11 Picture Perfect Inkjet Papers and Printers

May 24, 2016

By Greg Scoblete

When it’s time to turn your pixels into prints, turn to these papers and printers.


Canon has refreshed its printer technology with a new inkset and new print heads. On the heels of the 17-inch imagePROGRAF Pro 1000, released at PhotoPlus Expo last year, the company added two larger units to its portfolio at WPPI. The 24-inch-wide PRO 2000 and 44-inch PRO 4000 use the same inkset and print head technology that were introduced in the PRO 1000 and deliver a higher Dmax and better gloss uniformity than earlier models. They also employ Canon’s Chroma Optimizer, the first time it has been used in the company’s 24- and 44-inch printers. In addition to the reformulated ink and more precise print heads, the construction of the printers has also been improved to reduce vibrations that could affect print sharpness. Workflow enhancements include the use of three L-COA PRO processing chips for faster data crunching and built-in hard drives so print jobs can be quickly off-loaded from a PC and onto the printer. Both models feature a 3.5-inch color touch screen, USB ports and wireless printing. They support three different ink tank sizes, a new 160ml cartridge, plus 330ml and 700ml tanks. Thanks to the use of a sub ink tank, all ink cartridges drain completely before needing a refill. The printers will work with an optional multi-function roll system which can act as a dual media roll or a take-up unit.

PRICE: $2,995 (imagePROGRAF PRO-2000); $4,995 (imagePROGRAF PRO-4000)



This 100-percent cotton rag offers a lightly textured gloss surface and is free of optical brighteners. It has a neutral white tone and weighs 310gsm and is 0.42mm thick. The paper has a barrier coat between the paper and ink receiver layer to lock inks into the soft gloss layer and prevent them from seeping into the base paper, ensuring a deeper black. It’s sold in cut sheets in sizes varying from 5 x 7 inches up to 17 x 25 inches as well as in 24-inch x 50-foot and 44-inch x 50-foot rolls.

PRICE: starts at $23



This 100-percent cotton paper has a gloss finish and no optical brighteners. The paper is acid-free with a textured finish. It weighs 300gsm. It’s available in cut sheets from 8.5 x 11-inches up to 35 x 47-inches and A4 sizes or in rolls from 17 inches x 50 feet up to 60 inches x 50 feet. It has a whiteness value of 90 (the higher the value, the more light is reflected from the surface of the paper). The paper has a caliper (or thickness) of 0.38mm and is optimized for pigmented inks.

PRICE: starts at $52



To print a long panoramic image, you’ve typically needed roll paper. Now, Hahnemühle is bringing a pair of its fine-art papers—the matte-coated Photo Rag® 308 and high-gloss Photo Rag® Baryta—to market in panoramic-sized cut sheets. The 8.3 x 23.4-inch sheets can be accepted by any inkjet printer that can handle media that’s 0.48mm thick. The Photo Rag® 308 is a 100 percent cotton paper with a matte finish and instant drying. It’s acid-free and has a whiteness level of 92.5 percent. The Photo Rag® Baryta is a bit thinner, at 0.39mm, and weighs 315gsm. It’s acid-free with a whiteness level of 91. It contains no optical brighteners and dries instantly. Both versions of the panoramic fine-art paper will be sold in packs of 25 sheets.

PRICE: $111 (Photo Rag®); $133 (Photo Rag® Baryta)



Epson’s Legacy Paper is the company’s new, top-of-the-line inkjet photo paper for images you want to sell, frame or simply admire on your wall for years to come. The papers feature a micro-porous inkjet receiver layer that Epson claims will produce deep blacks, an expanded color gamut and smooth tonal gradations. The paper lineup includes Legacy Platine, a 100 percent cotton fiber paper with no optical brightener additives (OBA) and a smooth, satin finish. Legacy Fibre is another 100 percent cotton fiber paper that’s OBA free and offers a smooth matte finish. For darkroom lovers, the Legacy Baryta paper has a smooth satin finish and unlike other Baryta-based papers on the market, is more durable thanks to a pair of layers separating the Baryta base and inkjet coating. Last but not least, Epson’s Legacy Etching paper has the feel of traditional etching papers, no OBAs and a 100 percent cotton fiber base. The paper will be sold in cut sheets from 8.5 x 11 inches up to 17 x 22 inches and in 50-foot rolls in 17-, 24- and 44-inch widths. Custom sizes are also available.

PRICE: starts at $39



With its extra smooth finish, this 100 percent alpha-cellulose-based paper is compatible with dye inks but is optimized for pigmented inks. The paper is acid-free and sports a resin coating. It has a whiteness level of 136 with a quick-dry surface and weighs in at 310gsm. Standard cut sheet sizes range from 8.5 x 11 through 17 x 22 inches; 82-foot rolls are available in 17-, 24-, 44- and 60-inch widths.

PRICE: starts at $26



While Sihl fine-art papers aren’t new, the German-based company only recently secured distribution in the U.S. and Canada through Hilltop Papers. The Sihl MASTERCLASS lineup is a collection of eight papers tackling a host of output options. The line includes a Metallic Pearl High Gloss Paper, which Sihl says is reminiscent of Cibachrome “with its bright color and sharp detail.” There’s also Lustre Photo Paper, which will be sold in single- and double-sided versions—the latter for creating photo books or presentations—plus Satin Baryta, a series of high gloss photo paper and smooth and textured matte cotton papers that are OBA-free and 100 percent cotton. Rounding out the line is a Matte Photo Canvas, which resists edge cracking when stretched. The papers will be sold in 25-sheet boxes in both 8.5 x 11-inch and 13 x 19-inch sizes. You can also pick it up in 24 and 44-inch rolls.

PRICE: sample packs start at $13



PermaJet’s latest inkjet papers are a 285gsm Portrait Rag and a 290gsm Photo Art Silk. The Portrait Rag is an acid free, 100-percent cotton rag media with a neutral pH and whiteness level of 92. It’s compatible with both dye and pigmented inks and is 0.51mm thick. The Photo Art Silk paper is also acid-free with a receptive layer that has a semi-gloss sheen. It has a whiteness level of 103 and a thickness of 0.48mm. Due to its finish, it not only boasts improved scratch resistance but ensures that images with reflective/mirrored surfaces retain their shimmering effect. Both papers are available in cut sheet sizes ranging from 8.3 x 11.7 inches to 16.5 x 23.4 inches and in rolls spanning 17 to 44 inches thick and 45 feet long.

PRICE: starts at $30 (Photo Art Silk); $29 (Photo Art Rag)



This paper features an instant dry coating so your prints can be handled immediately after they roll out of your printer. The paper weighs 300gsm and uses a polyester metallic film and 100 percent alpha celluluose base. It has a whiteness value of 39 percent, is acid-free and PH neutral. It’s compatible with both inkjet and aqueous thermal prints and both pigment and dye inks. Metal prints have been hot of late and photo labs like have been mounting Slickrock Metallic Silver prints to its acrylic backing for a metallic-style image. It’s sold in cut sheets from 5 x 7 through 13 x 19-inch sizes as well as in roll sizes ranging from 17-inches x 50-feet through 60-inches x 100-feet.

PRICE: starts at $26



This 100 percent cotton paper is OBA free and weighs in at 33gsm. It’s double-sided, so you’ll not only know which side is “up” but be able to print greeting cards, photo album pages and more. It dries instantly and is water-resistant. It’s sold in a number of sizes encompassing 8 x 10 through 16 x 20-inch cut sheet sizes and in 50-foot rolls in 17- and 24-inch widths.

PRICE: starts at $22



With the SureColor line, Epson has released one of the most significant reformulations of its ink chemistry and print head design in several years. The 24-inch SureColor P6000 and 44-inch P8000 use the same eight-color pigmented ink set that’s available in the smaller P600 and P800 models. Both wide-format printers can deliver variable droplet sizes as small as 3.5 picoliters and offer black densities that exceed earlier generation ink formulations. They accept roll and cut-sheet media up to 1.5mm thick, and a high-speed rotary cutter is included.

PRICE: $2,145 (P6000); $3,425 (P8000)


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