is it possible to make a lith developer in the darkroom?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by peters8, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    Hi!...My favorite lith developer,Moersch Easy Lith,is alittle expensive to me!...Ultimately I'm using this class of development often!...I'd like to prepare in my house this developer or another with similar features.Is it possible?
    Thanks
     
  2. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    there's loads of formulae on the interwebs (and here at APUG) if you search for "lith developer formula"
     
  3. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Depends where you are in the world - Some chemicals are readily available, others can be problematic. For example, to make a D-85, paraformaldehyde is required which is almost unobtainable here in the UK.

    Fortunately, Ansco 81 and DuPont LD-2 are formaldehyde free, so can be mixed quite cheaply at home. Some experimentation is required to see if you get the results you're after.
     
  4. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    i've seen formalin substituted for paraformaldehyde in some formulae, which is quite simple to obtain in the UK. Though I'll bet you know that already :smile:
     
  5. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Formalin is just another name for paraformaldehyde in solution. However, formalin is just as difficult to obtain - Try asking for it in any high street chemist here in the UK...

    I've also seen acetone suggested as a substitute - The function of paraformaldehyde/formalin is to react with the sulphite in the developer and results in an increase in the PH (google for formaldehyde-sulphite clock reaction). Acetone also produces a clock reaction that raises the PH, but it does not get anywhere near the level needed for a lith developer. Another reason for not using acetone is it damages many plastics found in the darkroom.
     
  6. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    It's possible to buy 10% buffered formalin on UK ebay.It probably contains the 37g/L paraformaldehde required to make D-85:
    http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/HISTHTML/MANUALS/FORMALIN.PDF
    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith/lith.html
    However it may also contain 4g/L mono- and 6.5g/L di- basic sodium phosphate which may affect the pH,so it would be an experiment.
    The sodium bisulfite in the formula could be reduced as it is a pH reducer like the phosphate already added, and probably just a preservative.
     
  7. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    There are many lith developer formulas available, both the traditional AB type and others. Most do not contain formaldehyde.

    Ansco 81 Long Life Reprolith Developer
    For lithographic film.
    Water (52C) 750 ml
    Hydroquinone 35 g
    Sodium sulfite (anh) 55 g
    Sodium carbonate (mono) 80 g
    Citric acid 5.5 g
    Potassium bromide 10 g
    WTM 1 l
    Do not dilute. Develop about 3 minutes at 20C.

    DuPont 15-D high contrast (litho) developer
    Solution A
    Water 750 ml
    Hydroquinone 45 g
    Sodium sulfite (anh) 30 g
    Sulfuric acid (conc) 4 ml
    WTM 1 l
    Solution B
    Water 500 ml
    Sodium carbonate (anh) 30 g
    Potassium carbonate 90 g
    Potassium bromide 8.3 g
    Sodium sulfite (anh) 90 g
    WTM 1 l
    Mix 1:1 for use and develop 4 to 5 minutes.

    GAF 81 process film developer
    Water (52C) 750 ml
    Hydroquinone 35 g
    Sodium sulfite 55 g
    Sodium carbonate 80 g
    Citric acid 5.5 g
    Potassium bromide 10 g
    WTM 1 l
    Develop lithographic film about 3 minutes at 20C.
    Ansco/Agfa/GAF 81 has been around for a long time, and there are similar Kodak and Ilford recipes as well those that substitute potassium or sodium metabisulfite for the Citric Acid. GAF 81 is the only one to claim a long working life, however.
    Variations (suggested for use as a lith print developer):
    Substitute Catechol for Hydroquinone in your formula. Catechol is more active than Hydroquinone with about the same level of human toxicity (low, in solution).
    Ascorbic Acid is a possibly useful additive/accelerant. It is also an oxygen scavenger and may be used to replace some of the sulfite. It does not, however, produce infectious development.

    Kodak D-9 hydroquinone caustic film developer
    For extreme contrast with process films
    Solution A
    Water (53C) 500 ml
    Sodium bisulfite 22.5 g
    Hydroquinone 22.5 g
    Potassium bromide 22.5 g
    WTM 1 l
    Solution B
    Water 1 l
    Sodium hydroxide 52.5 g
    Use equal parts of A and B. Wash negative thoroughly after development and before fixing to avoid stains. Use at 18C.
     
  8. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    So many things are difficult to obtain in the High Street these days, but eBay has come to the rescue a bit.
    I got some Formalin (for a different purpose) a few months ago from a UK eBay seller called APC-Pure, who have all sorts of other chemicals available, including a few useful in photography.

    As an aside, Borax has become stupidly hard to get hold of, but if you have a Chinese Supermarket nearby they generally have it (I think there used to be one in Ber St)
     
  9. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Indeed, there are a couple of UK sources on ebay for many of the chemicals we need, but if/when they get shut down, where else can we go ?
    Just waiting for the next round of crackpot rules to come out of Brussels, and then we will probably need to be licensed to buy paint thinners... Already need permits to buy alcohol (industrial denatured alcohol), so where next.
     
  10. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    OK Guys thank you very much for your infinite patience....You have given several very interesting lith formulas;But I'd like to get a similar to "easy lith" formula!
    I always printend with this fantastic (but expensive""developer)...so I'd like to continue with this formulation!Please...a last help...my friends,please!!!
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have used D-9 successfully for producing extreme contrast process negatives on lithogrphic film.
    The only substitution I made mixing it was to use 2.5g of Potassuim Iodide, in lieu of the 22.5g of Potassium Bromide
    I have a surplus of KI (about 1kg), and use the bromide stocks I buy more often to warm print developers.

    I had a reason to try a D-85 I mixed back in mid 2011 last week.
    It was pooped out. I have half of the dead d-85 now in reserve. I am planning to drop in fresh developing agent to see if that brings it back into service.

    The D-9 that I used last week was mixed in mid 2011 as well, and it's A side worked just fine.
    I had no reason to doubt the B side going off - nothing organic to die in it, and not likely to grow any mold either.
     
  12. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Any thoughts on scratch formulas that resemble the commercial offerings, like Nova Lith, Moresch 5 or Maco Lith?
     
  13. peters8

    peters8 Member

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    Sorry could it be a problem?I don't understand!
     
  14. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Have patience grasshopper, maybe a wise chemist will come on and answer the golden question.
     
  15. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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  16. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    Propylene glycol would serve the same purpose (preventing oxidation), but aside from that, there are very likely ingredients that aren't listed in the MSDS.