Kodalith Ortho

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Hi, I just aquired some 35mm Kodak Kodalith Ortho film and I'm curious as to whether there is a way to soup it so it can be used as a continuous-tone film? Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks! --Doc.

-- Edward Haigh (drcocktail@bigfoot.com), November 15, 2001


Of course you can! Someone would suggest highly diluted Rodinal (1+200, 1+300), however, I think you will get the best results with a low contrast catechol developer like the "Modified Windisch Catechol Film developer". Check www.photoformulary.com for more information about this developer.

-- Patric (jenspatric@mail.bip.net), November 15, 2001.

Perfect! Thanks! --Doc.

-- Edward Haigh (drcocktail@bigfoot.com), November 15, 2001.

I agree that a highly diliuted "regular" developer is NOT the ticket. What you get is incomplete development instead of complete low contrast. I've had a lot of success with the Photographers Formulary "POTA". You might try that. It works well with MacroPhot Ortho too.

chuck k

-- chuck k (ckleesattel@yahoo.com), November 15, 2001.

Do not get confused: Lith and Orto are not the same!!! A Lith film is an extreme contrast graphic film, which additionally is red insensitive. The other ortho films on the market can have almost any contrast range from normal (Maco 100) to extreme hard (any Lith film). The Maco Ortho films are meant to have a pictorial grayscale, but in the case of the ORT 25 with high contrast. The Lith is made only to separate into black or white, since this is the purpose of a graphic film. With a low contrast developer you can tickle out a little more pictorial rendition, but I am afraid hardly any. I predict that you will have insuficient results in any developer if you want to achieve a negative for pictorial use.

-- Volker Schier (Volker.Schier@fen-net.de), November 15, 2001.

I appreciate the thoughts and I'll procure the developers you folks suggested. To be clear, my film may be orthochromatic, but as far as my question is concerned, its main characteristic is the "Lith" in the title, so... yeah, the trick will be to tame a graphic arts film through (let me count the ways) -exposure -developing chemistry -developing time -developing length -and paper grade The orthochromatic emulsion is simply why I would bother to go to the trouble. I DO have a some long-outdated contiuous tone ortho sheet film, AND I'll certainly order the Macos product too.... This 35mm stuff is all for fun. Mainly, I want continuous tone ortho film in 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 and in 4x5. Suggestions of other resources for these stocks is also appreciated!

Thanks again! --Doc.

-- Edward Haigh (drcocktail@bigfoot.com), November 16, 2001.

Volker, I tried a catechol developer with Efke op12 lith film and the result was not high contrast, not medium contrast, but LOW contrast! I really got scared! :-O

I think the trick is to expose the lith film at a low speed rating (I used 3 Asa) and develope the film in a real compensating developer, and highly diluted catechol must be the best developing agent for this purpose.

I will try Macophot Ort25 too soon, and it will be very interesting. Especially when one can use a red safelight in the darkroom and cut the 120-film to be spooled on 127-rolls just with a sharp knife and a ruler. Yeah, an extremely fine grain film in my Rolleiflex 4x4!

Keep on experimenting folks!

-- Patric (jenspatric@mail.bip.net), November 16, 2001.

You can also use 35 mm Kodalith to make brilliant B&W slides from negs. Use a slide duplicator, bracket untill you get the range, and develop for 5 min. in D76 or ID 11.

-- John R. Fowler (jazzphotoguy@yahoo.ca), November 16, 2001.

I experimented with 35mm kodalith about 15 years ago. It is very high contrast and was a pain to work with. The EI was about 3, so you pretty much have to use a tripod for most work. After going thourgh the 100 foot roll, I concluded that Kodak Tech Pan was the way to go for 16x20's from 35mm. I only got one usable negative from the whole 100 foot roll of kodalith. Have fun with experimenting, but don't use it for anything that you want to save. About the only use I found for it was doing lens resolution tests.

Developers that I tried were, Technidol, Ethol TEC, Diafine, and a couple others I don't remember.

-- Gene Crumpler (hassieguy@att.net), November 19, 2001.

If you really want to use high contrast film and "beat" it soft then you should try Gigabit film. TechPan has a relatively low acutance -- definitly lower than e.g. APX 25 in Rodinal -- and a substandard tonal rendition despite the fine grain. Gigabit obviously is AGFA Copex microfilm spooled in cassettes (many people have commented on this and on the box it says "Made in Belgium" and Gevaert is the only film manufacturer there). The film comes packed with a small glass bottle of propietary chemistry, which smells awfully like C41 chemistry (by the way: C41 chemistry is a good way to "soften" B&W film. But: only use the developer and do not use the bleach-fix!). The speed claimed by the company is ISO 50. The negs visually look flat and soft after development, but they print nice, especially on a little harder paper. The film has a much better tonal rendition, overal contrast, acutance and grain structure than TechPan. It is off course impossible to test the claims of 700 lines of resolution that the company makes, but the resolution is impressive. I do not know if the film is available through dealers in the US, but it can be ordered through Fotoimpex in Berlin.

-- Volker Schier (Volker.Schier@fen-net.de), November 20, 2001.

In about 1988 or 1989 I got continuious tone image from 35mm Kodalith.

I exposed at 6 ASA, and developed for approx 20 mins in highly diluted Paterson Acuspecial developer (sadly no longer available).

The results were astonishingly sharp, definitely sharper than technical pan. grain was literally non-existent and sharpness excellent at 75x enlargements - yes thats a 6 foot by 4 foot print! I did not have the ability to enlarge any further, but I reckon that further enlargement would have been possible!

It took several failures to get the details correct - you have to get a suitable low-contrast developer, then experiment to get the correct exposure, and possibly also the correct dilution of developer if you need to reduce contrast further than standard dilutions give. You have to experiment because you need to not just reduce contrast, but also make tonal range as big as possible. The tonal range I got was not great but certainly useable.

Providing you are willing to experiment without getting disheartened by failures, and are meticulous in keeping notes, then it should be possible - don't believe those who tell you it will be impossible! (if you don't keep *exact* notes you *will* get confused, believe me!)

If you are interested in seeing a small scan of an example shot (with a comparison with tech pan taken at the same), email me & I can send you one.

if you do manage to locate a suitable developer, please let me know, in case I decide try again myself.

PS - I have also emailed you directly - I hope you don't mind.

regards, mark.

-- mark taylor (m.taylor@sheffield.ac.uk), November 24, 2001.

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