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  1. #1

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    Lith woes - developement at edges

    Here's the problem.. I've attempted printing three different negatives so far, all with this phenomenon that I haven't seen addressed in anything I've read. During development, the tones start to come up around the edges of the paper first, then work their way to the center. The result is that the infectious development goes quickly around the edges and leaves the center underdeveloped. If I snatch the print when the center looks right, then the edges create a vignette effect where there is normally not one in a straight print.

    I'm agitating at regular intervals and have tried alternating directions so it gets even agitation. Beyond that, I'm really not sure how to even things out. These are all prints that have printed perfectly even on the same enlarger at the same size during normal printing.


    Here's some basic stats about my process so far, so you know what I'm working with..

    - Fotospeed LD-20 lith developer mixed per the instructions, 15ml A + 485ml water, 15ml B + 485ml water. I extrapolated up to 60ml A + 1940ml, 60ml B + 1940ml. Developer is at room temp.

    - Foma 111 grade 3 (11x14)

    - Exposed +3 stops beyond normal print

    Thanks for your help!
    Chris
    www.cjphillipsphoto.com

    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  2. #2

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    How big is your developing tray? It helps to use at least one size up from the paper you're developing.

    Ian

  3. #3
    David William White's Avatar
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    Yes, also rock gently. I had similar woes in my recent session (in the standard gallery) but you can see how things got better when I eased up.
    Considerably AWOL at the present time...

    Archive/Blog: http://davidwilliamwhite.blogspot.com

  4. #4

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    Maybe I am going a little too aggressively. I'll try backing off and see what happens. Ian, I'm using a 16x20 tray for 11x14 right now so I could get enough developer in there.

    I'm off to make another print.. i'll check back soon!
    www.cjphillipsphoto.com

    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  5. #5

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    Okay, I severely decreased how aggressively I was agitating, plus how often and the same thing still happened. It maybe was the slightest bit better. Any other ideas? I'm going to stick my nose in the Tim Rudman book some more.
    www.cjphillipsphoto.com

    "Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn't do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner, but it doesn't make you a more creative person. That's the disease you have to fight in any creative field.. ease of use." - Jack White

  6. #6
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Try either pushing the print in face first quickly for the first 30 seconds and then flip back or rock a wave and slip it in faceup as the wave hits the end of the tray so it rolls across evenly and quickly. I used to hand develop large sheets of lithographic film and have seen that when being too timid about getting the emulsion under the developer. Do you pick up the sheet and drain it on occasion for inspection out of the developer? Might have some effect on the outcome.
    Gary Beasley

  7. #7
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Try lifting the print to agitate, instead of rocking the tray.

    Are you sure the vignetting is not caused by your enlarger? If it is due to agitation, the overdevelopment at the edges generally looks a little splotchy; I've never encountered a truly smooth gradation with an agitation issue.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  8. #8
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    I see you are using Foma paper and from the 111 designation I guess that it is Fomabrom Variant III, is that right? I've never had the vignetting issue with this paper.

    Even if there is no fall-off vignetting when doing a normal print - are you really sure the light is even? If it is very slightly uneven, it may show up when you do longer exposures. As an aside, I've seen people actually using enlarger lenses wide open for lith. I did hear a few complaints about getting vignetted, fuzzy corners and prints going soft. What f/stop do you use?

    Agitation is a strange thing. I rock the trays quite heavily, while I've seen others doing it like it was cooking in the kitchen, stirring once in a while.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  9. #9
    sly
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    I often find test strips will develop blacks more quickly at the edges, just as you describe. My prints, which have a white border, don't. I've assumed it was something about turbulence at the edge of the paper.

    I'm not saying it isn't an agitation issue. I tend to agitate prints by flipping (pulling out and turning over, changing directions frequently) while test strips are more likely to be sloshed around. I'd like to know from more experienced lithers if turbulence at the edge of the paper is a possible explanation.

  10. #10
    wfe
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    I've done a lot of lith printing and have never experienced this. I generally agitate very gently. I'm anxious to hear what is causing this but I would suspect the enlarger.
    ~Bill
    "Real Art is a Thin Breath Exhaled Amidst a Struggle in the Mind"
    Fine Art and Portraits

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