Modifying lith print colour

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Michal Kolosowski, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Michal Kolosowski

    Michal Kolosowski Member

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    Hello fellow darkroom goons! :wink:
    For some time I've enjoyed the combination of Maco Superlith developer with Foma Fomatone MG Classic paper. Especially the rich colours from greens through yellows to pinks and beiges. Unfortunately due to high costs I've had to switch to a cheaper developer brewed by a local photographic store. Since then all I'm getting is, although vibrant and saturated, only yellows and oranges. However once, by mistake I've added 20% of Superlith old brown to the solution and all the colours came back.
    So my question is can I bring more colours to my lith prints by adding some chemicals to the developer solution? Maybe there are some other ways to accomplish that?

    Thanks,
    Michal.
     
  2. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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  3. Michal Kolosowski

    Michal Kolosowski Member

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    Thanks, but it's still beyond my financial reach :sad:

    According to Tim Rudman's book adding potassium bromide to the developer will in some cases shift colours from pinks to yellows. I'm interested in doing it the other way around. Unfortunately I can't remove potassium bromide that is alredy in the developer.
     
  4. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    You could try increasing dilution. Generally this results in stronger colours, but also longer times.
     
  5. Michal Kolosowski

    Michal Kolosowski Member

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    I've also tried increasing temperature up to 31 Celsius degrees, but still it just doesn't cut the mustard. I guess you pay for what you get.
     
  6. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    have you tried leaving some of your present used developer out overnight to make some old brown, mix it into the new developer, and heat it up good and hot?
     
  7. Michal Kolosowski

    Michal Kolosowski Member

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    I usually add 10-20% of old brown. Depending on how seasoned it is.

    As for now my little experience suggests that controlling temperature, dilution and adding old brown mostly affects saturation of colours and the amount of lith effect but hues and colour variations are more difficult to tame.

    The developer I've mentioned in the original post comes in a powder form and just yesterday I've discovered that all compounds of it come in separate, labelled bags. So there is a way to mix it with a bit less of potassium bromide. Do you think that might work? I'm reluctant to wasting a whole litre of concentrated developer solution.
     
  8. mrtoml

    mrtoml Member

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    The bromide is a restrainer that allows longer developing times - this usually results in more saturated and colourful results. So taking the restrainer out may actually not do what you want. But then again this is still affected by paper, temperature and dilution and other factors so it might be worth a try, but I wouldn't have thought this would solve your problem. With lith experimentation is the name of the game :wink:

    For information: Old brown contains a lot of Bromide if it has come from a printing session rather than just being oxidised by air (the paper emulsion releases bromide into the developer). So you are adding bromide when you add old brown.
     
  9. Jason Mekeel

    Jason Mekeel Member

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    There is always selenium toning.

    Jason Mekeel
     
  10. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Hello, Michael. The potential for colors is inherent in the emulsion of whatever paper you are using (so long as it is lithable).

    The two-bath method was mentioned above. In lieu of buying a kit, you can pass your Foma through an initial developer which is strong and fresh, to lay down the blacks, and after a water stop bath a second bath of highly dilute developer with lots of OB, to bring colors out in highlights. It can be the same brand developer in each bath; there just has to be a wide disparity in developer concentration and bromide level.

    Obviously there is some trial and error (well, lots in my experience, but all in fun) and for your money I think the Moersch kit takes a more measured approach.