Lithographic and Line Films

Line or "lith" films comprise a group of ultra high contrast black-and-white emulsions capable of delivering stark graphic renditions of full tonal range subjects in which the visual elements of a subject are reduced to pure blacks and whites with all middle grays eliminated. Most film-makers offer one or more lith films, but few are produced in the 35mm format. Lith or line films are employed by graphic artists to give them copies of artwork, as the basis for separations, for silhouettes, or as part of color or monochromatic sandwiches.

One common problem with these films is their tendency to form pinholes in the black portion of the negative. The condition is easily rectified by spotting the pinhole with a paste-like substance called film opaque. Line films are almost always orthochromatic, meaning they have greatly reduced sensitivity to red. This does not present any real problems other than when red subject matter constitutes a significant percentage of the image. Also, these films are relatively insensitive to the red portion of the spectrum, so they can be processed by visual inspection under a weak red safelight


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