First 5x7 negs in pyrocat

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mark, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    Did my first 5x7 negs today in pyrocat 2:2:100 in trays with constant agitation. I read somewhere that one neg in the soup would cause problems but two was good. That was what I did, but did not know how to do intermitant agitation with them on top of each other so I just shuffled them bottom to top. But now I realize I have no idea what to look for.

    There is ample detail in the shadows where I wanted minimum detail zone 2 and there seems to be pretty good seperation between the highs and mids. The scene was an SBR of 5 and I am using BPF 200. I do not see any stain at all. I fixed in claytons non-hardening fixer for seven minutes. Did I do it too long, or is this not good stuff? I got it at photomark in phoenix because the other stuff they had was kodak rapid fix with hardener.

    I do not have a densitometer and if I lay it on a white sheet of paper under a bright light I see white paper only in the deepest shadows is that normal? these things are pretty dense.

    I must say I like the largish negs. I wish I had something to contact it on or a scanner that worked with this format.

    I kinda feel like a kid in a candy store but has no idea where to start eating.
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    You don't mention time or temperature of development. Also, can I assume that you are developing your negatives for an alternative process that would require a negative with a fairly high CI (high contrast)? I ask the question because I only recommend the 2:2:100 dilution of Pyrocat-HD for alternative processes. If you use this dilution with negatives destined for silver printing (except AZO) it will give to much contrast in most lighting conditions.

    Also, BPF is a good film for silver gelatin printing (because it has a lot of latitude for exposure and development) but it is very hard to get enough contrast out of it for alternative printing. In fact, I will state categorically that BPF will not give sufficient contrast with an SBR of 5 in any developer if the negative is intended for alternative printing.

    Sandy King
     
  3. mark

    mark Member

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    I developed for 23 minutes at 70ish degrees (One thermometer said 70 the other said 71) after a development test that visually seemed to move the contrast of my subject up one stop at least. My goal was palladium or kallitype.

    Kevin? Bostic(his name is on the mail they sent). said BPF was just fine for alt processes but did mention that Pyrocat might not be aggressive enough. Since those are the two items i had, pyrocat and BPF, that is what I used.

    Canyon De Chelly is not going anywhere so If I need to reshoot it I can.
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Kevin at B&S is right in that BPF is fine for alternative process work, *if you are in a lighting condition of SBR of about 6.5 or higher.*

    But, if you hope to get enough contrast from BPF in a lighting condition of SBR 6 or lower my assessement is that *you can't get there from here.* In other words, there is *no* developer, however aggressive, that will produce enough contrast with BPF in low contrast lighting for an alternative process like kallitype or palladium that require a negative density range of about log 1.7. Period, regardless of how long you develop. Not with ABC Pyro 1:1:1:7, not with D-19 straight, not with D-11.

    BPF has gamma infinity at about CI .93 but beyond that you just gain density with longer development. With BPF and Pyrocat 2:2:100 you reach gamma infinity of about CI .92 with about sixteen minutes of development. Further development increases overall density but not contrast.


    Sandy King
     
  5. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    If you want higher contrast with Pyrocat-HD, try the bleach-redevlop trick using a rehalogenating bleach like that you would use for the bleach-redevelopment sepia toning. Redevelop to completion in Pyrocat or PMK. The result is increased stain image and thus increase in contrast for printing on the blue-UV sensitive materials as well as graded silver paper.

    This works even if you could not get higher contrast by direct development. Try it on a test neg if you don't believe me, or even if you do.
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    As I recall you published an article on this bleach-redevelop procedure a few years back in one of the national magazines, Darkroom Techniques perhaps. Is that article available online? If not, wonder if you might post here some of the details, such as bleach formula, bleaching time, etc. here. This procedure has the potential to be very useful with low contrast films such as BPF when they must be used in low contrast situations.

    Sandy
     
  7. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Better yet, if you use Sodium Hydroxide as the accelerator and development at 74º F you might get the extra humph you need for BPF, I would try this before the bleach and redevelopement route.
     
  8. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Sandy, you say that you only recommend a 2:2:100 dilution of Pyrocat HD for alternative processes, as it will result in too much contrast for enlarging.
    So far I've only used one batch of Pyrocat HD, which I scratch mixed. I began tray developing Bergger BPF 200 5x4 negatives taken in normal contrast lighting, in a 1:1:100 solution but could not get enough contrast even by increasing the developing time to 15 minutes. To get negatives that would print on a normal grade paper with my diffuser enlarger I ended up giving them 10 miutes in a 2:2:100 solution. This works fine for me.
    I had no phenidone when I mixed the brew so I used 2.5 grams of metol instead.Could this be the reason I'm getting less contrast than you would expect?
    I've also developed several rolls of new Tri X ( taken in bright sunny lighting ) for 10 minutes in the 2:2:100 solution and they too have come out with normal contrast.
    I should add that I am highly delighted with performance of the developer. Mamy thanks!

    Alan Clark
     
  9. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Sorry, I got the time wrong .I had to develop the Bergger 5x4 film for 15 minutes , not 10 minutes.

    Alan Clark
     
  10. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser

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    Hi Sandy:

    Since this thread is the closest that I have come across in order to relate to my question, I would also like some clarification regarding the inherent contrast of different films and the procedure of using Pyrocat-HD.

    I have read your articles on Post Factory, unblinkingeye.com, and have been reading posts on alt-photo-process-list about the subject. You have mentioned that HP5+, BPF as well as Fortepan 400 are not suitable for low-SBR situations.

    Is this only applicable when one is preparing negatives for alternative processes? When one is developing negatives for regular silver printing (I mean not AZO), those films perform sufficiently even in low-SBR situations with N-plus development?

    Another question is about procedure. If Pyrocat-HD is used with Jobo processor, you have recommend to add "0.3g/L of Sodium Sulfite to each liter for working solution." Does this mean I will add 0.3g to one litter of working solution? I simply cannot put the meaning of the above sentence into practice.

    If you can clarify these points, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and spending time on them.

    tsuyoshi
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Alan,

    There is nothing sacrosanct about developer dilutions. My recommendations for silver (1:1:100) and alternative processing (2:2:100) have as their primary objective to give developing times that are neither too short (and give uneven development) or too long (and become logistically inconvenient).

    Although I do not actively support the substitution of metol for phenidone in the Pyrocat-HD formula, as I make clear in my article, I do not think that the difference in contrast you observe is due to this substitution. In fact, in my own testing there has been very little difference in results with Pyrocat-HD when using phenidone and metol.


    Sandy
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Tuoyoshi,

    You wrote, " You have mentioned that HP5+, BPF as well as Fortepan 400 are not suitable for low-SBR situations. Is this only applicable when one is preparing negatives for alternative processes? When one is developing negatives for regular silver printing (I mean not AZO), those films perform sufficiently even in low-SBR situations with N-plus development?"

    Yes, my comments about the lack of suitability of HP5+, BPF and Fortepan 400 for low contrast situations pertains only to alternative processes where we need a very high CI.

    "Another question is about procedure. If Pyrocat-HD is used with Jobo processor, you have recommend to add "0.3g/L of Sodium Sulfite to each liter for working solution." Does this mean I will add 0.3g to one litter of working solution? I simply cannot put the meaning of the above sentence into practice."

    Yes, but if measuring 0.3g is a problem you could just increase the amount of stock solution A by about 30%.

    Sandy
     
  13. jbrodkey

    jbrodkey Member

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    Sandy, what film in 11X14 size do you recommend to use with pyrocat in low SBR situations for Pt/Pd printing?

    Thanks,

    Jerry
     
  14. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I like Efke PL100.
     
  15. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Jerry,

    Your choices are rather limited. Here is what is available, so far as I know.

    Ilford FP4+, from Ilford
    ASA 125 Panchromatic Film from PhotoWarehouse, tests same as FP4+
    Efke PL 100
    JancC 200
    Ilford HP5+
    JandC 400

    Best for low contrast lighting, by far, are 1) Efke PL 100 and 2) Ilford FP4+ (or the Photowarehouse ASA 125 film).


    Sandy King
     
  16. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Sandy,
    I was in the midst of writing a reply to you on APUG.org when something happened and I couldn't get it back.

    There is not much technique to the process. The bleach can be one that you can find in "The Darkroom Cookbook" and other places for the first step in sepia toning of prints. DO NOT use farmer's reducer!
    Make sure the negative is well washed before bleaching. Residual hypo would be a disaster. Then you WOULD have Farmer's reducer.
    You would have to leave the negative in the bleach a really long time to overdo it. You'll know when it is done by the milky translucence of the image. Rinse it well and put it in just about any kind of staining developer. Grain has already been set by the initial development so it will not increase. Only the stain image will be intensified any way. I originally reported on PMK, but I have also used Pyrocat and some of my own concoctions. Do not fix or soak the negative in used developer. It has already had enough of this treatment. Just wash it and dry it.

    The process may be repeated, but remember that these are tanning developers that might cause stress marks in the emulsion with too many repetitions. Since there is no need to control contrast or store a stock solution, you might try a simple teaspoon concoction of catechol or even hydroquinone and carbonate without any sulfite. Mix it just before use. The object is maximum image stain. We can't do anything for the silver by this technique.

    Try it on a test negative. You may find there are situations where it will be advantageous to plan on doing it from the start. Some films that do not stain impressively will respond quite well. Also, there may be something to be said for developing the first time in a more standard developer that gives more shadow detail (if you can find one). My original plan was to be able to convert a non-pyro negative to one that can be printed easily on either VC paper or, say, platinum.

    Hope this helps. I don't know where the original is for my article.

    Regards,

    Pat "Gadget" Gainer
     
  17. jbrodkey

    jbrodkey Member

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    Thanks Sandy....
    But I'm sitting here looking at an 11X14 film of HP5+ exposed at 320.
    I metered it with my digital Pentax spot meter ranging from 8+ -> 12+ and exposed it 1/2 sec at f/22. Developed in Pyrocat 1:1:100 for 10 minutes at 75 deg. The fb + f was .32 using a 361T uv densitometer and the maximum density was 2.21 !! - more than enough for Pt/Pd. The same scene exposed at 1/2 sec at f/32 and developed similarly registered a fb + f of .34 but a maximum density of 1.86.
    It seems to me that while the subject was a little less than normal in brightness range the range of densities on the film was very large - maybe too large. Also that rating HP5+ at 320 may be wrong and that it should be rated lower.
    My biggest problem has been trying to determine what to do about N+1 and
    N-1 in terms of exposure and development.

    Jerry
     
  18. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Jerry,

    When developing for this much CI you will get full emulsion speed from HP5+ in Pyrocat-HD, in fact you will get even more than full emulsion speed. I would actually rate HP5+ at about EFS 500 in the type of scene you described, and since EFS of HP5+ is fairly stable at different N values you don't gain very much by changing it for other subject lighting conditions.

    In any event a B+F value of 0.32 for HP5+ is really about as good as you can get. With very fresh film you might get lower values but not much.

    Sandy
     
  19. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    HP5+ in 35 mm has a neutral density in the base that stays. It prevents halation and light piping. I think the sheet film uses a dye that washes out and the base is much clearer.