When it comes to printing photos, you have got lots of photo paper options now. It includes glossy, matte, lustre, metallic, etc. Among these, lustre and metallic are two photo papers that have become more popular nowadays.

In this guide, I will do an in-depth comparison between lustre vs metallic photo prints. It will help you decide which of these is best for you.

👉🏻 📖 READ MORE: Matte vs Glossy Photo prints

Lustre Vs Metallic Photo Prints – The Differences 😎

1. Lustre Vs Metallic – Cost Difference 

Sl NoPhoto Size (Inches)Lustre Print PriceMetallic Print Price
14x40.69 $1.29 $
24x60.69 $1.29 $
34x81.00 $3.49 $
45x72.95 $4.95 $
510x108.95 $13.95 $
610x1510.95 $15.95 $
712x1214.95 $22.95 $
812x1814.95 $22.95 $
912x3632.95 $44.95 $

Cost can be a major factor when selecting the type of photo paper, especially when you need many prints.

4×6 size photo print on lustre photo paper will cost you around $0.69. A metallic photo print of the same size will cost around $ 1.29 (Price from DigitalProLab).

Thus, the price of a metallic photo print is almost double that of a lustre photo print. 

You can also get lustre and metallic photo paper in different qualities like standard, pro, and premium. The price will depend on the quality of the photo paper too.

2. Sensitivity to Fingerprints

Handling Photo Prints

If the photo prints are going to be handled by people, you need to look for the fingerprint factor too.

The lustre photo paper is resistant to fingerprints. So, even if many people touch the photo print, there won’t be any fingerprint marks on your lustre photo print.

On the other hand, metallic photo paper is more prone to fingerprints. If the photo print is going to be handled by people, it will get dirty with fingerprints.

3. Color Saturation

Metallic Vs Lustre - Color Saturation Difference

Many people prefer to get more saturated colors on their prints. If you are also looking for the same, I recommend using metallic paper for your photos.

The color saturation will be more in a metallic print when compared to a lustre one.

Also, if you use colors to compose the image, a metallic print will do more justice.

4. Image Sharpness

The sharpness of details in the image is another factor you must consider while selecting the photo print paper.

The details will be sharper in a metallic photo print compared to a lustre one.

But, this difference in sharpness in print will only be visible on a close inspection.

5. The Glare Factor

Anti Glare check

If you plan to hang your photo prints, you need to consider the glare factor too.

The metallic photo print will have more shine. Thus, the glare will be more for a metallic print.

On the other hand, there won’t be any glare issues if you go with the lustre one. It is because of the small pearl-like texture in this photo paper.

6. Durability of Prints

I have printed my pictures on both of these photo papers. The durability of the photo prints will depend on two things. 

One is the quality of the photo paper and the second one is the ink used for printing the photos.

If you go for premium lustre or metallic photo papers with good quality inks for printing, they will last for a long time.

When you compare a similar grade metallic vs lustre photo paper, durability will be higher for the metallic one.

When you go for online printing, always check for the type of paper they use and its GSM number.

👉🏻 📖 READ MORE: Lustre vs Glossy Photo prints

7. For Picture Framing (Without Glass)

Picture Framing Without Glass

If you plan to frame your picture without glass in front, the photo print will be directly exposed to the environment.

Here, you need to consider multiple things.

One is whether the photo will be touched regularly by hand. The lustre will be a good option if it gets touched since it is prone to fingerprint smudges.

Metallic prints have more longevity than lustre ones. When the framed prints are exposed to air, the metallic print will last longer.

8. For Picture Framing (With Glass)

Framing with Glass

Using glass in front of your picture frame provides an additional protective layer over the print.

When you use a metallic photo inside a glass frame, there will be unwanted reflections from the print on the glass. Thus, it will make the image unpleasant for the viewer.

Lustre prints are the best option for a framed image with glass in front.

But you need to ensure that no strong light is falling on the hung picture frame. If too much light falls on the frame, there will be unnecessary reflections from the framed image.

9. For Landscape Images

Lustre Black and White Landscape Print

When it comes to landscape images, you will be interested in bringing more warmth and saturation to the picture.

The metallic photo paper will help to make the colors in the scene more vibrant. Also, the print will last a long.

If you are person who does not like that extra shine and richness of colors in the landscape image, lustre will be a good option.

When you print black and white landscape images, lustre paper will be a better option. It will help to reproduce nice tonal details in the image.

👉🏻  📖 READ MORE: Acrylic Vs Metal Photo Prints

10. For Portrait Images

Portrait Lustre Print

The lustre photo paper is the best when it comes to the reproduction of skin colors. It will look more natural.

When it comes to portrait, you must also consider the attire of the person.

If there are metallic colors or shining elements in the dress, you will definitely want to enhance it in the print. In such situations, metallic paper will be the best choice.

So, choose accordingly.

11. For Wildlife Images

Wildlife Metallic Photo Print

When it comes to prints of wildlife images, I prefer the images to look more natural.

The metallic photo prints bring an additional shine and color saturation to the elements in the image.

So, I prefer to go with lustre photo paper for wildlife images.

12. For Photo Albums

Photo Album

There are two types of photo albums. In one type, you will be inserting the print into a transparent plastic cover.

For such albums, the luster print is a better choice. It is because the metallic print will be more reflective because of the additional transparent plastic layer coming between the print and the viewer.

If you are just sticking the photos in the album without any protective layer in front, both lustre and metallic prints will look good. Here, the type of image will decide the type of photo paper.

When to Use Lustre Photo Prints? 🤔

You can use lustre photo prints if you use the image inside a picture frame with or without glass, black and white prints, anti-glare prints, and resistant to fingerprint photo prints.

When to Use Metallic Photo Prints? 🤔 

You can use metallic photo prints if you want to make the photo print rich in colors, vibrant, if there are metallic and shiny colors in the scene, more sharpness in details, and long-lasting prints.

Which is Better – Lustre or Metallic Photo Paper? 🚀

Lustre vs Metallic Print Infographic

Both lustre and metallic photo papers have got its own pros and cons. Both of these photo prints have got its own use cases.

So, it is your end use of the image, that will decide which of these prints is better for you.

You can have a look at the above infographic for a quick reference to know the differences.

It is always a good idea to go through the above differences between these two photo prints. It will definitely help you make the right decision.

Consider reading this article if you are interested to know the difference between paper and canvas photo prints.