Ilford Omnijet Display Media Kit

What does the product do?

Ilford’s Omnijet Display Media Kit is a system for producing backlit transparen-cies using inkjet printing, which has been developed in association with Epson and has been optimised for the popular Epson Stylus Pro 11880. It includes display film, laminates and dedicated RIP profiles. It is designed to equal the highest-quality RA4 silver-halide print, like Kodak Duratrans, produced using laser exposure devices, such as the Durst Lambda, but with less fuss and at lower cost.

What market is it aimed at?

While backlit inkjet media is not new, Ilford and Epson claim that output is comparable to the best photographic media in terms of density, resolution and subtle gradation. Applications include close-viewed cosmetic POS displays.

How does it work?

The file is printed on an Epson machine onto a coated film and enclosed between the two laminate films. This product consists of the photo-quality translucent display film and two rolls of laminates for front and back hot lamination. The rolls are available in 1,270mm and 1,520mm widths to match traditional silver halide widths and come in 40-metre lengths for optimal productivity. All the films are polyester, so are theoretically recyclable. Two RIP developers – Caldera and Onyx – are involved as well and, as part of the Media Kit, offer optimised colour profiles to get the best quality.

How does it differ from previous products?

While backlit inkjet films themselves aren’t new, the level of quality is a different class, according to Ilford national sales manager Marc Payet. In side-by-side comparisons with RA4 prints, big brands, including Clarins and Aveda, have accepted the results as on a par with a Lambda, a promising sign considering Lambda jobs often fetch three times the $20/m2 other inkjet backlits sell for.

How productive is it to use?

Print speed is not the fastest, but Ilford says overall productivity is higher since there is no need to wait for an RA4 processor to warm up, no metres of waste getting the processor stable, and the laminates mean it is more robust than RA4, making installation simpler. Printing is carried out at the highest resolution of the Epson machines (2,880×1,440dpi), although Ilford expects to be able to offer a 1,440x720dpi production mode that is almost equal in quality, but much faster.

What is the USP of the product?

The key selling points are Duratrans or Lambda-quality at inkjet media pricing and ease of use, according to the company. Payet says that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Ilford’s expertise in coating makes the most of the Epson printer and ink, he adds. 

How much does it cost?

Ilford argues the cost of the printer, RIP and laminator is less than the annual support contract on a photographic printer and processor. If you have any of the kit already, the cost is reduced. Running costs comprise the coated film, the laminates and the inks. Compared with silver halide films, the substrate is 20% cheaper, according to the firm, although it was unwilling to provide precise pricing.


 

Specifications

Format 1,270mm and 1,524mm wide by 40 metre rolls

Price On application

Contact CR Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd, (03) 9823 1555, www.ilford.com

 


 

The alternatives

Sihl SuperDry Light Box film 175

Sihl’s SuperDry Light Box film is a polyester base with a milky backing to diffuse the light. It can be laminated if required. The SuperDry coating is compatible with dye and pigment water-based inks, without being tied to any printer vendor or RIP.

Format 20 metre rolls in a range of widths (914mm, 1,067mm, 1,270mm, 1,372mm and 1,524mm).

Contact Stockman Paper Merchants, (08) 9271 1700, [email protected]

 

Antalis Coala backlit film

Antalis’ Coala range includes a backlit polyester film compatible with water-based inks. It also has a version for other inks, including solvent, latex and UV-cured, which is one of the materials it has profiled for EFI Vutek machines.

Format 30 metre rolls in a range of widths (914mm, 1,270mm and 1,524mm)

Contact ArjoWiggins Fine Paper, (02) 9417 3888, [email protected]

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