PRINTING

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Getting Your Custom Profiles From Fotospeed

Generic Profiles are great for testing out Fotospeed papers with your printer and ink combination.
The generic profile however, will never be as accurate as a Custom ICC Profile. Fotospeed can make this for you, Free of charge with all the papers that they distribute.

Visit Fotospeed Support for a information on printing.

Download the Fotospeed Profiling Pack to have a custom profile made.

Download the Adobe Color Printer Utility (ACPU) specifically designed to print your targets (Colour Profiling Charts) without Color management applied.

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Download as a PDF file

Adobe RGB (1998) vs ProPhoto RGB
By Derek Doar

For some years now, since the Digital Photography revolution began, photographers have been recommended to use Adobe RGB (1998) as their working color space.

Photographic technology has moved forward at an alarming rate and given us better cameras, monitors, printers and software.

Is it now the time to change to ProPhoto RGB?


Click to read article

PRINTING TIPS

  • When configuring your printer, make sure that the HIGH SPEED setting is Un-Ticked. The printer will then print in one direction.
  • Selecting HIGH SPEED (Bi-Directional) printing is fine to reduce printing times, but as your printer gets older, and wear takes place, it may be better to de-select Bi-Directional printing if fine banding can be seen (This is because due to wear, the line of printing in each direction differ very slightly) and print in one direction only.
  • When High Speed mode is not selected or turned off: **
    The printer prints in one direction only (from right to left [unidirectional printing]). Unidirectional printing is slower than bidirectional printing, and recommended for highest quality image printing.
    (**This Information is from the EPSON website.)
  • When installing new pigment ink cartridges, shake them well.(Pigment ink settles over time).
  • When printing Photographs, load the paper single sheet at a time, to avoid mis-feeding.
  • If your printer misfeeds on certain papers, even if you only load one sheet, pre-feed the paper into the printer.
  • Wherever possible, print one single sheet at a time to prevent print surface damage.
  • Never stack prints for drying.
    Prints should be dried as quickly as possible and stacking them retards the drying of all but the top print.
    This is very important, because ink spreads whilst wet (Dot Gain) and delaying this drying process, may allow the inks to carry on spreading, causing unsharpness, in particular on Art type papers.
  • Allow the print to fully dry before assessing the colour.
    (I would recommend at least 10 minutes, but 1 hour would be better.)
  • Carry out a nozzle check before a print run.
    If you find gaps in the nozzle check printout pattern, carry out the cleaning procedure until you get a perfect printout pattern.
    Only then should you start printing.
  • When using Art Papers shake each sheet just before printing onto it. This is because some Art papers, because of their construction, may have loose fibres on the surface and if these fall off after printing they may leave small unprinted white patches.


MATCHING MONITOR BRIGHTNESS, TO PRINT BRIGHTNESS

The main problem that people ask me about is that their print looks darker than their monitor screen.

Providing that you do not make changes to the print in your editing software, a print made using the same print settings each time, will always be the same brightness, even if you change the brightness of the screen.

This is because the profile that is created and used for your PRINTER/INK/PAPER combination and the profile
created and used for your MONITOR are totally independent profiles and do not have an effect on each other.

People tell me that they have calibrated their monitor and have a custom profile for their PRINTER/INK/PAPER combination and the screen and print still do not match. In this case I would either re-calibrate my monitor and select a lower luminance value or if this is not an option, turn my monitor brightness down to match the print.

When a monitor is calibrated, any good calibration software will offer you the choice of luminance level measured in cd/m2 and the level selected, will affect the brightness of your screen.

If your monitor screen brightness is higher than of your print then your monitor has been calibrated with a too high a luminance value, (assuming that your printer profile is correct).

A value between 90cd/m2 to 120cd/m2 is recommended. If you cannot adjust the luminance value in your monitor calibration software then you will have to use the brightness control on your monitor to match your monitor brightness to the print brightness.

When judging your print brightness to your monitor brightness, it is important to view your print in a light source that it will be used for normal viewing.

I recommend a daylight balanced light such as below.

Graflite-2
LED desktop
colour assessment lamp

Print assessment needs to be done under daylight viewing conditions and for this purpose I use a daylight balanced Graflite-2 Task Lamp.

 

 

CUSTOM PAPER AND INK PROFILING

Paper and ink profiling is very important for printing correct colour.

Most people rely on choosing generic profiles that are supplied by the printer manufacturer.
Generic profiles by their very description are nothing more that general profiles to suit a range of printer/ink/paper combinations and because of this the results can vary wildly.

A Custom Profile is one that is tailored to your personal print set-up and takes into account your actual PRINTER/PRINT SETTINGS/INK TYPE/PAPER TYPE

For accurate printing you must use a Custom Profile for every printer/ink/paper combination that you use.


By using a Custom Profile you will utilise your printers full capabilities and in return you will get more accurate,vibrant and saturated colours.
You will also use less ink and make less wasted test prints.
This means better quality prints, in less time and for less cost.


Click on the image on the left to download a Colour Management PDF file on how to get your own
CUSTOM ICC PROFILES
from
FotoSpeed

These are FREE if you buy your paper from Fotospeed

PAPER AND INKS

A range of papers
from

Fotospeed


WHAT PAPER AND INKS SHOULD I USE ?
This is a question that I get asked quite regularly and the easy answer is:
the papers and inks that your printer manufacturer recommends.

HOWEVER
There comes a time when the inks and papers recommended by the printer manufacturer do not meet your requirements in terms of PAPER PROFILING, INK COSTS, TYPES OF INK, TYPES OF PAPER or LONGEVITY OF PRINTS.
Let us look at these requirements one by one.

INK COSTS

If your printer uses color cartridges where all the colours are in one cartridge, as soon as your printer detects that ONE of these colours need replacing, it will tell you to replace the cartridge and because the usage of each colour can vary greatly, depending on the subject you print, it will be most likely that you will be throwing away the other colours of ink that haven't run out.

WAYS OF REDUCING INK COSTS

1. When you buy a printer look for one that has an individual cartridge for each colour of ink.
This is much better way of reducing ink usage and keeping ink costs down but even then you have to throw away the cartridge with a small amount of ink in it (so that you don't get air in the system.)

2.Buy a printer with large capacity cartridges.
This is fine if you are printing a lot of images and therefore using a good deal of ink.
If you have large capacity cartridges and you only print a few images a month, it is likely that the particles in the pigment inks will start to settle long before you empty the cartridge, possibly resulting in variable print quality.(You could remove the cartridge and give it a shake)

 

 

TYPES OF INK

1. STANDARD DYE BASED INKS
These inks are normally used in printers that are mainly intended for printing text. They can be best described as Plug-N-Play inks due to the fact that they do not require any special profiles for normal use. The problem with dye based inks is that the colours can fade very quickly.

2. PIGMENT BASED INKS
These are the inks that you should use if you require high print permanence and are intending to sell your prints but they are expensive and almost certainly need print/paper profiles to get the best out of them.

They also provide a slightly smaller colour gamut.

 

TYPES OF PAPER

You may want to try out different papers, so let us look at some of the different types available.

1. MATT
This is the type of paper that is used for printing with pigment inks because they absorb the ink into the paper more than the Gloss,Satin or Pearl papers thus increasing print longevity. There are also no reflections to distract from viewing the print. On the downside, some brands of Matt papers make the image flat looking (low contrast) and the blacks look sooty rather than a deep black

2. SATIN,PEARL or LUSTRE
These are the types of papers preferred by some wedding photographers.
They give the image a softer feel (not necessarily less sharp) than a glossy paper would and there are less reflections from the surface, which make viewing easier.

3. GLOSSY
A lot of people still think that this is the main type of paper for Photographic printing. Glossy Papers make the images look crisper, and used to be the first choice for printing images containing fine detail, but the continuing improvements in paper producing technology and coatings mean that even the heavyweight Art Papers can now hold fine detail.

4. FIBRE BASED GLOSSY
This new range of papers and newly developed coatings, give the look of the traditional Fibre Based darkroom paper.
I use the
Fotospeed Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300 Paper.
This heavyweight exhibition quality paper is truly outstanding for both colour and B&W prints, exhibiting beautiful rich blacks.
This is without doubt my favorite all-round paper.

5. BARYTA PAPERS
The latest trend in ink-jet printing paper is Baryta. While it is new to the digital printing world it actually has its roots in high quality B&W printing papers from our past.

Baryta is barium-sulphate, a clay-like material that is applied to a fiber paper substrate.
On a new breed of papers designed for ink-jet printing with pigment-based inks, Baryta is being used to provide a smooth reflective coating.

The Fotospeed Platinum Baryta - 300gsm paper keeps the most delicate highlights with smooth transitions and gives the deepest blacks, resulting in the traditional Baryta darkroom look and feel from an ink-jet paper.

6. ART
In the past few years these papers have advanced from being smudgy printed watercolour papers to first class, true Photographic Art Papers capable of retaining fine detail.
There are many types now on the market and only by trying some of them out will you find one or more to suit your personal requirements.

 

 

CHOOSING YOUR PAPERS


What are the best Papers to use?
Paper choices are very personal, and I would recommend you try various papers until you find the ones that suit your needs in terms of Appearance, Sharpness, Feel, Price and how they print with your equipment and inks.
By all means take note of recommendations but try for yourself.

Here are some of my personal favorites.


BARYTA PAPERS
1. Fotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 Signature
This paper is currently my favorite for my B&W printing.

Platinum Baryta 300 is a 100% acid free, Fine Art paper with a smooth unglazed gloss surface.  A natural white base and state of the art micro-porous ink receiving layer delivers a high D-MAX (2.99) and wide colour gamut.  Platinum Baryta 300 reveals delicate highlights and smooth transitions to shadows for both colour and B&W printing.  The paper is approved by the Fine Art Trade Guild and when used in conjunction with pigment inks will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

SEMIGLOSS

1. Fotospeed PLATINUM GLOSS ART FIBRE 300g
This paper is currently my standard all-round paper. If I could only use one paper for all my printing, then this would be it.

Made from 100% alpha-cellulose pulp, Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300 is a heavyweight exhibition quality paper, and is protected against environmental influence, so prints will last for decades. The paper’s archival quality makes it ideal for professional or amateur photographers who want to create long-lasting images, while its glossy finish and tonal range makes it a good choice for those who don’t want to lose detail when shooting in bright conditions.


MATT
1. Fotospeed Platinum Matt Fine Art Photo Paper - 280gsm

Platinum Matt 280 is a 100% acid free, fine art paper.  A natural white base and state of the art ink-receiving layer, delivers a high D-MAX and wide colour gamut.  When used in conjunction with pigment inks, the paper will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

2. Fotospeed Matt Ultra - 240gsm

Matt Ultra 240 is a smooth, bright white, middle-weight, all purpose paper with a matt finish. This cost effective paper is ideal for running proofs or printing final images.
Matt Ultra's wide colour gamut reliably delivers beautiful images every time.

Compatible with both Dye and pigment inks

Matt Ultra 240 is one of the most cost effective papers we have on the market. Originally launched in 2001, it quickly became a firm favourite. it was designed for photographers to do secondary proofing and contact sheets, but they quickly realised the quality was there to print final images. A paper well worth exploring.


ART (Smooth, slightly Textured and Textured)
1. Fotospeed Platinum Etching 285 Signature
This is currently my standard slightly textured art paper.

Platinum Etching 285 is 100% acid free, fine art paper with a velvety, textured surface.  A natural white base and state of the art ink-receiving layer, delivers a high D-MAX and wide colour gamut.  Platinum Etching is 25% cotton and 75% alpha-cellulose.  When used in conjunction with pigment inks, the paper will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

2. Fotospeed NST Bright White Signature - 315gsm
This is currently my standard bright white art paper.

Natural Soft Textured Bright White 315 is a 100% cotton, Fine Art paper with a very gentle texture.  The paper’s bright white base and gentle texture lends itself towards landscape and portrait subjects and delivers a high D-MAX and wide colour gamut.  The paper is approved by the Fine Art Trade Guild and when used in conjunction with pigment inks will ensure a print life of more than 85 years. 

3. Fotospeed High White Smooth - 315gsm

High White Smooth 315 is a 100% cotton and pH neutral, Fine Art Paper with a smooth surface. A white base and a state of the art ink-receiving layer, delivers a high D-MAX and wide colour Gamut. this paper is highly recommended for Gicleé printing. The paper is approved by the Fine Art Trade Guild and when used in conjunction with pigment inks will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

High White Smooth was where it all began and has been a firm favourite of photographers and artists the world over ever since. its 100% cotton base not only gives it its archival qualities but also a sense of  unrivaled quality when you hold it in your hands.

4. Fotospeed Smooth Cotton 300 Signature
This is fast becoming one of my standard natural white art papers.

Smooth Cotton 300 is a 100% cotton, pH neutral, Fine Art paper with an ultra-smooth surface.  The paper’s white base and state of the art coating delivers the highest level of ink load of all the Fotospeed range.  Smooth Cotton 300 is therefore ideal for high saturation images.  When used in conjunction with pigment inks, the paper will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

5. Fotospeed Natural Soft Textured 315

Natural Soft Textured 315 is a 100% acid free, fine art paper with a very gentle texture.  The paper’s natural white base and gentle texture lends itself towards landscape and portrait subjects and delivers a high D-MAX and wide colour gamut.  The paper is approved by the Fine Art Trade Guild and when used in conjunction with pigment inks will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

6. Fotospeed Natural Textured 315g.

Natural Textured 315 is a 100% acid free paper with a full, rounded texture.  The paper’s natural white base adds a more traditional feel and is therefore especially suited to artistic images or watercolour reproductions.  When used in conjunction with pigment inks, the paper will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

7. Fotospeed Natural Textured Bright White - 315gsm
Natural Textured Bright White 315 is a 100% acid free paper with a full, rounded texture.  The paper’s bright white base adds a more traditional feel and is therefore especially suited to artistic images or watercolour reproductions.  When used in conjunction with pigment inks, the paper will ensure a print life of more than 85 years.

8. Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright White 310.

Hahnemuhle Photo Rag bright white is a bright white cotton art paper with an inkjet coating specially tailored for FineArt printing

The lightly defined felt structure an characteristics soft Photo Rag feel gives every FineArt print an incredible depth and three-dimensional appearance.
Combined with the matt premium inkjet coating, this produces impressive Fine Art prints boasting vivid colours, deep blacks and extraordinary reproduction of detail. The bright white of the paper also creates particularly brilliant results for high contrast images.

The acid- and lignin-free Photo Rag bright White meets the most exacting requirements for age resistance and is perfect for reproducing FineArt photographs and works of art.

9. Hahnemuhle Torchon 285g.
This is my favorite heavily textured paper

Hahnemuhle Torchon is a cellulose-based Fine Art inkjet paper with an inkjet coating specially tailored for Fine Art applications The bright white paper has a clear coarsely structured felt mark and is characterised by a very special tactile feel. the unique surface structure blends with the images and and lends them an impressive three-dimensional effect and sense of depth.

The premium matt inkjet coating produces outstanding print results, with bright colours, perfect reproduction of detail and deep black. The acid- and lignin-free Torchon paper meets the most exacting requirements for age resistance and is specially designed for FineArt use


GLOSSY

1. Fotospeed PF Gloss 270g
Pigment Friendly Gloss 270 is a flat, stiff, middle-weight paper with a high gloss finish.  The paper has a bright white base and an instant dry, micro-porous, coating.  Pigment Friendly Gloss’ wide colour gamut and high D-MAX delivers beautiful images, both in colour and B&W.

Compatible with both dye and pigment inks.


LUSTRE

1. Fotospeed PF Lustre 275
PF Lustre 275 is a flat, stiff, middle-weight paper with a lustre finish. The paper has a bright white base and an instant dry, micro-porous, coating.  This multi-award winning paper’s wide colour gamut and high D-MAX delivers beautiful images, both in colour and B&W.

PF Lustre 275 is the corner stone of the Fotospeed Photo Quality range and should be the go to paper for any photographer. PF Lustre 275 is the perfect combination of quality and price and as a result has been recognised by photographers the world over.

 


PEARL

1. Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290
Photo Smooth Pearl 290 has a natural white base and an instant dry. micro-porous coating. The paper's wide colour gamut and high D-MAX delivers beautiful images, both in colour and B&W.

Over the last two years, Fotospeed have worked on creating the perfect Smooth Pearl digital paper.

This paper has become a market leader and is the reliable go to paper for photographers the world over.


SATIN

1. Fotospeed Studio Satin 190
Studio Satin 190 is a lightweight cost effective paper with a satin surface. Ideal for posters.


PANORAMIC PAPER

1. Fotospeed Panoramic Paper
Fotospeed Panoramic Inkjet allows photographers to print letterbox style images without needing a roll.
Its unique size of 210mm x 594mm means panoramic images can be printed using A4 printers and upwards.

The Test Pack contains 4 sheets of each available panoramic range papers, plus 1 sheet of each in A4 to assist with profiling.

The papers include:

  • PF Lustre 275
  • PF Gloss 270
  • Matt Ultra 240
  • Photo Smooth Pearl 290
  • Platinum Baryta 300
  • Platinum Etching 285
  • Smooth Cotton 300

    Panoramic papers will only work with back-fed printers
    (it will not work with duplex fed printers)

 

THE LONGEVITY OF DIGITALLY PRINTED IMAGES

This article is by courtesy of CLIFFORD BURT of R.K.BURT & COMPANY LTD
Paper suppliers since 1892

www.rkburt.co.uk

The issue of longevity is very complex and in the early days of this technology, it is not possible to be categorical about results. The papers used for digital ink jet printing fall into two categories, coated and uncoated. The coatings applied are specially formulated to give good ink hold out and low dot gain, ensuring a sharper image. The formulations of the coatings are a closely guarded commercial secret by all manufacturers.

When considering the longevity of the images there are a few certainties:

  • Uncoated papers will give better longevity than equivalent papers which have been coated, but will not give as good a printed result.
  • Pigmented inks will give better longevity than dye based inks, but tend not to give such a good colour gamut.
  • Longevity is improved when ink density is increased. - This is part of the reason uncoated papers give better image life, because they require greater ink saturation to provide the same colour density.
  • Since the inks sit more on the surface of coated papers it is subjected to more environmental degradation and radiation.
  • Chemical contamination from the atmosphere or other chemicals such as the organic solvents in glues will seriously affect paper coating, potentially causing discolouration.
  • Some glue in adhesive tape does not even require direct contact with the paper to cause discolouration. Tests indicate that there are instances when a particular tape does not cause a problem when in direct contact with the paper. However, the same tape with an acidic ‘catalyst’, such as packaging board adjacent to the paper, will result in discolouration. Archival, pH neutral tapes are available and tests suggest they are less likely to cause a problem. See www.ukindustrialtapes.co.uk for more.
  • The atmosphere in London is approximately pH 4.5. The effect of this on coatings, inks or the reactions between the two is unknown.
  • All organic matter, including paper, is bio-degradable and as such should be treated with care.
  • Papers, which are bright white, contain varying degrees of Optical Brightening Agents (OBA). The OBA converts the longer wavelength ultra violet light into the blue end of the visible spectrum. This "blue-whiteness" reduces as the unstable OBA degrades. This results in paper looking slightly more yellow than originally. This is quite separate from a paper being Neutral pH or Acid Free.
  • If the whiteness of paper is achieved by the use of stable compounds such as Titanium Dioxide, their colour will better withstand the adverse effects of light radiation.
There are also some uncertainties:
  • The “guarantees” associated with many products are dependent on compliance with certain conditions. It is invariably the case that the end user would be unable to subsequently prove that they have complied with any of them for the whole life of a print. e.g. constant temperature, constant relative humidity, fixed light intensity, within certain spectral parameters and with specific shielding.
  • Changes in relative humidity affect life expectancy, though like many of the variables, the extent and nature of the effect is not certain.
  • The life expectancy tests conducted do not seem to give figures for standard deviation of expected result errors, despite extrapolation of limited data over a short period to expectations many years into the future. This may explain why tests conducted on the same paper sold under different brand names, with the same ink sets, has provided widely varying results.
  • Many tests involving high levels of radiation result in raised temperatures, which may affect the accuracy of the extrapolation.
It often seems that the questions asked about the longevity of prints are new. This is not the case. The issue has been a subject of discussion for all types of printing methods for years.

Many consider that one of the great advantages of digital prints is that they can be reproduced at any time, with confidence that they will resemble the original. The Guild of Fine Art has always insisted that a set of prints had to be produced in one run, in order to be faithful reproductions, because there were assumptions made about how they would be printed. This view now seems a little out-dated.

In conclusion, it can be said that when considering longevity; to use pigmented inks is better than dye based inks, uncoated papers are better than coated papers and the careful handling and storage of a print is necessary.

Clifford Burt - R. K. Burt & Company Ltd.

Have you a blocked print head?
Due to the thin nature of the print nozzle, ink blockages can occur. The ink can build up which will eventually lead to hardening of the ink and in turn the ink will not travel correctly. Blockbuster Print Head Cleaner is the answer.

FOTOSPEED Blockbuster Print Head Cleaner is the answer.

Blockbuster Printer Head Cleaner comes complete with a syringe and tubing plus instructions on how to use the kit.

Instructions on how to use Blockbuster