mat board questions : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

does it make a difference which type of board is used to mount prints? do color prints and black and white prints need different board types? I was planning on using 4 ply 100% rag. Do I use buffered or unbuffered? Also sny suggestions on suppliers. much thanks for your help. dee

-- dee seegers (, March 23, 2002



unbuffered mats are recommended for color, cyanotype and dye-transfer prints. For all other prints, buffered or unbuffered mats can be used.


-- Thilo Schmid (, March 23, 2002.

Dee, I just ordered 16X20 4 ply mats from Light Impressions and they arrived in great shape. Ben

-- Ben Hopson (, March 23, 2002.

I buy all my mats from Light Impressions. Westminster 100% rag for black and white. I use the bright white color. The others are VERY creamy or darker. I really like the convenience of the precut packs. I then use my local frame shop to cut my windows on their cad/cam computer cutter. They are perfect with no more wobbles, overcuts etc. Just $5.00 a pop. This is the only thing I don't do myself.

One other tip. At least at my pro photo shop here in Portland, OR, I can order anything through Light Impressions and there is no shipping for me and the shop gets 25% of the catalog price as profit. Now there is a good deal for everyone! That shipping can really add up and I support the continued existence of my local shop. I also order my metal frames this way.


-- Scott Jones (, March 23, 2002.

Try Superior Archival Materials. or 1-888- 857-1722.

They have much better board than Light Impressions and their overmat cutting service is much less expensive than $5/overmat. They have a $25,000 computerized mat cutter and make perfect mats every time.

Their Alpharag board (non-buffered) id the best board for all types of photographs.

-- Michael A. Smith (, March 23, 2002.

Michael are these the mats you talked about in your article on View Camera? If so then ok I read the article, but if not, these are pretty strong claims what basis you have for them?

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, March 23, 2002.

Never mind Michael I went to the site and is the same board you talked about in VC it even has the same pics.....thanks. I think I will give them a try next time...If I can only get the &%$"%& house and darkroom finished.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, March 23, 2002.

I am also a Superior Archival board convert, not only for the superior protection, but for the, in my view, better color. I had been trying brand after brand of board trying to find one that was as white as the whites in the prints. I hate the conflict of bright, pure print whites and a yellow board. Even the "bright white" from most manufacturers was too yellow. The AlphaRag Bright White from Superior is the whitest and most beautiful board I've found. I threw away my stock from the other companies. If you print on papers with at pure white paper base, this is the board for you. Regards, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (, March 24, 2002.

There's another line of mount boards and papers that are simialr to the Artcare materials...they're the Microchamber boards & papers that Conservation Resources Int'l has made for far as I know, Artcare is made by Nielsen & Bainbridge, but I believe CRI has been doing research on the Microchamber prodcucts for awhile...I have a 1999 CRI catalog, that is pretty large, about 200 pages, and has extensive aging/fuming test data reports, as well as their whole product catalog--which includes alot of negative and print storage enclosures, and other papers such as the Lig Free I & II materials. They alos carry alot of polyester enclosures and encapsualtion supplies, as well as technical items for conservation like Quake Wax, Renaisance Wax etc...If you go to their website or call the company, you can get a catalog. This isn't an endorsement or anything, but you may want to check them out as well.

Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency.

-- DK Thompson (, March 25, 2002.

The Microchamber mat board is the same board as the ArtCare mat board.

As I described in my article, Bill Hollinger, of Conservation Resources, International invented this board. They license this board to Nielsen & Bainbridge. Superior Archibval Materials sells it to photographers. They cut to size and cut the most beautiful overmats. To my knowledge, no one else is set up to do this.

-- Michael A. Smith (, March 26, 2002.

I never read the article....I saw it, but we get these catalogs all the time...FWIW, if anyone wants to read more about this stuff, or other boards & papers, this is the link to the archives of the Conservation Distlist...Bill Hollinger is on here as well as several of the IPI researchers, as well as Henry Wilhelm, Louis Nadeau etc....

Other suppliers would include (of course, not for this artcare board): 1EB6FE1F4EE3603F

there may be a few more....Henry Wilhelm's "Permanence and Care of Color Photographs" is an excellent reference for this sort of stuff....

Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my agency.

-- dk thompson (, March 26, 2002.

thanks for all the info. i'm going to visit the sitesyou all mentioned.

-- dee seegers (, March 27, 2002.

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