This year a number of popular inkjet papers were discontinued due to a paper stock no longer being available. Unfortunately Hahnemühle’s Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm, one of our printing station papers and most popular papers was among these. When we heard this was happening we ordered what we could of the Photo Silk Baryta to stock up but this will not last long. If you enjoy this paper, we do have a few packs left in 8.5×11, 11×17, 13×19, and 17×22 but this is your last chance to get it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
This being one of the papers we offer at our printing station, we needed a new paper to take Photo Silk Baryta’s place. To find the replacement, we went through Hahnemühle’s FineArt Glossy lineup and compared each paper side-by-side. Each of these papers is made from 100% cotton or pure alpha cellulose, acid and lignin-free, and ISO9706 compliant / museum quality for a high age resistance. In mid-late 2019 I decided to print the same two images on each of Hahnemühle’s FineArt papers (glossy, smooth matte, textured matte, and the Natural Line) so that customers and ourselves could have a clear view of how each paper differed from the next. Each page was printed exactly the same way with the only settings that changed being the recommended Hahnemühle printer settings and Hahnemühles supplied icc profile.
Using these prints, we came up with a sort of test among a few Beau staff members where each of us would go through the prints and select our top two papers without knowing what each other had chosen and without knowing the names of the papers. From our new paper we were looking for a few different things:
- As Photo Silk Baryta was an extremely popular paper, we wanted something with similar characteristics.
- Of course no paper would be exactly the same so we wanted to find a paper with it’s own unique qualities such as texture, paper white, coating, etc.
- This paper is taking over as our higher end printing station paper so as much as we would love an extremely unique paper, many different people are going to using this paper for different types of images and uses so it can’t be too far out there. It needs to be a well rounded and widely capable paper.
The results were somewhat surprising to me in that we had all chosen the same two papers as our top picks. Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin 300gsm and Hahnemühle FineArt Pearl 285gsm. Before I reveal the winner, there was one other paper that came in a close 3rd and two other papers I feel need to be mentioned.
As a close 3rd we have Photo Rag Baryta 315gsm. This paper had many of the characteristics we were looking for but fell just short due it’s more glossy look. We enjoyed the neutral to slightly warm base, minimal texture, and a good amount of both contrast and saturation; however, the coating of the paper was just too glossy for our printing station’s general purpose needs. If you are looking for a glossy paper I definitely recommend taking a look at this paper.
These next two papers weren’t really considered as serious contenders to take over the printing station due to their more unique look but should be known and used! We’ll start with the Photo Rag Satin 310gsm. This paper has one of the most unique looks I have seen in a paper. At first glance you would think that it actually belongs in the matte category of papers but if it catches the light or you look a little closer you can see a slight shimmer on the surface. Kathy used the word iridescent which I think does a fantastic job of describing this. In fact, as I’m writing this, the sun just peaked through the clouds onto the paper and it really reminds me of sun bouncing off a fresh layer of snow. An interesting note about this paper is that when printing, the settings used are actually those that call for a matte black ink instead of the usual photo black ink used on pearl or glossy papers. Due to the subtle coating and Photo Rag base, this paper has very similar characteristics in terms of colour, contrast, and texture to Photo Rag 308gsm (our other printing station paper and one of Hahnemühle’s most popular).
It’s difficult to talk about Hahnemühle’s Glossy FineArt line of papers without bringing up Photo Rag Metallic 340gsm. I have written about this paper in the past and it really is a wonderful option to consider if you are looking for a metallic paper. Many of the metallic papers I have seen are extremely smooth with little to no texture but this take from Hahnemühle still has that Photo Rag texture to it. The paper base is on the warm side which works quite well with the silver reflection that the paper gives off too. Metallic papers and black and white images tend to go hand in hand but colour images can really pop when done correctly. Due to the warm/silver look of this paper, highlights and other colours can look different so do be prepared to make a test print or two to get your settings just right.
Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin 300gsm
We have chosen Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin 300gsm as our new paper as our replacement which has a slightly warm base with minimal texture. Photo Silk Baryta’s texture had a very uniform look to me, where as the texture of Baryta Satin, while subtle, has more variety to it making it more noticeable to a keen eye. The satin-gloss coating is enough to offer rich blacks and good saturation but not quite so glossy as to hide the image when you catch a bright reflection. Contrast, saturation, and range of these papers is very similar; however, the Silk Baryta seems to have just a bit more saturation and contrast to it. Keep in mind that these images are completely unchanged between papers so with just a minute amount of editing you should be able to achieve the same look.
It’s not often that you look at the back of your prints, but the Baryta Satin has smooth matte paper texture to it where as the Silk Baryta had a plastic-like feel. FineArt Baryta Satin is a great all purpose inkjet paper and we are pleased to be bringing it in over the next few months as we transition away from Photo Silk Baryta. If you have any questions about this paper, or any other paper, please get in touch with us!
From Hahnemühle: https://www.hahnemuehle.ca/fineart-baryta-satin/
Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin is a natural white FineArt inkjet paper made of 100% α-cellulose that has been refined with a special inkjet coating for FineArt applications. The subtly textured, smooth base paper contains no optical brighteners and has a silky, smooth surface texture with a beautiful feel. The satin-gloss premium inkjet coating guarantees exceptional print results with intense colours, deep blacks and outstanding sharpness. The barium sulphate within the coating makes FineArt Baryta Satin a viable alternative to analogue baryta paper. The acid- and lignin-free FineArt inkjet paper meets the most exacting requirements for age resistance and produces stunning FineArt reproductions of black and white and colour photographs.
- 300 gsm, 100% α-cellulose
- Natural white, without optical brighteners
- Smooth, subtle surface texture
- Satin-gloss premium inkjet coating for outstanding print results
- Acid- and lignin-free
- ISO 9706 conform / museum quality for highest age resistance
- Compatible with pigment and dye inkjet systems
- ICC-profiles available