Review of the Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk - Professional Inkjet Photo Paper

Manufacturer: Ilford
Model: Galerie Gold Fibre Silk – Professional Inkjet Photo Paper
Price: £11.50

As inkjet printing has improved, both in ease and in image quality, many people’s attention has turned to the quality of the paper used to show their prints in their maximum glory.

Aside from the issue of image quality, the archival quality of inkjet media has become as much an importance among photographers as pixel counts, and finally combinations of inks and media are producing prints that, when stored properly, will outlive that of a silver halide print.

So imagine a product that offers the glorious print quality of a traditional fibre-based silver halide print, with the archival life to match, all with the convenience of inkjet. Those are the claims from Ilford about its new Galerie Gold inkjet paper. For the first time, an inkjet paper contains a layer of baryta – traditionally a coating on fibre-based black and white papers.

Baryta Benefits

Baryta, or barium hydroxide, is used between the paper and the emulsion, and provides a whitener for photographic prints. The use of it on an inkjet paper gives the finished print an undeniably silver look. This is enhanced by the 310gm weight of the paper, which gives it the feel of a fibre-based print.

The advantage of course, is that now colour prints can have the same feel and look as black and white art prints, and with digital techniques it’s easier than ever to achieve repeatable and controllable split-toning effects. This is a fact Ilford is keen to point out, by providing a set of Photoshop toning starting points within its box literature.

Dedicated Profiles

Ilford will be providing dedicated profiles for the paper, though at the time of testing, these weren’t available. Using an Epson R800 printer, I found the Premium Gloss setting (with gloss optimiser turned off) provided the best results, and a little correction to the yellows and magenta sliders soon had me churning out some top-quality prints. Because the paper tested was the silk type, the gloss optimiser caused an unnatural sheen with some print bronzing, which spoiled the overall look of the print.

We should state that you need to ensure your printer can handle this weight of paper; the R800 struggled (its maximum accepted weight is 255gm) and several prints were bruised by the rollers. The weight of the paper alone gives a lovely feel to the images, and colour prints are excellently handled, as well.

Type: Heavyweight inkjet paper
Size: A4/A3
Surface: Silk
Technology: Baryta base, nanoporous coatings
Weight: 310 gm
Ink Suitability: Dye/ Pigment

Where the paper really impresses is with
black and white or toned monochrome images. With the right printer/ink
combination, and a decent print profile, the Galerie Gold paper will
give print quality that would be hard to differentiate from a good
fibre-based print

High quality, excellent tones, good weight

Weight not compatible with a lot of inkjet

What Digital Camera Score: 90%