Large Lith Prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Thomas Bertilsson, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I hope that this is in the right forum.

    I have had a request for a 30x40" lith print from a potential customer. I know that Elevator will do lith prints up to 30x40" but that they want to do at least three negatives at a time. That might be OK for the big guns, but at $400 a pop, a small-timer like me isn't even in the same ball park to pay dollars like that, so I'm looking for alternatives.
    Who can, with some degree of accuracy, somewhat reproduce the look of a lith print I have in a size like that?
    If this order comes through, I'll consider anything, but the results have to be good and, most importantly, be archival.

    VERY thankful for any hints.

    - Thomas
     
  2. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    How large is your negative?

    What type of look are you going for? (any special tone, paper, lith type look)

    What are you willing to pay for such a print?
     
  3. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Why not at least phone Bob Carney and then take it from there. I was at a show opening a couple of weeks ago and after seeing his work could not recommend any one more highly.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Gentlemen, thank you for your responses.
    Robert, the neg is 6x6, so the print will actually be 30x30. It's Agfa APX25 so grain is not an issue. The look I'm after is the Fomatone / Macolith warm peach highlights with a hint of green in the low values.
    Richard, I intend to do just that, but I was a bit deterred by the fact that I need to submit three negatives each time I ask for a lith print (that's $1200 out of pocket expense for a $1000 print sale). But I'll give it a whirl all the same. Bob seems like a nice guy, so maybe he'll cut me some slack.

    I've attached the image in question, printed as above.

    - Thomas
     

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  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Hi Thomas

    Matching a look that you have*beautiful* by the way is extremely difficult, I do have a tentative order placed with Fotospeed for large rolls, am waiting pricing. Even so they will not be able to deliver until Jan.
    Re the pricing and neg quantity for printing, The chems alone just to set up in large trays for 30x40 production let alone the different steps dictates a full day, I require a minimum amount to make a days work.

    I think the biggest problem would be matching the look that you have shown in the attachment, as my combination does not look like what you show. And I do not think that toning will help with a match. Maybe Tim will chip in here with some ideas.
    If you want to wait until my paper comes in , and if you are willing to accept the look that I can achieve with fotospeed and novalith AB , I will include your neg into one of my printing sessions, but the price will have to stay where it is.

    Matching others peoples prints is one of the hardest things to do and for me I would rather spend a morning having my teeth drilled out.
    For my shop I prefer to make prints with a look and feel that satisfys me and hopefully my clients buy into what I am doing.

    So if I can help I will but it would need to be in Jan/earlyFeb while I am doing some large liths of my own.

    bob
     
  6. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Its a beautiful print. Just a caution - I've used 4X5 negs for Lith dev enlarging to 12X16 & 16X20; and am very unsatisfied with the loss of sharpness/detail. I've started using 8X10 and 7X17 negs for Lith developed contact prints; and am far more satisfied.
     
  7. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    You won't match that pink/salmon on Foma green blacks that you are after, using Fotospeed lith Thomas. It's a different paper emulsion. However, Foma do make Fomatone in rolls of 108 cms (43") x 10M.
    The main problems are paper cost of course, the quantities of chemicals required and the physical issue of a swift snatch point starts to get more difficult when you get to that size or bigger.
    maybe you can talk Bob into buying a roll of Foma too :smile:
     
  8. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Depending on the demands of your client, scanning and reproducing your small print is an option. I guess it depends on what is more important to your client: an original print which may not be exact in contrast and tones, or a reproduction of what you have on hand.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Thank you everybody for chiming in here. It appears I'd have to try alternate solutions here.

    1. Reproduction using evil digital techniques :wink:
    2. Just let the printer interpret the negative and live with the results

    I'll get with the customer and see how they wish to handle it and what price level they are comfortable with.

    Thanks again everybody, it's been a great help to me.

    - Thomas
     
  10. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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    How did things work out?

    Hi, Thomas,

    How did things work out for this enlargement?



     
  11. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    Thomas, if you want to do the work yourself I have the room and the equipment for you to make a print this size in my darkroom.
     
  12. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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    Sheesh; seems there's a lot of APUGers in the Twin Cities area!
     
  13. Videbaek

    Videbaek Member

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    Good luck, Thomas. That's a beautiful picture and I understand how you want your customer to get it in its finest incarnation. I'd just like to mention that I've sent a picture to Mr. Carnie at Elevator to try Lambda printing on that special new Ilford B & W paper. A friend of mine in Sweden wanted a certain picture, and I thought I'd send it to Bob to see what happens. Been very curious for a long time. Of course, I had to have one made for myself as well, so I could see what my friend received. Well! Never mind what I think -- my friend is very happy, and he knows about these things. Cheap, it wasn't. But a master print-maker cannot be expected to cheaply make a large print by hand in the darkroom and tone it in sepia, gold and iron blue. I have complete confidence in Mr. Carnie's interpretive abilities. The experience has opened up a world of possibilities for me, and set me to work on my first proper series thinking of the particular strengths of this printing method.
     
  14. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I have a question about lith printing in large magnifications... not sure here - perhaps Mr Carnie would be best qualified to answer this - but since the color/tonality of lith depends on the tonality of the negative... does a large size print 'fall apart' when there is apparent grain - i.e. - wouldn't the whole gamut of response be completely different since now you would have a field of black grains on white...? Does this question make sense to you? See what I'm driving at? (no longer a continuous tone original past a certain size).
     
  15. rootberry

    rootberry Member

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    Thomas, you should be charging so much more for one of your killer lith prints at this size!
     
  16. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    How did I all of a sudden become Mr Carnie????
    If anybody around the lab heard that they would be pissing their pants laughing.

    There should be no problem making the Large Print, I am using a 2000w Durst Horizontal Enlarger with glass carrier to project on the wall.
    I have ordered 10 rolls of 42inch x 100ft Fotospeed which will arrive shortly. I am very confident of the results.
    The grain will in fact be a added bonus with the larger print and at proper viewing distance will have the same look as a 11x14 print from the same neg.
    Pulling the prints will be a bit of a pain as it needs to be quick.. at 40x60 size I will have a technician on the other side of the sink and we will both pull the print from one tray to the others so as to speed up the transition.
    To flash the paper I will have lights aimed at the wall on a timer , so I will load the roll onto the magnetic wall, Flash if needed , then do the main exposure, then develop the print.
    For Lith Images I use Tri X pushed 1 1/12 stops and dev in HC110.
    I find the more grain the better. I am never looking for smooth tonalities unless it is for Fashion Work.

    on a more serious note
    I plan on making a Series of Images using the rolls mentioned above.
    My Project will be called Pin Head Big Head, and I am looking for people with either enormous craniums *Les McLean* or small craniums *Dinesh*, If any of you have an odd size head I would love to photograph you for this series.. I think the Fotospeed in lith will be just the ticket to project a good semblence of my subjects.



     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Update on this thread

    Well, I finally ended up doing a smaller 16x20 print for this customer. After viewing 8x10 samples in both lith and standard chemistry, he went for standard chemistry on Ilford Warmtone, later toned in selenium and sepia.
    The good news is that it now hangs in the accounting office at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Not a bad place for a print of mine, and even though I got paid less for it, my profit margin was much better.
    Thank you for all of your help and encouragement. I'm kinda miffed I didn't get to do the huge lith print, but so it goes. Some day I'll have a large darkroom... Just have to sell a few more prints first! :smile:

    - Thomas
     
  18. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Excellent Thomas, Niceone!!