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Keith Cooper’s paper reviews

  |   Articles and reviews, Article, Black and white, Canon printer, Colour management, Epson Printer, HP printer, Paper review, Printing   |   6 Comments

All of Keith’s paper reviews

Collected data from all our paper reviews

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Over the years, Keith has tried out many papers from a range of suppliers.

This article brings together some of the basic specs from all the reviews. Not all papers have the same amount of specifications available, so there are gaps.

The data is divided up into two sections, the Matt and the Glossy.

Glossy includes any paper where you would use the Photo Black print option and Matt those that would use Matt Black

five black and white prints

Choosing papers

There are a lot of brands of paper, but not nearly so many companies actually make or coat it. This means that a paper may well appear under several names but essentially be the same.

For several reasons I can’t say that paper X is the same as paper Y, since there may be minor differences in specification, but also some of my knowledge of paper equivalences would breach commercial confidences. I’ve tried to include as much data as I can that will help readers in countries outside of the UK to look at a locally available paper and make a good guess if something I’ve looked at is similar.

There are many manufacturer ‘Own brand’ (OEM) papers covered in the many printer reviews here, since I usually tend to test printers with OEM papers.

For many of the papers, there are also ICC profiles I’ve created for the printers I was testing at the time – available on request, free for non-commercial personal use.

See also my article:

Choosing the best paper for your photo prints

The Matte papers

Art papers – different suppliers use differing terms for surface textures and measurements. Check the reviews for more info, since I often take photos specifically to try and show the surface texture. Suppliers are listed at the end of the article.

Weight GSM Thickness Name Date Type Whiteness Notes Supplier
315 520um Cold Press Rough textured Natural White – IFA 13 01/11 Cotton 69 CIE 99 D65 Watercolour I
315 460um Soft Textured bright white IFA 26 03/16 Cotton 136 CIE 110 TAPPI Etching I
315 390um Smooth Cotton High White IFA 14 11/09 Cotton 109 CIE 100TAPPI Smooth I
315 380um Soft Textured Natural White IFA 12 07/07 Cotton 109 CIE 99 TAPPI Etching I
315 310um Smooth Cotton Natural White IFA 11 now Photo Cotton Rag 11/09 Cotton 109 CIE 99 TAPPI Smooth I
315 Pro Photo fine art smooth 01/17 Cotton ‘Natural’ Smooth Imp
310 565um Printmaking Rag IFA107 10/16 Cotton 86 CIE 97.3 TAPPI Etching I
310 565um Watercolour Rag IFA108 10/16 Cotton 86 CIE 97.3 TAPPI Watercolour I
310 500um Photo Rag bright white 07/13 Cotton 99.5% bright white Smooth H
310 420um Prem Fine Art Smooth 10/16 Cotton 85 ISO Smooth C
310 Pinnacle Cotton Rag 12/09 Cotton ‘White’ Smooth PS
310 Pinnacle Smooth Fine Art 12/09 Cotton ‘Natural’ Smooth PS
305 Cotton Etching 305 04/18 Cotton ‘White’ Textured F
305 Platinum Cotton 305 04/19 Cotton ‘Natural’ Smooth F
300 515um Fine Art Cotton Textured Bright 10/18 Cotton L* = 97.5 a* = 1.8 b* = -3.5 M1 (D50) Textured E
300 515um Fine Art Cotton Textured Natural 10/18 Cotton L* = 97 a* = 0.3 b* = 3.3 M1 (D50) Textured E
300 490um Fine Art Cotton Smooth Bright 10/18 Cotton L* = 97.5 a* = 1.8 b* = -3.5 M1 (D50) Smooth E
300 490um Fine Art Cotton Smooth Natural 10/18 Cotton L* = 97 a* = 0.3 b* = 3.3 M1 (D50) Smooth E
300 480um Smooth Cotton 300 04/19 Cotton 94 CIE 84 TAPPI Smooth F
300 435um Cold Press rough bright white IFA 27 03/16 Cotton 136 CIE 110 TAPPI Watercolour I
285 300um FibaPrint Matte IFA 39 07/13 Coated 138 CIE 108(D65) Smooth I
260 Photo Matte HD 01/17 Coated ‘white’ Smooth Imp
250 380um Museo Max 08/14 Cotton 91 Smooth C
245 Innova Decor Watercolour IFA 23 07/13 Coated ‘Bright white’ Watercolour H
220 325um Decor smooth Art DS IFA25 Double sided 12/10 Coated 115 CIE 99 D65 Smooth I
210 225um Decor Smooth Art IFA 24 12/10 Coated 115 CIE 99 D65 Smooth I
210 350um Albrecht Durer 07/13 Coated 88.5% ‘Natural’ Watercolour H

The Glossy papers

Gloss/lustre/pearl/silk/semi-gloss all seem to mean slightly different things. Check the reviews for photos and examples.

Weight GSM Thickness Name Date Type Whiteness Notes Supplier
360 390um FB Distinction 360 05/11 Fibre Some OBA Semi-gloss Pj
335 390um Warm cotton gloss IFA45 aka Exhibition Cotton Gloss 06/11 Fibre 75 CIE 85 TAPPI unglazed gloss I
325 330um Exhibition Fiber aks Traditional Photo Paper 05/08 Fibre Some OBA Lustre E
325 Legacy Baryta 325 03/19 Baryta 75 CIE 85 TAPPI unglazed gloss F
315 310um FB Gold Silk 315 06/20 Baryta 101 Silk Pj
310 315um Exhibition Photo Baryta IFA69 aka FibaPrint Baryta 02/14 Baryta 100/96 ‘natural’ semi-gloss I
310 315um Silk Baryta (prev. Warmtone) 05/11 Baryta 100 CIE 96(D65) semi-gloss PS
310 300um Photo Pearl 05/16 Photo 105% ‘bright’ Pearl H
310 299um Photo Pearl premium OLM70 02/15 Photo 145 CIE Pearl I
300 380um Museo Silver Rag 08/14 Cotton 90 semi-gloss C
300 370um Baryta Satin 05/16 Baryta White OBA Free Satin H
300 340um PermaJet FB Pearl 300 04/20 Photo 94 CIE Lustre Pj
300 290um PermaJet Titanium Gloss 300 04/20 Metallic 97 CIE Glossy Pj
300 287±5um Pinnacle Premium Photo Lustre 12/16 Photo 110 CIE Lustre PS
300 Platinum Baryta 300 02/19 Baryta 100 CIE semi-gloss F
300 Gloss Art Fibre 300 01/17 Fibre semi-gloss F
295 280um Ultra Pearl 03/11 Photo 103 CIE Pearl Pj
285 285um FibaPrint Ultrasmooth Gloss IFA49 07/07 Baryta 152 CIE 111 TAPPI Lustre I
280 280um Titanium Lustre 04/13 Photo 96 CIE Lustre Pj
275 Metallic Lustre 06/18 Metallic OBA free F
260 Pro Gloss Photo Paper 01/17 Photo High White photo paper Glossy Imp
260 Pro Lustre Photo Paper 01/17 Photo High White photo paper Lustre Imp
260 267um Photo Metallic Gloss OLM71 02/15 Metallic 80 CIE OBA free I
260 267um Photo Metallic Lustre OLM72 02/15 Metallic 80 CIE OBA free I
260 Metallic Lustre Photo 01/17 Metallic OBA free Imp

Other media

I don’t use canvas much – the IFA36 was what I used for my big 14 metre print.

Weight GSM Thickness Name Date Type Whiteness Notes Supplier
390 520um Gloss polycotton canvas IFA56 03/16 Lustre >75 CIE Pk ink I
380 450um Photo Ultra Gloss canvas IFA36 05/08 Gloss 85 CIE 86 TAPPI Pk Ink I
380 Pro Photo Canvas polycotton 01/17 Matte bright Mk Ink Imp
350 405 Matte polycotton Canvas IFA35 05/08 Matte 152 CIE 88 TAPPI Mk Ink I
500um iPrint Pure 3D Film 05/13 Holo Translucent Mk Ink Ant
115 160um Water Resistant Matte 11/16 Matte 90 CIE Polypropylene C

The 3D film is a bizarre idea – I still have a 36″ roll of the stuff (here in Leicester) if anyone is curious

Manufacturer/Supplier codes

My (very) local supplier and the goto person if I’ve any paper questions is Chris at Paper Spectrum, here in Leicester.
Please do mention us if you give them a call ;-)

This list will be updated as I test new papers…

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  • Keith | Dec 17, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Yes, ‘printer colour’ can work for some strong colours – however this is usually at the expense of quality in other areas.

    I’ve very few ‘real world’ photos where this is a problem – for graphics and strong primary colours it can be of help though.

  • erik hendrup | Dec 17, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Sorry. I have just printed my RGB test file containing Red/Green/blue + CMYK colours: Cyan/Magenta/Yellow.
    The best print I have ever seen using Epson Print Layout letting the printer controlling the colours! Using ICC profile mode the print was equal to the result I get by using Photoshop/Elements or Qimage, all having problems with the blue colour.
    Epsons Print Layout could be my favorite in the future!
    It was not the printer. It was my previous printing programmes!

  • Keith | Jul 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Whilst I don’t know that paper, I’m afraid that subtle changes are often made to papers, but never publicised. I last tested the z2300 over 10 years ago and found bronzing a serious issue on some papers – much helped by attention to the gloss coat.
    I’m afraid this is the classic hint that it’s time to consider other papers… The good news is that someone likely made the paper for HP and it will be out there somewhere. I can’t suggest anything, since I’m in the UK and products vary widely around the world -Keith

  • Peter Fraser | Jul 30, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Hello Keith,
    I wonder if you can help?
    I’ve been printing exhibition prints for about 10 years with a HP Z3200 printer on HP Professional Satin 300gsm paper and been very happy with the results, but have recently noticed that the same surface has changed and looks more reflective. Now when I compare prints made in 2010 and now, from the exact same printing file, I’m getting more reflection and an almost lustre like surface, but worse of all I’m getting serious bronzing which is a big problem.
    I’ve tried HP’s advice about changing Gloss enhancer settings etc, to combat this, but to no avail…
    Do you have any observations about the above?
    Many thanks,

  • Keith | Jun 24, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks – fixed in the update ;-)

  • Mike Earussi | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for the overview. BTW, you forgot to add “I” for Innova Art in your manufacturer codes.

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