Fotospeed LD20, why good?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by laparn, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. laparn

    laparn Member

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    Hi!

    As one of few lith developers available, the Fotospeed LD20 is of course a potential choice for lith lovers. But, is it really any good? Not only a case of well-known brand with a strategic PR approach?

    ´Cause, I really can´t get it work. Poor blacks, short durability, yellowyellowyellow colors and very few copies at optimum window. On top I manage to get four maybe up to six decent copies in a session. And I mean "decent" ´cause I cannot put any of them on my leader board. It shouldn´t be demand for continuous replenishment already at an early stage I hope.

    Why? Well, I am not a newbie and as a perfectionist I´ve tried A LOT of different material AND different settings, parameters and variables. It gives poor result for me. Period!
    From my point of view, even Moersch Easy Lith eliminate the competition. With ease. Rollei Creative (Maco LP Superlith) as well and of course also the SE5 Lith from Moersch.

    Any of you with a similar experience? Might there be an incorrect handling I perform giving the poor results after all?
    When switching from LD20 after a frustrated session, I always get great results from other lith developers. At the very same day. With the same negs. With the same type of papers. In the same room. With the same water. Don´t get it. Please advise!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    You are gonna hate this, but. . . before giving up on it, go back to square one. 25ml A + 25ml B + 25ml 10% KBr in a liter. Make some fresh old brown.

    It can be frustrating, but there is a reason it is not working for you.
     
  3. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    What's your dilution with LD20? Are you diluting as the box tells you? If so, I'd bet that's your problem.
     
  4. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I used some LD20 on Foma Classic paper and got the result I was looking for: strong, gritty blacks, nice red color. I am currently using Rollei lith developer and getting no better results. So I say it is good stuff. But if something else is working better for you, why not just use that?

    A question for Rich Ullsmith: what does the potassium bromide do for you?

    Dan
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I am curious how these other chemicals would affect some of my prints. How does any of the specialized lith stuff differ from quarter-strength A+B working solution? That is the way I was taught to do it, and it is all I have used to date.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2009
  6. laparn

    laparn Member

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    Thanks!

    First, tricky surviving in a safety thinking country as Sweden. In regards of chemistry. No raw chemicals available for purchase anywhere and EU restrictions for importing such as well. So, adding KBr is a good thought but u´tely out of my hands.
    But, isn´t it a poor credit if additions are essential to give good results? Should work straight out from the box. Right?


    Second, I´ve tried 1:15, 1:20...1:40 dilutions at 18 degrees C, 25C, 30C, 35C and 40C. Same result. With or without OB.

    My conclusion regarding use of OB in LD20 is, it makes the optimum window appear sooner but also given less decent copies.
    But, how many copies do you get out of LD20 before replenishment? If you compare to other developers, will LD20 give the same amount?
    I find Moersch, for instance, give a longer optimum window, more copies and much longer open time before developer quickly exhausts. Not only more bang for the bucks, it gives better bangs also.
     
  7. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I've never had to add anything other than water to any of the lith developers I've used (Rollei/Maco, Fotospeed and Nacco) . I dilute all of them 1:19 and I can get 7-10 11x14 prints out of a session using 2 ounces each of A and B at room temperature.

    edit
    I forgot to say that I do add some Old Brown, usually 25% of the mixture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2009
  8. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Preparing a tray of lith developer is more akin to cooking a gumbo . . .everybody starts with a basic recipe. But there is a reason why everybody's soup tastes different! Along the way, maybe add a little more A, or a little more B. Maybe NaCl instead of KBr. Maybe benzotriazole as a restrainer, instead of halide. Some people mix it up the night before and let it sit. Maybe just developer and water, like Travis. Maybe a little sodium sulfite to slow oxidation.

    Yup, it can be frustrating sometimes.
     
  9. KWhitmore

    KWhitmore Member

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    I totally loved LD20 with Kentmere Kentona paper...I mixed it with according to the directions in the box. It's true, the developing times were long-ish, maybe 6-8 minutes each (much patience required and maybe some music) and I came out of that session (4 hours?) with just 3 prints. But one of the three was absolutely wonderful...for a first attempt IMO. From what I've read, the dilution, paper choice and even temperature are key to your results. Keep trying! It's worth it.
     
  10. jmal

    jmal Member

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