what is "Lith" in terms of technique?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jose A Martinez, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Maybe I'll be considered naive or ignorant, but what is "lith" when you reffer to it as a technique or process or materials related to a photograph. I understand Lithography and Kodalith, but that is all.
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I would do a quick Google search first if I were you. But here is a brief explanation:

    "Lith" is an alternative method of printing that gives non-standard prints. They can be mixed in tone between cool and warm, very grainy, rather dream like, etc.

    It is called "lith" printing because the developer used is A+B graphic arts film developer, but highly diluted so it acts very slowly.

    The use of A+B is really what makes lith printing work. This developer does not simply develop the picture based solely on how it was exposed, like a normal paper developer. What it does is develop the most developed areas faster than the areas that are not as developed. Once certain areas start to emerge, they start developing at a faster rate than the areas that emerged later. It is a chain reaction. This is what makes it a high-contrast developer.

    Obviously, this means that the shadow tones are *highly* controlled by developing time. You do not develop lith prints to "completion", but develop them by inspection. Diluting the developer slows development down to a controllable speed.

    You also expose differently. You get a "normal" print in normal developer first. Then, overexpose your paper by several stops for the lith print.

    Your developing times are very long.

    You can print from color as well as b/w negs to get a positive lith print.

    If you Google it, you will get much more than this.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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  4. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Search on Tim Rudman here in APUG. He has at least three books on the subject and is a delightful person, a gentleman's gentleman. He does workshops in many countries.

    His web site is http://www.worldoflithprinting.com/

    Books listed at Amazon.com:
    The Photographer's Toning Book: The Definitive Guide by Tim Rudman (Paperback - April 1, 2003)
    The Master Photographer's Lith Printing Course: A Definitive Guide to Creative Lith Printing by Tim Rudman (Paperback - Nov 1, 1998)
    The World of Lith Printing: The Best of Traditional Darkroom and Digital Lith Printing Techniques by Tim Rudman (Paperback - April 1, 2007)

    A variation that might please Tecnicas de Positivado En Blanco y Negro by Tim Rudman (Paperback - Feb 1999)

    John Powers
     
  5. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    A+B has nothing to do with the production of lith
    prints other than there being a number of lith
    developers compounded A+B. There several
    A only lith developers. Wall's Normal
    Hydroquinone is likely the most
    well known. Dan
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Doesn't the use of these developers that are normally reserved for graphic arts AKA litho film give lith printing its name? Doesn't their infectious development have quite a lot to do with the production of lith prints? I'm sure there are endless variations on the exact formulas used, but the fact remains that the name comes from the use of developers that were originally designed for developing lithos, and that it would not work without the specific properties of these developers. That's what I was trying to say. I guess I was using the term "A+B" as shorthand, when I should have just been using the term "standard graphic arts film developer or variations thereupon".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2008
  7. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Hi Jose
    I put an article up here http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith/lith.html some time ago. It will show you a few examples with a brief explanation.
    (It's also fun :smile:)
    Tim
     
  8. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Thanks all for your valuable information, I'll google it as 2F/2F suggests, but up to now my doubt is cleared. I used to work 35 years ago in a lithography press darkroom and process Kodalith for negatives to prepare printing plates was part of the work flow, I still remember the smell of the developer.
     
  9. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    The developer is the same but the techniques and the results with prints are quite different Jose
    Tim
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=2F/2F;644065]
    "Doesn't the use of these developers that are normally
    reserved for graphic arts AKA litho film give lith
    printing its name?"

    Likely. I believe you've the mistaken impression that lith
    developers "for graphics arts AKA litho film" are solely A+B
    and so for prints. That is not the case for film or prints.
    Lith developers may be compounded A or A+B.

    "Doesn't their infectious development have quite a lot to do
    with the production of lith prints? I'm sure there are endless
    variations on the exact developer or variations thereupon".

    Infectious development has Everything to do lith development,
    film or paper. I've a site in mind with a very detailed explanation
    of the process and slew of formulas which I'll later post. Dan
     
  11. Iwagoshi

    Iwagoshi Subscriber

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    Jose,
    I am naive and totally ignorant of the lith process. Thank you for asking the question and thank you to Tim Rudman for a brief but informative article, it took the mystic, perceived difficulty, out of this very exciting twist on the normal process.

    Terry
     
  12. Romary

    Romary Subscriber

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    I am reading the Tim Rudma's book : The Master Photographer's Lith Printing Course.

    It is very well written and give very good pratical explanations even for me who is not a perfect English speaker:D.

    I have bought some Fotospeed developper and I wil my make my first trial soon.
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    From Google search for, lith formulas wall .
    The formula spaces are coming up blank here?
    Good explanation plus other still there.

    I may have caused some confusion in my clarification.
    Most lith developers have two parts; the two to be mixed
    just prior to use. Likely a matter of tray life.

    I've only worked with the all in one types. IIRC a few of
    that type are listed at www.unblinkingeye.com . Another
    APUG member also works with the all in ones. Search
    this NG for, Dr Jekyll. Dan