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  #1  
Old 17th January 2022, 07:06 PM
BuzzNL BuzzNL is online now
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Default Lith printing Agfa Brovira-Speed glossy paper, surface finish gets really soft?

Not too long ago I started experimenting with lith printing.
I use Moersch Easy Lith, FomaCitro stop and FomaFix fixer.

Made my first prints on Agfa Portriga-Speed paper, which I have in "Fine-grained matte" finish, PN318PE. Truly gorgeous results!

Now I also have a lot of Brovira-Speed paper in various sizes and finishes, so I started with the Glossy variant (of which I have the most), BN310PE.
The paper liths really well, both colorwise and exposurewise. It's a much faster paper than Portriga-speed and it produces beautiful yellow-brownish highlights. Both papers give very different but beautiful results.

Now for the issue.
In my normal procedure, after fix and wash I tend to place the print on a towel (printed side up) and squeegee the excess water off the print. This has always worked for me without any scratches or issues.
Bought the squeegee new, use it for darkroom use only and it's still in good condition.

When I do this with the Brovira-Speed Glossy paper after Lith dev/stop/fix/wash, the surface turns true matte and stays matte until the paper is completely dry.
By then, the gloss has fully returned, but the paper is also completely covered in scratches from squeegeeing.
When I lith dev/stop/fix/wash and then put the paper upright against something so it can dry in a vertical way (just let the water drip/slide off and then dry without touching the surface), there are no visible damages to the surface, not even from my print tongs (I use stainless steel tongs with those transparent plastic grip-pads).
I use the same stop (FomaCitro 1+19), fix (FomaFix 1+5) and wash as in my regular printing process (washing for around 2 minutes in relatively cold water, approx. 12-16C if I should guess).

The developer is freshly mixed from a recently purchased Easy Lith kit, no old brown added, 1+1+50.
I have warmed it up to 27C just before starting development (checked with IR thermometer, which I had verified against my regular thermometer) and this cooled off to around 25C during development, but it seems to happen at colder temperatures as well.
Stop and fix are at room temperature, currently around 16-17C in my DR.
Since I don't have any tray warmer I pour back the dev in a bottle and warm the bottle in a large bucket of hot water between development rounds.
Development took about 8 to 10 minutes every time and it happened with every print from this box so far (6 prints).
The matte Portriga-speed can be squeegee'd without leaving any streaks or marks, even when looked at with a magnifying glass.

Now with normal developer (I usually use either Kodak T-Max or Adotol Konstant), there are no problems when squeegeeing the same Brovira-Speed Glossy prints after they're finished.
Only after Lith development the surface turns truly matte and dries full of scratch marks.

Does this sound familiar to any of you?
Does it happen with other glossy papers as well when Lith printing, is it simply this type of paper, the age of the paper, something that's different from regular chemistry in the Lith developer, or could it be the extended wet processing time of the lith process itself?
Can I do anything about it?
Any help or hints would be highly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 18th January 2022, 04:44 AM
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Uwe Pilz Uwe Pilz is offline
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Lith developer is strong alcalic. It contains a large amount of sodium hydroxide. From this, the gelatine is swelling end gets very soft. It depends on the type of gelatine and therewith the type of paper whether you may use a squeege. I handle wet Lith prints very careful.
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Old 18th January 2022, 06:22 AM
John King John King is offline
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Default Damage

Using a device to remove all the surface from a print or negatives is inviting trouble. I don't bother doing anything with B&W but for colour, especially Kodak paper it is essential to check test strips before assessing the colour balance because the wet emulsion has a colour of it's own which distort what you really need to see.

I only use soft kitchen roll paper to soak up excess water then finish the job off with a hairdrier. I cannot remember the last time I had a surface scratch.
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Old 19th January 2022, 05:01 AM
BuzzNL BuzzNL is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uwe Pilz View Post
Lith developer is strong alcalic. It contains a large amount of sodium hydroxide. From this, the gelatine is swelling end gets very soft. It depends on the type of gelatine and therewith the type of paper whether you may use a squeege. I handle wet Lith prints very careful.
Ah that would make sense, thanks! I did do some research on swelling gelatine but couldn't find an obvious (to me) example related to the surface turning matte like I experienced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
Using a device to remove all the surface from a print or negatives is inviting trouble.
(...)
I only use soft kitchen roll paper to soak up excess water then finish the job off with a hairdrier. I cannot remember the last time I had a surface scratch.
Lesson learned, no more squeegeeing!
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Old 19th January 2022, 08:11 AM
EthanJones EthanJones is offline
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That's good to know! I had these suspicions and I wasn't sure about these issues and it seems I was right. I'm happy I've got a confirmation here. Thanks everyone!
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Old 19th January 2022, 11:48 AM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
Using a device to remove all the surface from a print or negatives is inviting trouble.

I only use soft kitchen roll paper to soak up excess water then finish the job off with a hairdrier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzNL View Post
Ah that would make sense, thanks!

Lesson learned, no more squeegeeing!
For me, John said succinctly what I was going to say.

I used to use squeegee's on both film and prints, but have not done so for decades now. IF I'm ever in that much of a hurry to get to a film or print dry, then like John, a hairdrier does a great and quick job.

Terry S
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Old 19th January 2022, 11:56 AM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
Using a device to remove all the surface from a print or negatives is inviting trouble.

I only use soft kitchen roll paper to soak up excess water then finish the job off with a hairdrier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzNL View Post
Ah that would make sense, thanks!

Lesson learned, no more squeegeeing!
For me, John said succinctly what I was going to say.

I used to use squeegee's on both film and prints, but have not done so for decades now. IF I'm ever in that much of a hurry to get to a film or print dry, then like John, a hairdrier does a great and quick job.

Terry S

P.S.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzNL View Post
I use Moersch Easy Lith...

Made my first prints on Agfa Portriga-Speed paper... Truly gorgeous results!

Now I also have a lot of Brovira-Speed paper in various sizes... The paper liths really well... and it produces beautiful yellow-brownish highlights. Both papers give very different but beautiful results.
Also, whilst I was in my darkroom yesterday, taking stock of my papers and having a bit of a tidy up, I realised that I too have some of the two papers that Buzz mentions i.e. Portriga and Brovira Speed. I've been looking at my collection of home mixed lith formulas again and (hopefully) my next visit to the darkroom will involve trying one or two formulas, along with these two papers, amongst others. Something different to look forward to doing.

Terry S
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  #8  
Old 19th January 2022, 12:51 PM
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Uwe Pilz Uwe Pilz is offline
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What are you doing! Fishing is not permitted in the river Rhine!
I don't fish. I develop my film.
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  #9  
Old 19th January 2022, 01:08 PM
BuzzNL BuzzNL is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry S View Post
P.S.
Also, whilst I was in my darkroom yesterday, taking stock of my papers and having a bit of a tidy up, I realised that I too have some of the two papers that Buzz mentions i.e. Portriga and Brovira Speed. I've been looking at my collection of home mixed lith formulas again and (hopefully) my next visit to the darkroom will involve trying one or two formulas, along with these two papers, amongst others. Something different to look forward to doing.

Terry S
You'll love the Portriga-speed paper for sure Terry! I don't have a lot of lith experience yet, but I really like the salmon-pinkish highlights this paper can produce.
It's very slow compared to the Brovira-speed (a couple stops slower in my case), so be prepared to overexpose your test strips a lot...
On my 9x12" prints the exposure times hit 4 minutes at f/4 from 35mm negative.
Less exposure resulted in much less colorful prints, which seems to be logical.

My paper is too much fogged to make a regular print on, so I cannot calculate the stops of overexposure I used compared to normal B&W on this paper.

Curious to see what you think of these papers when you've tried them!
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  #10  
Old 19th January 2022, 01:29 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzNL View Post
You'll love the Portriga-speed paper for sure Terry! I don't have a lot of lith experience yet, but I really like the salmon-pinkish highlights this paper can produce.
It's very slow compared to the Brovira-speed (a couple stops slower in my case), so be prepared to overexpose your test strips a lot...
On my 9x12" prints the exposure times hit 4 minutes at f/4 from 35mm negative.

My paper is too much fogged to make a regular print on, so I cannot calculate the stops of overexposure I used compared to normal B&W on this paper.

Curious to see what you think of these papers when you've tried them!
Wow, I like the sound of the salmon pink highlights, as I've mostly been getting yellowish tones so far.

I am surprised that you have to expose your Brovira for 4 1/2 minutes with the lens (presumably?) wide open though. That does sound like on long exposure. Are your negatives particularly dense?

With my fogged paper, I do a test strip on a good paper, to get me in a ball park figure. Most papers are not much different, so this gives a good starting time.

I'll report back when I get a chance to do some again.

Terry S
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