Contrary to a ferricyanide/bromide bleach, the copper bleach doesn´t start in the highlights. At bright room light the mid tones fade first, after a while the deep shadows and last of all the highlights after a stage of solarization in between. Even with bleaching at darkroom light, some papers like Fomatone 131 or Forte Polywarmtone solarize in the bleach, or later during redevelopment.

Fomatone 131, 2nd pass lith





Select VC matt (PW15), 2nd pass lith






Select VC matt (PW15) bleached 30 seconds in diluted (1+3) copper bleach and toned back with tiourea. Only the mid tones are effected now (see above).


Fully bleached Fomabrom 123 in copper bleach. A longer wash causes somewhat deeper tones.
Left 5 minutes : right 15 minutes wash.
Toner MT3 setting D

A fully bleached Fomabrom print is good for a redevelopment in diluted lih developer, but for my taste not for a thiourea toning (right side), due to the loss of contrast and the pale yellow color (when the print is not overexposed like the previous one). To achieve a deeper yellowish brown, a higher dilution of the copper bleach is necessary, accociated with a short time. In this case, initially all densities will be evenly bleach down (left side) and thiourea tones without any split.

Color management:
Grade of overexposure, dilution of the lith develper, temperature and time.
The more overexposure (0,3 to 1 stop), the more color.
The warmer the developer (30-50°C) and the shorter the developing time, the more color. Too long developing times (over 3 minutes) may cause flat prints with less color.

Slightly overexposed Fomabrom 123, redeveloped at about 32°C in Easy Lith 2+2+500 3 minutes




Stronger overexposed Fomabrom 123, redeveloped at 44°C in
Easy Lith 5+5+500 1:20 minutes





Easy Lith 3+3+500 38°C 2 minutes



With contrasty negatives it can be difficult, to redevelop the highlights before the whole print gets too dark in the lith developer.
To increase the light densities a warm water bath may help – but only when the shadows has not yet fully developed back.
Easy Lith 3+3+500 35°C 1:30 minutes, followed by a warm water bath for 30 seconds.


Another possibility is a gentle thiourea toning after a very short thiourea/bromide bleach, to protect the highlights, before the 2nd pass process can be started with the copper bleach.

Fomabrom 123, MT3 bleach 1+60 15 seconds, toner setting D (dark), followed by a wash to remove the high alkalinity and a bleach in the copper bleach as usual. Redeveloped in Easy Lith 2+2+500 at 35°C for about 2 minutes.