Pyro and FP4

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by philldresser, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    From what I have been reading on APUG I think the time has come to take the advice of many and try a Pyro developer on my 5x4 FP4 negs.
    I currently use a simplified zone system, FP4+ film and develop by BTZS tubes. Printing is done using a LPL 7452 diffusion enlarger. With this in mind I have a number of questions which I would like be grateful for your feedback on.

    1. There seems to be a multitude of Pyro's out there. What is a good one to start with for the film I am using?
    2. I can't develop by inspection due to the fact that I don't have a darkroom available at home. Will the tube development affect the outcome
    3. As I develop at home (in the bathroom) is the staining tendancy of Pyro going to cause a divorce
    4. Are the results still 'effective' on the enlarger light source that I am using


    Phill
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    Hi Phill,
    PMK is my pyro of choice these days. PMK is getting quite low marks here and at other sites for staining. I don't have those issues. If the stain is great I can just print thru it. PMK is very budget wise also. It last for ever. I don't think that the BTZS tubes will affect the outcome. It will stain all it comes in contact with. I cleaned my bathroom sink with a powder called Comet. I would put the powder on the stain and let it sit for a while (like several hours) then I would wipe it up and everything would look good. This works with stains on porclean from selienum toner also. The results are definately "still effective" with a diffusion enlarger lamp.

    lee\c
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The use of BTZS tubes wiht PMK may well affect the outcome by giving you uneven staining. This unwanted consequence has been well-documented in the literature and is something to be concerned about. It should be of some interest that Phil Davis, who invented the BTZS tubes, does not recommend them for PMK. There are no doubt some people who have gotten good results with PMK in BTZS tubes but it is also a fact that many others have encountered problems.

    I used PMK as my primary developer for many years with tray processing, but when I switched to rotary processing in BTZS tubes and drums I started to have a lot of problems with uneven staining on the back oif the film, and later I realized that my case was not unique because there were a lot of other people experiencing the same kinds of problems. It was because of these problems that I developed Pyrocat-HD, which I believe solves all of the problems of unven staining of PMK (and Rollo Pyro).

    Sandy
     
  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    1 Pyrocat HD..and I have tried most of them. It is the easiest tanning developer I have used with no uneven stain at all.
    2 not with Pyrocat HD, depending ont he formula you are using the tubes affect the result to a greater or lesser degree.
    3 Perhaps! if you get pyro on the grout between the tiles you will be sent to the dog house for eternity.....If you use the BTZS tubes it is easier to control splashing, so just be careful.
    4 Of course...!
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  6. AndrewH

    AndrewH Member

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  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  8. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Apparently Gordon is in the process of revising several aspects of his recommendations regarding PMK developer.

    I strongly second Jorge's experience with Pyrocat. I have tried PMK for a very short trial (did not buy the general stain as being desireable) and ABC Pyro (active developer but prone to uneven development). I don't know anything about Wimberly's soup. I am satisfied with Pyrocat, why switch?
     
  9. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    Aggie:

    There has alway been a lot of discussion of PMK not working well in rotary processing, with oxidization being the culprit. But I have used PMK in a Jobo film tube for processing 120 and 4x5 negatives very successfully as well as a print tube for 5x7 and 8x10 negatives. I think I am successful as I use more developer than the minimum.

    I can see that a quick shot of nitrogen or other inert gas would help as it would expel oxygen, but don't see how adding more metaborate would help as that is there already in the form of solution B (a heavily saturated solution at that).

    Mike
     
  10. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Thanks to all who answered.

    From what has been said above I will try Sandy's Pyrocat-HD as advised by many and give this shot. I trolled through Unblinkingeye with heavy blinking eyes late last night and it seems this developer will do what I want. I also ran through the Forum on Michael and Paulas site which also gave me a lot if info.

    A problem that I might have is that my BTZS tubes are home made and the 'reservior' for developer only holds 65ml. Is this going to be enough for a 5x4 neg?

    Any advice on where to buy in the UK will be greatly appreciated as well

    Phill
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Phill,
    Sandy King has indicated that his conservative minimum for 4X5 sheet of the developer at 1-1-100 dilution is 80 ml.( 2 1/2 oz). He did go on to say that you could get by with slightly smaller quantities with the 2-2-100 dilution. Normally the 1-1-100 dilution is used for developing film for purposes of enlarging. The 2-2-100 dilution is used for developing film for alternative process or Azo. If it were me, I would try the developer in the quantities that you mention and see what your results are. Good luck.
     
  12. bkantelis

    bkantelis Member

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    Can't speak to using tubes, but PMK and FP4 is a really nice combination that I have enjoyed for many years. I use a custom 11x14 partitioned tray that does 6 negs at a time and holds each one in it's own space. It permits developer to flow on both sides of the negative.
     
  13. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    For your 11x14 tray how much chemical do you have to put in to fully cover the negs?
     
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  15. bkantelis

    bkantelis Member

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    For the 11 x 14 film tray, I mix a 32oz batch for multiple use. You could certainly use less, I just have a routine based on that. 16 oz is not enough.
    Regards,
    Bruce
     
  16. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Couldn't find Pyrocat-HD in UK so I have ordered base chemicals from artcraftchemicals in US of A. Seems to be very reasonably priceand I'm not used to good things being cheap :smile:

    Phill
     
  17. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Phill,
    I agree with your assessment about the cost of Pyrocat and the norm of things. I have found that it really is inexpensive to use and I certainly like the results. Hope that you like it as well.
     
  18. roy

    roy Member

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  19. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Roy

    I have ordered 3 batches of base chems for the first trial. Drop me your address in a PM i'll send you one batch when they arrive if you are interested :smile:

    Phill
     
  20. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    With PMK being so cheap - there is no reason to use the least ammount possible. I use the Jobo tank and fill it - 1.25 liters and do 6 sheets at a time and never have uneven development. I also belive that the accutance goes up when there is a 30 second pause between agitations that you don't benefit from when using rotary processing. I have used PMK with rotary processing - I bought the reccomended sequesturing agent and never used it and did not have a problem. I just think the results are better from the hand agitated tank - Frank
     
  21. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Phill,
    I have development times for FP4 and Pyrocat if it would be of help to you and you decide to use Pyrocat to develop FP4 negs to print on Azo. Unfortunately I have not tested the combination for enlargement negs.
     
  22. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Don

    I would be grateful for any info available. I have some provisional times that have been published on UnblinkingEye but the more info the better. As you mentioned I will be enlarging so will need to amend anyway.

    Thanks

    Phill
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    For developing Ilford FP4+ in Pyrocat-HD, 1:1:100 dilution, I would suggest the following times as guides to being tests for your own conditions. The recommendations are for projection printing of silver gelatin papers, Grace #2 or VC Filter #2.


    Development standards are: rotary processing in BTZS type tubes with gentle but constant agitation in water-bath, temperature 70 degrees F, pre-soak of 2-3 minutes.

    Recommendation for Zone System

    N-1 5:00 minutes
    N 8:30 minutes
    N+1 15:00 minutes

    For SBR

    SBR 8 5:30
    SBR 7 8:30
    SBR 6 14:00

    My testing shows that development times for the 1:1:100 dilution of Pyrocat-HD are only about 70% of PMK times, to reach the same CI. And with this paritcular film, Ilford FP4+, there will be about a 1/4 stop increase in effective film speed with Pyrocat-HD, as compared to PMK.
     
  24. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Sandy

    Thanks for the wealth of info for my particular choice of film/dev combo. I can't wait to give this a try, and this is my first foray into the world of Pyro. I will publish my results good or bad as I don't expect toget it spot on first time.

    Phill
     
  25. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    phil: checkout my homemade tubes. they are made to hold 4 ozs, maybe you could make another dev cup and not a whole new tube
    <html>
    <a href="http://home.att.net/~shipale/index.html">phil sweeney's website</a>
    </body>
    &lt;/html&gt;
     
  26. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Phil

    I use homemade BTZS tubes as well and it will be easy and very cheap to create new reservior caps. Funnily I had not considered it until you mentioned it. Thanks

    Phill