Lith printing questions
I was going pretty well with Maco Superlith (in relatively short dilutions) and Kentona before both were discontinued. I am really struggling to get back to speed using Moersch Easy Lith and Fomabrom IV. To get myself straightened out, I have a few basic questions for anyone experienced in this process:
- What is the shelf life of unmixed Parts A & B, in partially full containers?
- How long will mixed developer last in an open tray?
- What is the approximate capacity (8X10 prints) of 1000ml of developer at 1+18?
- Speaking of dilutions, Moersch alternately gives the possible range of dilutions as between 1+15 to 1+50 and 1+1+20 to 1+1+80. Am I in brain-lock, or is it so that 1+1+20 of A+B+water equals 1+10+water?
Finally, does it make sense that a negative that prints well in Ethol LPD 1+3 when exposed for 14 seconds at f11 is still underexposed and require upwards of 25 minutes development when exposed for 90 seconds at f8? Or, is my developer cooked?
Sorry for the lengthy post, and thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out.
Fomabrom is extremely slow in lith I use the same paper with good results and usual developing time is 25 to 30 mins after a 5mins exposure at f8 can't help you with moersch easylith as I still use the old Maco Lith chemstry myself maybe Wolfgang Moersch or Tim Rudman will chime in both are members of this site.
Okay, this is a bit of information on the way... Judging from the base exposure, you are in the ballpark for the right exposure times. If it is low on contrast, do a shorter exposure. Or longer if it needs less.
I am doing 90 seconds at f/8, do the liths in warm developer (35-40 degrees) and get a print in 3-5 minutes with Fomabrom III at 30 A/30 B and 900 ml of water. I don't use old brown (leftover developer from the session before that you use to season the new developer bath with) but I get 4-5 prints (8x10) out of one batch. I guess my patience runs out faster than the developer brew, so I might get more out of it if I persevered.
When I get development times upwards of 25 minutes, either my developer is exhausted or it's getting cold (towards 20 degrees). I usually start with changing the waterbath my developer tray sits in. A new trick I learned quite recently is to use the same size of tray for the water bath, then it does not cool off as quickly.
I started out with Fomabrom and I really bloodied my nose on that combination, so I found Fomatone very easy when I used that.
Last edited by Jerevan; 12-18-2011 at 12:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu
I've been using Moersh master lith, and fotospeed prior to that, I haven't had any problem with the unmixed concentrates going bad. I used some of my Fotospeed a few months ago, and prior to that it had been at least 1.5 years.
When I have it I squirt argon paint preserving gas into the bottles, but that hasn't been a regular occurance.
As for mixed lifetime I wouldn't expect more than a couple of hours in an open tray, and maybe 5 - 8 8x10s for 1000 ml's of developer.
Sounds like your developer may have been cooked, or else too cold. What happened prior in the session? Were you getting reasonable prints and developing times with that exposure?
Are Foma papers still available? And if not, what are some good suggestions for someone who has little or no Foma left. I've never done lith printing, but I'm very interested in it.
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Foma papers are very much still available.
Originally Posted by artonpaper
Fomatone in FB or RC is great as is the Fomabrom IV 123 mentioned in the original post
Oriental Seagull VCFB Warmtone is the next paper I'm going to try, I have heard it is very similar to Fomatone. It also comes in boxes of 50 sheets in most sizes, my main size is 11x14 and Fomatone only comes as a 25 sheet pack.
Try using a bigger dev tray. I always use 100ml of each dev solution when making up my dev, I use 1:1:23 which gives me 2.5 L of dev. With this volume of dev you are going to get at a good number of prints before you need to replenish. I also use old brown so I hit the "sweet" zone much quicker
Originally Posted by HMFriedman
Maco superlith is still available under the Rollei brand. Great stuff. Fomabrom is a difficult paper to really learn on (very gritty, strong infectous development, very slow even heated to 100F) and certainly looks very different from Kentona. I have no experience with Easylith. Try some Fomatone or Oriental warmtone and I think you'll be much happier. The other nice thing about Fomatone is that you can get many, many different looks with different toning and development.
1:1:20 means one part A+one part B to 20 parts water.
Henry, what was your developer dilution and temperature? Like some others have mentioned above, I tend to develop in Moersch (easy or SE5) at higher temperatures (aroudn 30C) and at 1+1+25 or 1+1+30 dilutions. Developing times tend to be in the 4-7 minute range, and I can probably get at least 12-15 prints done before doing a small replenishment.
As for paper, I've use almost every current (and some old) paper out there that liths, and I found Fomabrom very difficult. I was eager to try it after seeing some of the work done here on APUG by some members, but my attemps were slow, gritty, and prone to pepper fogging (in both LD20 and Aristalith). Perhaps you may want to try some other papers.
Also, even though I know you're using Easylith, I think this information from Wolfgang's website might answer some of your questions:
A remarkable characteristic of SE5 is that the working solution can be kept for an unusually long time which is normally not the case at all with Lith developers, they 'go off' very quickly. SE5, in contrast, can last for up to 10 hours in an open developing tray without the need for additional anti-oxidizing agents.
Before I worked with SE5 I mostly used Easylith in 8-10 hour sessions and found that to be true as well (of course developer needed replenishment after 8-10 prints, but I could do about 20 in one long session and it was fine).
Last edited by mooseontheloose; 12-18-2011 at 06:46 PM. Click to view previous post history.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
Thanks, all, for your input!
It sounds like I'm o.k. on my developer life, tray time and capacity, but will try increasing the temperature. I've been using the "Easy"Lith at 70 degrees. I'm also rethinking my choice of paper, having run into every characteristic described: slow, looong development times and difficult infectious development. I chose Fomabrom for its cooler tones, but might try Fomatone just to have some success. Oh, and I'm delighted to learn that Superlith is still available under another name.