New Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper


Getting back to traditional thoughts about photography, Epson announced a new “Exhibition Fiber Paper” for their printers yesterday. For those of us who painstakingly print or have printed our own photos, this paper apparently (I say “apparently” because I have not tried it) takes yet another aspect of digital printing beyond the traditional photographic printing process. The new Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper claims a dMax–the measure of a paper’s potential tonal range–greater than 2.5. In practical terms this means blacker blacks and whiter whites under the right light.

Some may argue that after you mount the print and frame it behind glass, all this stuff is irrelevant. The point is well-taken, but discerning fans of photographic prints will notice. If you’re selling to the general public, then by all means find the right paper for your audience. If you’re aiming for the highest quality digital product you can produce today then you will accept fewer compromises. As a viewer, I personally like to get up close to paintings, photographs, sculptures, etc. and look into the visual medium itself.

Epson’s press release quotes notable photographers raving about the new paper’s dMax, and also mentions their partnership with digital photography gurus Pixel Genius. Pixel Genius will be offering free profiles for the new paper for download after October 15, 2007. All this industry collaboration bodes well for the product, and if the paper lives up to its promise, it should be something to see. I think I mentioned before that at PMA 2007, I walked the floor pixel-peeping almost all the prints on display and without question, Epson’s prints stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Michael Reichmann’s Luminous Landscape has an informative write-up on his first impressions using the paper, and he mentions some other notable papers in vogue with those seeking the holy grail of inkjet printing. Many of us have grown accustomed to the convenience of viewing images on-screen, so it’s nice to see that in some quarters, the physical photographic print is still an object to aspire to and behold (sans Dektol!).

By Laurence Chen |

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