ortho or litho films

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by eddie gunks, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    hello all,
    i was checking out ultra fine for some film deals when i ran across these http://www.ultrafineonline.com/ulhicoorlifi.html
    any one have any experiences with ortho or litho films? i shoot pinhole images so crazy effects are okay. also 16x20 is pretty cheap.....just gives me an excuse to build a 16x20 pinhole camera!:::smile:)))
    how do these films work in lens cameras?
    thanks for the info.

    eddie
     
  2. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A usual place for litho films, which are BTW ortho-chromatic,
    is behind a lens in a process camera. The exposed and developed
    film is used to 'burn' plates for an offset printing press. So the
    film is a part of the lithographic process of printing. I was
    employed at just that some years ago.

    Litho films are blue and green sensitive only and I'd guess about
    the same speed as a VC print paper. For pictorial use employ only
    the very lowest of contrast developers. I sure some others can
    give more exact information. Dan
     
  3. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    16x20 pinhole... of course! There's a way to make sharp pictures!

    I've used Arista APHS film as a positive transparency (cf. in my gallery http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=25280&cat=500&ppuser=6132) and in terms of speed and contrast, it's very similar to a standard grade 2 paper when processed in paper developer, according to my step wedges.

    What I've noticed is that you really need to snatch the film out of the developer. It builds density rather quickly (and the blacks are OPAQUE!), and if you develop for too long you will just have a muddy result. APHS is ortho, and developed under red safelight was all fine.

    If you process as a negative, you would theoretically need less contrast than what a print developer can give you. Speed would be thus probably slower.

    I would start by making a small pinhole box, in order to use less film and do more tests. Expose at different EI, use a dilute developer (like Rodinal or HC-110 1+100), and develop for the same time.

    Then make a contact print. Make sure that you expose your contact for the minimal time required to give you full black on an unexposed but developed portion of the film. Look at the shadows. When you have the shadow details you need, take note of the EI and look at the highlights. If your highlights are blown out, start over and reduce development time (increase if the opposite). Once you get decent highlights, look again at your shadows and adjust the EI to be in the right ballpark.

    Once you find a decent EI and dev time, just build the 16x20 and give it a try.
     
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  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I don't know that one but the Freestyle I think most use EI 3 or 6.

    For developer do a search on the on APHS. You'll find people using anything from highly dilute D-72 to various low contrast special brews.
     
  5. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    thanks all. mhv, your info was quite helpful. i will buy some of these at these prices....i mean 10 sheets of 16x20 at 16-31$ is worth playing with. what are your opinions on the thickness differences available(.004 or .007 what is regular film thickness?)?
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    APHS is very thin compared to ordinary sheet film, and much less stiff than the latter. HP5+, for example, is 0.180 mm (always read the spec sheets!), whereas APHS is 0.004 mm. It's very wobbly, and at 16x20 you will want to tape it properly to a stiff backing (unless of course you exploit wobbliness itself).
     
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  7. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    The emulsions may be that thin. That would be 7/1000
    of an inch for the HP5+ and the APHS 16/100,000 of an
    inch. I think my math correct; based on 1mm = 1/25
    inch. Those films are intended for sticky-back or
    vacuum support.

    May wish to explore www.valleylitho.com . They've
    a large selection of litho films, developers, and, and,
    and, ... . Dan
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Ah, that makes sense. It's the only thickness measurements I found on the spec sheet. At any rate I sure noticed it's thinner than normal sheet film.

    Eddie, two things I thought about: build your 16x20 right away, but instead of putting an entire sheet, just put cut bits of film to figure out your dev/EI. And you can even use a normal 35mm camera to do so, if you can bother with loading it/unloading it in darkness with small bits of film.
     
  9. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    I've shot graphic arts film in camera and gotten decent negatives exposing at ei 3 and processing in d76 1:2. Reciprocity will come into play with the slow film and my general rule for starting out is to triple the exposure if you get a meter reading over a minute. Use of a paper or litho film developer will yield very high contrast and limited tonal range which should be expected anyway. Using a dilute film developer about twice as dilute as normal would be a good starting point for printable negatives.
     
  10. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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    okay! thanks guys. i will try it! 16x20 sound fun....and thing:::smile:))
     
  11. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Most, if not all Litho film is as thin as roll film. The process cameras normally used to expose this film to make negatives for burning printing plates universally have a vacuum back for holding the film flat. These cameras are usually built into a wall between the darkroom and the room where the artwork is put behind glass on an easel for exposure. One loads the film under a red safelight in the darkroom on the vacuum back which swings open from the camera like a door on a refrigerator. There are no guides to slide the film under, rather there are marks on the flat back to position the film, the vacuum holds it flat.
     
  12. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    My experience with litho film is limited to Kodak Kodalith III and to the various offerings Freestyle has sold over the years. I have shot it in the camera and I have printed it. Regardless of the processing, it tends toward very high contrast. It is quite possible to get a usable continuous tone negative from these films if you use one of the "document film" developers that are designed to give low contrast with microfilm. Even then, the contrast is much higher than for normal films. This may be useful for alternative processes. When printing, my experience is a bit different from one of the other posters. In Dektol, these films are very contrasty, and they tend toward lithographic black or white with full development. You can a range of continuous tones if you are careful, but the contrast tends to be at the high end of paper contrasts, in my experience. If you dilute the developer or use a low contrast developer, it is easier to get a continuous tone print. The current products from Freestyle seem to be a bit less contrasty than the older Kodak material.
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have used this material in masking negatives. It is capable of making a continuous tone negative. I used Dektol diluted 1-10 or 1-30 depending on the mask I wanted to make.

    Jim Galli has used it as an in camera film, from what I understand, and has devised a developer formulation for that film...I think that it exists somewhere on this site.
     
  14. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Try Rodinal at 1:150. You can develop by inspection with the RED safelight on. I shoot Kodak and Freestyle lith film in my Century and Speed Graphics with good results. I shoot it at iso 5.