pmk pyro and agitation

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mitch brown, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. mitch brown

    mitch brown Subscriber

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    hi
    i have just started developing my hp5+ using a slosh tray from PF and am have some problems with my new film speed test. i was agitating by picking up the front then the back and then the front every 15 seconds developing for 12 min at 68 d dilution 10 cc 20 cc = 100cc water,. this produced very dense neg that show i need to increase my film speed to 800 asa. after speaking with the lady at pf who quoted from the book of pyro for tray development that i should lift one side the first 15 seconds then another the next 15 second. this has produced a neg that looks like there is no stain and very thin. help? does anyone use this tray with pyro and if so hoe do you use it.
    thanks
    mitch
     
  2. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    I hope your dilution description is a typo. It should be 10 - 20 - 1000. I don't use that tray, but I do use continuous, or nearly continous, agitation without any problem. I don't exactly follow the same regimen as prescribed in the book.
     
  3. mitch brown

    mitch brown Subscriber

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    sorry for the typo it is 10cc 20 cc 1000cc
    mitch
     
  4. RAP

    RAP Member

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    I have been using PMK exclusively for a few years now. I personally use the HP Combi tanks for my 4x5 sheet film, giving 2 inversions every 15 seconds, for normal contrast and 3 inversions for more, N+1 and N+2. I gave up on trays years ago.

    For the stain, make sure you are using a fixer with no hardener. The Formulary sells the right one. The acid will prevent the stain from forming in the final bath, in the used developer. Also, make sure you are doing that final bath, 2 minutes with agitation every 30 seconds for tanks.

    Sounds like you may need to get your standard technique down pat before making any accurate density determinations. Developing film is like following a recipe, master it first. Then you can make controlled deviations as needed.
     
  5. mitch brown

    mitch brown Subscriber

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    thanks for the replys i use a water stop bath and tf-4 . i have been developing using a tank for 2 years with pyro . this is asomething i am trying out.
    thanks mitch
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I use a PF 8x10 slosher tray with Pyrocat (a pyrocatechol based developer). I develop TMAX 400, TRI-X 320, Efke 100, Efke 25 and Ilford FP4.

    I use a 5 minute tempered water pre-soak followed by development in Pyrocat-MC diluted 1 + 1 + 100. I agitate by lifting alternate corners of the slosher tray.

    I use a plain water rinse instead of an acid stop bath.

    I fix in Suzuki's Non-Hardening, Neutral pH, Buffered Rapid Fixer (based on Ammonium Thiosufate), Followed by washing and drying the film.

    I get very uniformly developed negs with very low fog levels and excellent proportional image stain and tanning.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2006
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    IIRC, Hutchings no longer recommends the final bath in the used developer. The reason you see more stain when that is done is that the added stain is mostly overall, not proportional, and so reduces contrast on VC paper and increases exposure time as well.

    If you think the stain is weak, bleach out the silver with Farmer's reducer. You shouldl be able to make at least a recognizable print on #4 graded paper from the stain image. If not, then something is really wrong.
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The stain should be obvious with most films. T-grain films and slow films (APX 25 and Pan-F Plus come to mind in this latter category) may appear relatively unstained, but there will still be stain. Print the negatives before drawing any conclusions.

    I find that FP-4, HP-5, Tri-X and Plus-X have blatant stains that you could not possibly miss. This has been true of my rollfilm and my sheet development.
     
  9. buze

    buze Member

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    Does this suggestion of not re-bathing the film apply to negatives made for alternative processes ? A "thin" film will scan and print well, but it might be hard to expose for UV contact printing ?

    I have mixed some PMK, but I'm still unsure how I "need" to use it for contact printing...
     
  10. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I doubt that you need an overall stain in any case. The alternative processes generally need a high contrast, but as close to zero density in the shadows as you can get without losing image contrast. What some would call "meaty" negatives of low contrast will not be good. Any overall stain acts as extra density in printing platinum and other papers that respond only to the blue and UV. Sandy knows more about this than I do.
     
  11. lee

    lee Member

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    not being a alt printer take this with a grain of salt, but the overall stain is harder (Gainer made reference to this in his post above) to print thru and the reason Sandy started thinking of a developer like Pyrocat HD. I used PMK for several years (like 10 or so) until Sandy started talking about Pyrocat and now after a couple of years I would not go back to PMK.

    lee\c
     
  12. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    The recomendation to not rebathe the film in the used PMK developer especially applies to negatives made for alternate processes.

    Pat Gainer said it well. Any overall stain acts as extra density in printing platinum and other papers that respond only to the blue and UV. The additional overall stain acts like an overall layer of fog - it increases negative density and masks useful printing information.
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    As Pat indicates, overall stain, or B+F stain, should be avoided like the plague when developing negatives for alternative processes. The extra stain increases printing times without any benefits.

    A "thin" negative will print well, so long as it has sufficient shadow detail and enough contrast for the process. There is absolutely no point in making bullet proof negatives with low contrast as they will not print well with most of the alternative processes.

    I have personally *never* recommended the alkaline post-developer treatment with staining developers. There is no benefit, and there may be some down sides.

    Sandy King
     
  14. buze

    buze Member

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    Thanks everyone for putting the matter to rest, this is very valuable information.
     
  15. buze

    buze Member

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    There we go, I'm no longer a Pyro Virgin :D

    I wasn't very brave so I processed a Shanghai GP3 120 done with a pinhole camera -- chicken ! :D

    + prewashed 2 minutes (the shanghai is very colorful!)
    + 10 minutes in + PMK with one agitation every 15 seconds
    + then 2 bath of water instead of my usual stop bath (not sure if the stop bath is "bad" or just "not necessary")
    + then 5 minutes in Ilford Rapid Fixer
    + then 20 minutes in water, with replacement every 5 minutes or so (tap water is too cold, I felt)

    The negs are not dry, but they look "good" from here. Fun the stain ! First time I see a pyro neg too :D
     
  16. RAP

    RAP Member

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    buze,

    Is Ilford Rapid Fixer a non hardening, non acid? I would check to see if it is. If so, you lost your stain. Pyro developers only stain in non acid fixers like tf-4 from Photographer's Formulary.
     
  17. buze

    buze Member

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    Well I know it's non-hardening; non acid I'm not entirely sure...

    Here is a color scan of one of the negative :
    [​IMG]

    And the resulting direct positive:
    [​IMG]

    I noticed that there are dark spot/blotches in the highlights.. I'm reasonably certain it's not the ceiling that is dirty :D
    The grain is next to inexistent, but these tiny dark blotches will surely show in a print... I know it's cheap film, but it's "clean" in other developers (DD-X and Barry's 2 bath)