When I did my printing series the first third party paper I tested was LexJet’s Sunset Photo Metallic which I learned about from Eddie Tapp. It is a great paper that I raved about in my review, but it’s pretty expensive. What’s more, the discount that I negotiated for you only lasted a short time and LexJet never renewed it. I get lots of requests to bring the discount back or offer a comparable paper for a better price, so I’m here to share some exciting news about that happening.
I’ve been using LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic for over a year and Red River Polar Pearl for over four months. During my testing I’ve found the papers to be identical in performance, so I’ve been able to use the same printer profile for both papers from a given printer and get identical results! If you like Metallic paper, both will serve you well but Red River Polar Pearl Metallic will just cost you a lot less.
Red River Polar Pearl Metallic Specifications
Here are the key facts that I have gathered about this paper:
|Basis Weight||255 g/m²|
|ISO Brightness||78 (est)|
|Base Material||Resin-coated (RC) photo paper|
|Surface Finish||High-gloss, metallic|
Click here to learn more about this paper. For Canon printers, I disagree with their recommendations and suggest that you go to LexJet’s site to get the Sunset Metallic Media Type file (AM1 file) for your printer and use it instead of the the Photo Paper Glossy (I & II) media type.
You can get Red River Paper Profiles here, but I’ve done a quick link to printers covered on this blog:
- Canon ipf6300/ipf6350 & ipf8300 – I tested this profile and it more accurate than the Lexjet profile, but I personally prefer the additional warmth found in Lexjet’s profile. Precise color matching work should use this profile with the Relative Colormetric rendering intent.
- Epson 3880 – This profile appears to perform better than what Lexjet offers since they only offer a 3800 profile. I prefer Canon printers over Epson for this paper, but you can get accurate results with this profile. On Epson my preference is still to use ColorByte ImagePrint (my review of version 9 is coming soon).
- Epson 4900 – Currently Red River Paper is using the profile they generated for the 7900 and 9900 which is incorrect. While the 4900 uses the same ink and print head technology, I’ve discovered (and verified with printer driver experts) that the 4900 differs just enough that it requires its own paper profile for the best result.
- Colorbyte ImagePrint – I am now testing version 126.96.36.199 and it had profiles for both my 3880 and 4900. I printed using both the Red River Polar Pearl Metallic and Lexjet Sunset Photo Metallic profiles and the results were identical.
How To Walkthrough
My Sunset Photo Metallic article had a walkthrough which showed how to use this paper with PC’s and Mac’s in Photoshop and Lightroom. Everything in that article applies to this paper – you can even use the Lexjet profiles and settings OR you can just substitute the Red River profile. As a result, I won’t redo all of that discussion for this article, but I have included some screen shots using the Red River profiles to point you in the right direction.
Canon imagePrograf Print Plug-In for Photoshop
Colorbyte ImagePrint 188.8.131.52
Epson 4900 in Photoshop CS4 Printer Dialogs
I continue to advice those who care about color matching to use Photoshop CS4 instead of CS5 for printing. Unfortunately CS5 appears to add its own saturation enhancements to your photos which makes soft proofing and accurate color matching impossible.
In all of my testing, I found the performance of Red River Polar Pearl Metallic to be identical to LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic. You can use either profile with either paper, but my preference is for the Lexjet profiles which are a bit warmer. The Red River paper costs less and that is BEFORE the special offer (see below) on this blog which makes it even more affordable. With 12 sheet sizes offered by Red River versus only 3 by Lexjet, the odds are that you’ll find the size you need and can save some money.
UPDATE: Red River Paper now sells metallic in rolls! Now there’s no excuse not to get this paper as its cheaper than the competition PLUS I have a special offer below to make it even more affordable!
Visit http://www.redrivercatalog.com/landing/ronmart/ to learn what the latest offer details are as well
I may get a commission if you make a purchase using links in this article. I also was provided with sample paper to test for this review.