Divided Pyrocat-HD

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jay Decker, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Jay Decker

    Jay Decker Member

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    Sandy King has graciously provided us with information to develop film with Pyrocat-HD using the divided development technique. I have started working with divided Pryocat-HD and I am happy and excited with my initial results.

    Here is the procedure that I am using with for divided Pryocat-HD:

    1. Film and exposure: Ilford 4x5 sheet film, fp4+ @ 100 ASA and hp5+ @ 250 ASA

    2. Processing Equipment: Jobo 3010 Expert Drum rotated continuously on a Beseler motor base

    3. Development: Pyrocat-HD at 1:20 dilution for Part A and Part B, a developing temperature of 75 degrees, 3 minute pre-soak, and development times of 5 minutes for Part A and Part B

    4. Stop: Water rinse for stop for approximately 30 seconds

    5. Fix: TF-4 for 5 minutes

    Anyone else using divided Pyrocat-HD? Any hints, suggestions, successes, or failures?

    Does anyone know what increasing the Part A or the Part B developer concentration, i.e., effect on grain, stain, density, contrast, etc.?

    Thanks,

    Jay
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Jay,

    In considering changes bear the following in mind.

    1, I would recommend that you simplify matters by not changing the time in either Solution A or Solution B. But if you change the time stick with it as it will simplify the other adjustment you can make.

    2. Contrast is controlled by the amount of reducer that can be absorbed by the emulsion in Solution A. Assuming you stay with 6 minutes and 75F, using a stronger dilution will increase final negative contrast, using a weaker one will reduce final negative contrast. In other words, if 1:20 is the norm, a 1:10 dilution will give you more contrasty negatives, a 1:40 dilution will give negatives with less contrast. I think 1:10 is a good starting point for tank development with intermitten agitation, 1:20 is for rotary agitation.

    3. Effective film speed is controlled by the time in solution B. What happens is that the reducer in the emulsion is quickly used up in the highlight areas, and since it can not be replenished as in normal single bath processing, the negative builds contrast rapdily when it goes into the solution, but in about three minutes all of the reducer is used up so that the build up of density in the highlights stops. However, the negative will continue to build up density in the mid-tones shadows throughout development, which increases effective film speed. So if six minutes is the norm for Solution B, four minutes will give less effective film speed, ten minutes will give more effective film speed.


    Hope this helps.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2009
  3. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I've used it and it is great with Plus-X; haven't tried it with other films yet.
    Thank you, Sandy.
     
  4. davekarp

    davekarp Member

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    Hi Sandy,

    About a year ago, on the LF Forum, you mentioned that you were working on a refinement to the Pyrocat HD formula for 2 bath development. Did it pan out?

    Also, have you tried Pyrocat MC as a 2 bath?

    Thanks.
     
  5. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    An update to my previous post regarding using this method to process APX25. Tried 1:15 for 6 +6 minutes, thought the negs looked a bit weak, so rated the film at iso 20 and used 1:10 as per Sandy's recommendation. Results are excellent, perfect at this dilution, and the edge effects are amazing...like Kodachrome.
    Unfortunately I only have one roll of APX left, so will try this with my usual Pan F.
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Dave,

    I tried several things with the goal being keeping the dilution at 1:50 or 1:100. The solutions worked, but involved making the Stock A solution much more concentrated, and I had to use a Stock B solution with higher pH.

    In end end I determined that the best course of action was simply to keep the stock solutions as they were and recommend the more concentrated working solutions of 1:10 for both Solution A and Solution B. I am personally getting great results with the 1:10 dilution at 6+6 minutes at 75F using Fuji Acros, which I rate at EF of 50 because I am looking for really good detail in the shadows.

    So that is where things stand as of now. I am been using the 1:10 dilution of two bath Pyrocat for all of my roll film work for about a year and I am very impressed with the results. As as been mentioned, this dilution, with four agitation cycles, gives a lot of acutance which gives razor sharp prints. I like the results much better than with two bath D23 and D76.

    Two bath Pyrocat-MC works about the same as -HD, with perhaps a tad more acutance. I would recommend it for rotary processing using a 1:15 or 1:20 dilution.

    Sandy King
     
  7. davekarp

    davekarp Member

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    Thanks Sandy.

    And also thanks for all publishing your experiences with 2 bath developers. It seems to have given them more credibility than they had been getting before that. They seem to have gotten a really bad rap. Once, I even had a chemist from a commercial photo chemical company tell me that Thornton's 2 bath formula would not even result in an image on film, after I had been using it for quite a while!

    I know that you have been using the 2 baths for scanning, but once I am through my backlog of exposed negatives I am going to give 2 bath Pyrocat HD or MC a try for darkroom printing.
     
  8. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Dave,

    Thanks for your generous comments about the article. I must say that I really enjoyed doing the work for that article as it was a real learning experience. I got turned on to two-bath development after sharing some notes with another photographer and determined that it would be a great way for developing film when the end was to scan.

    However, it is also clearly possible to use two bath development if the goal is wet processing in the darkroom. In fact, I think you will find that two bath Pyrocat will give you more than enough contrast for printing with VC papers using a #2 or #3 filter, or the equivalent.

    Anyway, thanks again, and please post your feedback.

    Sandy





     
  9. davekarp

    davekarp Member

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    You are welcome.

    For what it is worth, I have found that your comments regarding printing with grade 2 or 3 filters or paper are right on when using Diafine, DD76, or Thornton's 2 bath.

    Before going to LF and back to 2 bath developers, I was using PMK a bit with my MF negs. I am interested in trying your formulae in a 2 bath, and will definitely give you some feedback.
     
  10. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Sandy,

    Due to Pyrocat-HD's oxidization properties I presume a 1:10 dilution 2 bath process is still for one-shot use?

    Tom
     
  11. Kenneth Lee

    Kenneth Lee Member

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    According to Pyrocat as Two-Bath Developer at http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/html/MixingPyrocats.html, "Both Solution A and Solution B can be re-used several times within a three-four hour period but should be discarded at the end of a development session as they will go bad in about 10-12 hours. "
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I recently developed 36 rolls of 120 film, Efke 25, Fuji Acros and TMY2, from a four day shoot on Ossabaw Island near Savannah, Georgia. I developed the film four reels at a time in a stainless steel tank. Procedure was 5 minutes in Solution A and B, both 1:10 at 75 degrees F, with four agitation cycles in both solutions (initial agitation of 45 seconds, subsequent agitation of 10 seconds). I mixed two liters of both solutions and developed 16 rolls one evening, and 16 rolls the next day. The last batch of film was developed about eighteen hours after I mixed the solutions. I discarded the solutions at that point, though in fact I think they could have been used to develop more film that day if necessary.

    I mixed the films together for development. In retrospect a 1:15 dilution would have worked better for the Efke 25, 1:10 was about right for Acros and TMY2.

    Sandy King
     
  13. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I am going to have to try this. Am I assuming correctly that Pyrocat-P will also work this way?
     
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  15. Dave Swinnard

    Dave Swinnard Subscriber

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    I tried PC-HD divided the other day for the first time - results look good.

    One question comes up, having done the process... the B solution (pot. carbonate as per published directions) goes in clear and comes out looking like strong tea (brown). Is this "normal"? And if it is, can I assume it's safe to reuse (immediately, not tomorrow)?

    Thanks, Dave
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2010
  16. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Dave,

    You can definitely reuse the B solution, and the A solution as well. I typically use divided Pyrocat 1:10 when I have a large number of rolls to develop, say after a shooting trip. You should be able to develop 20 or more rolls of 120 film with a liter of the 1:10 solution, but for best results I would recommend developing all of the rolls the same day, or at least complete development within about 24 hours of mixing the solutions. The solutions will definitley go bad after about 24 hours and I don't have any idea how to prevent this from happening.

    Sandy King
     
  17. Dave Swinnard

    Dave Swinnard Subscriber

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    Thanks for the info. Sandy

    A couple of things I've noticed over the last two days...

    Plus-X and Tri-X (4x5): The presoak water comes out essentially clear as does the "A" solution. "B" solution comes out the strong tea brown.

    TMY-2: Presoak comes out that (what I've come to assume as normal) deep blue/indigo colour. "A" solution comes out a pale mauve tone. "B" comes out a deep indigo/brown tone, different than the presoak and the other two films.

    And I thought I was doing monochrome...

    The results - on initial inspection - look very nice. Thursday will see contact printing and maybe a trial scan (I don't have a scanner, but there's an old Epson 3200 at work).

    As far as keeping the mixed solutions...I'm perfectly happy to use them and toss them, it's what I'm used to from using PC-HD "normally" and Xtol 1+3 in the past.

    Oh, Sandy...do you recommend mixing the two "working" solutions for divided PC-HD with distilled water or do you think regular tap water is fine? (Vancouver has decent water - it was rain in the lake not too long ago...)

    Dave
     
  18. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Dave,

    The tap water in my area is also very good and I usually mix working Pyrocat-HD solutions with it. However, at the first hint of a problem I would switch back to distilled water.

    Generally speaking the 1:10 solution is much more robust than the normal 1+1+100 solution so it is probably much safer to mix it with tap water.

    Sandy King
     
  19. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Sandy,

    Increased robustness of processing is a significant attraction of switching to divided development from my perspective. I may well put a few rolls and sheets through the divided developer to test. If you're using 5 minutes per bath with conventional hand agitation, perhaps 4 1/2 minutes would be suitable for Jobo processing.

    Tom
     
  20. sanking

    sanking Member

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    You might try diluting the developer and keep the same development time with rotary development. For example, if you like the results with the 1:10 dilution for five minutes in A and B with intermittent agitation at 72F, try 1:20 with rotary agitation, other things the same. But do experiment first before risking important negatives.

    Sandy
     
  21. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Sodium Carbonate

    I have just come across this thread. I make up Pyrocat using Sodium Carbonate rather than Potassium Carbonate. When used as a single solution my dilution is 1:5:100. Could some advise if the 5 times dilution ratio holds good for divided Pyrocat i.e. solution B would be 1:2 instead of 1:10 or 1:4 instead of 1:20?

    Thanks
     
  22. el wacho

    el wacho Member

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    hi,

    i've experimented with sod. carbonate as a B bath and it seems that it doesn't have the pH required to complete development. it does develop some of the image but the contrast was too low and the stain was not as visible as it is with sod. hydroxide.
     
  23. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    What is your dilution (normal/two part) with the hydroxide?
     
  24. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    That is an interesting observation. I am assuming you increased the amount of concentrate by 5 as recommended by Sandy King in his article on www.unblikingeye.com . According to that article the both Sodium and Potassium Carbonate perform in exactly the same way except that you need 5 time more working solution because only 200g is diluted with a litre of water as opposed to 750g of potassium carbonate. Of course, sodium hydroxide is more energetic than either of the carbonates.

    My first foray with Pyrocat was a complete disaster. The negative came out dreadfully thin although there was a very obvious stain. I have written up a series of tests ranging from a badly performing shutter (since disproven) to bad chemistry. My chief suspect is the bath B because the sodium carbonate I used was very old (in excess of 10 years). The chances are that it must have absorbed some moisture from the air in that time as it was in a screw top jar rather than a sealed tub. I suspect it is nowhere near as potent as it was when it was fresh.
     
  25. el wacho

    el wacho Member

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    Patrick - at the moment i've settled on 1:1:200 using sod. hydroxide 100gr/L

    Adrian - yes five times was recommend as i understand for single bath usage as a possible replacement for pot carbonate but not taking into consideration the two bath usage. a B bath at the recommended 1:10 of the 200gr/L solution would be about 20g/L. i knew straight away that wouldnt work because catechol needs the higher pH (just look at some old catechol formulas like pextrals two bath) so i bumped it up to 35gr/500ml and still got a very soft image. it confirmed in my mind that there was a reason the old formulas were using sod hydroxide for a reason, that being of the working pH. where it gets really interesting is where you lower the level of sod hydroxide enough so that the bromides released during development in the highlights do actually start to buffer. at this point lower dilutions start to respond to agitation variations a little more apparently on the print.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2010
  26. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    To take this astray, I needed to make new MC after about a year and a half. I used the Metol slurry last time but read Sandy's alternate advice about heating the Glycol to 250 degrees and decided to do that. Everyting dropped into solution almost instantly, just great!!! Thank you, Sandy...EC