Am I unique in liking matte surface paper??

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by tkamiya, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I started using FB Matte surface paper. Initially, I used them because I was going to hand-color but I'm starting to like this texture for regular prints.

    Even when images are tack sharp, I see some gentle-ness that I can't get from glossy. Also, even the deep black seems not so deep - no that I see contrast much lower but it's gentle... in a way it's hard to describe.

    Behind glass and framed, the surface texture itself is kind of hard to tell but this mellowing of images do remain.

    Seem to echo my sentiment in images very well.

    Anyone else?
     
  2. kchittenden

    kchittenden Member

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    I am a big fan of Matte papers. Sometimes I think they yield images that look three dimensional.
     
  3. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Matte, pearl/luster then gloss... In that order.

    I think matte looks best behind glass because there are no secondary reflections. The glass and the paper appear to blend together.
    I think pearl goes best for pictures that will go into an album and gloss is best for prints that are meant to be held in the hand.

    Some people like gloss because it is easier to reproduce, either for contact prints or for publication.
     
  4. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I don't like matte because it muddies the shadows. Glossy is too harsh with reflections. Semi-gloss is my compromise.
     
  5. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Air dried glossy fiber base for me -- not too glossy, not too matte. If you want a three dimensional look try pt/pd. For ( dare I say) digital prints I go with matte surface 100% rag. But it always boils down to personal preference.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    In terms of reproduction gloss gives better blacks.
     
  7. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Most of what I've printed over the last two years or so has been on semi-matte (Ilford MG Warmtone).
     
  8. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    I tend to swing between glossy and matte. Real, dead matte where there's no texture, no sheen, nothing... Foma does a good one and it's dirt cheap.
     
  9. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    I like a variation of jeffreyg's, glossy FB dried in blotter rolls. I guess that dates me -- I bought some blotter rolls years and years ago and they're still working fine. Haven't seen any of these for a long time.
     
  10. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Like it a lot. Blacks look like charcoal. Really nice surface if the print will be handled.
     
  11. onepuff

    onepuff Member

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    Not at all unique I'm afraid. I used to love un-glazed Brovira - gorgeous. Still prefer a matte finish for most subjects.
     
  12. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Group hug!
     
  13. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I'm a matte devotee! I love to tone in it in gold, gives the blacks a punch, it just my perfect for my taste. Nothing wrong with glossy, just matte fit my aesthetic more.

    Thanks Thomas for showing me the matte-way. I hope you post here a nice dissertation as to it's virtues and get more matte'ites.
     
  14. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    What's everybody's favorite Matte paper? I'm currently using Ilford MGIV FB Matte and Adorama's house brand FB Matte paper. For a quick prints, I use RC Pearl from both companies.
     
  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Depends whether you mean fiber based or RC. I see the OP specified FB but there might be some confusion here, since the surfaces look very different between FB and RC. FB glossy isn't really glossy - it was intended for ferrotyping in the old days, which as far as I know almost no one does anymore. Doing so will produce something very much like RC gloss but even shinier, but it's hard to do well (I have done it, only fairly well, back in the 70s.) So most FB glossy isn't glossy at all as glossy FB air dried yields what we used to call "glossy dried matte" and is, for most images, my preferred surface. Smooth and with deep rich blacks but not so shiny as to be harsh or give too many reflections.

    Matte and semi-matte FB papers suit some images for me, but most of them give up too much in the blacks for me to use them for general printing. This is a very personal thing and many people do like them for more of their prints.

    RC "smooth semi-matte" or the like has all the appeal of a dead fish for me, even now that the blacks aren't as horrid as they were the first time I tried, and detested, the Kodak N surface back in the 70s. I like just a bit of texture on RC prints. Pearl or something very similar is my favorite. The best ones look very much like FB "glossy dried matte" or air dried FB glossy. I like RC glossy for contacts because even the minimal texture of a pearl surface obscures fine detail when you drop a 8x or so loupe on it.

    Now color is an entirely different matter. I like the smooth matte or semi-matte color pretty well, lustre is fine if there isn't too much texture (but I confess I've been ordering my commercial prints glossy and haven't seen either the matte or lustre since the late 90s) and I find gloss much less distracting on color than black and white. YMMV as usual.
     
  16. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Hi.... OP here....

    What I like, in FB is FB matte. Real matte, not glossy drying semi-matte; although I agree it's nice for some subjects as you say. On RC, I tend to like Pearl for prints. For contact sheets (I use 35mm mainly), I use glossy as surface texture of anything else makes looking at detail pretty much impossible.

    One thing I noticed though, matte is not matte is not matte.... Depending on who made it, the texture tends to vary quite a bit. I use both Adorama's house brand FB matte and Ilford's MGIV matte. The former dries like semi-matte than matte where as latter is real matte. On RC side, I use both Adorama's brand and Ilford MGIV. They are pretty darn close in texture but reaction to toners are little different. So... I'm now curious... what matte paper do you guys use?
     
  17. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Well, I have always loved matte papers, especially Ilford MGIV, which to me has a very white base - I wonder if it always has had that? - my memory tells me it was slightly less white in the stone age... I mean ten years ago. The Fomabrom 112 is also really good.
     
  18. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Just finished a printing session working with rc satin paper. It's the closest I will get to matt as I personally don't like the flatness and black sucking ability it has. The satin is a good compromise between Matt and pearl, an looks good under glass. I like pearl a lot too. For fiber I use glossy and air dry, mostly because I don't have ferrotyping plates haha.
     
  19. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I really like matte, I just wish the blacks were darker.
     
  20. kevs

    kevs Member

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    I really like Ilford's dead matt surface, like Worker 11811, behind glass it works really well. Like water, glass deepens the apparent D-max and the non-reflective surface avoids reflections from the print that can be annoying with a glossy or semi-matt print. Without glass, the print has a graphite-like look to it. Don't get me wrong, gloss is great for impact when you want a deep, deep black - but there's something wonderful about the look a dead matt print. YMMV

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
  21. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Been loving Ilford MGIV FB matte and the new Arista Silver Art paper in white matte