What is the point of “Bright Rag?”

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Alexey Senior Member • Posts: 1,238
What is the point of “Bright Rag?”

I always thought that the main point of choosing “Rag” papers over regular matte inkjet papers is longevity, lack of OBAs and to a lesser extent, textures.

Now I am choosing between two Moab papers — Entrada Bright Rag (contains obas and has very little texture, cotton rag, 190 gsm) vs Lasal matte (alpha cellulose, 235 gsm). From a practical perspective, why would I want to pay 3x for the rag? Are there any advantages in how it will print, look, handle or last vs Lasal Matte? Thanks!

Keith Cooper
Keith Cooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,665
Re: What is the point of “Bright Rag?”

Alexey wrote:

I always thought that the main point of choosing “Rag” papers over regular matte inkjet papers is longevity, lack of OBAs and to a lesser extent, textures.

No, longevity is 'a' reason for some people

Now I am choosing between two Moab papers — Entrada Bright Rag (contains obas and has very little texture, cotton rag, 190 gsm) vs Lasal matte (alpha cellulose, 235 gsm). From a practical perspective, why would I want to pay 3x for the rag? Are there any advantages in how it will print, look, handle or last vs Lasal Matte? Thanks!

Never seen those papers here, but I have used a lot of very similar innova papers (their stuff gets re-branded a lot)

For myself I prefer smooth papers for most images and the choice of warm or bright comes down to how I want the image to look.

I've relatively few images where I like significant textures (see this example for one https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64586937 )

Longevity concerns are rather over-rated IMHO  Of course that doesn't mean I won't use them for marketing purposes if they work - much like the paper suppliers do...

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Gesture Veteran Member • Posts: 7,536
Re: What is the point of “Bright Rag?”

Many of the core "art" papers come in 2 versions: A natural rag without OBAs and a bright version with OBAs.

Moab Entrada

Red River Aurora

Canon Fine Art

Freestyle Sales

Etc.

OP Alexey Senior Member • Posts: 1,238
Re: What is the point of “Bright Rag?”

For me, the question is:

Now I am choosing between two Moab papers — Entrada Bright Rag (contains obas and has very little texture, cotton rag, 190 gsm) vs Lasal matte (alpha cellulose, 235 gsm). From a practical perspective, why would I want to pay 3x for the rag? Are there any advantages in how it will print, look, handle or last vs Lasal Matte?

D Saul
D Saul Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: What is the point of “Bright Rag?”
1

You may not want or need to pay that price premium.

One sure way to tell is to order a trial pack of each paper and see the results of your images printed on each paper yourself.

I suspect the "Bright Rag" has a "brighter" paper base, thus your prints will also have this quality, too.

jnat Senior Member • Posts: 1,495
Re: What is the point of “Bright Rag?”
1

​I realize you've narrowed your search to two Moab papers, but you might also want to take a look at Hahnemühle Matt Fibre 200. It's a good choice for a smooth matte. Has a 90 percent ISO white rating, and a look that's natural rather than pumped up with OBAs. Has good thickness and also somehow belies the listed 200 gsm weight. Feels solid. Not as stiff as some of the super premium matte papers, but certainly as substantial as the Lasal and other reasonably priced, budget-friendly matte papers. Good performance and good value.

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OP Alexey Senior Member • Posts: 1,238
Re: What is the point of “Bright Rag?”

Thank you for a suggestion of another good paper.

My main question though is not so much about these two papers, but in choising premium “rags” over similarly specced “regular” papers of the same brand.  The two similarly-specced Moab papers with a huge price difference between them are just an example.  I am sure that other paper companies have similar premium vs similarly-specced non-premium papers in their lineup.

So,  I am trying to see what I am missing in comparing the two papers that would warrant the 3x price difference if thickness, brightness, and longevity are very close?  Am I missing any key characteristics in the look, feel, performance or some other characteristic that warrants the price difference?

Keith Cooper
Keith Cooper Senior Member • Posts: 2,665
Re: What is the point of “Bright Rag?”

Alexey wrote:

...

So, I am trying to see what I am missing in comparing the two papers that would warrant the 3x price difference if thickness, brightness, and longevity are very close?

Printer and paper marketing

I've not tested any of these papers (I'm in the UK) but having recently tidied* my print room where I counted over twenty different versions (I should perhaps say labels on boxes/rolls) of matt photo paper I can see relatively few basic sorts of paper. What differs significantly is the ways they are marketed.

Since I don't know the particular foreign papers referred to here, I can only guess what my 'equivalents' from stock might be, but I strongly suspect I've got some

I have a few basic papers I like to use, because I like some of my images on them. I don't actually know much beyond the basic physical specs which hasn't been mauled by the dead hand of marketing

I would have said that of the list above (thickness, brightness, and longevity) only two (thickness/brightness) were meaningful data, but for the fact that I know of at least one paper where the GSM increased when a different label appeared on some of it

Longevity is the real fuzzy one, with a lack of precision and un-disprovability that's a boon to marketing.

Oh and very few companies use the same brightness measures, so that one can be used as you wish, as well...

*The house management is complaining about the number of printers and boxes of paper in the house

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