Lith developers, All the same?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by meerkat, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. meerkat

    meerkat Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridgeshi
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi,
    I have been LITH printing for a while now using LD20 exclusively (with good results) as it is all that has been available until now, however i see that silverprint are now stocking wolfgang moersch se5 lith developer.
    my question is.. will se5 developer produce significantly different results to LD20 or will all lith devs produce the same results?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,136
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lith devs vary substantially. Never heard of LD20 so can't comment on that one, I've always made up my own.

    ian
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,070
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The results will be different but how significant the difference is will depend on a lot of things. Overall, I think you will see probably bigger differences by replenishing developer (mixing fresh developer into with "old brown") and trying different papers and exposure/dev parameters than by hopping around between developers.

    ^^^(the words of a lith newbie, to be taken with the appropriate amount of salt)
     
  4. meerkat

    meerkat Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridgeshi
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I mean Fotospeed LD20, and how easy/difficult is it to mix a lith developer?
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,070
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do you mean mix a fresh one? That is very easy.
     
  6. meerkat

    meerkat Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridgeshi
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I mean mix from raw chemicals!
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,070
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oh well... can't say I've done that :wink:
     
  8. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Nothing to it. Three chemicals are needed;
    hydroquinone, sodium sulfite, and sodium
    carbonate.

    Psvensson has posted two Dr. Jekyll formulas
    similar in ease of preparation. My formula has
    produced very good lith results. Lith processing
    is down the list of my priorities. I'd have to
    check my notes to be more specific.

    A lith developer, most simply, is a carbonated
    sulfite + hydroquinone solution. Sulfite levels are
    kept very low. In effect, and after some time, the
    hydroquinone runs away with development.

    Search Google for, lith developers , and for, lith
    formulas. Keep in mind film developers and their
    commercial use; two reasons for some of the
    ingredients. Dan
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,136
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  10. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,157
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, DE
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have tried Moersch easy lith, I have couple of examples in my gallery. Papers that used are fomaspeed, fomabrom and foma MG classic.

    regards,
     
  11. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

    Messages:
    829
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Shropshire,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've mixed up several formulas in the past. The can vary a great deal, some use quite exotic and difficult to obtain developing agents. I tended to stick with the simpler formula and consequently got less than exciting results some times.

    Remember 'Lith' development at one time meant films and prints for lithographic use, line and screen - a developer just needs to be capable of giving very high contrast to get classified as a Lith developer in some of the old books and formulary.

    These days we use very dilute developers high contrast on certain papers to give us lots of lovely colours etc. That is almost the opposite of the original intension. Consequently, not all of the old Lith formulas do this trick equally well.

    I used to make up ID-13. Because it was easy, not because it was particularly good:

    Solution A

    Warm Water 750 ml

    Hydroquinone 25.0g

    Potassium Metabisulphite 25.0g

    Potassium Bromide 25.0g

    Cold water to make 1.0 L

    Solution B

    Cold Water 1 L

    Sodium Hydroxide 50 g

    Be very careful with the Hydroxide, it is nasty stuff. Always sprinkle the Hydroxide into the cold water, not the other way around!

    This does work , I've used it with Kentona with reasonable success. I reckon there are better formulas, but with difficult to source ingredients.
     
  12. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

    Messages:
    548
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Sheffield, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I use SE5 almost exclusively. It gives you a lot of control with the various additives. I have some examples with various different combinations here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alt-digital/sets/72157605319016659/

    But as people have said you can get a wide variety of effects by changing dilution/old brown and paper type with just one developer.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    An Addition to My Post 8 This Thread

    Purely by chance I concocted a lith developer.
    I was experimenting with a low sulfite hydroquinone
    brew powered by sodium carbonate. After several
    minutes of development the print's muddy look
    quickly disappeared as contrast increased. I'd
    read of print lith development so realized
    I had with no intention concocted one.

    I checked a couple of remaining bottles of the brew
    and found the ratio of ingredients to be 1:4, hydroquinone
    to sodium sulfite. I don't recall the amount of carbonate.
    That last ingredient was added at time of dilution. I've
    the records buried somewhere.

    The lith developer, as with all the chemistry I use, was
    used one-shot. Times ran 8 to 12 minutes.

    To experiment I suggest for starters: in grams, 2, 8, 8.
    One liter. All the usual lith rules apply. If Graded papers
    with their high level of safe lighting are used, seeing the
    snatch point is easy. I would ordinarily process 3 or 4
    8x10s with 1 liter of chemistry. All one-shot. Dan