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Fotospeed Legacy Gloss 325 paper review

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Review: Fotospeed Legacy Gloss 325

Smooth heavy unglazed gloss white paper


Fotospeed’s Legacy Gloss 325 paper is a heavy unglazed photo paper. It’s 100% cotton based and OBA free, giving a slightly warm white finish.

Keith has tried out the paper, seeing how it performs, and what sorts of photos you might choose to print on it.

The paper’s available in a range of sizes (A2 or 16.5″ x 23″ tested).

The paper is available from Fotospeed in the UK

sample-prints

Legacy Baryta 325

A new paper from Fotospeed that’s slightly heavier and thicker than their Platinum Baryta 300 I tested recently.

As a completely OBA free paper, it has a warmer feel to it, although not excessively so.

Fotospeed describe it as:

  • 325gsm 100% acid-free
  • Natural warm white smooth unglazed gloss surface
  • State of the art micro-porous ink receiving layer
  • High D-MAX and wide colour gamut
  • Compatible with dye and pigment inks
  • Archival
  • Available in cut sheets and rolls
Availability

legacy-gloss-325Roll 17″/24″/36″/44″/60″ and sheet A4/A3/A3+/A2

Specifications
Thickness 390 microns
Weight 325 gsm
Brightening agents None
Whiteness (CIE) 75
Whiteness (TAPPI) 85
pH 7.5-9.5

Testing the paper

The paper was tested making A2 sized prints (16.5″ x 23″) on an Epson P5000 pigment ink printer (P5000 detailed review).

I’m printing directly from Photoshop, since I find it gives a far finer control of sharpening and tonality for large prints than I could get with integrated software such as Lightroom.

colour-printing

Profiling

I’d note that Fotospeed will make (free) custom profiles if you buy paper.

I’m making a profile for the Epson P5000, using nearly 3000 patches – considerably more than most profiles you’ll see offered. It’s not necessarily a lot better (it can be) but lets me see if there are any issues with printing. I’m using the ‘Baryta’  media setting on the P5000 driver.

[like many images here, click on the image to see a much larger version]

print-target

The software [i1Profiler – review] gives a range of profile options – if anyone has a P5000 and wants to experiment, just let me know and I’ll send the profile (free for non commercial use).

After profiling I can print my test images directly from Photoshop – here’s the colour test image I’m using.
[We have a big collection of downloadable test images available]

Datacolor test image

Test images like this, and their successful printing, is a key part of my printer workflow – There’s a guide to better photography by printing your work that explains why, in much more depth.

Black and white

The paper has a nice warm tone, but not overly so. This suggests that the right B&W prints may look very nice.

First, I need to see how my standard B&W test images look…

bw-test-image

The B&W test image is one created for the purpose [see: B&W Test image] and includes a section for measuring print linearity. I’m using the 51 step version that lets me measure the print using the X-Rite i1iO [article about the process]

linearity

I’ll not go into details here, but that line of ‘L’s in the plot below is nice and straight – that’s the brightness of the B&W print.

The straight line (you can ignore slight bumps here) tells me that the printer/paper/inkset is giving a very linear response.

Why does this matter? Well, it tells me that as long as my image has shadow detail, then it’s not going to be blocked up in the printing.

M0-linearity

This is part of the process I go through with any new paper – I want to be confident that if I edit my image on a well calibrated/profiled monitor, the detail and tonality I see is likely to be there in my print.

One minor caveat – if you look at prints in light much brighter than your screen, it will tend to open up shadows, and conversely, looking at prints in a dark room, they will tend to look too dark, crushing shadow detail. You can allow for this with a simple adjustment curve, but to get it reliably right, you need to practice with a known test image uch as the one I’m using here.

As well as that plot above, I can get actual data from i1Profiler – shown here for people who enjoy the numbers… ;-)

bw-measurements

With this print setup (Epson’s ABW print mode) we’re seeing a DMax figure of ~2.4

Assorted prints

Some of my test prints are shown here (lit from a north facing window).

sample-prints

I was particularly interested to see how the warmer tone worked with B&W prints, where for softer images it takes some of the harsher edge off a ‘bright’ paper. Obviously a question of personal taste, but I prefer both the steps at Well Cathedral and the Hood Canal print on a softer warmer paper such as this. It’s no coincidence that both these work well on cotton rag matt art papers too.

The aspens in the left print get a touch more warmth in this print, whilst the ‘Dawn at Ellesmere Port’ print (top middle) has a better feel for the dawn sunlight of the cold winter morning.

The photo of Karen was one I just liked – taken with my 1983 Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 lens (at f/1.2) on the new EOS RP I’m testing (manual focus using viewfinder focus peaking).

Surface finish

The surface texture of the print shows up in this oblique view, taken specifically to show it.
[click to enlarge]

surface-texture

There is a distinctive texture to the surface – it’s not at all intrusive in prints.

Note too, the relatively low gloss differential from ink on the paper.

Print settings

I’m printing sample files at 360ppi and tested output at 1440DPI and 2880DPI settings for the printer. As expected, 2880 gave marginally more definition, but to be fair, after leaving two prints for a day or two, I couldn’t visually tell them apart without a magnifying glass, and then it wasn’t obvious.

Conclusions

The paper has a very nice feel to it, with its light surface texture not getting in the way of print content.

In terms of whiteness, you can see the difference if I put a print on this paper next to a similar print on the Platinum Baryta I tested a short while ago – that paper has a small amount of brightener in it and it definitely helps give a slightly higher perceived contrast.

As to which I’d choose… well the OBA content doesn’t bother me for most clients, it would come down to how I felt the image matched the paper. A simple (B&W) example would be that old stonework looks better on the warmer paper, whilst modern architecture benefits from the slightly higher contrast of the whiter paper.  However, ask me that again when I’m next printing a B&W print for an architect and I might change my mind…

From a technical POV, the paper is easy to print to. A good gamut on the P5000 and very linear B&W print response means that if a print doesn’t look right, then I really can’t blame the paper or printer.

Black and white performance with the Epson P5000 was good, I’d expect similar with say the Canon PRO-1000 [review]

The paper is available from Fotospeed in the UK

Not in the UK? email me for info about similar papers I’ve tested

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