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  1. #11

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    I find I can make a passable lith print with negs that are way to contrasty to make a decent b/w print without lots of vodoo dodging, burning, masking etc. In my experience, way over exposing a contrasty neg can tame the overly contrasty neg but I usually have to still burn the highlights or make a crude mask to make some negs workable. What I find appealing about lith printing is that I can turn an interesting composition but poorly executed neg into an interesting lith print where as I would have a hard time making a decent straight print, fortunately I have an over abundance of such negatives to choose from
    Erik

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hmho View Post
    Hi, I'd like to learn how to make lith prints and would appreciate recommendations on what film and developer combination would be appropriate to use. And, should I work towards a more contrasty negative, normal, or lower contrast neg? I use 120 and 4x5 formats. Thanks.
    It not so much film that will determine a lith print. Just choose the film that best suits your style. Anyway, paper choice is pretty crucial as each emulsion reacts differently to the lith process. For example, Fomatone MG by Foma has cadmium in it which makes a variety of colors possible, where as Ilford MG Warmtone has a more subdued color to it when lith developed. Also, developer choice has some impact on lith printing, as some developers have different properties, such as SE5 which has one of the highest concentrations amongst lith developers.

    Here's a link to a list of lithable papers and reviews of them by Tim Rudman:
    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith2/lith2.html
    Last edited by Justin Maramba; 01-21-2009 at 11:20 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Link

  3. #13

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    Agree, film and developer is not nearly as important as a negative that prints conventionally with the widest range for interpretation. With a grade 2-2 1/2 negative, you can get Pan F+ in the highlights and Delta 3200 in the shadows, with tonal splits falling along those lines.

  4. #14
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    Actually, I must jump in here again and put some perspective on the negative. The negative does matter - a lot! Please see my previous post about how negative contrast will definitely impact the color of the final print. Your results will vary greatly with the density and contrast range of your negative.
    This is because you control contrast with length of exposure, and if you expose a print for a longer period of time, your colors will shift and become more saturated. Don't believe me? Make some tests. Shoot one negative one stop overexposed and underdevelop it by a lot so that it's thin and without much contrast. Then expose one negative normally and overdevelop the hell out of it. It has to be the same scene under the same lighting conditions.
    It will yield two very different prints.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #15
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I agree with Thomas here, the quality or lack of is most important to the multitude of looks available with lith.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Actually, I must jump in here again and put some perspective on the negative. The negative does matter - a lot! Please see my previous post about how negative contrast will definitely impact the color of the final print. Your results will vary greatly with the density and contrast range of your negative.
    This is because you control contrast with length of exposure, and if you expose a print for a longer period of time, your colors will shift and become more saturated. Don't believe me? Make some tests. Shoot one negative one stop overexposed and underdevelop it by a lot so that it's thin and without much contrast. Then expose one negative normally and overdevelop the hell out of it. It has to be the same scene under the same lighting conditions.
    It will yield two very different prints.

    - Thomas

  6. #16
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Maramba View Post
    ...Here's a link to a list of lithable papers and reviews of them by Tim Rudman:
    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith2/lith2.html
    Actually that list is pretty outdated. To get a much more up-to-date list, go to Tim's website and subscribe to his mailing list.

    As far as negatives go, they certainly do matter, just as developer, dev dilution, dev temperature, paper and just about any other variable you can throw in there matters. The lith process seems to be affected much more by variables than straight b/w printing.

    In my previous post I stated that when I have a negative that prints easily in straight b/w I get a good lith print out of it. Thomas has a different take on it, he has an easier time with either thin or very high contrast negatives. It's all in what you want the final outcome to be.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  7. #17

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    Thank you all for your advice. I'm photographing some interiors of ruins (rocks and rubble mainly) and there will be some open doorways or windows. The interiors will be rather dark and the scene through the doorways or windows will be in bright sun. I know it's probably impossible but is there any way I could get good contrast for the interior and some visual information for the outside scene as well? To make it even more difficult, the dimly lit interior rocks and rubble will be very much grey on slightly darker grey in terms of contrast. I would sacrifice the outside scene if I have no choice but it would be great to hold some visual information rather than to have them as blown out highlight. Any recommendation of particular film, developer and general exposure and developing advice would be gratefully appreciated. I'll be using 120 film and at the moment I'm deliberating between Fuji Neopan 400, Rollei Retro 400 and Tri-X 400. Thank you.

  8. #18
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I think in your situation I'd try developing the negative to a contrast that catches as much printable information as possible. Your best bet out of the three is probably Tri-X, which has a very linear response through the spectrum. I think you might prefer TMax 400, though, because if you're in the dark you're likely to run into reciprocity failure with the other three at about 1/2 second. TMY is much more flexible that way, and has even straighter response than Tri-X.
    I'd make a test roll or two before the real thing, but I would meter for the shadows to get the amount of shadow detail you want. Then I'd practice semistand development (reduced agitation) with a dilute compensating developer such as Rodinal. 1+100 is a good dilution to use, and I'd probably develop for somewhere around 10-12 minutes at that dilution and agitate every three minutes. That will help in holding back the highlights, while getting sufficient detail in midtones (important!) and shadows. It's a bit tricky and requires some testing, but that's how I'd approach it.
    What you're gunning for is definitely obtainable. I've done it myself with both Rodinal and Pyrocat, and the negs were just printable with full detail with regular chemistry, and they printed like a dream in lith.

    Good luck!

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #19
    MarkL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hmho View Post
    ...is there any way I could get good contrast for the interior and some visual information for the outside scene as well?
    Check out David Kachel's series of four articles on "zone system contraction" at http://davidkachel.com/history.html. One of the articles is on selective latent image manipulation technique (SLIMT). Basically you soak your high contrast neg in an extremely dilute bleach before you develop it and it proportionally reduces the overexposed highlights. It's not hard to do and is apparently very effective.

    Mark

  10. #20

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    While the negative is of course important, you can get great results from 35mm negs to 4x5 inch. Start out with a good paper for lith printing. I would recommend Foma Fomatone. It is really responsive to lith developer, and easy to work with. Fotospeed Lith is made for lith printing and will work great too. I use Maco Superlith developer, which is very nice.

    Good luck, have fun.
    Be careful his bow tie is really a camera
    timeUnit

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