Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber

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  • Rand Scott Adams
    Rand Scott Adams
    Silver Member
    Posts: 247
    Papers & Media
    on: November 25, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    I can’t remember seeing a review by Mark Segal of Innova’s Simply Elegant Gold Fiber paper.   If I just didn’t find it in a search, mia culpa.  But I bought some of this paper to test in my ongoing search for a replacement for Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.  I’ve tried, Canson Baryta II, Red River’s “replacement,” the Breathing Color River Stone Rag, and one or two others that have been recommended.   All fell far short of GFS, Epson Legacy Baryta, Red River SG II Baryta and Canson’s original Baryta Photographique.

    BUT, this Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fibre is a pretty much a dead ringer for GFS.  Even smells right 🙂 .   Print of Bill Atkinson’s test file, side by side with one on GFS.   Can’t tell the difference.  Innova even “dares you” to use your GFS icc profile on it.  I did.  It works.

    So, Mark… if you did review this, could you provide a link for us cyber-challenged searchers?  If you have not taken a look at Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber, I encourage you to do so ASAP!  (smiling here)   I’d love a really thorough comparison beyond what I’m capable of doing.

    Best,
    Rand

    Rand Scott Adams Rand47

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 655
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Rand, thanks for the tip. I have not reviewed this paper. Innova didn’t attract me all that much because in older times the papers were bluish and full of OBAs; as well some of them were a challenge to put through printers. But from what you’re saying about this one I could be tempted to have a look.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Daniel Koretz
    Daniel Koretz
    Participant
    Posts: 87
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #2 on: November 26, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    I’m interested in this because the original Canson Baryta was my most-used paper, but I’m confused.

    If this is an Innova (innovaart.com) paper, I can’t find it on their site. I found two barytas. Exhibition Baryta 310 is interesting: advertised as 0 OBAs but with a whiteness of 100. I didn’t find stats for Olmec Photo Silk Fiber Baryta, but they say it contains OBAs.

    I did find Simply Elegant Gold Fibre 310 at a midwestern dealer, itsupplies.com, but they say that it’s an Ilford product, a substitute for Ilford Gold Fibre, so close that it uses the same profile. They also say that it’s OBA-free and warm toned. Ilford, however, says that gold Fibre Silk contains OBAs, and they rate it as fairly cold: 97.

    I’d be interested in sorting this out, as if it really is a very close substitute for the original Canson Baryta Photographique, I’d be interested in trying it.

    BTW, I don’t agree that Canson Baryta Photographique “falls far short” of the original. I’ve printed perhaps 15 prints with it so far, and while I don’t particularly care for the surface, in most other respects–gamut, tonal gradations, whiteness, etc.–it seems to me to be very similar to and in some respects identical to the original. It also handles a bit better, not that I had handling problems with the original. I’ve hunted for substitutes solely because of the very flat surface. Currently, I’ve settled on Breathing Color River Stone as one substitute. It’s capable of gorgeous prints, but it’s OBA-free and noticeably warmer than Canson Baryta Photograpique, so I’d be interested in learning more about whatever this Simply Elegant is.

     

    Rand Scott Adams
    Rand Scott Adams
    Silver Member
    Posts: 247
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #3 on: November 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Mark,

    Thanks… it would be a good thing for us all to have your expertise utilized to evaluate this stuff.  Hope you can source some.  I bought mine from ITSupplies.

     

    Daniel,

    Yes… it is precisely the surface texture and a slightly “milky” look to it that puts me off of the Photographique version II.   I completely agree with you that the color gamut, etc. are quite good and similar.  It’s just the surface that interferes with the overall look and feel of the printed image.   When I want that “surface texture category” I much prefer Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss.

    Rand

     

    Rand Scott Adams Rand47

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 655
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #4 on: November 26, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    The number 97 doesn’t measure paper tint, it measures paper brightness (L*). To determine the tint you need the a* and b* values of the paper white. Ilford GFS was not “fairly cold”. It was “fairly” neutral.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Rand Scott Adams
    Rand Scott Adams
    Silver Member
    Posts: 247
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #5 on: November 26, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Mark,

    Far from “scientific” – but the paper white and brightness of the Innova looks very, very, close (if not identical) to GFS and Epson Legacy Baryta under my Solux evaluation lights.  Caliper and GSM is identical.

    Rand

    Rand Scott Adams Rand47

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 655
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #6 on: November 26, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Rand, as far as I could determine “Simply Elegant” is an IT Supplies brand. They don’t manufacture it, but where they source it from is unclear. Their pricing is good (depending on the quality and consistency of the product) but how much they would charge to ship to Canada I would need to find out. That can be a deal-breaker, as shipping fees from the US in particular to Canada have become outrageous. I’ll get in touch with them and learn what’s what.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 655
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #7 on: November 26, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Rand,

    Similar, but not the same: https://luminous-landscape.com/new-epson-legacy-papers-review/

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Mark McCormick-Goodhart
    Mark McCormick-Goodhart
    Participant
    Posts: 12
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021 at 9:35 am

    As Mark S. noted, Simply Elegant is a private label offered by IT Supplies, a large dealer located in the midwest USA. IT Supplies says Ilford manufactures it for them. Here’s how it’s described on the IT supplies website:

    “This paper is a 100% direct replacement for Ilford Galerie *Prestige Gold Fibre Silk product. Gold Fiber 310 produces stunning photographic images that emulate the unique, high-value look of traditional silver halide prints. This Baryta (barium sulphate) coated, fiber-based is the professional photographer’s choice product for reproducing color-critical images with vibrant colors, and for black and white imaging with rich black tones. Simply Elegant Gold Fiber 310 baryta is an OBA free product, with a warm finish best suited for pigment ink prints. Prints on this paper are suitable for display or sale”</span>

    So, parsing the claims: 1) dead-ringer for Gold fiber silk 2) 310gsm 3) No OBAs  4) Barium sulphate containing coating, 5) warm finish. 6) And buried in the additional tech specs, alpha cellulose fiber base not cotton.

    These claims peaked my curiosity because I know of no other Ilford paper that’s OBA-free plus alpha-cellulose base (Ilford’s Gold fiber gloss, for example is on a cotton base), definitely not IGFS thus it would appear to be a marketing stretch to call this paper a “dead-ringer” for IGFS.

    Hence, I ordered a sample pack and compared to old IGFS stock I have in the Aardenburg archives. My take: Simply Elegant Gold fiber Silk is indeed a dead ringer for IGFS right down to the slippery slick coating on the verso I never liked about IGFS. Same thickness, same media white point (I check with my i1Pro2 agains the real IGFS), same feel in hand, same surface appearance, same everything.

    I have no insider knowledge, but my guess is that SEGFS is IGFS by another name, probably converted stock before Ilford ran into the manufacturing problems with IGFS and discontinued it. So, if you love IGFS, SEGFS appears to be the real deal…get it while supplies last?

    cheers,

    Mark

    Mark McCormick-Goodhart
    Mark McCormick-Goodhart
    Participant
    Posts: 12
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    As Mark S. noted, Simply Elegant is a private label offered by IT Supplies, a large dealer located in the midwest USA. IT Supplies says Ilford manufactures it for them. Here’s how it’s described on the IT supplies website:

    “This paper is a 100% direct replacement for Ilford Galerie *Prestige Gold Fibre Silk product. Gold Fiber 310 produces stunning photographic images that emulate the unique, high-value look of traditional silver halide prints. This Baryta (barium sulphate) coated, fiber-based is the professional photographer’s choice product for reproducing color-critical images with vibrant colors, and for black and white imaging with rich black tones. Simply Elegant Gold Fiber 310 baryta is an OBA free product, with a warm finish best suited for pigment ink prints. Prints on this paper are suitable for display or sale”</span>

    So, parsing the claims: 1) dead-ringer for Gold fiber silk 2) 310gsm 3) No OBAs  4) Barium sulphate containing coating, 5) warm finish. 6) And buried in the additional tech specs, alpha cellulose fiber base not cotton.

    These claims peaked my curiosity because I know of no other Ilford paper that’s OBA-free plus alpha-cellulose base (Ilford’s Gold fiber gloss, for example is on a cotton base), definitely not IGFS (it has OBAs) thus it would appear to be a marketing stretch to call this paper a “dead-ringer” for IGFS.

    Hence, I ordered a sample pack and compared to old IGFS stock I have in the Aardenburg archives. My take: Simply Elegant Gold fiber Silk is indeed a dead ringer for IGFS right down to the slippery slick coating on the verso I never liked about IGFS. Same thickness, same media white point (I check with my i1Pro2 agains the real IGFS), same feel in hand, same surface appearance, same everything.

    I have no insider knowledge, but my guess is that SEGFS is IGFS by another name, probably converted stock before Ilford ran into the manufacturing problems with IGFS and discontinued it. So, if you love IGFS, SEGFS appears to be the real deal…get it while supplies last?

    cheers,

    Mark M.

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    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 655
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Just to remind about the facts of IGFS related to IT Supplies’ claims, there is a moderate OBA content in IGFS. As there was in Epson Legacy Baryta. This family of papers truly is discontinued and the suppliers of that whole family of papers have been busy developing replacements; I reviewed Canson’s on this website. Parts of the paper-making sector are also being affected by COVID-related supply chain issues, so not all intended replacements are coming to market on the schedule expected in late 2019. I reached out to IT Supplies offering to test and review their SEGF if they would send me a package for the purpose, but they have been substantively unresponsive.

    I would be curious to know exactly where they are getting this product from, because that could indicate whether they are selling a repackaged version of a stock of IGFS that remained in inventory somewhere in the world and will sooner or later disappear when they sell it all off, or whether they have indeed managed to find a supplier freshly manufacturing essentially the same recipe that can be expected to remain available for quite a while.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 739
    Re: Innova Simply Elegant Gold Fiber
    Reply #11 on: January 15, 2021 at 8:11 am

    FWIW, Innova (at least in the UK) deny all knowledge of it.

    Jeremy

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