sufficient OR is it better to get them printed at a good quality commercial photo lab?

04-07-2009, 05:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sinus007 Quote
. . . Of course, it could be different with Epson printers/paper.
-- or other printers/papers/ink/drivers/profiles . . .

Exactly! There are many variables that come to play in the final output. The print may be fantastic . . . but is it a true representation of the original (e.g., photoshop/other application screen image or actual viewed scene?) Try using a 'swellable' paper with pigment inks and the results will vary . . . let's see . . . high quality ink, printer, and paper but color shifts, fades in time, etc.. Try using the best of everything (even from the same manufacturer) but without the appropriate driver/profile and the results will be missing the mark. Then of course, longevity comes to into play . . . I've got drawers of prints that rarely (never) get viewed; sometimes that is less of an issue (maybe/maybe not.) But if you are selling or displaying prints, all parts of the puzzle are worthy of consideration; your product is your signature.

Of course, this all is an individual opinion . . . I take, print, display, and archive photos for my own satisfaction. Maybe it all comes down to what is individually acceptable to you and suits the purpose it was intended for. In the end, I would agree that the best combination is the best cost effective combination of product that meets your standards criteria and the target audience.
04-08-2009, 01:01 AM   #6
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Canyontraveler, welcome to the Forums!

I've used Epson printers and inksets exclusively for about ten years now. While I find I get reliably good results (equal or better than my former pro printing lab, to my eyes) with Epson's papers, I can't always get the sizes I want in the finishes I want, so I've shopped around. I've learned to avoid HP and Kodak inkjet papers. I've learned to appreciate Ilford and Inkpress papers. The former, I could never get to print accurate colors, even after custom profiling using a DataColor Printfix Pro calibrator. Ilford Gallerie smooth gloss and pearl papers match Epson paper profiles with no problems, and the Inkpress papers I've tried (I really like the Fiber Gloss) are easy to profile accurately.

That's my experience, FWIW. Good luck to you as you try out your own options!
04-08-2009, 04:35 AM   #7
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Photo paper

QuoteOriginally posted by canyontraveler Quote
Does it really make that big of a difference if you dont use the same brand photo paper as the printer your using?
No, not if you make smart choices about paper. I mostly use 3rd party papers from Ilford and Hahnemuhle with excellent results. Matching the paper to the ink you are using, having the correct ICC profile, and choosing the appropriate printing intent make all the difference. If you want longevity--especially important if you sell your prints--quality paper is essential, and different paper materials and textures can impact the way a final print is perceived.

If you want to explore specialty papers, buy some sample packs from B & H or Adorama. Producers like Ilford, Hahnemuhle, Inkpress, etc. will package, say, 2 sheets of perhaps 5 different kinds of paper per pack and you can get ICC profiles from their web sites.
04-08-2009, 01:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your input. Actually, I have sold some of my prints and to me they look pretty good. I just wanted to start raising the bar to make bigger and better prints. While I consider myself to have a good eye for my photographic content, my skills at the technological side of things are to say the least a big learning experience but one I'm more than willing to learn as I love this medium so much.

I'm very happy to have found this site. I know my questions are 'the newbiest', but that's how ya learn. Looks like alot of experimenting is in order. I was trying to get a handle on the whole paper/ink thing as it is all so expensive,but I enjoy having the control of printing my own work and like most, money is always a consideration.

04-08-2009, 02:29 PM   #9
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the epson paper is not as expensive as it seems really, the only major problem is the availability, and that bugs me too. however, the output is worth every penny i pay for each sheet (i am talking about the premium glossy now).

i also tried other papers, some "avery" brand (decent, rather cheap, pretty good value for money), and hp (granted, the cheapest "everyday"), which is terrible on my printer (doesn't seem to agree with the claria ink, it is much more acceptable with a durabrite printer). in short, i would stick with epson (order online if need be, the price will also be better), and use other brands for special purposes, (surfaces or sizes epson does not provide), you can also chose some third party paper you really like, and stick with it. to keep in mind is that whatever you do, to get consistent results, you should stick to one type of paper for one purpose (brand& model), as said above, every brand/model of paper will behave different, and it will be frustrating.

slightly offtopic: can anybody recommend profiling services (icc profiles for printing), preferably in europe (but not necesarely)?

edit: i own the r285, which is effectively the smaller brother of the 1400, if i am not mistaking (same inks and technology, only a4, not a3)
04-09-2009, 08:25 AM   #10
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look at illford paper... great value imo.
04-10-2009, 06:36 AM   #11
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I use Iilford, they sell it at Best Buy, very cheap too and good quality stuff.
04-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
I use Iilford, they sell it at Best Buy, very cheap too and good quality stuff.
Yes, and Costco sells it's Kirkland Professional Glossy for even less. It's supposed to be made by Ilford and I find no difference other than price.
04-11-2009, 09:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
Yes, and Costco sells it's Kirkland Professional Glossy for even less. It's supposed to be made by Ilford and I find no difference other than price.
I have been using the Kirkland paper for years. It is fantastic for my Epson and I actually prefer it to OEM paper.

It all makes sense to me now that you say it suposedly is made by Ilford. I use the letter size and the 4X6. It seems to have a more durable surface than the Epson papers - almost plastic feeling if that makes any sense.

How does it work for Claria ink based Epson printers?

04-11-2009, 08:39 PM   #14
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Epson offers great deals on paper from time to time through their newsletter. They just had a 2-for-1 offer last month.
04-18-2009, 02:55 PM   #15
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I also use Ilford (Galerie Classic Pearl) works well with the Epson 1400 and my customers like it, glossy papers look nice until they get a fingerprint or two on them. I order my stock from Calumet. Just a note the 1400 is not ment for fine art papers look at the specs. and reviews I have done a couple of canvas prints with it and they look good but the printer didn't like it much so be careful.

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