Microporous (nano-porous) photo paper.

If your printer actually is capable of printing fast, the media is usually not capable of absorbing so much water (ink). Regular inkjet media simply can't dry out fast enough to be rolled up during printing. So you have to slow the printer down to allow the media time to dry. If your clients demand faster printing, then you need to come up with another solution.

Nano-porous media allows the ink (the water actually) to effectively dry quickly enough to facilitate fast printing. Thus the Kodak 5260 requires nano-porous media to attempt to achieve 500 sq feet per hour (there are other problems at this speed, such as severe banding, but we won't spoil the discussion with the problems of that hardware; this report is just on media).

The downside of nano-porous media is susceptibility to environmental contaminants, such as ozone from a laser printer, refrigerator or plate burner (for printing plates). It is also likely that quite a variety of chemicals also cause breakdown or discoloration of an image printed on some kinds of nano-porous media. FLAAR will update these pages when we obtain more documentation.

You may need better media for photographs than coated paper.

Some resellers offer heavy coated bond paper for photographs, but we do not accept regular paper as good enough for museum quality, whether coated or not. Heavy coated paper is better for line drawings or rough proofs (for the scene, not for the color, since color gamut is not impressive on bond paper).

Inks for printing photographs on inkjet printers.

This page will be updated at least every two months as we gather additional information. We won't forget photographic inks either. Lyson Fotonic inks, Lyson QuadBlack, and Lyson SmallGamut inks are aftermarket inks we see at every tradeshow. Lyson is internationally known for their digital ink for inkjet printers.

At present Epson offers the only seven-color set, for their new Epson Stylus Pro 7600 and 9600. We have the older Epson 7500, so if you need fresh information on the newer 7600 and 9600, we recommend contacting Parrot Digigraphic.

It is so much easier to present documentation in PDF format, rather than on short web-site pages. Thus all the full-length FLAAR reports on inkjet media are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format for easy download via e-mail.

If you wish to learn more about inkjet media, FLAAR offers the following reports:

  • Standards for evaluation of inkjet media
  • Inkjet media for photo-realistic and fine art giclée quality
  • Inkjet media for signs, posters, banners,
  • RIPs (the software you need to handle the inks and media)
  • Inks and colorants (rather handy to know about inks if you wish to print on your inkjet media)
  • Color Management, FLAAR Fast Facts (you need color management awareness to get your RIP to work with your inks to produce the colors you desire on your media).

All these FLAAR Reports by Nicholas Hellmuth will be available shortly on Wide-format-printers.NET. This .NET site is new in the FLAAR network.


Most recently updated Aug. 19, 2002.