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fibre base glossFibre Base Gloss

A 'Darkroom' feel gloss paper from Permajet

Keith was (2006) testing an ink supply system for an Epson R2400 and took the chance to try out the new Fibre Base Gloss paper from Permajet.

This short note describes some of what he discovered.

The paper is Fibre Base Gloss (FBG) and Warmtone Fibre Base Gloss from Permajet in the UK who provide sample packs of many of their papers.

Their papers are available from many other outlets internationally.

In the Darkroom

In what seems an awful long time ago, I used to do black and white printing in my darkroom (now painted in cheerful colours and where my Epson 9600 and servers live [2012 - 9600 replaced by Canon iPF8300] ).

I used to like using heavy glossy type papers.

These ideally needed to be finished off on a big glazing/drying machine to get the best finish, and to prevent horrible curling.

Not a mirror finish gloss, but prints with a bit of 'substance' to them.

OK, I was never the most proficient dark room operator, but they were nice prints :-)

Warmtone fibre base glossIn general I'd say my black and white photography and printing has improved dramatically since moving fully to digital, but there was still a particular type of print I couldn't easily do with my 9600 (loaded with Matt black ink).

I do like using heavy matt art papers, and the textured art silk I looked at a while ago gives a nice 'polished' finish, but there was a gap between that, and the glossy dye based prints I could produce on my 1290 or 1160.

I've used the Digital Matt Fibre (DMF) paper in the past and there are now two glossy versions at 295gm/m2

One is a plain white paper, whilst the other has a warmish tone to it, not dissimilar to some of the heavy cotton rag art papers I like.

Printing with Fibre Base Gloss

I tried both A4 and A3 boxes of the papers. It just so happened that I was also testing the new version of the software for the PrintFIX PRO, so was able to generate profiles, and try out the paper under Epson's ABW B/W printing setup.

Building profiles and testing papers gets through a lot of media...

testing fibre base gloss papaer

Lots of test prints

I printed using the supplied PermaJet profiles for the paper, a best guess from the Epson paper settings, the Epson ABW mode and with a profile built using PrintFIX PRO.

Once I'd got setting I liked, I printed a range of images from the Northlight Gallery at A3, on FBG and warmtone FBG

collection of test prints

Even more tests...

Print Quality

fibre base glossThe pictures looked excellent, and easily passed the "what do you think of these" test to a visitor to our offices. The feel of the paper just invites people to pick up and handle your prints - this of course may not be what you really want :-)

Best results came from using the custom profiles I built, although the Epson ABW mode produced fine black and white results too (see the PF Pro review for more details) The supplied PermaJet profiles were (personally) not good enough for my work - I've asked them about this, and many of their profiles are in the process of being updated.

Interestingly enough, when I did a media check before printing out test targets for profiling, I found that the 'Proofing Paper' setting gave the best results (Epson R2400 with Photo Black ink). If you are trying new papers with the Epson ABW black and white printing mode, then don't forget to do test prints with different media settings. This just confirmed what I'd found out about media settings when I converted an 1160 to 3rd party inks.

  • Since I go with what prints look like rather than follow numbers, I've not taken any D-max readings, but the blacks were good and deep. Personally I'm convinced that a lot of people who mention and compare the D-max of papers don't actually have a clue what they are talking about. If you like something and get good prints then does it -really- matter?...
    PermaJet suggests its D-max is virtually identical to that of Agfa Record Rapid (2.2D-max)

There was only one major problem with the paper, this came with A4 sized sheets, where the amount of curl at the corners caused misfeeds at the end of several test prints. I cured this by dint of flattening the sheet corners first, and making sure the printer feed rollers were suitably clean (cleaning info).

problems with curl

Misfeeds of paper at the ends of prints showing misaligned printing 'A' & 'C' and where the carriage hit the paper corner 'B'

Summary

A very nice paper from Permajet that fills a gap in what you can do with inkjet printing.

The finish is a moderate gloss and the paper has a slightly undulating surface. A bit prone to curling (like many heavier papers), not a problem, but you need to take care when loading sheets into your printer. It works well with pigment inks and shows virtually no bronzing at all, if it's used with a good profile and the correct media settings.

I'd happily recommend getting a test print or sample yourself to see how it feels and looks.

Supplied sizes:

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I'm also told that a new 325gm/m2 version of the paper will be on shown at the Focus show (Stand E41) in Birmingham (UK) this month

Additional Information

The views in this article represent those of Keith Cooper.
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