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PermaJet Photo Lustre 310 test

Posted on Apr 23, 2018

PermaJet already has a formidable line-up of photographic quality papers. Indeed, its FB Mono Gloss Baryta 320 was voted by PN readers as last year’s Best Inkjet Paper: Photographic Finish.

The latest arrival is PermaJet Photo Lustre 310 which sits in the company’s Digital Photo range of day to day products. This collection includes such popular standby papers as Oyster 271, Titanium Lustre and Ultra Pearl 295. Papers in this group are available in the usual A4, A3, A3+ sheet sizes but the range extends to 6x4in and 7x5in, which gives you a clue about what PermaJet means by ‘day to day’. As does the price. A 25 sheet A4 pack of Photo Lustre costs £17.95 as opposed to £32.95 for the same size pack of PermaJet’s FB Baryta paper.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what and how PermaJet labels its product range so long as it does what you need, and it’s clear this new paper is a quality product.

It emerges flat out of the box and a closer look shows that its base is pure white, very, very marginally on the cool side.

I used an Epson SC-P800 loaded with Epson inks for my test prints.

The first part of the test was to make my own custom profile. Free generic profiles for a range of popular photo printers are available from the website. PermaJet offers free custom profiles for its own papers.

I produced mine with an X-Rite i1Studio. The process is simple in that one test print is made and that is measured with the spectrophotometer before a second print is made. The second print is then assessed to produce the ICC profile. I made profiles for both colour and monochrome output.

Once that was done I was ready to print. I have a collection of files that I know well and regularly use to assess colour and black & white output of papers and from printers. Among my test files are a few more awkward images that can trip a paper (or printer) up.

To be fair, I didn’t manage to trip Photo Lustre 310 and it performed very nicely indeed.

Lustre finishes have a surface texture that varies from very smooth, almost gloss-like to more obvious stippled finishes. This material has a very fine lustre so the finish has a very smooth sheen when viewed obliquely to a light source.

Comparing my Photo Lustre 310 print of the X-Rite ColorChecker chart with the real thing under daylight lamps revealed the paper’s impressively accurate colour rendition. The primaries and secondaries both came out well and the only secondary worth a comment is yellow, where the Photo Lustre version was slightly less rich than the actual test chart. That is just a small point and to be honest there is not a great deal to criticise because the overall colour delivery was so good.

Contrast was also well delivered and my colour test prints had plenty of snap and liveliness. Sunny scenes looked lovely while the paper’s contrast helped dull day shots too.

The paper’s inherent contrast also helped with my black & white prints. Whites were sparkling white, blacks were rich and solid, while the mid-tones looked good as well with
smooth tonal gradation but also showing separation.

Prints emerge from the printer touch dry and once dry resistance to fingerprints is good so Photo Lustre 310 is a fine paper and ideal, for instance, for prints that you know will be handed around.

Verdict:
While Photo Lustre 310 resides in PermaJet’s Digital Photo collection, it is a versatile product suitable for commercial use, outputting your family snapshots and exhibition quality prints to hang on your wall or for club competitions. With its highly competitive pricing, Photo Lustre could become the staple for many photographers.

Pros: Competitive price and quality results
Cons: Base may be too cool for some

As featured in issue 54 of Photography News.

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