Thursday, November 09, 2006

More Paper Tests

This morning yet more packages of paper arrived, some A3+ Fotospeed Fineart gloss and a test-pack of Hahnemühle paper.
After downloading the ICC profiles from the Hahnemühle site, I set about testing their "Photo Rag" papers.
The paper has a heavy weight feel and is slightly heavier than my reference Fotospeed paper at 310gsm.The surface is rough looking and to my eyes at least; a matt finish (even on the Satin Photo Rag)
I fired up my 2400 Epson and printed of one of my files that exhibits the kind of dense blacks I need for most of my subject matter.

Below is a side by side comparison with the Hahnemühle Photo Rag Satin at the top, Fotospeed paper bottom.

I had expected so much from this paper, if I'm truthful I was very disappointed, pretty much everyone I'd heard say anything about this paper from seemed to be full of nothing but praise.
I'll quote from a UK dealers web site:

'The most important paper for photographic reproduction in the Hahnemuhle range, and tends to be the first choice from the point of view of the best 'photographic' look. Other papers in the range might be selected because of their surface characteristics - Photo Rag is popular because the surface intrudes the least'

Well OK, but I'm seeing a pretty intrusive surface, not at all 'best photographic look' in fact the maximum black is pretty average.
I know it's a Satin finish and my reference is gloss, and for some people this paper may be just what they are looking for especially if they do a lot of high key studio work or for an artist who wants a pastel or softer look.

Unfortunately this paper is not for me, my quest for a paper that looks like the silver FB papers of old continues...

All images and text © Mark Smith 2006