Power of Print

15 Inkjet Printers and Papers for Wedding and Portrait Photographers

April 18, 2018

By Greg Scoblete

Epson SureColor P600 and P800

Both the P600 (pictured) and P800 use eight-color UltraChrome HD pigmented inks, offering a maximum print resolution of 5670×1440 with variable droplet sizes as small as two picoliters. The P600 printer supports papers up to 13 x 19 inches in size, but using roll media, you can also produce a panoramic print that’s up to 10 feet long and 13 inches wide. For fine-art media lovers, the P600 supports papers up to 1.3mm thick through a front-loading single sheet feeder. The P600 uses nine 25.9ml ink cartridges with automatic switching between Matte and Photo Black. You can connect to a PC via a wired Ethernet connection or use the built-in Wi-Fi (802.11n).

According to Wilhelm Imaging Research, an expert on print longevity, color prints made with SureColor’s UltraChrome HD ink on Epson’s Premium Luster, Exhibition Fiber and Ultra Smooth Fine Art papers can last for over 200 years if properly stored. Black-and-white prints created with the UltraChrome HD ink using the SureColor’s advanced black-and-white print mode could hit the 400-year mark.

Prices: $800 (p600), $1,295 (p800)

Epson Legacy Platine

Legacy Platine combines the look and feel of a traditional silver halide paper, with a true fine-art cotton base. It’s a 100 percent cotton-fibre paper with a bright OBA-free, smooth satin finish. Thanks to a microporous inkjet receptive layer, you’ll enjoy deep blacks and an expanded color gamut. The paper has a whiteness of 82 and weighs in at 314gsm. It’s sold in rolls or cut sheets.

Prices: start at $129

PermaJet FB Matt 285

With a weight of 285gsm, this acid-free paper is naturally white (101.5 brightness) with a high color gamut and smooth texture. It measures 0.31mm thick and is designed for pigment and dye inkjet printers. It’s sold in both cut sheets and rolls up to 60 inches wide.

Prices: start at $17

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-2000 & PRO-4000

The 24-inch PRO-2000 and 44-inch PRO-4000 use the same 11-ink Lucia Pro inkset and print head technology that were introduced in the PRO-1000, but they deliver a higher Dmax and better gloss uniformity than earlier models. They also employ Canon’s Chroma Optimizer, the first time it has been used in the company’s 24- and 44-inch printers. The optimizer is a clear coat finish that’s applied to prints with a gloss, semi-gloss or luster finish to improve color density and saturation.

In addition to the reformulated ink and more precise print heads, the construction of the printers has also been improved to reduce vibrations that could affect print sharpness.

Prices: $2,995 (pro-2000), $4,995 (pro-4000)

Canon Premium Fine Art Smooth

This paper keeps ink pigments near the surface of the paper by separating the ink-receiving layers into a color-reproduction layer and an absorbing layer, the better to ensure a “deep, rich black,” according to Canon. It’s an acid-free paper that uses 100 percent cotton for the base. It’s lignin-free to reduce the chances of yellow discoloration. As the name suggests, the paper boasts a smooth-textured surface that produces a natural color tone. This 310gsm paper is available in cut sheet sizes as well as 17-, 24-, 36- and 44-inch roll sizes.

Prices: start at $35

Hahnemühle Cézanne Canvas

Whether your photography channels the work of the famous French Post-Impressionist painter or not, Hahnemühle’s Cézanne Canvas will reproduce your images with a wide color gamut and deep blacks. The 430gsm paper is 100 percent cotton, acid-free and devoid of any optical brighteners. The matte canvas is slightly textured and compatible with both dye and pigment inkjet systems. Beyond its imaging characteristics, the canvas conforms to the ISO 9706 standard for paper longevity. The paper is sold in 39-foot rolls in 24-, 44- and 60-inch widths.

Price: $158 (24-inch x 39-foot)

Ilford Galerie Prestige Fine Art Smooth

This 200gsm paper is acid-free and offers a matte surface with an alpha-cellulose base. Designed for pigment inkjet printers, the paper has a thickness of 0.3mm and an opacity greater than 93 percent. Ilford promises a wide color gamut with good light resistance and contrast for fine-art photography, portraits and more. The Fine Art Smooth paper is available in 100-foot rolls in 17-, 24-, 44- and 50-inch widths as well as smaller cut sheet sizes.

Prices: start at $35

Innova Art Edition

The six papers in Innova’s Art Edition papers connect you with print history. Two of the papers in the Art Edition Series—Artistico Watercolour Rag and Printmaking Rag—were produced in conjunction with Fabriano, a paper mill in Italy founded in the 13th century. These mould-made papers harken back to a time when you’d have been burned at the stake for your digital sorcery. Beyond the pair of historic-minded papers, you’ll find a Photo Cotton Rag, Etching Cotton Rag, Exhibition Cotton Gloss and Exhibition Photo Baryta for your printing pleasure.

Prices: start at $40

Breathing Color Allure Fine Art Metal

While many inkjet papers promise to deliver the sheen and luster of a metal print, they’re not actually metallic. Not so with the Allure Fine Art Metal media from Breathing Color. Like Ozzy Osbourne, it’s metal through and through. Treated to absorb aqueous inkjet ink, the panel is 0.45 inches thick and requires none of the heating or transferring that’s required of dye sublimation metal prints. The Allure media can be coated with several varnishes and laminates to achieve different looks (matte, satin, gloss, etc.). The metal media is compatible with Epson printers and is available in sheet sizes from 8 x 12 inches up to 4 x 8 feet.

Prices: start at $33 

Museo Portrait

This 290gsm paper is available in either a luster or gloss finish and is acid-free. It features a quick-drying resin coating and is optimized for pigment inks. With a brightness value of 97, it’s sold in sheet sizes ranging from 8.5 x 11 to 17 x 32 inches, and in rolls from 17 to 44 inches.

Prices: start at $27

Red River Paper Palo Duro Etching

This natural white paper is made from 100 percent cotton rag and is acid-, OBA- and lignin-free. A barrier coating between the paper and inkjet-receiving layer prevents ink from seeping into the paper base, allowing the Duro Etching paper to offer deeper blacks than those typically found on a matte paper, according to Red River. The paper weighs 315gsm and is 21mm thick. It has a brightness value of 90, and it’s available in cut sheets from 4 x 6 to 13 x 38 inches, and in rolls up to 44 inches wide.

Prices: start at $20

Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige 340GSM

This heavy baryta paper has a cotton and alpha-cellulose base that’s acid-free, with a smooth feel and glossy finish. It has a whiteness value of 112 and an opacity value of 99. It’s highly water-resistant with instant drying. While it’s optimized for pigment inks, it’s also compatible with dye inks. It’s available in cut sheet sizes up to 17 x 22 inches and in 50-foot rolls from 24 to 50 inches wide.

Prices: start at $60

Finestra Art Premium Matte Bright Wide Double Sided

If one-sided prints aren’t satisfying you, the Finestra Art Premium Matte can be printed on both sides. The glare-free matte paper has a weight of 230gsm and is acid-free. It dries instantly and is compatible with both dye and pigment-based ink sets. You can find the paper in cut sheet sizes ranging from 5 x 7 to 13 x 19 inches.

Prices: start at $22

Sihl Masterclass

A collection of eight papers tackling a host of output options; the line includes a Metallic Pearl High Gloss Paper, which Sihl says is reminiscent of Cibachrome “with its bright color and sharp detail.” There’s also Lustre Photo Paper, which is sold in single- and double-sided versions—the latter for creating photo books or presentations—plus Satin Baryta, a series of high-gloss photo papers and smooth- textured matte cotton papers that are OBA-free and 100 percent cotton. Rounding out the line is a Matte Photo Canvas, which resists edge cracking when stretched. The papers are sold in 25-sheet boxes in both 8.5 x 11-inch and 13 x 19-inch sizes. You can also pick it up in 24- and 44-inch rolls.

Prices: sample packs start at $13

Moab Entrada Rag Textured 300

The Entrada Rag Textured 300 is a cotton matte paper that offers a wide tonal range and a high Dmax for a cotton matte paper, Moab claims. This single-sided inkjet paper weighs in at 300gsm and is free of optical brighteners. It’s also water-resistant. Its sizes include 5 x 7, 8.5 x 11, 13 x 19 and 17 x 22 inches. It’s also available in 17-, 24- and 44-inch rolls in 50-foot lengths.

Prices: start at $17

Related: How To Pick the Right Paper for Your Photo Prints

How To Make the Best Print From Your Photo File