Anyone know a lith paper that doesn't have banding issues?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jersey Vic, May 10, 2008.

  1. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Sometimes I can work with it but I've an image with some delicate shadow seperation that's just getting lost in the banding on Fomatone. I've had the same problem with Varycon, Kentona and Emak. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance

    Cheers

    Victor
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Oriental G4 graded , used with two enlargers , one for the image and one for flash will produce creamy smooth tones.
    Developed in NovaLith AB 1:8
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I had some banding issues Kentmere Kentona, and with Forte Polygrade. I suspect it has to do with how the paper is coated.

    I've had very smooth tonal gradations with Fomatone, without banding such as you're experiencing. Varycon and Emaks has been kind to me as well, exhibiting a uniformly coated surface. The smoothest lith results I've ever had was with Ilford MGWT. Their coating machine must be something else. But the color of the Ilford prints can be a bit weird, so you'll have to get creative with toning. Just selenium alone will greatly improve the image quality, and if you time it right, you can use the green tone in the original to get some neat split tones.

    Is the banding you're referring to lines that go across the entire sheet, side to side?

    - Thomas
     
  4. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Victor, I've not had banding issues with Fomatone papers. Mind you, I use glossy paper for nearly all of my lith work. I know you and Thomas prefer matt type paper finishes, I wonder if that has anything to do with it?
     
  5. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Wow-all excellent and knowledgeable answers-Thanks APUG!

    Thanks Again Bob - so modern G4 will lith. There's been discussion on this topic but I will take your word for it. Your lith work is great.
    Thomas: I'm going to try the Ilford too. The price is insane but so are 40 minute dev times for prints that suck in the end.
    Andrew: Good point. I do like matt papers. I've some slavich matt and glossy I'm going to try as well and will let you know what happens.
     
  6. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Can you show a scan of this banding Victor?
    Tim
     
  7. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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    Some of the banding that I'VE had has been caused by me. Sometimes when the tray development process is extremely long and I'm bored or distracted, I've inadvertently let the paper rise to the top of the developer for too long and that causes uneven development. It can appear as almost-parallel bands; usually around the centre of the image, tho' that depends on how the particular paper curls. If I must leave a paper for 30 seconds or so, I've taken to carefully weighting it with something in order to keep it immersed.
     
  8. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Vic
    The only paper I have had serious problems with banding with is the Fomatone Chamois-and not every image. It must be a nightmare for a manufacturer to coat that surface. I still think Fomatone 131 glossy is the best lith paper for color currently available, but needs very dilute developer for best colour.
    Sadly there is nothing today to equal OLD Kentona.
    Mark
     
  9. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    I've had good results with the Slavich papers - though they seem to be very grainy in lith developers
     
  10. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Thanks Tim, Mike, Mark and semeuse. Very helpful information.

    I've posted a print with the banding in the shadows. I tried sharpening the image a bit more but the Foma 542's texture becomes very prominent:
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=34645&ppuser=2517

    I posted a non lith version for comparisons sake: http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=34644&ppuser=2517

    In the lith print you can best see the horizontal banding lines in the tree branches near the top in the center of the print and in the shadow areas on the right side. My apologies for the bad scans..this is tough paper to scan.

    Cheers

    Victor
     
  11. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    I'd also like to add that the banding has always been in the shadows and has followed the texture of the paper, which is horizonal when the paper is in a vertical orientation.

    Thanks Again
    V.
     
  12. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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    Thanks, Vic; I hadn't imagined that appearance.

    Relatively inexperienced guy thinking out loud here; are the dark areas associated with peaks or valleys in the texture of the paper? Or random? I'm wondering if the high spots on a rougher-textured paper would receive more agitation relative to the low spots... AND if so, if you were to agitate side to side, 90 degrees to your usual agitiation orientation, would the banding then appear to be vertical?
     
  13. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Hmm. I looked at your scan Vic, and I'm not sure i can see 'banding', which I interpret quite differently. It looks to me like emerging blacks snatched just before they are ready, and with the effect amplified by the texture of the paper.

    Each emulsion has its own characteristics, some are smooth, some grainy and some coarse and you need to find which suits your vision of the image you are printing. If you then factor in surface texture it becomes more complicated.

    Have you tried this image on the gloss finish? If so it would be worth making a few small area tests at different snatch points as this will have a big effect on what you see in the shadow tones. Its all about personal interpretation and sometimes an earlier or later snatch can be quite rewarding. Its always worth doing though, if only to get a feel for what the paper can do.
    Tim
     
  14. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Mike and Tim;

    Thanks for your thoughts and answers. I went and looked at both lith versions I made of Campo print as well as 3 different lith versions of this image:
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=34581&ppuser=2517
    Can you see the density lines going through the shadows from left to right? In all cases (with this, my first batch of Foma 542) the progression of the development of the blacks follows the same pattern as the texture of the paper. Even in cases where the blacks are 'fully developed', they're 'denser' in the patten I've described, horizontally when the paper is held in a 'portrait'/verticle orientation. And to answer your question Mike, I'm pretty careful about changing the direction of my tray rocking. It's still a nice paper and should be fine for some applications, not ideal for others. C'est la Vie.

    Thanks Again and Be Well

    Victor
     
  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Hey Victor,

    I looked at all your scans, and honestly, if you hadn't pointed it out, I would have never noticed those patterns. When I got banding (with Kentona primarily, and an outdated box of Polygrade) it was as though somebody brought out a ruler and made lead pencil lines across the paper. Butt ugly, and sad, because the color of especially the Polygrade was very beautiful. Like the Emaks Grade 3 but darker and warmer. Dark chocolate comes to mind.
    I definitely think that lith printing brings out these anomalies in papers more than regular chemistry. If you don't like your 542 for lith printing, you will love it in Ansco 130, dilute (1+3 at 75-80*F).

    I just had the opportunity to print, after a two week hiatus. It was awesome to count seconds to the metronome again, while listening to an old JJ Cale CD, which made the counting a challenge but the Scotch tasted better... Fomatone 132 is a nice matte paper for lith printing. Similar color to the 542, but with a smooth finish. Incidentally, if you do try out the Ilford Warmtone, try both the glossy and semi-matte as they produce dissimilar results. The semi-matte has a grainier appearance, while the glossy is creamy smooth. Both beautiful, but different.

    I hope that helps. Take it easy,

    - Thomas
     
  16. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Bob, can you confirm that the NEW Oriental G4 is 'lithable'? For some reason, I thought all new oriental papers were non lithable? If that's not the case, it surely is a well kept secret!
     
  17. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    I see them now Vic. They weren't too apparent on the previous scan. This is a coating effect and probably more obvious on a textured paper. Lith printing does show up any minor coating flaws which might not be apparent with normal processing. These may vary from batch to batch and when these effects do show up they tend to appear, as in this case, in the emerging blacks before they are fully developed. This is the point where they are most vulnerable to uneveness. This is logical given the accelerating progress of infectious development in this tonal range - but still annoying! You might try higher dilution and/or slightly earlier or later snatch, but of course the interpretation will be somewhat different. Alternatively, a different batch, keeping the rest of this batch for a different image without such a large expanse of near blacks with similar density. A different image might print quite easily.
    Tim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2008
  18. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Thanks Tim, Andrew and Thomas. Appreciate all of your input on this.
    I love the term coating effect. As in- "it's not a bug, it's a feature."
    Still, it's a fabulous paper. On to the Slavich!
     
  19. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Victor, you will like the Slavich. It does not produce warm lith tones in aristalith, but nonetheless has it's uses. BTW, Bob Carnie recommended Oriental G4 as lithable. Was that a reference to the 'New G4' or the old? If its the new G4, I'll try it.
     
  20. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Well these effects are features, and when used with the right image give it its unique character.

    The Slavitch paper is very different. It is very cold in tone and very graphic. It can be hard to control but as mentioned above the new Arista lith does a better job on it than some other lith developers. You might like to try bleach and lith redevelopment with it too.
    Tim
     
  21. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Andrew
    I replied on your other post..I will do so here.

    Maybe I am missing something .. is the Oriental G4 that B&H and Freestyle would have sold as late as 2007 be considered the New Paper.
    If so I can say that it does indeed work to my satisfaction and that of some of my clients that want the creamy creamy dreamy look that this paper can produce with heavy flash and a strong Nova lith AB dilution.
    Last year I went through, quite a few boxes of different sizes and burned out the last sheets in Jan.

    Is there a new, new, newer version since last year????

    Bob


     
  22. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    One other little thing

    For the bulk of my lith printing , personal and client , there is some film exposure / developer guidelines that I make mandatory.

    Tri X rated at 1200 push process in HC110 to produce a very contrasty negative with very defined areas to print dead black.
    I will not accept dip and dunk negatives no matter who processed the film.
    I find the black details or shadow details are very much lacking and I want very strong blacks in my final prints.
    * this is mostly for images that are to convey a strong feeling with a very strong black... the flash exposure is for highlight detail, the pull is for the black.
    Contrast is controlled by length of exposure, use of secondary flash, and earlier pull times.

    If I recieve a pyro negative or a full bodied negative , I am hesitant to print lith .
    If forced , I then switch to Ilford Warm Tone , and produce a very different look which works very well with or I go to fotospeed and some tissue without using flash.
    If one is trying to convey a old looking print ... full bodied negative with either of these papers work very well.

    For outrageous looks,,,, over expose and over develop you negatives until they are completely bullit proof, and I mean bullit proof.
    Use glass carrier, and pound the living crap out of the negative with exposure and use any or all papers to get very striking results.
     
  23. jfish

    jfish Member

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    Ektalure. Mo banding, beautiful liths.



     
  24. jfish

    jfish Member

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    "Mo" should read "No".

    D'oh!
     
  25. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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