All this week I've felt like this OCOLOY post was going to be pretty good, as I made a decent effort to get out with my camera several times and got some nice pictures as a result.
I would have written this on time, too, except I got distracted by my shiny new printer, a Canon Pro-10S. It's an A3 pigment ink printer, and it's lovely – already I've gone through most of a 50 pack of PermaJet matte paper I bought with it. I was a little concerned at first that the colours seemed a bit dull, but it turns out that's just because I was looking at the prints under somewhat dim artificial light: I've since put some up on home office walls, and they look glorious.
Finally having the ability to print has also brought me back to thinking about the old 'grain' issue, and how it's further complicated by the variety of paper finishes and textures available to me now. The matte paper I got has a very smooth finish, so you can really see the fine details (after some appropriate output sharpening), but even so, the grain effect seems quite a bit more subdued compared to on-screen viewing; similarly, colour prints do a good job of hiding any inherent noise.
I've yet to do a comparison of two prints where the only difference is artificial grain versus not, but it'll be interesting to see – perhaps I'll end up liking the smooth look more on prints. I also want to try some nice textured fine art paper and see how that fares.