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Thread: Lith printing

  1. #1
    schrochem's Avatar
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    Lith printing

    Well I've been bugging people with PMs and really need to bring the subject up to a larger audience. I don't like to be a nuisance....
    I've gotten to the point of really wanting to make some lith prints...
    So I need a little help with a few things.
    First, I don't have a darkroom....I shoot wet plate.
    I'll be using wet plate glass negatives but also would like to use some of my pyro negs.
    To simplify I think I'll start with LD20 and foma 131 paper.
    I'm not really interested in cool tones. I have always gravitated to warm tones. Wet plates with a KCN fix have that warm creamy tone that I like. I think that combo with lith would be sweet.
    Anyway, I'm open to other suggestions on developer/paper combo that will give me nice warmth.
    I will only be doing contact prints. No experience there either....
    I've been told 15W bulb. Just any ol 15w bulb????
    Can I just use water as a stop or do I need acid (I have plenty, if so what % of acetic).?
    Fixer- which one?
    safelight - can I just use my red headlamp I use for wetplate?
    For pyro negs should I just get a piece of glare free glass to keep it flat?
    I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible and something I can set up in my bathroom and take down. I could make a working surface,etc.
    any and all suggestions are welcome.
    thanks!
    Scott
    Scott

  2. #2
    RPippin's Avatar
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    Hey Scott. I don't know if I can address all your questions, but I'm a big fan of Lith printing myself and I might be able to point you in the right direction. First off I use Foma 132 personaly, but outside of finish there shouldn't be any real dif. Instead of LD20, you might consider getting the SE5 kit from Freestyle. Since a lot of the printing will be somewhat trial and error to begin with, you might find some of the other additives helpful. Any print that might have stayed in the developer a little to long can always be bleached and toned to get back some of the detail lost. Carbon toner from Moersch is a real treat and will probably give you those warm tones you are looking for. As my darkroom mentor advised me about Lith, expose the snot out of it. You can play around somewhat, but err on the overexpose side and snatch when you think you've got it. There are lots of great articles and books out there that will help you out, but I find the nature of Lith to be a bit on the subjective side, so experiment till the cows come home and have fun with it. One warning though, I find that if get something I really like, don't bleach and re tone unless you want to lose the soft tones, and be careful that you don't over do it with selenium. Wash well and fix well and others might disagree, but use a stop bath. The best way to describe the infectious process of Lith is that when the deep shadows start to apeare it's like pop corn going off in the grain, so don't fool around with draining off excess developer before you stop. Have fun with it, you have just fallen into the same deep dark hole you probably found with wet plate work and you should be able to use the same darkroom area you use now. Keep us posted...

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    All steps besides the developer will be the same as making 'conventional' fiber based contact prints. So there is plenty of info out there. You may have to test you headlight. Also, you may need plenty of light to tell when the prints are ready. I use a flashlight and hold it pretty close to the print to check it. I'd use an acid stop, otherwise you may 'overshoot' with some continued development in the stop bath. I'm sure with experience one can use H20, but it might be easier to start out with acid stop.

    You exposure will be the contrast and color control.
    Long exposure = early 'snatch' and less contrast with more coloration
    Short exposure = late 'snatch' and more contrast, more like a conventional high-contrast lithograph with less or no coloration.

  4. #4
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted (BBBold: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    We just ran a great article on lith printing, written by Diane Kaye, in the September issue of CiM. It might be of some use starting out. And Diane's contactinfo is there. She could answer any questions you may have, I would think.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  5. #5
    paul_c5x4's Avatar
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    With the Fotospeed LD20 kits, sodium sulphite and potassium bromide are included as separate additives. What affect does mixing in small quantities do to the colour of the prints ?

    At the moment, I'm getting greenish tones along with flat blacks. Would like some salmon pinks and blue/black.

  6. #6
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Any Foma warmtone paper will work well. LD20 or Rollei developer are also a good place to start. Just make sure you dilute it way more than recommended. I use about 1:1:33 of Rollei with about 100ml of old developer per liter. To get started, I'd stay away from any additives or toning, They can be useful, but are something to play with once you get the process down.

    For safelights, I use a red LED bulb. You will need to test the safelight to be sure yours is "safe". Lith development takes a long time so it is a bit more sensitive.

    The have to I think the best place to start learning about it is Tim Rudman's article on unblinkingeye.com (I have not seen the CiM article yet). Tim's book is even better.
    Personally, I find lith incredibly rewarding because of the wide range of looks you can get with different papers and toners. You are definitely on the right track to get started.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_c5x4 View Post
    With the Fotospeed LD20 kits, sodium sulphite and potassium bromide are included as separate additives.
    Not any more they aren't, they stopped including them in the pack a while ago I think, well I didn't get any in the box ordered a couple of weeks ago. I think sodium sulphite is used to stop 'pepper fogging' or black dot syndrome etc. If you use too much though it screws up the development and you just get a horrible grey image (at least thats what happened to me).
    I may be wrong but I think the potassium bromide is a restrainer.

    Also, if you want more pinky colours try using a weaker dilution? When I used some really out of date ld20 I got some weird colour splits, with some of the blacks turning green.

  8. #8

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    No additives in my LD20 package, but dilute it well (1+1+50 works for me) and let it season with a couple of prints and you should see warm orangey-brown tones with Fomatone. All of these are printed with LD20 and Fomatone, the stronger tones come as the developer approaches exhaustion.

    Ian

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    I recall Tim Rudman recommending a 3% acetic acid stop.

  10. #10
    thebanana's Avatar
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    (1+1+50 works for me)
    What does that mean, exactly?
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

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