Plexi or glass? Non glare or standard?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Robert Brummitt, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    A photographer friend of mine is setting up a show in town and called me concerning using Glass or Plexi for his prints and should he use standard glass or non glare? His prints are 20x30 then framed.
    I explained to him I use plexi because of the weight and possible danger of a framed print falling and the glass cutting a print. I had this happen to me during the '89 SF earthquake. I had a signed Ansel Adams poster fall and the glass just shredded that paper like a cat to a katnip mouse.
    I tried non glare glass and didn't care how it lowered the contrast of the prints behind it. So, I use standard plex.
    Anyways, I told my friend I would put the question to the Apug community and share their input. So tell me oh wise ones. How do you frame your work. Glass or Plexi? Non glare or standard?:tongue:
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Glass usually, sometimes acrylic ('plexi' as you say); but always anti-reflective and never non-glare. That's awful.

    I use Tru-Vue Museum (glass) and Optium Museum (acrylic). The choice between them is more to do with how they will be transported.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I use non-glare plexi for work I have framed. I use it for the weight, the ability to easily score and break it to size and it's sturdyness. If a print isn't very well lit I find the glare from staight plexi extremely distracting. I've also found the loss of contrast produced by the non-glare surface to be quite minimal, though my prints are very contrasty to start with. Of course the farther the nonglare plexi is from the survace of the print the worse the loss, though a 4ply over mat is thin enough to avoid it. Shawn
     
  4. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Plexi, but not non-glare.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I got non-glare acrylic once, and this was a mistake. The dull finish reduces print contrast. I still need to replace that one.

    There are glasses like Denglas, which have an anti-reflective coating (as is used on lenses)--very expensive, but very nice.

    UV protection is particularly important for color prints.

    For small prints, I usually use glass, but for larger prints UV-blocking acrylic.

    Museums like acrylic, because it's lighter in weight and less likely to break and damage the art.
     
  6. ijsbeer

    ijsbeer Member

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    I just use Standard aluminium frames that come with Glass, I think plexi wil scratch to fast.
     
  7. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Get your friend to take small samples of his work and the mat board he's going to use to a frame shop, then lay over them some plexi and glass samples. I find the sickly green cast of regular framing glass to be vile. I use plexi, but to date I haven't gone bigger than 16x20 frames so wobblyness isn't a factor that may come into play at larger sizes.

    Is your friend doing his own framing? Is he a calm, patient man? He'll have to be if he goes with plexi because that stuff'll suck onto its surface any particle of dust within a 1000' radius.

    Murray
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Perhaps I should have explained that Tru-Vue Museum and Optium Museum both have anti-reflective coating (very different from non-glare texture). There's a price difference to consider: Museum is expensive, Optium Museum is even more expensive. The glazing is the only thing that gives my pictures any value.

    Oh, by the way, I've also been using face mounting onto acrylic for the past year or so for my Garden Notebooks series. We're experimenting with face mounting onto Optium Museum, but not many places offer this at the moment.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  9. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    Glass, because I worry about plastic getting scratched. I do all my own matting and framing and have a local glass cutter prepare the glass.
     
  10. Daniel_OB

    Daniel_OB Member

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    Make one even with a diamond, and make one without anything. Put them side by side and look. You will not think a long time. And also, photographs are made to be used, touched, handled, not for museums and to be hiden behind a glass. Nice and archival mat, adecvate frame, and a nice photograph is all I need. Your standard might be different.

    By the way, I never saw any "Rembrandt's painting" hiden behind some kind of glass.

    www.Leica-R.com
     
  11. rexp

    rexp Member

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    Interesting... I never really thought about NOT having a glazing. I suppose in the home environment and many workplaces it would be just fine. I have some prints to frame for a restaurant, and have been struggling with this myself. Plastic gets that haze from fine scratches even when someone who supposedly knows what they are doing tries to clean it (I know, I had some in a gallery that ended up needing re-glazed). I think in a restaurant the air is way too dirty to not have a glazing, and so I will have to go with glass. I could always assume that most patrons will have had enough to drink that they don't notice the losses due to "non-glare" glass.

    More thinking (& drinking) is needed on this one...
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    A glass-free alternative that allows gentle cleaning and protects from fingerprints is lamination onto Sintra etc. This can look very good.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  13. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Remember that either glass or acrylic, whether or not they are specifically "anti-UV" will still give some protection from UV, and will also protect the print from accidental physical damage, especially if it were to fall off the wall. In a restaurant or any other public place, I would use nothing except acrylic, if only for the safety factor. Broken glass can give serious injuries!
    As Helen points out, lamination is another option, though not strictly "archival."
     
  14. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    Not Rembrandt but,The Mona Lisa is.
     
  15. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I'm in the business of framing so can add my feelings to this thread. If you use a mat then you will need some sort of barrier as you can't clean your mat once it's soiled ( or fly s**t ) Most people opt for normal glass due to cost considerations but with matted 16X20's weight may be a consideration.
    Non reflect glass or acrylic will degrade your image, especially if it's set back a bit with a mat, best only for objects that are in contact with it.
    Quality acrylic is quite expensive here and has the problem of static build up and scratching, but for large frames it is preferred due to the weight already mentioned.
    Coated Tru- View glass is by far and away the best option if cost is no consideration (it's really expensive) as it has a coating akin to multi- coated lenses and gives the appearance of no glass at all from certain angles.
    The anti-uv in this glass also helps if the work is to be hung in a bright areas.
    Hope this helps,
    Tony
     
  16. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I sense a bit of mis-undertsanding when reading some of the posts here regarding 'non-glare' glass. In the old days, 'non-glare' glass was made by adding a texture to the glass (akin to sand blasting it) and it did affect the appearance of the print. Most notable it appeared to reduce the contrast as has been mentioned in several posts. The more modern 'non -glare' glass is actually a coating, (akin to what someone already said, a kind of multi-coating). This newerr coated 'non-glare' glass does not affect the appearance of the image as the 'sand-blasted' type of non-glare glass did/does. I use this newer type of glass but without the UV coating. From the side one can see a slight coloring of the glass/coating in certian kinds of light, but from all but the most angled viewing it is clear and does not affect the contrast of the image. Where I am, the new coated non-glare glass is much more expensive than regualr glass and the UV coating makes it very very expensive, but it is the best method I have found to provide glass protection with the least amount of image affect.
     
  17. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Wally,

    I'm following the current naming convention used by the glass manufacturers, which is consistent with what you call the 'old' names: 'non-glare' is the textured stuff, 'anti-reflective' is the coated stuff.

    Non-glare glazing does not, of course, cut down on the proportion of reflected light, it just spreads out the specular reflection. Anti-reflective glazing actually cuts down the proportion of reflected light, just as lens coating does. Besides, if the coated glass is now called 'non-glare', what is the new name for the textured glass?

    By the way, I wrote some notes for friends in New York a while ago about choosing and using anti-reflective glass etc. I've appended them. They aren't bang up to date, as new materials have appeared since I wrote the notes, and I have also started to use anti-reflective acrylic, which I don't mention in the notes.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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  18. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    About the dust with acrylic - it can be reduced comparably to glass (which also has dust, just less prone to static electricity) by cleaning it with something called "Kleenmaster", made by a company called "Brillianize" (I get it from the place where I get the acrylic).
    I use 2 soft cotton T-shirts, one for applying, one for drying. I use it immediately after removing the backings. It leaves a kind of polished feel that even seems to resist fingerprints. A little canned air and a logical process for assembly and I rarely have problems.
     
  19. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    My carbon prints have a raised relief and I do prefer to show them without glass, etc. but rarely do...one can go thru a lot of mat board that way.

    I have been told that showing photographs without glazing is common in Japan and I had two carbon prints in a show there that were displayed without glass. They were eventually returned to me undamaged.

    I will agree with Daniel in that with small prints (say 8x10 or so), the best way to see a print (matted) is to hold it.

    Vaughn