Pushing Pyro

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by RPippin, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    I apologize for the fact that this has surely been posted before and I haven't bothered to find it, but here goes. I would like to hear from anyone who has been push processing either PMK Pyro, WD2D+, or Rolo Pyro developer for sheet film. I'm using pyro developer for my 8X10 negs and currently shoot FP4 and HP5, but would consider switching to Delta 400 or Foma 400 if it's a better match for push processing. I would like to push 400 iso to 800 or more with these pyro developers. I use BTZS tubes for both 4X5 and 8X10 but could switch to tray development for my 8X10 stuff. I'll be contact printing with P/P and under exposing to get a higher iso with push processing. I've looked over the massive developing chart on Digitaltruth and can't find what I'm looking for. Anyone with experience with times and temps let me know. Thanks.
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have pushed with some success PMK Pyro basically only about 20% on my normal time.- HP5- 4x5
    Also I have doubled the recommended formula and had success.- HP5 and Tri X- 4x5 and 8x10


    Though I prefer to push film in either HC110 , D76 or Microphen.

     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    If you're set on Pyro, I'd probably choose PMK for pushing as it generally produces lower highlight contrast than Wimberley's formulas. You might want to try PMK+.

    Generally for pushing I'd recommend DDX, XTOL or D76.
     
  4. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    fwiw, delta 400 isn't available in sheet sizes. foma 400 also isn't a true 400 asa film in most developers. TMY-2 on the other hand is a whole different animal. $$$$$$$.
    I soup it in pmk (rated @ 400asa) all the time, not pushed however. Kodak says shooting it at 800 needs no additional processing time though.
     
  5. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    PMK tends to die so extra time might not make much difference. I did a 35mm 36exp film in 250mL of standard PMK and after immediately tried to do another identical film in the same used developer. The result was zero density, zero edge markings. This was in a compact inversion tank with not much air in it, agitation at around 2min intervals.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yes, PMK oxidizes very rapidly, and that's why it's recommended to agitate every 15s to shorten the development time. If you want to use it for pushing, it makes sense to use a two step process, where you change to fresh developer half way through the developing cycle.
     
  7. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. I checked and sure enough, no Delta 400 in sheet film, don't know what I was thinking. I'm going for about 14 or 15 minutes in PMK with under exposure by one stop with HP5 to see what I get. The film I have is a bit dated, so it's worth experimenting with.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'll be interested to see your results. One stop underexposure shouldn't be too bad, unless you had lots of contrast in the scene you photographed. I'm curious to see if PMK has enough developing power to compensate for an extra stop.
    You really ought to expose two sheets, develop one for normal time, and another for the extended time, to see if there's actually any difference.
     
  9. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Never re-use PMK. It should be mixed just before use too. It's so cheap anyway.

    Get a copy of "The Book of Pyro".
     
  10. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    I did it as an experiment. I understood the issues before I started. I was a bit surprised to get absolutely nothing, though.
     
  11. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I found that PMK is pretty much pooped out after 16-18 minutes when tray processing Tri-X 8x10. It was difficult to get past an N+1 negative. The advice to have a second, fresh bath is good.

    Peter Gomena
     
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Worth trying PMK+ if you've got any Amidol. Hutchings suggested you could gain up to 1/2 stop speed by adding a pinch of Amidol to the working solution right before use.
     
  13. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    Thanks Michael, a pinch it will be.
     
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    How did it go?
     
  15. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    Sorry Thomas for the lack of follow up on this. I'm going to try pushing some Foma 400 as soon as it comes in from Freestyle. I'm going to start with 4X5 and add .1g of Amidol to my PMK and do some tray developing. It's the only way I can justify mixing a whole liter, as the BTZS tubes use less than 500 ml for 6 sheets. Not to good at tray developing, but I'll try not to scratch up the negatives. Will scan and post as soon as I get some results.
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'm really curious to what you find. The highest speed I've been able to get with Fomapan 400 is 320 using Xtol 1+1. But at 800 some really cool shots can still be had, especially in scenes where shadow detail is not the 'end all' criteria for success.
    For more shadow speed I recommend using an older and lower contrast lens, which tend to open up the shadows significantly. Might gain you as much as a half to a full stop of speed.

    I actually have some Foma 400 in 5x7 at home. I might take the 5x7 for a spin, and I'll try push processing at EI 800 using DD-X or Xtol 1+1. Be interesting to compare.
     
  17. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Although I haven't personally tested the PMK+Amidol formula, I'm still pretty sure you'll have an easier time pushing with XTOL or DDX. Between XTOL 1+1 and DDX, although I haven't tested them for pushing, since XTOL 1+1 produces more of a shoulder than DDX with normal development, I would expect it to have the edge over DDX with overdevelopment when it comes to taming contrast. With normal development I've found DDX and XTOL to produce very similar speed, DDX being very slightly faster (probably trivial for practical purposes), although XTOL appears to have the edge when it comes to shadow contrast.

    I've never tried Foma films though, so take this for what it's worth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2012
  18. jp80874

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    I have been over developing my sheet film to get a more contrasty negative. The results I believe would allow for pushing from 400 to 800 ASA.

    I am not sure if this relates exactly, but let me throw it out there, either to try and help or perhaps show my ignorance. I shoot HP5 and T-Max 400 in 8x10 and 7x17, developing in Rollo Pyro from B&S in a Jobo CPP-2 at 68 degrees for 6 min 15 seconds. I expose 1 stop over what the meter and bellows factor say. I take a second shot with two stops longer time than the first exposure. I believe a very good negative almost always comes out of this effort unless I have made a large blunder.

    I do this thinking that you can get a very good print one stop either side of the correct exposure. This gives me a six stop range of very good prints or some very interesting printing options. Considering the other costs involved in shooting LF and ULF, I feel this is worthwhile.

    This Fall I will be taking a Van Dyke printing class for a full college term. I will need a lot of very contrasty negatives for the term. Most of the students will be making theirs digitally. For the last two months I have been developing @ 130% of the time. Both exposures are more contrasty. My lighter exposure is denser and would I think be the same as doubling the film speed. My longer exposure is also more contrasty and still very printable.

    I hope this either gives you the help you are looking for or opens some interesting conversation.

    John Powers
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    John,

    I would have no problems shooting TMax 400 @ 800 and get results that are very acceptable, even from a highly technical standpoint. Foma 400 is completely different in terms of film speed, and my experience thus far with four different developers is that its true speed is somewhere between EI 200 and 250.

    The best success I've ever had with it was in 35mm using Edwal 12 developer. Believe it or not, I used the film at EI 160, almost one and a half stop below box speed, and while the resulting prints are something that I'm very happy with I still feel like I'm not getting full shadow detail.

    Example attached. Slightly cropped 35mm neg, printed on Fomabrom 112 in Ethol LPD, toned in Kodak Sepia II and Rapid Selenium toner.

    I guess I'm showing this because the Foma 400 film just isn't a film that I've been able to get 400 out of, under any circumstance.
     

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  20. jp80874

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    I have no experience with Foma 400, only T Max 400 and HP5 in Rollo Pyro. My results suggesting pushing with Rollo Pyro were really incidental to my efforts to add contrast to the two size and brand negatives that I am using. I should add that the 7x17 T Max I have been using was bought over the last two years when other people closed out their freezers of new old stock. With proper storage T Max at $4 a sheet is preferable to me over HP5 @ $9 a sheet. Fortunately a second marriage 20 years ago provided us with two 20 cu ft. freezers. I can’t imagine storing ten sheet T Max 16x20 boxes without a second freezer even if I had consolidated into Ilford boxes.

    John P.
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  22. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I tried doing my DD-X experiment today, but found mystery film in my film holders, so I decided to practice with them to get back into the swing of things.
    Turns out it was HP5+, and Michael was correct that DD-X builds stronger highlight density; less shoulder than Xtol. So I ended up using Xtol 1+2 with great results.
    I shot and processed all ten mystery 5x7 sheets today, and will likely load some Foma 400 in the next couple of days, and will report back here what I find regarding pushing Foma in a conventional developer, just as comparison.