Caffeine Priority: Moab’s photo paper makes for powerful prints


posted Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 6:59 AM EDT


Wake up with IR! Here's today's cup of Caffeine Prioirity...

As part of the Legion Paper family of products, Moab sources fine art papers from around the world. The Moab, Utah based paper company sent me a couple of papers to try along with one of their sample boxes.

I printed on the Entrada Rag Natural 300 (the link goes to Entrada Rag Natural 190 paper, which is similar except for the weight and thickness) and Juniper Baryta Rag 305 papers.

Entrada Rag Natural 300

Entrada Rag is one of Moab's oldest lines of paper and a flagship product. The 100% cotton smooth fine art paper is archival, so it is both acid- and lignin-free, and has a matte finish. It is available in "bright" and "natural" versions, the latter of which does not contain optical brightening additives (OBAs).

Extreme close-up of a print made on Entrada Rag Natural 300.

As far as cotton fine art papers are concerned, this is a very good paper. When used with the Epson P800 it produces high-contrast prints with saturated colors and good sharpness.

Detail from a print made on Entrada Rag Natural 300.

The Entrada Rag Natural 300 has a list price of just over $90 for 25 sheets of 13" x 19" A3+ paper ($3.66/sheet) which in my opinion is a good value for its performance. This paper is also well-suited for portfolios and photo albums as it is double-sided. For the full list of available sizes, see here.

Juniper Baryta Rag 305

In contrast to the Entrada Rag, the Juniper Baryta Rag I tested is new. I've been fortunate to test a variety of baryta (barium sulfate) fiber paper recently, including some from both Epson and Hahnemühle and the Moab Juniper Baryta stands up quite well against them both. The Juniper Baryta Rag offers a similar subtle texture and excellent dynamic range.

Extreme close-up of a print made on Juniper Baryta Rag 305.

At just a little over $3.50/sheet for 13" x 19" sheets, the Moab Juniper Baryta Rag 305 offers very good performance for the price. Colors are rich and vibrant and fine details are rendered well. When you're looking for premium paper, feel is important too and the Juniper Baryta paper feels like it's ready for an exhibition.

Detail from a black and white print made on Juniper Baryta Rag 305.

Wrapping up

My first experience with Moab paper has been a good one. From the packaging to the final prints everything was great. I am a huge fan of baryta paper so I was pleased to find that the new Juniper Baryta Rag is top-notch.

If you're not sure which type of Moab paper would be right for you and your work -- printing is a very personal task after all -- I recommend giving their Sample Box a try. The sampler includes two US Letter-sized sheets of Colorado Fiber Satine 245, Entrada Rag Bright 190, Entrada Rag Bright 300, Entrada Rag Natural 190, Entrada Rag Natural 300, Juniper Baryta Rag 305, Lasal Dual Semigloss 330, Lasal Exhibition Luster 300, Lasal Photo Matte 235, Moenkopi Kozo 110, Slickrock Mettalic Pearl 260, Slickrock Metallic Silver 300, Somerset Enhanced Velvet 225, and Somerset Museum Rag 300.

After working your way through the sampler, you'll certainly find some that you prefer. My personal favorites, in addition to the Juniper Baryta Rag, were Lasal Exhibition Luster, Colorado Fiber Satine, and Somerset Enhanced Velvet. The sample box comes with a nice printed pamphlet which gives you some basic information on all of the included papers as well.

(Note: All images of prints were captured using a Nikon D800E and Nikon 60mm f/2.8G macro lens. RAW files were converted using default settings in Adobe Camera RAW. Print quality is ultimately subjective, and it is difficult to match an image of a print with seeing a print in person.) 

Moab Paper 

Caffeine Priority is a new series of short photo-tidbits to ease you into your day, and give us a chance to share a bit more of what life’s like here at IR. We're more like a group of friends testing and talking about cameras and lenses than the buttoned-down, big-corporation world that some of our photo-friends at other companies work in; hopefully these little snippets will share some of that. So... grab another coffee and join in the conversation with us down below!