What is the luster finish?

Regardless of whether they are reproduced from film negatives or printed from a digital file, their finish can have a big impact on color saturation, detail and gloss. The most common photo finishes available to customers are shiny, matte and semi-gloss (Luster), each has its own advantages. You can request a specific finish from the store where you want to develop a photograph or files or buy special photo paper for the printer at home.

The luster finish is ideally suited for framed pictures.

Glossy shine

The shiny finish, as the name suggests, is shiny and reflects light well. With a high saturation of colors and a tendency to clearly and sharply display details, glossy is a type of photographic finish that most people have been accustomed to. Due to the smooth surface, shiny photos are perfect for scanning to a computer. However, the tendency of glossy paper to collect greasy fingerprints on the surface can be problematic if you plan to upload photos.

Matt Finish

Mat or in other words a matte finish has a high texture, so it is resistant to fingerprints and scratches. Much more matte than glossy photo paper does not reflect so much light, reducing glare, but also affecting the vivacity and color saturation of photos. The texture of the matte finish also makes the print looks grainy and has blurred details. Professional photographers and photojournalists prefer a matte finish of prints, especially in black and white, perhaps this is why matte is more “professional”.


Thanks to the modestly textured, gravel-like surface, the glossy finish is between the gloss of the paper and the matness. Although Luster still suffers from some glare, it is much less noticeable than on a glossy paper. Compared to the matt finish, photos with such a finish have better color saturation and details. This finish is commonly used by professional photographers for wedding, portrait and school photos.


For everyday color photos that you can put in a photo album, the glossy finish is a good choice when it comes to vivid colors and vivid details, and the matte is great for black and white prints. However, if you want color saturation and gloss details, but without glare and the tendency to show fingerprints, a Luster finish is a good, solid choice.

Particularly noteworthy is Citizen CX-2 printer, which has all these finishes.

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