Comments by Outback Print Editors
The first thing you notice is the paper's surface -- identical to air-dried fiber-base silver, with a slight egg-shell finish and soft gloss. Sweet. Next thing you notice is this paper even smells like traditional silver paper. (Seriously!) Finally, it has a slightly warm white base.
This paper is thick and also swells when the ink hits it, so I needed to set my paper thickness up a notch (4 on the 3800 driver) and platten gap to "wide" to avoid head-strikes on the wet surface. Once all that was settled I printed the profiling targets, let it dry down over-night and built the profile this morning.
I am now sitting here admiring my standard large paper evaluation print -- a color test image available on this site for download, and a long tonal range B&W image, doubled up and printed together on a single 13x19 sheet.
As for B&W, in the black patches I can distinguish patch 4 from 0 and 6, and in the white patches I can distinguish 253 from 255 and 252. (I can sense 254 is different from the surrounds, but can't really "see" it as its own tone.) Anyway, this paper has incredible tonal range, and this of course is present in the B&W image -- pure, deep blacks with outstanding shadow detail all the way through to delicately detailed highlights. Amazing.
As for color, I was frankly surprised -- it is excellent too.
Now for the better news: There is NO gloss differential and NO visible metamerism! (Epson 3800)
Lastly, the "AL" in the paper name stands for "alumina," a reference to the fact there is aluminum in the substrate -- ostensibly it's there to emulate the slight metallic "glow" present in a silver-gelatin print. And yes, I saved the best news for last, they accomplished that -- there is indeed a subtle metallic glow that adds traditional depth to the final print.
This is amazing stuff folks. I have found my paper.
We have seen a few prints and have to say that this looks like a really wonderful paper. It may even convert us to use glossy surface. The gloss is not in the way to appreciate the photos.