Review Ilford Galerie Inkjet Paper - B&W Prints

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I've finally found some time to play with my new Epson R2880 so I duly purchased a sample pack of Ilford Galerie paper here

I haven't yet got around to using the "matte" papers but may do so soon.
Here are my initial thoughts on a very unscientific sample basis. I printed in lightroom using the ICC profiles available on Ilford's site with a calibrated monitor

Gold Fibre Silk - This is a very heavy weight paper and to my taste has a lovely look & feel about it. In fact it reminded me of a traditional RC photo print. It produced the deepest black of all of the prints especially in the bottom RHS. There is a very subtle warmness to the print - just noticeable in the sky (but only on comparison to the other prints)

Smooth Pearl - Again a nice flat finish with a good weight & feel to the paper. Gave a more neutral print with a good range of tones. The blacks not quite as dark as the Silk but still very good

Smooth Gloss - Very neutral print again. Tones reproduced virtually identical to the pearl. The glossy finish seems very similar to Epson Premium Glossy that I have. Good weight to the paper

Smooth High Gloss - The first thing I noticed was this is a much lighter weight of paper. However it exhibited a good range of tones and virtually matched the Gold Fibre Silk in the black areas. It exhibits a very slight warmth shown in the sky area but not quite as warm as the Silk. The finish is very glossy but I noticed having handled & left the prints out for a few days it does show some signs of very fine scratches if you tilt it at an angle (more so than the Smooth Gloss)

So - Paper Choice is a very personal thing and I declare a slight bias in already preferring pearl finishes so please take this into account when reading this.

My favourite paper is the Gold Fibre Silk. I just loved its similarity to a traditional photographic print. However it is expensive. When viewed in isolation the Smooth Pearl is still a great paper and I would say it gives you 90-95% of the Silk but at a reasonable price - to the extent that I have purchased a pack. Of the glossy papers I preferred the high gloss probably that it has a really shiny finish and for me if I want to go glossy then lets really go glossy. It is a lighter weight (not so importantif you mount the print) but seems to require careful handling to avoid marking.

Conclusion - If I had a really special picture or for exhibition etc use I would buy a small stock of the Gold Fibre. Other than that the Smooth Pearl is an excellent choice. I preferred the High Gloss finish of the other papers but its a shame it's not a heavier weight.

Hope this helps and here's the test picture