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  #11  
Old 8th January 2022, 12:46 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Originally Posted by BuzzNL View Post
Terry, did you get a chance to try the Moersch Easy Lith kit yet?

I've done my first ever lith session this week using the Moersch kit with great result. ...I foresee things can get a little expensive quite fast...

So now I'm wondering whether to buy the Easy Lith kit in bigger volume or try to mix my own developer.
Easiest formula to obtain materials for would be Ansco 70 / Ilford ID-13.

But I've read mixed results about Ansco 70, from "not a lith developer" to "works great!"...
So now I'm confused about what to do...

Any ideas on this (or another DIY) developer?
Hi Buzz, yes I did a few sessions with Easy Lith but it didn't give me what I was looking for in a lith developer / paper combination. It gave very strong all over background colour (yellowy / tan) and excellent black, blacks. But after more reading this could also be down to the developer / paper combination used. I'm looking for a more gritty / grainy look and the papers to do that are in short supply / not cheap. I've bought some off of ebay but they were just fogged beyond use. And yes, it can work out expensive really quick, but heah, photography isn't a cheap hobby in the first place.

I haven't had the time for a while, to mix up any more of the formulas available, but the ones that I tried didn't do anything for me. When I have more time, I'm going to carry on trying.

The main thing that I got from Easy Lith, was being formaldehyde free and the developing times are quite short. I've still got a little left in the small bottle I bought, but if you want to try it, the bigger bottles work out much cheaper.

And yes, reviews of different home mixed formulas are mixed and seeing some of the end results, the reviewers seem happy with them, but they've not been to my taste. The only real way to see what they look like, is to try them.

Finally, there's been much talk about how good Fotospeed LD20 Lith was. I bought and tried a trial kit once and it gave me the look that I wanted straightaway. Regretfully it was discontinued by the manufacturer and they haven't released the formula. If they remade it or released the formula, many people would be very happy - including me. It would be like Christmas coming again, and again...!

Terry S

P.S. Here is a link to a lith print I did for a Print Exchange, with Easy Lith. Just starting out, so admittedly a bit too dark, but it will show you what I got. The second link is the straight b/w version:

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...php/photo/2896

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...php/photo/2637

And here is one I made with a home mixed developer, but no where in my letter to the recipient do I mention which one it was that I tried!! Arrghhhh!!!!

I have an inkling, so when I have time, I will try again:

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...php/photo/1903

Terry S

Last edited by Terry S; 8th January 2022 at 12:51 PM.
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  #12  
Old 9th January 2022, 06:49 AM
BuzzNL BuzzNL is offline
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I experimented with my own formula from raw chemicals. Eventual, I had success. But the effort was not worth it. I like the moersch developer very much. It works with every paper which is lith-able without problems. Hard to reach this with own experiments.
That's mainly my question I guess... Whether it's worth the effort of finetuning until I'd get a formula to work for me. I'm no chemist but I'd be confident enough to do some experimenting.

Quote:
Normally I work with 12 ml + 22 mL to give 1 litre or, 24 mL + 24 mL to give a litre. In this solution I can only process one print. The next one has very long development time.

I have a tray with less grroves, which needs few solution. I found that 0,5 litres are sufficient for a 30x40 print. Even in the strong version this is about 1. The paper costs much more.
Paper for testing would not be an issue, that would cost me nothing. I've got a huge (to me) amount of small sized, slightly fogged, lithable paper which I can use for testing to get me in the ballpark, before I'd start to use my "precious" larger sized paper for printing.
Time is another matter though, as time is just as precious to most of us...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry S View Post
Hi Buzz, yes I did a few sessions with Easy Lith but it didn't give me what I was looking for in a lith developer / paper combination. It gave very strong all over background colour (yellowy / tan) and excellent black, blacks. But after more reading this could also be down to the developer / paper combination used. I'm looking for a more gritty / grainy look and the papers to do that are in short supply / not cheap. I've bought some off of ebay but they were just fogged beyond use. And yes, it can work out expensive really quick, but heah, photography isn't a cheap hobby in the first place.
Too bad it didn't really work for you with easy lith... I've also read that the grittiness depends mostly on the paper, more than the developer. But I have no experience to share just yet!
On fogged paper, the Agfa Portriga-speed paper I used for my first print was fogged like crazy. Like, zone III fogged when developed unexposed in regular paper dev. But the lith prints turned out beautiful!

Here's a photo of them:


The left one is my first serious attempt. Sheet 3 in the developer.
Snatched it just a tad too late to my taste, but I'm still very happy with it.

The right one was my 4th sheet, in the developer for over an hour and couldn't get the infectious development to start anymore. Developer was probably completely dead.

Quote:
I haven't had the time for a while, to mix up any more of the formulas available, but the ones that I tried didn't do anything for me. When I have more time, I'm going to carry on trying.

The main thing that I got from Easy Lith, was being formaldehyde free and the developing times are quite short. I've still got a little left in the small bottle I bought, but if you want to try it, the bigger bottles work out much cheaper.

And yes, reviews of different home mixed formulas are mixed and seeing some of the end results, the reviewers seem happy with them, but they've not been to my taste. The only real way to see what they look like, is to try them.
The Easy Lith I bought was 2x 250mL, that seemed to be the sweet spot in price vs quantity on this side of the pond. It will last me another couple of sessions, so perhaps it's smarter for me to gain some more experience in lith first before trying to mix my own.

Quote:
Finally, there's been much talk about how good Fotospeed LD20 Lith was. I bought and tried a trial kit once and it gave me the look that I wanted straightaway. Regretfully it was discontinued by the manufacturer and they haven't released the formula. If they remade it or released the formula, many people would be very happy - including me. It would be like Christmas coming again, and again...!

Terry S
Have read about Fotospeed as well, too bad I'm too late to that party...
But it seems I've missed a lot of good photographic stuff having started in the darkroom only fairly recently...

Quote:
P.S. Here is a link to a lith print I did for a Print Exchange, with Easy Lith. Just starting out, so admittedly a bit too dark, but it will show you what I got. The second link is the straight b/w version:

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...php/photo/2896

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...php/photo/2637

And here is one I made with a home mixed developer, but no where in my letter to the recipient do I mention which one it was that I tried!! Arrghhhh!!!!

I have an inkling, so when I have time, I will try again:

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...php/photo/1903

Terry S
Very nice prints Terry! I think they really work in Lith!
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  #13  
Old 9th January 2022, 04:01 PM
Nat Polton Nat Polton is offline
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https://archive.org/details/1FBDoQTI...e/n15/mode/2up

The above link will take you to a couple of Agfa Lith. developers, one having no formaldehyde content. Agfa 79 and 81.

I am not sure if it is the sort of thing you want.


The site that they are on is an internet library with books on all sorts of subjects. I think all are free to use, some do require you to sign in, but still free for books like the Darkroom Cookbook.
Kodak, Ilford, Agfa are a few of the many titles available, new and old.

Well worth a look when it's awet playtime and you cannot get out.


Cheeers.
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  #14  
Old 10th January 2022, 10:22 AM
BuzzNL BuzzNL is offline
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Thank you Nat. Interesting to know that older formulas can be found this way, I wasn't aware of that!
To be honest, I don't really know what I'm looking for yet...

Just started experimenting with Easy Lith last week and I see myself experimenting with it a lot more.
In order to cut the cost a little I thought it might be worth it to mix my own lith developer. But by no means do I think I could do a better job than Wolfgang Moersch...
I'm reading more and more mixed results about homebrew lith developers from other people online, making it a bit difficult for me to determine wheter or not I'd want to go this route or just accept the cost of something like Easy Lith or SE5.

Based on Terry's and Uwe's posts, I think it might be wise to stick with pre-mixed developer for at least a little longer.
Things are probably not as straight-forward as they seemed in the first place and I think I'd be lacking a lot of experience with regard to debugging homebrew stuff...
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  #15  
Old 10th January 2022, 03:57 PM
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photomi7ch photomi7ch is offline
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Hi here is a post on easy lith that may shed so light at the bottom of the blog page is a link to the results. That maybe of interest
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  #16  
Old 10th January 2022, 04:40 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Interesting link. Mitchand thanks. The mention of fumes in the darkroom as a result of lith printing is one I hadn't considered. This is maybe because if it was mentioned elsewhere it was not emphasised enough for me to perceive it as a problem

Does lith printing really need external light proof ventilation and if so is this still required with a Nova or only with open trays?

Do I take it that with Easy Lith no snatch point is reached? I recall Tim Rudman making a lot of the snatch point being very important and one that can only be seen using open trays which brings me back to the need for ventilation.

You will have gathered by now that while I have a reasonable-sized darkroom( about 7 x9.5 feet and 7.5 fee high) I have no external ventilation and with normal b&w print processing have never felt the need for it.

Thanks

Mike
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  #17  
Old 10th January 2022, 05:08 PM
BuzzNL BuzzNL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomi7ch View Post
Hi here is a post on easy lith that may shed so light at the bottom of the blog page is a link to the results. That maybe of interest
Thanks Mitch, an interesting read indeed!

@Mike: With Easy Lith there's no real need for more ventilation other than for normal B&W, or at least that's what I've understood of it.
But with other Lith formulas (other than Moersch) there's a good chance they contain formaldehyde, which is said to be carciogenic. Again, that's what I've read of it.
Since ventilation is minimal in my darkroom, I've ordered a respirator to use with regular black and white as well. At least until I can improve vetilation a bit.

Easy Lith definitely reaches the snatch point and gives wonderful results, so definitely a good start to get into lith!
In my last print the developer was almost certainy simply exhausted.
Hence my remark of foreseeing things getting costly, because of the relatively low yield of (any) lith developer.
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  #18  
Old 10th January 2022, 05:21 PM
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Uwe Pilz Uwe Pilz is offline
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If you think about "rolling your own" ... please keep in mind that HQ does nt dissolve in water very well. Yu have firs make a solution if it in PPG or PEG.

All othe substances may be put in as powder.
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  #19  
Old 12th January 2022, 01:34 PM
BuzzNL BuzzNL is offline
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That's good advice Uwe, thanks!
For now I think it's wise if I'd stick with the commercial stuff, but I might consider otherwise in the future...
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  #20  
Old 13th February 2022, 01:54 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uwe Pilz View Post
If you think about "rolling your own" ... please keep in mind that HQ does nt dissolve in water very well. Yu have firs make a solution if it in PPG or PEG.

All othe substances may be put in as powder.
Mixing my own developers, I use HQ a lot and have had no problem so far getting it to dissolve in water. The problem may arise when one starts to make more concentrated solutions, which are then required to be diluted prior to use? Only when / if I decide to make a more concentrated solution, will I find out.

Terry S
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