06 January, 2017

Epson Hot Press Natural - We hardly knew ya

Zeiss Loxia 50mm - Yorktown Historical Park [Click image to enlarge]

I love Epson's Hot Press Natural. It's been my "go-to" matte paper for years. I know exactly how a particular image is going to print on a HPN. And that's a good thing because Lightroom's soft proofing of matte inks and papers isn't nearly as strong as it is for photo black ink on glossy.

HPN is one of Epson's "Signature Worthy" papers. So it's surprising (and disappointing) that Epson has let this paper go out of stock here in Australia — and not for days, but for weeks. And, this isn't the first time.

To add insult to injury, at this writing, Epson's "Legacy" Papers still aren't available here in Australia. We just don't seem to be on Epson's radar.

But, as the song goes, "If you can't be with the one you love...."

So, what now?

I'm going to try out two possible replacements: Canson's Infinity Rag Photographique (310gsm), and the popular Hahnemühle Photo RagThe Hahnemühle  has some limited optical brightening agents (OBAs), but its longevity stats are very good anyway. I'm going to try to keep an open mind.

I'll try each of these with the "canned" paper profiles for my Epson 3880. If I choose one of these two, then I'll get a custom profile.

Crane's Museo Portfolio Rag is reported to be a beautiful matte paper (and OBA free), but it's longevity estimates with the Epson K3 inks I use, aren't impressive. I'll try out the other two first.

Wish me luck.

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