Anyone brewing up their own lith developers?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by brian steinberger, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I'm looking to start lith printing, and have a bunch of chems and was wondering if anyone has some recipies that I can follow to mix up my own two part lith developer. Thanks!
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,145
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  3. Cor

    Cor Member

    Messages:
    282
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Leiden, The
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I almost always mix my own lith developer, it's the D-85 formula (see above link).

    I use it at 100 A + 400 B + 1000 water with good results

    Good luck!

    Cor

    Ps exchanging acetone for paraformaldehyde does not seem to work. And be very careful with the paraformaldehyde , it's toxic! (solute it at 50degC not much higher)
     
  4. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    At Google search for, wall's normal hydroquinone. Lots
    of formulas. I chanced upon a mix very similar to Wall's.
    No more than hydroquinone, sodium sulfite, and sodium
    carbonate. Ratios in that order 1:5:5. Multiply by 2,
    make that in grams, and dissolve it all in 1 liter
    of H2O. I've not tried that exact formula as
    my by chance brew deviated some. Good
    results in as few as 8 minutes. Dan
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep, but with limited success

    So far, apart from high contrast D19 I have had limited success with my mix own from formulas lith efforts. I was substituting eqi-molar formalin solution for dry weight paraformaldehyde and there is a chemical (can't recall what) along for the ride in the formalin that keeps it from sedimenting into paraformaldehyde that I think was the cause for the set backs.

    My para order arrived in the mail last week, but I have not got back to the lith developer experiment yet. Silly things like making a living and being a good husband and parent have so far been the intrusions.

    I do have about 150 sheets of 8x10 and 100 sheets of 11x14 lith film (ortho, about asa 3) in the freezer calling for my attention though. I have a mate in a camera club I frequent that I recently did some electrical work for. So now when I get over to his place there is a fully functional 17x 21" or so process camera in the basement adjacent to his darkroom to play with the lith on.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,145
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mike if you use Formalin/Formaldehyde instead of the paraformaldehyde and mix the D85 as a one part developer it works brilliantly as long as you use this as Part A and mix 1+1 for use with a Part B of 5% NaOH or KOH solution. I know this works because I used it for many years as a graphic arts dev commercially.

    Ian
     
  7. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,061
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Any words on shelf life or tray life of home brews versus the proprietaries? Or do you mix this stuff only prior to use?
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,145
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Rich, all the Lith devs I've made up have had similar tray life to commercial lith devs.

    Ian
     
  9. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    good advise


    Thanks - no problem on your approach to the part B- I keep a good sized bottle of 40% W/V NaOH around for my soap making efforts, so it is just a careful dilution, rather than waiting for the dry pellets/flakes to water route stuff to cool off.

    I was trying to do the A and B of high contrast D85's with the resulant sulfite formed by the formalin mixing not happening until A and B came together. The result was that there was no preservative in with the developer components. This relilzation came to me the day after I got zero results out of a day old from mixed develpoer I had compounded this way. That and the fact that A had turned green.
     
  10. nze

    nze Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi

    I use Ansco 70 formula dilution from 1+1+6 to 1+1+20 with good result
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,145
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Agfa/Ansco 70 formula is the same as Ilford ID-13, for graphics use it doesn't give the same edge effects as Agfa/Ansco 79/Kodak D85.

    Ian
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Wall's is a snap to mix at time of use though it
    can be made up as a concentrate. Longest shelf
    life will result from mixing it A-B; A the hydroquinone
    and sulfite and B the carbonate. For myself tray life is
    not an issue as I use all chemistry very dilute one-shot.

    I believe formalin etc compounds are present for the
    purpose of increasing the developer's tray life. Those
    compounds combine with the excess of sulfite present.
    The complex formed twixt formalin etc and sulfite
    maintains the low level of free sulfite needed for
    infectious development. As it is depleted it
    becomes again available. Sulfite acts as a
    preservative and retards infectious
    development.

    Via the Google search for, Wall's Normal Hydroquinone
    and material at unblinkingeye a few additional Wall's
    type developers can be found.

    That other formulations of the Wall's type or
    formulations of more complex nature do vary
    the results I've no doubt. Dan
     
  13. Fraxinus

    Fraxinus Member

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Home Brewed Lith

    Just today I mixed some Ansco 70 for my first foray into lith printing in over fifteen years.
    Initial tests look promising on Adox Nuance Grade 3 with a dilution of 1+1+19 at 22 deg C., development around 11 minutes.

    Years ago I was using Kodak Transtar TP5 in Kodalith, it seemed so much easier then!
     
  14. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    D-85 success

    I finally found some time to play with lith again. This time I brewed up d-85 in one part, using paraformadehyde by mass, in lieu of earlier efforts of formalin by volume.

    I was fiddling with calibrating some old lith film to do some half tone screen work.

    By the end of the night I had two good 8x10's, and a whole ton of little test strips of step wedges that I used to figure out:
    -the speed of the lith film,
    -the gamma of the developer ( about 1.5 stops from clear to black at 2' 68F),
    -and the calibration points that I needed to set up an old dial calculator, Q-15 that Kodak made to aid in doing half tone screens.

    Since I was using negatives in an enlarger, rather than reflective copy in a process camera, I just set the calculator dials up to deal with dynamic range of 1.3. Base exposure was worked out to 50mm lens for 35mm, F4, projected image 8"x12", 60 seconds.

    Now when I do lith film half tones, I measure no film light intensity with my analyser, then the highlight and shadow density. The calculator dial tells me how much flash, screen, and no screen exposure I need to get a good halftone. All of this mad work is leading to a future screen printing experiment.

    The D-85 was getting a little sluggish in its action and dark in the tray by the end of the night, but all up it stayed acceptibly active for me for about 3 hours in the open tray. This is a lot longer than A+B lith mixes that I have used in the past.
     
  15. nze

    nze Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Roy

    I keep on working with the ansco 70 , I use it at 1+1+19 as you. It also work at stronger dilution but need to be prepared 1 hours before and some fog paper in it. At 1+1+19 dilution I get good result promptly. I also work at an higher temperature 28°C to get a 4-5 min dev .

    with the 1+1+9 dilution I already develop 30 print in a liter, I could do more but just need to stop. I think I could go to 40 easily/

    Best
     
  16. anyhuus

    anyhuus Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    At what dilution do you use Wall's for lith printing?
    I'm just beginning to experiment with lith print, and was searching for a lith developer that I could make from what I have on the shelf. Wall's seemed to be the one. I tried it yesterday on Ilford FB WT in dilutions 1+10, 1+20 and 1+40. I do not have any experience whatsoever with lith printing - this is my first shot at it - but I didn't get anything that even remotely looked like infectious development to me. What I did get was eventually very flat prints with what looked to me as high levels of fog. Dev time between 5-8 minutes.

    What do I do wrong? Wrong dilution of dev? (I used 130 grams sodium carbonate rather that 100 grams potassium carbonate). Wrong paper? (exposure 2-4 stops more than a normal print)
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'll have to check my records. BTW, you went the
    wrong way with the carbonate; less of the sodium,
    about 85 grams.

    Why such a big batch for starters? One thing to
    remember about published lith formulas, they are
    designed for commercial FILM processing. Dan
     
  18. anyhuus

    anyhuus Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I wasn't thinking too much - just followed the recipy for 2x1L stock solution.
    Shelf life should be good, and if I get it to work, then I have the lith dev. I need for a while.

    Thanks for correction me on the carbonate concentration. Do you think the wrong concentration of Carbonate could be the reason that I don't get the expected results? Since carbonate is the only chemical in solution B, it should be easy to correct by simply use less B when making work solutions.

    I consulted Tim Rudman's book regarding dilution, and he says 2-3 times the dilution recommended for film. Typically 1+1+18. Having no other guidance that this, that's what I started with when using Wall's. (Then again: I don't know the normal dilution for Wall's for film...).

    Are you using normal dev. temperatures (e.g. 20 centigrades) or a "hot" developer 35-40 centigrdaes) when using Wall's?
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Very flat prints. So far so good. Lith development
    is peculiar. Within the first few or several minutes
    the print will take on a very flat look. That with all
    going as it should. Slowly the print will continue to
    darken. After some time, perhaps as little as five or
    as much as twenty or more minutes, infectious
    development will set in.

    Development then proceeds rapidly; contrast builds.
    A point is reached where the print must be 'snatched'
    and development quickly halted. The snatch point is
    most easily seen when working with Graded paper
    as a much higher level of darkroom lighting
    is permitted. Because Lith printing makes
    possible considerable contrast control
    a single Grade of paper will cover a
    wide range of grades.

    Now fog may be a matter of concern BUT be sure it
    extends to the non-exposed portions of the print prior
    to adding potassium bromide. Some papers need the
    bromide and some do not.

    So you compounded A and B. Let me know the exact
    formula and volumes so that some dilution suggestions
    can be made.

    Try the following off the cuff suggestion. I test with 5x7.
    If you have a 5x7 tray prepare 125ml at 1:40 dilution.
    Allow about 16 minutes. If contrast has yet to build
    and you wish quicker results try 1:30. Let us know
    how it goes along with the formula info. Dan