So if you remember, I had recently bought a metal print from Bayphoto. Well something I’ve always been curious about and has been asked by many different people online. Which is better, Fuji Pearl or Kodak Endura metallic papers? There’s a lot of varying opinions on the topic and I thought I’d weigh in as well. I ordered 3 of the same exact prints in both formats and here in a second I’m going to compare the three side by side and point out the key differences between them. I choose a nice thick black and white for the first set, a standard portrait shot to see how well they fair against skin tones and a nicely saturated multi spectrum color photo for the last one. So let’s get started.
First up is a contrasty black and white photo of my lovely girlfriend. Right off the bat, I noticed the color difference between the two. The pearl has an almost sepia tone to it, while the endura seems like it’s closer to a silver look. On the endura though, I notice that the highlights on her right cheek are kinda blown out. I don’t know if that’s a defect from the printing process or a quality of that paper since I didn’t notice that on either of the other papers. The pearl is much smoother in this aspect and everything transitions perfectly from the shadows to the highlights. I do much prefer how deep the blacks are in the endura over the pearl though.
Moving on to the next photo the pearl in this one is definitely more saturated and has an overall warmer feel to it than the endura. The endura once again having a problem with the highlights, this time not blowing them out, but still a tad too strong, at least for my tastes. The eyes shine brighter on the pearl as well and the highlights in the hair, oddly enough are more prevalent in the pearl, which up until this point seemed like that was a key feature of the endura. So I think that’s all I really have to point out for this one. Personally, I find the pearl wins in every aspect of the photo of this set.
The first thing in this last set here that immediately jumps out at me is how much more colorful the endura is over the pearl. Which is odd since the last set showed the exact opposite to be true. Not only do the colors pop much more, the sky in the pearl looks as if there is no color what so ever, where in the endura the sky gives off a purplish hue in the right hand corner. Other than the dramatic color change in the sky, the key differences are pretty much moot. Although I feel like the endura gives off a slightly more silver tone across the whole image.
Overall honestly I couldn’t tell you which I prefer more. I think they both have their strengths and weaknesses and that isn’t a cop out either. It’s more of a personal preference. I know for me personally, I think if I’m getting something very contrasty with lots of color done then I’d go with the endura, but as you heard me say on the second image, I’d rather go pearl for something a bit flatter. That’s not a slight against the pearl either, ‘cause with the “flatter” image it produced a much more pleasing image, so really it’s a good thing. Black and whites are still a toss up for me. I don’t really like the sepia tone the pearl had, but the endura didn’t seem to handle those whites too well. I’ll reserve my judgement on that until I get more printed. So which did you think was better? Maybe I’ll do a follow up on this at a later time. I hope this was informative although I’m sure it didn’t end the duel of the metallics.