Lithographic film

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by JamesD, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Living in Snapshot reality.
    I think this isn't technically alt-process, but I think that those who frequent this portion of the forum might know a bit more about the topic than in other areas. Moderator wisdom prevails, and I certainly won't be offended should this thread be moved.

    It's like this: I've got a box of Arista Half/Line litho ortho 4X5 film, and associated developer poweder parts A & B. I also have precisely no idea what to do with it. It was given to me by Ed, and he suggested some experimentation, but I have no clue where to start.

    So, what precisely is this stuff? What exactly can I do with it? I know the principle of lithography (black or white, no intermediate tones, right?) but I'm not sure what.. well, I don't know what I don't know. Google searches have been surprisingly unproductive.

    So, if you know something about this stuff, or better yet, you've used it before, I'd be most grateful for some insight into the matter.

    Thanks,
    -James
     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wow no replies yet. The only time I used A & B with litho was way way back in my high school days for graphic arts class. Used it made two tone B&W negative to burn plates for offset printing.

    Also before scanners Litho was a good copy film for make negatives of old prints when developed with Dektol.

    And best part is that you can work with it under red light. Never try any other developers but I have read that some work fine.

    I’ll look for what I read about the other developers but I aint looking to hard ;), and here is the link to my gallery
     
  3. JoeVanCleave

    JoeVanCleave TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    I've used Arista's APHS ortho lith film, in pinhole cameras. I've never used the 2-part litho developer, I just process it in paper developer (Agfa Neutol WA); never tried Dektol with this, but I've heard it works fine.

    It has a bit more contrast than what I like, for scenic shots that are already high in contrast, and in pinhole cameras in daylight scenes it really is not any faster than paper. Although the film base is 'clear', as compared with paper, it's thinner than standard sheet film, and tends to curl easily.

    Since I can get graded RC paper in low grades (I use grade 2 Arista RC), I can control contrast better with paper, at the same effective film speed as APHS. And paper doesn't show scratches or dust as easily as transparent film media. Backside dust on paper really doesn't print or show through to the front, whereas with film you have 2 surfaces to keep clean.

    For scanning to the internet, paper scans better and easier than LF sheet film.

    But perhaps someone wants film so they can enlarge the negatives. That's fine - but I've enlarge 4"x5" paper negatives to 8"x10", and they're surprisingly good, using a condensor enlarger (Besseler 4x5).
     
  4. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia. The land of peace and sunshine.
    Over the years pre digital I must have used thousands of sheets of "lith" film. I used it for may advertising clients to copy line artworks and it's exactly what you need to do a "postertone" in the darkroom, as well as many other uses. Making a postertone, you make say 3 copy negs of the same subject [tone photograph] All different densities, so they all look different. Then print them individually on to one sheet of paper at varying grey tones and you have a POSTERTONE. I have simplified the process as it is quite complex. I will post an example when I have time, but that may be a week or two, I'm about to take a week off.
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    Ortho.... Orthochromatic. This film "sees" only BLUE light, as opposed to Panchromatic which sees ALL COLORS of visable light. This is why, in the old days, paste-up was done on a board with light blue graph lines. The film would see the blue lines and the blue in the white light from the borad, making the blue grid appear the same as the white board. There are limited applications in general photography.

    All of the lith film I've worked with produces a black and clear negative... no grades of grey.
     
  6. Dark Mower

    Dark Mower TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I’ve worked for decades with lith films for offset printing. It is orthochromatic, insensitive to red, and has an ASA/EI rating of around 6. Normally used, it makes high contrast negatives for offset printing. It makes ‘regular negatives’ for the right situations. Low contrast scenes can be photographed and enhanced by using the film. High contrast scenes are not recommended without losing some image. Areas with lots of blue, like sky and clouds, will be overexposed.

    The high contrast negatives have no grain. Lith film is fun to play with. There are enough variables to make each negative unique. You have to expect your results to be different from the rest.

    You have the A & B developer. It is kept separate because it is very active and does not have a long life when mixed, approximately 30 minutes at 68 degrees. Developing lith negative requires a lot of energy to make dense black tones so the developer will exhaust itself after 3 or 4 developments.

    For developer liquid, the normal mixing ratio for tray developing is 1:3- 1 part developer A and 3 parts water. Mix the developer B in the same ratio and add to the A developer. Glacial acetic acid is used in the second tray for the stop bath. The third tray contains the ‘hypo’ clearing agent which clears the emulsion of unexposed silver. The final tray is the rinse water. The liquid in the three trays should be close to the same temperature.

    Let me add that you can change the dilution ratios to adjust development. Try a 1:6 and see if it helps the image.

    [​IMG]

    Normally a clear step test wedge to check density and contrast is used for offset printing but it is not necessary if you have a good eye on the development. As the negative develops under a red safelight, you can watch the negative. When the acetate side of negative approaches the darkness of the emulsion side, then the negative is finished developing.

    Normally, the negative is given regular agitation, tray rocking, to develop the negative with consistent density. For a more continuous tone negative I modify that step. After exposing the negative, in my case, a 4x5 or 120 cameras, the A/B tray development starts normally except I stop agitation after 5 seconds and let the negative sit quietly in the developer. The area with the most exposure will develop and the chemicals will exhaust in the darkest area. The less exposed area will continue to develop because there is still fresh developer. The least exposed area will have fresh chemicals but will not develop because of non-exposed areas. If you use a consistent temperature then you can time the development of the negative.

    Sabbatier and Mackie lines are another story. I hope this helps. Give lith film a try and expect surprises.
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    25,333
    Likes Received:
    2,089
    Location:
    In the mental ward of this forum
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome to TPF, Dark Mower.

    Thanks for such an informative post. Great info! :) I'd love to see some of your work.
     
  8. Dark Mower

    Dark Mower TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for the welcome Terri. This is a much nicer place then the last hobby forum (not a photo forum) I decided to leave. The forum grew too big and too fast; members in the other forum were not pleasant anymore so I went back to photos. When I think of the other forum I actually shutter (hmm, bad pun)…think only good thoughts. Well, the atmosphere here is much nicer.

    Now I need to dig around and find my old litho pictures. It might take a while. And it should be fun to learn a few new tricks. When it comes to old tricks, I still remember a lot. Those old tricks are covered with a lot of dust.

    Again, thank you for the welcome.
     
  9. Dark Mower

    Dark Mower TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG]

    The ancient fire alarm indicator was in the shadows under an overhang. It was a very dull and monotonous scene when I came across it in the early summer of 1979. Everything in the scene was gray and low contrast. The box was gray. The walls were gray with slightly lighter gray speckles. The window frame was dull and dirty stainless steel. The goop, I think it was old ice cream, was dark- it must have been chocolate. Within the window, the sun bleached yellow construction paper cut-outs with handwritten dirty white labels were sun bleached and lifeless. The buttons were dull. It was all a very low contrast scene. But the scene had a nice contrast of humanistic intervention in a planned symmetry if I could figure out how to capture the image.

    Lith film came to the rescue. I had a handmade roll of 120 lith film in my camera pouch and I had the camera that my father gave to me, a 6x6 Zeiss Ikon Nettar. The exposure for the lith film was valued at ASA 6. The development was using 1:6 with A/B developer.

    The scan doesn’t do the picture justice. The picture has spunk and spice. There are numerous details of mid-tone in the darkest areas. The original scene is dull but the litho film stretched the contrast range of the scene to fit the contrast range of the print. High contrast lith film does have great advantages with low contrast scenes.
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    25,333
    Likes Received:
    2,089
    Location:
    In the mental ward of this forum
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    How cool! I'd say you pulled some contrast out of that one. ;) Love the story behind that! I wouldn't have known what I was looking at without the explanation.

    Great image from a very cool-looking old folder. :D If only that camera could talk....
     
  11. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,071
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    in the middle of north carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    tell me about the avatar. I can recognize the polaroid lens and the film holder back but hwat is between them.
     
  12. Dark Mower

    Dark Mower TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cardboard. Let me get a different angle to the camera and I'll post it. It is a very low-tech, automatic, large format camera made of cardboard.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
aphs film
,
arista ortho litho film
,
exposure times for arista ortho litho
,
lith film continuous tone image
,
litho film
,
litho film for sale
,

lithographic film

,
lithographic films
,
ortho litho film
,
what is lithographic film