Breathing Color Vibrance Baryta

Breathing Color Vibrance Baryta

Cover Photo BCVB

Some time ago, Breathing Color sent me a package of their recently released Vibrance Baryta paper for testing and write-up. It’s a 100% cotton substrate paper made in the USA at 310 gsm, caliper 16 mils. It comes in “Satin” and “Satin Bright”. I tested the “Satin”. Breathing Color recommends setting the printer’s platen gap to “Widest” for this paper.

We always welcome new entrants to the Baryta paper field, because barium sulfate is an additive that helps produce bright, saturated colour without adding OBAs to the paper formula, and we have experienced a periodic shortage of baryta-based papers, so new product adds options that should help to overcome that inconvenience.

For now, the paper comes in 40-foot rolls at widths of 17, 24, 36, 44, and 60 inches, priced at about $105, 148, 222, 271, and 370, respectively. They also offer a 17-inch x 10-foot trial roll at $37.49. The product is available by ordering it on the Breathing Color website or from a number of retailers in the USA and distributors internationally (listed on the Breathing Color website).

Turning to testing, the first thing I look at is the paper surface, which, as usual, is difficult to convey in an article over the Internet, but Figure 1 shows it as best as I could render it. You would not look at prints angling the prints in the manner I had to angle them to bring out this texture (Figure 1). Normally we want the texture to be quite unobtrusive while it shows the photograph to advantage. This paper does that.

Figure 1. Paper Surface (shown less bright to reveal texture)
Figure 1. Paper Surface (shown less bright to reveal texture)

I tested the paper in my Epson SC-P5000 printer as it remains the printer with the widest available colour gamut I’ve ever used, hence suitable for seeing whether the paper can take advantage of the printer’s full capability when properly profiled.

Speaking of profiles, at the time of writing, Breathing Color was advising its customers to make custom profiles for using this paper. An alternative for those with Epson printers is to use the Epson Legacy Baryta 2 profile, which is an option I have also tested. The summary test results are in Figure 2.

 Figure 2. Vibrance Baryta Summary Data
Figure 2. Vibrance Baryta Summary Data

The gamut volume produced by my custom profile is smaller than that of using the Epson Legacy Baryta 2 profile with this paper in my SC=P5000 printer – 874K versus 950K, respectively (see also Figure 3). I don’t believe this difference would matter to a great many photographs. Most of the difference is seen in small areas at the green and blue boundaries, as shown in both Figure 2 (rows 10 to 18) and graphically in Figure 3.

According to the readings in ColorThink Pro from the profiles (row 7, columns C and D), the Black point of my custom profile is also a bit higher than that of the Epson Legacy Baryta 2 profile – at L* 4 and L*2 respectively. However, once maximum Black is read off the test prints made from these profiles (row 7 columns E and F), the printed difference of maximum Black is only 0.4 – 4.1 for my custom profile versus 4.5 for the Legacy Baryta 2 profile, hence one would see no difference of maximum Black between them.

Figure 3. Gamut comparison, Custom (Truecolor) vs. Legacy Baryta 2 profile (Wireframe)
Figure 3. Gamut comparison, Custom (Truecolor) vs. Legacy Baryta 2 profile (Wireframe)

The unsurprising result in Figure 2 (rows 20 to 35) is that a custom profile produces more accurate printing than another profile for another paper, good as it may be for that other paper. The average dE of the test patches is 0.5 for the custom profile versus 1.3 for the Epson Legacy profile. The highest dE values are 1.16 and 2.53, respectively. That said, both sets of results are very good, indicating that both would be suitable. Looking at the detailed gray-scale results for both profiles, while the custom is, as expected, more accurate, the other is eminently usable.

Turning from charts and data to prints of real photographs, the findings above are confirmed. Whether using the one profile or the other, the paper supports vibrant, quite accurate colour and detail rendition is fine (Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7).

Figure 4. Atkinson Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Epson profile
Figure 4. Atkinson Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Epson profile
Figure 5. Atkinson Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Custom profile
Figure 5. Atkinson Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Custom profile
Figure 6. Onsight Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Epson profile
Figure 6. Onsight Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Epson profile
Figure 7. Onsight Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Custom profile
Figure 7. Onsight Target BC Vibrance Baryta, Custom profile

All in all, a nice paper – give it a try.


Mark D Segal
July 2024
Mark D Segal
Toronto, ON

Mark has been making photographs for the past seven decades and started adopting a digital workflow in 1999 first with scanning film, then going fully digital in 2004. He has worked with a considerable range of software, equipment, materials and techniques over the years, accumulated substantial experience as an author, educator and communicator in several fields, was a frequent contributor to the Luminous-Landscape website and now contributes frequently with in-depth articles on the PhotoPXL website. Mark has contributed over 75 articles to the two websites up to Q1-2024, with a particular emphasis on printers and papers, given his view that a photograph printed on paper remains the epitome of fine photography, as it has been from soon after the medium was invented and started gaining momentum in the 1830s/1840s. Mark developed a particular interest in film scanning and authored the ebook “Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop” (please check our Store for availability). In his “other life” (the one that pays for the photography), Mark is a retiree from the World Bank Group and was a consultant in electric power development.

Article Type: Reviews, Columns

Become A Supporter Of PhotoPXL

Become a member and gain access to our new features including high-resolution images, privacy options, higher photo upload limits, multi-photo uploads, night mode, and more!

PhotoPXL is an idea to create a place of community where those with a passion for photography can come to learn and share. We hope you enjoy your experience on our site and find a home here.

Your support is critical to the success and future of photoPXL. To bring you great content we depend on your support. Please consider helping us grow and broaden all aspects of what we do here.

Support PhotoPXL for as little as a $1. It takes only a minute. Thank You.

Be the first to know

Sign up for newsletter
  • Please check your spam and forum folders if you do not see our verification email.

Recent Posts

Categories