Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?

Started Mar 22, 2013 | Questions
TonyGamble
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Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
Mar 22, 2013

On the 3880?

It seems to be the only metallic available in the UK and if it is nearly as good as Red River at least it avoids the complication of importing.

Tony

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Howard Moftich
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to TonyGamble, Mar 22, 2013

I've *heard* that all the metallic papers are actually the same basic product produced by Mitsubishi and then re-sold/re-packaged/re-named

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TonyGamble
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Howard Moftich, Mar 22, 2013

I would not be surprised, Howard.

I was talking to someone from the University of Lancaster about third party inks and he was telling a similar story.

I've asked Breathing Color to sell me some samples. I'll report back.

Tony

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Hugowolf
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Howard Moftich, Mar 22, 2013

Howard Moftich wrote:

I've *heard* that all the metallic papers are actually the same basic product produced by Mitsubishi and then re-sold/re-packaged/re-named

Yes, I have heard the same thing. The only other company that does metalic is Kodak, and they don't make a inkjet version. There seem to be two main variants of the Mitsubishi/Pictorico metalic, a full gloss and a pearlescent.

Brian A

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soloryb
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Howard Moftich, Mar 22, 2013

Howard Moftich wrote:

I've *heard* that all the metallic papers are actually the same basic product produced by Mitsubishi and then re-sold/re-packaged/re-named

I've read the same thing regarding Mitsubishi and metallic papers so I decided to purchase a few different ones to see if there are any differences. I tried Red River, Ink Press, and Proofline and, although all were similar, there are differences. For example, RR Polar Pearl Metallic prints a bit cooler than Proofline Photo Luster Chrome - which has a distinctly warmer cast.

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irvweiner
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to soloryb, Mar 22, 2013

I have used RR & BC Metallic papers, both are fine products with small differences as mentioned above. For me, selecting a metallic paper for my B&W prints took serious consideration--prints containing large areas of deep shadow with detail appeared to suffer from visual 'flare' due to the reflecting pearlescent layer. Then, a week or so later, reexamining this print it appeared quite satisfactory. Color prints benefited quite nice from this 'feature'! Do not hesitate to try this metallic media.

Another fine media from BC is their Vibrance Luster, a slightly coarser structure than satin, still maintaining fine detail with vibrant 'pop'--awesome for my B&W prints.

irv weiner

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soloryb
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to irvweiner, Mar 22, 2013

irvweiner wrote:

I have used RR & BC Metallic papers, both are fine products with small differences as mentioned above. For me, selecting a metallic paper for my B&W prints took serious consideration--prints containing large areas of deep shadow with detail appeared to suffer from visual 'flare' due to the reflecting pearlescent layer. Then, a week or so later, reexamining this print it appeared quite satisfactory. Color prints benefited quite nice from this 'feature'! Do not hesitate to try this metallic media.

Another fine media from BC is their Vibrance Luster, a slightly coarser structure than satin, still maintaining fine detail with vibrant 'pop'--awesome for my B&W prints.

irv weiner

I haven't tried BC Vibrance Metallic yet so I checked on their site and gave them a call. They told me they make their own papers and this stuff is very close to the Kodak metallic. I just ordered a 17" X 20' sample roll. They also have a canned ICC profile you can download. Sounds like a good outfit to do business with.

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TonyGamble
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to irvweiner, Mar 23, 2013

"Another fine media from BC is their Vibrance Luster, a slightly coarser structure than satin, still maintaining fine detail with vibrant 'pop'--awesome for my B&W prints."

You've tempted me Irv.

And the price is competitive in the UK with the Harman I have recently moved to.

I'll be getting a trial roll and also one of ther Vibrance Gloss.

Tony

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Hugowolf
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to soloryb, Mar 23, 2013

soloryb wrote:

irvweiner wrote:

I have used RR & BC Metallic papers, both are fine products with small differences as mentioned above. For me, selecting a metallic paper for my B&W prints took serious consideration--prints containing large areas of deep shadow with detail appeared to suffer from visual 'flare' due to the reflecting pearlescent layer. Then, a week or so later, reexamining this print it appeared quite satisfactory. Color prints benefited quite nice from this 'feature'! Do not hesitate to try this metallic media.

Another fine media from BC is their Vibrance Luster, a slightly coarser structure than satin, still maintaining fine detail with vibrant 'pop'--awesome for my B&W prints.

irv weiner

I haven't tried BC Vibrance Metallic yet so I checked on their site and gave them a call. They told me they make their own papers and this stuff is very close to the Kodak metallic. I just ordered a 17" X 20' sample roll. They also have a canned ICC profile you can download. Sounds like a good outfit to do business with.

Whether they actually mill paper, or have it milled to their specifications and then coat it, isn’t clear. ‘Make’ can mean a few things.

They are better known for their canvases, especially Lyve. Until recently much of the papers they offered were too bright and to full of OBAs for many applications. The new Pura range looks interesting, and I just received a trial roll of the Pura Velvet last week. I have only printed test images using two different profiles so far; so I haven’t had time to fully evaluate it yet.

They used to, and may still do, custom profiles for their papers, but I don’t see that advertized on their website anymore. They have been doing some structural changes recently, moving their sales and marketing team to Austin,Texas.

One down side has been the shipping costs, especially to the east coast and Canada. Buying Canson and Hahnemühle paper, Shades of Paper have very reasonable shipping costs, Atlex/itSupplies have free shipping on orders over $100, and B&H have free shipping on about half the papers they stock.

Brian A

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irvweiner
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Hugowolf, Mar 23, 2013

Brian, I am also concerned about their 'business' status. In their move to Austin, Tx Paul Morales, Art Patkowski and Sharon Frist did not follow. Paul and Art were their 2 tech/customer service gents, Sharon is telecommuting from CA. I considered all 3 persons quite helpful.

I must admit that their products, Breathing Color....... did not come trippingly off the tongue or many forums. For my non pro needs I found many of their products most satisfying. I for one, would be very saddened by the loss of this media mfgr.

irv weiner

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soloryb
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Hugowolf, Mar 24, 2013

Thanks Brian,

I forgot to ask about the OBAs. Some of their papers are listed as OBA free but I'll call on Monday to ask specifically about the metallic.

I'd like to avoid papers with OBAs. Do you know of any metallic papers without OBAs?

I spoke with one of the managers at BC and he said they manufacture their papers themselves in order to control every step of the process. Whether or not that's true, it's all I have to go by.

They do have profiles for the Epson 3880/BC Vibrance Metallic and I downloaded and installed it. Since I don't have the paper yet I just checked how the profile soft-proof (LR) looked and it appears to be the same (or so similar I can't see a difference) as RR Polar Pearl Metallic.

I also spoke with them about their high shipping costs and was told that they charge whatever UPS dictates. They are aware that these shipping charges are costing them business as evidenced by my hesitancy in making future orders unless they could do something about reducing the cost.

I like dealing with Shades of Paper but I found their Pearl Luster Metallic to be warmer than the RR Polar Pearl Metallic, which I preferred.

Hugowolf wrote:

soloryb wrote:

irvweiner wrote:

I have used RR & BC Metallic papers, both are fine products with small differences as mentioned above. For me, selecting a metallic paper for my B&W prints took serious consideration--prints containing large areas of deep shadow with detail appeared to suffer from visual 'flare' due to the reflecting pearlescent layer. Then, a week or so later, reexamining this print it appeared quite satisfactory. Color prints benefited quite nice from this 'feature'! Do not hesitate to try this metallic media.

Another fine media from BC is their Vibrance Luster, a slightly coarser structure than satin, still maintaining fine detail with vibrant 'pop'--awesome for my B&W prints.

irv weiner

I haven't tried BC Vibrance Metallic yet so I checked on their site and gave them a call. They told me they make their own papers and this stuff is very close to the Kodak metallic. I just ordered a 17" X 20' sample roll. They also have a canned ICC profile you can download. Sounds like a good outfit to do business with.

Whether they actually mill paper, or have it milled to their specifications and then coat it, isn’t clear. ‘Make’ can mean a few things.

They are better known for their canvases, especially Lyve. Until recently much of the papers they offered were too bright and to full of OBAs for many applications. The new Pura range looks interesting, and I just received a trial roll of the Pura Velvet last week. I have only printed test images using two different profiles so far; so I haven’t had time to fully evaluate it yet.

They used to, and may still do, custom profiles for their papers, but I don’t see that advertized on their website anymore. They have been doing some structural changes recently, moving their sales and marketing team to Austin,Texas.

One down side has been the shipping costs, especially to the east coast and Canada. Buying Canson and Hahnemühle paper, Shades of Paper have very reasonable shipping costs, Atlex/itSupplies have free shipping on orders over $100, and B&H have free shipping on about half the papers they stock.

Brian A

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Hugowolf
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to soloryb, Mar 24, 2013

I don’t know if you are familiar with Ernst Dinkla’s spectral analysis of paper samples. It is extremely useful for comparing paper ‘brightness’ and ‘warmth’. His analysis is available via a Java app:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm

Unfortunately he has only done a few metallic papers, the two of which that are widely available in the US are Red River Polar Pearl Metallic and Maob Slickrock Metallic Pearl, and the spectral responses are so close to identical, these two papers have to be one and the same. The base paper shows what are probably extremely high levels of OBAs, and the there is a heightening towards the red end of the spectrum from the metallic layer.

OBA content in papers like metallics (and other RC papers) doesn’t really bother me, sometimes you just need bright white, and these types of papers are hardly museum grade.

Brian A

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soloryb
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Hugowolf, Mar 24, 2013

Interesting link (and the Aardenburg link it contains). Much of how he tests and what it means is a bit beyond me, but I did understand some of it.

My interest right now is in metallic papers (I'll eventually graduate to fine arts papers in the future) and whether or not they will fade over time due to the presence of OBAs (or Dinkla's FBAs). From what I've read it appears that exposure to atmospheric gases is one of the main causes of the breakdown of the OBAs, especially if they are in the paper's surface coating rather than inside the paper itself protected by a resin layer. With this in mind, would coating a paper with a UV blocking print varnish (like Breathing Color's) slow down or even prevent the OBA degradation?

Hugowolf wrote:

I don’t know if you are familiar with Ernst Dinkla’s spectral analysis of paper samples. It is extremely useful for comparing paper ‘brightness’ and ‘warmth’. His analysis is available via a Java app:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm

Unfortunately he has only done a few metallic papers, the two of which that are widely available in the US are Red River Polar Pearl Metallic and Maob Slickrock Metallic Pearl, and the spectral responses are so close to identical, these two papers have to be one and the same. The base paper shows what are probably extremely high levels of OBAs, and the there is a heightening towards the red end of the spectrum from the metallic layer.

OBA content in papers like metallics (and other RC papers) doesn’t really bother me, sometimes you just need bright white, and these types of papers are hardly museum grade.

Brian A

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Hugowolf
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to soloryb, Mar 24, 2013

soloryb wrote:

Interesting link (and the Aardenburg link it contains). Much of how he tests and what it means is a bit beyond me, but I did understand some of it.

Mark McCormick, from Aardenburg posts here occasionally, most recently: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/51024464

My interest right now is in metallic papers (I'll eventually graduate to fine arts papers in the future) and whether or not they will fade over time due to the presence of OBAs (or Dinkla's FBAs).

‘Optical brightening agent’ is an industry euphemism, they are in most cases actually florescent – they give off light at the UV end of the spectrum when light falls on them. If you look at the plot of either the RR paper or the Moab paper, you will see more than 100% reflectance at around the 440 nm mark. The paper is actually putting out light; it is fluorescing.

From what I've read it appears that exposure to atmospheric gases is one of the main causes of the breakdown of the OBAs, especially if they are in the paper's surface coating rather than inside the paper itself protected by a resin layer.

With this in mind, would coating a paper with a UV blocking print varnish (like Breathing Color's) slow down or even prevent the OBA degradation?

Sure coatings and UV/museum/conservation glass will slow the decay of the OBAs, but they do this by preventing light in that region of the spectrum from hitting the paper. And if they do this effectively, the brightening agents will no longer brighten as much, and the effect will be the same as if the OBAs had faded. You lose a lot of the reason for using a ‘bright’ white paper in the first place.

The more expensive spectrophotometers, used for creating paper/printer profiles, can measure without and with UV light (UV cut and non-UV cut). Specifically for this type of situation – UV emittance under UV blocking material.

Brian A

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soloryb
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Hugowolf, Mar 24, 2013

Hugowolf wrote:

<snip>

‘Optical brightening agent’ is an industry euphemism, they are in most cases actually florescent – they give off light at the UV end of the spectrum when light falls on them. If you look at the plot of either the RR paper or the Moab paper, you will see more than 100% reflectance at around the 440 nm mark. The paper is actually putting out light; it is fluorescing.

Sure coatings and UV/museum/conservation glass will slow the decay of the OBAs, but they do this by preventing light in that region of the spectrum from hitting the paper. And if they do this effectively, the brightening agents will no longer brighten as much, and the effect will be the same as if the OBAs had faded. You lose a lot of the reason for using a ‘bright’ white paper in the first place.

The more expensive spectrophotometers, used for creating paper/printer profiles, can measure without and with UV light (UV cut and non-UV cut). Specifically for this type of situation – UV emittance under UV blocking material.

Brian A

Thank you once more Brian. What you say about UV varnish and glass over a paper rich in these fluorescent OBA (FBA) chemicals makes complete sense. The process of fluorescence relies upon absorbing UV wavelength photons which then are re-radiated at wavelengths in the visible spectrum. So blocking the UV would obviously stop the fluorescence in the first place. Just wasn't thinking.

How about non-UV blocking coatings - if there are such things?

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Hugowolf
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to soloryb, Mar 24, 2013

soloryb wrote:

Hugowolf wrote:

<snip>

‘Optical brightening agent’ is an industry euphemism, they are in most cases actually florescent – they give off light at the UV end of the spectrum when light falls on them. If you look at the plot of either the RR paper or the Moab paper, you will see more than 100% reflectance at around the 440 nm mark. The paper is actually putting out light; it is fluorescing.

Sure coatings and UV/museum/conservation glass will slow the decay of the OBAs, but they do this by preventing light in that region of the spectrum from hitting the paper. And if they do this effectively, the brightening agents will no longer brighten as much, and the effect will be the same as if the OBAs had faded. You lose a lot of the reason for using a ‘bright’ white paper in the first place.

The more expensive spectrophotometers, used for creating paper/printer profiles, can measure without and with UV light (UV cut and non-UV cut). Specifically for this type of situation – UV emittance under UV blocking material.

Brian A

Thank you once more Brian. What you say about UV varnish and glass over a paper rich in these fluorescent OBA (FBA) chemicals makes complete sense. The process of fluorescence relies upon absorbing UV wavelength photons which then are re-radiated at wavelengths in the visible spectrum. So blocking the UV would obviously stop the fluorescence in the first place. Just wasn't thinking.

How about non-UV blocking coatings - if there are such things?

There are some coatings that make no claims about UV protection, so one would presume that they offer little or no protection from UV light. And there is regular framing glass and plexi. But then you wouldn't be protecting the other things that degrade with UV light, the paper and the inks themselves, you would be protecting from water damage, finger prints, dust, etc.

Brian A

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soloryb
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Hugowolf, Mar 24, 2013

Hugowolf wrote:

There are some coatings that make no claims about UV protection, so one would presume that they offer little or no protection from UV light. And there is regular framing glass and plexi. But then you wouldn't be protecting the other things that degrade with UV light, the paper and the inks themselves, you would be protecting from water damage, finger prints, dust, etc.

Brian A

I guess I'll either have to live with OBAs or find some metallic papers that either have none or at least less than others. Thanks again for your help.

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TonyGamble
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to Hugowolf, Mar 26, 2013

OK I have tried their Vibrance Metallic, Gloss and Lustre.

With a pigment ink 3880 the Metallic is indistinguishable from the Gloss - except that it costs almost double.

Both the Gloss and Lustre are fine and compare well with my Harman equivalents except that they are must creamier in the base.

I used to use Ilford Smooth Pearl until I tried some Harman. I think I prefer the whiter base of Harman. Surely it is better to add some cream if you feel an image is too cool? Certainly the white base makes the colours more vibrant.

So no metallic for me whilst I am running the 3880.

Tony

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TonyGamble
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to TonyGamble, Mar 27, 2013

I have now  made the following comparisons - having decided to forget about the Metallic.

For gloss I have made prints on:-

Vibrance Gloss

Canson High Gloss

Harman Gloss

Once I trim the edges so I cannot see the whiter margin of the Hanson the vote goes to Vibrance. The colours of all three are very much the same - no one looks obviously better. Where Vibrance scores is the feel of the heavier paper and the glossyness of the gloss. Canson is also much more expensive.

For lustre or satin I made prints on:-

Vibrance Lustre

Canson Photo Satin

Harman Lustre.

I can almost  ditto the above paragraph. Again Vibrance scores by having a much more obvious lustre than the other two - and again Canson loses out on price.

In each case I made a bespoke profile using Prism Profiler. I was surprised how similar the colours and tones look on all six papers. I at least expected one of the six to look significantly better or worse. Maybe most papers are pretty good these days and the decision then boills down to surface texture and price.

I ought to add that you are listening to a London based Brit. Maybe the prices vary more in the US. Maybe the fact that the Breathing Color importer in the UK is a relatively new husband/wife operations helps the pricing. Conclusion - for the immediate future they have my business.

Tony

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Hugowolf
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Re: Has anyone tried Breathing Color Metallic?
In reply to TonyGamble, Mar 27, 2013

TonyGamble wrote:

... I at least expected one of the six to look significantly better or worse. Maybe most papers are pretty good these days and the decision then boills down to surface texture and price.

There are a few other things to consider, especially longevity, not only for ink fade on the paper but also the white fade of the paper itself. There is gamut and dMax, and scuff and water resistance.

Scuff and water resistance are fairly easy to test, and with a good test image, gamut and dMax aren't difficult with a profile and software. Reliable longevity testing is really beyond the user, and means waiting for results from Aardenburg or Wilhelm.

Brian A

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