Epson Legacy Fibre paper is a cotton fiber substrate that uses matte black ink to create archival quality fine art prints. Here are a few important facts about this paper:
- 100% cotton fiber
- Image Permanence: 200 years color / 400 years B&W (when used with Epson HD and Epson HDX Ink)
- 19 mil / 483 Mu caliper
- Acid and lignin free / pH buffered
- No Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs)
- Smooth surface / Matte finish
Check out the Print Your Legacy landing page with videos here to see what some well respected photographers think of this and all of the Legacy papers.
For more on my thoughts, continue reading.
If you aren’t a geek you might want to skip this section.
When comparing Fibre next to a variety of other Epson papers you’ll see that its color gamut isn’t quite as large as some of the others:
However, in practice the differences don’t feel that large. In fact, if you compare the color gamut as a 2d chart (from ColorThink Pro) against Cold Press Natural then you’ll see they are fairly similar:
Epson Legacy Fibre vs Cold Press Natural Color Gamut
on a Epson SureColor P800
In The Hands Analysis
When holding the paper in my hand I observed that it is slightly brighter than Epson Velvet and much brighter than Hot Press Natural, despite the absence of OBA’s. This makes it more aesthetically pleasing paper with whites, yet it still retains the archival longevity of papers that do not have OBA’s.
The texture and thickness of my sample paper felt much like Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte in that it is very flexible. If you hold it at the edge it will flex down unlike Hot or Cold Press papers that stay rigid. However, the sample provided by Epson using Vincent Versace’s print felt more solid like a 19 mil paper should. As a result, I think might have received a sample that was closer to 10 mil vs the final paper that is 19 mil.
UPDATE: I did confirm that two of the three sample packs I had contained 10 mil Fibre Etching whereas the third contained 19 mil – which fills like the hot and cold press papers. I confirmed that the print results didn’t change, but the feel in the hand was significantly better without the flexing.
The texture is extremely smooth with no hint of any texture, so I really liked that. While there are times that I like texture, and appreciate papers like Etching, there’s also certain subjects that can be ruined if the paper has too much texture (i.e., a smooth vegetable or fruit). As a result those who are looking for a super smooth paper that isn’t going to have annoying reflections like RC papers, will find this to be an excellent choice.
In terms of durability, it’s like all matte papers with matte ink – you have to be careful as it’s easy to scratch or smudge so using gloves is recommended and protect as soon as possible.
Real World Print Analysis
While the colors look a bit washed out in the scan, in real life it isn’t quite so faded looking. In fact the prints vibrant and the blacks look deep, but it’s not like Baryta bright and deep. As a matte paper, I found it to be very good. In fact, unless you have it next to better color gamut papers you’ll most likely find that feels exceptionally vibrant for a matte paper. This is definitely true of this photo (included by permission of Vincent Versace author of Welcome to Oz 2 and Oz to Kansas: Black & White Conversion Techniques):
as well as this one which is available as a full resolution 24MB TIFF scan:
On a scale of 1 (worse) to 10 (the best I’ve ever seen), I’d give it a 7 whereas I’d give the Hot Press Signature Worthy papers a 8.5. It’s very good and pleasing to both the eye and hand.
If you’d like visual instructions, including Advanced Black & White, then be sure to check out the visual tutorial in the Epson Legacy Papers Reviews & Tutorials video which covers both Windows and Mac.
The printer paper profile you use will be in the format <printer> LegacyFibre_MK_<version>.icc (or sometimes icm) so for the Epson SureColor P800 you’d choose SC-P800_Series LegacyFibre_MK_v1.icc
Of the four Legacy papers I tested, this was my least favorite. While I did like it and found it to be very good, I honestly would go for Hot Press Bright (despite the OBA’s) if I wanted a bright smooth paper and if I wanted no OBA’s I’d reach for Hot Press Natural. If I wanted texture, I’d go for Legacy Etching, so this paper is left in a category where I’d use it if I had it but I probably wouldn’t buy it or chose it over the others for an important fine art print.
Where to order
Click here to learn more or order at Adorama
Other articles you may enjoy
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:
- Epson Legacy Papers Reviews & Tutorials – Intro article that links to all of the Legacy Series paper reviews
- REVIEW: Epson Legacy Etching & Video Tutorial (Legacy Series 3 of 5)
- REVIEW: Epson Legacy Platine & Video Tutorial (Legacy Series 4 of 5)
- Printing Series – Tons of resources on printing and print related tech
- Epson SureColor P600 Review
- Epson SureColor P800 Review
- Epson Exhibition Canvas Natural Gloss Review
- Epson Hot & Cold Press Papers
- How To: Using Epson’s Advanced B&W Photo (ABW) printing feature
- Getting great 4x6 prints without any hassle
- Choosing The Right Display Calibration Device
- NEC PA242W Monitor Review (PA241W & PA271W Review)
- NEC PA302W Monitor Review (PA301W Review)
- NEC PA322UHD 4k for Pro Photo & Video Editing
- Ron’s Recommendations
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