by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2013
We have statistical routines for collating Excel data across our audit database. This has shown an improvement in the average error from 3.3?Eoo to 3.0?Eoo over the past five years. This is a relatively trivial change and certainly one which many punters would be unable to discern in their real prints. However, the ink's gamut has increased steadily from around 800,000 to over 1,000,000 units and this shows up as more accurate reproduction of the colours at the edges of the gamut boundary. Our HiGAM patch set is only 13 colours out of a total of 216 and so has only a little leverage on the average statistics. It might, however, be vital in accurately reproducing an acrylic alizarin crimson! One of the things that makes the baryta data special is that they provide all the best data and consistently perform better than the average across all the data subsets. The skin tones are particularly accurate and in many instances may be regarded as perfect. The record amongst the data set is Canson Baryta Photographique, but it is run tantalisingly close by Ilford Gold Fibre Silk which is offered at £76.88 ex VAT for 50 sheets of A3+ by on-linepaper.co.uk. The similarity in performance of these two papers is uncanny and they jointly represent the closest of the papers to a pure spectral neutral in D50 light, a result of the zero OBA loading in both papers.
Having said this, most of the other papers run close on statistics and any of them may be used with complete confidence. The major discriminators are cost and base brightness. Cost is self-evident from the graph although it will not be a driver in all instances. Coolness is effectively shown on the Lab plot - the lower down the graph you go, the cooler is the paper, maxing out at PermaJet Fibre Base Distinction, the coolest paper of the bunch. It is not the most fluorescent, that goes to Moab Colorado Satine or the 'Brightest' (as measured in accord with TAPPI T452) which goes to PermaJet Photo Art Pearl. These cool, bright papers make for a punchier print providing you can live with OBAs and the threat of yellowing with age.
"When image permanence may be an important factor, fluorescent brighteners should be avoided in the manufacture of photographic materials."
Henry Wilhelm, IS&T's NIP19: 2003 International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies.
The Lost Papers
Some got away. We were unable to find a price or supplier for Pictorico, SIHL, Red River or Canon baryta media. We also recognise that the tables are incomplete, indeed we found Pinnacle papers by Paper Spectrum after the data had been collated - there are almost certainly others lurking!
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