Posts tagged “moersch

Round 2: Slavich vs Lith

I was able to take the afternoon off today so hurried back into the darkroom to give this Slavich another roll. Glad I did! The topic I chose for this paper, namely our past skiing holiday of past March, was because it would take the images out of its context. Today I really liked how that came out. I upped the dose for the lith developer, think I found a smooth way of developing the sheets and changed exposure time of the paper. I feel very happy today, besides the fact I have almost run out of paper now šŸ˜‰

Some techy stuff:

Paper used:
* Slavich Unibrom Grade 2 24Ɨ30 cm

Chemistry used:
* Moersch SE5 developer 100+100+1500)
* Amaloco S10 stopping bath 1+19
* Amaloco X89 fixing bath 1+4

Other variables:
* Temperature of lith developer +/- 20 degrees Celsius
* No MG filters used when exposing the paper unless stated otherwise
* Very gentle agitation, continuous but gentle, after making sure the entire paper got under first

The first print I’m about to post is the one which made me jump through the ceiling šŸ˜‰ I really really like this. Exposure time of the paper 20 seconds. Snatch point at 4:11 minutes.


The negative of this print was very contrasty with good whites. That’s why I decided that for the other photos I did yesterday I should try a shorter exposure time to get more separation and softer lights. It worked!

Exposure time of 20 seconds | Snatch point at 3:58 minutes:


Exposure time of 10 seconds | Snatch point at 4:45 minutes:


Exposure time of 10 seconds | Snatch point at 4:45 minutes:


Exposure time of 10 seconds | Snatch point at 4:14 minutes | Divided the bath in two and filled up with fresh half


Exposure time of 20 seconds | Snatch point at 4:29 minutes:



Round 1: Slavich Unibrom vs Lith

Some time ago I bought Slavich Unibrom from Moersch Chemie (although I can’t see it anymore on their website besides the bromportrait variant). It took a while to find the time to try this special paper..until today! To call this a special paper is quite the understatement šŸ˜‰

First some technical stuff:

Paper used:
* Slavich Unibrom Grade 2 24×30 cm

Chemistry used:
* Moersch SE5 developer 1+1+24 (75+75+1800)
* Amaloco S10 stopping bath 1+19
* Amaloco X89 fixing bath 1+4

Other variables:
* Temperature of lith developer +/- 20 degrees Celsius
* No MG filters used when exposing the paper

I decided to use some negatives from our recent skiing holiday past March as I’ve done pretty much nothing with those yet. Images were shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 using my M6 with Elmarit 28mm f2,8, developed in Kodak HC110 dil. B. They came out rather funky to say the least. I almost couldn’t recognise where exactly they were taken šŸ˜‰

The first print IĀ made was exposed for 20 seconds and snatch point was at 4:04 minutes.


When making the second and third print from the same negative it became quite obvious getting an even development was going to be a challenge (one of the perks with this paper I knew upfront). I read some comments on FB and kept reducing agitation to a minimum during the following prints. With the last print I made agitation was pretty much brought down to a bare minimum. I have the feeling that is the key to an even development, or rather should I say, as even as possible perhaps.

The following print (print 5) was exposed for 40 seconds and snatch point was at 5:20 minutes.


This is where I got the feeling this paper isn’t for me. I think I’m more of a subtle lith-print-preferer than this is able to produce. But, it could also be my ignorance with this paper. Or both. I want to keep it at both.

The next print (print 6) was exposed for 20 seconds and snatch point was at 6:47 minutes.


I have the feeling (lots of feelings this time) the bath gets exhausted pretty fast as the results are getting more extreme. The last print (print 7) gave me black dots in white parts of the image (blotting?). I’ve used a one-step larger tray than the paper requires and made a bath of almost 2 litres as that’s said to make it more stable. Not sure if 7 prints is a lot with this paper / developer combo. It seemed a lot.

What struck me as daft (thanks David for that crafty word) was that for a long couple of minutes the image seemed to come up evenly dull greyish. And then, all of a sudden black parts start to appear and then zoeffff…it’s turning black rapidly with these weird structural thingies. Infectious development gets a whole new meaning with this paper šŸ˜‰

Anyway, long story even longer, not sure whether I will keep at it with this paper. I like the more pronounced difference in soft lights and harsh darks with ‘regular’ papers such as Foma 131 etc. That is why I fell in love with lith in the first place; its subtleties with the potential of being harsh and in your face.

1st & 2nd Pass Lith Printing

As mentioned in the former post I dived into the second pass lith printing thingy. This means exposing the paper like normal, developing in standard bw-developer, stopping, fixing, rinsing, bleaching the print in a sepia bleach bath, rinsing, re-developing in Lith. Below I’ll describe how I did it, which chemistry I used, which papers etc. and the only thing you’ll have to pick up from this post is NOT to do it like I did now. It didn’t quite work out the way I anticipated it, mostly because of lack in technique.

Papers used:
* Ilford MGW.1K, fiber based warmtone paper
* Ilford MGT.44M, PE based warmtone pearl paper
* Ilford MG ART 300 paper (their new stuff)
* Ilford IB0.26K, Ilfobrom expired grade 0 paper
* Ilford IB4.26K, Ilfobrom expired grade 4 paper
* Rollei 131, fiber based warmtone paper

Chemistry used:
* 1st pass standard bw-developer Amaloco AM6006 1+9
* 2nd pass Moersch Easylith developer 1+1+24, + 50ml old brown in a total bath of 2 litres
* Sepia Bleach home-made: 100 gr Potassium FerriCyanide & 100 gr Potassium Bromide to 1 litre of water
* Amaloco S10 stopping bath 1+19
* Amaloco X89 fixing bath 1+4

Other variables:
* Temperature of lith developer +/- 30 degrees Celsius
* No MG filters used when exposing the paper
* Bleaching time approx. for all prints: 3 minutes

I think I screwed up on a couple of points. First of all, I used to many Ā different kinds of paper. This was my first try-out with bleaching and redeveloping it would’ve been smarter to just try one or two papers, take it from there and when I feel I got it a bit under control, try more papers. But, as I don’t have that much time, I figured the more the merrier. Well, not always šŸ˜‰

Secondly, I’ll try a different 1st developer as it’s supposed to have an effect on the outcome after the 2nd development. I will try Agfa’s Neutol WA next.

Thirdly, I noticed a lot of stains, stripes and the like turning up during the 2nd pass developing. According to Tim Rudman’s book this is due to sloppy technique (which is quite possible) or bad rinsing, pollution etc. I rinsed too many papers in a too cold a rinsing bath because of my urge ‘the more the merrier’ so I screwed up there I think. Also, I didn’t hypo the prints after fixing. I though a decent rinse would be just as effective for this testing phase. I should know better.

What I didn’t like about the redeveloped prints is that they don’t have the coloration I wanted, they remain pretty much black and white, like before I bleached them. Perhaps that has to do with the amount of time I redeveloped them? Too long for the strength of the developer? Maybe I bleached the prints too long?
And I will try the SE5 as the 2nd pass lith bath. It’s the bath I want to go work with in the future so what’s the point anyway with using the Easylith when I know I want to switch entirely anyway.

It’s a whole new world which I will go back to this afternoon. I hope the new tryouts will be a bit more of what I’m after. I’ll be using the paper Ilford MGW.1K and if I can find the time, also the MG ART 300. Agfa Neutol WA as 1st developer and SE5 as my second. I’ll reduce the bleaching time to about 1 minute to see what that changes. Anyway, not all at once šŸ˜‰

An example of a bleached print before re-developing in lith


Ilford MG ART 300
7s exposure time | no filter
AM6006 normal bw developing (BORING) | 1:30 minutes | 20 degrees Celsius


Ilford MG ART 300
40s exposure time | no filter
Amaloco AM6006 normal bw developing | 1:30 minutes | 20 degreesĀ Celsius

1st pass Easylith 1+1+24 | 1/2 Old Brown | 4:25 minutes | 30 degreesĀ Celsius


Ilford MG ART 300
7s exposure time | no filter
AM6006 | 3 minute sepia bleach
2nd pass Easylith 1+1+24 | + 1/2 old brown | +/- 30 degrees Celsius

Ilford MG ART 300
7s exposure time | no filter
Amaloco AM6006 normal bw developing | 1:30 minutes | 20 degreesĀ Celsius

2nd pass Easylith 1+1+24 | 1/2 Old Brown | 8 minutes | 30 degreesĀ Celsius


The rest of the images really isn’t worth posting. I don’t even know what to make of them..let alone make them into a comprehensive something. I’ll slowly back away now and lock myself up in the basement for some more juice šŸ˜‰

“Het Gouvernement” Maastricht

This building is the Province House of Maastricht, designed by architects, opened in 1986. It’s of quite unusual architecture and it looks fantastic at night because of the way it’s lit. I went last year with my dad to photograph it. This image was taken while standing on the Kennedy Bridge.


Image taken with Hasselblad 500CM + 50mm FLE
Kodak Tri-X 400 developed in Kodak HC110
Lith print on Rollei / FomatoneĀ MG Classic 131 V2 (new emulsion)
Developer: Moersch Easylith 1+1+24. +/- 25 degrees Celcius.
Exposure time: 20 seconds No filter
Development time: 4:54 minutes.
Not toned (yet).

Rollei Lith Failure = Moersch Easylith & SE5

After the failure of the Rollei kit last time (oh I didn’t mention that yet, did I?) I decided to go ahead and order the Moersch chemistry. The story of the Rollei kit first then..

I started a lith printing session as usual, by making the baths. I bought some new Rollei Vintage developer as I had too little left for one bath. I decided to mingle the old with the new chemistry in the dilution 115+115+2770 (1+1+24). The paper I used is the new Foma 131 FB. The images didn’t get a proper black. Oh well, I thought, maybe the old bit I mixed in is overaged so I made a whole new fresh batch. Nothing came on the paper…

Okay, maybe I exposed the wrong side of the paper? Doesn’t happen often but it’s possible. Again, nothing on the paper. Darn. Maybe I underexposed the paper (never worked with the new Foma 131 emulsion before). So I exposed 4 times longer. Again, nothing on the paper. And by nothing I mean absolutely nothing. Crap, maybe I accidentally mixed up part A and B the wrong way? I made a whole new fresh bath. Again, nothing on the paper. By now I got thoroughly agitated seeing that I wasted a whole lot of chemistry and expensive paper. Maybe the paper is off? I tried my old familiar Foma 131 FB paper. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. By this time I was convinced it had to be the developer as everything else worked fine before. I mailed the company I ordered it from but haven’t heard from them yet.


I was working on prints for an exhibition, I finished a series, the deadline moved towards 2013 and seeing that I wasn’t a 100% happy with the first series I decided to redo them. Well, I guess I just ran out of luck somewhere šŸ˜‰ Fed up with the Rollei kit I decided it was time to take the plunge on the Moersch lith developers, which I intended to try for a while now. I ordered the Easylith (to compare a little against the Rollei kit) and ordered the SE5 as with all the additives possible it’s better refineable and controllable than the Easylith. The chemistry arrived yesterday so hope to find the time soon to use it, maybe even this year!