View Full Version : Framing glass - what's a good one these days?

Henry Ambrose
15-Feb-2011, 10:17
I think Denglas used to be a high end standard but it seems they are gone. What else is there and where can I buy cut pieces? Really clear, non glare, glass. Not plastic, please. Thanks in advance.

Drew Wiley
15-Feb-2011, 11:38
You'd want to see what's distributed in your area. Several substitutes for Denglas
have come up, and are actually better. The last time I bought a carton it was optically
coated TruVue (not to be confused with conventional nonglare or sandwiched museum
glass). Around 99% percent transmission with almost no reflections. They use a dipping process with titanium coatings rather than vacuum deposition with purplish
magnesium. More scratch resistant, but you need to avoid ammonia cleaners. You also
need to cut this with a wheel designed for tempered glass - a little more acute angle
on the glasscutter wheel than for window glass. I have one of those big wall-mounted
Fletcher machines, so haven't tried a handcutter per se. It's also thin like picture glass,
2mm, so would be hard to handle in big sizes. The largest prints I have put under it
are 20X24 Cibachromes, so glass no wider than 32" - but the look is spectacular since
you don't get secondary reflections from the glass itself.

bob carnie
15-Feb-2011, 11:41
We are moving to www.claryl.com for high quality glass it is a DSM brand

Sal Santamaura
15-Feb-2011, 12:14
We are moving to www.claryl.com for high quality glass...Is it a low-iron substrate like TruVue AR, i.e. no green cast?

Drew Wiley
15-Feb-2011, 12:21
I just looked at their site, Sal, and it is low-iron. My main objection to glass is that it
not only breaks and is risky to ship, but that it's very difficult to handle given something like a 30x40 print, and worst of all for my purposes, prone to condensation.
Unfortunately, optically-coated acrylic is still well over $500 wholesale for an undersized sheet, so cost-wise a difficult option. Acrylic is also going up, just like all
petrochemical based things. I recommend optically-coated glass only when wall
temps are decently insulated from harsh temp/humidity swings. Acrylic is a far better
insulator. But glass lies flatter, and even the coated stuff is relatively affordable.

Rafal Lukawiecki
15-Feb-2011, 12:28
How does Denglas, TruVue or others compare to Nielsen's optically coated museum glass? I am planning ahead for my next framing.

I have just used Nielsen's Museum UV60 to frame 26 B&W prints for my exhibition and I was impressed how it looked in comparison to regular float glass. I also found that their UV60 looked better than their UV90 as it imparted almost no perceptible change in tone to my selenium treated prints. Their UV90 added a touch of sepia brown, which might suit others. Actual UV protection was of no concern to me. It was 2 mm, by the way, and it gave off a purplish-to-greenish "reflection" when held at certain angles.

I hope I have not hijacked this thread - I am quite interested in opinions on various types of museum glass.

bob carnie
15-Feb-2011, 12:40
Just went to the glass area with my frame tech.

here are his thoughts of the best in quality. or if we were in Westminister Best in Show.

1. Tru View Museum - best
2. Claryl AR -second
3. Tru View AR - third
4. regular glass - loser

museum is hideously expensive, We sell a lot of the AR and are moving more to Claryl as our main supplier of moulding supports this group.

Drew Wiley
15-Feb-2011, 12:43
I'm not terribly fond of "museum" glass because any somewhat effective UV filter is
going to impart a color cast of some sort. And certainly none of them is good enough
to significantly prolong the life of a color print placed under harsh halogens or direct
sunlight. I've done enought testing to figure that out. But I haven't used the Nielsen
brand, and don't know who actually makes it. Tru Vue offers a tinted Museum Glass too, but the option I described is neutrally coated, so no reflections, but no hue
change to the print either.

Rafal Lukawiecki
15-Feb-2011, 14:05
This is the glass which I have used: http://www.nielsenbainbridge.com/eng/products/picture-glass/clearcolour-uv-60/0cb2f2f/clearcolour-uv-60.html

Having compared it at the framer's to a sample of the UV90 version, I did not feel there was much of a colour cast. On the other hand, regular float was casting olive hues heavily.

Arne Croell
15-Feb-2011, 14:33
Does anybody have experience with Schott's Mirogard in comparison to True-Vue?


Drew Wiley
15-Feb-2011, 14:55
From the specs, the Schott product look similar to Tru-Vue. But I don't actually have
a sample. It hasn't been locally distributed, which is a very important issue given the
fragility and expense of the commodity. One of the problems in this kind of discussion
is identifying the actual sources, since things get privately labeled for marketing
purposes. In other words, the same species of glass might get distributed under more
than one name. Schott is an actual manufacturer.

Jon Shiu
15-Feb-2011, 16:53
You can also get something called "Masterpiece" glass made by Tru-Vue from Michael's Craft store. Usually you can get a 40-50% off coupon in the paper or on-line.


Drew Wiley
15-Feb-2011, 17:18
No craft store is going to carry what we're talking about. Traditional nonglare and
optically coated glass are a whole different thing, and the latter costs about ten times
as much as the former for a given size.

Jon Shiu
15-Feb-2011, 17:45
Masterpiece glass at Michaels is manufactured by Tru-Vue with anti-reflective coating like Museum Glass.


Henry Ambrose
15-Feb-2011, 18:38
Wow good discussion.
Keep going.

I called the art supply in town this afternoon and left a message at the framing department - no response. I can't imagine a retail business that does not answer the phone - but that's the modern world.

Oren Grad
15-Feb-2011, 18:53
Just to be clear: Tru Vue has a large lineup of different types of glass, well documented on their website:


Tru Vue AR is their antireflection coated product - their version of Denglas, which is no longer manufactured.

Drew Wiley
15-Feb-2011, 19:19
There seems to be some debate about what Masterpiece glass really is, but it apparently isn't the Truvue AR glass I referred to. It might be discounted Museum
glass from out-of-spec batches.

16-Feb-2011, 06:38
Also consider Schott B270, no anti-reflective or uv, but optically clear with no color casts. 2mm runs about $7.50 sq' Great for neg carriers and contact printing frames too.

Brian Ellis
16-Feb-2011, 12:29
Short article by Ctein that touches on different glasses for framing.


Drew Wiley
16-Feb-2011, 12:58
Well Brian, I checked the mini-article. I have done true hermetic sealing, even of 30x40
prints, and after a couple decades the seals have held. It's a very tricky and expensive
thing to do, and nothing a typical frame shop can offer. But like I said, none of the
glazing options per se is going to significantly improve the odds if direct sunlight or
strong halogen UV sources are involved. Yeah, maybe 5% or something. Big deal. So
with respect to color photographs, I don't see any real advantage to the tinted glass
or dye (in the case of acrylic) - it just messes with the color balance. Once I was in
a show with Rbt Motherwell. His painting sold avg 50K apiece back then, not in the
million plus like now, but the projector halogens in the gallery were so bright that they
were actually starting to melt the acrylic paint. Naturally I pulled my own prints after
a few days. The ones I have left are still vibrant, but it would have only taken a month
of so of that kind of lighting to fade them. On the other hand, thirty years of INDIRECT
sunlight bounced around the room hasn't done much at all. So you've got to take all
those accelerated aging things Wilhelm says with a grain of salt, at least until you've
got some real world display experience with a specific media, and that takes decades, not hours.