I'll be trying to make Lith prints shortly, and I'm wondering if anyone has any practical advice. I'm very experienced in the darkroom, but have never tried this process.
I've been doing Lith prints for about 6 months. I have a few tips, but maybe you should take a quick look at some of my prints, and then decide if my results are what you are looking for.
There are several types of Lith chemistry. I had *almost no luck at all* with anything other than the LD-20 formula. It mght be made by Nacco...but I am not sure about this. I always buy from Freestyle in Hollywood; it's not really widely available.
I mix the developer at 1:8 to 1:9, and then add about 10% of "Old Brown." [Old Brown is a term for the chemistry you used in your prior printing session...ie, used Lith developer]. I find that using a bit of the old to "spike" the virgin developer gives a nice balance between print sharpness (never particularly high with Lith prints) and the "lith effect" you are trying to get.
Lith is an 'infectious development' when done properly. That is; you'll see little effect for quite a while, then the shadows come in very quickly. So, don't hold your print out of the developer allowing the liquid to drip back in the tray (as you would do with traditional prints). Instead, "snatch" the print directly from Dev. to Stop Bath.
I have found the best results using 2 papers. Ilford warm semi-matte gives me warm-tone prints. And Varycon KM gives me cooler prints. I have heard rumors that Art Classic will be coming back (albeit with a new back), and I'll definitely be trying that when it's released.
Depending on what paper you use, you will find that your print changes density when it hits the Fix. With some papers, this change is damn dramatic, and if you took your print out of the Dev. when it looked right, you'll find that the completed (ie, post-Fix) print now has blocked-out shadows. Here, simple experience will tell you how your particular paper will react to the Fix, and this will tell you when is the best time to take the print out of the Dev. All part of the fun of lith. (and one of the many reasons why it's basically impossible to make 2 identical prints doing Lith.)
Subject matter. I feel that portraits Lith like a dream. Same with older buildings. To my taste, not so much for modern architecture. And a big point (from my perspective only): I really think that Lith does much better with highlight/midtone details far better than with shadow details. So, if you see a scene that has amazing stuff going on, but all in the shadows, then this may be a negative that does not Lith all that well.
Best of luck. Even the mistakes along the way can be a lot of fun (and excruciatingly frustrating too, at times).