Some observations when profiling budget level glossy papers

Ink stained Fingers

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I'm using low cost/budget level glossy papers in some situations - e.g. when longevity does not count an/or I don't need the largest gamut - the best gloss or else. These lower cost papers are cast coated papers - with the paper back side and no barrier between the coating and the paper base with the risk that lower weight papers start bending from the solvent ingressing into the paper base - an effect which goes away with higher weights - 240gr and above.

I profiled several of such papers - 4 of those - with different driver settings - Ultra Glossy paper choice or matte paper selection and some with both quality settings - standard and high with an L1800 printer - an 6 ink A3 Epson printer with ink tanks - basically the former Epson 1400 with tanks - with dye inks incl. light links - no red or green or blue and no light blacks. The papers are a Logic Seek LS250g and a LS270g via Amazon, a Hayatec 240g via Ebay and a Glossy 260g via Ebay as well.

An overlay of all those gamuts - the cut through the gamut volumes at a mid lightnesss of L*=50 delivers this display

Gamut 01 .JPG


The gamuts appear pretty much alike and you may think that you could use the same profile for all those papers, even pretty much regardless of the driver settings. But no - that's not the case when you look to the lower gamut section - here at the luminance of L*=20 just for one paper - Logic Seek 250gr

Gamut 03 .JPG


The inner line shows the gamut printed with the paper selection 'Ultra Glossy' and the outer line with the 'matte' paper selection in the driver, this setting delivers quite a wider gamut in these darker color ranges, even to the extend that this difference becomes visible when you do test prints to compare - you need an image which carries enough color variations in this range in the first place - you see more color variations and a better definition of details. This is a gamut gain - for free - just by using another paper selection - matte - which you may not consider suitable for a glossy paper in the first place, and there is no practical difference between the standard or high quality settings. Please be aware that this applies to the performance of the Epson L1800 printer with Epson 106 inks - you may get different results with other printers - Canon or Epson - but it is worth a try to compare the gamuts with a glossy or matte paper selection in the driver.

And let me now show you the gamut of the LS270g paper - you may think that it would be very close to the gamut of the LS250g paper - but no - this L270g paper looks quite different in the lower lightness range - you get a wider gamut

Gamut 02 .JPG


The effect is the same - the matte paper setting delivers a wider gamut - not by much - than the glossy paper setting.
And there is yet another paper - the Hayatec glossy paper which I used as well in the previous fading tests.
This is an overlay of the gamuts at L*=20 of 3 papers - all shown with the matte paper setting in the driver

Gamut 04 .JPG


The inner line belongs to the gamut of the LS250 paper - the middle line to the LS270g paper - and the outer line to the Hayatec paper gamut with an even wider gamut overall - all just with the matte paper setting which delivers a wider gamut for all papers in the test in the darker luminance range. This gamut gain is for free just by changing the paper type in the driver - on my L1800 Epson printer.
You may get a similar effect on other printers - or not - I don't know so give it a try. I tried it as well with pigment inks on a WF2010W - 4 colors - pigment inks look just terrible on these papers and are useless. And this would not work if you have a mixed inkset - CMY dye + pigment black like on many Epson home office printers. And it does not work on printers with a dye and a pigment black - printing with pigment black via the matte paper setting onto a glossy paper does not work - you can wipe off the pigments. The above mentioned Glossy 260g falls between the LS270 and Hayatec curves.
 
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maximilian59

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I have the same experience with low cost papers. The next problem is, you don’t know what’s in the package the next time you buy this again.
for me it’s not only the gamut. Also found banding and the surfaces are not very robust.
Cheers,
Maximilian
 

Ink stained Fingers

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it’s not only the gamut. Also found banding and the surfaces are not very robust.
yes, you are right, there are more characteristics to look for like uniformity of the gloss and other effects but it's as well curiosity to see what I'll get when I order such paper. I already scrapped some papers over the years and wouldn't use them for free, one had such a poor black level - more a dark gray and no black at all and poor overall contrast, another one was curling up along the long sides of A4 and jamming the printhead, the vendor told me that I kept it for too long in a moist basement but I started printing almost directly after receipt - so there is as well some fun with such papers.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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The LS250 used above runs at about 10.90 € w/o S/H for 200 sheets A4 at the internet shop of the dealer and at 12.95€ incl. S/H at Amazon, and I get a very sturdy carton box with it, all other suppliers just ship a cellophane wrapped stack. Premium papers like the HP Premium Plus Photo Paper run at about 60 to 90 cts/sheet, more than 10x of the LS250. So what do I get with such a premium paper - much better longevity discussed in any length in other threads or other differences as mentioned by @maximilian59 above or a different look of the gloss and this and that.
Let me display here gamut differences between these papers

Gamut 05.JPG


The pinkish inner body is the gamut of the LS250, the outer geeen translucent body is the gamut of the HP Premium Plus paper, it is wider about everywhere.
And there are two spots to mention - the top white point and the bottom black point, the black point for the HP paper is at L*=5.5, for the LS250 at L*=9.5, the HP white point is at L*=97 and L*=94 for the LS250, these are differences which are directly visible in comparison, and it's up to the informed user whether he is willing to pay the premium for the mentioned differences. I think it depends very much on the purpose you make the prints for - with the differences and limitations in mind
 
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maximilian59

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That’s very interesting with low and high L*. The maximum white is not that visible to everybody without direct comparison. But the missing deep blacks lead to crunched shadows. A lot of people don’t look at is, as long as the print has bright and saturated colors. Even if the paper limits them also.
If hundreds of sheets of such cheap papers and use the with third party inks to judge prints before using good papers and expensive inks. I know, the colors are often not that good, even with profiles, but to look for distracting details and for the right crop it’s good enough. and in the limits of the paper/ink combination I can see, whether improvements should be done or not. Saves me a lot of money.
Cheers,
Maximilian
 

Ink stained Fingers

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the missing deep blacks lead to crunched shadows. A lot of people don’t look at this, as long as the print has bright and saturated colors.
And that's what vendors advertise with claims like 'the most superior colour brilliance' - for the cheapest paper on the shelf - ha - weak blacks are not their concern.
 

The Hat

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And that's what vendors advertise with claims like 'the most superior colour brilliance' - for the cheapest paper on the shelf - ha - weak blacks are not their concern.
And what your saying is:- Free dinners are not all that black and white…:)
 

The Hat

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A little bit off topic..
What I have always used to print is Premium cheap paper and inks (Lots of it) and am very happy with that combination and results, I have never contemplated using OEM ink or High quality Paper as a good option, I don’t consider 300 ppi essential for all prints either, and can go as low as 40/60 ppi on some materials..

My prints have to stand alone or die that’s the nature of the beast in my book, whether your input subject matter is good or not, makes no difference because if your output is based on cheap ink/paper then profiling becomes a total waste of time too.

But what I can see day is some Canon printers are a bit more reluctant to accept any third party ink without it causing damage to some nozzles in the print head, I changed to OEM in my Maxify but not before the black nozzles were damaged.. I’ve learned the hard way..
 

Artur5

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Are you refilling PGI-2500XL carts with OEM ink from GI-56 bottles ?
I'm considering doing that too, but just for the CMY colors, which I hardly use on my Maxify, not the black. It's still too expensive for my tastes. For the price of a 170ml GI-56 black bottle I can get almost 1 litre of Inktec. I've been using that ink for almost three years and zero issues with black nozzles, so I see no reason to change ( when/if the printhead fails. I may reconsider the question. ;) )
 

The Hat

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My Maxify could sit for a week and bit and not get any use, and I reckon the I.S. black ink just didn’t like that, so I switched to compatible HP black and it worked a lot better, but when I got the opportunity to use OEM I jumped at the chance.

Now when I print on plain paper I still get a few lines in the Pics, but not with glossy paper its perfect.. I really only use the printer for house management..

Off topic again,.. Ops sorry..
 
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