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> > What I can easily believe, is that we are dealing with an economy of scale > (the photo paper market is, I imagine, much larger than the specialty > inkjet paper market, for now) and market forces. But it would take some > pretty firm evidence to convince me that Guardian, or others @ $2 per > sheet, is as difficult to manufacture as Ilfochrome, and 6 times more > difficult/expensive to manufacture than Crystal Archive. > > Regards, > Mitch Valburg Mitch: I take it you never made paper!. When Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, or Agfa make photo paper they purchase the base paper or plastic by the ton. They may purchase two or three hundred tons at a time and then they coat the substrate with a coating that they have formulated and tested for the last 5 years. They know exactly how their coatings are going to react in RA4, P4, or Cibachrome chemistry. They have been around for a lot of years. There are only these three basic processes. Now when it comes to making paper for the fine art market you have a completely different story. If you took the number of printers available and the number of different kinds of inks you can come up with well over a hundred combinations. As a paper manufacturer you have to guess how the paper you are making is going to work with all these combinations. Some will work some will not. When you find out which papers and coating combinations work you may find you only address 10 printer combinations. Of those 10 combinations there may be 10 other paper manufacturers creating paper also. You are not going to make 100 tons of paper for this market. You may only make 5 tons of paper. In a paper mill that is used to making thousands of tons of paper each year your 5 tons will not make a dent. You don't get much respect. When the mill makes your paper they have to start with a perfectly clean machine. They can not use machines that have other paper formulations in it. It is extremely expensive to make such small amounts of paper. There is also a lot of testing going into this paper also. It may take a better part of the run just to make sure the formulations will work. There is a lot of waste. This whole thing of making paper for the inkjet fine art market is far from being a science yet, and until it becomes such you are going to have to pay high princes if your want good paper. Jim Davis www.visual-artists.com - Please do not include an entire message in your response. Delete the excess. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.
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