Help with Arista II ortho litho film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by BetterSense, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I'm trying to take pictures of some flat metal parts that have serial numbers engraved in them. The goal is to generate life-size transparencies that can be overlaid on actual parts to verify the position of the serial numbers (I work on the tools that put the numbers on the parts). I already tried scanning one of the parts on a scanner, but the numbers don't show up--you have to use a particular angle of light to get the serial numbers to reflect back.

    I'm shooting onto Arista II ortho litho in a 4x5 camera to fill the film. Then, I put the negative into my enlarger and adjust it to life-size, using one of the actual parts to get the magnification right. Then, I print onto an 8x10 piece of ortho litho, and contact print that to a 3rd sheet to make as many semi-disposable transparencies as needed.

    It's working fairly well except I'm having trouble exposing and developing the film. I don't have special developer for it so I'm using Dektol diluted 1+2 with water. When I hold the transparencies up to the light, the dark areas are mottled and streaked, even when I try to agitate well in the developer tray. I'm thinking about either trying brush development or film developer instead of paper developer. I also don't know if I should be leaving it in the devoloper a 'long time' and developing it essentially to completion, or if I should be timing the development. Right now I'm driving myself crazy adjusting both exposure and development.


    In principle I don't need to use orthro litho film--I might try TMX for the camera part--but ortho litho makes sense for the final transparencies because it's cheap and the 'ortho' part makes it easy to work with.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2012
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Is it the negatives or the contact prints from them, that are not coming out right?

    I have not tried the arista film in camera, but have used it in the darkroom quite a few times, as well as the ultrafine ortholitho film as well. I have more experience with kodalith in camera though.
     
  3. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    You might try Dektol undiluted, but a high contrast developer would likely be best. D19 is good for high-contrast continuous tone work, but a true lith developer is probably best. Freestyle has an A/B powder developer, and Photographer's Formulary has a lith developer. Ultrafine also offers lith chemistry.

    Most true lith developers have some nasty ingredients: sodium hydroxide (lye) or formaldehyde (or derivatives).

    Realistically, it's probably best to shoot regular film in the camera, since then you'll have a gray scale, and won't have to have perfect exposure to record within the film/developer's range. Then print on LITHO, where it's easier to experiment for the best exposure and development.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I do have lye, metol, and sodium sulfite, if that helps. I'm also thinking TMX in the camera, since the thicker film base is also nice. But it's about 10 times as expensive!
     
  5. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    For in camera, try the Freestyle private label films. You certainly don't need the high performance of TMX; litho is also possible there, but you'll have to nail your exposure and developement perfectly.

    To mix your own, you'll need other chemicals, too. (Hydroquinone, potassium bromide, etc.). See this for one formula: http://www.digitaltruth.com/products/formulary_tech/01-1300.pdf
     
  6. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    I would try developing to completion. This should improve consistency and eliminate one of the variables. For streaking or mottling I would try a quick presoak in water before placing the sheet in the developer. Good luck!