Andy Westlake tests the latest photo paper from Epson, the Epson Value Glossy Photo Paper

Epson Value Glossy Photo Paper at a glance:

  • 183gsm gloss-coated
  • Two sizes available, A4 or 10x15cm
  • Price: £5.99 (A4 20 sheets), £8.99 (10x15cm 100 sheets0
  • Website: www.epson.co.uk

Anyone who’s printed photos at home will know that media is expensive. Inks cost a fortune and high-quality photo paper is pricey. Epson’s latest Value Glossy Photo Paper aims to ease this economic pain. As its name suggests, it’s a relatively lightweight, 183gsm gloss-coated photo paper that’s designed to work with rear-feeding inkjet printers. It comes in two sizes, A4 or 10x15cm for album-size prints, and in various pack sizes. As we’d expect it’s notably cheaper than Epson’s 200gsm Photo Paper Glossy, and is less than half the price of the 283gsm Premium Glossy Photo Paper. But while the paper base may be lightweight, the printing surface has an attractive lightly textured, bright white finish.

As always, to get the best results, it’s important to select the most appropriate paper type in your printer settings. If your driver doesn’t list this new paper specifically, Epson advises using the Premium Glossy Photo Paper setting. I used this to make prints of various subjects, in both colour and black & white, with my Epson Expression Photo XP-950 printer.

Print quality is pretty good, with excellent rendition of fine detail. The portrait shows gorgeous rendition of Caucasian skin tones, however, the high-contrast landscape reveals some muddiness and blocking-up of shadow detail. Monochrome prints from greyscale files aren’t perfectly neutral but have a slight greenish tinge instead, although it’s not so strong as to be unpleasant; printing from a lightly toned file gives more attractive results. Not surprisingly, I was able to get more accurate colour by making a custom profile for the paper, but I doubt many users would go to such lengths.

Epson Value Glossy Paper would be good choice for those making prints on a limited budget, especially when absolute colour accuracy isn’t essential. It can’t match Epson’s premium papers for print quality but it’s great value.

Epson Value Glossy Photo Paper in box

SCORE: 4 out of 5