developing litho/orthofilm : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am using kodak EL film as final medium. I proces the film with Dektol diluted 1:10. I am having problem of uneven development espetially smooth erea such as sky. I tryed different agitation methods, but didn't work. I am thinking of using print processors. If any one has idea of method to develop litho/ortho type film evenly, please help me. Or suggest me which processor is the best. I need at least 16" wide.

-- gen aihara (, October 18, 2001


Hi, Easiest answer of the day! I've been in the lithographic industry for 40 years and have developed lith film in most every thing. The best is Kodak A B Lith developer. Follow the directions. Usually 3 min. @ 68 degrees. I think your Dektol problem is dilution. Don't. In my home photo darkroom I do this: 2 min. in straight Dektol @ 68 degrees. Lith film is an extremely high contrast material. Images are either black or white. Period! No (or very little) midtones possible. Work under a red safelight and you can watch the image pop up. But give it at least 2 full min. in the soup. Fix. Wash. Drink beer.

Voiola! Fini! At no time do my fingers leave my palms. Send beer!

-- Steve Feldman (, October 18, 2001.

Since he's diluting it 1:10 I suspect he is seeking a "normal" looking negative rather than the typical "black and white" lith negative. At least that's the usual reason for developing lith film in highly diluted Dektol. However, 1-10 does sound extreme and especially with very large sheets of film developer exhaustion may be the cause of the problem. I'd try a more concentrated dilution. I used to develop Arista lith film in Dektol diluted about 1-4 as I recall, and also in D 76 developed 1-6 I believe (it's been a few years). However, I didn't use Kodak EL film so I don't know how either of these would work with that film though they should be worth a try. I don't remember having any problems with uneven development.

-- Brian Ellis (, October 18, 2001.


Sounds to me like you could do with using a bigger tray to avoid the effect of agitation ripples near the edges. You can see the variation in open areas like the sky but it might also be present in areas of busier information. Rule of thumb: Tray one size up from material.

From the chemical viewpoint more solution may be an answer. With such dilutions you must be sure to have sufficient stock solution to fully develop the surface area of film/paper. If your material is 16 inches wide that could require quite a sizeable volume of solution with the Dektol at 1+10.

Just a thought or two ... WG

-- Walter Glover (, October 18, 2001.

Hi, If you are looking for low contrast results, try looking at , They have just had several responces on developing Lith (Kodak and Arista) film to make printable photos.

-- Beau Schwarz (, October 19, 2001.

I have played with Arista Lith film for unsharp and/or contrast reducing masking. I've used Dektal @ 1:2 2min;1:10 2 min;1:20 2 min. interesting but useful curves. 1:10 and 1:20 give a nice smooth curve of about CI +/-.3-good for masking. Development in 5x7 tray seemed uniform. George

-- George Nedleman (, October 19, 2001.

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