Lith Printing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by DeBone 75, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. DeBone 75

    DeBone 75 Member

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    I have a question for the Lith printers out there. I was trying some printing over the weekend. I tryed two or three different developers Ansco 70,
    Wall's Normal Hydroquinon and Kodak 85. I tryed these with Arista II VC RC, Varycon VC RC, EDU Ultra VC RC and Kentemere WT VC FB. All papers in the Ansco 70 came out a nice warm brown in the shadow areas but the highlights were very dark. I could get no contrast at all. I tryed long exposure long dev, short exposure long dev, long exposure short dev. I even had a 5+ filter in and still very "foggy looking". I did try a safelight test and no problems. I also tryed several different dilutions. The Wall's normal was the worst. I don't know if is because there is no restainer in it? Please don't give me the pat answer "Read Tim Rudmans Book". That is not an option for me. No money.
    Do you think these papers are just not suited to Lith or am I missing somthing. I thought I read that The Varycon was at least supposed to work. The print I tryed had mostly snow in it and still came out gray.
     
  2. nze

    nze Member

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    I use Ansco 70 with a old portiga paper which is fogged. But when lithed the border are white clean as un fog paper. . SO this may not come from the papers. I tried this developer with many old fogged paper and I get good result ( pure white border);
    I use Ansco @ 30°C to have quicker dev ( about 5 min ) at 1+1+19 dilution with portriga , but this depend on the paper.

    I will seriously consider to long exposure or tray con,atmination ( with phenol or genol)
     
  3. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    The Kentmere is my favorite, but I have not used any of those developers. If your highlights are too dark, your exposure is too long. Keep shortening it until you get highlights you like. To paraphrase from Tim's book...."Expose (the paper) for the highlights, and develop for the shadows". You should not have to resort to using VC filters (or at least I have not needed to yet!).
    At least with warm paper, you will never get clean whites though...I really don't care for the look of lith with snow. I've done it and toned it lightly with selenium and that helped, though. You might try a different neg.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have a feeling the papers you're using are not suited for lith, except the Kentmere. If you have standard chemistry and some bleach (potassium ferricyanide will do, but I am NOT a bleaching/toning/redevelopment expert) and re-develop the print in lith chemistry. That lets many papers that are difficult to print in lith chemistry blossom. More work, but rewarding. If I remember correctly you may want to print the normal chemistry print a bit too dense or dark.

    With that said, the Kentmere should definitely work. I've used it with both Fotospeed LD-20 and Maco Superlith and it didn't give me great contrast, but it wasn't needed for my subject matter either. If you want to increase contrast, (just to make sure), you should shorten exposure time (no VC filters needed) and develop until you get the black density you want. If you still don't have enough contrast, shorten the exposure time more. Try a negative that you know prints well at a normal G2 or G3 with regular chemistry. Just like Mark paraphrases from Tim's book - 'expose for the highlights'. You can actually do a test strip if you want to. I think my normal exposure with a normal neg from a medium format neg that prints well on G2 paper was in the neighborhood of 25 seconds at f/8 in the enlarger, printing a 6.5" square image. That's on the Kentmere WT.

    Christian has some pretty good suggestions. His lith prints are great. I own one of Mark Fisher's prints, and it's gorgeous. I know he knows what he's talking about.

    Good luck, and even though I'm not exactly an expert such as Tim Rudman, feel free to PM me. I will help you any way I can if you have questions.

    - Thomas
     
  5. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    Mostly correct. The Kentmere WT indeed liths well, and the Varycon also does too, albeit with a much more neutral look. I have not used either of these yet for lith printing (I personally prefer Kentona), but I have seen good examples of both of these papers lithed and framed on Freestyle's display racks. The Arista papers are not suited for lith--the Arista II is Kentmere VC and the Arista EDU Ultra is Foma VC, neither of which work for this purpose...although ironically, Foma's VC RC gives a quite orange-ish look in Fotospeed LD-20. :surprised:
     
  6. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Something maybe to consider, some VC papers will fog under safelight conditions if the development times are extensive.

    The test a paper to see if it's "lithable," place a drop of Sol B on a test strip, exposed in normal room light. A rapid change in color, usually purple or black, indicates developer incorporated in the emulsion, and is not lithable. But with RC papers, so what, the fix and wash cycles are so short that bleaching and redeveloping in lith can yield amazing results, as mentioned above.
     
  7. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Same problem mentioned on another current thread.
    Likely development is not advancing to the infectious
    stage. The usual quick solution, more time in the
    developer. What have been your times?

    As I've mentioned the lith developer I happened upon
    by chance, as I found out later, was of the Wall's type
    not Wall's perse; hydroquinone, sulfite, and carbonate.
    I knew I had concocted a lith developer. Development
    followed exactly descriptions of lith development: First
    a protracted phase of very low contrast followed by
    an accelerated build up of contrast.

    I was experimenting with a hydroquinone only developer
    and had decided to leave the print in the developer
    for eight minutes.

    I'll bring forward two threads by Psvensson. Two very
    interesting reads; his work with the Wall's type. Dan
     
  8. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Too high a concentration of sulphite will cause foggy highlights also. A LITTLE Potassium Bromide will help restrain highlights
    Mark
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Psvensson's Articles

    Articles not threads. Click on Articles then Paper Developers. Dan
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Interesting. I didn't know the Varycon RC paper would lith. I have some of the fiber based, and with enough trickery you can really make it sing. But you have to let the exposure times be short and then prepare to agitate for a looooong time. That paper needs a red safelight too, so it's a strain on the eyes for sure.
    To the original poster we can then perhaps give something of value here. With Varycon my exposure times have been pretty much what's needed for a high quality standard print. With Foma Fomatone and Agfa Portriga (my other lith printing papers) need a LOT more exposure, especially the Agfa sometimes requires up to three times normal exposure.
    So with Varycon I've exposed in the realm of about 10-20 seconds at f/8 or so for a normal 120 neg (that would print well on Grade 2-3). And then I've had to agitate for roughly 15-20, and sometimes upwards 30 minutes.

    Patience is definitely a virtue.

    - Thomas

     
  11. DeBone 75

    DeBone 75 Member

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    I use a red safelight. As I said did the test, no problem. As far as exposure times anywhere from 20 to 50 sec. Dev time as much as 12 min. w/ constant aggitation. I tryed the Ansco 70 again the other day at 1:1:16. Again took forever to start to come up and then just stalled after 9 min. My lens is set at f12. I use a 150 watt bulb in a condensor enlarger. Again looks overall flat gray in highlights. I did try one thing. I put 1 gram of Metol in the mix. In 2 sec. the print was completely black. Potent stuff! This of coarse was after it was already diluted. Talk about infectious.
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    20-50 seconds @ f/12 is about equivalent to what I'm doing with Varycon. But I have used either Fotospeed LD20 or Maco Superlith for my forays with this paper. I don't really know how the A-70 developer works compared to them.
    Now I'm using Arista Lith, which is a gallon kit that lasts forever. It's very cheap, but takes some getting used to. It's not as easy as the other two in my opinion. I had to mix a stronger solution and use more chemistry. I also found when I started lith printing that it was very important to clean out the chemistry trays (and do a good job) before using them.
    My printing session yesterday lasted three hours, and I ran about twelve 8x10 prints through the 3 liters of chemistry I had prepared. I keep the chemistry at about 75*F by using a heater element under the trays, and a submersible Kodak darkroom thermometer in the developer. Works great.

    I don't know what else to recommend you do. If your maximum development time for Varycon is 12 minutes, then you may be over-exposing. The more exposure you give the print in the enlarger, the less contrast you will get (along with faster times for developing the print). If you decrease the exposure and develop longer, you will get an increase in contrast.
    So in my mind there are three possibilities.
    1. Either the paper you are using is not suited well for lith (but we figured out that Varycon RC and Kentmere WT should work and has for others).
    2. Your exposure time is too long.
    3. There might be some contaminant in your developer either from the tray or from the equipment you use to mix your chemistry.
    I'm sure there are more reasons, but that's what I can think of right now.

    Keep trying. I swore many times before I got lith printing going somewhat smoothly.

    - Thomas
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Metol does not produce infectious development.
    That quick black does bespeak of the high ph
    of the solution. Metol though is a very
    active developing agent. Dan