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BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Film-Based Camera Equipment : What Does a Darkroom Look Like - Paper & Supplies

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Photography Question 
Jo A. Metz

member since: 3/2/2002

Photo paper surfaces

What are the differences between paper surfaces? ex. Matte, Luster, Pearl, etc.

3/2/2002 3:06:35 AM

Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2004
  **Bumping, I'd like to know this answer too.**

I know matte is your non glossy photo.

9/12/2005 3:13:46 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  I think there's glossy which is all shiny and gets finger prints on it easily. Matte is more textured. As to luster and pearl, I think they're pretty much the same thing but specific to the brand. If you go to most places and get enlargments they will probably make it on luster which is like a semi-matte I think. If you're using Ilford, I think they call semi-matte pearl?

9/21/2005 7:49:04 PM

Linda S. Pearson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/27/2005
  Check this article on It explains the differences in papers.

Hope this helps.

9/21/2005 8:32:54 PM

Philip Pankov
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/30/2004
  One thing to remember glossy paper will always give you deeper D-max - i.e. your blacks will be more black on the glossy paper than with other surfaces. This is very important in traditional Black & White photography, but less so with color photography.


Philip Pankov
Pictures of Ireland - Fine Art Black & White Photography of Ireland

9/25/2005 4:41:51 PM


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