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  1. #1

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    Moersch Easy-Lith Capacity

    Hey all, I'm new to Lith and was wondering about the capacity of this solution? I am mixing 1:25 (20A+20B+1000 water) and I think it died after the 2nd print(had that peppery look). Is that pretty standard?

    Also, the development times are around 20 Min, though the instructions say to expect 8-12 minutes. I was using it at 20 degrees C.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    This is the worst sort of answer, but it depends.

    I get at least 4-5 18x24 cm prints out of the same dilution you have mentioned. A higher temperature will get you shorter development times but will finish off the developer faster than at 20 C. For me, I get between 3-5 minutes on Fomabrom Variant III at 40 degrees C - and I know my colleague has had times of 60-90 seconds with Fomatone MG. When the developer cools down to 20 degrees C, I often get times around 15-20 minutes, with the first signs of the lith prints coming up at the 10-11 minute mark.

    The time it takes to the snatch point varies with dilution, agitation, temperature and the sort of paper you are using.

    The developer, even in its concentrated form is quite weak and oxidizes with exposure to air. Thus a big shallow tray with a small amount of liquid will die faster than a small one with a bigger volume. The less surface area the developer has, the longer time it will take to die by the exposure to air.

    I am only an amateur compared to Tim Rudman - here's one of his articles to get you further along: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith/lith.html

    Feel free to ask more - there are no stupid questions!
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  3. #3
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    I agree with everything Jerevan said above!

    What paper are you using? Some papers are more prone to "peppering" than others. Are you mixing your developer at 20 C? Does it stay at that temperature the entire time? I always check the temperature before every print and it generally cools off between each one. I like to get the temperature somewhere between 25-30 C -- my development times run around 4-5 minutes, although the range can be between 2-10 minutes. This is with Foma MG papers. The Fuji paper I tried had development times of 30-60 minutes! (I had to use hot developer -- around 40 C -- to get prints in a normal developing range). I print on 24x30 (9.5x12) paper and usually mix 2L of developer in 11x14 trays from the start. That'll get me around 10 prints over a 3-6 hour session. If I want to keep going, I'll remove a liter of the old stuff and and a liter of fresh developer and can get at least as many prints as the first run.
    Rachelle

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  4. #4

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    Just for experimentation I've been using some old Ilfospeed RC paper. The peppering seemed to come at an odd time - the first one I did was clear, the second had severe peppering, and the third only about half seemed peppered.

    I am using 8x10 in. trays that i have set on heating pads, and that keeps the temperature about 20C the whole time.

  5. #5
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I use an even greater dilution than you: 15A+15B+1000 ml water, and I get at least 5 to 6 prints from a batch. I say at least because I only print one negative per session, and I almost always get a finished print by #4 or 5. I have on occasion printed 6 or 7 prints but I don't know if I've ever gone beyond that.

    Also, I am not an expert in lith printing, but in my experience peppering is not a symptom of dying developer. Suddenly longer emergence and snatch times, excessive color in the highlights and weak blacks are what tell me that I have gone a print too far. Not all papers lith print well. I suggest you try a paper that is known to respond to lith printing, such as Foma.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

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

  6. #6
    naaldvoerder's Avatar
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    I don't think Ilford Rc papers are particulary good for lith printing. Check out Tim Rudman's recommendations for papers. If you subscribe to his mailinglist he will send you his updates on available papers and developers. Or buy his book on lithprinting. It is highly recommended and adresses which papers will or will not lith.

  7. #7
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    Good timing. I tried Moersch for the first time over last two weekends and the same dilution you used exhausted on print 5. Contrast and "peppering" increased markedly with each print. Last weekend I went 40+40+1000 and disposed after 5 prints with the same obvious contrast increase and peppering but more even shadow tones on the later prints in comparison to the weaker dilution. I liked the tonal gradation of the first 2 prints at the stronger dilution and then it started to "break up" too much for what I was hoping to achieve.
    (all prints had same exposure and snatch points as near to the same each time)

    Is this more characteristic of Moersch relative to other lith formulations? Do other variables contribute? Temperature? I think the variation is too dramatic between prints if this is how it always behaves? Thanks

    p.s. I was using Ilford WT fibre
    Last edited by Tony Egan; 12-07-2010 at 04:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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  8. #8
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    To me the Moersch lith behaves in the same way as the LD20 does. I haven't used any other lith developers. The agitation plays a big role in how the print will look. And yes, the likelihood of peppering increases with each print.

    It takes time to "zone in" on each sort of paper. Just keep at it. Some need less agitation, others more temperature and it is by notetaking and keeping some variables set that I get a sense of direction. The set variables for me is a given time and f/stop (90 seconds and f:8) and from that point I use agitation and temperature to get where I want. If that doesn't get me in the neighbourhood, then I change the time. Less time gets more contrast, whereas longer exposure gets lower contrast with the same temperature and agitation.

    I started out with Fomatone MG and Moersch - it was very easy to get results with this. I have never used Ilford Warmtone or the Ilfospeed papers. I know WT should work but in a rather subdued fashion. Every paper has its own look and its own personality.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  9. #9
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I have used LD20, Rollei, and the Moersch master set. In my experience all three lithed the same, although the last batch of Rollei that I used was a bit less colorful than the other two. I agree with Jerevan of starting with constant variables (???) and work out from there. My beginning exposure time is f/8 for 11.3 seconds for a full frame 8x10 print on Foma paper. As stated earlier, I use 15ml of A and B in a liter of water. I start with 30c water and keep it between 30 and 35c. I agitate constantly and my snatch points normally begin at about 3.5 minutes and go up to 5 or 6 minutes as the developer ages.

    I have never had results that satisfied me with Ilford warmtone; Foma liths dependably and predictably and gives me the results that I want. I have never had a peppering problem, so I cannot help out here.
    Last edited by Dan Henderson; 12-07-2010 at 07:16 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: to complete my thoughts


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

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

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

  10. #10
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Heh, constant variables - I didn't think of the oxymoron. Change one thing at a time, otherwise it will get pretty confusing. Lith machinery has a lot of buttons to push and strings to pull. I agree with the dependability of Fomatone. It just works.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

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