PMK questions: Storage and Roll film Development; Pyro:Why?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jersey Vic, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Storage: I bought some Photographers Formulary PMK a 'couple' of years back and never moved it to glass bottles. Has anyone had any problems using developer that was never opened and 'stored' in the original plastic bottles?

    Developing Roll Film: According to the directions I need 500 ml per roll of 36 exposure 35mm film.This means I can't process the usual 5 rolls of 35 mm in my Paterson 1500 ml, rather, only 3. OK, I can live with that but am wondering of anyone has tried to process 5 rolls in 1500ml of working solution?

    Developing 120: Anyone know the # of sq. in. in a roll of 120?

    Prewash/Presoak: Recommended?

    I'm going to start with some less precious film but any hints, recommendations, warnings, etc would be appreciated.

    Also interested in hearing answers to "Pyro: WHY?"

    Thanks

    Victor
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    35mm/36 exp is the same area as 120, 4 sheets of 4x5, approx 2 sheets of 5x7, or one sheet of 8x10 (they all fit in the same size file page), and 220 is twice that.

    Presoak is a good idea to prevent uneven staining.

    You might be able to get 5 rolls at normal contrast or minus development in 1500ml, but why take a chance with that much film? PMK is cheap. You could test one roll and see how it works.

    General suggestions--you can skip the afterbath, particularly if you use an alkaline fixer, which is recommended. Gordon Hutchings himself no longer recommends putting the film back into the spent developer after fixing.

    Pyro: why?--I like the highlight details and sharp look. I usually use ABC for larger negs and PMK for smaller ones. PMK seems to have a better grain-masking effect, but a higher level of "background" stain.
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The PMK is most likely fine. It seems to last forever, just do a snip test to be sure.

    I presoak. Thats what dad told me to do.

    I wouldn't recommend it for 35mm, YMMV, esp w your wonderful printing style.

    A roll of 120 and a 36 exp roll of 35mm are near the same #sq i.

    As David said, skip the after bath, it does nothing but add uniform base fog.

    I always use an alkaline fixer, such as TF4.

    In larger sizes PMK masks grain, extends the highlight ability of the negative and with some experimenting you can arrive at a regimen that provides densities that print equally well with UV processes as they do with silver paper.
     
  4. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    I mix my own PMK pyro and store both solution A and B in plastic bottles, no problems so far.

    I use presoak to help avoid uneven staining/development and possible formation of air bubbles.

    Why pyro, mainly for its excellent speration in the high values and masking of grain.

    Again I no longer use the practice of an after bath.
     
  5. MarkS

    MarkS Member

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    Get a copy of Gordon Hutchings' "Book of Pyro". It will be more than worth the money.
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    PMK in glass bottles keeps at least 8 years (that's how old my first batch was when I finally used it up).

    I do recommend that you store it in glass, but I haven't done any testing to see if it matters. The stock solutions are very stable and I doubt the type of storage vessel terribly matters within reason.
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Great article, Sandy. I have read it before, but it was a pleasant revisit. I would urge anybody using or thinking of using pyro to read it.
     
  9. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    All:Thanks for all of your help (and the kind words, J) ; it's all great and sought after advice.
    -Victor
     
  10. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    WHY NOT? :wink:
     
  11. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Vic, if the color changes when you add part B, it should be OK. I have always used 300ml for an 8x10 (=35 =120) with no problems so your 5x35 in 1500ml should work.
     
  12. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    I should add, if that Patterson is a rotary processor, you should add 5ml/liter of the EDTA solution that Hutchings recommends.