PCat HD for Black Cats

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Black Dog, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    3 PCat HD ?s

    - Should you soak the film in the used dev after fixing as with other staining devs?

    - Acid or alkali fixer? any noticeable differences?

    -Anyone tried PCat with Delta 3200? Say about 18-20 mins at ISO 3200?
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Resoaking the film in spent dev is not required and not recommended by Sandy. I use Ilford fix with good results, have no idea whether it's acid or alkali. Haven't tried Delta 3200 with it. Let us know. One thing you might want to try is 80% of PMK times if they are available.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have recently measured negative densities on the blue channel of a color densitometer. The pyrocat stain will add about .30 density over what the visual reading would be at a 1.20 density. This is important to note since it will be a factor when contact printing on Azo.

    Additionally the times that Clay Harmon and Sandy King have been kind enough to share appear to be very accurate in my experience. The difference in my processing compared to theirs is that they use a Jobo and I brush develop my negatives (thanks to Jorge).

    The negatives that I took the readings on were processed in acid stop bath and conventional hypo. Both of which were mixed as normal with no special considerations given for the pyro stain.

    Hope that this is of help.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The pyrocat stain is a factor when printing on VC paper as well: It has about the same effect as full yellow filtration - i.e. very low contrast. Expect to be surprised by the necessary change in filtration!
     
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    so is printing with pyrocat with its full yellow filtration in addition to full magenta like split-filter printing through one exposure?
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    ..
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have tested both a Pyrocat HD negative and an ABC pyro negative using a Xrite 310 densitometer. I read the effects of the stain on the different color channels. These are my findings:

    Pyrocat HD Visual density 1.82 Blue Channel 2.17
    Green Channel 1.87

    ABC Pyro Visual density 1.91 Blue Channel 2.41
    Green Channel 1.95

    Actual tests of the effects of stain of these developers show a minimal effect in respect to imparting green (low contrast). As one can see the effects at a fairly high density in both cases was .05 in the case of Pyrocat and .04 in the case of ABC pyro. This is not surprising since Pyrocat's stain is brown in color wheras ABC pyro is more black.

    I have not used PMK since I have long considered the greenish general stain imparted by that developer to be counter productive to the benefits of proportional staining of the high silver densities in the negative. Furthermore PMK would by the nature of it's stain color be more prone to passing green (low contrast) light into it's emissive path. PMK is a good developer and many use it to good effect. I, however, do not favor it for my work.

    The tests do indicate that the blue channel readings show that Pyrocat has a lower tendency to limit the passage of blue light through the emulsion then ABC pyro. (.35 in the case of Pyrocat vs. .50 in the case of ABC Pyro). This increased density represented to the blue spectrum would indicate that ABC Pyro has the greater contrast reduction potential when used with VC materials. This would indicate that the characteristic that makes Pyrocat such a wonderful developer for use in Azo are limiting to a degree with VC filtration. However, the effects of the proportional staining in overall contrast is probably offsetting a certain degree to the limitations on the blue spectrum passage.

    In my work enlarging Pyrocat negatives I have not found that the effects have been that of full yellow filtration. I do not have an actual comparison of the effect since I have not shot and developed the same scene shot on both a Pyrocat developed negative and a none staining developer negative. I have noted however beautifully differentiated upper tonal values (VI and above) when using Pyrocat HD.

    When we get into the region of densities most often seen with enlarging the following are the results with Pyrocat.

    Pyrocat HD Enlarging Visual density 1.10 Blue Channel 1.39
    Green Channel 1.13
    This would be expected and shows the proportional nature of the stain effect on negative density when compared to the examples above.

    I would tend to believe that if any staining developer would have the contrast reduction potential in use with VC materials then it would be PMK.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My comment was based not on sensitometry, but a purely empirical observation from printing the same negative on three papers: Bergger Contact, Kentmere Art Classic, and Ilfird MG IV WT.

    It was unprintable on the Bergger, barely printable (with "pseudo-lith technique" for contrast reduction) on the Kentmere, and exeedingly soft (unfiltered) on the MG. And that was the end of my session, and I haven't been home since. Will experiment some more next week (?).
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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    As was noted in another post I do not recommend the post-fixer alkaline bath for Pyrocat-HD. The alkaline after-bath serves no useful function in my opinion as it results primarily in general fog, same as b+f stain that does nothing to enhance the printing qualities of a negative, IMHO.

    About fixers, I use the alkaline TF-3 fixer described in Anchell and Troop's The Film Developing Cookbook. However, I would not hesitate to use an acid fixer with Pyrocat-HD if that was all I had available. There might be a very slight decrease in the amount of image stain but not enough to be of any consequence in my estimation.

    As for the impact of the color of the stain on VC papers I wish I could be of more help. However, the truth of the matter is that I am printing exclusively these days with alternative processes and have not made an enlarged silver print in several years. In fact, I recently discarded my old 5X7 enlarger to make more room in my workspace for other things and don't feel even the slightest sense of loss.

    So if you get too confused about stain and VC papers, just get rid of your projection equipment and print with AZO, which is about the best silver paper ever made, if not the best, or switch to one of the alternative processes!!!

    Sandy King
     
  10. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Thanks for that. I've printed countless negs developed in staining devs on VC papers with no problems-usually Kentmere and Forte, which don't have the softened highlights of MG4.

    Re fixers-I'll probably use an alkaline one anyway because it washes out more easily and may well help give more stain-initial trials with TF3 promising.

    In the past I've tried Dixactol with Delta 3200 but the results were a bit thin and foggy. Perhaps PCAT for 18 mins at 3200 will be a good start-with a quick look with a green safelight at 12 mins or so.
     
  11. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use my own fixer recipe - loosely based on TF2 with an addition of Ammonium Chloride. Works great, ultra fast, almost odorless, and hasn't yet done any damage to anything I've run through it.

    I haven't tried fast films yet as I rarely use them.