Moersch Easy-Lith Capacity

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by akaa, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. akaa

    akaa Subscriber

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    Hey all, I'm new to Lith and was wondering about the capacity of this solution? I am mixing 1:25 (20A+20B+1000 water) and I think it died after the 2nd print(had that peppery look). Is that pretty standard?

    Also, the development times are around 20 Min, though the instructions say to expect 8-12 minutes. I was using it at 20 degrees C.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    This is the worst sort of answer, but it depends. :smile:

    I get at least 4-5 18x24 cm prints out of the same dilution you have mentioned. A higher temperature will get you shorter development times but will finish off the developer faster than at 20 C. For me, I get between 3-5 minutes on Fomabrom Variant III at 40 degrees C - and I know my colleague has had times of 60-90 seconds with Fomatone MG. When the developer cools down to 20 degrees C, I often get times around 15-20 minutes, with the first signs of the lith prints coming up at the 10-11 minute mark.

    The time it takes to the snatch point varies with dilution, agitation, temperature and the sort of paper you are using.

    The developer, even in its concentrated form is quite weak and oxidizes with exposure to air. Thus a big shallow tray with a small amount of liquid will die faster than a small one with a bigger volume. The less surface area the developer has, the longer time it will take to die by the exposure to air.

    I am only an amateur compared to Tim Rudman - here's one of his articles to get you further along: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith/lith.html

    Feel free to ask more - there are no stupid questions!
     
  3. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I agree with everything Jerevan said above!

    What paper are you using? Some papers are more prone to "peppering" than others. Are you mixing your developer at 20 C? Does it stay at that temperature the entire time? I always check the temperature before every print and it generally cools off between each one. I like to get the temperature somewhere between 25-30 C -- my development times run around 4-5 minutes, although the range can be between 2-10 minutes. This is with Foma MG papers. The Fuji paper I tried had development times of 30-60 minutes! (I had to use hot developer -- around 40 C -- to get prints in a normal developing range). I print on 24x30 (9.5x12) paper and usually mix 2L of developer in 11x14 trays from the start. That'll get me around 10 prints over a 3-6 hour session. If I want to keep going, I'll remove a liter of the old stuff and and a liter of fresh developer and can get at least as many prints as the first run.
     
  4. akaa

    akaa Subscriber

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    Just for experimentation I've been using some old Ilfospeed RC paper. The peppering seemed to come at an odd time - the first one I did was clear, the second had severe peppering, and the third only about half seemed peppered.

    I am using 8x10 in. trays that i have set on heating pads, and that keeps the temperature about 20C the whole time.
     
  5. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I use an even greater dilution than you: 15A+15B+1000 ml water, and I get at least 5 to 6 prints from a batch. I say at least because I only print one negative per session, and I almost always get a finished print by #4 or 5. I have on occasion printed 6 or 7 prints but I don't know if I've ever gone beyond that.

    Also, I am not an expert in lith printing, but in my experience peppering is not a symptom of dying developer. Suddenly longer emergence and snatch times, excessive color in the highlights and weak blacks are what tell me that I have gone a print too far. Not all papers lith print well. I suggest you try a paper that is known to respond to lith printing, such as Foma.
     
  6. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    I don't think Ilford Rc papers are particulary good for lith printing. Check out Tim Rudman's recommendations for papers. If you subscribe to his mailinglist he will send you his updates on available papers and developers. Or buy his book on lithprinting. It is highly recommended and adresses which papers will or will not lith.
     
  7. Tony Egan

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    Good timing. I tried Moersch for the first time over last two weekends and the same dilution you used exhausted on print 5. Contrast and "peppering" increased markedly with each print. Last weekend I went 40+40+1000 and disposed after 5 prints with the same obvious contrast increase and peppering but more even shadow tones on the later prints in comparison to the weaker dilution. I liked the tonal gradation of the first 2 prints at the stronger dilution and then it started to "break up" too much for what I was hoping to achieve.
    (all prints had same exposure and snatch points as near to the same each time)

    Is this more characteristic of Moersch relative to other lith formulations? Do other variables contribute? Temperature? I think the variation is too dramatic between prints if this is how it always behaves? Thanks

    p.s. I was using Ilford WT fibre
     
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  8. Jerevan

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    To me the Moersch lith behaves in the same way as the LD20 does. I haven't used any other lith developers. The agitation plays a big role in how the print will look. And yes, the likelihood of peppering increases with each print.

    It takes time to "zone in" on each sort of paper. Just keep at it. Some need less agitation, others more temperature and it is by notetaking and keeping some variables set that I get a sense of direction. The set variables for me is a given time and f/stop (90 seconds and f:8) and from that point I use agitation and temperature to get where I want. If that doesn't get me in the neighbourhood, then I change the time. Less time gets more contrast, whereas longer exposure gets lower contrast with the same temperature and agitation.

    I started out with Fomatone MG and Moersch - it was very easy to get results with this. I have never used Ilford Warmtone or the Ilfospeed papers. I know WT should work but in a rather subdued fashion. Every paper has its own look and its own personality.
     
  9. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I have used LD20, Rollei, and the Moersch master set. In my experience all three lithed the same, although the last batch of Rollei that I used was a bit less colorful than the other two. I agree with Jerevan of starting with constant variables (???) and work out from there. My beginning exposure time is f/8 for 11.3 seconds for a full frame 8x10 print on Foma paper. As stated earlier, I use 15ml of A and B in a liter of water. I start with 30c water and keep it between 30 and 35c. I agitate constantly and my snatch points normally begin at about 3.5 minutes and go up to 5 or 6 minutes as the developer ages.

    I have never had results that satisfied me with Ilford warmtone; Foma liths dependably and predictably and gives me the results that I want. I have never had a peppering problem, so I cannot help out here.
     
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  10. Jerevan

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    Heh, constant variables - I didn't think of the oxymoron. :smile: Change one thing at a time, otherwise it will get pretty confusing. Lith machinery has a lot of buttons to push and strings to pull. I agree with the dependability of Fomatone. It just works.
     
  11. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Agreed -- with lith, the type of paper used has more of an impact than the type of developer (in my experience). I've also not had much luck with Ilford WT. If you don't like the way a paper is lithing, change the paper (not the developer).

    And in terms of "peppering", I've only had that occur in one type of paper (the Fujibro -- there's an example in my gallery). What I thought was peppering with Ilford WT was not -- as explained by both Tim Rudman and Wolfgang Moersch in a post I made a while ago. There still may be examples of peppering in the gallery somewhere from that initial query.

    EDIT: There is, just added the links, and a crop from the Fujibro that showed peppering. Unfortunately I removed the other photo of the print I made on Ilford WT and no longer have access to the scanned file.
     

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  12. Jerevan

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    Yes, that's a good thread. It is good to know the difference between pepper fogging and the inherent lith grain - something being peppery can relate to two different things in the case of lith. I am thinking of pepper fogging as more of black spots erupting randomly, rather than a more general grain. I think the black spots is what I see in your Fujibro example?
     
  13. ccross

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    Hello all,

    I'm also new to Lith and not sure if this belongs here, or of it should be a new thread, but I have very similar questions to the OP. I did some printing last night with Moersch Easy Lith (20ml+20ml+800ml+200ml Old Brown) and Varycon KG paper. I made 4 6"x6" prints in about 4 hours. They were all exposed the same (2min. @ F8, grade 3) with constant agitation (@68 F), but the development time increased with each print (23min., 25min., 29 min. and 41min.).

    The questions I have are:
    1) I assume that it is normal for the development time to increase as the developer exhausts?
    2) I noticed that the contrast also increases as the development time increases, is that normal?
    3) The grain size is quite large, so there isn't a lot of detail in some areas of the picture. Is that a function of the type of paper I'm using? (I was looking at some of the image in the lith galleries and some of the images seem to have a lot finer detail than I'm getting.)

    Thanks everyone, sorry of I\m butting in on the conversation.
    Craig
     
  14. Jerevan

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    Craig,

    1. Yes, development increases as the developer exhausts. One can replenish the developer or raise the temperature to resurrect it. Lift out the paper and pour in some replensihment.
    2. From my own experience, I think it is normal to get increase in contrast.
    3. It is a function of the paper - some papers are more suited for fine details (Fomatone for example).

    I haven't used the Varycon but from your agitation times, it seems like a slow paper. Try upping the temperature a bit to get shorter dev times.
     
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  15. Dan Henderson

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    Craig: first, no one will consider that you are "butting in" on the conversation, unless, I suppose, you tried to take it in a completely pointless and unhelpful direction, which you are not.

    Second, regarding your exposure information: when you said "grade 3" did you mean a grade 3 paper or that you have a grade 3 filter in place? If it is the second you might try eliminating the filter. Contrast in lith printing is controlled by exposure and development times. Try giving the print just enough exposure with no filter to get the highlight tone you want, and snatch the print when the shadows are where you want them. If the contrast in the resulting print is too low, reduce exposure time and snatch when the blacks are ready. Conversely, if the contrast is too high, increase exposure time. Getting the filter out of the way will also reduce your exposure time by a stop.
     
  16. ccross

    ccross Member

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    Thanks for the info Jerevan and Dan, I've still got a lot of practicing to do.

    Craig
     
  17. gurkenprinz

    gurkenprinz Member

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    Hi, good to see the Lith Print Exchangers working so hard! :smile:

    Craig, Varycon is rather slow, especially in Lith; I have experienced that as well. It is surely a good idea to loose the grade filter, it won't be needed and will make exposure much faster. As for development, I have found that Varycon really needs very dilute developer to show some color (if you want that) - which means even longer development times, developer dying sooner etc. Just the other night I had to replenish during development.. At that time, the print had been in the developer for over half an hour. After replenishment, it still took almost 15 minutes until snatch point.

    The only solution for this: using the developer hot (around 30-40°C). All of a sudden, times even for very dilute developer are 3-7 minutes. It dies even faster because it is hot, but at least you dont have to sit around in the dark for half an hour before thinking "mmmh... is the developer dying?"

    Regarding the details/graininess of the Varycon, Jerevan is correct, it is mainly a function of the paper. But I have found Varycon to be able to almost match the details in Fomatone. Moreover, grain size is also related to the exposure/development. Dark tones make the grain look much bigger. How this can be connected to development control (via more/less dilution and thus development time) I dont know. But there are experts around on APUG... Mr. Rudman, maybe?

    regards, Chris