What lith developer to begin with?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ymc226, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I want to print portraits using the lith technique which is completely new to me. Tim Rudman's book regarding lith just arrived from Amazon and I am reading with great anticipation and expectations.

    Also, I just read the thread about lith papers with warmtone papers, especially Fomatone warmtone VC FB papers responding well to this technique.

    1) there are several versions of Fomatone Classic VC FB. Which versions would be best for a beginner? Do the different surfaces (glossy, matte etc) or color bases work equally well and it is just personal preference?
    cream base warmtone matte​
    cream base velvet semi-matte​
    cream base warmtone glossy​
    cream fine art base chamois warmtone​
    natural fine art base warmtone​

    2) I want to buy a developer kit first and need some guidance. B&H doesn't have much to chose from so I guess I will be ordering from Freestyle. Would either the Moersch Easylith A&B Lith Printing Paper Developer http://www.freestylephoto.biz/12034-Moersch-Easylith-AandB-Lith-Printing-Paper-Developer-2x100-ml?cat_id=301 or Arista Premium Liquid A&B Lith Developer http://www.freestylephoto.biz/160401-Arista-Premium-Liquid-AandB-Lith-Developer-2-x-1-Quart?cat_id=301 be appropriate?
     
  2. hadeer

    hadeer Member

    Messages:
    175
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I am a beginning lith printer and had good results right away with the combination of Moersh Easylith and Fomabrom MG Classic warmtone 131. Colours vary from orange-brown with fresh strong developer (1+1+50) to orange-red with more diluted (1+1+100 or more) or near-exhausted developer. Developing times about 10 minutes, exposure +2 or 3 stops depending on the contrast of the negative. More exposure gives me lower contrast, provided you choose the right snatchpoint.
     
  3. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,130
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Location:
    Trim, Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Get some of the Fomatone MG Classic 131 gloss or 132 mat paper to begin with. I have not used the two developers you mention but either one should be fine.
     
  4. David William White

    David William White Member

    Messages:
    1,179
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just get more than you think you need!!
     
  5. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,491
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I started with Moersch EasyLith, and the Foma 131 (glossy) and 132 (matt) papers. Most of the images in my gallery are made with that combination (and/or with Moersch SE5 lith developer but I saw little difference between the two). I generally exposed 2-3 stops over, and had developing times between 4-10 minutes in warm (25-30C) developer.

    As for choosing the papers...I haven't tried them all but I think will a lot will depend on your own personal preferences as to what surfaces you like the most. I prefer matt and chamois best with lith, but for some images I found that glossy worked better, so...again, it will be based on what you are printing and what you like in the final print. Be aware though, that the Foma papers are extremely colourful, which some people don't like. That being said, it's a great paper to start lith with, and once you are comfortable with what you are doing, you can experiment with others.
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,419
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    The Moresh dev reminds me of Nova Lith A B which I started out with, so I would suggest this dev as it works well in my darkroom.
     
  7. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'd go with either a Moersch SE5 (I only have experience with SE5) or Rollei. They are both formaldehyde free and work pretty similarly. I don't have any experience with Easylith, though.
     
  8. dfoo

    dfoo Member

    Messages:
    268
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I recently bought some LD20... any thoughts on that?
     
  9. MVNelson

    MVNelson Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,198
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    North Florid
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    LD20 works quite well .... with experimentation you'll soon move away from the printed instructions ... On the same papers I got kind of similar results as with Moersch chems ...
     
  10. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I just remembered that I have Ilford Warmtone MG FB that I bought and at that time did not like the tone.

    As it is a warmtone paper, does it work with lith printing or will I get more distinctly "lithy" results with the Foma papers?
     
  11. ymc226

    ymc226 Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Also,

    How does one warm and keep the developer warm while in the tray. I will work with 8x10, 11x14 and 16x20 trays eventually.
     
  12. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,130
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Location:
    Trim, Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Definitely start with the Foma paper. I use a tray warmer to keep the developer temperature up. You could put the dev tray into another tray holding hot water which can be topped up.
     
  13. An Le-qun

    An Le-qun Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I would like to recommend Ultrafine's lith developer. For the price of 1/2 liter of some types, you get two gallons of really concentrated stuff--enough to last even a frequent lith printer quite a while.

    The A+B concentrate is what I'm talking about--$26.50:http://www.ultrafineonline.com/abdeco.html
    I am finding it very easy to work with.
     
  14. hadeer

    hadeer Member

    Messages:
    175
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You will get better "lithy" results with the Foma paper. The Ilford warmtone works well with secundary lith development (lith developing after bleaching)