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  1. #1

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    Pearl? Matte? Gloss? Satin? Headache...

    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!

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
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    So, pearl is supposed to have some deeper back shine, i.e. pearlescence, as opposed to strong reflection. Satin is supposed to have some of the iridescence of the fabric. The issue most people have with straight glossy is that it reflects back very strongly, the image is totally obscured if you don't hold it at some magic angle. So there have been various attempts to get rid of that back shine while keeping as much of the DMax as possible. That's my take on it.

    You should be able to order a paper sampler and see what works best for you. As for me, I am a fiber matte kinda guy. Don't like gloss shine at all. I can live with pearl and satin and semimatte though.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Just the opposite Pearl appears less contrasty not such deep blcks, despite the emulsion being identical.

    The major difference is how the prints reflect light, most manufacturers used to provide dealers/retailers with a swatch to show the differences.

    Matt can look really nice and natural to some, many prefer Pearl, others Glossy. As Keith says many of us prefer unglazed Glossy fibre based papers they are probably the best of all.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    Satin is much more matte than its name would suggest vis a vis Pearl. It is said to take handcolouring better because of its "tooth" but I haven't tried it for this yet.

    I like the surface but compared to Glossy( the student's favourite for courses) and Pearl, it sells an awful lot less. My fear is that it is surface we could lose unless demand is at least maintained. Give it a try with a small pack and then buy bigger if you like it. The best message to Ilford about what it should continue to produce is its sales figures.

    pentaxuser

  5. #5

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    In the Ilford Multigrade RC range satin is the least glossy and has the least depth of black. Pearl has more sheen, and deeper blacks -quite good blacks in my opinion.
    If I was forced to only print on RC this would be the surface I would choose, as I much prefer it to glossy. Ilford do this surface in Warmtone RC as well, also very nice, with a warmer base than Warmtone fibre.

    Alan Clark

  6. #6

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    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!

  7. #7

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    I prefer RC glossy for my displayed work because it has better contrast. I find Pearl and Satin lack contrast; the only good thing about these papers is finger prints aren't left on the print as it would on glossy. So for clients I give them Pearl/Satin and increase the contrast more. Nonetheless, I prefer fiber paper for my personal work

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    In RC Pearl is a great finish, paper's expensive so make a choice. Satin's interesting but the surface marks easily it's not good for constant handling and general use.

    As for Gloss versus Pearl well look at colour snapshots the surfaces are much the same, I like both and am ambiguous, if I'm printing to scan then glossy.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    Brian,
    For the Ilford Multigrade 4 RC range, yes.
    The fibre range has matt and glossy.
    Small 25 sheet packs are available. The best thing is to buy a pack of satin , one of pearl and one of glossy, then print the same negative on all three. You will soon discover which you like best.

    alan Clark

  10. #10

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    Alan,
    I think that's what I'm going to do, now that I have a better understanding of what to expect. I'll pick up a 25 pack of each and give it a whirl!

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