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Thread: Sharper Look from One Paper to Another

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Sharper Look from One Paper to Another

    I just compared two prints, both printed on an Epson 4880 minutes apart.
    Both are black and white prints of a scanned 8x10 neg.
    The first print was done on MOAB Juniper, a paper I'm quite fond of; the second was done on Canson Baryta Prestige (340gsm). The Canson paper was a sample pack, it's not yet in stores.
    What I noticed right away is that the print looks sharper on the Canson, some fine details are better-resolved, but I told myself "That can't be right!" Or can it?
    It's a digital print, so why would one be sharper? I'm sure i didn't mess with settings between papers, I only changed the paper profile in PS.
    So what gives, man?

    Thanks in advance, and feel free to make me look foolish by pointing out something obvious or already well-known to everyone.

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    Re: Shaper Look from One Paper to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    What I noticed right away is that the print looks sharper on the Canson, some fine details are better-resolved, but I told myself "That can't be right!" Or can it?
    It's a digital print, so why would one be sharper? I'm sure i didn't mess with settings between papers, I only changed the paper profile in PS.
    So what gives, man?
    Variation in dot gain, or the extent to which the droplet of ink spreads as it settles into the different paper surfaces, could cause such a difference.

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Shaper Look from One Paper to Another

    Thanks, Oren; is this variation a constant with each paper, or does it vary as a result of the printer being less than 100% efficient?

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    Re: Sharper Look from One Paper to Another

    You changed profiles. Try the Canson profile for both papers. Difference?

    Dot Gain hasn't much to do with inkjet printing.

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    Re: Shaper Look from One Paper to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Thanks, Oren; is this variation a constant with each paper, or does it vary as a result of the printer being less than 100% efficient?
    Not sure what you mean by printer efficiency. In principle it's plausible that for a given paper the effect could vary with different ink formulations (for example different brands, different generations within a brand), but I don't know enough about the inks and papers to hazard a detailed mechanistic explanation.

    Here's a technical paper that discusses the effect of ink spread on MTF:

    http://www.mi.tj.chiba-u.jp/~tsumura...ST02chawan.pdf

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    Re: Sharper Look from One Paper to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Dot Gain hasn't much to do with inkjet printing.
    The term is used in offset printing (maybe other printing technologies too?) to explain changes in apparent halftone density arising from ink spread. But ink spread - what happens to the "dot" when it hits the surface - is relevant here too.

    But we can just use the term "ink spread" if "dot gain" is confusing because of the different contexts.

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Shaper Look from One Paper to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Not sure what you mean by printer efficiency...
    I meant that the printer may or may not apply the ink evenly each time. Or is that a non-issue?

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    Re: Shaper Look from One Paper to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    I meant that the printer may or may not apply the ink evenly each time. Or is that a non-issue?
    You changed profile for each print, so it it not wise to consider that the profile for each paper is significant, an issue?
    .

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    Re: Shaper Look from One Paper to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    I meant that the printer may or may not apply the ink evenly each time. Or is that a non-issue?
    I'd be surprised if that's an issue.

    Following up on Jac's point, I don't know what computer/OS you're using, but FWIW, on my Windows 8 PC, the Epson driver does have an annoying tendency to reset various parameters to their defaults when certain other settings are changed. So even though you didn't change anything else yourself, it may be worth checking to make sure that the driver didn't change the print quality settings when you invoked the new profile.

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    Re: Shaper Look from One Paper to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Variation in dot gain, or the extent to which the droplet of ink spreads as it settles into the different paper surfaces, could cause such a difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    ... But we can just use the term "ink spread" if "dot gain" is confusing because of the different contexts.
    Yes, Oren is of course correct.
    Whichever term one chooses to use... The choice of 'Paper Surface/Factory Coating' can play a large difference -- In this 'specific' regard.

    Like they say... "Not all Inkjet Series (Coated) Papers are Created Equal". LOLOL.
    --
    If we were ever to also bring Digital Fine Art Papers (*I.e. Uncoated Papers used for Inkjet Printing) into this discussion...
    Then the 'Playing Field' becomes even more -- "Less Equal".

    Thank-you! -Tim.

    Digital Papers.
    "HPI recommends a list of both coated and uncoated paper for inkjet printing. Uncoated paper will absorb the ink spray producing a feathered irregular mass rather than a true dot. Compared with an image on coated paper, where the ink is not absorbed, the uncoated paper image will often times appear softer and less clear especially in fine detailed areas or text. We believe that artists should explore and make the discretion of which paper to use based on the desired results and their personal aesthetics. Printing on uncoated paper may allow for more of the paper's inherent qualities to be present in the final print, and printing on the backside or rougher side of the paper produces an even softer image quality that is appropriate for many images. Printing on a textured paper may create a pattern that works in many cases, white printing on coated paper will allow for images with more fidelity, a plus for many artists working with photographic based works."

    http://store.hiromipaper.com/digitalpapers.aspx

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