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  1. #1

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    Current options in lith developers: Moersch, Rollei, and Fotospeed LD20

    Yesterday and today I've got back to making lith prints for the first time in many months; thankfully my sealed 500ml pack of Fotospeed LD20 (dated Nov 2010) worked without issue. However, as I intend to make 12x16" and 16x20" lith prints, that 500ml pack will not last long. As far as I can see the current options in commercially prepared lith developers are:

    - Fotospeed LD20 (standard A and B concentrate type kit, also available in 5lt A and 5 lt B packaging)

    - Rollei Vintage Creative Lith (also an A+B kit but 10 GBP more expensive than the Fotospeed product.

    - Moersch Easylith

    - Moersch SE5 master kit

    As far as kit comparisons go, I understand the SE5 product uses the standard A + B format but then one adjusts the developer function via the use of additives C, D (included), E and F (extra), either used solo with the developer or in conjunction with "Old Brown".

    Has anyone here made comparisons or have experience with the above kits?

    Tom

  2. #2
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I used LD20 and was quite happy. I tried some Rollei and was pleased with the first batch, since it produced prints very close to Fotospeed. The next batch of Rollei I bought did not behave well. I could not get the same color that I did from the Fotospeed or first batch of Rollei. Since Fotospeed was on its hiatus and unavailable I tried Moersch. Very similar results to Fotospeed/early Rollei, but more expensive. When I need to buy again I will probably go with Fotospeed for economy.

    Note: I did buy the Moersch master kit but have not used the additives. Maybe just buying the A and B bottles would be comparable in price to Fotospeed. I don't know, I have not checked.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  3. #3
    ath
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    I have not used them but in my eyes with the moersch chemicals you have the advantage to see a variaty of samples pictures at http://www.moersch-photochemie.de/co...alerie/lang:en. He is very helpful when approached with questions (he is a member here as well) and provides a lot of information (see e.g. here.

    I rarely do lith and am still on my first set of Maco lith; when it's empty I will buy Moersch's lith.
    Regards,
    Andreas

  4. #4
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    Tom, I can only comment on Moersch Easy Lith so far, as I have not tried any of the others. I like it very much and it gives me a large variety of possiblities - different solutions, different exposure times, different papers... there is a lot to "play". Along with the two bottles comes a comprehensive instruction text, and if you wish to know even more, you can have a look at the Moersch website, as stated above. I have started with lith printing this year, so I am still a beginner, however, with Easy Lith, I have enough to "play with" for the next months to come, I think...
    I always buy the two small bottles, and the price is good.
    Last edited by swittmann; 07-04-2010 at 05:06 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  5. #5

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    Swittmann,

    I went and had a look at the Moersch website, and indeed he does provide some good examples for the products. However, I'm unclear as to whether the SE5 master kit provides anything extra over Fotospeed + home brewed additives, although I see claims are made with regard to longevity or stability of the lith developer compared to the more standard solutions.

    Tom

  6. #6

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    Tom, I use the SE 5 kit but I don't have experience with the others, so I can't help with a direct comparison. You can keep the SE 5 going for a long time by judicious use of the additives with a bit of replenishment, but what I like is that you can play with them to get quite different effects from the same paper, from smooth and creamy to very grainy and lithy, just by changing the amounts and the dilution. The extra ingredients give you more control, although also more to experiment with and a consequent chance of getting it wrong. Presumably you could do the same with home brewed additives in the other developers - as far as I understand C and D are just sulphide and bromide additives to give independent control of the levels of each in the developer.

    Pete

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete H View Post
    Tom, I use the SE 5 kit but I don't have experience with the others, so I can't help with a direct comparison. You can keep the SE 5 going for a long time by judicious use of the additives with a bit of replenishment, but what I like is that you can play with them to get quite different effects from the same paper, from smooth and creamy to very grainy and lithy, just by changing the amounts and the dilution. The extra ingredients give you more control, although also more to experiment with and a consequent chance of getting it wrong. Presumably you could do the same with home brewed additives in the other developers - as far as I understand C and D are just sulphide and bromide additives to give independent control of the levels of each in the developer.

    Pete
    There is also a Ammonium Carbonate solution (Omega additive) which is supposed to increase colour intensity.

    Tom

  8. #8
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    I use the Moersch Easylith and the SE 5-kit. And on some occasion I use the Lith Omege to increase the colour intensity.

    Easy to use and he is indeed very helpful

    John

  9. #9
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    I've used Rollei, Moersch SE5, Champion and Arista liquid. I found Rollei and Moersch (without additives) to be similar. Champion and Arista are also similar and, unfortunately, contain formaldahyde. I like them for Slavich paper, but have pretty much stuck to Rollei otherwise. Both Rollei and Moersch are formalhyde-free as far as I know. I've heard that Fotospeed and Rollei are the same, but I have no direct experience to confirm that.

  10. #10

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    The Easy Home Brew Alternative

    Three chemicals and you've a lith developer. Hydroquinone,
    sodium sulfite, and sodium carbonate in the correct proportions
    are all that is needed. You've the chemicals on hand? If interested
    I'll post some for starters suggestions. Dan

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