Photography News Issue 46

Photography News | Issue 46 | absolutephoto.com

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First tests

Fotospeed Platinum GlossArt Fibre300 From£31

The vast choice of inkjet printing papers means almost every possible taste is catered for. So if you prefer your portraits on a lustre, your scenics on a matt and your building images on a gloss, it’s no problem at all. The options are plentiful, yet the paper makers continue to innovate and bring us even greater choice. Fotospeed’s latest material has a glossy finish with the look and feel of a heavyweight darkroom paper. We have glossy finishes that can be almost mirror-likewhile others have a smooth, lustrous sheen often likened to air- dried darkroom fibre papers – all have their place depending on taste and how the prints are destined to be used. Fotospeed’s paper belongs to the more subtle glossy finishes, although it is worth noting that the paper’s sheen is greater once printed.

Above Fotospeed PlatinumGloss Art Fibre 300 paper offers great depth in monochrome images and impressive saturation in colour shots. Left Finish is a lovely sheen rather than a high gloss so ideal for exhibition work. crisply defined and shadows rich. I like monochromes to have decent contrast with solid blacks and some tonal snap in the greys: Art Fibre 300 certainly delivered. There was plenty of depth in my fully toned test prints but it also worked for high-key studies where the tonal range was limited to the lighter tones, so a delicate touchwas essential. My colour test prints were equally impressive and successful. You could say that a couple of shots were actually too in-your-face if your preference is for a more restrained colour rendering. A couple of warmly lit red rocks scenes taken on a recent trip to south-west America showed evidence of this and if I reprinted I’d desaturate a tad in editing to suit this paper – using a custom profile would probably help, too. This is not a criticism of the paper, but as with any product there is always the need to get used to something new. This new Fotospeed paper is a great asset to its already extensive range and works well with colour and monochrome. WC

The 300gsm base gives the paper a lovely heft and it lies completely flat out of the box. Not even the slightest amount of corner curling on my sample pack of A3 paper, so head strike shouldn’t be a problem. The base itself is a clean white with a warm tinge and the subtle gloss is a benefit when it comes to handling. Of course, printing papers should always be handled with care and fingerskept off thepicture area to avoid smudges, but should a stray finger catch the surface of this paper it won’t be toomuch of a problem. Fotospeed offers free customprofiles with its papers; profiles for Canson and Hahnemuhle papers bought from Fotospeed are also free. Just download the Custom Profiling Pack, make a print using your printer from the test file on your new Fotospeed paper/s, fill in the form and return it and the

test prints to Fotospeed. Your custom profile will arrive in due course with full installation instructions for Mac andWindows. Prints made for this review were done using a generic profile through Photoshop CC and using an Epson SureColor SC-P800printerwithEpson inks. I tried printing a wide variety of subject matter to test its suitability for different subjects, fromrichly saturated colour shots to delicate, high-key monochromes. Let’s start with the monochrome performance. I really liked the effect the papergave.Themarginallywarmwhite base comes across really effectively, giving welcoming mono results. This warmth is delicate and not at all over- stated and I loved the way it enhanced portraits and scenic shots. Highlights are smooth, mid-tones

Specs

Prices A4 25 sheets £31/£1.24p a sheet, A3 25 sheets £61.99/£2.48p a sheet, A3+ 25 sheets £71.99/£2.88 a sheet, A2 25 sheets £121/£4.84 a sheet. Rolls also available: 17in, 24in, 36in and 44in in 15m lengths Weight 300gsm Base 100% alpha cellulose pulp Features Instant dry, water resistant, archival quality Paper type Heavyweight exhibition quality paper Compatability Dye and pigment inks Contact fotospeed.com If you want a glossy inkjet paper that has a delicate sheen rather than a more shiny, glossy finish in the traditional sense, Fotospeed’s Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300 could be right up your street. Certainly its skillful reproduction and tonal treatment of a wide variety of subjects is a very positive characteristic. Pricing is comparable to other gloss finishes so it competes well in this respect, with a sheet of A3 working out at £2.48. Pros Rich colour saturation, great for mono and colour work, heavyweight base, lie flat properties, smooth finish Cons Nothing Verdict

The warm white base comes across really effectively giving welcoming mono results

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