PMK - What are the benefits?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by philldresser, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    This has probably been discussed ad-nauseum but after seeing Aggies Redwood Mushrooms picture (http://www.apug.org/site/main/album_page.php?pic_id=308) and the description of a very thin negative but lots of detail, I thought that it would be interesting to see what you all thought were the benefits of PMK over conventional developers. I currently only use Ilford ID11 but have been thinking of trying Pyro/PMK as a lot of people sing its praises.

    Phill
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Read Gordon Hutchings' _Book of Pyro_ for all you ever wanted to know about PMK.

    For me the main benefit is better highlight detail.
     
  3. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    PMK is like cheating - Fine grain developers are solvent - eroding the grain for a softer effect. Sharpness is improved with a stronger grain structure. PMK enhances the grain and improves the sharpness but then fills in the gaps between grain with stain that prints as density. So you get your cake and you eat it too. Sharp grain without the grainy look. Also because it is a tanning developer - not allowing development to continue working on a highlight area after a certain point - gives you greater highlight separation and control - Kind of a win-win - Catechol also does all this with slightly less grain.
    Frank
     
  4. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Wow! A win-win situation. You don't see many of those these days.

    I suppose my next question then would be Does anyone have any experience with Pyro and FP4 plus which is my film of choice. I currently use 35mm(tank development) and 5x4(developed in BTZS tubes).

    I have checked the county library but "the book of pyro " doesn't seem to be high on their list, so I am off to SURF to see what I can find plus try and locate a pyro supplier in the UK

    Thanks for the quick responses

    Phill

    PS Frank - thanks for the postcard. I should have a set done next week
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    ..
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Fellows, if you want information on FP4+ developed in Pyrocat-HD you need go no further. Item, stop at the next right light without going to the bank. Seriously, I wrote the book on this one since FP4+ has been my favorite film for years, both in roll film and sheet film, and of course I know a thing or two about Pyrocat-HD as well.

    Sandy King
     
  8. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Sandy

    Sounds good. Where or how can I be privvy to this well gotten information?

    Phill
     
  9. roy

    roy Member

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    Phil,
    The "unblinking eye" website is a mine of information.
     
  10. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Phil,

    Let me know what kind of printing you will be doing with the FP4+ negatives in Pyrocat-HD and I will provide a recommended development time and dilution.

    By kind of printing I mean process (silver, Pt/Pd, salted paper, kallitype,etc.). And if silver gelatin let me know whether you are using VC, graded papers, or AZO, and of course what kind of enlarger set-up you have.


    Sandy King
     
  11. veriwide

    veriwide Member

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    " I currently only use Ilford ID11 but have been thinking of trying Pyro/PMK as a lot of people sing its praises."

    Might I suggest trying Ilford Perceptol? I was an ID11 user for years until one day my shop was out of it, so I bought a box of Perceptol. Night and Day. Perceptol is razor sharp with no grain. Amazing highight and shadow detail. I use Delta 400 Pro 120 exclusively in my Veriwide 100. I am printing 6x10 negs to 24 in wide with sharpness in line with my 5x7 contact prints. I had thought about PMK until I found this.

    Just another option,

    Patrick


    PS. I do not work for Ilford, but Ilford works for me.
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've never really liked the tones I get from D76/Id11, so I used Ilfosol S extensively. Due to the poor shelf life of the concentrate I now use Pyrocat-HD... Amazing stuff, especially for developing by inspection. I don't even need desenitizer!
     
  13. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    My biggest doubt re Pyro - how well does it goes with 35mm film with classic (non-zone) exposure - grain, contrast, etc.

    I'm looking for a way to tame TMX higligts blockage without giving up on grain.

    Note; I mix my soups.

    Jorge O
     
  14. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I would not use PMK with 35mm film - It sounds like split D23 would work well for you. 4 min for bath A and 4 minutes for bath B - any film - mix and match - lots of exposure compensation and fine grain. Don't count on N+1 contrast though. N or slightly N- will be what you get. - Get the recipe off Barry Thornton's website - I use his version. It is cheap, easy to mix and lasts a long time.
    Frank
     
  15. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Oh yes -- Aggie - I have had great success with PMK in a JOBO tank. I found that I got greater accutance when agitating by hand though. The constant rolling did not allow the edge effects to the same degree as hand agitating and letting it stand. Other than that, using rollers with regular PMK worked fine. (All 4x5)
     
  16. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    Thank, Aggie

    Jorge O