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  1. #1

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    Best film/paper developer for keeping tonality in Ultrafine ortho-litho film?

    Hi everyone,


    I'm experimenting with an unusual exposure process with ortho-litho film. I'm using strobe lights to make photograms on the surfaces of ortho-litho film, and currently using Ultrafine's .004 High Contrast film because it's affordable and comes in many sizes that I can improvise with. I've been honing in on the exposures with the strobes by using barn-doors to adjust intensity, and colored gels (red and yellow) to adjust contrast. In this case because this Ultrafine ortho-litho film has such high contrast, I'm using a yellow filter to minimize the contrast and push the tonal range, like you would with an enlarger.


    Now to my question: How do I develop this ortho-litho film to most effectively keep the subtle tonal shifts and fight the contrast blow-out? Should I use a B&W film developer, or a paper developer? I've heard that you can dilute and chill paper developers to slow down the processing speed, but I'm wondering if there's a developer out there that people have used with this film that really works to keep tonality...any suggestions?


    Also, what's the best ortho-litho film for a wide tonal range? I've found three that are affordable and have a wide size-range: Ultrafine, Arista II, and this new one that B&H is selling called MultiTone. I realize these are all intended for high-contrast, but since ortho film sheets can get expensive and usually only go to 8x10" max, these are the best options for what I'm making.


    Thanks!
    Evan

  2. #2

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    Are you sure you want to use a litho-type ortho film if you want a long tonal range? Why not a lower contrast ortho film? As you noted, litho-type films are designed for high contrast and a relatively short scale. You can reduce contrast with low contrast and/or dilute film developers (wouldn't suggest print developers as they are generally much too active to produce low contrast even with general purpose films).

    Alternatively you may want to try Ilford Ortho Plus.

  3. #3
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    A yellow filter will do absolutely zilch to change the contrast. Lith film has a 'tonal range' like any other: from clear to black; A yellow filter won't change that, either.

    To lower the contrast with lith film try using Soemarko LC-1 (new formula) developer. From Vaughn's post on the LFP forum:

    "From The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes...Second Edition, page 100, by Christopher James:

    750ml distilled water at 125F
    4 g Metol
    80 g Sodium sulfite
    4 g Hydroquinone
    20 g Sodium bisulfite
    add distilled cold water to make 1 liter stock solution

    For use, dilute 1:5 to 1:10...5 to 10 minutes at 75F"

    It works rather well, far better than I would have expected.

    You can't buy it, but have to mix it up yourself. Chemicals are available at http://www.artcraftchemicals.com/products/ and http://stores.photoformulary.com/StoreFront.bok
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  4. #4
    SMBooth's Avatar
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    Best film/paper developer for keeping tonality in Ultrafine ortho-litho film?

    Try searching for Jim Galli, down the bottom of his page is a formula for a modified Rodinal and APHS lith film. Give that a try.

  5. #5
    Athiril's Avatar
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