Some of you will have already spotted the announcement of PermaJet’s addition to their double sided paper range and I was able to obtain a few samples to evaluate. I decided to try it out first on some birds taken in the garden over this winter…a nuthatch and goldfinch…nature photographs must be sharp, detailed and the right colour, so it would be a good test for the paper.
I’ve been having some problems with my ageing printer (long story) but eventually, yesterday, I managed to get it working properly again, put in some new ink cartridges, and thought it would be great to try out the new paper and give an opinion before the Photography Show gets under-way…like me, many of you will be itching to get printing again after all these Zoom meetings and digital image talks of the last year…that’s what photography is all about for me…a beautiful print in the hand or on display…nothing better!
I already occasionally use double sided matt paper but was quite excited to try out the new product, since lustre and silk papers are among my personal favourites. Lustre is so versatile for nature, landscape, portraits and so many other genres. I already have some of PermaJet’s “Snapshut Folios”…and realised immediately that the new paper is a great way to display unmounted prints and make my own photo books…so I will be able to fit twice as many pictures into a folio as I did before…magic!
The paper in practice
In my real world printing, I use PermaJet’s generic profiles…which always worked well for me…but if you are unsure of your printing and especially if your monitor is not perfectly profiled, you can ask PermaJet to make a free ICC profile for you using their ICC profiling service…but I simply used the generic Photo Lustre profile with a very small tweak (slightly brightening the upper mid-tones) after making my first test patch…I found out later that PJ do also supply a double sided lustre profile.
The first print was amazing!!! The problem was that I put the paper in the wrong way round for the second side, so I now have an upside down image on the back, which is OK for table viewing but not exactly great for books…please learn from my mistake! Another caution is to make sure you handle the paper very carefully and don’t get greasy fingerprints on the back surface or put it down on something sticky…that’s lesson 2…you are going to print on the back…keep it clean!
Click for larger images.
Ideally PermaJet recommend that you leave the paper overnight before printing on the second side…but I’m an impatient soul and so I only left it over a coffee break, maybe 20-30 minutes and it was fine, but obviously the longer you can wait the better (“do as I say” not “do as I do” as they are instantly “dry to touch” but it takes up to 24 hours for an inkjet print to fully cure and dry.).
This paper is beautiful. It has a lovely bright white finish and a gentle lustrous stippled surface. The contrast was perfect, colours exceptional and there were no signs of “bronzing”…that strange metallic look, visible when the paper is viewed at an angle, because the ink hasn’t properly absorbed and sits on the surface of the paper. Both images contain tones from black to white with subtle highlight areas…a good test for any paper/ink combination and the paper reproduced those areas perfectly. At 295gsm it’s a decent weight too and lies perfectly flat so there’s no problem with it curling in the printer and picking up ink where it shouldn’t. There is no bleed of colours through to the back either.
In fact, it was one of the easiest papers I have ever used. I know that a lot of club photographers use Oyster and Lustre paper…so this is an obvious way to go for a double sided medium. Don’t believe me, just try it. A test pack of the double sided media…12x A4 double sided sheets will cost you £7.99 direct from PermaJet.
As a member of the PermaJet Lecturers’ Team, I am also able to offer discount on boxes of Double Sided Lustre for customers who can collect from me…and I have a discount card offering free postage…please enquire via the contact page on this website.
© Christine Widdall Feb 2021