Lith film reversal negs - anyone succeeded?

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M Carter

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I've been trying to do reversal negs with Arista's current Litho film (3.0). I'm following the oft-referred to unblinking eye article and its variants; so far, every time I go to the 2nd developer, the entire neg turns black. If I hold it to the light, I can see there's slightly more density where the film should have any density, but the areas that were black in the 1st developer pass return to black. I've tried variations where the process is done under safelight past the bleach/clear steps and where it's exposed to daylight after the initial stop. For some reason, areas that shouldn't redevelop are redeveloping.

At this point, I'm just trying to make high contrast masks and not finesse contrast or anything. I'd settle for simple reversal for starters! Has anyone had luck with this process and current litho film? Is there an issue with safelights, should this be done in complete darkness, even with litho film?

Thanks for any tips or advice!
 
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M Carter

M Carter

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You aren't using a rehalogenating bleach, are you?

Nope, using the proper bleach... I'm dumb, but not that dumb!

Some high-con stocks easily solarize, beware of overexposure. Crawl up to correct exposure from low.

I've been using litho film for a couple years and can get very good pictorial quality. I've done things like just exposing white light with a black card over half the neg, so there should be no exposure at all on that section - still get an all-black neg.
 
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For some reason, areas that shouldn't redevelop are redeveloping.

The only way these areas can redevelop is that there is undeveloped silver halide. Probably there is some problem with your first exposure / flashing or the bleach. But that is hard to tell with no information on your actual process.
 
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M Carter

M Carter

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The only way these areas can redevelop is that there is undeveloped silver halide. Probably there is some problem with your first exposure / flashing or the bleach. But that is hard to tell with no information on your actual process.

The process I'm using is linked in the original post.
 
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The process I'm using is linked in the original post.

Yes, I have seen it, and from the description, it should work. I was kind of making a reverse approach, so if there is silver developing, it must be there for a reason. And the main reasons I would expect is that your first exposure / flashing is too short or the bleach is not working properly / unsuitable.

Have you been able to figure it out and make the process work?
 

Ian Grant

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There's different litho films available and the contrast can vary, looking at the recommendations for the particular film you're using it's one of the higher contrast lith films. They recommend using Selectol Soft for continuous tone work, the formula is the same as Kodak D165/Ilford ID-3. When I used fixed grade papers I kept ID-3 on the shelf it drops the contrast by around a full grade, you need a greater drop ideally with Litho film, which is why the article you linked to suggests flashing as an addition contrast control.

D165 Selectol Soft
Metol 6g
Sodium Sulphite (anh) 25g
Sodium Carbonate (anh) 37g (37.5g ID-3)
Potassium Bromide 1g
Water to 1 litre

Dilute 1+3

Ian
 

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One thing that I noticed at the article linked at the op was that the first developer doesn't contain any silver solvent like sodium thiosulfate, or Potassium Thiocyanate. This and perhaps combined with too little exposure might give too dense results. Increased exposure might also need a softer working developer.
 

gorbas

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first developer doesn't contain any silver solvent like sodium thiosulfate, or Potassium Thiocyanate.

My experience with reversal processing is limited to 2x8mm movie film and 35mm bw slides. For movie stock I used factory kits and I made ORWO A826-50 recepie for 35mm on my own.
For later I omitted grain solvent-potassium thiocyanate, because it’s roll is just to reduce grain on projected image. Slides taken on Efke KB17 were looking great. I had to underexpose it at least one or 1 1/2 stops under tungsten lights
(sorry, it was 25+ years ago).
Michael, did you try to process some other bw film in your chemistry just to be sure its ok? Something slow like PanF or similar.
 
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