View Full Version : Lith Developer Exhaustion

15-Mar-2010, 18:13
Does anyone have any experience with old Lith developer going off. I tried to use some SE5 that had been stored for a few months, partially used bottles, and didn't get the results I'm used to. The bottle of "B" had become a bit granular as well. I have some other Lith developer in half used quantity and now I'm unsure whether they are any good anymore. Any thoughts on shelf life for partially used Lith chemicals?

15-Mar-2010, 18:41
If these are still concentrates, the lifespan of open bottles is good. I've had old Novalith concentrates for as long as 10 years still in the original A and B bottles. I know Wolfgang states his lith developers have a long shelf life for opened bottles.

16-Mar-2010, 04:38
Thanks Andrew. I first suspected a problem when the Lith wasn't very intense on my prints. I stuck with a tried and true dilution ratio of A1+30, B1+30, and a splash of old brown for good measure. I even used the Omega bath for an intensifier to no avail. The prints looked good, but more like an intense Selenium tone but no warm reddish tones and none of the greenish over tones of a previous batch with the same ratios. When I replenished the developer with fresh A and B it had no effect. It's a mystery. Oh yeah, I used distilled water rather than tap water and the temp was around 70 degrees.

16-Mar-2010, 04:58
I use a way higher dilution than that to get interesting effects, else it (almost) works like a normal developer (and not too interesting at that). If you had been using that dilution a long time ago, something in the water might have changed, too. Also, lith can get more "interesting" when nearing exhaustion - maybe the previous batch was a partially exhausted one? There can be many factors in lith development that make it only a partially predictable process.

John MacManus
18-Mar-2010, 14:52
I have always been very surprised by the lack of apparent effect of age on Lith developer stock A and B solutions. I have used the Maco products, the Fotospeed LD20 and some Moersch stuff. All have worked for at least a year after opening.

If you get some precipitate, just warm slightly and swirl gently until dissolved. You can filter and see what happens. The whole Lith business is such a happy accident in my hands, everything is worth trying.

Don't throw any chemicals away due to age, all you have to use is a sheet of paper.
Good luck.