Hi Drew, you should try using the M1 mordant with the Emaks. That gives very good sharpness (much better than simply fixing out). The sharpness is comparable to the Kodak DT paper. I find that you do have to scrub the surface of the paper with a paper towel and a photo-flo solution to remove any residual mordant which remains on the surface. If you don't, you can get some blotches, and some mordanting of dye back in the matrix. I like to clean the matrices with matrix cleaner on every transfer when using the M1 mordanted paper, you will get more consistant results this way. Once nice thing about the Aluminum mordant is that the cyans (and greens and blues) render much better than with the Kodak paper. This increases the color gamut in that region. Note that the Cyan hue conversion only happens after drying (I'm not sure if it needs to be a hot drying. I haven't tested warm air drying to see if the conversion happens at low temperature). I like the high-gloss quality of the Emaks, and the brighter white compared to the Kodak paper. But mainly, I like the idea of not having to worry about running out of a hoarded supply. The Emaks paper is still available from Freestyle, and it is pretty inexpensive.
Another way of increasing color gamut is to display the print under LED lighting. I was trepidatious about the demise of Tungsten lighting, but now I think that LED lighting will actually be superior to Tungsten or Tungsten Halogen for viewing DT prints. I have been using an Ecosmart Bright White A19 40 W equivilent light in a Luxo-Lamp for viewing prints. While I make my final decisions based on a Tungsten Halogen light since that is still predominant in galleries, I use the LED bulb for most viewing. This bulb is rated as 3000 deg. K with an 85 CRI. I find that the effective CRI is actually higher than that since the color error is not in hue, but in chroma (saturation). The bulb doesn't disturb the hues, but it does increase the saturation, and the gamut. My only complaint is that it needs to be brighter for exhibiting prints, to get the necessary 650 lux it has to be about 2 feet away. I'll continue to look for LED lighting which is brighter than this but which has the same qualities.
- Jim Browning