'Pyro' and Stains?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Nige, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Have read a bit in the other thread "Pyro and FP4" and saw the mention of the stain, etc.

    A while back I bought a 'Pyro' kit and I mixed it up the other day and used it last night on a roll of... wait for it... FP4+ (35mm) :smile:

    Now I don't know what I was expecting, but the negs look pretty normal to me! My analysis so far is from viewing the wet negs hanging up to dry so I'll do a closer inspection tonight, but do they normally look 'normal'?

    The 'Pyro' kit I bought had me mix the various chemicals into a Part A and Part B (only one chemical went into this bit) then to mix 1:1:4 to get the working solution. Development time was listed as approx 6-8mins... I decided on 7! It's labeled as manufactured 'Photochem' and the literature looks like it's actually a local company (here in Melb). I notice in the other thread mentions of ratios like 1:1:100 which are a lot different to the one mine recommended (and I used and it worked.. so I don't think it's a misprint!)

    I actually shot the same scene and exposure sequence 4 times and have developed the others in Ilford LC29, XTOL 1:1 (made from a 1lt pkt I was given) and Rodinal 1:50 so will be comparing the 'pyro' negs closely to the others when I get to making some contacts and prints. That will be another topic...

    So, just to repeat the actual question here... do 'pyro' negs actually look pretty normal?
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Nige,

    Your question may be answered differently by users of differing Pyro formulations. ABC Pyro will provide very little general green color stain (depending on the age of the Sulfite--B componant). Pyrocat will provide very little general tan stain. PMK will provide a fair amount of yellow/green general stain.

    The benefit of a pyro based developer is that the stain is proportional to silver density and thus it will have the benefit of increase highlight tonal separation and increased sharpness due to "edge effects".

    It is possible that your developer may be of the low general staining variety. Not knowing the exact formulation of your developer prevents knowing it's characteristics.
     
  3. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    thanks Donald... good info! I think I was expecting something like my coffee developed ones!
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  5. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    As you may have seen from the "Pyro and FP4" thread I have had similar questions to Nige in regards to the 'finished' results from a PyroNeg.

    I have found the info in the articles by Sandy King and abundant APUG posts invaluable and they have been a catalyst to actually trial Pyrocat-HD but what I would find extremely useful would be some kind of visual reference as to what to expect and the differences to non-Pyro negs. This would be the groundings of a great APUG article. Any takers?

    Phill
     
  6. lee

    lee Member

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    Nige,
    I always let my PMK part A cure for a month before I start to use it. I presoak and develop and water stop and fix. Then it is off to the wash for 20 minutes. Now depending on which film you process, the stain is as Don said a yellow green to a coffee brown (Tmax) Fp4 doesn't exhibit as yellow green a stain as doex Tri X and Hp5+ in my opinion. I think you are ok.
    lee\c
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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  8. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    Sandy

    Thanks and in retrospect you are probably right as the written reference has already been said. For some strange reason (insecurity?) I just wondered why my negs weren't the same as everybody elses. And judging by Nige's message he was also a little unsure as to what to expect.
    Don't get me wrong. I am very happy with the look of the negs, ease of use of the chemicals and indeed the cost. I will evaluate by printing them as soon as possible.

    I thank you for all of your hard work and devotion to testing, plus your generosity for sharing the formula and knowledge.

    Phill
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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  10. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Nige,
    I looked at Vanbar's site and it looks as though the only Photochem (their own brand) developer incorporating pyrogallol is ABC pyro. This is traditionally three part, not two part, but is sometimes used two part. It is probably not the ideal pyrogallol developer for these times.

    I have made up PMK using chemicals from Vanbar and it works well, although my stain is not as green as some have described (although I must admit to having endless arguments with my wife about the description of wall paint colours)

    I agree with the above post about aging part A.

    I have also made up Pyrocat-HD from chemicals from Vanbar and my first impressions of the negs are also promising. This is, of course, made of pyrocatechol (a.k.a. catechol, pyrocatechin). The stain is less coloured, but is still browner than the normal grey from conventional developers.