Arista Lith Developer

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photomem

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I have decided to try lith printing. I ordered some Arista Lith Developer, and while I have not received it yet (FedEx Today), I am confused. The Freestyle page says: "Mix one part concentrate (A&B separately) to 24 parts water (1:24) for use in the Lith printing process."

Does that mean 1:1:24 or 1:24 + 1:24?
 

Robert Hall

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I would start with the 1:1:24 and see how that works. If it comes up to quickly you can try the other. This is not an exact science and you are welcome to even try 1:1:6!

The great thing about lith is it's a touchy-feely kind of process.

Experiment and have fun!!
 
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photomem

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I am looking forward to it. I am going to the photographers swap meet this weekend and possibly meeting someone while I am in Nashville to purchase their darkroom kit. Hopefully, soon I will not be required to go to the University during open lab and then have to literally blow through prints because people are queuing up behind me.
 

laparn

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Hi!

First, congratulations! The decision to take a first step into lith printing is nothing you will regret. Rather the opposite. It is addictive. Really.

Well, the instruction for lith (paper) developer generally means a mix between concentrate and water to add. Arista most likely suggest this as well so a mix 1:24 means 1 part concentrate, which consist of 50% of A and B respectively. I.e 0.5A+0.5B+24 water.

However, this is just a guide. Lith is an extremely flexible and variable method and any mix should be taken as a recommendation only. You don´t have to be accurate at all really but still remember what you do and what mix you use for a specific result. You can also vary the A/B mix, i.e 0.3A+0.7B+24water...or else. This make sense as well.

There are many parameters to adjust to achieve different result and mix is only one of many many. Changing one parameter at time will help to understand the effect of them. Initially you could adjust exposure time, snatch point and dilution/mix. Further on you can try higher temperature of the developer, adding restrainer, adding other additives. Once through this cycle, with the very same paper in use, you can switch to another paper and learn the differences between brands and emulsions.

I suggest to start with 1:24 as per recommendation and review the result. Bare in mind the two Golden Rules http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith/lith.html and enjoy your discoveries. Take notes! Exposure time, developing time, developer temperature, enlarger height, lens in use, condensor (if using different), aperture, paper, developer mix etc. This will be of GREAT benefit if later aiming at reproducing a lovely print.
1. Make a few prints with same exposure and change the snatch point, i.e sooner/later and learn the effect from that.
2. Once you get the effect of snatch, you can try different exposures. Add one step or reduce one step as a start. With the same snatch. Learn the result.
3. Change dilution, i.e the mix. Try double to 1:48. Might be a good idea not to use already exhausted developer since developing times might be long then. Start over with fresh developer with higher dilution.


I am curious Arista Lith Developer. I haven´t tried it but due to the advantageous price (dollar vs SEK) I´d like to get it a try. ...if US admit delivery to Sweden of course.

Good luck!
/P
 

Neal

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Dear photomem,

If the liquid product is anything like the powdered product, I suggest you try it at the higher concentration suggested by Robert first (you can always add water). It took me a long time to get used to the extended exposure and developing times using this product. (When compared to conventional printing.)

Neal Wydra
 

laparn

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A footnote to the above is to be prepared for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour for development -- like put on some music or something. And gentle, continuous agitatation -- don't be tempted to leave it and come back.

Well, true. Or not?

Can´t say about Arista in specific but there is nothing saying there are long developing times when lith printing in general. If considering conventionally developed prints (Fb) as reference, lith developing is longer, yes, but can be shorter as well. The difficulties in hitting the right snatch at shorter developing times mostly force the user to prolong developing times. By adding water (higher dilution) or adding restrainer.

But, eventhough you do this you can still develop rather quickly. The trick is heat. Warm developer will drastically decrease developing times.
For your notice I can (again) refer to Foma Fomatone MG Classic Fb in lith. At 1:30 mix of Moersch Easlith I developed Fomatone in as short as 1.5 minutes. Temperature? Approx 105F (>40C). This is of course too short to handle consistently so dilution at 1:40 or even 1:60 is not unusual. The benefits are better lith effect and even warmer colors...which you think is impossible from this extremely vivid paper.
 
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photomem

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This is why I am hoping to build a darkroom at home soon, the people at school are always in such a hurry that they throw an absolute fit if you take up any space at the sink for more than 2 mins which is what they have been told is the standard develop time in Dektol with Ilford RC paper. 15-30 minutes just might make their head explode.
 

Rich Ullsmith

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Yes, gentle continuous agitation. You absolutely have to have nitrile gloves. Regular latex exam gloves only work a little while, then become porous.
 

Robert Hall

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And as mentioned above, make notes on the back with your exposure and after they dry write on them the dev dilution and maybe time, but as the developer is so dilute to begin with and tracking number of prints through the developer, it would at best be only an idea of a starting point.

Try the developer hot as well, say 38C. (as one of the several experiments you will try) I like the color from hot developer.
 

Robert Hall

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and as gloves were mentioned above, I don't use them, you will have to judge for yourself, but keep your fingers off the prints!!! Poking at them and "man handling" them will leave marks on the finals. Use a rebate area to handle the prints and do your best not to depress the emulsion.

As Tim says... your sins will come back to haunt you! :smile:
 
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Well, true. Or not?

Can´t say about Arista in specific but there is nothing saying there are long developing times when lith printing in general. If considering conventionally developed prints (Fb) as reference, lith developing is longer, yes, but can be shorter as well. The difficulties in hitting the right snatch at shorter developing times mostly force the user to prolong developing times. By adding water (higher dilution) or adding restrainer.

But, eventhough you do this you can still develop rather quickly. The trick is heat. Warm developer will drastically decrease developing times.
For your notice I can (again) refer to Foma Fomatone MG Classic Fb in lith. At 1:30 mix of Moersch Easlith I developed Fomatone in as short as 1.5 minutes. Temperature? Approx 105F (>40C). This is of course too short to handle consistently so dilution at 1:40 or even 1:60 is not unusual. The benefits are better lith effect and even warmer colors...which you think is impossible from this extremely vivid paper.

That's a good and important point. I've only developed (both in Fotospeed A+B and Arista A+B) at room temperature, and although I've received some wonderful prints, I'd sit there staring at a blank piece of paper for the longest time, wondering if anything was ever going to happen...and then it did. I'll have to try that.
 

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david...i use those warming trays that are used on buffet tables etc to keep food warm. i bought a few of them at a good will store and set my developing tray on them and it allows me to keep the developer at a consistently, rather hot temperature...it does speed up the developing time...i used to float the developer inside another tray with boiling water in it..when it cooled i would refill with more boiling water. it was tedious but worked til i could find the warming trays cheap..andrew moxom uses some kind of farm piglet warmers for his developer...whatever works i say! and that is my 2 cents worth!
~~marianne
 

Mayfair710

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Geez, all the times I dozed off/blacked out at 3am! I wish I'd known of this little gem you lith masters have been keeping to yourself!

ahhh how i have missed that sense of humor david...and you gots to get some good loud music that you can sing along with at 3am..sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me from nodding out whilst waiting for something to happen in the tray... and i work during the daytime!
 

Andrew Moxom

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Mark Fisher

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You are getting superb advice. I don't use gloves, but I do use flat faced metal tongs. If I get developer on my hands I immediately wash it off.

Lastly, I believe that Arista has formaldehyde in it. Unless the darkroom is very well ventilated, I would not recommend it in a public darkroom. I haven't noticed any formaldehyde smell from Rollei or Moersch developers.
 
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ahhh how i have missed that sense of humor david...and you gots to get some good loud music that you can sing along with at 3am..sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me from nodding out whilst waiting for something to happen in the tray... and i work during the daytime!

You've hit another nail on the head, Marianne. I'll retire that Enya CD.
 
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Like many have said before... Arista Lith 1:24 can mean a lot of things.... I use this developer in a similar way, but mix 50ml of part A to 700mm of water and 50ml of Part B to 700ml of water. So that's 1:14... I also mix it hot, on average around 75 to 80 degrees.

For keeping trays warm, you can get these :smile: http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/prod1;ft1_hog_management-ft1_brooders_heat_mats;pg106120.html

Clever idea for heating, Andrew. I'll work out something!
 

Dan Henderson

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you gots to get some good loud music that you can sing along with at 3am..sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me from nodding out whilst waiting for something to happen in the tray... and i work during the daytime!

I have found that Evanescence is excellent music to lith print to.
 
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photomem

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Wow, Evanescence and excellent in the same sentence.. now I have seen everything!
 

Rich Ullsmith

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"Coast to Coast AM", if you can get it on the radio. UFO stories, paranormal, ghosts. Talk radio for insomniacs who believe in witchcraft. Great stuff for standing around in the dark.
 

Andrew T

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Incedentally, I just started lith printing yesterday with this developer, the liquid version. Used a ratio of 1:1:24, 4oz part A, 4oz part B, 96 oz water, if I recall correctly. Happened to have some Arista EDU RC paper laying around so I used that since I didn't want to use my FB for my first lith prints...
The grain was pretty big, and the prints came out a nice peachy color, but they took FOREVER to come up in the developer! I'm thinking of increasing the developer temp next time, maybe concentrating it a bit more as well.
 
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