Lith printing recommendations

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by JamesD, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    As I gear up to get back into processing, I'm looking into trying a few things I've never had the opportunity to experiment with before. One process I've always longed to try out is lith printing. I've always loved the look, even on a computer monitor, and every print looks better full-size and in-person.

    I've only started researching, but one thing I find (from a few sources, including Tim Rudman, whom I believe I recall Terri mentioning in the past) is that the materials are often in a state of flux with regard to availability and formulation. So, does anyone have any particular recommendations on papers, chemistry, and or basic advice and starting points for a beginner lith-printer in the present market state? Recommendations of books, articles, etc, are also welcome. Preferred formats will be 4x5 and maybe 35mm, and possibly 120 in 6x6.


     
  2. Jamesaz

    Jamesaz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I, too have just recently tried lith printing. I use fomatone 132 matte and Moersch easy lith. It can be easy to over think things, just take the information from maybe 3-4 sources and start where they agree. It's an interesting process and perhaps, if I live long enough, I'll figure it out (but that is true of everything). Going to try VDB next. Have fun, it's only photography. Good name, by the way.
     
  3. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be taking lots of notes before I ever even start, I do tend to be pretty analytical and methodical in these kinds of things. It does seem like it'll be fun.

    As for names, thank you. It's served me well. ;)
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hey James. Well, you can't go wrong for basic set-up instructions and step-by-step directions with Tim Rudman's Lith book. Unfortunately, it's out of print which has driven up the price in a ridiculous way (Tim's the first one to say it, too). Amazon has it here so you can see for yourself.

    It was printed in 1999, so suggested papers are all changed, BUT he does still have very kind words for the Moersch easy lith, I believe, and nothing's changed there. Plus the directions, what to look for, how the chemistry works, how to tone after lith-printing, etc., all of this information still has value. He used to come regularly to give week-long workshops in Montana at Photographer's Formulary which were great, too. (You can get real geeky looking at Formulary's products, especially for alt processes, so you've been warned.) :1247:

    Format doesn't particularly matter; it's up to you as long as you have an enlarger and a negative and paper. Also - there is a process Tim describes as "re-development" that gives results closely resembling lith, and IIRC he just used plain old Ilford MC for that. So, even with all the moving parts of what works, you can make stuff work if you know what to look for. In that regard, getting the book may be worth the investment to you. BTW, make sure it's this book and not the other, newer edition "World of Lith" since that one contains less information and more images from past students and guest artists. Pretty to look at but the nuts & bolts are in the '99 version.

    In addition to the Formulary, Freestyle and B&H, Bostick & Sullivan are still around and specialize in alternative photographic supplies, if you want another place to check out stuff. Who knows, some of these places might carry Rudman's book, too. Have fun!! Lith prints are beautiful.
     
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  5. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Thanks for the information, Terri, and wow, yeah, that's a pricey book. I'll keep an eye out for a copy throughout the year.

    I'm a little concerned about whether or not I'll be able to get chemistry shipped here. I know there are some things that the major suppliers won't ship up here, and there's no longer a local photography store that stocks darkroom materials. I might have a talk with them and see whether I can work out a deal to have stuff shipped up here with their chemistry shipments. They do at least still do C-41 for now, and I think they have at least one machine that still does photographic prints.

    It'll be a while before I can get into this part of the process, but I'm looking forward to it. I've always enjoyed the look of lith prints.
     
  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ugh, you're right - shipping can be a problem up in your part of the world. Sounds like a good idea to approach the local store to accept your orders - fingers crossed for you! Maybe if you order powder-based products for awhile they'd be amenable?

    Good luck, and I hope you can find that book. It really is a gem!
     

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