Looking at Matte photo papers and the best places to buy it. Is the cheapest option necessarily the best or do you get for what you pay for?
Photo papers differ greatly from standard paper used in copy machines or old typewriters; it is coated with absorbent material which limits the spread of ink at the point of contact with the print head. While many believe inkjet printing still can’t quite match traditional prints produced in a darkroom, the quality is comparable and a big part of that lies with the paper you use. The quality of the paper is based on its weight, with standard copy paper around 75 gsm, while paper designed specifically for photographic replication will typically have a gsm upwards of 120. With printing, you definitely pay for what you get.
Should you find a pack of paper in a supermarket with a price that looks too good to be true, don’t expect the quality to be good. Checking the owner’s manual for your printer, will usually and perhaps unsurprisingly advise you to purchase the paper direct from the manufacturer, so Canon will advise you to use Canon paper. While both of these will give good results, (and some experts do advise that you use the paper designed for a specific printer), they are not the only ones available.
If you have a local photography shop, that would be a good place to start. Specialist stores will probably stock papers such as Fotospeed, and though it can be pricey, the company has been manufacturing the highest quality photographic papers since 1989. Fotospeed goods can also be purchased online and as with any online shopping, prices vary.
So it pays to shop around.
Sites such as Amazon have a huge selection of leading brand names at competitive prices as do Photopaperdirect.com, which has one of the widest selections of matte papers, from the leading brands to the cheaper alternatives. Final word
There are literally hundreds of stockists of photo papers, from high street chain Staples to online giants Ebay and paper specialists such as Papermill Direct. When in doubt Google it!