Matte papers for Selenium K7

piezography

#1

I’ve been starting a lot of threads lately… I fear I may become the cat in “The Cat Came Back”!

Anyway…

I’ve probably settled on Selenium K7 because there are many supported papers. One paper I was considering was the Epson Fine Art Velvet which is supported, seems bright like the EEM according to http://www.cjcom.net/articles/digiprn5b.htm . So, I decided to search around for anyone who’s actually used it in piezography and came across Jeff’s saga with EEF, and IJM’s conclusions about the paper from last year. After reading that thread I’m not sure I want to venture into Epson paper for the expensive stuff. I’ve already remortgaged my home for my R2000 and piezo ink, I can’t afford to make a drastic mistake on expensive paper.

When I went to the IJM Selenium K7 page, I found that the EEF was highly recommended for this ink. I expect this recommendation will change in the coming months as the site is updated. Can you tell me what paper you might recommend as a good replacement for the EEF?

I printed a QTR-K3 print on some Epson EEM and while it’s not quite as contrasty as glossy papers, the absence of distracting reflections was really nice. I was really impressed, even for my amateur processing and it only being a QTR-K3 print. In fact, the print has convinced me that I could be happy with primarily matte prints, if I can find a good reliable paper.

Larry


#2

Larry, I’m using up my stock of IGFS as I don’t like it a lot with K6. I will use Canson Platine in the future. I like the texture more, and it bronzes less. With my past experience, I wouldn’t go near Epson papers.


#3

The Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright is a very white matte paper as well BTW.

I recommend Canson Platine and Type 5 for Baryta papers. Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta and Photo Silk are pretty great as well.

The old-school EEF paper was AWESOME. And . . . . . . then everything went to hell. At Cone Editions we are super paranoid about paper stocks going bad after launch so we tend to buy a ton at a time. (reference to a small philosophical quip I made yesterday on a thread by LarryB.)

I’m still building a library of supported/unsupported papers. Things change so quickly now with digital fine-art papers and we have like 10(printers)x10(ink-types between shades and k7/k6)x30(papers) to decide from. If I can just get this forum updated I can set up a voting system where people can task me to support certain curves/papers/printers over others.

If I was to do everything all the time that would be 3000 curves! But most of the curves are interchangeable between inksets (selenium to warm-neutral, etc.).

regards,
Walker


#4

Larry,
I decided via two methods:

  1. I visited the websites of photographers whose work I admire and made notes of the papers they liked
  2. I noted which papers had pre-made curves available

For papers that met both #1 & #2, I purchased a back of 8x10 to see for myself.
This is half the fun! I doubt you will be disappointed no matter which ink/paper combination you choose. After all, variety is the spice of life!


#5

[QUOTE=jgbowen;10621]Larry,
I decided via two methods:

  1. I visited the websites of photographers whose work I admire and made notes of the papers they liked
  2. I noted which papers had pre-made curves available

For papers that met both #1 & #2, I purchased a back of 8x10 to see for myself.
This is half the fun! I doubt you will be disappointed no matter which ink/paper combination you choose. After all, variety is the spice of life![/QUOTE]

That’s a great idea!

For me it’ll be a challenge to find such work because I have to break free from my scientific analysis of work. Also, what I’ll have to do if find some art displays to visit. That will be exciting, perhaps make it a family affair.

I agree with you that part of the fun is trying new papers. I’m hearing that Epson’s Fine Art Velvet tends to flake more than other matte papers, and from Jeff’s challenges with Epson’s EEF makes me think I should experiment with some other paper first. The EEM actually looks very nice and I’ll probably be using it for any prints I’ll put in my classroom. I’ve had my eye on the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag for a while, and Walker has just recommended it too. But now to find an art show…

Larry


#6

I await your paper choices!

cheers,
Walker


#7

[QUOTE=LarryB;10617]…
I printed a QTR-K3 print on some Epson EEM and while it’s not quite as contrasty as glossy papers, the absence of distracting reflections was really nice. I was really impressed, even for my amateur processing and it only being a QTR-K3 print. In fact, the print has convinced me that I could be happy with primarily matte prints, if I can find a good reliable paper.

Larry[/QUOTE]

Newbie alert!

I discovered what I printed on was the cardboard backing protecting the rest of the pack! I wondered why the paper was so stiff, much stiffer than I would have imagined for a so-called proofing paper. I measured the thickness with my micrometer and it was 0.021". The actual stuff I was supposed to be using measured 0.011". Ugh.

I’m surprised how nice the print was on the cardboard backing. Especially considering it was only the protective backing.

OK, you can all stop laughing now. Really.

And please don’t tell Jon. If I EVER make it to an IJM class, I don’t want to be the laughing stock of the group!

Larry


#8

Well, at least we know where to send our cardboard backing :slight_smile:

Maybe we can get Walter to profile it for us…


#9

[QUOTE=jgbowen;10629]Well, at least we know where to send our cardboard backing :slight_smile:

Maybe we can get Walter to profile it for us…[/QUOTE]

I’m lucky he doesn’t have the time to profile it. I bet he would otherwise, and to rib me further he’d actually call it LarryEpsonCardboardEnhancedMatte.

Anon.


#10

If and when I get through the backlog of thousands of profiles and curves, I will someday give you a free personalized curve on backing cardboard.

If that day ever comes, I will be a happy person.


#11

I just wanted to report back on my experience so far with Selenium K7. I purchased the matte set only, with the idea that if I ever want to go with gloss, I’d probably want to buy a larger bottle of GO than what comes with the original kit. Therefore, my experience is with matte on EEM and HPR. While I can’t say “WOW!” like IJM would like me to, I can definitely say there are improvements that cannot be achieved with K3 inks.

Before I took the plunge, I was told that piezography was able to reveal shadow detail much better. I wasn’t aware of the benefits in [I][/I][B]all [/B]tonal ranges. I now see that piezography reveals details throughout all tonal ranges better than either QTR-K3 or ABW.

My original test print I had a couple of piezographers do for me I now realize was a very poor candidate for piezography because there wasn’t the smooth tonal range. I just printed an image of the “Queen of Oak Bay”, one of our local ferries in dry dock. The first obvious difference was that the QTR-K3 print crushed most of the detail in the shadows. Many of the really dark portions of the QTR-K3 print were much lighter in the Sel-K7 print, with only a few really dark portions.

I was not expecting the next difference, which did “wow” me. There were some darker streaks in the lighter tones of the clouds that were revealed in the Sel-K7 print, but were not present in the QTR-K3 print. It seems that QTR-K3 was unable to show that particular shade, so it had to choose to go lighter or darker. It went with lighter, so it missed some of the dark streaks entirely. Overall, in the cloud region of the piezography print, I could easily perceive 4-5 distinct shades from the very white to the mid-tones. Even the very white tones in the clouds had ink on them. In the QTR-K3 print, I could only perceive 2, maybe 3 distinct shades. No brilliant whites. For QTR-K3 to print the lighter shades, it would have to dither the dots farther apart, or blend colours. I don’t think it was able to do this, so many parts of the QTR-K3 cloud region looked flat.

I don’t recall reading much or anything about mid-tone details in piezography. Also, when IJM refers to details, I was thinking “minute” details, not “macro” details like what I observed in the mid-tones. It’s these macro details that really surprised me.

Sorry of this post is a little long, but I wanted to share my observations that might have helped me choose to get into piezography.

Larry


#12

[QUOTE=LarryB;11505]The first obvious difference was that the QTR-K3 print crushed most of the detail in the shadows. Many of the really dark portions of the QTR-K3 print were much lighter in the Sel-K7 print, with only a few really dark portions.[/QUOTE]

Larry

In my experience on matte paper, the not-crushing-shadows comes to a large extent from printing via QTR using the grey gamma 2.2 workflow, i.e. not converting to an ICC. That and having a completely linear QTR curve. These things apply both to Piezography and QTR-K3. Now I agree that Piezography takes this further, which is why we’re all here. But if you’re finding that QTR-K3 crushes shadows, then this doesn’t sound quite right to me, and I wonder whether some of the differences that you’re seeing are due to differences in the linearity of the K7 and K3 curves. I assume you still have those test prints I sent, which should demonstrate this, despite being not the ideal demonstration image,

I agree with you about mid-tones and tonal transitions. My view is that as you gain experience with Piezography, your preferences evolve away from images with pop and contrast to mid-tones, smooth tonal transitions and open shadows.


#13

I’d agree that the crushing of the shadows is probably a linearization issue, although the images I printed using QTR-K3 were saved from photoshop as TIFF, and, unless I did something unbeknownst to myself (entirely possible BTW), not converted to an ICC. It was this TIFF that was printed.

However, I should admit here and now that I am comparing apples and oranges, so please be easy on me. The QTR-K3 print was on semigloss while the Sel-K7 print was on matte (HPR). I don’t really care to reprint the image using QTR-K3 on the HPR. That would be a waste of time and money. I’ve seen the benefits of piezography.

Yes, I still have those test prints you made for me. Those prints didn’t have the smooth transitions across the midtones, and mot much in the darker shades. In the QTR-k3 print, the deep shadows were not completely crushed, but was probably non-linear on the paper I was using. But the greatest benefit was in those mid-tones. I don’t believe IJM is making this point strongly enough! QTR-K3 and ABW lose so much in the mid-tones that these ranges can seem quite flat. Perhaps this is why some piezography users refer to the prints has having a 3-D effect.

Larry