Made my first lith prints last night and...

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by jmal, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. jmal

    jmal Member

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    ...it went fairly well. I learned a little about the process as well as my equipment. However, I do have some questions. I used Fotospeed LD20 and both Fotospeed paper and Fomatone MG FB glossy (no filter on the Fotospeed paper and a #2 on the Foma). I followed the directions and mixed 485ml water/15ml part A and 485ml water/15ml part B, though I did double the recipe to make two liters of developer. My exposure times were in the neighborhood of two minutes at f5.6. Development times were approaching 15 minutes. In the end, I achieved prints that look like every bit like lith prints, but I did not ever experience what seemed like infectious development. I had to pull the prints because they were getting dark in the highlights. Was I overexposing and then not getting to the point of infectious development? If so, I am concerned about not getting enough highlight detail. Any thoughts? Also, I noticied slight faint areas in the center of the initial prints. I thought this might be a hot spot from the long exposures, so I began exposing in shorter bursts and allowing the bulb to cool between bursts. Seems to have worked, but on second thought, wouldn't a hot spot be darker? Anyone else have this kind of experience? I'll post them tonight. Thanks.

    Jmal
     
  2. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Hi Jmal,

    A post if the image would be helpful. What temp was your developer at the time? Did you try a different batch or kind of paper?

    I would suggest using a heavier dilution of chems as well. Let's see, what do I use... I think I use 100cc A and 100 cc B to a liter of water. Quite a bit more than you, and my temps are around 90F for developing.

    Why don't you give that a try and see what you get. I would also suggest having a couple different papers to try.

    Letting the bulb cool of would do little, except make your consistency go out the window. And yes, it would be darker, but I don't believe you are on the right track with that.

    Highlight detail is controlled via the exposure however, so you may need to go longer. I wouldn't know what your light sources is, what the f-stop you use is, how bright the source is on the paper, but on my systems, a minute or two is typical for exposure and I have sat with an image in the soup close to your dilution for 25 minutes rocking that thing back and forth until I almost went crazy. So you see there are several variables here as well.

    Best of luck. Let us see the images, that will help.

    Robert
     
  3. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    I agree that you can increase concentration (25mlA+25mlB per litre plus half a litre old brown). Also I don't bother with filters on the fomatone (that's another stop of exposure lost). I use times of around 1-1.5 minutes at f8 or so for 9x12 paper. I also up the temperature to 26 degrees+. With LD20 I would be snatching at around 5-6 minutes.
     
  4. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I did the same thing with LD20 the first time I used it (followed their mixing directions). The dilution you used is about 1:33 which takes a while to develop the print. Most people use anywhere from 1:5 to 1:20 for their dilution, depending on the look you're after. Like Robert and Mark, I believe the dilution adjustment will solve your problems.
     
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  5. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    Yeah I use 1:15 dilution and that's a nice balance for me...it's fast enough so I'm not pacing the floor and slow enough so that I can get the development I want. To each their own, of course.
     
  6. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Lack of infectious development (so long as you get any development at all) is indicative of either lack of sufite, too much sulfite, or lack of a restrainer, such as potassium bromide. Additionally, it takes developer usage to generate the semiquinones that produce infectious development, i.e., "old brown." Simple oxidation does not work here.

    Try again with your original dilutions, but substitute a liter of your old developer for water. (Make sure your old developer is "dead," as often it still has some activity. Any lithable paper thrown in will accomplish this.) Add 5g sodium sulfite and 5 grams of potassium bromide. When you get a well-worked batch of old brown, usually don't even need the potassium bromide. Good luck.
     
  7. jmal

    jmal Member

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    On my way home to scan prints...they'll be linked soon.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I would think that 2 minutes is a very long exposure time, at least for Fomatone. My normal time was around 40s-1m at f/8 for a normal 120 neg that would print well on grade 2 filtration. Yep, increase temp and dilute the developer less. You'll get better prints.
    Also, you absolutely have to clean your developer tray spotless before you use it for lith. It's an often overlooked step that is critical. Preferably use a separate tray for lith. And skip the filter. Exposure time determines the contrast. The longer the exposure the shorter the development time and the less contrast you'll see in the final print. Long exposure also increases color intensity in the final print.
    - Thomas
     
  9. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Okay, here's a link:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22163194@N04/?saved=1
    The more subtle peach tones did not hold up to my cheap scanner. Hopefully you can see enough. I'd post them here, but they are not worth wasting my storage space (I already have some poor scans posted in my gallery!). Thomas, thanks or the tip on cleaning the tray. I used a tray that was clean to the eye (i.e. no visible oxidation stains), but it could certainly have other chemical residue. What do you use to clean your trays? I usually just wash with water. Thanks to everyone for the advice. I'll be printing again on Saturday and hope to have some good results.
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I use Heico Permawash to clean my trays. Works really well to clean the darkroom floor too if you're ever inclined to do so... :smile:

    You probably don't need anything fancy. I just use the above if it's really bad. Normally I just scrub it with a piece of filter pad that goes in my basement air exchanger (it is pretty much inert material).

    You can click the button 'Go Advanced' and attach the photograph to your post if you want. What's nice about that is that there is no risk of broken links in the future.

    Have fun!

    - Thomas
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Wow, I really like the Bus stop photograph. If I remember correctly that was a pinhole photograph? Very very nice!
    - Thomas
     
  12. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Thanks, Thomas. It is indeed the pinhole. There is a "band" of lightness in the print that bothers me. It guess it may be uneven development or something in the negative that isn't apparent in a normal print. I'm hooked, so I'll keep experimenting.
     
  13. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Yes, you have some very nice work Jmal.
     
  14. jmal

    jmal Member

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    Thanks, Robert.