The first inkjet paper that really did it for me was the Crane/Museo Silver Rag. Thanks to the folks at ShadesOfPaper I got a chance to beta test it. So I had been using that paper for a long time without any problems, when Epson came out with the “F” Exhibition Paper. And like all curious printers, I bought a pack, and I liked it as well. I’d say the biggest difference between the two papers was that the Epson F paper had whiter whites (it has optical brightners), more of a gloss which gave the impression of slightly richer blacks.
I continued to print with both papers. I used the Silver Rag roll for larger prints, and the Epson F paper for smaller prints. I began to notice something about the Epson F paper, and this was not true always true, but sometimes, if I was doing a print where a lot of ink was going down, i.e. let’s say a deep black sky and printing at 2880 ppi, just as the print was drying it had a tendency to flake off little white pieces. I also noticed that the Epson paper had more of a tendency to pick up scratches while printing.
In other words, if it had a chance to dry and didn’t pick up scratches or flakes during printing – then from there on it seemed to be okay. Well, after having a bunch of flaking problems this morning with some dark prints – I went back to do them on Silver Rag, and no problem. The Silver Rag width is set to 0.5, and the Epson paper (since it’s using the Epson driver) is set to automatic. They are supposed to know this paper and I’m using the latest driver.
Long story short – when the Epson paper runs out, I’ll be returning to the Silver Rag for all my printing.
This review details the issues I’ve had (esp. flaking) and the delicate surface.