Finest picture paper in 2022


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Up to date Oct 23, 2022 2:36 PM

With regards to printing images, picture paper tends to take a again seat to printers. Whereas a top quality printer is completely important, the picture paper you select could have a profound influence on the ultimate picture appears to be like in your arms or on the wall. With a variety of paper sorts, you possibly can drastically alter your photos simply with paper choice alone. The very best picture paper provides you with high quality colours and distinctive element, making your prints positive to impress.

Issues to contemplate when shopping for picture paper

On the floor, selecting a paper looks as if a reasonably simple job. However when you begin wanting into issues, you’ll discover what number of nuanced variations there are, which might get fairly overwhelming. Nonetheless, some elements are extra essential than others, so learn on to study the principle options to contemplate.

Printer sort

Earlier than narrowing in on a photograph paper to your wants, you first want to ascertain the kind of printer you’ll be utilizing, both inkjet or laser. Picture papers are designed explicitly for one or the opposite based mostly on how they switch ink or toner. Utilizing the unsuitable sort of paper can injury your printer or, a minimum of, end in a low-quality print. 

Inkjet printers are the popular selection for picture printing wants due to their colour accuracy and better decision. Whereas there are a couple of picture papers for laser printers, the bulk you see will probably be for inkjets. Due to this fact, the entire papers on this roundup are supposed for inkjet printers.


The end of a paper refers back to the floor texture and reflectivity. A paper’s texture and gloss stage could make a major distinction in how your photos seem when printed. It additionally impacts the longevity of a print, the way it will conceal imperfections, and the best show methodology. Whereas there are some area of interest choices, there are three main selections for paper end: Shiny, luster, and matte.


Because the identify implies, shiny papers have a excessive gloss end and mirror plenty of mild. Shiny papers are essentially the most broadly used for images as a result of they supply wealthy, vibrant colour and deep distinction. The draw back is that they very simply present fingerprints, creases, and different blemishes. They will even have glare points attributable to how reflective the floor is.


Luster papers–typically referred to as pearl, semi-gloss, or satin–nonetheless have some shine however are much less reflective than shiny. The decrease stage of reflectivity makes them a preferred selection amongst photographers as glare isn’t as a lot of a problem when framed and displayed. They’ve a wonderful colour and distinction vary and have a tendency to have a slight texture on the paper, properly accentuating picture content material.


Matte papers are the other of shiny. These resemble artwork papers, reminiscent of watercolor paper, with their totally non-reflective floor. Due to this, they extra simply conceal blemishes, which is good in sure circumstances. You could find matte papers in a spread of texture quantities, from clean to closely textured, and totally different thicknesses as properly. Matte papers are well-liked for nice artwork prints.

Weight and thickness

Weight and thickness are carefully intertwined of their influence however seek advice from various things, so you’ll continuously see each gadgets talked about in product descriptions. Weight refers back to the heft of a paper and is measured in grams per sq. meter (gsm) or kilos. For context, primary copy paper is often 20lbs, and commonplace picture paper is round 60lbs.

Thickness is solely the thickness of a sheet of paper and is expressed in mils (or thousandths of an inch). As you may assume, thicker papers are extra inflexible, which will be useful, particularly when printing massive, as you don’t must be fairly so cautious about bends and creases. 

A typical false impression is {that a} heavier weight will equal a thicker paper, however this isn’t all the time the case. Weight basically displays the quantity of pulp pressed right into a sq. meter, and you’ll have heavy-weight papers which can be nonetheless skinny, reminiscent of RC papers. A heavy-weight paper doesn’t essentially correlate with a thicker paper however does end in a stiffer piece.


Brightness, whiteness, and shade are three various factors that every one influence how brilliant a paper–and subsequently your printed picture–seems. Brightness usually will get confused with whiteness, although they refer to 2 various things. Brightness shouldn’t be 

Brightness is the measurement of how a lot blue mild will get mirrored off a paper on a 1-100 scale, with the upper quantity being a brighter paper. The paper’s brightness will influence how brilliant the brightest a part of your picture will be and, consequently, the dynamic vary as an entire. So if you need a vivid, high-contrast print, a excessive brightness stage will probably be higher.

Whiteness measures the reflection of all wavelengths of sunshine, not simply blue mild. Due to this, it’s way more perceptible to our eyes, and it will likely be simpler to see a distinction in whiteness ranges than brightness. It is usually measured on a 1-100 scale, with greater numbers showing brighter. Nonetheless, greater numbers can even have a blueish or cooler tint to them, which is able to influence the look of your print.

Shade doesn’t consider mirrored mild in any respect and as a substitute refers back to the precise colour of the paper. There are three most important choices for shade: True white, Blue white, and Cream white. In fact, the lighting circumstances you’re viewing a paper will even influence the shade. Nonetheless, underneath the identical mild, true white will look balanced and actually white, whereas blue white could have a blue tint, and cream white could have a heat tone.

So how does all this have an effect on your print? A brilliant, white paper provides you with a better dynamic vary with wealthy whites and blacks and extra vivid colour. In distinction, a paper with decrease brightness, whiteness, and a cream shade will probably be duller. There may be imagery that requires hotter, duller papers, however it would be best to select what is smart for you.


Tied in with brightness and whiteness, however price listening to, particularly, is the usage of optical brightness brokers (OBAs). OBAs make papers artificially brighter, leading to numbers past the 100-point scale. Whereas this does make the paper brighter, OBAs are identified to fade over time and aren’t as archival or long-lasting as papers with out OBAs. So in case you are printing museum-quality prints, you must keep away from OBAs. 

Listed here are our picks for the most effective picture papers in 2022:

Finest matte: Canson Infinity Rag Photographique Matte 310 gsm

Why it made the lower: Canson’s Infinity Rag Photographique Matte is an exceptionally clean, matte end with wealthy blacks, crisp whites, and glorious colour accuracy.

Key options:

  • Sheet dimension choices: 8.5 x 11 inches, 11 x 17 inches, 13 x 19 inches, 17 x 22 inches
  • Roll dimension choices: 17” x 50’, 24” x 50’, 36” x 50’, 44” x 50’, 60” x 50’
  • Base materials: 100% Cotton rag
  • Whiteness: 89.8%
  • Weight: 310 gsm
  • Thickness: 18.3 mil


  • Obtainable in 210 or 310 gsm
  • Obtainable as one or two-sided
  • Huge number of sizes in sheets or rolls
  • Archival high quality


  • Expensive for on a regular basis customers
  • Should search at specialty shops for many sizes

Canson is among the higher-end paper producers and has been making high quality picture paper for a very long time. Many photographers want the appear and feel of matte paper, and the Infinity Rag Photographique Matte is among the greatest. It is available in 210 and 310 gsm and has an intensive vary of sizes, each in sheet and roll kind. With their largest roll, you possibly can print as much as 60 inches on the quick facet, which is huge.

Each weight choices have a pleasant heft, making them sturdy sufficient to face as much as some massive print sizes (nonetheless with delicate dealing with, in fact). It produces some wealthy blacks and extremely correct colours, so long as you’re utilizing high quality inks and a color-calibrated monitor, that’s. It has glorious whiteness with none OBAs, that means it’s totally archival and museum-quality. When dealt with properly, your prints will final for a really very long time.

Finest for framing: Epson Extremely Premium Luster

Why it made the lower: A part of Epson’s top-tier line, the Extremely Premium Luster paper has a gorgeous end that fights glare when framed.

Key options:

  • Measurement choices: 8.5 x 11”, 13 x 19”, 11.7 x 16.5” (A3)
  • Base materials: Alpha cellulose
  • Brightness: 97%
  • Weight: 240 gsm
  • Thickness: 10 mil 


  • Vivid, correct colour
  • Dries immediately
  • Supreme end for framing
  • Obtainable in packs with as much as 250 sheets


  • Not an enormous number of sizes
  • Not obtainable in rolls

The Epson Extremely Premium Luster paper has been my go-to paper selection for years, particularly once I know I will probably be framing a print behind glass. The luster end has some gloss, 16% at 60° to be exact, to provide wealthy colours and distinction, however it’s sufficiently subtle that you simply don’t need to cope with a lot glare. That opens up the chances of the place you possibly can cling the print as properly.

Sadly, this paper solely is available in 4 dimension choices. It is usually not obtainable in rolls, so you’ll need to maintain reloading your paper feeder for those who print quite a bit. It has 97% opacity, that means some mild will shine by the paper, giving good depth if hung with out mounting of any type. It additionally dries immediately after printing, so that you don’t have to fret about by accident touching the print when taking it away from the printer (simply look ahead to fingerprints).

Finest shiny: Canon Picture Paper Professional Platinum

Why it made the lower: For ultra-gloss lovers, Canon’s Picture Paper Professional Platinum gives a putting, high-shine picture.

Key options:

  • Sheet dimension choices: 4×6″, 8.5×11″, 11×17″, 13×19″, 17×22″, 
  • Roll dimension choices: 17” x 100’, 23” x 100’, 36” x 100’, 42” x 100’
  • Base materials: Not offered
  • Brightness: 98%
  • Weight: 218 gsm
  • Thickness: 11.8 mil


  • Extremely-glossy for gloss lovers
  • Obtainable in sheets and rolls
  • Plenty of dimension choices, together with small sizes
  • Vivid colours


  • Roll choices not broadly obtainable
  • Coloration profiles will be finicky if not utilizing Canon printers

The Canon Picture Paper Professional Platinum is a part of Canon’s high-end line, although the value doesn’t mirror that. It’s an reasonably priced paper, particularly given the standard. The Platinum paper is an ultra-high gloss providing with a gloss stage of 35% at 60°. The excessive stage of shine and 98% brightness will assist produce extremely wealthy colour and deep distinction, making it preferrred for photos that you simply wish to have some further pop when printed.

The Platinum paper is available in a great vary of sizes in sheets and fairly a couple of roll choices for if you wish to print actually massive. The rolls are solely obtainable on specialty images web sites, nevertheless, reminiscent of Adorama

Canon has particularly designed this for use with its printers, on this case, the PIXMA line. When used with the ChromaLife100+ inks, Canon says prints could have a lifetime of over 200 years. That doesn’t imply that you may’t use it with different printers, however you received’t have a pre-loaded ICC profile (a particular information for a printer that accounts for the printer, ink, and paper mixture for correct colour). You’ll have to obtain a profile from Canon’s web site and set up it or do some testing to seek out the most effective built-in possibility.

Finest for artwork prints: Hahnemühle Picture Rag 308 gsm

Why it made the lower: Hahnemühle has lengthy been a staple within the fine-art world with distinctive, archival-quality picture papers.

Key options:

  • Sheet dimension choices: 4 x 6”, 8.5 x 11”, 13 x 19”, 17 x 22”, 
  • Roll dimension choices: 17” x 39’, 24” x 39’, 36” x 39’, 44” x 39’
  • Base materials: Cotton rag
  • Brightness: 93%
  • Weight: 308  gsm
  • Thickness: 18.8 mil


  • Obtainable in 188, 308, or 500 gsm 
  • Roll and sheet choices
  • Single and double-sided choices
  • Acid- and lignin-free for glorious age resistance
  • Stunning texture


  • Costly for the on a regular basis person

For photographers producing high-end nice artwork prints, Hahnemühle papers are among the very best choices obtainable. The Picture Rag Matte possibility has glorious weight and thickness, leading to sturdy paper with a gorgeous texture. It produces wealthy blacks and glorious, correct colours. And it has no extra optical brighteners and is acid and lignin-free, making it archival and museum-quality. Your prints on this paper will final for a really very long time.

Whereas many photographers want a matte end for nice artwork prints, the Picture Rag does are available the whole lot from satin and pearl to shiny and even metallic. It additionally is available in three totally different weights, relying on the end and dimension you’re in search of. And do you have to wish to print massive, rolls are additionally obtainable, although you’ll need to take a look at specialty images shops.

Finest for black and white: Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag 310gsm

Why it made the lower: For black and white lovers, the Canson Infinity Platine Fibre Rag presents the graceful fiber paper historically used within the darkroom for digital prints.

Key options:

  • Sheet dimension choices: 5 x 7”, 8.5 x 11”, 11 x 17”, 13 x 19”, 17 x 22”
  • Roll dimension choices: 17” x 50’, 24” x 50’, 36” x 50’, 44” x 50’, 60” x 50’
  • Base materials: Cotton rag
  • Whiteness: 89%
  • Weight: 310 gsm
  • Thickness: 15.6 mil


  • Huge number of sizes, together with further massive
  • Roll and sheet choices
  • Clean, velvet-like end
  • Distinctive high quality


  • Costly for the on a regular basis person

Canson designed its Infinity Platine Fibre Rag to take the acquainted fiber-based papers of the darkroom into the digital age. Black and white photographers, particularly those that have frolicked in a darkroom, will love the basic appear and feel. It has a clean, satin end that gives a contact of gloss for richer blacks however not a lot that it turns into reflective. 

The paper is acid-free, making it archival and long-lasting. It dries immediately and has excessive water resistance, so you possibly can stress much less about your print getting broken. The 310 weight offers it a pleasant heft. You could find this paper in an intensive vary of sizes, from small 5 by 7-inch sheets all the best way as much as a 44-inch roll and even 60-inch large roll at some websites.


Q: What picture paper is best, matte or shiny?

What picture paper is best, between matte and shiny, is determined by how you propose to show your print and private desire. Shiny pictures mirror plenty of mild and might have heavy glare consequently. Due to this fact, settings which may improve glare, reminiscent of an space with numerous home windows, will not be appropriate for shiny prints, and a matte end could also be higher. 

On the flip facet, matte finishes are inclined to have much less vibrant colours in comparison with shiny paper. If you wish to emphasize colour, reminiscent of with a vibrant panorama picture, a matte paper will not be the best choice. For brilliant, vivid colours, shiny will probably be greatest.

Q: What does pearl end on pictures appear to be?

A pearl end is in between a shiny and matte end. It can have some reflectivity, although it isn’t very shiny like a gloss end. It is extremely much like a satin end as properly.

Q: How do I print high-quality pictures?

Methods to print high-quality pictures may warrant a whole article, as there are fairly a couple of nitty-gritty particulars that can influence high quality. Nonetheless, to distill issues down for brevity, printing high-quality pictures has three most important parts:
-You’ll want to have high-quality, high-resolution pictures.
-You’ll want to select a top quality paper that can swimsuit the pictures you’re printing and your printer.
-Utilizing a high-end, photo-specific printer will assist to make sure you get high quality prints.

Q: What do skilled photographers use to print pictures?

Skilled photographers will use high-end inkjet picture printers to print their pictures. Canon and Epson are the 2 commonest manufacturers for skilled high quality printers, with a number of choices from every model relying on the scale of print wanted.

Q: Is it price printing your individual pictures?

Figuring out whether it is price printing your individual pictures comes all the way down to what you plan to do with the pictures and the way continuously you propose on printing. For instance, in case you are printing to your personal enjoyment and solely print out your images on uncommon events, spending the cash on a photograph printer, ink, and paper shouldn’t be actually price it. However, in case you are promoting prints, printing your self may give you extra management over the ultimate product and mean you can print as quickly as you will have an order. It may additionally doubtlessly even prevent cash from outsourcing the work.


The writers and editors have a long time of expertise in almost each style and space of images. I’ve been printing my very own images or coping with business printers for round ten years. I’ve examined many alternative paper choices and printer-specific outcomes throughout that point. When choosing the papers for this record, I aimed to decide on a spread of types and finishes to swimsuit the wants of quite a lot of photographers and topic issues. I checked out weight, thickness, brightness, OBAs, and the vary of dimension choices for all papers. I additionally chosen choices from totally different manufacturers to cowl a broader spectrum of papers. I based mostly my selections on hands-on expertise from myself and photographers I do know in addition to editorial opinions.

Last ideas

Whereas you may get a good suggestion of a paper from wanting on the specs, nothing beats holding it in your hand and seeing your print on it. If you’re torn between finishes or sorts, you possibly can often discover pattern packs obtainable from corporations to check the choices earlier than investing in an entire pack or roll.



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