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Acrylic vs Metal prints
  
 
photoin.nyc
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


I'm pretty new in large prints and I'm looking to print some of my work and hang it on the wall and maybe in the future start selling, but for now, it will be just for my own soul.

I was searching online for more information, but there's not too much to be found and it's very difficult to picture how great the print quality is.

Based on my research Mpixpro Vivid Metals is supposed to look good at an affordable price while Metal Mouth's FMK prints may have awesome quality at almost twice the cost.

I'm more interested in metal prints because of the weight and because it fades less over time.

So my question is, do you guys have any experience with these two print services?
Is FMK worth the cost?
If the price is not an issue, what type of medium you'd choose and why between metal and acrylic (Fiji Chrystal Archive) prints?


Thanks!



Jan 30, 2017 at 11:44 PM
JSecord
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


Besides being a cheesy name, those "FMK" prints are not as close to the "Peter Lik" style as they claim. The prints he displays in his galleries are Fujiflex face mounted acrylics, not some metal print add on or whatever it is that company is advertising.

Price aside, I'd go with lumachrome prints from Nevada Art Printers. They're sharper than metal prints and look incredible. I do love printing on metal as well, and customers love them, but those lumachrome prints really are special

photoin.nyc wrote:
I'm pretty new in large prints and I'm looking to print some of my work and hang it on the wall and maybe in the future start selling, but for now, it will be just for my own soul.

I was searching online for more information, but there's not too much to be found and it's very difficult to picture how great the print quality is.

Based on my research Mpixpro Vivid Metals is supposed to look good at an affordable price while Metal Mouth's FMK prints may have awesome quality at almost twice the cost.

I'm more interested in
...Show more



Jan 31, 2017 at 03:00 AM
photoin.nyc
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


JSecord wrote:
Besides being a cheesy name, those "FMK" prints are not as close to the "Peter Lik" style as they claim. The prints he displays in his galleries are Fujiflex face mounted acrylics, not some metal print add on or whatever it is that company is advertising.

Price aside, I'd go with lumachrome prints from Nevada Art Printers. They're sharper than metal prints and look incredible. I do love printing on metal as well, and customers love them, but those lumachrome prints really are special




So you're saying that Lumachrome is "better" than Fujiflex?



Jan 31, 2017 at 05:12 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


Face mounted prints on acrylic have the shortest life of any print method as they are subject to mechanical abrasion of the plastic and staining of the print from water or chemical fumes (as with floor wax). Many very valuable prints mounted on plastic in the 1960's and 1970's have been "restored" at great effort and great expense.

Prints are seldom damaged by UV, after all who hangs a print on a south facing wall that is going to be exposed to sunlight during the day? Mechanical and chemical and water damage are what are involved in the great majority of insurance claims and not UV damage.

The larger the print that is mounted an put under glass the greater the need for double matting to provide an adequate gap at the center of the print so there is no chance of it coming in contact with the glass.

Printing on metal is good for the look but not for durability, if that really matters. For clients I print on Fuji or Kodak Endura Metallic papers with a pro lab and then mount them under museum glass.

The whole thing about XXX years of UV exposure is a diversion by the inkjet printer and ink manufacturers from the real problems that damage prints. Prints are most often damaged by exposure to water and not UV radiation.



Feb 01, 2017 at 12:58 AM
photoin.nyc
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


elkhornsun wrote:
Face mounted prints on acrylic have the shortest life of any print method as they are subject to mechanical abrasion of the plastic and staining of the print from water or chemical fumes (as with floor wax). Many very valuable prints mounted on plastic in the 1960's and 1970's have been "restored" at great effort and great expense.

Prints are seldom damaged by UV, after all who hangs a print on a south facing wall that is going to be exposed to sunlight during the day? Mechanical and chemical and water damage are what are involved in the great majority
...Show more

Thanks for the valuable input.
In my opinion, if someone pays more than triple digits for a print, they should also know how to invest a little bit in knowledge. They should know how to take care and properly clean them.



Feb 03, 2017 at 05:40 PM
drewmey
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


I've bought some metal and acrylic prints from both Bayphoto and AdoramaPix. I personally won't be doing any more acrylic prints. I just can't justify the extra cost for the "improvement". This is strictly based on both my perception and of course my wallet. Those factors will be different for others.

Price aside, I am still not sure if I would choose metal or acrylic. I like them both very much. That's why I am probably sticking with metal for now.

My suggestion would be to start off with a metal print from Bayphoto. I have been happy with the quality and pricing there. Not to mention they seem to have more options than a lot of other places (rounded corner radius, mounting types, sizes, finish types, even framing). Also they are ALWAYS running the 25% off your first order which is how I got hooked! I will warn that I was not as happy with the mounting from AdoramaPix on the metal prints. An acrylic from BayPhoto came with a nice harder wood french cleat system while the metal came mounted to a nice aluminum box with a hole for a hook. The AdoramaPix metal print was mounted to some cheaper feeling fiber board of some kind.

I looked into Nevada Art Printers. Would love to try them out some day, but couldn't justify the cost especially after shipping which was going to run another $45. Maybe you can, it is your dollar. I've heard many people say they are great.



Feb 03, 2017 at 06:03 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


I think it's important to point out that there are different types of metal prints. The most common is bare metal (I actually don't like these at all), and also my favorite but harder to find is metal that has been coated with a white high gloss photographic coating first. The latter has characteristics more similar to acrylic, with the extremely deep blacks, punchy colors, high contrast, and lots of 'pop'. If you've been to Maui or Hawaii and gone in the art galleries, probably half of them print on the coated metal because of how well it compliments the bright, vibrant colors of the area.


Feb 03, 2017 at 06:22 PM
 

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JSecord
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


Every lab I've seen has the white gloss option. Somebody else mentioned bayphoto and their metal prints- myself and many other photographers who sell lots of prints that I know will no longer use bayphoto because of damaged prints. I always have prints shipped to me first, never directly to customers, and it seemed like every other metal print from bayphoto arrived damaged last year, and not damage from shipping. Things like bent prints, scratched prints, I had one metal print arrive with a huge noticeable chip in the metal as well. They will always replace the prints with basically no questions asked, but it's obvious their quality control is pretty low to let those prints even leave the lab. My first year with bayphoto was great, but it seemed like things went downhill last year quite a bit

CanadaMark wrote:
I think it's important to point out that there are different types of metal prints. The most common is bare metal (I actually don't like these at all), and also my favorite but harder to find is metal that has been coated with a white high gloss photographic coating first. The latter has characteristics more similar to acrylic, with the extremely deep blacks, punchy colors, high contrast, and lots of 'pop'. If you've been to Maui or Hawaii and gone in the art galleries, probably half of them print on the coated metal because of how well it compliments the
...Show more



Feb 04, 2017 at 12:27 AM
dgdg
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


I treated myself to one large acrylic print from Nevada Art, and a couple small ones.
I was very impressed. I don't print much, but what I have I'd like to enjoy.



Feb 04, 2017 at 01:18 AM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


JSecord wrote:
Every lab I've seen has the white gloss option. Somebody else mentioned bayphoto and their metal prints- myself and many other photographers who sell lots of prints that I know will no longer use bayphoto because of damaged prints. I always have prints shipped to me first, never directly to customers, and it seemed like every other metal print from bayphoto arrived damaged last year, and not damage from shipping. Things like bent prints, scratched prints, I had one metal print arrive with a huge noticeable chip in the metal as well. They will always replace the prints with basically
...Show more

Weird, I have only come across 2 labs that do it properly, and only one of those is in Canada. If there's more out there that's great.



Feb 04, 2017 at 05:40 AM
vario1
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


I have used Aspen Creek photo on three occasions now for metal prints, and am very happy.


Feb 05, 2017 at 07:34 PM
plateaulight
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


elkhornsun wrote:
Face mounted prints on acrylic have the shortest life of any print method as they are subject to mechanical abrasion of the plastic and staining of the print from water or chemical fumes (as with floor wax). Many very valuable prints mounted on plastic in the 1960's and 1970's have been "restored" at great effort and great expense.

Prints are seldom damaged by UV, after all who hangs a print on a south facing wall that is going to be exposed to sunlight during the day? Mechanical and chemical and water damage are what are involved in the great majority
...Show more

Unfortunately It looks like you are mistaking a face mounted acrylic print with a back mounted print. The face mounted acrylic print is the highest longevity print available. The print is encapsulated by the acrylic face and backing. Arcylic is inert and also does not stain without extreme heat. Illford was rating facemouted Cibachrome at 200 yrs and behind glass Cibachrome at 29 yrs. For some reference the 5 most expensive photographs ever sold are all acrylic prints.

As far as metal print longevity? There is a bogus report perpetuated by a metal print manufacturer claiming that their metal prints have the highest longevity compared to most photographic papers. What they are not directly telling you is that they are comparing to chromagenic prints that last between 14 and 30 years. They deceptively leave out the Fuji Crystal archive and archival pigmented prints from their test.
HIGHLY MANIPULATED data!

While I recognize that the bulk of metal prints look very saturated and contrasty it is a gross ICC profiling inaccuracy, not a sign of greater saturation capacity and most perfectionists would rather put the extra contrast and saturation in with precise adjustments. Ever try and get a metal print ICC profile that is accurate? The rip software used with the Sawgrass inks is derived from the garment industry and is not optimized for precise color but strong color for shirts and jerseys. Yes you can use Onyx and create your own linearization tables and profiles but very few know how to do this. We use Onyx and when a metal print is done through a tightly calibrated system they look pretty flat and most clients want a punched up look however at the same time many do not want their file enhanced. (Quite a contradiction)

Metal prints are also subject to SERIOUS METAMMERISIM.

Ever try and print a B&W on metal? They shift green under various lighting. Metal prints are great for decor or budget display but they are not a serious fine art medium and the very high end galleries do not touch them nor do serious collectors who would collect a Gursky, Yarrow, David Drebin or even a Peter Lik , Rodney Lough etc,

Robert Park


Edited on Sep 15, 2017 at 07:03 PM · View previous versions



Aug 09, 2017 at 05:08 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Acrylic vs Metal prints


Unless the prints are exposed to direct sunlight fading should not be a concern. I avoid acrylic as it is easily scratched and can be discolored by chemical fumes from cleaning agents.

In addition to printing on metal I really like the Kodak Endura metallic prints. Done as normal photo paper processing they are more durable than any other media and much longer lasting than inkjet prints.

My brother has been working in professional restoration of 20 years on photographs from high end galleries, museums, and private collectors. It is only because of the dollar value of the prints (which is often in the 5 figures and sometimes in 6 figures) that his company works on acrylic face mounted prints. It is extremely difficult to salvage a print when it is adhered on the face to the plastic. It does not take much thought to understand why this is do difficult to do without damaging the image.

Acrylic is highly impact resistant but it scratches very easily. Many of the restorations (which involve removing the prints from the plastic, are the result of scratches to the plastic surface. Airplane windows are acrylic as it is highly impact resistant but next time you are in a plane see if you can find a window without scratches on it. Companies that sell acrylic sheet will provide special cleaning guidelines, not something you find with glass.

Chemicals in the environment can also damage the print as the face mounted print is not in an air tight frame. The archival backing does nothing to protect prints from moisture or chemical exposure. Archival means a neutral pH and nothing more.

All the prints in an entire wing at MOMA in New York were damaged when the maintenance crew switched to a new floor wax that off-gassed and discolored the prints, non of which were in air tight frames.



Aug 09, 2017 at 11:54 PM







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