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  1. #11

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    Eadwardy says that Pearl and Satin lack contrast. I find that Ilford Pearl has more contrast than Ilford Satin. The difference is very noticable. Satin doesn't really have a black, but the Pearl does.

    Alan Clark

  2. #12
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianmichel View Post
    So in ascending order of gloss for the Ilford range it goes; satin, pearl, glossy. Once again I think playing with all of these would be beneficial since I don't print much. Thanks for the help!
    In the 'good old days', photographers working with 'glossy' fiber based paper had choices in the way they could dry prints. One option was to squeegee the wet print onto a waxed, polished metal plate (called a 'ferrotype plate'). This would produce a mirror-like finish on the print that was the ultimate in glossy. Alternatively, they could dry the prints face down on fiberglass screens, or in blotter books, for a more subdued gloss. Ferrotyped prints were commonly used for commercial (reproduction) applications, while the air-dried version was more common for artistic and display applications.

    When RC papers were introduced, manufacturers knew that the new technology would take away the choice that photographers had for the surface finish of dried prints, so they opted to provide choices of surfaces that emulated the options that were available with fiber based paper. RC glossy paper produces results that are similar to ferrotyping, while the Ilford "pearl" surface emulated air-dried glossy fiber-based paper. Kodak had a similar product like but used letter designations - F was 'glossy', while "E" approximated the effect of air-dried fiber-based glossy paper.

    Matte paper is just that - very flat. The most common use for matte paper is for situations where monochrome prints were to be hand colored, although occasionally you will see a matte photograph on display. "Satin" is Ilford's term for a surface that is part-way between true matte and their "pearl' surface - Kodak had a similar surface that they designated as "N" and sometimes described as "soft gloss".
    Louie

  3. #13

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    My paper of choice is Ilford MG fibre glossy. That gives me the opportunity of drying it in my Arkay either face up or face down. In other words face up is glossy and face down is a semi-matte. Either way, you are free to do whatever toning you chose.

    Don

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
    Eadwardy says that Pearl and Satin lack contrast. I find that Ilford Pearl has more contrast than Ilford Satin. The difference is very noticable. Satin doesn't really have a black, but the Pearl does.

    Alan Clark
    I agree 100%. Sometimes I also have the impression that satin has bit less sharpness, but that could be because of the reduced contrast. My choice is pearl. It does have a good black, it's not too shiny to become annoying and you won't see any fingerprints on it, something very important for me. Let's just say that pearl is a good compromise between glossy and satin (matte really).

  5. #15
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    As I said before the Satin is a very deep lustrous finish it looks amazing, but in truth has a low Dmax.The black of Satin looks amazing until you compare it to Pearl or Glossy.

    On this AlanC and I would agree as we compared prints. (We don't disagree onn other issues either).

    Ian

  6. #16

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    Ian,
    You know I always agree with you!
    The satin also looks like it has deep blacks until you dip a print half in water. Then the wet half looks really good in contrast and D max, and the dry half is revealed to be poor in blacks and lower in contrast as a result.

    Alan Clark

  7. #17
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    Matte fiber has the lowest DMax of all and ... looks and feels the best to me
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Matt can look really nice and natural to some ...
    Ian
    Gee, thanks Ian .

    I really like the pearl surface in RC - it is similar to the N surface that Kodak used to offer.

    When I used to use FB paper (a very long time ago) there were always some phtos that looked really good on a matte surface Ektalure.

    Matt

  9. #19
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    Pearl has a reasonable D max and provides a more creamy rendition of highlights. The whites are not as stark and high tones are better separated. My choice over the other finishes....

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianmichel View Post
    Alright, I've been looking around for more information on this, but I can't find any definitive examples of what the end difference of these papers are. Yes, yes I realize that a glossy paper will have a shine to it when printed, and a matte paper will produce an image with no shine. But what's the deal with Pearl and Satin? I can't find anything on these, are any of these preferred for printing, I know that I should probably try some of each, but I wanted to baseline what to expect from all of these, let me know if you guys have any experience with these kinds of paper.

    For the most part I'm looking at Ilford Multigrade RC paper, since it seems pretty prevalent and cheap in order to be economical in my first printing extravaganza.

    Any information is appreciated, thanks!
    Glossy is a shiny paper, matte is flat, it's just like paint, Pearl is somewhere between the 2, trying to give the advantages of both. I find that Glossy has the best contrast, but can be easily marred by fingerprints, matte has a lower contrast but is not affected by fingerprints, Pearl is kinda in between, has better contrast the matte and better resistance to finger prints then matte.

    Satin can mean two things, some satin papers have like a cloth layer, under the emulsion, so they have a rough surface, other satin papers are more like pearl papers. Never liked the rough surface satin papers. I always liked pearl for general purpose printing, using glossy and matte when needed for some reason. With multiple grade papers, best is to buy a small package of each and try them to see what you like best.
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

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