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How to choose your photopaper

Do you have at home or in the studio inkjet photo printer, Canon, Epson or HP? Would you like to use a premium photo papers, but hinder you their wide offer ("do not know how to choose") or limited chance of have someone to help you with selection of photo paper? We can help you with these problems - do not hesitate to contact us, we will advise you. And for initial orientation in the field of inkjet photo papers we have for you the following article. How to choose your photo paper will help you, our 7-minute article.

Two photographic technology  

On the market dominate two technologies of printers for production (printing) photographs both are used in hobby and professional sectors:

  • Ink (inkjet) printers
  • A thermosublimation (dye-sub, D2T2) printers

For each technology, there is unique (irreplaceable) photo paper. Sublimation printers are primarily used for kiosk and event photo printing and every sublimation printer has a determined type of photo paper made for your printer model.

On the world market are three dominant players - producers of thermosublimation photo printers: DNP, Mitsubishi and Citizen. Producer of photo media for all thermosublimation printers in the world market is only one: DNP.

Image 5

Photo paper for inkjet printers  

One of the spells of modern paper for inkjet photo is the fact that the best-known pads for decades are used just as today, but instead of the light-sensitive layer is applied on the support surface is the applied Ink-receiving layer.

Plain papers don't have this layer (emulsion) and that’s why is printing on them is poor quality - blurry (smeared) and desaturated (faded colours).

Photo papers for inkjet printers - formats 

Most home inkjet printers are A4 (21 x 29.7 cm), which is the maximum printable format. A4 size is actually extensively used.

Great popularity is also enjoying sheets in standard photo formats: 10 x 15 (10.2 x 15.2 cm) and 13 x 18 (12.7 x 17.8 cm).

In the hobby and professional sectors are also increasingly common printers A3 + (32.9 x 48.3 cm). A3 + sheets are in high demand, primarily for their "exhibition" size.

For inkjet minilabs and large format, printers are available in rolls of photo paper width of 12.7 to 152.4 cm.

Photo Papers for inkjet printers - grammage 

Numbers at the end of photo paper names generally indicate weight in units of g / m2. To illustrate: 1 m2 (sheet 1 x 1 m) paper XYZ 265 weighs 0.265 kg and then a sheet of A4 1/16, therefore 16.5 g (1 m2 consists of sixteen sheets of A4).

Quality photo paper has a grammage of 200-350 g / m2. To lighter weight paper must already be receiving the layer of ink (emulsion) impoverished, it is not so good.

Read carefully the specification of your printers, you will find out what is the maximum paper weight. Restrictions are often given by the paper feeder system and its limited usually from 270 to 300 g / m2.

Many photo printers feature an extra feeder for rigid media, which practically takes every photo paper.

Photo papers for inkjet printers - type of pad 

We recognise five basic pads

  • barium sulphate
    • called. barite, probably best known "photo" papers
  •  cotton 
    • watercolours, therefore art papers
  • RC medium
    • a resin-coated paper coated both sides with polyethene, which is still primarily known as a "mini-lab" 
  • polyester
    • before world famous process CibaChromeTM
  • matte coated
    • basic matte paper / cardboard

Since the beginning of the 21st century, they are very popular imitation of canvas, inkjet canvas based on cotton and polyester.

Photo papers for inkjet printers - surface treatment

And combine. At the above pads are produced three basic surfaces:

  • lustre (gloss)
  • semi (semi-gloss)
  • matt

and each of them are still "assigned" texture:

  • smooth
  • pearl (lustre, velvet)
  • structured (textured)

Thanks to these combinations, you can choose a large number of types of inkjet photo media.

The first choice

Hobby photographers (and often even the professional) appearing technology of inkjet photo printing through RC papers. They are intimately known them from minilabs and darkroom and they are affordable.

Minilabs era terminology twisted semi-gloss when identified as semi mat. If we were to be exact, declaring that it is a structured gloss. But let's stay with the compromise terminology RC Gloss (gloss, high gloss) and RC semi-gloss (lustre, pearl, velvet, semi - glossy).

The favourite RC papers 

Image 3Image 4  
A representative of RC papers from a number of SIHL MASTERCLASS is a pair (Gloss and semi-gloss) High Gloss Photo Paper 330 
Lustre Photo Paper 300. The numbers at the end of the name refer to the grammage in g / m2.

  • the hobby sphere, it is most popular  RC photo paper glossy paper weights from 240 to 270 g / m2.
  • In the professional sphere, it is most desirable RC semi-gloss paper weights from 260 to 330 g / m2.

RC papers are popular for producing prints from all genres. A majority even after the photographer-printer accepts nobler media in their portfolio (barites and watercolours), RC papers are still used, mainly for fashion and landscape photography.

We hope that our article has helped you in a wide range of photographic papers to orientate. And now you can start choosing the right photo paper for you.


Image 1Image 2  
A representative of RC papers from a number of FOMEI is a pair (Gloss and semi-gloss 265 g / m2Collection Gloss 265 
and Collection Velvet 265. The numbers at the end of the name refer to the grammage in g / m2.

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FOMEI photo printing specialists are ready to answer your questions.

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