Wednesday, January 17, 2018

REVIEW: Flixel Cinemagraph Pro Discount Offer–Motion Photos (Updated Jan 17, 2018)

Flixel Cinemagraph Pro makes making cinemagraphs easy!
Copyright Ron Martinsen © All Rights Reserved

If you are like me, you’ve probably been very intrigued by the cool cinemagraphs found on the web (especially on the home page), but many people like me also haven’t had the time to figure out how to do them! Most things in photography are time consuming enough, and video makes it even worse. As a result, I had little desire to find another way to consume my time.

Well I’m happy to report that after a little research I found out that it is not only easy it’s fun too! Here’s the main window of Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro 1.5 back when I originally did this article in 2015 (page down for version 2.0):

Flixel Cinemagraph Pro Main Window

Basically you import a video, highlight what you want to move and pick start and end points. That’s in – in no time you can have one of these running and they’ll even host the cinemegraph on their web site – for free (size limitations and content restrictions apply).

It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but within a few minutes I had my first cinemgraph of my daughter below:

Yes, we think it is creepy too!

Not only did we think this was creepy, I quickly learned how you must keep things very still or else you get the shifty eyes problem featured here.

What was about this one is that I could export the still image portion and do a quick edit on it in Photoshop then send it back to Cinemagraph Pro. This allowed me to get rid of some unwanted skin blemishes caused by the fact that neither my daughter or I had planned to do this so no real life skin preparations were made!

Without any prep, I tried again:

Ok, cool but crooked as hell so let’s try again

As a second attempt the concept was good but the execution was bad, so I tried again:

Almost awesome

The ottoman was a little more stable this time as a tripod, but still not perfect. I also started noticing that my background was a bit dirty so I figured I needed another try where I actually prepared for a video (imagine that)!

My final attempt (the lead cinemagraph with cognac at the top of this article) included some preparations, but was done in one take. From start to finish I spent about 20 minutes, 16 minutes of which was preparation time getting “the set” ready.

Video Demos

Here's the best Flixels of 2017:

and here's a tutorial that shows how to use the latest 2.0 version for the Mac:


This is a fun and simple process that can be done on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad quickly and easily. While I’m disappointed that no Windows version exists, there is a product called Microsoft Blink (see below) that does cinemagraphs for free!

Capture Clients

To learn more, visit

Where to order

Click here to order and use the code FLIXELTEN to save 10%!

Click here to save 10% off your order. If you do this properly, then you should see the discount automatically applied as shown below:

Prices are subject to change and this offer ends soon

This is a limited time offer and prices are subject to change. When this deal expires, please use THIS LINK instead so that I may get credit for the referral – thanks!

App Store

This product is also available on the AppStore:



Cinemagraph Pro+ for OS X
WARNING: No discount, use this link to get a discount

Cinemagraph+ for OS X

Other articles you may enjoy

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If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Sunday, January 14, 2018

REVIEW: Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM - Sigma Art Killer?

Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

The Canon 85mm f/1.2L was legendary for its buttery smooth bokeh, but I absolutely hated its electronic (vs traditional mechanical) focus ring. I also couldn't deal with its slow focusing (even in the improved II model) and the unusable minimum focus distance of 3.12' (95 cm).

Despite all of that, I was a bit sad to hear that Canon's newest 85mm L would be a f/1.4 instead of a f/1.2, but then I remembered something - the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art  was one of my favorite lenses I've ever reviewed - and the only lens to get two dedicated articles (here and here). At that point it became clear that the target for this lens was the Sigma Art, and you only needed to look at the minimum focus distance of the two - which is exactly 2.79' (85 cm) to know that is exactly Canon's target.

I also found myself with the Canon 85mm f/1.2L (which I've owned - twice) and Sigma 85mm Art that I rarely found a practical use for anything wider than f/1.8 because it's just too shallow to be practical. As such, I quickly got over my concerns about this lens not being an f/1.2 and judged it on its own merits.

The Perfect Portrait Lens?

85mm is famous for being a great lens for shooting portraits of people thanks to its ability to slim down your subject and bring the background in closer than wider lenses like the 50mm and 35mm. However, some people, myself included still think it's not long enough because it can still make your subject look wider (thus the old saying that the camera adds 15 pounds). Here's a shot of a very thin model who looks wider here than she appears in real life or in other photos taken with longer lenses (see here):

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/100 sec at ISO 125

This has always been my frustration with 85mm's, but they have the advantage that the lenses are still small enough that doing a f-stop smaller than 2.8 is still possible. This creates a benefit allowing you to creative things like keeping one eye in focus while letting the other eye go out of focus. The advantage of this is that you create a more intimate connection with the subject that creative types love yet OCD types hate.

The shot below illustrates what you'd likely get on a typical 70-200mm f/2.8 at 85mm where much more of the scene is in focus. If the scene is interesting this can be a good thing, but if it isn't then it can also be a bother:

f/2.8 @ 85mm for 1/100 sec at ISO 400

Another advantage of f/2.8 over f/1.4 is that the subject doesn't have to be on the same exact plane as the lens to be in full focus. In this shot I had the model tilt her head back to illustrate the flexibility you get with f/2.8 vs the dangers of going to smaller f-stop numbers as illustrated in the f/1.8 shot above.

In the end it is a creative decision and the beauty of this lens is that you can do both. With your 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom you are stuck with f/2.8 and can't separate your subject any better unless you stand closer at which point minimum focus distance challenges start to kick in.

All of these reasons combined are why the Sigma 85mm Art and 135mm Art have been such popular lenses with portrait photographers looking for something sharper than a zoom lens.

The Image Stabilization Difference

f/2.8 @ 85mm for 1/6 sec at ISO 100 - handheld

Using ambient light from overhead, I was able to easily do 1/6 sec handheld which is quite impressive for a shaky hand guy like me with arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Here's the shot from above zoomed to 100%:

100% zoom of f/2.8 @ 85mm for 1/6 sec at ISO 100 image

I did get a usable shot at f1/4 sec, but it wasn't as sharp as this one or the very sharp 1/20 sec shot, so I declared 1/6 sec my practical minimum shutter speed for my hands with this lens. Obviously those with more steady hands are easily going to be able to beat me here.

I think this is really where things get interesting since the Sigma 85mm Art is slightly sharper.

If your going to be shooting moving subjects none of this matters as you'll need faster shutter speeds. If you are shooting on a tripod it doesn't matter either since you'd turn IS off. However, if this is going to be your walk about lens in normal lighting conditions this advantage could mean the difference between a crisp shot and a blurry one so that Sigma Art advantage would go away.

Given the recent ban on tripods in Zion and elsewhere,  IS could be the game changer that makes the difference between getting the shot and not.

Sidebar: Impact of Shooting Shallow DOF

While I shooting for this review I took some photos of my son riding his bike on one of his favorite local trails:

f/2.8 @ 85mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 500

It took a few attempts for me to get everything exactly the way I wanted it for this shot since I was shooting handheld, but I eventually got it. As I was taking the shot I did one series with him pedaling away and thought it would be fun to share the impact of using a shallow depth of field (f/2.8 in this case) for a scene. Here's the first frame:

f/2.8 @ 85mm for 1/800 sec at ISO 640

and the last of the 10 frames in this series:

f/2.8 @ 85mm for 1/800 sec at ISO 640

You can step through them yourself here.

Good Bokeh vs Bad Bokeh

One of the great things about lenses with f-stop below 2.8 is that you get some really smooth bokeh, but is too much bokeh a bad thing? Consider this shot:

f/1.4 @ 85mm for 1/1000 sec at ISO 100

This lens makes such smooth bokeh that I found myself hating shots like the one above because the context of the scene was totally lost. What's more, any lens that is wide open (at its smallest f-stop number) is going to be softer than when stepped down. In the shot below, the scene itself had more contrast and the subject is sharper thanks to using f/1.8 instead:

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/800 sec at ISO 200

That said, I still think a shot like this is better suited for f/2.8 or perhaps even more to give more context about the surroundings. However, if I'm much closer to my subject such as is the case in this shot:

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/800 sec at ISO 200

f/1.8 removes distractions as would a little cropping if this wasn't a review using unedited photos. In this case the bokeh is a great thing as the busy background becomes smooth and the blur on the shirt and hands forces your eyes back to the main subject - the face. This is good bokeh and a great use of f/1.4 to f/1.8. Generally speaking, you'll get best results at f/1.8 - f/2.2 on any f/1.4 lens, so the decision to do f/1.8 results in a sharper face yet still offers the benefit of very good bokeh elsewhere to avoid distractions.

Consider this scene where choosing f/1.8 on a subject that isn't close by results in a clear understanding of what the subject is - the chairs:

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/400 sec at ISO 100

However, if you zoom in on it you'll notice that the fence, chairs, and tree aren't all of equal sharpness so you could go as high as f/4 and still improve the sharpness of the foreground subjects yet still take advantage of the distance of the objects in the background to have them less sharp and distracting:

f/4 @ 85mm for 1/80 sec at ISO 100

This is what I'd classify as good bokeh, but where less is more.

In the shot below is a nasty dirty window from the kids and the primary subjects are the pianist eyes and fingers. By choosing f/1.8 and carefully focusing it's possible to keep the primary subjects in focus and remove distractions in the background (mostly - it still would have been better to clean that nasty window - ha ha).

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/800 sec at ISO 1600
 - In-Camera Monochrome Creative Style

Again, I'd classify this as good bokeh. Because I chose to use an in-camera picture style that made the image black and white, this is a shot that I'd be happy to say is done in-camera with no additional work.

Here's another example where f/1.8 gives a super sharp rose with some sense of depth into the rose while still removing everything else from the scene in a sheet of creamy bokeh:

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 5000
 - In-Camera Monochrome Creative Style

The decision to use the monochrome creative style along with the choice of f/1.8 leaves a photo that has a clear subject without distractions from noise (ISO 5000) or other elements in the scene (well except that glowing thing at 11:00 - ha ha).

None of these are unique to this lens, but for those reading this article wondering what the big deal is about a f/1.4 lens is - this is it. It's a great tool that allows you to create images that set your subject apart from the scene and dial in enough details to set context when desired or completely eliminate it.

The great bokeh of this lens really helps to accomplish this goal, so I can no longer see a reason why I'd ever want to even borrow the old Canon 85mm f/1.2L II. It was great for its day, but I think Canon made the right choice to go with f/1.4 as the minimum f-stop as anything below that is really too much and this leaves room for f/1.8 to really shine.

More Unedited Real World Shots

Just like all of the photos in this article, this section includes more 100% unedited shots taken with a Canon 1D X Mark II. The in-camera JPEG's are taken straight from camera and only renamed, but otherwise unmodified so click the photos to see the originals.

Unless noted, all photos were handheld without any support aids.

All photos are copyright Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may view the photos while your browser is open to this article, but afterwards you must close and delete any copies on your machine. You may not edit, print, publish, save, link to, embed, video or otherwise use any photos from this article without written consent from Ron Martinsen.

You can find the full gallery of unedited images here,  and/or you may click the photos in this article to see them exactly as they came out of the camera.

f/2.8 @ 85mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 1250

Because you must get closer to your subject, f/2.8 blurs out a lot more of the scene than one would experience with a 70-200mm f/2.8 at 200mm. It can be used to an advantage to make unsightly backgrounds like this look more appealing 

f/1.4 @ 85mm for 1/200 sec at ISO 100

The challenge with f/1.4, in addition to being softer than f/1.8, is that if your subject isn't entirely on the same plane as the lens then you are going to lose the focus on an eye as you see here. Sometimes it can be just want you want, and other times in a shot like this it is more distracting as one would expect the camera right eye to be in focus.

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 800

This lens focuses fast and was able to keep up with the rapid and unpredictable movements of an 8 year old hunting for and throwing rocks

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 500

When reviewing images, I kept going back to the f/1.8 versions as they offer incredible sharpness of the subject yet still allow the background to vanish. In scenes where there's lots of contrast, like here, the context is still preserved without it being distracting

f/5.6 @ 85mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 2500

I shot this at several different f-stops, but f/5.6 made it clear that the boat was my subject but the birds and mountains weren't just smeared out of the scene. I loved f/5.6 on this lens too!

f/2.2 @ 85mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 640

f/2.2 was my preferred f-stop for the f/1.2L because that's where things got crazy sharp yet details in the background still vanished. f/2.2 is a great choice with this lens too as you can see here

f/7.1 @ 85mm for 1/100 sec at ISO 6400

Going up to f/7.1 and the distance of the background from the subject still eliminates distractions in the background, so I found it to be a good choice for when I wanted to provide more context (in this case, show off the beach). This is the beauty of this lens for portraits because it's easy when working near the minimum focus distance to go either way as demonstrated by the two photos above

f/5.6 @ 85mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 6400

If I had to knock this lens for one thing is that it isn't as naturally warm as the f/1.2L or the 16-35mm f/2.8L II. Those lenses were legendary for their nice contrast and warmth, but this lens seems to have lost a little bit of that advantage (or disadvantage if you didn't like it)

f/1.8 @ 85mm for 1/200 sec at ISO 1000

Busy backgrounds like rocks create a swirling effect, but if used properly the results can still work to your favor like the image above

f/1.4 @ 85mm for 1/13 sec at ISO 100
- handheld!!!
Yes, this is a handheld shot of a 8 year old who photobombed my long exposure shot. Fortunately he didn't move so I thought this was a fun shot. What was even more interesting though is that you can clearly see the focus area of a scene and the swirling pattern in the rocks again


At the time this article was written, this Canon lens was $400 more than the sharper Sigma 85mm Art that lacks image stabilization. Depending on the work you do without tripods using natural light, this could give the Canon lens a big advantage. However, if you are shooting landscapes on tripods or using a flash then that difference goes away, so the Sigma 85mm Art seems like the better deal. I'd definitely buy either over the dinosaur 85mm f/1.2L II or the pricy manual focusing Zeiss Otus 85mm.

With that said, I can recommend this lens for those who want a sharp 85mm with stabilization to compensate for shaky hands when shooting handheld. For everyone else, the Sigma 85mm Art series is still the lens to beat and my king of the 85mm's.

Where to Buy?

CLICK HERE to learn more or buy today.

Other articles you may enjoy

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Enjoy these and more on the Reviews tab as well as Ron's Recommendations.


If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

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If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

REVIEW: LumeJet L.Type® 400 PPI Continuous Tone Prints (15% Discount)

l.Type® Presentation Box
My l.Type® prints actually showed up in this impressive presentation box
This image was taken from their home page, but my prints did arrive this way!

In June 2017, I got an email from LumeJet telling me about their unique L.Type® prints. As you might notice from my printing series and my linkedIn profile, I'm no stranger to printing so I was skeptical. However, they assured me of a statement they make on their website:

Our print is completely different to any other print because it is the world's only 400 PPI true continuous tone print.

Created with our unique, patented photonic technology, the L.Type print is ultra-high-resolution 400 PPI true continuous tone, considered to be better than 4,000 dpi quality from an ink-based printer. This allows us to achieve images that truly show no digital patterning at all.

As a continued to read that page, I saw other bold claims:

  • ... amazing colour fidelity, with delta-e values of less than 1.0 across the gamut
  • L.Type prints are exceptionally smooth, with over 4 billion colours in our range, and the ability to ‘paint’ each pixel unit cell individually [read - no banding - Ron]
  • ... a pixel-for-pixel print from a 30MP camera will naturally print at A3 size (297mm x 420mm
  • Our exceptional resolution was designed to allow us to show more detail than the human eye can resolve at arm's length. The result is a level of fine detail that will stun you - and we can reproduce that detail without Moire effects or other aberrations.
  • ...produce text and graphics with no dot gain, no trapping, no jaggies. We can print pin-sharp text down to 2-point size, including reversed-out text. In fact, we can print accurately smaller than the human eye can read,

I thought - wow - I've got to check this out!!!

You can also visit this page to see more examples of images they feel exhibit these benefits when printed.


As I mention in the intro photo, my first order of prints arrived in an impressive presentation box and the prints themselves had a backing that made them feel like they belong in an ultra high end gallery - not in my hands - ha, ha!

To help me better understand their product, I was sent a box of about 50 prints plus prints of a few of my own images that I'll feature in this article.

When I opened the box and showed my wife the prints her first response was WOW! Mine was too because you can tell these prints are special and quite extraordinary.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to just watch the animation on the home page of to see for yourself the attention to detail they put in the package that I got as it was identical to what was shown in the article.

For my second smaller order they came in a nice firm black L.Type labeled envelope, and in both orders my prints were very well protected in a external cardboard box so they edges of my prints and the packaging arrived without even the slight scuff or dent - despite being mailed from the UK to Seattle!

If you order a couple prints you'll have to pay extra for the presentation box, but it does come free with larger orders. Refer to the price guides on the web site for details. The good news is that my experience with LumeJet is that everything they do is first class with an extreme attention to detail, so even small orders get first class treatment and very nice packaging!

ICC Color Gamut Comparison

What you see below are two ICC files being compared using the same photo via Photoshop CC 19.0 soft proofing feature with the color gamut warnings (in red) turned on. The only difference between the two images is the ICC profile used. In both cases, Relative Colormetric rendering intent was used with Black Point Compensation turned on. Simulate Black Ink was also used.

For the Canon image, it is using the best ICC profile I've been able to get my hands on for the Canon PRO-2000 Pro Luster paper and for the L.Type it is the L.Type S200 DPII Lustre (1706) M1.icc downloaded from here.


The soft proofing accurately reflects that the colors and blacks are a bit more muted with the L.Type prints vs the Canon.  You can also do your own non-scientific comparison using the scans below using a Epson V850 via its Epson Scan software: (click for full size 34MB+ originals TIFF files), but PLEASE keep in mind that fidelity is lost when going down to a digital file from a high resolution print so you'll get better much better results in the actual print from both:

L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre
L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre

Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster
Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster

While it might be subjective, I felt like the Canon definitely had the edge in DMax and color accuracy in the yellows, but the smooth transitions of the 400 dpi prints was definitely noticeable - especially on the grays in the center of the image.

NOTE: All prints in this article that have been scanned have been UNEDITED, so if there was any dust on the print bed or print itself, then those will show up in the scan. This is not a defect in the image itself, but something that can be used to validate the authenticity of the scanned print.

Color Portrait

Here's an image taken using a Canon 5Ds that really highlighted this advantage:

L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre
L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre

Notice how the reds and the skin tone transitions are so much smoother on the L.Type prints, despite them being a little less vibrant and deep dark. In the hand they just felt more high end like something you'd expect to see in a Gucci catalog versus the darker Canon prints which clearly had a feeling of being sharper:

Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster
Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster

This is where I think you see the pros and cons of both prints. Which is better depends on what you are looking for, but in the hand and the overall impression I had was that the L.Type prints felt more high end special.

Want to see the color gamut on your own images? Click here to get the ICC profiles to do your own soft proofing.

It should also be noted that I probably could have done more sharpening for the images I prepared, but I'm still new to preparing images for this type of print so I relied totally on the 400 dpi continuous tone output sharpening of PixelGenius PhotoKit Sharpener 2.0.

More Sample Prints Compared

This section features scans done using a Epson V850 via its Epson Scan software. Click the images to review full size 34MB+ originals TIFF files. The images may be used while viewing in this article in your browser, but must be deleted immediately after you navigate away from the web page.

All images are copyright © Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED! You may not print, link, save, edit, publish, display in a video or otherwise use any images featured in this article.

The final images have not be color corrected so all images were scanned using identical scanner settings to try to illustrate differences. Prints always look significantly better in real life so these images are only provided for relative comparisons and should not be used to judge the color accuracy of the prints. The actual gamut of the colors produced in all cases exceeds what I get from the scans, and the final print will be impacted by the ambient light (or lack thereof) in the location where viewed.

Simply put, these look way worse in scans than they do in real life.

I should also note that all of the images in this article received special resizing (to letter size via Perfect Resize) and post-resize sharpening treatment before printing. The Canon prints were optimized for 300 dpi and high-pass sharpened and the L.Type prints were optimized for 400 dpi and high-pass sharpened. Special letter size prints were made for this article for scanning purposes, but all other prints reviewed (and not featured) where printed at 12 x 18 inches.


This is a great image to see the silky smooth tones in the edges especially at the bottom of the image.

Beezerker on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre
Beezerker on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre

The Canon prints always feel more vibrant and darker, but much smoother gradient transitions are easy to appreciate.

Beezerker - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster
Beezerker - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster

Color Grayscale

For this image, I chose to do a grayscale image with a hint of color versus a full on black and white. The scan results in a image that appears to be more green but in real life it's more sepia toned and similar in color to the Canon print.

Color Grayscale on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre
Color Grayscale on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre

Again there's much smoother transitions in the edges and greater tonal range in the areas that appear as more hot spots on the Canon below. There's also a lot more tonal range in the vest and less harsh transition in the shadows of the skin and white shirt wrinkles.

Color Grayscale - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster
Color Grayscale - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster

Fall in Asia

Fall in Asia on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre
Fall in Asia on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre

This was an image where the L.Type prints were just too muted to do it justice. My Whitewall HD Metal print of this image is breath taking so even the Canon print can't do it justice. As a result, if your goal is to have vibrant saturated images that just scream for attention, I'd say the L.Type prints probably aren't the best choice.

Fall in Asia - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster
Fall in Asia - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster


This is the lowest resolution image of this group and it features some digital noise. It also has some real hot spots in the sunny and light areas so I thought it'd be good to see the difference between the prints.

What I immediately noticed was the smooth and natural feel of the tones on the hot spots of the roof, trees, and incandescent lighted areas. I also preferred the smooth tonal range of the red tones and the improved detail in the shadow areas underneath the deck.

Treehouse on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre
Treehouse on L.Type on Fuji DPII Crystal Archive Lustre

The Canon print looks fantastic in real life, so I enjoy gorgeous William Turner and Art Peel prints of it outside of my office at work - both of which receive lots of love from passers by. However, if I was going to display this print in an exhibition I'd probably go for the L.Type version for its tonal range advantage. If I was showing it to ordinary folks, I'd favor the Canon prints for the vibrant colors and deep blacks.

Treehouse - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster
Treehouse - Canon PRO-2000 on Canon Pro Luster

Ron's Thoughts on the Different Paper Types

I haven't tried all of the paper types or the book yet, but I have tried several different papers so I thought I'd share some high level subjective opinions on what I think of each.

Fujicolor Crystal Archive Professional Type DPII Gloss

These were nice for glossy prints, but I'm not a huge fan of glossy prints in general. Like the Premium Glossy, these show no texture at typical viewing angles yet they have less texture than the Premium Gloss when held at extreme angles. My DPII Gloss prints didn't have the L.Type backing on all of the other prints I had so I didn't like that. It also shows finger prints like crazy so definitely use your parade gloves when handling these prints.

Fujicolor Crystal Archive Professional Type DPII Matte

Don't let the name fool you - this isn't like an ink jet matte or velvet that offers visible cotton fiber texture. Instead it still feels like a resin coated luster like paper that I'd classify as a semi-gloss. This places it right in between Gloss and Lustre with the benefits of both yet without the drawbacks of either. As a result, this was my favorite paper with one big exception - it seemed to be the biggest fingerprint magnet, so definitely use gloves when handling this paper!

Fujicolor Crystal Archive Professional Type DPII Lustre

This is your traditional lustre (or luster as we say in the US) and it offers the advantage of not showing finger prints or potential surface scratches, and a texture that some customers prefer or associate with finer prints. Those looking for a semi-gloss will prefer the Matte, but those looking for the most durable prints in the hand without gloves should go with Lustre.

Fujicolor Crystal Archive Premium HDX Paper X-tra Coat Gloss

I'm not a huge fan of high glossy prints, but this paper does has the advantage of no visible texture unless held at an extreme non-viewing angle. This makes it easier to appreciate the continuous tones - when shown in good indirect light. With direct light the reflectivity is very high so it feels more dull and muddy.

L.Type Board Mounted Backing

The Board Mounted L.Type prints feature a special thicker (300 gsm) backing that makes the papers feel more substantial and less susceptible to flexing. This results in them feeling like a 15mil paper in hand, even though the paper itself is pretty thin and lightweight. This backing along with the L.Type logo gives it that special feel that I liked a lot more than the obnoxious Fuji logo you get without this backing. I highly recommend going with the backing.

What about versus Epson Sure Color Printers?

I own multiple Epson SureColor printers including the P600 and P800 and I love them - they are great products. However, at the time of this article I did not have a P5000 or better on hand. Based on my experience with the Epson 4900, I can say that my blind Canon vs Epson print comparisons tripped up even the most famous print masters because they were so close, so I consider them to be on par with each other. Sure if you examine select ICC profiles in ColorThink Pro you can see where gamut variances occur due to differences in the ink sets, but if color managed properly they are extremely close to each other.

Which is my favorite? I prefer the Canon prints to the Epson ones for the same reason I prefer Canon images to Nikon - there seems to be a bias towards warmer vibrant colors right out of the box. This can be corrected to get near identical accuracy, so I wouldn't consider either better than the other - just different. I also prefer the Canon driver software - especially on Windows - to the more dated Epson drivers.

As a result, if you were doing this same article with a Epson printer you could expect the same variances as compared to the L.Type prints.


My God's honest opinion is that you sacrifice a bit in perceived sharpness due to the less harsh transitions caused by the smooth continuous tones, but you gain a lot in tonal range. As a result, the L.Type images feel more natural and extraordinary in real life. Because of this my first impression was that the reds were weak, but it isn't that they are weak - in fact the tonal range of reds is fantastic - it's just it's less vibrant.

I was the most unhappy with the yellows as you can see best in the color gamut section, but it only surfaced as a problem in the trees for the Fall in Asia shot and wasn't problematic in the Treehouse shot. As a result, I'd suggest using this article as a guide as to what works best.

For my next order I'm considering sharpening a little more aggressively than I do for ink jet to see if I can more closely mimic the sharper appearance of the ink jet prints.

Overall, I don't consider these to be prints for the person who is looking for the cheapest way to print or who thinks warehouse club prints are acceptable. Instead, this is a product designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life and the ultimate in quality. They make a great print for a high end exhibition, a wealthy client who enjoys a bespoken wardrobe , and your portfolio that you show in person to high end clients. They also make a special gift when you want to give a print that causes a "wow" response like I got from my wife, because they really are something very special.

They aren't for the bargain shopper who is more about value than quality or person who likes the cheesy oversaturated HDR images. Instead, large megapixel camera owners, medium format shooters, and those coming from a film background will appreciate the incredibly smooth continuous tone images.

Are they worth the price? Heck yeah, and in fact I'd argue that price threw me as they seem worth a lot more than they charge. As a result, I can easily HIGHLY RECOMMEND this product, but with the disclaimer that it's not for everyone. Cheapskates need not apply.

Get a FREE L.Type Print

FREE L.Type Print Example - Front Side

For a limited time, LumeJet is offering readers of ronmartblog an exclusive opportunity to sample their print quality for just the $15 cost of postage and packaging. Choose your 3 favorite or most challenging images and send them via wetransfer or Dropbox or other link to with 'RONMART' in the subject line.

Images should ideally be as high-res as possible, in pdf, jpeg or TIFF form, and there is no limit on file size. A 6000x4000 pixel image will fit perfectly on A3 with a 1" border. Images should have embedded colour profiles. LumeJet will send you a payment link and contact sheet for approval and send you back 3 A3 L.Type mounted prints (normal price $40+P&P). Once your account has been created, all future web orders will also receive the RONMART 15% discount on print prices.

FREE L.Type Print Example - Back Side

Where to Buy?

Ordering is a little complicated compared to traditional sites, so please read the entire section below before clicking anything or ordering to make sure you get your discount.

Special 15% Discount Offer

Get a 15% discount off published prices on all future print orders when you mention RONMART as your partner code on your first order.

Lumejet Print Technologies offers L.Type prints on 2 sites: 

  • this is the bespoke site, with no upload capability. It’s really aimed at people wanting to order 10 or more prints or even a whole portfolio. You just need to mention my code once, the first time you send in your prints. They will create an account for you and the discount code be associated with your account. and applied on future orders while the discount is offered. Be sure to mention RONMART as your partner code when signing up!
  • this is the more of a traditional retail website with the normal ROES-type upload. Here, you need to enter the code when when you first register in the Partner Code box.

CLICK HERE to sign up at and enter your partner code RONMART as shown below:


When you are done, I'd recommend that you contact confirm that they have successfully applied your RONMART partner code with your account to ensure that you get your discount.

After you've registered

CLICK HERE to learn more about L.Type print ordering via and

CLICK HERE to learn more,  including file preparation guidelines and pricing, for

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