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Traditionally when it comes to using a photo paper, resin-coated or RC papers are the first choice. RC paper is traditional gloss or semi-matte paper that we are familiar with when we think of a photograph. It consists of a paper base sealed by polyethylene layers which makes it water-resistant to a considerable degree. It is also pretty resistant to scratches and grazes.

RC papers are known for their exceptional image quality that they impart to photographs. The black areas are rich deep and profound, whereas the white parts are highly developed on an RC paper. Outstanding picture quality is what makes RC papers the first choice of professional photographers when it comes to photo paper.

Fiber papers are made from wood pulp, but they also contain some distinctive plant fiber that gives them their unique character. They are handmade or manufactured by machines. Some papers are also supplemented with special additives. The substrate is usually cotton fiber or high-grade wood pulp. A surface coating is provided on the top of the paper base. But there is no resin layer here which makes it easy for the ink to pass through the porous layers and is held by the paper fiber itself.

This photo paper can hold more ink than the non-permeable resin layer photos. This is what gives the photos a richer quality with deeper colors. The photo reflects better print quality because the texture and quality of the base fibers can be seen through the receptive layer.

The biggest disadvantage of using fiber paper for photographs is the inconsistence quality that it delivers. This is because not all fiber paper uses high-quality cotton rag fiber or wood pulp. That is why they are all not of the same quality. Low-quality materials can produce low-grade prints that can look blurry and smudged.

With an RC paper, the imperfections in quality are compensated by the resin coating. Industry experts are unanimous in their opinion that coatings are the most important part of paper making. It is the coating that determines the ink-dispersing process – a factor that is intrinsically connected with the final picture quality. In RC paper, the porous top layers allow the ink to pass through and then dry up instantly when trapped between the coating and the resin layer. This is what is responsible for perfect consistency in quality, smooth texture, and ultra-high photo quality.

Photo paper cost with RC paper can be scaled down considerably by using low-grade paper fiber because they have little consequence on the final product. The disadvantage of using RC paper is the lower saturation levels that it sometimes reflects. Also, because of the consistency in quality, photos may look clinical and bland when compared to photos developed on a high-quality fiber-based paper.

By the same measure, photos developed on fiber paper are more expressive and give a certain depth to the images. Photo paper made of fiber, especially those made of low grade wood pulp and cotton fiber, can affect the quality of printing. Another disadvantage is the high cost of high-grade fiber paper.

About the Author: 
Andrew Yeung is president of CompAndSave, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including remanufactured and compatible printer ink cartridges. With deals every month and a 1-year guarantee of quality, CompandSave provides an easy way for people and businesses to purchase printer ink and accessories.

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