Cheap and dear
Besides expensive ink I find myself chewing up a lot of paper lately.
What are our collective thoughts on pairing of cheaper proofing papers to high quality final output papers?
Re: Cheap and dear
This has been something I have thought about for some time also. As far as I know, there are very few matches between higher quality final output papers and less costly versions that could be used for proofing.
One that does come to mind is Epson Ultrasmooth (high end) and Moab Entrada (less costly). These seem to have fairly similar printing appearances, even though they are very different papers. For a while, I was also using some Lexjet Satin finish paper that provided a very similar output to Epson Premium Luster paper, but the blacks were not as deep and the cost of the paper was nearly the same, so not much of a deal there.
There may be more options with the matte finish papers, but I have not been using them as much, so I really cannot comment. It would be nice to have some relatively less costly paper to do proofing, and that was close enough to a final high quality printing material. One thing that I have found is using the ImagePrint RIP on my Epson 7800 printer allows me to achieve extremely similar output on a wide variety of papers. So, I can run a less expensive paper through to see how things will look (mostly to gauge sharpness, but also get some idea of how colors are looking), and knowing that the output on a fine art paper will be "close". The color gamuts and such will always be a bit different, but the profiles created for the RIP do a very good job of achieving something that is very close.
Re: Cheap and dear
I use IJA micro-ceramic gloss as a relatively inexpensive proofing paper --- I use the "regular" since it is also good for general color work, but you may want to sample the cheaper proofing stock. Note that it isn't the greatest match to Harman Gloss that I print my finals on, but close enough it works for me: http://www.inkjetart.com/photo_papers/index.html#glossy
I use Epson enhanced matte to proof for Ultrasmooth fine art or Hahnemhule PR... (The enhanced matte is now called ultra-premium presentation matte --- but be advised it's not! Why a manufacturer would do such a radical name change is beyond me...)
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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