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| p.1 #8 · Face Mount to Plexiglass |
If you have control over the lighting setup, "simple" non-glare often works very well. It lowers the contrast by a tiny bit, but the gains by bonding the print surface to the front transparency is way bigger.
But if you have eye-level sunlight (windows in anything but north face) you can get different impressions during the passing of the day. Then I'd recommend AR coating for the best result.
The main thing about using a bonding layer is that the surface of the print is fairly reflective even in parts with high D values, so you get random scatter (and lots of it!) in the small air layer between the print and the back face of the coverglass (cover acrylic?). This smooths out detail and lowers overall contrast quite significantly.
But bonded prints have a tendency to show outer layer reflections much more strikingly, the difference between areas where you have a specular reflection of light and the areas where you don't is much more disturbing when the good area has so much more contrast...
The eye adapts to surrounding contrast. If contrast is very good in one part of the image, the other parts of the image will be seen as VERY not good. If the contrast is quite low even in the part with no reflection, the difference will be smaller, and you'll actually see more of the image. A case of "worse is better" in some situations.
But seeing a contact-mount print correctly lit is (can be) a striking experience though. It's well worth it in many cases.