How and what to choose photo paper for an inkjet printer?
The development of modern office equipment has led to the fact that inkjet photo printers have learned to print photos to achieve deep colors and very high resolution. However, the photo printer itself is not yet able to guarantee the quality of the document; special photo paper also plays an equally important role. After all, only if you know how to choose the right photo paper for inkjet printers, you can get the expected photo quality and durability.
Naturally, paper for photo printing differs very significantly from ordinary office paper. She has her own quality criteria and therefore it is not surprising that she costs much more.
In fact, the density of paper is a value related to its thickness. In the context of photo paper is a layered structure, where each layer has its own role in the printing process. The more such functional layers, the thicker the sheet. The density of paper is estimated in grams per unit area – g / sq. m.
If you try to print a photo on plain paper, it is precisely because of its low density and porosity that the ink will pass through and blur. After all, even good-quality ordinary office paper has a density of 80 g/sq. m.
Therefore, its sheet will feel harder than a normal printed sheet, but for photo printing purposes, this value is still quite low. It can satisfy, perhaps, only the printing of presentations and graphs, but not high-quality photographs.
Print resolution supported by paper
This is the next important criterion for which photo paper to choose for an inkjet printer, measured in dots per inch (dpi). So, paper with a density of 150 can withstand a print resolution of no higher than 2880 dpi, which is too small to clearly draw the smallest details of the picture. Therefore, it is inexpensive.
Photo paper composition
This parameter determines the drying speed of the ink and how long the structure of the material will hold it. Here it is important to pay attention to what the manufacturer writes, since the composition of photographic paper can be intended for:
- inkjet printer;
- laser printer;
- universal application.
The last option, like everything universal, looks somewhat weaker.
There are three main options here:
In terms of texture, the buyer can safely focus on his taste, while taking into account that:
- the most resistant to damage and brightest in the light is a glossy image;
- the matte surface gives high contrast and increased whiteness, it is ideal for photographs that will later be laminated or framed under glass;
- a less bright semi-gloss texture provides a slight sheen, it is good for frequent use and displaying photographs, since fingerprints of people looking at it do not remain on it.
There are several more specific types of coatings, but for the layman such exotic is useless, and it is expensive. Therefore, all the types of photo paper listed below are the lot of professionals.
- On sale you can find photo paper for duplex printing, which is mainly in demand in the manufacture of advertising.
- There are types of paper, different sides of which differ in coatings.
- Self-adhesive photo paper on one side is produced.
- Thermal transfer paper with the ability to thermally transfer an image to another object, but its use requires a special sublimation printer.
We are used to seeing ordinary office paper most often in the most familiar A4 format (210×297 mm). The range of photo paper sizes is much wider. The most typical here are:
- the usual A4 format;
- A6 (100×150 mm), which people are used to in ordinary photography;
- A10 (26×37 mm);
- A3 (480×320 mm).
There are also large formats. In terms of price, the most profitable is the classic A4 format, a pack of which contains from a hundred sheets.
What is the best photo paper to buy?
Having finished with the theory, you should survey the market, looking for the most suitable photo paper for your printer. The entire market offer can be divided into two groups:
- In the cheaper segment is universal paper. In terms of its capabilities and quality, it meets the requirements of most printers from different manufacturers. In the production of such photo paper, Lomond is the leader, and Zweckform is significantly inferior to it in terms of market presence. The most typical paper on the counter is Lomond Matte with a low weight of 130 g/m2, in packs of 100 sheets.
- The second category includes high-quality photo paper, which is offered by printer manufacturers themselves. The most common types are from HP, Canon and Epson. The best print quality will be obtained if the printer uses "native" paper, since it is specially adjusted to its equipment in technological details (features of the chemical structure and composition of dyes in ink, etc.). For example, for those who want to know which photo paper to choose for an hp inkjet printer, we can recommend HP Premium Plus Photo Paper 10×15 cm and 280 g/m2.
A significant advantage of using branded photo paper is that manufacturers produce ICC color profiles. Graphics programs recognize this specification set, which stores the color range of a given paper type. Using an ICC profile makes it easier to get the print result to match the colors you originally intended.
Therefore, if a photo lover is looking for a good photo paper for his inkjet photo printer and does not want to take risks, then he should carefully read the information on the package, and then focus on his tastes and wallet.