It's an absolutely wonderful paper in the darkroom. The concept of being "digitally optimized" is a non-issue, or basically a myth as stated by
certain posters above. If you can't get great results in the darkroom, believe me, it's not the fault of the paper. These CAII papers are equally improved for direct optical printing. But what Fuji has done is basically replaced their Super-C and softer type P with something in between per contrast. The base is whiter and some of the hues come out cleaner. But it's largely a matter of matching the image contrast to the paper. You can do this analog in several ways. One way is to simply shoot the appropriate contrast film for the subject in the first place. Kodak, for example, offers two levels of Portra, plus a more saturated Ektar product. The other way is to learn basic contrast reduction and contrast increase masking for printing color negs. Obviously there is nothing equivalent to variable-contrast paper in the color world. And if you want a paper with real snap to it - more contrast and saturation than the basic RC, then the Fuji Supergloss on polyester base is the ticket - but you can only get it in big rolls and have to cut it down yourself. It would be nice if some outfit offered this in cut sheet sizes. It's a fantastic product when you want a rich high-gloss image.