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Hahnemühle sustainable & baryta papers

Posted on Nov 23, 2023

Award-winning pioneer of inkjet papers has expanded its line-up with three baryta papers and one 100% recyclable option. We test the full foursome out

TESTED by WILL CHEUNG

The Hahnemühle brand is steeped in paper-making history, but it’s not all about nostalgia. Its latest inkjet photo papers, including three new baryta-coated papers and one sustainable photo paper, are cutting edge in terms of materials used.

This test was performed using an Epson SureColor SC-P800 printer with Epson inks. The custom ICC printing profiles were created with a Calibrite i1 Studio. 

Bamboo Gloss Baryta

Hahnemühle’s Natural Line collection currently comprises four different versions of its own: Agave, Bamboo, Hemp and Sugar Cane. All four are textured, so Bamboo Gloss Baryta, made from 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton, is the first glossy finish in the family.

With a 305gsm weight, this paper has a lovely heft and the base is OBA-free, so it has a warm-white look. It’s unusual for a glossy paper to have such an obvious surface texture. Where the ink lies, the gloss finish is obvious and much more than a sheen. With its weight and finish, I think it is fair to say Bamboo Gloss Baryta has a luxurious feel.

My test images look lovely on this paper. Colour reproduction is lively, with a gentle warmth that will make it great for scenics, wildlife and portraits. My mono test image also came out very well, with the punchy blacks you’d expect from a gloss finish. Highlights and midtones showed up very well, too. 

SPECS

  • Guide prices 25 sheets: A4 £56.70, £2.27 a sheet; A3 £111.40, £4.45; A3+ £141.30, £5.65; A2 £215.90, £8.63
  • Size availability A4, A3, A3+, A2, 17in, 24in, 36in, 44in, 50in
  • Key features Made from 90% bamboo fibres, baryta coating, acid and lignin-free, OBA-free
  • Weight 305gsm

Photo Silk Baryta X

Photo Silk Baryta X is a new, augmented version of the already popular and multiple-award-winning Photo Silk Baryta. 

A cellulose paper that’s designed for inkjet photo output, its base is creamy white but not quite as warm as Bamboo Gloss Baryta. The 310gsm base weight gives the paper a pleasant feel, its surface is a smooth, silky gloss – and if you hold a finished print obliquely to the light, the sheen on the printed areas is pronounced.

Printing performance does not disappoint since it coped perfectly well with my test images. Rich colours came out accurately with good saturation levels, while more muted hues came out very nicely, too. Contrast was well controlled and overall my colour test shots did not disappoint. The same applied to my monochrome test print also, with solid blacks, smooth midtones and crisp highlights on show.

I reckon Photo Silk Baryta X could find itself in the everyday workflow of many discerning photographers. It is definitely an impressive material worth trying.

SPECS

  • Guide prices 25 sheets: A4 £35.60, £1.43 a sheet; A3 £67.40, £2.70; A3+ £92.60, £3.70; A2 £148.20, £5.93
  • Size availability A4, A3, A3+, A2, 17in, 24in, 44in, 60in
  • Key features Silky gloss finish, baryta coating, cellulose paper
  • Weight 310gsm

Sustainable Photo Satin

Sustainable Photo Satin is a 220gsm cellulose paper with a bright white base, and from its name you know that the paper has green credentials. 

This material is free of plastic composites/film, is FSC certified and 100% recyclable, too. The satin finish is super smooth and printed areas have a subtle sheen in appearance. The 220gsm base weight does mean it needs careful handling to avoid any creasing and – even with A4 prints – you definitely need to support prints with both hands. 

Printing performance is first rate for a paper at this competitive price point. On my test prints, this paper did not have the contrast, colour richness and D-max of the other two glossy papers in this test, but the differences are only apparent when viewing prints on the different papers side by side. Viewed stand-alone, my Sustainable Photo Satin test prints looked more than acceptable and displayed fine, smooth tones. 

Where this paper wins is on its pricing. It appeals as a paper for everyday printing, while it’s also perfect for family prints and working proofs. In that context, there is much to admire about it.

SPECS

  • Guide prices 25 sheets: A4 £24.90, £1 a sheet; A3 £49.10, £1.96; A3+ £63, £2.52; A2 £96.70 £3.87
  • Size availability A4, A3, A3+, A2, 17in, 24in, 44in, 60in
  • Key features Bio inkjet coating, bright white base, satin finish, 100% recyclable
  • Weight 220gsm

Photo Rag Matt Baryta

This is the first baryta paper in Hahnemühle’s Digital FineArt collection. Made from 100% cotton, its 308gsm base lends the paper a good heft and although it is OBA-free it has an attractive, delicate, warm white appearance. The finish itself is very smooth and it remains matte on printed and unprinted areas. 

The premium matte coating is claimed to reproduce vivid colours and deep blacks accurately. In addition, the baryta coat helps to retain image clarity and sharpness while enhancing tonal range. 

Based on my small sample of test prints, Photo Rag Matt Baryta delivers on its promises. For a matte paper, the depth of blacks is really impressive without sacrificing delicate midtones and highlight detail. If anything, the blacks on my test prints may even be too deep and next time I’d probably just lighten the files very slightly before hitting the print button.

Colour reproduction was accurate and lively for a matte paper, although perhaps my portrait test shot was a tad on the warm side. 

In summary, Photo Rag Matt Baryta is a very fine paper indeed, and with its reproduction skills and characteristics, it will find numerous fans in both the fine art and exhibition sectors. 

SPECS

  • Guide prices 25 sheets: A4 £53.90, £2.15 a sheet; A3 £107, £4.28; A3+ £136.40, £5.45; A2 £209.60, £8.38
  • Size availability A4, A3, A3+, A2, 17in, 24in, 36in, 44in, 50in, 60in, 64in
  • Key features Premium matte coating, 100% cotton, acid and lignin-free, OBA-free, conforms to ISO 9706 museum quality
  • Weight 308gsm

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