Thursday 5 February 2009

Reviews - Permajet Printing Papers

Over the years I have, probably like many others, had my trials and tribulations with the expensive business of using inkjet printers. But once I got over the science of colour management, as it seemed at the time, and I was getting vaguely similar results on paper to that seen on the screen, I thought it was time to start looking at the different paper options available to me.

I started off many years ago with an A4 Epson something or other, but binned that for a Canon after a year or so, as I was fed up with the rate it was getting through a combined tank of colour ink, and probably leaving lots of unused ink behind. So I got a separate ink tank Canon A4, but once I started turning out Exhibition and Photo Group work, I quickly realised that A3 was the way to go. I was taken with the Canon Pixma Pro 9500 when it was announced, but they seemed to take an age at getting round to launch it, for various reasons. So I got the 9000 version instead. This has been my workhorse for the last two years, and what a stunning printer it is. I know that a number of others have bought it following various discussions we have had.

As great as the printer is, the Canon papers are a little more variable in my opinion. The high gloss Premium Pro is excellent and I have never found another paper to beat it (although I need to test out the new Canon Platinum yet). However, my requirements for high gloss are quite limited and for my wildlife imagery I prefer either semi gloss or matt. Now the Canon papers aren't bad, but I was sure there were better papers available.

This was when I started looking at Permajet papers, following a visit to Stratford Photo Group a few years back. Permajet have a stunning range of papers ranging from digital photo range through to smooth and textured fine art and a stunning range of fibre based under the generic title of traditional baryta.

For natural history prints, I need to use the digital photo range consisting of the Oyster, a semi gloss paper and the matt plus which is self explanatory. These papers are not only extremely good value for money, certainly if you compare to the Canon and Epson own brand equivalents, they are as far as I am concerned of superior quality when the ink is laid on them.

Now while Permajet will supply pre prepared ICC profiles for the Epson range, they have not done so with the Canon 9000 and 9500 range.........yet. However, they now have all their papers with test patches prepared so that they can be uploaded to their site, which should be happening very soon, as I have prepared them all for them.

The service support from them has been excellent. Vij Solanki there has done a great job for me in the past, and even turned out a profile and emailed it to me so it was there when I got home - and I only live seven miles from their offices.

When all the profiles are uploaded, I will drop a quick news update blog post for you.

So great value, very reasonable prices and as far as I am concerned all the quality that I would expect or need from a paper to suit traditional wildlife image printing.

I do use other papers from their range for my landscape work, generally a warm tone Omega for colour work, and the fibre based papers for monochrome, which both given stunning results. Both of these papers are not cheap, but the results are worth it for me.

I have recently been using the Canon Pixma Pro 9500 and have carried out some extensive testing - but that is another story for another day.

If you are planning to go to Focus on Imaging Show later this month at The NEC, then drop by on the Permajet stand in Hall 9, Stand E41 and tell Vij I sent you - not that it will help you :-) But do have a look at the range and quality of the papers, and if you haven't colour calibrated your monitor, and I am sure there is probably no-one left anymore that doesn't (joke) then they can sell you a good range of calibrators too.

Update: ICC profiles for all the Permajet range for the Canon Pixma Pro 9500 can now be downloaded from here. I will do a further update with the 9000 profiles are available


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