Three wedded delights with Lith and one paper to bury. Just like the film, three weddings and a funeral is how this process can be. A Lith session is also very much a learning experience. So many wonderful surprises lay ahead once the darkroom light come on and you see those gorgeous tones. Then of course there are frustrations too. Trying out a paper which you’ve have no preview knowledge on – is exciting! I tried out three Agfa papers and one Ilford in this blog post.
All these papers where developed in Moersch EasyLith Lith A 30ml + Lith B 30ml + 80ml old brown in 1.5L water on a heat plate.
Agfa Record Rapid RRW
This paper is a bit fussy to get it just right. Learning less exposure is required for this paper than usual is the key for this one.
The second print proofed better in the result, however is still hasn’t shined for me especially in the dry down when the print darken up a bit too much for me. However it’s a problem that’s easily solved.
Agfa Gevaert BEH Paper
This was a big surprise, the charcoal tones are one of my favourites in the Lith process. It took awhile to develop in the Lith chemical at 14 minutes. The paper is quite thin when wet and the tray ridges came through in the print. I need to be careful concerning this matter in the next session. Probably more Lith solution in the tray or a tray without ridge may well be the solution here.
Agfa MCP 5 RC
This paper was also a big surprise to me, with it’s creamy tones and fast enough development in the Lith chemical. Very contend with the results apart from the tray lines on the print. Again this issue is easy to solve in the next session.
Notes: Do not fix this paper too long as it will bleach quite a bit. As it’s RC paper I would only do 10-15 seconds in the fixer tray. Might better to use a weaker fixer or use Hypo.
This paper is a big disappointment in terms of the Lith process. It takes forever to show the image at over half hour! This is a bit of a pain to work with when comparing to the other Afga papers above. Supposedly other Ilford Ilfobrom papers do Lith depending on the generation of the papers. I will make a strip test for the next Lith Session.
Conclusion and Tips
What I’ve learned is, to document your experiments in the darkroom. Split your Lith session into two parts dry and wet. This alone will save you time and keep the whole process somehow more manageable. But best of all you’ll glean information to help you improve in the next Lith Session. The dry session can be done the days before. It can even be done over a number of days. The wet session you will need about 1-2 hours of dedicated time in the darkroom depending on the number of prints you wish to develop under red light.
Things to note in your Lith Session
- Date your Lith Session.
- Number each print
- Description or title of the print
- Paper name and the paper grade etc..
- Exposure time
- Aperture of the enlarger lens.
- In the wet part of the session, the time is takes to develop in the Lith chemicals.