PMK Pyro question?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by scootermm, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Okay I thought about posting in the plethora of previous pyro threads but I didnt want it to reignite any debates and the like so I opted to just take up my own little slice of the interweb.

    I did my first developement with PMK Pyro last night.
    I shot 18 4x5 sheets of Ultrafine 125 (FP4) shots at 100iso this weekend. 9 seperate shots where I doubled up on the exposures because I intended to do a comparison with the PMK Pyro and my usual Rodinal 1:50.
    Okay. Heres what happened. First major mistake.... I had a brain fart and accidentally used Ilfostop Stop Bath so I pretty much stripped the pyro stain from all nine negs. okay so I continued everything after that as usual. I put the negs back in the used dev after the fixing stage and then washed them for 30mins in running filtered water. The temperatures on everything were all spot on. (I have to use ice in larger trays because tap water in Texas in August runs about 76degrees). All the negatives were tray developed for 11 mins at 1:2:100 at 70degrees.

    The resulting negatives werent horrible.... my exposures were pretty good but I got some weird discoloration around the longer sides of the negatives. almost a fogging look to it with a yellow tinge. I know it isnt my holders etc so I am pretty sure it a problem/mistake I made in the dev process.
    Is it safe to assume that the acidic stop bath that was used was the cause? if so should I take the remaining doubled up secondary exposure and try the PMK Pyro again? or opt for my safe bet of Rodinal?

    Thanks in Advance again.
     
  2. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I've been using PMK and other pyro developers for years with and acetic acid stop bath which has never caused any problems with the emulsion stain.

    Also I don't do a post fixer soak in used developer with PMK as it tends to add un-needed stain which just increases printing times.

    My 2 cents,

    Don Bryant
     
  3. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    that interesting Don.
    Im very new to Pyro developers. This was my very first experiment with it.
    In regards to the Stop Bath. I was following the Photographers Formulary Tech Data sheet that stated:
    STOP AND FIXING BATHS
    A plain water stop bath is excellent for all normal films and developers. Use a large volume of water and agitate roll and sheet film continuously. Use of an acid stop bath will strip the pyro stain.
    We recommend using our TF-4 non-acidic fixer (cat. no. 03-0141), since fixers with hardening agent will decrease the image stain, therefore, the use of non-hardening fixers is necessary. Do not use TF-4 with an acid stop bath. Do not exceed manufacturer's recommended fixing time.
    PYRO AFTER BATH
    Place all negatives direct from fixer, into the used developer for two minutes. Agitate every 30 seconds. The alkali after bath induces the formation of stain in the developed negative. An alternative alkaline after bath can be used if desired. The use of 5 grams of sodium metaborate per liter of water is the alternative.
    FINAL WASH
    Wash film in running water for 20-30 minutes. Wash all films for at least 20 minutes. The image stain intensifies during the wash cycle.


    Im curious if they are just being overly precautionary and that acidic stop baths are actually workable. (as they must be given Dons expereince)

    Im just a little at a loss as to the discoloration and and ghosting that seemed to be evident in the negatives.
     
  4. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I suspect that the Part B might be old or bad. What color was the PMK after you mixed Part A with Part B? If it was a red color that would be an indication that everything was not as it should be. I have seen what you described but only once. The film you are using is supposed to be a rebadged FP4. FP4 in my experience does not stain like other films like say HP5+. Hutchins has stated that the after fixer bath in spent developer is not really needed. You might re-run the test again with new Part B and see if it happens again. You can make new Part B with 850 ml of h2o and then pour in sodium metaborate until the volume raises to 1000 ml.

    lee\c
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Uneven stain along one edge is an agitation problem in my experience. If you are using a tank, try more solution (I had this problem at first in my Nikor inversion tank, and increasing from 1000ml to 1200ml solved it). If you are using trays, try a bigger developer tray and try to keep the film in the middle of the tray. For tray development I use an 8x10" developer tray for 4x5" sheets (having experienced darkening of edges with 6x8" trays, but I do use the 6x8" trays for the rinse and fix).
     
  6. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Before you decide how much stain is in FP4, sacrifice a negative by reducing it in Farmer's reducer until the silver is gone. The stain image will remain. You can usually print that image on grade 4 or 5 paper.
     
  7. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    alright an update..... (I know many of you were waiting patiently. heh)
    I tried another three sheets of 4x5 shot at the same time and the resulting neg were good. in fact, the ones I initially developed actually look alot better than I first thought. the discoloration isnt there any more and the negatives have a really subtle contrast to them with wonderful detail throughout the entire tonal range.
    interesting the distinct difference between Pyro and my usual rodinal.
     
  8. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    5,302
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Scooter,
    I have been using PMK Pyro for a few years now and like the look of the prints I get from those stained negs. Have you tried printing any of the negs yet? I'd be interested in hearing your opinions.
    Keep trying, I am sure you are going to like what you get.
    gene
     
  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

    Messages:
    3,219
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    One caveat: I wouldn't use PMK for any negatives that you intend to contact print onto Azo. For enlarging papers it's fine. And under no circumstances should you give your negatives the after-fix used pyro bath. All that does is increase fog stain without increasing image stain, thereby reducing effective contrast.

    If you shoot roll film, try Ilford Pan F in PMK. One of the yummiest combinations going.