Hahnemuhle Museum Etching B&W setup and evaluation- A long one

Since going through this process throws light on several issues, some perhaps peripheral, but important, I decided to post the process. Everything from why it was required, through execution and completion may be applicable to others in a variety of situations. When I first started inkjet printing there were no good coated fine art papers at all. Iris prints had sparked our imaginations, and affordable desktop Epsons raised our hopes. The only papers that seemed to be able to take the ink were some heavily sized papers from Arches, and the mainstay of the times, Somerset Velvet Radiant Fine Art, all still beautiful papers. They could take very little ink, were far from accurate with any driver setting, which threw us into the world of profiling, and when under control still have small gamuts and low maximum densities. Suddenly Luminos, Media Street, and several others came out with coated fine art papers that took ink remarkably well, and we were off and running. All of them seemed the same, I was using a lot of Lysonic Fine Art, which seemed identical to papers from the others with different names. Then, the Hahnemuhle brand appeared, and we all learned they were making these beautiful papers, and others were rebranding them. This 400 year old company has been making some of the finest art papers in the world, but as photographers they were new to us. It turned out my Lysonic Fine Art was Hahnemuhle German Etching. What remains remarkable to me is that Hahnemuhle’s earliest offerings back then, their fine art papers for which they had developed ink receptor coatings to prevent wicking, hold ink dots tight and sharp, handle high ink loads, and present the ink with remarkable densities and gamuts, those very first coated papers.. few have met or exceeded that performance in all this time. Many wonderful papers have come out under a variety of brands, and are viable choices for a variety of needs, but Hahnemuhle remains among the best for fine art matte density and gamut performance.

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