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Thread: Beginning lith

  1. #1

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    Beginning lith

    Hello there!

    I've just started printing lith with some old developer (age unknown, the bottle's been opened for at least a few years) and some Adox MCP and some Orwo-paper. Both papers work in lith (the orwo paper has a shorter development time, approx 8 minutes, while the Adox paper needs 11-13 minutes) but I'm lacking the lith effects of this process.

    The Adox paper easily gets peppery/uneven in the highlights, and to some degree in the midtones as well. In tone, it get's a bit warm, and after trying some selenium toning it reacted more and faster (losing a bit of the warm tone, growing darker) than when developed in Dektol. I've been able to achive a much stronger contrast with lith developer than with Dektol, which is nice.

    The Orwo paper (only tried one negative, tho) developed slightly green-ish and slightly warm shadows, and neutral whites. Haven't tried toning it in selenium yet.

    I'm currently using Fotospeed LD20, mixed at 50ml+450ml/50ml+450ml and with some really old brown and also some weak old brown from my first printing session. 'Some' in this case is between 100-200 ml.

    I'd like my lith prints to become more...lith. More colors, perhaps more grainy (I know that the grain is depending on the grain size of the paper, tho)...just anything. Any ideas on what to try next? Another paper, diluting the developer..?

  2. #2
    Simon Howers's Avatar
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    Hi Oscar,
    A few points to start.
    Try starting the process without any 'old brown'. The developer will last a little longer and you will be able to see how the print changes as the fresh developer exhausts. An initial print may be ready to pull at 5 mins but a third or fourth print may not be ready until 35-40 mins and will display more pronounced lith effects.
    Not all ADOX paper displays lith effects well, or at all. I have achieved the best results with ADOX Vario Classic G. This displays good infectious development and a warm tone. It exhausts the developer quickly.
    I suggest you invest in some FOMATONE MG. This quickly produces lith results and is economical on developer. This paper will certainly produce pinks and browns.
    Modern papers are less inclined to produce colourful effects straight off, which I suspect is due to the manufacturing process being 'cleaner'. You can achieve a lot by developing paper in a standard warm tone developer, then bleach and redevelop in lith. This has the advantage that the lith process is in daylight and it's easier to judge when to pull.
    I suggest you also try Moersch Easy Lith
    Think about joining the Lith Group on this website.

    Cheers

    Simon
    5Rise Graphic Art
    Bingley, West Yorkshire

  3. #3

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    Be careful with fomatone mg as they have recently changed the emulsion and many are saying it does not lith as well as it used to. The only true lith papers currently being produced are the slavich, although if you can get hold of some older foma stock it will be fine.

    It looks like youre using quite a lot of dev there, is that intentional? When I mix up I tend to use 15ml a, 15ml b, 30 old brown and 540ml water. Remember that dev dilution can have an effect on colour also.

    If youre on facebook find the lith group. Although it was only recently established theres now a wealth of people who are joined, including wolfgang moersch and tim rudman-anything they dont know isnt qorth knowing

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    I have some Rollei warmtone papers as well, which I believe is rebranded Foma papers. I'll try them next.

    I'm using the recommended dilution found on the bottle, so I'll probably try to use less developer some time. I've seen the 15 ml a/b dilution elsewhere and will probably try it. How will the development times be affected?

    There is a risk that I'll visit the darkroom for the third night in a row

  5. #5

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    I did try using a more diluted (15/485 + 25 ml A & B) developer, and tried this on my Rollei 331 paper (which should be rebranded Fomatone MG 331) and saw some more action than with my other papers. However, using this dilution, it took 16 minutes for the image to appear at all and after 29 minutes I felt I'd had enough. I added some more developer and tried again, and the times were much shorter.

    I started seeing pink-ish highlights and warm shadows, and a lot more grain. I'll try toning it in selenium soon.

  6. #6
    mrtoml's Avatar
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    What temperature are you using? I go to about 30 Celcius. It reduces the development time.
    Mark Tomlinson
    Currently using Bronica RF645+65mm, Leica M6, Bessa R2a, Nokton LTM 50/1.5, Zeiss Biogon ZM 35/2.8, Nikon 35mm SLRs.
    Join the lith printing forum at http://www.lithprinting.net/

  7. #7
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    What temperature are you using? I go to about 30 Celcius. It reduces the development time.
    I agree -- hitting around the 30 degree mark will reduce times significantly.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  8. #8

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    temperature variation will effect final colour remember. i dream of 16 minutes. i have some agfa mc118 fb paper in 16x20 and the last time i used it it took an hour and a half!



 

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