Ilford Printasia Photo Paper
Price: $9.99 – 20 sheets of 8.5 x11 inch paper
Available internationally via retail and online stores, with dealer locator on the website
INTRODUCTION (VERY LONG, BUT WORTH READING)
My personal relationship with Ilford Imaging USA, a large UK-based international photography products corporation, goes back over twenty years. I was teaching myself to be a custom darkroom printer from color slides using Ilford’s Cibachrome (later called Ilfochrome) materials. I established a healthy long-term working relationship with local and corporate Ilford staff, and I contributed articles over many years to their Photo Instructor magazine.
The lights went out in my darkroom when I began doing digital image work using software and inkjet printing materials. During the past two years, working as a camera club photography judge, I have been astonished by the results from superb new high-quality photo printers. The humble Epson 740 print engine in my Epson Stylus Scan 2500 printer/scanner/copier produces nearly darkroom-quality prints, when taken from suitable digital photos.
Ilford makes good products. The caliber of their new range of Printasia premium photo papers is consistent with my experiences over many years of association with the company. Their Printasia web site is cumbersome, but contains helpful information in many languages.
A WORD ABOUT INK: it’s expensive. You will spend more $$$ on ink than you ever anticipated when you obtained your printer, so get used to the idea. For routine home and office printing, Nemo recommends Tyler Martin Company’s budget ink cartridges. When you’re producing exhibition or gift photo prints, often your best choice is to use the official name brand ink manufactured by your printer company.
A WORD ABOUT PRINTERS: they’re affordable (except for replacement ink). Competition is fierce in this arena, with new models released throughout the year, so get the best printer for your needs after doing extensive research. Many Apple retail stores have side-by-side displays of printers and prints from the same image, to help you make your decision.
MORE ABOUT PRINTERS: understand the differences. They typically are either “photo” printers or “text” printers. For most non-exhibition general usage, buy a photo-printer if your primary goal is to produce images (rather than text), and a standard printer if your situation is the opposite.
A WORD ABOUT PRINTER SETTINGS: use them. Each inkjet printer has options for custom paper types and sizes. The correct settings will optimize both paper feed and ink distribution. Do not skip this step, or you will be sorry. Ilford provides extensive information on printer recommendations and settings. Ink can take minutes or hours to dry completely when using special photo paper, so be patient or move to Nevada, where it’s very dry.
OKAY, NEMO Ñ HOW IS THIS PRINTASIA PAPER?
It’s excellent. During the past month I have been rationing my two 20-packs: one each of Photo Satin Paper and Photo Glossy Paper. The glossy has a true gloss finish, but it’s more subtle than obnoxious and reflective. Satin surface is lovely, and is becoming my favorite.
I was also sent a ten-sheet Glossy CD/DVD Labels (cost is $9.99 US) which included a handy template and instructions. I haven’t used the label stock yet, because of bad experiences with other brands in the past. I’ll give them a try as soon as I can. I also received a ten-pack of Glossy Greeting Cards ($9.99 US), pre-scored and complete with envelopes and printing information. You can also buy packs of 4×6-inch photo paper, which is priced at $8.99 US, and 8.5×11 inch Fine Art Matte Paper (ten sheets for $12.99 US). Larger sizes (11×17 inch and 13×19 inch) are available too. Exciting, all these different sizes and surfaces, at such affordable pricing.
Ilford offers a money back guarantee on all photo paper products, which Nemo applauds.
My limited experience with other brands of inkjet photo paper has led me to a decision to buy cheap for non-exhibition photos and expensive for high-quality prints. At fifty cents US per sheet, Printasia photo paper is a well-priced premium product. Its glossy and satin surfaces are pleasing to my eyes and fingers, and to my photos!
Will I purchase more of it once this introductory supply is gone? Yes, definitely. Do I have any unanswered questions about Printasia that can’t be answered either from the website or from working with the papers? No. Am I concerned that the Printasia “PhotoImpression” CD I received entitled “Enjoy the Inkjet Experience” is a Windows-only product? Definitely Ñ why not include Macintoshers?
It’s a pleasure to use, display, and recommend Printasia premium inkjet photo paper. Please send more, Ilford.
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5
Fantastic products! Well worth your money and investment. The best of its kind.