View Full Version : First tr at Lith printing

Fred Braakman
7-Jun-2006, 19:42
I sent away for the Lith developer, and will attempt a Lith printing when I receive it. But, reading Tim Rudman's book on teh subject, it seems that it may be quite problematic, and not worth the effort. Has anyone had succes with this process? It seems that the developer is not very stable. I will be printing on Oriental paper.


N Dhananjay
8-Jun-2006, 07:33
It's not particularly 'problematic'. Lith printing just needs more experimenting - it's the nature of the beast. Some papers lend themselves more to particular lith effects compared to others. The developer is a high energy developer so it will oxidize faster. Cheers, DJ

8-Jun-2006, 11:28
I am printing with lith for some time with great pleasure, so let me share some of my experience:) . In my opininion lith is not too complicated and gives a lot of satisfaction. It is non-predictable to some extent and it is a part of the game. I personally like it.
Yes, the developer is not very stable, I am using MACO Super Lith which is stable for about 2-3 hours after mixing.
It is important to keep old, used developer. Usually first 2-5 prints developed in fresh developer are not satisfactory. To avoid that I just add about 1/10 of "old brown" to freshly mixed developer.
Remember, you control the contrast mostly by exposition time. In fact you control highlights by exposition time and shadows by development time. When you develop a print in lith, unlike to conventional developer you see a blank paper for a long time (in my case usually about 3 minutes) then the image starts to appear and this is quite fast. Now you have to be quick - do not even attempt to control midtones or highlights. Just look at the shadows and when they are fine move your print as quickly as you can to the stop bath. If midtones/highlight are not fine - adjust exposure.

I have never used Oriental for lith printing. The final effect very much depends on the paper, much more then with conventional black and white. I only printed on Foma Tone, Forte Fortezzo and old Foton papers. I did not like Fortezzo for lith but Foma Tone is just lovely. It is very responsive to the developer dilution and development time (the longer you develop the colder is print's tone). At 1+1+12 or 1+1+14 dilution it gives very rich browns in the shadows and some split tones in the highlights, which tend to get some pink/orange shade. Sometimes there is also a green cast to the prints. At 1+1+18 it starts to be too orange/pink in my opininon. Some examples of Foma Tone are here: http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=478110

Suprisingly, lith can give very good results with old papers. Here is a link to Pawel Zak's gallery( http://www.pawel_zak.art.pl/?jz=1&st=4), he is almost only using 30-40 years old papers. Results? To me wonderfull.

Very important is the way you agitate the print in the tray. Lith is so powerfull developer that if you do not agitate enough it is often that it works much effectively at the edges of the print, so the result is somehow like buring (you can see this effect on some of the above examples). It is also pretty often that you can see kind of pattern on the prints which correspond to the direstion of agitation. So you can use these to manipulate the print.
Hope it helps,