One of the nice things about testing out a new photo printer—see my review of the Canon PIXMA Pro-10—is that it gives me a chance to try out some new photo paper as well. Along with the Canon Photo Paper Pro Luster, which I tried with the Pro-10, I also tested some samples of a new fine-art paper from a company I hadn’t heard of before, Olinda.
If you’ve never printed with fine-art paper, it can be tricky stuff, requiring diligent color management, a non-temperamental printer and, occasionally, simple luck to get the output you want. With the 100 percent cotton, 265 GSM matte Olinda Fine Art Paper I got great results every time, which is probably more attributable to this high-quality media than mere luck.
Olinda is named after a colonial-style city in northern Brazil and translates from Brazilian Portuguese as “beautiful.” That’s a lot to live up to but this paper—which is OBA-, acid- and lignin-free—largely delivers.
Matte paper for black-and-white and, especially, color photo prints produces a much more muted effect than glossy or semi-gloss paper. Some people like it, others don’t.
I’ve found that if I choose the right image and a good-quality matte paper to print it on, the results can be almost like a beautiful painting rather than a traditional-looking photo. Again there are some photographers who like their photos to look like this and others who don’t.
Whatever the case, the Olinda Fine Art Paper is one of the better matte papers I’ve tried. Because of the subtle effect of the ink on the soft cotton paper, I’ve found some matte papers lose detail both for black-and-white and color prints. With the Olinda Fine Art Paper, I got excellent D-MAX in black-and-white prints of images I captured of small villages in Spain and the hilly region surrounding the Grand Canyon.
I typically use these shots for black-and-white testing because of their intense shadows, which lets me see how much dynamic range I can pull out of the prints. The Olinda Fine Art Paper produced excellent black-and-white results with exceptional detail. For my color photos, I also got very good results but, as expected from the matte paper, the colors were more muted and subtle than if I printed them on glossy paper.
Again, it’s a personal choice but it’s for this very reason I prefer to print black-and-white images on matte paper rather than color.
The Bottom Line
Because of its subtle and muted effect—particularly for color prints—fine-art matte paper doesn’t appeal to every photographer. But if you like printing on matte paper, the new Olinda Fine Art Paper is one of the best of this genre that I’ve tried, producing attractive results capable of turning your photos into frameable works of art.
Pros: One of the best matte papers we’ve tried for photo prints
Cons: Not everyone likes printing photos on matte paper
Price: $74 for 25 sheets of 13 x 19-inch paper; www.olindaphotoart.com