Best film/paper developer for keeping tonality in Ultrafine ortho-litho film?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by elalonde, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. elalonde

    elalonde Member

    Apr 2, 2013
    4x5 Format
    Hi everyone,

    I'm experimenting with an unusual exposure process with ortho-litho film. I'm using strobe lights to make photograms on the surfaces of ortho-litho film, and currently using Ultrafine's .004 High Contrast film because it's affordable and comes in many sizes that I can improvise with. I've been honing in on the exposures with the strobes by using barn-doors to adjust intensity, and colored gels (red and yellow) to adjust contrast. In this case because this Ultrafine ortho-litho film has such high contrast, I'm using a yellow filter to minimize the contrast and push the tonal range, like you would with an enlarger.

    Now to my question: How do I develop this ortho-litho film to most effectively keep the subtle tonal shifts and fight the contrast blow-out? Should I use a B&W film developer, or a paper developer? I've heard that you can dilute and chill paper developers to slow down the processing speed, but I'm wondering if there's a developer out there that people have used with this film that really works to keep tonality...any suggestions?

    Also, what's the best ortho-litho film for a wide tonal range? I've found three that are affordable and have a wide size-range: Ultrafine, Arista II, and this new one that B&H is selling called MultiTone. I realize these are all intended for high-contrast, but since ortho film sheets can get expensive and usually only go to 8x10" max, these are the best options for what I'm making.