First time with APHS Ortho Lith Film

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by PVia, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I decided to experiment with this today in the darkroom to make enlarged negatives for alt process contact printing.

    I was surprised to find that the speed of the film is more or less the same as Ilford FB paper. I enlarged a 35mm negative on to APHS 4x5 film for the same exposure (time, f-stop, enlarger height) that I do for Ilford paper. After exposure, I presoaked the film in water for a minute or two to clear the antihalation layer, then straight into the developer, Dektol at 1:9.

    After two minutes with normal agitation I had a decent-looking positive, then into a water stop and film fixer. After a quick wash and dry with a hair dryer, I contact printed the interpositive onto another piece of APHS, emulsion to emulsion using my PrintFile contact printing proofer. I exposed the same as before.

    Into the same developer again, this time for 4 minutes with normal agitation. This yielded a nice contrasty negative with good continuous tone. I don't have a densitometer but I would imagine that this would print well for many alt processes. If not, an adjustment could easily be made now that I have the basic process and relative exposures set.

    The one thing I did notice was how hard it was to keep dust at bay, even using a static dust brush and cleaning the contact printer's glass with a microfibre towel and using the brush on that as well...the second negative was cleaner than the first as I was even more meticulous about the pre-exposure procedure.

    I'm looking forward to trying larger sizes of this film and making some argyrotypes. Also, want to use this film for simple masking for silver prints. I'll let you know how it turns out...
     
  2. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    That's interesting, I tried Dektol and the contrast was too much. At higher dilutions, development was uneven. I have been using Ansco 130 1:5 with much better results. I made a 5x7 from a 135 neg for Cyanotype; density range 0.11 - 1.21, it prints wonderfully in the sunshine.

    Had the same problem with dust, even with a HEPA filter going all the time. This prompted me to try reversal bleach. It may be a little more work getting the technique down, but no dust, nano, none!

    My Ansco 130 is loaded with dye from the back of the APHS film, thanks for the tip of using a pre-wash. Maybe I will be able to see the film floating around the dev tray now. LOL!
     
  3. Dug

    Dug Member

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    I have been using APHS to make enlarged negs in sizes up to 16X20 (gulp!) which gets pretty funky given how thin it is. I always use a pre-wash and develop it with one-shot PMK, dilution based on contrasted required.

    Tim - How do you use the reversal bleach to combat dust?
     
  4. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    How do you use the reversal bleach to combat dust?

    It's just the nature of the process I guess. The silver that forms the final image is NOT exposed under the enlarger, but rather in a tray of moving clean water. Maybe I get something sometime, but not like when I tried contact printing an interpositive to make a negative. At any rate, it is one less chance for dust to ruin an image, wouldn't you think?

    16x20! That has got to be a juggling act. I hoping to try 11x14 someday.
     
  5. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Tim...how long are you developing in Ansco for?

    Would it make more sense to contact print first and then enlarge...hmmm, would it matter?

    Is the reversal process you use the one that Ed Buffaloe wrote about at Unblinking Eye?
     
  6. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    I'm using Ansco 130 diluted 1+5 at room temp (~70F/21C) between 10 an 15 minutes with gently tray agitation. But this is for the reversal process, which needs a first development to make the positive image and develop the excess silver.

    Yes, I am using the the Kodak formula and the method outlined at Unblinking Eye with some mods to suit my own workflow.
     
  7. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    Sorry it took me so long to reply, I work all weekend and don't get home until late.

    If you decide to try the reversal process, I would be happy to trade notes. I'm still perfecting my own technique and could also use some ideas.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for posting this stuff, very cool. Thinking of making some 20x24 cyanowhites, but I've never tried this route. Sounds pretty straight forward.
     
  9. Dug

    Dug Member

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    Oh - Now I understand. I am creating enlarged negatives from 120 and 4X5 film that have been processed in reversal chemistry. I then project them onto the APHS film in the enlarger. I have dust issues from the enlargement process and was thinking you had found a Magic Way to prevent this problem.
     
  10. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    Right now I am working with 5x7 from 35mm and 4x5 negatives just to save on material and sanity. I can't say if 11x14 or larger will show dust. All I can say is the HEPA filter is always running and my negs have no dust.
     
  11. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    It is pretty straight forward. The hard part is dialing in your exposure parameters to produce the desired density range. Plan on wasting some film with test strips, so start small.

    Good luck.
     
  12. PVia

    PVia Member

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    I tested my APHS enlarged neg (see OP) today by contacting it under the enlarger at grade 1/2. It looks really good, so I figure my method will work pretty well for the contrast I need for existing negs and palladium printing.

    We shall see...at least I think I'm on the right track here.
     
  13. tim_bessell

    tim_bessell Member

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    That's great news!
    There are many roads that lead to a great image as the history of photography clearly shows. I wish I had time to try them all!