Go on mix your own developer! - Pyrocat

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Stanworth, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Hi,

    A wave of euphoria. Having mixed my own dev from raw chems for the first time and expecting something to go wrong, it didn't. In fact it went exactly according to plan. For silly money this developer which takes about an hour to make (Yup stirring in Part B took time.....) works perfectly and produces the same results as devs that used to cost me 5-10X as much and were no better). I wanted something that gave me the same approximate characteristics as Exactol Lux/Dixactol Ultra by the late Barry Thornton. Pyrocat HD has 100% made the grade and I thoroughly recommend others to try making there own too. I did start of spending more than perhaps neccessary by investing in scales that weigh down to 0.1g, but this ensured good accuracy as well as enabling me to mix smaller quanitities if I wanted. Still the scales cost £60, but now I can mix anything I want.

    Pyrocat looks great. VERY similar to Barry's brews, but in my first batch using agitation every minute, speed looks lower than his formulae. This may have been due to using film exposed about 5 months back losing speed, so the next batch will tell. I just wanted to see that I had not made an almighty balls up mixing it!

    Sooooooo cheap.......and mixing your own is not just for 'other people'.

    I think it cost me about £30 in chems for the first 1 + 1 litre and theeafter it will be much less as some of the chems that had minimum bag sizes will do many more batches, so I only need a couple of ingredients for the next batch. 1 + 1 L of Exactol Lux came in at over £100 for the same volume plus P&P each time. Next 1+1 L should be less than a tenner! yes thats for just under 600 sheets of 5x4.......

    Tom

    Tom
     
  2. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    5 bottles of rodinal.. $30Cad.. will develop a million sheets of 8x10 film at 1:50... :D

    But still i would love to get into mixing my own chemicals..for alternative printing purposes.. PL/PD, ziatypes and whatnot..

    good luck and have tons of fun!!!
     
  3. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I developed my first neg's in pyrocat-hd last night, and I'm very impressed. One is sitting on a sheet of Centennial POP right now...I should know in an hour or two if the negatives print as impressively as the look.
     
  4. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Tom,
    Never made any pyrocat HD, but made plenty of bog-standard D-76. As you rightly say, it works as well as shop-bought. Make my own toners, reducers and paper devs. I can't say I ever really "got on" with Dixactol. I found the grain just a tad too intrusive, but in fairness to Barry Thornton, he did point out the risk of enhanced grain in smaller (i.e. 35mm) formats. Wouldn't mind a formula for an "Exactol lux" type of dev though. Regards, BLIGHTY.
     
  5. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    You might like to try minimal agitation. I use 500+3+3 (i.e. a bit over half strength) and agitate every 3 minutes. I think it gives a bit more speed.

    Incidentally, I have never been one to use a pre-soak, but I strongly recommend it for minimal agitation development. I thought that agitating quite vigorously for the initial 2 minutes would make pre-soak unnecessary, but I still got some vague disks of underdevelopment.
     
  6. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I never got on with Dixactol apart from with Acros, which was an incredible combination. Paradoxically good sharpness yet no grain (In 5x4). I found even with rollfilm that prints needed to stay small, very small with some films (I dev'd a roll of Maco 820C in it and had golf balls on an 8x10 print from a 6x9 neg and this film is normally a smoothie). For everything else, it was Exactol Lux which was MUCH finer grained ie HP5 in exactol Lux looked about like FP4 in Dixactol!

    Tom
     
  7. roy

    roy Member

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    The interesting thing about that is that B.T. warned against using that combination !