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Thread: Thinking Litho

  1. #1
    bvy
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    Thinking Litho

    Inspired by the image appearing here, Id like to try some work with litho film. It looks like ultrafineonline.com sells Ortho Litho -- 25 sheets of 8 x 10 for about $22.


    I might like to try it in a pinhole camera. But as I understand that litho film is very slow for such applications, Im thinking of using it in a large format camera that I built that uses an improvised lens to expose paper negatives.

    My questions are basic, but Im having trouble finding good answers. How is this stuff packaged? What does it look like out of the box? Is it rigid like paper, or thinner and flimsier? Is there a paper backing? And in terms of using it in a homemade camera (think cigar box), can I mount it just like I do my paper emulsion side out and a bit of masking tape to hold it flat against the back?

    My understanding is that it can be developed under an amber safelight and in the same chemicals I use for my Ilford RC paper for me that would be Ilford PQ and Rapid Fixer. My stop is vinegar and water.

    Thank you.

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    In some respects all films are slow when used in pinhole applications, because of reprocity effects, so the ISO 10 of the film you linked to may not matter much, but you would need to experiment to get it right.

    I haven't used this particular film, but in general, it would be thinner than most papers and not rigid. The litho films I've worked with are thinner than standard sheet films. There is no paper backing. Using it just like your paper should work fine, and the exposures you use for paper are probably a good starting point.

    As for developing, the film is intended to give very high contrast, you may find it too contrasty with paper developers, you may want to try a higher dilution and longer developing time than what you're used to for paper. The link on F295 states that the sample was developed in a low-contrast developer. A developer like the Formulary Tech Pan developer might work well. (More or less, Tech Pan was a micrographics film repackaged for general use with a companion low-contrast developer)

    Most litho film is intended for use under red safelights, amber may work too, but you would want to test that.

    Your vinegar stop, or else, plain water and rapid fixer will be fine.

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    I've used Kodalith and also the lith film that was previously sold by Freestyle. I'd imagine the Ultrafine stuff is roughly the same, I hope so because I'm planning to buy some. I used it in 4x5 & found the following
    You can work with it under red or orange safe lights, for both loading the film & processing.
    It should be processed in lith dev if you want the high contrast look. If you process in regular paper dev there will be more midtones.
    ISO will be about 6
    It was fairly rigid, like most sheet film, perhaps a bit thinner. I used it in standard 4x5 film holders. I'm sure you could tape inside a pinhole camera or whatever. I've been meaning to try that.
    It didn't have a notch to indicate the emulsion side. The emulsion is the lighter side.

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    Rick A's Avatar
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    Ortho-litho flms are sized like paper, so full size 8x10 will need to be trimmed to fit a film holder.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

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    bvy
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    Thanks to all for the responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
    The link on F295 states that the sample was developed in a low-contrast developer.
    Indeed. And it's the sample they posted that captured my interest. I don't intend to use Ilford PQ long term, but thought I should make sure I can develop something using chemicals I know before branching out.

    Speaking of, here's the recipe given for the low contrast developer:

    Soemarko LC-1B Low-Contrast Developer
    750ml water ~110F
    4g Metol
    120g Sodium Sulfite
    4g Hydroquinone
    30g Sodium Bisulfite

    Mix until dissolved. Add water to 1 liter. Makes stock solution, dilute 1:9.

    It looks like these chemicals are pretty easy to come by. Is it really as simple as suggested? This would be my first attempt making developer from scratch.



 

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