Couple of questions re. Pyro, HC110 and getting contrasty negs for Pd

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by nick mulder, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Hello all,


    I've been using Bergger BPF200 with D19 for my Pd negs so far but have been having to use excessive amounts of soln. #2 to achieve the contrast I want in my prints - this causes occasional blotchiness and buminess - I do have some NA2 and Ziatype chems on the way but I'm still trying to get a good neg as it would never hurt anyway huh ...

    I have some HC110 here and have tried some comparative tests with both BPF200 and some new Arista Ultra Edu - I souped the same shot on both film types neg each chopped into 3 strips, one strip from each in D19 as I have been developing it so far (20mins 20deg), another strip from each in HC110 Dil B for 5mins (the massive dev chart suggested this for the Bergger and 3.5mins for the Arista) - the other two strips are for me to try in Pyro once I get the right fixer (read on...)

    What a bummer it was to find I am still getting much more contrast in the D19 ... which is not quite enough and 20mins tray developing is tiresome!

    Question: Is anybody using HC110 ? What speed should I rate the film and what dilution should I try for what time/temp ? - I am running low on the BPF200 so info re. the Arsita(fomapan)200 would be appreciated...

    (I am shooting portraiture and from shadow to highlight there is usually around 6~7stops contrast)

    Basically how to make a good Pd neg from Arista films... (and secondly bergger and FP4)

    Also frustrating is receiving my PMK pyro mix in the mail and finding out in the instructions that I should also buy some "TF-4 ARCHIVAL RAPID FIXER" (formulary) to make it work the best - grrrr! - any idea of its chemical make up ? I'd rather order local than fork out for fedex at this time of year
     
  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Nick- you don't have to use TF-4 fixer, although it is a good fixer. What you want is any fixer that the hardener is a separate component so you can NOT include the hardener when fixing Pyro-developed negs. Kodak Rapid Fixer is a good example of this. The hardener (sulfuric acid) is in a separate bottle and the fixer can be mixed without it. I can give you lots of information about Arista film in Pyro, as it is what I shoot mostly (300 sheets or so in the last 18 months). It is a great combination for alt process printing.
     
  3. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    ilford hypam fixer is another good choice for fixer.

    When I use a 'standard' developer I over develop by 200%-300% of the standard recommended development times, but this is for my practices...

    I have used the pyrocat hd developer and it works very well too, with a little less effort (maybe). If I remember it was developing foma (arista edu ultra) for 14min 15/15/1000 at 22 degress, but this is a standard practice, not really taking into consideration expansion/contraction of contrast...

    Have Fun!

    Corey
     
  4. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Hello Scott (scott is correct?),

    I thought you might have something to say :wink: (always appreciated)

    Ok, well I have the formulary PMK kit here and my fixer is Tetenal SuperFix Plus Rapid Fixer - the website is a bit of a mess to wade through so I cannot get any info on if it is hardening or not - however, there is hardener listed as a separate product ... I'd rather go for something I know is ok, most stores here in NZ carry Ilford and Kodak products, any recommendations ? Or do you or anyone else perhaps know the Tetenal will be ok ?

    Once I get the fixer I'll hit you up for info for sure - Looking at your work here online it would seem you have the technical aspect down for the look I'm after (good deep dMax and contrast without the crud)...
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Hello Nick.

    I cheat..I usually photograph in situations that are high in contrast to begin with...metering 7 to 9 stops and occassionally higher. I rarely use any contrast agent in my pt/pd mix.

    Here are some images...none were made with contrast agents.

    http://bostick-sullivan.invisionzone.com/index.php?automodule=gallery&req=si&img=76

    Most of these were made of FP4 using Ilford Universal PQ developer. But I have also use Rollo Pyro and HC-110 with other films besides FP4 (Tri-X, Begger 200, Kodak Copy Film). I am not near any of my film data, so don't have any to share.

    If you can find any and don't mind the orthochromatic quality, Ilford Copy film gives one a lot of contrast control. Using the Kodak copy film I could easily get almost bullet proof highlights and nice clean shadows...and everything inbetween.

    What is nice about Iflord Universal PQ (and HC-110) is that the dilution can easily be varied to give good contrast control.

    If 20 minutes is too long, try a stronger concentration or higher developing temp. At one point early in my attempts to get high contrast negs for carbon printing (a good carbon neg for me is one that has too much contrast for platinium printing), I was using Tri-X in HC-110 and was probably using dilution B at 20C for 25 minutes (constant agitation in trays -- boring!). I was getting some development fogging going on at that development time. it was even enough to print nicely...just increased my exposure times.

    Vaughn
     
  6. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    To get the contrast I need in portraiture with hot lights I would either be moving out into a proper studio space and/or cooking the subjects a little more than I'd (and they certainly would like) - :smile:

    I have some of the bergger copy film here as of yet unused and some 11x14 APHS that I've been meaning to build a holder/rear standard for some time in the future - maybe I'll try the bergger - 18ASA is sloooow though for portraiture...

    So the Dil A is higher con ? I could push the Bergger/Arista/fomapan200 quite hard maybe ? The bergger up to ~100 could be useable > ?

    Still keen to try the Pyro also, but have the HC110 here so may as well give it a crack
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    "To get the contrast I need in portraiture with hot lights I would either be moving out into a proper studio space and/or cooking the subjects a little more than I'd (and they certainly would like)"

    I did a studio set up with some nudes -- used three 1000 Watt halogen lamps from one side, and let the light bouncing around the room fill in the other side of the figures. It started off as a cold room, but warmed up soon enough, and the models got a free tanning salon session! Actually worked the way I wanted.

    Ortho film and male portraits might work well -- the ortho film certainly does not flatter women! I had forgotten about the slow speed of the copy film, though. Trees and rocks don't move much.

    You might find that the pryo could work best for you in the long run to bump up contrast for pt/pd printing. When I was using it, I made the mistake of doing some post-development staining and just ended up with long exposure times (but nice contrast.) But I will leave that up to FlyingCamera as he has far more experience with that than I -- especially in the studio.

    With HC-110, Dilution A is stronger than Dil. B. But what I like about the stuff is that I just picked the dilution I wanted and went for it. For my 4x5 T-Max100 and silver gelatin prints, I used Dilution V (for Vaughn)...1:60 from the concentrate...its been too long to remember the time/temp...might have been about 10 minutes/20C with constant agatation.

    Vaughn
     
  8. Mateo

    Mateo Subscriber

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    Here's my 2 bits on this issue:

    1. The most gorgeous pt prints I own were made from normal negs not contrasty ones. The artist's name is Ryuijie and I've seen the negs. These prints were also made with the evil FO#2 with the chlorate...go figure.

    2. The most contrasty negs I've made are too much for Pt but were made for uranium. Kodak ABC will give you more than you can handle. PMK is great for enlarging but for pt your exposure times will be way too long. I've also used pyrocat for over the top contrast.

    3. I intentionally use rapid fix to calm down the stain of ABC.

    4. I don't want my pt prints to look like silver. Rich separated tones are the goal for me, not mega black on white.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Nick- yes, it is Scott.

    As mentioned in this thread, Kodak Rapid Fixer or Ilford Hypam fixer are good alternatives. I can only tell you my process for development as I have worked it out. I shoot my Arista.EDU Ultra 200 @ 100, I develop in Pyrocat HD 1:1:100, I develop in a Jobo Expert drum on a CPA 2. I use the slowest possible rotation speed, and I give it 11 minutes @ 75f (the reason for 75 instead of 68? it's the coolest my water temperature will run in the summer, and the coolest the thermostat in my CPA will give when running in the winter). Try that process and see if it works for you - your mileage may vary.
     
  10. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    I'll take the mega black and white for the time being - most people seem to appreciate the lower con 'test' versions of my prints that I do on the Kid finish (cheaper and usually just a 5x7 or so crop of Pd only in the center of the sheet) - but I love the whites I get with COT320, but not the mottled crud in the midtones from the chlorate ...

    Its a challenge to match chemistry with dynamic range for 'optimum' information - something of the technician in me, stuff the actual content and appropriate tonal scale, you might say :rolleyes: - I think the neg is the axis of the graph I need to concentrate on now and once I've kicked that in the guts I'll get over the hi con look as a goal above all else and simply have it as an option... But for now its in the still to achieve list

    Picking up some ilford fixer in the morning and shooting a session tomorrow night - will rate the Arista/Fomapan @100 and kick off some extra sheets for experimentation, along with my last 4 sheets of BPF200 which I'll soup in D19 again as a safety... Should be a good learning week.

    I tray develop (only drums I have are a Mapex kit a friend dropped off the other day :D) - chems seem to sit around on 20degC at this time of year

    I'll be using PMK, my UV exposure box will expose one of my D19 negs that ranges from step 1~2 to step 6~8 on a stouffer step wedge in around 100secs - I get the contact frame pretty close and there are 8 20W BL tubes touching each other - maybe this will cut through the extra PMK density ???

    This 'more than I can handle' ABC sounds interesting - too contrasty, too much stain/density ?
     
  11. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Here is an example of the look I am after - minus the mottled skin tones ...
    [​IMG]
    Printing this in silver I've learned will give the blacks and whites yes but totally loses so much detail around the mouth, neck, forehead etc... Very laborious I imagine to dodge/burn it all back to the Pt/Pd look, and I prefer the edges and flatness of hand coated rag paper anyway.
     
  12. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Try Fixer-24. Easy to mix and the formula is published in a few places. Just google.
     
  13. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    "I've been using Bergger BPF200 with D19 for my Pd negs so far but have been having to use excessive amounts of soln. #2 to achieve the contrast I want in my prints -"

    With reference to this first part of your question - There are threads on APUG indicating that this film does not have a high contrast possibility regardless of the developer used. I thought about it for Pt/Pd but gave up on the idea because of htis information.

    In my estimation, the best film on the market for expansion is Ilford FP4+. Almost any developer of choice can produce very nice negatives for any of the alt processes. The Thanksgiving photo I made of my family is on 8x10 FP4+, developed in Pyrocat HD. This neg prints on Pt/Pd in my UV box in 2 min 45 secondds with a beautiful tonal range. No contrast enhancer was used in the print coating.

    I can come close to this quality with Efke 100 and the same developer, but not as easily.

    I suggest you obtain some FP4+ and choose a developer. Stick with this combination until you are cofident in the results you obtain. You will save money and heartache utilizing this method.
     
  14. sanking

    sanking Member

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    BPF 200 will work ok for pt./pd. printing if the subject brightness range is normal or above normal. If you are shooting in very flat scenes this film will not build enough contrast for pt./.pd, regardless of developer, though you may be able to make it work by using a contrast agent with the process. The best films for films for pt./pd. and other alternative processes that require contrasty negatives are.

    1. Kodak TMY
    2. Ilford FP4+ or HP5+
    3. Efke PL 100

    Sandy King
     
  15. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    I have some FP4 here too after reading about its suitability elsewhere but I was going to save it for more important projects and was hoping the Arista/Fomapan would work as a bread and butter film in the meantime (I'm still learning) - its price is very attractive ...

    I have 100 sheets Arista/Foma200, 25 FP4 and 5 or so left of the Bergger I can try in the PMK (and 20 or so sheets of the BPFB18 and 10sheets 11x14 AHPS) - I'm sure I'll make a decision which one to stick with by the time they are finished. If the FP4 is a clear winner I'm not against biting the bullet (price wise) and sticking with it.
     
  16. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    nick-
    quit worrying about it and just burn some film. Otherwise you'll spend all your time chasing other ppl's magic bullets.
     
  17. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Yip, I agree - its just that I've got some neat opportunities that are time dependent and I was panicking a little in terms of getting my process down for them - I figure I'll take double the frames for each shot so I'll have some room for experimentation later...

    Its amazing how much this one format (8x10) has taken over my photography ... It used to be all 16mm cine cine cine - but large format/contact, I dont know how to put it exactly... really enjoying myself
     
  18. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    I think I metioned the foma film earlier, I've recently printed a bunch of palladium prints that turned out well. Anyway the film was over esposed by 2 stops(incident reading) and developed at 22 degrees for 14 minutes at a dilution a/b/water : 15/15/1000

    That is what worked well for me, but you should do your own test!

    Corey

    This
     
  19. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ON!
     
  20. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    Nick,

    I haven't done many Pt/Pd prints but routinely do Van Dyke Brown and the occasional salted paper print which require negatives of contrast greater than that required for Pt. I generally use HP5+ or Efke 25 and develop the film in HC110 dilution A (1+14 out of the concentrate) or stronger (e.g., 1+10). My times range from 6-7 minutes around 70F (depending on what I'm doing). I suspect Pt/Pd controls will give you enough flexibility that a bit of overdevelopment if it happened with this developer wouldn't be much of a problem. So just go for it and adjust as needed.
     
  21. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    A comparison with a stouffer step wedge shows my negs at around step 1 to 6 or 7 on average - I can print these in ~100secs with my exposure box - 18mins in the box will give an equivalent print in Pd from step 9 to 16, I'm guessing thats well past anything I'd get from overdevelopment, at least I hope so ...

    As everyone says, yes I will just shoot a lot of film and try out different processing ... All the advice as magic bullet or not is helpful in that I get a general vector in which to start out on.

    No doubt I'll come up with my own little treatment, I do know that for the Pt/Pd prints I have seen in person that the look I'm after for now is a little different - (I've seen some Mapplethorpe prints and some prints Sean had at his house (APUG Sean) from another user (cant remember who, maybe someone here?))