Thursday, May 10, 2007

Innova Ultrasmooth Gloss Paper

this isn't the original f type surface paper by Innova, it's the new glossier paper that Michael Reichmann spoke highly of.

Here's my findings so far.

Packaging - it comes in a sturdy box, with a cover sheet to protect the first sheet and the paper wrapped in thin poly - no damaged corners - full marks for packaging

Surface Imperfections - the first five sheets all had a 1 inch band down the middle of the page clearly visible and rendering the paper useless for anything other than proofing - in addition, each page has minor imperfections - small glossier areas which are a lot more visible before you make a print, but which do show in large light areas - acceptable for routine work but not for selling or framing images - frankly this makes the paper unnacceptable for fine art work, regardless of other features. Oh, and it's extremely sensitive to finger prints.

Paper Colour - oddly compared to the previous f surface which I gather is still available, the paper is a cool bluish gray - definitely not as bright and quite cool in colour - an unexpected finding and frankly not very appealing - suitable only for cold tone images

Surface Gloss - is definitely more than previous papers and yes it is quite smooth - looking more like traditional glossy dried matte silver gelatin papers than anything we have had so far - but it still shows gloss differential - the glossy inks on my iPF5000 printer are still significantly shinier than the paper so gloss differential is less but not gone - still not acceptable for fine art work

UPDATE: Uwe Steinmueller told me that in his experience the IPF5000 shows quite a bit stonger bronzing/gloss differential than the Epson K3 and HP Z3100 printers.

This doesn't deal with the other issues which at least for now prevent me recommending the paper to anyone but that could easily change - it's a very new paper and could be worth checking again on a diffent printer in the future. We sure do need a good gloss paper.

Image Quality - given the above limitations prints do look nice on the paper and were it a bit less bluish gray and minus the imperfections, I'd probably use it for a number of projects, but I would still have reservations about the gloss differential so I can't see ever using this paper for selling fine art images - pity - I really wanted to like it.

Conclusion: still not ready for prime time


it's back to matte fine art paper for me

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