Fotospeed Paper Hands-On: Fotospeed offers a wide variety of impressive photographic paper
posted Friday, October 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST
Fotospeed sent me a variety of sample packs of their paper to try out. The company has a long history of making darkroom chemicals and fine art paper products and also is a worldwide distributor for papers from other companies, including Hahnemühle and Canson.
The folks at Fotospeed sent me packs of their Glossy, Photo, Matte and Signature samples, which in total comprise over 20 different papers.
I tested a wide variety of the papers and all of them impressed me. The Signature Platinum Baryta 300gsm paper in particular stood out from the Glossy test pack. This acid-free paper has a smooth gloss surface and a natural white base. My favorite aspect of the paper is its excellent D-MAX, which allowed for deep blacks and rich, vibrant colors. The paper is well-suited for color and black and white printing, although I did find that the highlights could be distracting with this paper when compared to the Art Fiber and Platinum Luster papers I discuss below.
Another paper which stood out to me was the Platinum Gloss Art Fiber 300gsm paper. This heavyweight paper is made with 100% alpha cellulose and has archival quality. The paper is well-suited for exhibition and is perfect for photographers looking to create long-lasting prints with a glossy finish. Fiber papers have long been one of my favorites and this paper reminds me a lot of Epson's Signature Worthy Exhibition Fiber paper, which is high on my list of all-time favorite papers.
I have always been a big fan of luster papers and Fotospeed's Platinum Luster 270gsm paper prints very well. It offers a nice blend of gloss and semi-gloss finish with a smooth surface. The paper has deep blacks and good transitions, making it a nice choice for black and white images in particular. However, the colors pop off the paper well too. I prefer the Platinum Baryta paper due to its higher weight and limited texture, but paper choice is of course very subjective.
While I don't often utilize matte papers in my own printing, Fotospeed makes many high-quality matte paper choices, including three Signature matte papers, the Signature Platinum Etching 285gsm, Signature Smooth Cotton 300gsm and Signature Natural Soft Textured Bright White 315gsm. There are many non-Signature matte papers in their lineup as well.
All in all, the Fotospeed paper impressed me and if you are looking for a new paper to try, you should order some sample packs. Of their papers which I tried, the quality is very high and the print quality proved to be very good with my Epson SureColor P800 printer.
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Fotospeed sent me sample packs of their paper for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. Note regarding the images used in this article: A print is very hard to take a photograph of. These images are intended only for illustrative purposes and I can assure you that the prints look better in person.