MaxPyro

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mahler_one, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Well, it has been about 8 months since Gordon Hutchings' article about his new MaxPyro developer in View Camera Magazine. I wonder if anyone here has used the new developer, and if there are any opinions based upon such experience. I use a Jobo, but any experience would be welcomed. One senses that Pyrocat has become one of the most favored Pyro developers, and for good reason. Sandy is always here to help out, and as experience expands, there are many good hints and tips provided. Use with the Jobo, tubes, and traditional trays have all proved to be effective. One can use a wide variety of temperatures, and most films seem to respond quite well. Nevertheless, given Mr. Hutchings reputation regarding Pyro, I am curious as to the response to his MaxPyro product. If anyone has used MaxPyro, might guidance be provided for developing times with films used, and exposure vs. developing times? Thanks.

    Ed
     
  2. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    The lack of responses seems to speak volumes about the use of MaxPyro. Interesting.
     
  3. symmar_man

    symmar_man Member

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    One thing that no one has addressed about Max Pyro is the cost. A friend tried it and liked it very much, but when I look at ordering some to try I did a quick calculation and found MP working dilution would run near $3.00 a liter! The most expensive off-the-shelf developer I have ever used is Kodak HC110 which used to run about $0.75 per liter.

    Personally I process 8x10 film in an open tray and I calculate that MP would cost me about $1.50 per sheet, compared to PMK or Pyrocat HD at about $0.50 per sheet if I buy it premixed and near $0.30 if I mix my own from bulk chemicals. Using the same calculation, if I were to process 11x14 film, MP would run near $3.00 pre sheet.

    Certainly if MP is a great improvement then maybe the cost is not a factor, but for me I would have to see a lot of improvement in my negatives to justify a near six times increase in developer cost.

    For the above stated reasons I have opted to not even try MP. Others may have a different view. I would be interested in hearing of anyone’s experiences.

    B. Dalton
     
  4. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    It gives full film speed and the developing times are short. The larger quantities of parts A and B compared to PMK probably give a theoretically more consistent mix, but they do drive up the cost.
     
  5. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Agree about the cost...I noted that MP is about 20% more then both PMK and Pyrocat at B&S. Still interested in hearing of anyone's experiences with MP.
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually, and unfortunately, it appears to be considerably more than 20% if the description is correct as the MaxPyro offer indicates a 10L yield while the PMK, for example, makes 50L.
     
  7. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Yes, it is considerably more. I figure to develop an 8x10 (300ml) in Max Pyro costs 91 cents, while in PMK, 15 cents. So, more than 6 times the cost.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Won't stop me from trying it though, what's 91 cents when you are banging your head with an 8x10? :smile:
     
  9. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I just wrote MAX in big letters on my pmk bottles. I'll see if it works any better.
     
  10. Kimberly Anderson

    Kimberly Anderson Member

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    I used some MAX Pyro on a bunch of different films last fall. It worked.
     
  11. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Thanks for the corrections as to cost....I neglected to note the volumes.
     
  12. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Does anyone know what is in it to make it special?
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Unlike PMK the Max Pyro formulary is proprietary and has not been released.

    My understanding that one of the major improvement over PMK is less B+F. One way to get this would be with the addition of ascorbic acid, as was done with Rollo Pyro, which is PMK on steroids.

    The addition of ascorbic acid would also make PMK more energetic, which would result in shorter development times.

    Just speculation on my part as to what I might have done to improve PMK. I don't know for fact any more than the rest of you.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2009
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  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    It could be like Pyrocat MC but with a different B part. Pyrogallol can work with a lower pH. I have used PMK with TEA as part B. It easily gives the 9.5 pH required. If you are accustomed to mixing your own Pyrocat, you could try substituting pyrogallol for catechol. The color of the stain will be different, as Sandy has previously noted. When you are playing around with these things, note that in many cases, ascorbic acid is more of a substitute for bisulfite than for any of the developing agents. It promotes the synergism between catechol and Phenidone or Metol or paraminophenol, whichever one you are using. As you see in the formula for Pyrocat MC, there are only 4 grams of ascorbic acid in a liter of stock solution.

    Playing with these things reminds me of the admonition of a professional oboist. "You can't learn to play the oboe unless you play with it." He meant that if you don't learn what causes bad sounds (which are easy to make on the oboe) you won't know how to avoid them. That applies to most art forms. You explore the limits until you know where they are because the artist is one of the limits, and we're all different.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you take a formula like Pyrocat MC and substitute the Pyrocatechin with Pyrogallol you effectively have an Ilford Pyro-Metol developer, the only real difference is the dilutions. A Phenidone/Pyrogallol version is shown in one of Ilfords Patents.

    Ian
     
  17. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Ian. how effective is "effectively"? Is it one of those patents that seeks to cover all possible combinations of pyro and Metol? How about a Pyro-Metol-Ascorbic acid-TEA single solution concentrated staining developer?
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    ID-4 Pyro-Metol Developer

    Part A
    Metol 4g
    Potassium Metabisulphite 25g
    Pyrogallol 25g
    Water to 1 litre

    Part B
    Sodium Carbonate (anhyd) 75g
    Water to 1 litre

    To Use: 1 Part A + 1 Part B, dish develop for 2-3 minutes @ 20°C

    The Phenidone version (in Kendall's original Patent) just substitutes O.4g Phenidone for the 4g Metol.

    If this was diluted further it might be interesting.

    Ian
     
  19. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I tried it out and the results resembled Pyrocat HD in terms of the lower base+fog (compared to PMK). The color of the stain was more of a brownie-green than a green-green, which leads me to believe that the alkali is either a carbonate or a blend of sodium metaborate and a carbonate of some sort. Bottom line is that the results were not noticeably different than I would get from the vastly cheaper Pyrocat HD, so I yawned and put the bottles toward the back of my shelf.
     
  20. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Thanks Clay. One surmises that most others here feel as you do.

    Ed
     
  21. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I would use it up rather than putting it to the rear of the shelf. The money is spent - might as well use it rather than waste he money.
     
  22. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    True. It will probably 'go off' faster than PMK.

     
  23. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    If you were to use 150 ml of the Metol-ascorbic acid solution in glycerin described earlier in this thread in place of the Metol and Potassium Metabisulfite, dissolve 50 grams of Pyrogallol in enough TEA to make 850 ml, and add the two solutions together, you would have the single Pyro-Metol staining developer I mentioned. You could dilute it 25 or 50 to 1 for use, or perhaps more for stand development. 50:1 gives a working pH of ~9.5. I haven't thoroughly tested it yet. 1+50, 8 minutes, 70 F gave low contrast with Arista EDU 400 Ultra on VC paper, but there is detail in the shadows. I'm about to go back into the dungeon to try more magenta in the printing, and a longer development time for the film.
     
  24. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I am curious. I know the oxidation rate is much slower compared to PMK. Is there a difference in capacity? I haven't been able to read the article.
     
  25. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    I haven't seen any capacity figures so just assumed it was similar to PMK. I just finished up some 5x7 TMY-2 and Efke 25, and 8x10 FP4+, J+C 100 and Efke 25 in the JOBO (not in an Expert tank). The TMY-2 did exceptionally well. The Efke 25 and J+C 100 were fine (practically the same as PMK except for a slight change in the color cast of the stain) but the FP4+ for some reason had some rotation direction micro fine density streaks that looked like virga from the clouds. I found that I generally had to reduce the recommended times (even though I shot the J+C 100 at 100). I think I will save the rest of my Max Pyro for the TMY-2.
     
  26. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Developing time.

    The developing time for FP4+ in the above Pyro-Metol-C-TEA developer (call it PMC-TEA) is 10 minutes at 70 F. The attachment shows gradations, but not the fine grain.
     

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