BPF200 in Pyrocat time (tray)?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Max, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Max

    Max Member

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    I'm getting ready to do my first attempt at tray developing (been using a Unicolor drum), which will also be my first time with Pyrocat. I've got some J&C Classic on the way, but I've got some BPF200 that I'll be using up, learning how to do tray processing without scratches, etc...

    Anyway, which dilution should I use (1:1:100 or 2:2:100) and for how long (agitating 5 sec every 30 seconds)? Just looking for a ballpark for the first time - these are normal contrast negs.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    What are you planning to do in the way of printing these negatives? If you want these developed to a density range suitable for enlarging the I would develop in the 1-1-100 dilution. If you want a density range that is suitable for contact printing on Azo, for instance, then the 2-2-100 dilution would be in order.

    I would typically develop normal contrast BPF 200 for six minutes at 70 degrees.
     
  3. mark

    mark Member

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    Donald

    My negs at 6 minutes in 2:2:100 are way thin for a normal SBR of 7. Sandy called for over double of that for a normal range, and I have settled on a time of 17.30 with normal agitation. Since this is going to be a situation not constantly agitating the film wouldn't the times be longer?

    I realize that people's times differ but do they normally differ this much? I shoot BPF at 200, like I do the classic 200 since it is the same stuff. would this have something to do with it?
     
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  4. Max

    Max Member

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    I shot it at 100, and it was still really thin with just 6 minutes.

    Oh well - I was just looking for a starting point, and I got one. Thanks!
     
  5. Max

    Max Member

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    But since I'm here, does anyone use sodium metaborate with pyrocat? I'm used to working with rollo pyro, and I always did a presoak with sodium metaborate, and another post-fix, pre-wash sodium metaborate soak.

    The rollo pyro instructions say this post-fix soak is when most of the stain forms (I know nothing of the chemistry involved here).

    I didn't get much stain with pyrocat. Is it the lack of sodium metaborate, or just a symptom of the really thin negs?
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    When you say "I didn't get much stain with pyrocat" do you base this on blue channel or UV densitometry?

    It is difficult to assess pyrocat stain visually - the practical question is: How does it print?

    "The rollo pyro instructions say this post-fix soak is when most of the stain forms (I know nothing of the chemistry involved here)."

    I haven't used rollo pyro, but pyrocat does the important (i.e. proportional) staining and tanning during development - not afterward.

    Stain deposited post development is overall stain and not really useful.
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    With Pyrocat-HD you should do a plain water presoak before developing. Follow development with a water rinse (no acid stopbath) and fix in a non-hardening fixer - I prefer an alkaline fixer.

    If after fixing the film still has persistent antihalation dye, I bathe the film for 5 minutes in a sodium sulfite solution (20 grams/liter), followed by washing.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  9. Max

    Max Member

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    Ah - okay. I was just going on the visual; the rollo negs look very stained, and the pyrocat negs looked pretty much like all my D76 negs.

    I haven't printed them yet since they were drying - but they're so thin I doubt they'll really print well. I'll reshoot and redevelop and go from there.

    I did do the presoak - I've always been a presoaker, no matter what developer I'm using (a habit I got into when I was still doing 35mm TMax).
    And I'll check out that article.

    Thanks for all the help here!
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Max, I imagine that the departure of your results from mine are due to the fact that I expose BPF 200 at EI 80 for SBR 7. The only time that I personally would use an EI of 200 would be in extreme expansion situations. Since this film will not give more then one zone of expansion in my testing that is to say that the times that I personally would use EI 200 with BPF 200 would be never.
     
  11. Max

    Max Member

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    I expose it at 100. No matter - I asked for a ballpark time to start, and gave me one. It didn't work for me, but I'm still appreciative for your help!
     
  12. tomtom

    tomtom Member

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    max- i've been playing around with begger 200 and pyrocat-hd. this is also my first time running sheet film in a tray as well. i just took a look at my notes. i rated my film at 200 asa. i pre-soaked for 5min. at 68f i ran one sheet of 8x10 film 1:1:100 for 25min and another sheet at 69f 2:2:100 for 17.5min. i agitated about 5sec out of evey 30sec. the sheet i ran at 2:2:100 has more contrast than the other but both look pretty good, but i'm still learning how to judge my negs. they are printable is about all i can say for now. since you shot your film at 100asa, i'd knock about 20% off my developement time and start there. the 20% is just a guess but it should get you in the ballpark i think ;-)

    hope this helps -
    tomtom
     
  13. Max

    Max Member

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    I don't know what I was so afraid of - it was actually much easier than using the drum. I did get a small scratch (not my last, I'm sure), but I know what caused it now: 11x14 trays seem awfully big right now, and I didn't have the sheets lined up.
     
  14. tomtom

    tomtom Member

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    the very first sheet i developed in a tray i almost bolted out of the darkroom. ya see, i don't like being in total darkness for very long. but i'm getting use to it :smile: after about the 3rd sheet i couldn't imagine what i was so afraid of besides the dark ;-) it was pretty easy once i adjusted to where everything was. yeah i know it's funny a darkroom person afraid of the dark. well that me :D

    what size film are you running? and how many sheet were you runnung?
    i think i'm going to look into a slosher tray. photographers formulary sells them and they seem easier than the sheet over sheet method. your also less likely to scratch your film. the down side is you can only run 4 sheet at a time. if you get good with the other method you can do atleast twice as much.

    tomtom
     
  15. Max

    Max Member

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    I was doing 8x10 - only two sheets at once, for now. When I get the hang of it, I plan to do more at a time.

    The slosher tray idea is pretty interesting, but it's bigger than I have room for in my current "darkroom" (table in the basement). I think I'll get the hang of the sheet-over-sheet method.
     
  16. sanking

    sanking Member

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    A few comments, all relevant to the thread but not necessarily to this message.

    First, don't use a sodium metaborate pre-soak with Pyrocat-HD. The pH of a metaborte solution is not compatible ( lower in this case) with the working Pyrocat-HD solution. If you want to use an alkaline pre-soak try instead a weak carbonate solution.

    Second, although there may be some exceptions by batch, the true film speed of BPF 200 is about EI 100, the same as that of Ilford FP4+, or perhaps even slower, and this is with all developers. This fact has been amply documented in the literature and I have confirmed it in my own comparison testing. So rate BPF at an EI of 100 or even less if you want good shadow detail.

    Third, thin negatives are almost always a result of under-exposure in the camera, either caused by rating the film at too high an EI or by improper metering techniques. Properly exposed negatives may look a bit flat if underdeveloped but they don't usually look thin.

    BPF negatives that have received the same exposure look almost almost identical in density (but not in the color of the stain) when developed in Pyrocat-HD 2:2:100 as when developed in a standard 2:4:100 dilution of Rollo Pyro. .

    As for developing times, here is what I recommend for BPF with the 1:1:100 dilution. This is based on rotary development in tubes at 72 degrees F with gentle but constant agitation. If you develop in tray or tank increase time by about 15-20%.

    Graded silver papers -- About 6:30 for scenes of normal contrast.

    Variable contrast papers -- About 9:30 for scenes of normal contrast.

    AZO -- About 12-14 minutes for scenes of normal contrast, or about 7:30 with the 2:2:100 dilution. If you develop for AZO you should also be able to print on a VC papers of Grade #1 with the same negative.


    Sandy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2004
  17. Max

    Max Member

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    I'm pretty confident of the exposure - the two things I changed here were tray processing (vs. unicolor drum) and developer.

    There could be two things going on here:

    1) Perhaps my tray agitation technique is faulty. I tried doing what was described in The Negative: pulling the bottom sheet out and placing it on top. Since I was just doing two sheets, I did it a few times for (roughly) ten seconds every minute. It was the first time, so I'm sure I wasn't as consistent as I should be yet.

    2) I'm used to seeing negs developed for Azo, and by the times you've provided here, I gave it less than the time for "normal" graded silver papers.

    Obviously, I'm just doing some testing here, so there's no loss whatsoever (unless someone was really excited about a picture of a black t-shirt and the white side of an old darkcloth hanging on a fence). There's no question that I'm learning a lot from it, either!
     
  18. tomtom

    tomtom Member

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    sandy - is your graph on unblinkingeye for bpf200 rated at 100asa? i sort of used those charts to figure out a development time but i rated my film at 200asa. now i'm not sure if my negs are fine or under developed or exposed :-?

    oh well, i'll be rating it at 100asa for now on :smile:

    tomtom
     
  19. mark

    mark Member

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    I tried letting mine sit for a little bit but got eneven development, s I move them all the time. I avoided scratches when I put the emulsion side down, that might help some.
     
  20. Max

    Max Member

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    Thanks - I'll give that a shot!
     
  21. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I have always rated BPF 200 at EI 100 for my testing. You can easily tell if your negatives are under developed. Just look at a shadow area (say about Zone II or III) and see if there is any detail there. If not, it was underexposed. If there is a lot of density in these areas you probably over exposed. Time of development has relatively little impact on shadow detail density so it is important to look her for signs of under or over exposure.

    Two others issues with BPF 200, and its sister films Fortepan 200 and JandC 200, is that they have a tremendous amount of development latitude and a relatively low CI at gamma infinity. In other words, you can develop the film over a wide range of times without significantly changing the contrast, or CI. The overall density of the negative increases, of course, but the slope of the curve stays about the same. This is a great feature in some respects because regardless of how long you develop the film you will still have a printable negative.

    A less positive way of stating the above is that films that have a lot of development latitude do not respond well to expansion and contraction development.

    And finally, it is especially important with this film to make your own tests because I have found different batches to be rather inconsistent in results, especially as regards how much contrast you can get out of the film. I have probably tested FP4+ over fifteen times over the past several years and the results from every tests are virtually identical. Of the eight or so tests I have done with BPF 200 and its sister films the results have been different virtually every time.

    Sandy King
     
  22. wdemere

    wdemere Member

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    Sandy,

    I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to include the EI with your times and curves in the article at unblinkingeye.com? - http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/PCat4/pcat4.html

    Also, I think it would be helpful to add the times into the general film development times that are kept there if that is possible:

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Times/times.html

    Last night, for example, was the first time I developed Efke 100 in pyrocat-hd. I found a time of 16.5 minutes at 21degreesC with 30 sec then 5 sec at halfway by searching on google. That worked, but I had exposed at EI100, and it is obvious that I need to try EI50 as the negs came out underexposed but developed OK (120 rollfilm).

    For minimal agitation, it might be nice to list times too, or at least indicate a percentage to increase.

    If you need someone to edit the html or compile the times I would be happy to assist :smile:

    Of course, I understand that everyone should test, but given that pyrocat-hd is becoming a very popular developer it might help a lot of new users get started.

    Thanks,

    William
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The problem I see with this is that people have such widely different ways of meteting and determiing personal effective film speed values that the information I derive from sensitometry would not be particulary useful in a practical context.

    Film contrast is another issue because if you develop the same way I do using the same film you should get the same results. That is why I am more confortable posting results for film CI than for EI.

    Sandy