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  1. #1
    snaggs's Avatar
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    What are lith films and stand development?

    I've heard mention of these.. can someone explain the whats and whys?

    Daniel.

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    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Stand development refers to a process where one stands very still while hoping that something good comes out of the developing tank!

    Seriously, the reality is not very different. With stand development, you develop the film with essentially no agitation (the "stand" part) for an extended period (frequently 1-2 hours), and use an extremely dilute developer (eg, Rodinal in a 1:300 mix). Stand development tends to reduce contrast while increasing accutance (sharpness).

    Someone else can explain lithographic film and how to make use of it in the darkroom. It isn't a tool in my bag yet.

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    This will help or you can follow these instructions: http://www.jackspcs.com/glycindv.htm.

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    hortense's Avatar
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    And, go here for a treatise on lith: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith2/lith2.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs
    I've heard mention of these.. can someone explain the whats and whys?

    Daniel.

    Stand development has already been explained. I would go on to say that contrast can be controlled to obtain fairly high density ranges on camera negatives if desired. Edge effects tend to give an increase in apparent sharpness in my experience. I don't use stand development...preferring a technique the has been termed minimal agitation which is a type of stand with agitation at widely spaced intervals.

    Lith films are films that are typically used in graphics arts applications. These are normally orthochromatic emulsions and very high contrast. Some use these films in unsharp and sharp masking of the camera negative. There are some photographers that even use them in pictorial applications. They are usually very slow speed emulsions. Typically on the order of ISO 3.

    Lith printing as published by Tim Rudman on unblinkingeye.com is another animal entirely from lith films.

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    snaggs's Avatar
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    Thankyou both. So would stand developing be usefull for developing something like PanF which is contrasty? (Im about to shoot my first roll of it).

    Also, with regards to liths, what are the characteristics/look?

    Daniel.

  7. #7
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    With the right developer (highly dilute Rodinal or HC-110 seem to work well, among modern formulae), stand development might give you something very interesting with your Pan F. One thing that can happen with stand development is "edge effects" -- microcirulation of exhausted and fresh developer across sharp boundaries between strongly exposed and weakly exposed areas of the negative can produce enhanced contrast at the boundary, or even a halo effect (a light line on the dark side, and dark line on the light side, just inside the boundary in each case). All edge effects are more visible in small negatives; what might just look like a mild enhancement of sharpness on a 4x5 could turn into haloes and very obtrusive microcontrast increases (similar to oversharpening in the digital realm) in 16 mm subminiature format.

    There are also gradations of stand development. In your other thread about your first roll in XTOL, you inadvertently applied a mild form of "semi-stand" development when you agitated every 4 minutes instead of every minute; it's also common to agitate just once, halfway through the development time. With all of these methods, I prefer to agitate continuously for the first minute, to ensure an even start to the development.

    Any reduction of agitation will tend to reduce contrast and encourage compensation -- wherein local exhaustion of the developer causes highlights to receive less development than shadows -- but this effect is much more pronounced in dilute developers, and almost undetectable with stronger, faster working soups (like XTOL stock solution). With XTOL, 1:3 dilution would be the one most likely to produce good results and compensation with stand or semi-stand development. Kodak no longer recommends this dilution, but it hasn't suddenly quit working; you do, however, need to be sure you use at least 100 ml of stock solution per roll of film, and with 35 mm in a stainless tank that will mean using a double tank with a single roll of film in it (use an empty reel on top for a spacer) in order to have tank space for 300 ml of solution.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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    snaggs's Avatar
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    Thanks for a great reply!

    Daniel.

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    Lith (lithographic) film is, as stated, a very high contrast graphic arts film. It is not intended for pictorial use. It has virtually no grain and in normal applications, gives only pure black and white with no gray tones. Now, it is interesting stuff to experiment with for pictorial use. Developed in highly dilute D-76, Dektol or Technidol, it is possible to get some gray tones. It makes pretty amazing transparencies from B&W or color negs and slides. It can be found at pretty cheap prices and with proper storage, will keep for decades. I play around with it occasionaly just to see what I can get out of it. If you have a little time, you should try it. Expose at ISO 6.



 

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