Lith prints - strange texture on prints : LUSENET : B&W Photo: Alternative Process : One Thread

I'm new to lith printing and I have question regarding this technique. I've found that in the mid tone areas of the print I'm getting a discernable pattern or texture. It first happened with a neg from a pinhole camera and I thought I was seeing distortions from the pinhole. It's now happened with a lens neg.

I'm printing with a durt L900 fitted with an Ilford Multigrade head. My theory is that I could be seeing the texture of the diffuser plate that's below the light mixing box. Is this likely and does anybody have suggestions for fixing this problem ?- short of getting rid of teh enlarger.

-- Jeremy Jeffs (, September 17, 2001


Is this "discernable" pattern you are seeing in the print repeated in the same area when you make duplicate prints? At what point in the processeing do you see the "pattern"? I wonder if it is a build up of mid tone density through the infectious development? Additionally, what paper are you using? Is the pattern in the same place every time?

-- Gary Inglese (, October 16, 2001.


Lith film is an extremely high contrast material used (mostly) in the printing trade. This material "sees" only black or white and little else. A "grey" appearance for a mid tone really isn't grey, it's black dots of silver emulsion. In those areas the film couldn't decide to go black or white so it does both the only way it can - in dots of black or white (clear). Develope sheet film (it's also available in some areas in 35mm cassettes) in A B Lith developer or straight Dektol for 3 min. @ 68 degrees. Water only short stop. Fix for 5 min. Wash, then drink beer. Print using any type of enlarger. I've used it in condenser and cold light enlargers with no problem. Print on the highest contrast paper you have. Exposure time is not important, 10 sec. or 5 min. will yield the same final print. Remember, there are no midtones to try to enhance by exposure. Only black or white.

Oh yes and don't forget . . . drink beer. BTW digital sucks!

-- Steve Feldman (, October 29, 2001.

Steve has misunderstood the question, more specifically he has misunderstood the technique in question. We are talking about Lith PRINTING, not using lith internegatives.

The problem is probably pepperdot, pepper grain (pepper fogging, or however it is called), and it occurs with certain papers when developed in lith developer. It has to do with the dev. concentration, temperature etc etc and is healed by adding sodium sulphite in the developer. The amount recommended by Tim Rudman is 50ml of a 10% solution of Sodium Sulphite with 100ml of part A and 100 ml of part B of the concentrated lith developer. Add too much Sulphite and your prints will become too soft.

I personally find that pepper fogging is fun, although it might not be pleasant to have where you don't want it.

-- George Papantoniou (, November 12, 2001.

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