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Thread: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    I've been away for a few days visiting Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. I don't visit large cities very often and it never occurred to me to research to find out which pro photographers might have a gallery there. But I happened upon a Peter Lik gallery which was a highlight of my trip.

    I inquired about one of the prints and, as expected, it was out of my range but the saleswoman explained that it was printed on quartz crystal paper. The light reflection was incredible. In the viewing room, she dimmed the lights and the highlights in the photo seemed to gather all the remaining light and glow. Later, we visited another artist's gallery (William Carr) and they did the same demonstration with the lighting and said he used quartz crystal paper.

    Are any of you familiar with this paper? I've not heard of it before and I'm wondering if it is something that is generally available or accessible financially to us common folk. I do realize that putting my mediocre work on great paper is not going to make a great photograph but it would be interesting to know about other options out there.

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    Interesting that no one has apparently heard of this either. I did some searching on the internet and can't find any info so now I'm really curious. But it probably answers my question that it's not something generally available. hmmmm.

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    Hi Terri,

    I found this place in the UK offering the paper for sale- so it does exist, even if it doesn't help you to find a professional print shop!

    http://www.visionpaper.co.uk/news_crystal.html

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    Re: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    That's all I found as well. And that site seems really oriented towards printers (as in books, cards, etc; and not as in fine art photographic printers).
    And afaik, printing inks can be very viscous (transfer possible with a spatula...), and mostly stay on the paper, so I'm not sure how such a paper
    would behave towards ink-jet inks.

    And of course no way to be sure that the paper from Dave's link is the one you're looking for...

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Hi Terri,

    I found this place in the UK offering the paper for sale- so it does exist, even if it doesn't help you to find a professional print shop!

    http://www.visionpaper.co.uk/news_crystal.html
    It is not necessarily the same paper. Looking at the specs, it does not look like it is a quality photo paper, rather the description is for commodity paper for printing presses for some fairly low-cost products. Brands and trademarks don't always cross national boundaries.

    Fujifilm does market archival inkjet papers that are branded "Crystal", and that would have been my first guess as to what you were looking at.

    I've found that galleries go out of their way to distance themselves from the fact that they are using an inkjet process. I was at a gallery this summer and chatted with staff there regarding some really nice, large abstract photos. The photographer mounted the camera on his car and did a long exposure as the car moved along with the camera perpendicular to the edge of the road. In spite of all of the hype, it turns out that the super-secret sauce that they were selling under some weird name was really produced on a wide roll-fed Epson inkjet printer using pigment based inks. The finished product then had a protective coating applied.

  6. #6
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    Sorry guys. Somehow I missed your responses!

    Thanks for searching it out for me. Manfred, I wondered if it was some kind of hype. I should have asked more questions but I was with a group of friends who were mostly indulging me in a trip through the gallery so I didn't want to take the time. I guess I could call them to get more info or I may call my local pro printing shop to see what they know. I'm thinking though that if it was some great thing easily available at a price I want then it wouldn't be so hard to find.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

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    gcowan's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    Hi Terri,

    Fuji make a paper called Crystal archive. It is a silver halide paper, so is light sensitive and is used for film printing. I believe that it can be used for digital printing using a direct projection technique.

    I believe that Peter Lik uses this paper, or at least that is my memory from the last time I was in his gallery, but I don't know whether he has changed from film to digital cameras. My understanding is that another local photographer Ken Duncan has recently made the switch from his Linhof Technorama cameras which use 120 and 620 film to a digital back on a medium format camera or technical camera of some sort, but I think his prints are still made on Crystal archive material.
    I have had images printed on this paper by a local lab from film.

    There is no doubt it is beautiful material and expensive. I have it in mind that if I make an image good enough I will find out more.

    Graham

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Galleries - printing on quartz crystal paper?

    Thank you Graham for this additional info. My photography is not to the point of using exotic papers with high prices but I'd like to keep up to date on advances or changes in the market. Some day I might have something that's worth it!

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