Comments on Red River paper on the 3880

Started Apr 1, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Comments on Red River paper on the 3880
Apr 1, 2011

First let me say I'm no printing expert, but I just spent some time going through the Red River pigmented sample pack doing color prints. If you're interested in papers, I recommend their sample pack for about $13, it was very informative. Be sure to get their profile files as well.

Their papers and profiles print very consistently, although I think a bit lighter than the Epson glossy type papers, with a little darkening and saturation they were excellent. The Arctic Polar series is really cold cold white which to me makes the colors slightly purer than the Epson papers, but the difference is minor.

The UltraPro papers are slightly warmer and very similar to the Epson papers, in particular the UltraPro Satin and Epson Semi gloss look almost identical to me. The UltrPro Gloss is a little whiter and is very close to the Epson Premium Gloss.

The Peal Metallic is quite different with a slight pearl gloss which looks odd to me, although color rendition is also fine. I tried a B/W print on it and am not sure what I think of it, although it is distinctive. If I were more into B/W I think I'd be tempted to mess around more with this stuff.

The Zeppelin double sided semi gloss was OK but couldn't compare in IQ to the other papers. It's a specialized paper I have no need for.

The paper that really blew both my wife and me away was the Polar Matte. This seemed to us far superior to the Epson Enhanced Matte (Ultra Premium Presentation Paper). There is zero mottling on the very smooth surface and the color gamut is at least as good if not slightly better, plus it feels a bit heavier. It's also a cold white which I like. The surface is delicate like the Enhanced Matte, although I found that spraying it with 2 coats of Printshield helped. Still it's far from as tough as glossy which is an issue for me as I don't use glass because I hate the reflections (yes I know about mu$eum gla$$ ).

The fine art papers River Linen and Aurora White both printed well, although like the Polar Matte with nowhere near the gamut of the glossy style papers. The surfaces are the main difference, the Linen has a fine regular rectangular pattern (like linen) but has an odd almost satin surface like effect in glancing light. The Aurora White has an irregular surface which we liked better and seemed to have a bit better color, although neither seemed as good as the Polar Matte. Overall I like the Aurora better than the River Linen because of slightly better color and personally I'm not crazy about the linen texture or slight gloss. Actually though, for water color style printing I I like the Hahnemuhle Albrect Drurer better even though it has a very pronounced surface texture and is significantly more expensive.

Bottom line for me is the Polar Matte hands down and I'll be getting some Polar Satin as well for when I need more gamut. I'm still looking for a fine art paper, but I don't do much of that kind of printing so I'll just be using the Albrect Drurer. If anyone has a suggestion for a paper that has both a soft watercolor look but still keeps a lot of gamut I'd be interested.

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