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  1. #1

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    With Lith Prints is it Up-Down or Both

    I've low and high contrast negatives. Printing them I'll need
    contrast adjustment in the print. Does lith printing favor
    increasing or decreasing contrast in the print or will it
    work well either way?

    I've read of SLIMT which is good only for contrast decrease.
    So, more and more I'm thinking the lith way may be the way
    to go for to complete contrast control. Dan

  2. #2
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Dan
    You can increase and deacrease lith prints quite easily
    more exposure will decrease , less exposure will increase
    As well I use a second enlarger and use raw flash to control the contrast.
    Paper selection is also a consideration as some papers will be lower in contrast and some quite high.
    If my negative is on the flat side I usually start without flash as straight exposure will eventually give me the balance I prefer
    If my negative is on the contrast side I will usually flash right off the bat to get my effect.
    As well the exhaustion of the dev has a distinct factor and I will place 5-10 exposed to raw light prints in the developer before I actually start to print. this with old lith dev will help activate the developer.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
    Dan
    You can increase and decrease lith print contrast quite easily;
    more exposure will decrease , less exposure will increase.
    As well, I use a second enlarger for raw flash to control the contrast.
    Paper selection is also a consideration as some papers will be lower
    in contrast and some quite high.
    If my negative is on the flat side I usually start without flash as
    straight exposure will eventually give me the balance I prefer.
    If my negative is on the contrast side I will usually flash right off
    the bat to get my effect.
    As well, the exhaustion of the dev is a distinct factor. I will place
    5-10 exposed to raw light prints in the developer before I
    actually start to print. This, with old lith dev, will help
    activate the developer.
    I did'nt have a lith developer in mind when some time ago, while
    testing a HQ + Sulfite + Carbonate brew, I noticed an unusual image
    emergence with prolonged development. With more testing of the
    small batch I'd mixed I became convinced that I was witness to
    the Lith phenomena. That was confirmed with some further
    reading of the literature. Some Lith formulas with just
    those three ingredients add bromide.

    Typical development times average how many minutes for your
    chemistry? For swifter whole sheet contrast control I set the lith
    method aside. I've been working with Beer's VC develper. My times
    run 3 to 5 minutes in each of the few Beer's brews. I've heard
    though of lith results in under 5 minutes. Dan

  4. #4
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    hi dan
    I use Champion Nova Lith A-B dilution 1-8 or 1-10
    my typical emergence time is approx 3-4 minutes, it gets longer at the end of the day( i will have made 30-60 prints) before the time becomes a factor. I have heard people state 10 min or longer and 1. I have never seen this to be a time in my darkroom, 2. this length of time is unpractical for me and not needed.
    I have tried to mix my own brew with limited success, something about the champion works for me. I have tried Kodak AB , some formulas from unblinking eye as well the eddie ephrams formuala with mixed success. One thing I notice with champion mix that is different from all is that when B is added a milkyness occurs . I wonder if this is the formelydahide sp. I am not a chemist and would love to be able to get a mix I can do myself but I am having no luck.
    I just recieved 10 5 gallon kits from Europe of Champion and this will last me for awhile.
    You can use the lith chem from fotospeed from jand&c which I am positive is rebranded Champion Nova Lith.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
    Hi dan. I use Champion Nova Lith A-B dilution 1-8 or 1-10.
    My typical emergence time is approx 3-4 minutes, it gets longer
    at the end of the day( i will have made 30-60 prints) before ..............
    ....... lith chem from fotospeed from jand&c which I am
    positive is rebranded Champion Nova Lith.
    Hi Bob. I take it the 3 to 4 minutes is your till 'snatch' time. Many years
    ago when employed makeing half tones using lith developer, 3 minutes
    was about pull time for film.

    For lith printing that 3-4 minutes and 30-60 prints is for me a completely
    different story. I'm about ankle deep into lith printing. The many posts
    I've read tell another story; 15 to 30 minutes, and at that, likely no
    more than a few prints each session.

    I compound all my own chemistry which I use spareingly, very dilute,
    one-shot. I don't worry about the solution's longevity. For doing so,
    by happen chance, I mixed up a HQ only Lith developer.

    My experience though would be of no help to you as we are at
    opposite ends of the use spectrum. Your need is for long tray life with
    much capacity. I would take it that your's is not the 'arty' lith that
    many others practice? Green skys and purple sand are not my
    interest; contrast control and B&W results are.

    If you've not, from Google enter, "lith formulas" . Wall's Normal
    Hydroquinone is most similar to the formula I by chance compounded.
    I found out after compounding that a lith developer does not need
    a formaldehyde or sodium hydroxide or bromide. Of course they
    are all film developers or so they would have us believe. Dan

  6. #6

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    Tim Rudman's book is a great help, though his articles at UnblinkingEye are more current as to papers & developers. Hopefully, his World Book of Lith site will expand on the Lith techniques. I've only just started doing Lith - using Fotospeed with Forte Fortezo. My paper exposure times ranged from 2 to 4 mins depending on contrast of neg. My normal pull times are around 12-13 mins; but my best print so far was at around 20 mins when the developer seemed exhausted.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  7. #7
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Hi Dan
    A big influence on my printing is Anton Corbijn book Star Trax. The work I do is mostly musician based and I work my prints around the look seen in that book. I have found that different papers , flash , and different diffusion techniques are what interest me. I know of the (artsy) look you describe and to me that is not what I like. I have just been lucky enough not to have to flip prints for 10-15 minutes in Dev to get the look I am after.
    I work with a lot of young musician photographers that like the style of Corbijn's and we start with this style and then work around it.
    You are right my volumes are large when I print and the sessions do last 4-6 hours of continuous printing. You will find with lith that sometimes the darkroom lights don't come on for 5 or 6 different variations of a single print. I do not look at tests with lith printing and therefore any day there are numerous prints of different styles and papers based on one image. I think the trick is that you are looking for the snatch time and your eye gets trained to this that room lights become an second consideration.
    I have mixed in solarization with lith printing days whereas I have three developer trays going on at once and now from any given negative I can give my client 3-6 *looks* on any negative quite easily.
    When printing I get paid by the hour and my clients supply the paper and beer so I have no restrictions on paper usage or hesitations on trying something completely different as I print.
    One client is coming in this week from the west coast US and her needs are 15 negatives with various looks on each image. I lock in the focus and height on my enlargers and give her many looks on each negative. She then takes all the prints that have been sized exactly the same and montages the work to produce secondary imagery for her clients books and her own portfolio. She tells me that she prefers this to PS as I can give her a greater range of source imagery than a Mac Monkey can in PS.
    I do print in the classical style with a slower approach , but I must say the longer I work in a darkroom the less I want to turn on the lights. I prefer this experimental approach to printing as the imagery seems very fresh to me.



 

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