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  1. #1
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Lith help please

    A question to the lith experts. I have noticed in the large highlight areas that I get a "texture" after selenium toning. On slavich it is quite fine grain and is not unpleasant, and gives the e.g. sky a kind of parchment look. Doesn't usually show up in scans as it is quite subtle.

    However, just trying some Foma 131 and I get the same type of blotches but they are much larger and not as pleasant

    The scan below is drastically manipulated to emphasise them and get them to show up - anyone know what causes them? Only thing I can think is insufficient fixing, but although I only use a single bath fixer, I do clip test it and track usage and tend to renew well before it is anywhere near exhausted. Also, I wash for 5-10 minutes in my washer between fix and toner so as not to contaminate the toner too much.

    Anyone know the definitive cause? or is it just the effect of this paper. Lith developer is Moersch easylith at 17;17;1000 so about 1:30
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails blotches.jpg  

  2. #2

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    foma 131 is a fibre paper isnt it? your washing time such be much much longer, 30 minutes at least.

  3. #3
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    no that's washing time just between fix and tone - some people say you can go straight from fix => tone but it quickly degrades the toner. After toner I give it at least 40 mins in the washer. Process is develop => acid stop => fix ~4 minutes => wash 5-10 minutes => tone => wash 40 minutes

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    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    I've had some quite ugly reactions to residual fixer when toning (not just with selenium). I would also suggest a longer wash time before toning and if that doesn't cure it, try a different batch of Foma 131.

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    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Hi Paul

    Yes, I think I'll try that. Interesting Ilford's directions for the selenium I am using just say go straight from fix into a holding tray and then into toner with the main wash after toning, but I think this is either insufficient fixing in this high-silver paper or residual fixer - unless anyone knows different!

    I'll experiment and report back in due course.

    Simon

  6. #6
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Simon

    I cannot give you the correct answer, but I always use a two bath fresh fix.
    Yes you should be able to give a slight wash and then selenium tone then final proper wash.
    The marks you are getting are strange and all I can offer is inadequate fix.

    Bob

  7. #7
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    It is possible to go directly from fix to toner, but it has to be done as it indicates : Fix > Toner > Wash.
    This will not work with some papers. The safest method is two fixing baths followed by at least 30 minute wash prior to toning.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  8. #8
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    To come back to this. I was getting both these strange blotches and patchy development with Foma 131 in moersh easylith at 1:30. The patchy development seems to go away with 1:20, and I have found the blotches don't appear if the paper is dried (not completely) first instead of going straigt from wash to toner. The drying seems to be the main factor, but a good wash between fix/toner also seems to help. Anyway, my latest print on Foma 131 has nice tones and no blotches! I'll post it up once it's dry. Only problem is I've now used all my 131 testing the different variables.

    I have also found that Foma gives a much softer range of tones than Slavich Unibrom. I quite like the gritty high-contrast appearance of Slavich which suits some subjects, but I can't coax it into the same range of tones I get from Foma, it just goes grittier and blocks up if I give it more exposure.



 

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