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  1. #21
    aaronmichael's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip about the emulsion Joe. As for the ortho litho film - would the exposure times be your only complaint about it? With the paper negatives, I think I was somewhere around an EI of 5 but I'm not exactly sure. I'd go out and make an exposure, then after developing that shot I'd go take the same photo, either adding or subtracting time based on if the first shot was over or underexposed. My exposure times ended up being anywhere from 2-7 minutes.

    Making an 8x10 pinhole camera sounds highly tempting. However, my homebuilt pinhole out of plywood is already quite large and heavy. Hard to image the size of a 8x10 pinhole camera.

    Thanks as well for the tip about the X-Ray film. That does seem to be very cheap. I did a quick search on the forums and found MANY threads on the subject. Would you happen to know where I could get a free pack of it to experiment with? I might start a new thread, just asking some very basic questions about it. Hard to get clear information when it's scattered in 50 threads.

  2. #22

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    It is designed for halftone results, so it must be seriously tamed in contrast for continuous tone results. The good news is that it is pretty easy to do. I would not recommend diluted Dektol or any other paper developer. The contrast is still too high and the midtones that are achieved can look reminiscent of halftone dots, as opposed to true middle densities. It can also be difficult to get repeatable results. You are better off with highly dilute one shot film developers, or specially made brews. Your best option IMO is Soemarko's LC-1, which is a home brew. You'll need metol, hydroquinone, sodium sulfite, and sodium bisulfite (A.K.A. sodium disulfite sometimes) to make it.

    It can tend to suffer from pinholes. My guess is that since it is designed as a halftone film, the quality standards do not need to be as high as film designed for making silver prints. One can easily touch up a piece of halftone film, since one does not need any middle tones, but only needs either zero density or maximum density on the film; all you need to touch up a halftone is a Deco Color paint marker or some rubylith tape (and occasionally some bleach if there are any pepper spots – black where there should be clear).

    On a positive note, I only really see the pinholes with halftone and paper developers, and not with Soemarko's LC-1. I might also suggest presoaking for several minutes, skipping the stop bath, and using an alkaline fixer. Also, remember that these are films, not papers. They eat through your chemicals quickly, so you should monitor your fixer closely in a printing session. I usually have to change my fixer several times if I am spending a few hours in the darkroom working with litho film. All your chemicals will turn much darker than they do with photo paper or camera film. The fixer, particularly, will turn dark yellow or orange. Don't worry about it. Just do the standard fixer tests religiously throughout your session (double or triple the clearing time of a test scrap of unexposed film, and discard fixer when clearing time reaches twice the original clearing time).

    Midtones on litho negs will often look yellow or brown. With LC-1 in particular, the whole neg ends up looking dingy. Don't worry about it. They will print fine. I have assumed it is the result of the incomplete development that we purposefully do to pull continuous tone from these films. Even with A+B halftone developer, an underexposed piece of film can have traces of yellow or brown in the least dense areas.

    It works fine in pinholes, and it is cheap. Make sure you order the 3.9 by 4.9, and not the 4x5, size if you are using 4x5 film holders. This size is made specifically for loading into 4x5 cameras.

    I don't know about reciprocity, but I have had great results from it in pinholes. It is slow, so it is easiest to use when there is lots of light.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-19-2010 at 04:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    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)

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    On a positive note, I only really see the pinholes with halftone and paper developers, and not with Soemarko's LC-1. I might also suggest presoaking for several minutes, skipping the stop bath, and using an alkaline fixer.
    Great advice, in my experience. (FWIW, I use a water stop bath)

  4. #24
    aaronmichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    It is designed for halftone results, so it must be seriously tamed in contrast for continuous tone results. The good news is that it is pretty easy to do. I would not recommend diluted Dektol or any other paper developer. The contrast is still too high and the midtones that are achieved can look reminiscent of halftone dots, as opposed to true middle densities. It can also be difficult to get repeatable results. You are better off with highly dilute one shot film developers, or specially made brews. Your best option IMO is Soemarko's LC-1, which is a home brew. You'll need metol, hydroquinone, sodium sulfite, and sodium bisulfite (A.K.A. sodium disulfite sometimes) to make it.
    Thanks for the reply and for the tip about the paper developer being too contrasty. I'm sure I'll end up trying both a paper and film developer. Unfortunately I don't have the ability to make home brews.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronmichael View Post
    Thanks for the reply and for the tip about the paper developer being too contrasty. I'm sure I'll end up trying both a paper and film developer. Unfortunately I don't have the ability to make home brews.
    That is unfortunate. What keeps you from being able to make them?

    Since Soemarko's LC-1 is out, I would suggest starting with a bottle of HC-110. A 1:99 dilution of the syrup is a good starting point. For easy measurement, I suggest making a 1:4 stock solution that is 400 mL water and 100 mL syrup. To make a liter of 1:99 working solution, pour 50 mL of the stock solution in to a one liter graduate. Then fill the graduate to the one liter mark and mix. I'd try dilutions from 1:49 to 1:199 to alter conrast. The lower the amount of syrup, the lower the contrast. To make 1:49 working solution, use 100 mL of stock, then fill to the one liter mark. To make 1:199 working solution, use 25 mL of stock, then fill to the mark.
    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)

  6. #26
    aaronmichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    That is unfortunate. What keeps you from being able to make them?
    If I had my own darkroom at home then it would probably be no problem. However, the only time I get to use a darkroom is at school. It would be much easier to use the chemicals they have there to develop my film. I feel like it would be a bit of a pain to make mixtures every time I go in. When I was using paper negatives I would go out and take a photo, go back into the darkroom and develop, and then go back out and take another photo if the first one was off. Which means I'd only get a couple photos done in a class period. Not sure if they'd even allow me to be mixing my own stuff there.

    Thanks for the tip about the HC-110 solution. I have a feeling I'm going to be trying various dilutions of different developers since I've gotten varying opinions from different users on here.

  7. #27

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    Well, I've been using aristo ortho-lith for over twenty years with none of these problems I have been reading about. I usually metered it at asa25, packard shutter on instaneous, or if not very bright, 1/10 (click-uh as fast as you can say it). I also shot a lot of beach and harbor scenes with a Speed Graphic, and a 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 voightlaander. When I first started doing this I didn't know to expose at asa3. So, after developing for about 12 minutes in dectol 1 to 24, water rinse for a couple of minutes and then fixing and washing, all in trays I got what I was sure were too thin negs. But I printed one anyway, and surprise, surprise, it looked good. When you start developing by inspection, when you think it's done, let it develope another few minutes. I had just finished reading some english book from the 1890's that warned about pulling film out too soon. My temps were 65f. Hope this helps.

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