Kodalith Ortho Film
I am thinking about buying some Kodalith Ortho film.
Does anyone know what this film is like?
Sample pics would be great.
p.s. Here is the film on E*a*
Kodalith Ortho is a graphics arts film. It is very slow (about ISO 6, as I recall), extremely fine grained, and extremely contrasty. It was designed to produce either black or white, with absolutely no gray tone in between. With the right developer, like one of the POTA derived formulas, you can tame the contrast a little bit, but it will still be very contrasty. I believe Kodak discontinued this film some years ago, so any stock you find is probably quite old.
Ortho litho films were quite thin, so would probably sag in a conventional filmholder. Sometimes they
were full inch sizes, so would have to be trimmed down a bit. Sensitivity was typically about 75%
blue, 25% green. Kodalith is long gone. Arista APHS was discontinued more recently. Any ortho litho
avail at the moment is probably coming from Europe. The last batch of European stuff I tried was
actually pan, more like Tech Pan.
Try calling a graphic arts firm that caters to the printing trade. Ask for a "Rapid Access" line film. Some will work in lith developers but a paper developer like Dektol will give you high contrast. I was getting a tonal range from clear to Dmax 4+ over a 1 1/2 stop range.
Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?
It works for continuous tone, sort-of, in Dektol if you really underexpose and develop for 6 minutes or so. Not much in the way of DMax, though, as the whole thing is on the toe of the film.
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That looks like a really old tin with some storage problems with the rust on the sides. The Kodalith I have are in 100ft rolls, encased in a black plastic box. Ive got about 250ft or so left. It is very interesting stuff, that I just havent had enough time to really play with.
Like others have said, it is very high contrast, and low speed. You can handle it under red safelight, and develop by inspection. I have also developed it for continuous tone in very dilute rodinal with semi-stand development. It is extremely fine grained.
Here is a scan of a test shot I developed in continuous tone.
Things you can potentially do with it: the high contrast negs are good for sabattier printing, you can contact print very high contrast copies of negatives you already had for interesting effects with it as you can handle it under red safelight, use it to shoot objects you would want to make stencils or other graphic art projects with, using it in urban areas to erase moving objects, such a people from scenes, you can use the low speed as well to shoot wide open in bright light without ND filters.
Thanks for all of your replies. Will the rusty tin affect the film.
I have heard somewhere that lith film lasts forever.
Well the film itself is in another plastic bag inside. If the seal around the tin has not been broken, and the rust has not penetrated to cause holes, film should last. The rust is an indicator though for improper storage, maybe in a spot that was not climate controlled, and not in a deep freeze, where constantly changing temps allowed moisture to collect on the surface of the metal. Metal is a very good thermal conductor.
Also the speed of this film is very low, that might help it survive as well with little or no fogging.
Look up the darkroom cookbook TDLC-1 formula.
I have used this to make continuous tone unsharp masks and in camera portraits (albeit with 2400w/s of direct flash at less than 6' to light the subject).
In the darkroom I use it projecting light onto the baseboard from the enlarger light, and placing the contact printing frame on the baseboard much as though it was printing paper.
TDLC-1 - at present, away from my notes, I don't recall exactly the formula, but it was moderate amount of sulfite, and a gram of metol per litre as the only developing agent, and maybe something else. I kind of think of it as like d-23 would look like on a starvation diet.
my real name, imagine that.
It does last 'forever' at room temp as long as you are not in the tropics. But remember that shadow detail will be lacking. Experiment with tiny pieces of film (about 1 inch) for exposure and development. I use Kodak ImageLink Microfilm (similar; I have both) and to expose for the shadows means that the highlights will be blown out (even with truncated development). You have to decide which is more important: shadows or highlights. But, by the same token, if you are photographing a very low contrast scene there is NO film better. You can make such scenes 'come to life'. I compromise on about EI 8 and develop about half the time as Tri-X. - David Lyga
Last edited by David Lyga; 06-06-2012 at 08:18 AM. Click to view previous post history.