Deciding on a Bartya papers and a question about framing matte papers

Started Jul 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Robert A Senior Member • Posts: 1,914
Deciding on a Bartya papers and a question about framing matte papers

I just finished tested several Baryta papers from several mfrs - Epson, Canson, Hahnemuhle, and Harman. I've narrowed it down to two papers that I like the most -- Canson's Baryta Photographique and Epson's Exhibition Fiber. I have some observations to share, and I'd like to hear from the group whether I am at all correct in what I see. I also want to thank those who responded so diligently to my prior posts.

To me, the Canson seemed a little more open in the shadows, which surprised me, and I think it may be due to some variance between the manufacture-supplied profile and my R3000 printer. The Canson paper is also a little warmer. The Epson also looked good, and generally speaking, I liked the heft of the paper and the texture of the finish a little better. The Epson seemed closer to an F-surface, where the Canson was clearly an E. The Epson also exhibited less gloss differential.

What turned me off a little to the Epson is that the prints, particularly B&W, have a harder look to them. I cannot quite explain why, but it has something to do with the texture, the gloss and the whiteness of the paper.

I may order a 25-sheet box of each just to see how my taste shifts over time.

I also had an opportunity to test various matte papers from the same companies and I took a liking to Epson's Hot Press Bright. I have a question about matte papers in general. People talk about the differences in these papers like they would a fine wine, or a fine lens. But when these papers are used for display, behind glass, it seems that nearly all the character that distinguishes a particular paper is lost.

In fact, when I framed two identical prints -- one printed with Hot Press and the other with Canson Baryta, the differences were observable, as one would expect, but they were not nearly as obvious as holding the same prints in the hand. Moreover, if I was comparing, say, Hot Press with one of Canson's smooth matte papers, I don't know that I could have seen much difference at all.

If my observation is correct, why are folks putting so much effort (and cost) into the distinguishing characteristics of finer matte papers.  The alternative, perhaps, is to not frame a print behind glass.  But then that leaves the print more vulnerable to wear.

Thank you again.

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Robert A
Fuji X100S
Canon 5D
Epson R3000

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