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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gadget Bag: Inkjet Paper For B&W Prints


To make the very best black-and-white prints, you need to have a clean, high-resolution image file, a good printer and the right paper

This Article Features Photo Zoom


Innova
Innova is a global company with offices in seven countries and headquarters in the UK. The Photo Art Collection of archival art paper has been scientifically designed to serve the growing needs of photographers seeking natural-grade, acid-free papers that have been precision-coated for photographic inkjet applications. Their paper has been developed to deliver dazzling results with a wide variety of techniques and works superbly with black-and-white. Of keen importance to photographers, they offer a range of textures from smooth to matt in bright white and warm color bases. Innova recently acquired the Olmec brand, a family of high-quality papers targeted toward the mass market. Contact: www.innovaart.com.


Kodak
Kodak, long a huge name in film products, offers a variety of inkjet papers for pros through snapshooters. At the top is Kodak Professional Inkjet Photo Paper, featuring a true photographic resin-coated base with “pulp of unsurpassed quality,” luster or glossy surface, and excellent image quality and stability. It’s available in sheets from 8.5x11 and 13x19 inches, and rolls up to 44 inches wide. Consumer papers include Ultra Premium Photo Paper (4x6 to 11x17 inches, several surfaces), Premium Photo Paper (8.5x11 and 4x6 inches, gloss and matte surfaces) and Photo Paper (economical choice in 8.5x11 and 4x6 inch sheets). Contact: www.kodak.com.


Moab Paper
With product names like Colorado Fiber and Moenkopi Washi, you may suspect that you’re in for something special from Moab Paper—and you’d be right. A division of Legion Paper, Moab offers an eclectic assortment of high-quality products. Colorado Fiber, for example, has a look and feel similar to air-dried silver-halide paper, but is fully compatible with both archival pigment inks and dye-based inks. Moenkopi is a Native American name for a paper manufactured at the Awagami Factory in Tokushima, Japan, primarily from Kozo (natural mulberry) fibers. These are just two examples, but they illustrate the extensive range of high-quality products that wear the Moab label. Contact: www.moabpaper.com.

Pictorico Inkjet Media is a division of Mitsubishi Paper Mills, Ltd. It was established in 1998 with the intention of providing a wide assortment of the highest-quality output media to the broadest range of inkjet printer users. The name is derived from the Spanish word for “picturesque,” and their focus always has been on the fine-art user. Pictorico Pro Opalescent Photo Paper offers an extraordinarily high-gloss surface with a unique metallic finish. It’s well-suited for a variety of professional and hobbyist applications. It uses a proprietary ceramic coating to give the paper greater ink absorption and more richly saturated, brilliant prints. Contact: www.diamond-jet.com.


Red River Paper
Red River Paper offers one of the best, most educational websites. Order a Complete Sample Kit for $15 and embark upon a fantastic inkjet journey. The kit includes two 8.5x11-inch sheets of all Red River brand inkjet papers (except you get only one sheet of the Silver Metallic and Sheer Translucent, and Mag-Neato Gloss isn’t included in this kit). This is a seriously useful assortment of paper. They offer a complete range of finishes (gloss, satin, matt, fine art, specialty and double-sided), plus greeting cards and other unique formats. The new 60-pound Pecos River Gloss replaces the 64-pound Premium Gloss Plus and is one-of-a-kind in North America: a smooth, pigment-friendly, high-gloss surface with a plain paper back. Contact: www.redriverpaper.com.

Giclée
Oh, the French. The French have a wonderfully colorful word for high-quality art prints created on an inkjet printer. The word is Giclée (pronounced “zjee-clay”), and it was coined from a French word that translates, literally, to a far less romantic (but nonetheless accurate) description of an essential inkjet function: “squirt.” You’ll find this word on some websites, including Bergger’s.

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