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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Multi Format

    LH-4 line/halftone film, my first experience

    From time to time, I need black text on a print. I have used Ilford FP-4 sheet film in D-19 in the past, but I have had some issues with it shadowing around the edges of the text. This time, I decided to give the LH-4 line/halftone film a try. There is no exposure or developing information in the box or online that I could find. All that is recommended is an A&B developer. So, I decided to share my results. Not wanting to use a formaldehyde based developer, I looked for alternatives and decided on D-9. After formulating the D-9 per the published formula, with the exception of using sodium metabisulfite at 91.3% of the specified sodium bisulfite concentration, I had the following results.

    The first step was determining which side of the film was the emulsion side as there are no edge notches. One side is pink the other maroon. The maroon side appears to be an anti-halation layer as it readily washes away. So, under the red safelight, the emulsion side is the lighter colour. Using a laser printed text transparency as the positive for contact printing, I prepared test strips and found that at a light level of 1.9 Lux on the enlarger table for 5 sec. resulted in a usable negative with a black background and almost clear text. I metered the light level with a Sekonic L-758DR. Longer exposures betrayed the non-uniform density of the laser printed text. Next time I will try even less exposure time. Development in D-9 at 66 F was 1 min. I rinsed in a water bath and then used a buffered acetic acid stop bath each for 30 s. Fixing was 1 min in Kodak Rapid Fixer based on clearing in 30 sec. I may not need the acid stop bath, I just wanted to make sure that the high NaOH levels in the developer did not mess up my fixer.

    This developer does not last long. About 4 8X10 sheets were all I could get out of 500 ml. The final 5th negative took much longer to develop and was uneven.

    Any one else with experience using this film?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Medium Format
    I've been playing with half tone film in recent months but won't be much help, "playing" being the operative word. I use Kodalith RT A+B, 1+1+4 H20. I also had trouble with determining the emulsion side.

    The few times I mixed my own lith brew sans formaldehyde, I could never get the pop like I do with LD20 or Kodalith. I have my vent fan intake about three feet above the developer tray so fumes are not a problem. I don't know how your ventilations is situated.



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