Product Review Fridays - Paper Sample Packs broken down - Epson

Starting today Friday’s will complete the weekly blog line up each week with reviews of new or favorite products, books, blogs along the way. While the reviews will centre primarily around photography, business, and motherhood - other reviews may pop up along the way.  

My last review discussed my new Epson 4900 HDR Printer (which I’m still loving! Check out the original review here). Of course after getting such fabulous printer I needed to find the right papers to showcase my work. To get this process started I ventured to Henry’s Camera and purchased a variety of sample packs from brands including Epson, Hahnemuhle, Ilford, and Awagami. Throughout the month I’m spending time to print two images (one black and white, one colour, one portrait, one not including people) across all the different papers and compare. It’s going to be an adventure with difficult choices to be made.


This week it begins with the most logical first choice for an Epson Printer, the Epson Sample Pack. The Epson Sample Pack includes 2 8.5”x11” sheets each of

• Hot Press Bright-Acid-free, fine art paper with a smooth 100% cotton base and natural white surface

• Hot Press Natural-Acid-free, fine art paper with a smooth 100% cotton base and natural white surface

• Exhibition Fiber Paper-Soft-gloss surface combined with a traditional thick fiber base for exhibition-quality fine art photography

• Cold Press Bright-Acid-free, fine art paper with an elegantly textured 100% cotton base and bright white surface

• Cold Press Natural-Acid-free, fine art paper with an elegantly textured 100% cotton base and natural white surface

• Velvet Fine Art Paper-100% cotton, bright white paper with rich velvet texture

• Ultra Premium Photo Paper Luster-Semi-gloss, E surface photographic paper with an incredible D-Max and vibrant colour gamut

(*paper descriptions from Henry’s Camera Website)


First – I love these papers, and, admittedly, I’m having way too much fun playing with them. Between feeling the textures, examining the tones of the paper, and comparing the colour depth of the prints this is definitely an interesting exercise.


When I’m discussing the papers I will be breaking them down into the Hot Press (Bright & Natural), Cold Press (Bright & Natural), Fine Art (Exhibition Fiber & Velvet), and Photographic Papers. All of these papers have some great potential for a variety of uses!

My initial intention for my papers was to find a paper to be my standard for both my photographic and fine art prints. Unfortunately, I haven’t decided an Epson paper to use for my fine art paper art prints though the Hot Press, Cold Press, and Fine art papers offer some beautiful textures and tones. The weight, texture, and tones will translate beautifully for a variety of different applications and photos (I want to play with the cold press and hot press natural for sepia images – the paper has such a beautiful warmth that would enhance the images!)


Photographic – This paper is fabulous. Great colours, a beautiful lustre finish (think textured sheen not glossy wet look shine), and a heavy enough stock to give it strength. This is going to be my standard photo paper for photographic fine art, portrait, and wedding prints.


The other product from Epson I have added to my stock is the Exhibition Canvas – Satin. This Exhibition line of canvas replaces the previous Premium Cavas line and offers beautiful results. We recently picked up a roll (that’s right, I can do roll printing, Hooray!) of the Satin to test out a new gallery wrap option at home and have been very pleased with the results! (More on this to come later this month)


To say I’m pleased with the Epson papers and canvas would be an understatement. I know that they will give me the kind of quality I expect for myself and my clients.


Next week we’re looking at another great sample pack from Ilford. Don’t miss it!


Have a favorite product you’d like to see reviewed and shared? Post it in the comments and tell me what you love about it. You could see it appearing here soon!


(*this post is not a sponsored post. I believe in making sure you know when a blog post has been sponsored in any way!)