What's the 'best' paper to use with the Epson 1280?

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What's the 'best' paper to use to with this printer? Thanks!

-- Yaakov Asher Sinclair (sinclair@actcom.co.il), July 31, 2001


I get great results with Kodak Premium Glossy Photo Paper. I also like the Epson papers as well. As to the "best", as that is so subjective, you're better off trying some out and make your own judgement.

-- Matt O. (mojo@moscow.com), July 31, 2001.

That's a really tough question to answer since there are a lot of variables that can be introduced. Inks are available from many suppliers now, and you really need to test each ink with different papers to get an idea of how they'll work.

For example, MIS now sells archival inks for use with the 1280 and my understanding is that pigmented archival inks tend to "dust" the surface of glossy papers.

Since you recently asked about printers, I assume you'll start out with the Epson ink sets that come with the printer. I've found nothing that works better with 1270 (same inks as the 1280) for color printing than Epson's own papers. They're an excellent starting point and it's possible you'll find, as I did, that there's no need to look further.

For permanence, the Archival Matte and Matte Paper Heavyweight are very nice choices. The Archival Matte is listed as a paper for the model 2000 printers (though it works fine on the 1270/1280) and is slightly heavier weight than the Matte Heavyweight. I prefer the Archival Matte because the extra weight helps keep the print flat (the Matte Paper Heavyweight will sometimes ripple a bit due to the moisture of the ink). I use both though, and the results a nearly identical. You'll get surprisingly sharp, colorful images for a matte surface paper.

The Glossy Photo Paper produces stunningly bright, colorful images that will knock your socks off! Unfortunately, it's the least stable choice. Image colors can shift dramatically in a very short period of time if they're not kept framed behind glass or held behind acetate in a photo album. Covered, they seem very stable though and it's my paper of choice for most applications.

I use the regular Photo Paper quite a bit when printing snapshots or proofs that might not be handled gingerly. The photo paper produces very nice images that aren't quite as vibrant as the Glossy Paper, but the colors are much more stable. I use it in situations where I intend to hang the photo unprotected (on the fridge seems to be the typical snapshot location in our house) and it's great for photos I give to family and friends, where I don't know how the image will be stored.

I've tried the Premium Luster Photo Paper a couple of times and it has a very nice finish. I haven't used it a lot though so I can't speak to its color fastness. I've never used the Semi-Gloss or Watercolor Paper.

I currently use Legion West Somerset and Somerset Photo Enhanced papers when I print Black & White (different printer that I have set up with quad inks). These are wonderful art papers, but I haven't tried them with color images and really don't intend to. I just don't see a reason to spend a lot of time and effort re-profiling for other papers when the Epson papers give me such nice results that meet all of my needs.

Hope this has been of some help.

-- Tim Klein (timklein@qwest.net), July 31, 2001.

a good choice would be paper distibuted by lyson. for futher informations look under www.lyson.com they have a really good range of differant kind of paper, from glossy up to textil, from 120 gr up to 310 gr/ mē marcus

-- Marcus Schwier (marcusschwier@hotmail.com), July 31, 2001.


I agree wholeheartedly with everthing Tim has said. I might add that the Premium Luster Photo Paper is excellent too and is supposed to offer better archival properties than the 'glossy'.

If you want to try some watercolour paper, the Canaletto Aquarelle and Arches cold-pressed produce very nice prints with the right subject.

Kind Regards

Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (photo_illustration@bigpond.com), July 31, 2001.

Tetenal papers are superb with all Epson printers.

But they are only sold by camera stores, not computer or office supply stores.

They also are not an inexpensive paper.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 31, 2001.

I would start with the Epson inks (or Generic replacements if they are available; I do recommend www.tylermartin.com, who also offers cleaning cartridges at excellent prices) and Epson papers. Use the Epson driver and color management for a while and see what these printers can do-this gives you a standard when you start what can be a slippery slope of 3rd party inks and papers-been there; done that. As a matter of fact, current thought is that Epson OEM ink on a matte paper should be good 25 years or so. Epson is hard at work refining these papers, vis a vis complex coating technology. One other caution, the same exact paper is often sold with many different brand names. Of third-party papers, the closest I've found to Epson Matte is the Weber-Valentine paper. The funniest thing in all this is when papers of many manufacturers when a pearl or satin RC-like surface are advertised as "just like traditional photo paper." The matte papers are superb-you can get great tone saturation and definition, if you chose, while the image lies within a magical space. But I guess it's just as hard to make an inkjet paper look like air-dried glossy fiber base paper as it is with RC papers. Any suggestions are welcome. Enjoy.

-- David Stein (DFStein@aol.com), July 31, 2001.

I've been impressed with Ilford's glossy photo-quality inkjet paper. It's on a heavyweight base (235 gm/sqm), has a super high gloss, and gives the look and feel of a real photograph.
I'm NOT impressed with Epson's inks, and I now use 'Jet Tec' compatible cartridges with their chip resetting system.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), August 01, 2001.

I don't know for sure about the 1280 but with some Epson printers, e.g. the 1160 that I have, Ilford glossy photo paper is a bad choice - the blacks look bronze or orange when the print is viewed in any way other than straight on. I discovered this, and confirmed the existence of the problem with Epson (i.e. determined that it was not a problem confined to my particular printer) after buying 100 sheets of the paper.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), August 01, 2001.

Whatever paper you choose, do yourself a big favor and buy a high quality ICC color profile for that printer/inkset/paper combination. I've found a quality profile makes a huge difference, and the inexpensive do-it-yourself profiles (e.g. Monaco EzColor) are relatively poor in comparison. I've had good luck with profiles done by www.inkjetmall.com. You can also get custom profiles for your printer via the mail/internet from places like www.profilecity.com.

-- Larry Huppert (lnh62@removehotmail.com), August 01, 2001.

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