Sunday, November 11, 2007

Update On Harman FBAL Gloss

I've been using this paper for a few weeks now and here's my latest thoughts on this paper.

Quickly glancing at images, the paper looks fantastic, with blacks deep enough to dive into and smooth tone gradients and subtle highlights. It doesn't require output sharpening and the images really do look like they were made in a wet darkroom, from 4X5 (all be it in 8.5X11 prints). On further inspection, the gloss might be just a tad too shiny - it's a little tricky finding a position to hold it without some reflections. For hand holding prints, this isn't really a problem - for mounting on the wall, well it might be - haven't done that yet so it's pure supposition. On my iPF5000 and selecting a custom warm tone in the monochrome printing - the results are absolutely lovely - warmth without a hint of pink or green and no signs of metamerism.

I can certainly see using this paper for portfolio presentations as it really does show off the images to their absolute best. Today I found that Booksmartstudio has just put up an ICC profile for the paper and the iPF 5000 printer and I was able to use Paypal to fork over $4 for the profile - a bargain! I haven't used it enough yet to know just how accurate it is, so far so good.

Production quality is superb - the best of any of the 'glossy' papers I have tried so far - not a marred sheet or dinged corner yet.

Pure whites do have slightly less gloss than the rest of the image - but this is slight and frankly not a big issue - I am happy to sell prints on this paper.


robertwood said...

If I may, a few question about your choice of paper profiles.

a.) Notice that you seem to prefer to purchase or download vendor paper profiles. What has inspired this decision vs. creating your own profiles with X-Rite's i1Photo or similar device?

b.) Have you ever considered purchasing paper profiles from some of the higher end profile service like Chromix or InkJetArt?

Thanks very much.

Best, Robert

George Barr said...


re the former - too cheap to fork out $2000 for the full package, re the latter, usually a matter of time - when I need the profile, I need it now, not a few weeks down the road. Given how long I've had the Harman paper though, perhaps lack of organization might be a better explanation.

robertwood said...

Thanks Geroge.

If you have a moment, please let us know your impression of the Booksmartstudio Harman FBAL profile.

My frugal Scottish side becomes incensed when I sacrifice five or six sheets of a really great fine art paper to fussing with the settings in a printer driver.

After your reply, I took a second to check out the Booksmartstudio site. They also offer custom paper profiles with what appears to be a total ~ five to seven day turn around. (Continental U.S.)

This seems to be an okay option, compared to the purchase of multi-k gear that will surely be obsolete in a short passage of time.

Thanks again, R.

George Barr said...

As I am not doing a huge amount of colour work at the moment, I'm not ready to decide on the accuracy of the profile.