Pyrocat and speed film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jimmy Peguet, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. Jimmy Peguet

    Jimmy Peguet Subscriber

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    Just before trying Pyrocat HD for the first time instead of my usual ABC (with HP5 8x10" in trays), is the loss of speed important with Pyrocat ? In ABC, I must rate the film at 100 to get good shadows.
     
  2. roy

    roy Member

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    Jimmy, I was wondering whether you had any specific reasons, as a matter of interest, why you were moving to Pyrocat.
     
  3. Jimmy Peguet

    Jimmy Peguet Subscriber

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    Roy,

    I like ABC, and I have good results printing on Azo. Two reasons to try Pyrocat : 1/sometimes I have some problems with ABC (now almost solved using a slightly alkalin presoak water bath and longer presoaking times), and 2/ Pyrocat is much cheaper than ABC.
     
  4. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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    Jimmy,

    I have found that Pyrocat gives a little more film speed than ABC. I shot 2 sheets of BPF 200 @80, did one in ABC and one in Pyrocat. The shadows in the Pyrocat negative were denser. I don't think it was a whole step though, more like a third. I'm curious about your problems with ABC. The reason I was trying Pyrocat was a problem I was having with uneven development with ABC. I was getting a mottling in even toned areas, skies, water, etc. What problems were you having? Did any of your remedies work?

    Thanks,
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have also noticed a slight speed increase with Pyrocat HD. With ABC I was rating Bergger BPF 200 at 64. I believe that 100 would be a more accurate placement of the Berrger film now (using Pyrocat HD).

    I use the Photo Warehouse 125 ISO film as well now. This film to all reports seems to be the equivalent of FP4+. This film responds very well to expanded development with Pyrocat HD. It is possible to gain enough contrast (in my early experience) to have a negative that requires water bath with Amidol on grade two Azo. For development times and applicable SBR the data that Clay Harmon has posted on the Unblinkingeye.com site as it applies to Pt-pd and Pyrocat Hd is fairly accurate.

    Along the lines of uneven development, I spoke with Jorge and he is using brush development for his ULF film. I have taken to doing that as well. The process is slower since a single sheet is done at a time. However the development is even. I would think that ABC could also benefit from that development method as well.
     
  6. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Donald, have you tried Efke PL100? If yes, have you developed any in Pyrocat HD? In ABC it's the best film I've ever used. My Azo prints from this stuff glow so much you could find them with a geiger counter.
     
  7. Jimmy Peguet

    Jimmy Peguet Subscriber

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    Paul,

    It seems we have the same common problem. I also had precisely and clearly delimited zones in even parts of the negative, skies, water... obviously more visible on the neg's side. As said above, it has been immediately solved using a longer presoaking (3-5 minutes instead of 2 previously), and adding some Na carbonate - about 2 g, I don't precisely weigh - or metaborate in the presoak water, according to my friend's advices.

    From time to time, I always got very very light streaks, but I think it's because of agitation, it should be easy to set.
     
  8. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    C6,
    No I haven't tried that film yet, although I have heard positive reports on it. What do you rate that film at? How well does the Efke film respond to expansion? How many zones of expansion can you get before the base fog starts building? From what I hear the Efke and Classic films have more of the characteristics of the older Super XX emulsion. John at J&C said that most folks rate the Classic 200 at 80. From what I understand the 400 is nearer a TriX emulsion.

    Sandy King responded to a post of mine on another forum this morning and indicated that he will be doing testing of his Pyrocat HD on the Classic 200 soon and possibly the results will be in when I get back from Colorado in a couple of weeks. I do like the Pyrocat over ABC at this point in my experience with the two developers. ABC is a good developer without a doubt but Pyrocat is equally as good with the exception of a longer developing time. The cost is less then ABC.
     
  9. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Yeah...and no streaks on the negative....
     
  10. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Pyrocat HD will be the next thing I try. I rate both JandC Classic 200 and Efke PL100 at 50. I'll bet once you try Efke you'll never go back.

    You can get at least N+3 with PL100 before the highlights plug and fog buildup becomes a problem. With JandC I find the shoulder really flattens out at N+2 which is the absolute maximum I can get out of it.

    I like JandC a lot, but I like Efke so much more that it's now all I buy from 120 rollfilm right on up through 8 x 10. I don't know about availability in larger sizes.

    I like ABC a lot, too. Maybe I'll have the same epiphany with Pyrocat that I did with the film.

    Everything else being equal, JandC fogs a lot more in ABC that Efke 100 does.
     
  11. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    BTW, Aaron VandeSande tells me that the 25 speed Efke fogs even less than the 100.
     
  12. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I like the Efke pl100, too, using ABC at 2:1:1:15 - Michael Smith's normal dilution of 1:1:1:7 develops just too fast. I also rate it at 50.

    J&C now has charts of the Efke films up on its site. The pl100, to my unscientific eye, seems to have a very long, straight section with little in the way of shoulders. Perhaps someone with more knowledge can take a look at the charts and explain more of what they might mean.
    juan
     
  13. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Actually, I rather like the fact that PL100 goes nuclear in pyro. A nice, dense, full scale negative can be had in about six minutes for an N scene, with very little fog. I have no problem with streaking or uneven development. If, however, any contraction at all is required, I use the 2:1:1:15 dilution. The regular dilution wouldn't even give me enough time to inspect or to react.
     
  14. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Aha.....perhaps the 2:1:1:15 is a better dilution for ABC. I know when I tried the 1:1:1:7 I got uneven developing. Mainly because getting the film out of the developing for inspection caused aerial oxidation. When I did it by time I had no problems, but I like inspecting the film in the last few minutes.

    Don, if you try the J and C 400 film let me know what your times and rating are for pyrocat HD, I would love to have a 400 film for the 12x20 if it rates at 400, a 200 rating is only 2/3 faster than the PW film so is not worth the change for me.
     
  15. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Although I've never tried it, a friend sent me some TMY negs developed in both ABC and in Pyrocat HD. They're both gorgeous.

    I never thought to try it because of guilt by association with TMX, but I may just buy a box. Both negatives have virtually zero base fog.
     
  16. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I have not compared ABC and PyrocatHD for efffective film speed. However, with most films Pyrocat gives slightly higher effective film speeds than either PMK, Rollo Pyro or WD2D. The difference is greatest with PMK, least with WD2D. However, given the variations in the exact opening of lens apertures and the absolute accuracy of shutter speeds I have my doubts that one could accurately measure these differences with field tests. My own testing is done with a Metrolux integrator that provides repeatable exposures with an accuracy of 1/100 of a second.

    In my opinion the major reason to consider Pyrocat-HD over ABC is the fact that pyrocatechin as a developing agent is cleaner working than pyrogallol and less likely to cause uneven staining or streaking. It is also quite inexpensive to use, especially if mixed from scratch. And Pyrocat-HD is the only staining developer that I personally would recommend for rotary processing. With rotary processing, however, I do recommend a pre-soak of 3-5 minutes.

    Sandy King
     
  17. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Jorge, I may very well try the Classic 400 from J&C on my next order. I have had problems with the 12X20 PW film on my first 12 sheets. I don't know whether they sent me the wrong film or what. They were supposed to replace the film but I haven't seen the replacement film yet. A faster film would be nice with the wind I have to contend with up this way. I am going to check with John before I order next time to see what others are shooting his 400 film at.

    C6, Thanks for the "heads up" on the Efke-Classic comparison and expansion characteristics of both films. That will be something for me to seriously consider on my next order. Did you shoot Bergger before? What was your comparative analysis of the Classic to Bergger?
     
  18. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Sandy,
    I received notice of your intent to test Classic 200 and Pyrocat. If you would be so kind, please post the results of your tests. I know that I for one would appreciate the results of your tests.
     
  19. Jimmy Peguet

    Jimmy Peguet Subscriber

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    Interesting comment, Jorge. I also develop by inspection, so I suspected several times DBI to be responsible for uneven development with ABC, but I really can't be sure, I had problems with time and temp development. And as I said, main part of the problems disappeared extending presoaking times. Inspection only takes a few seconds per film, is it enough for streaks or uneven development ?
     
  20. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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    I also thought that DBI was causing the uneven development, so I did some sheets by time & temperature and got the same problem. To rule out uneven staining, I processed on sheet in a tray by just rocking the tray. Same stuff. I am inclined toward the presoak theory at present. I just processed 7 sheets of 8x20. Handling the film was very slow so the first sheets into the presoak were in there a fairly long time. Now I can't say for sure which sheets were which, but some of the films came out perfect and others had varying amounts of mottling. It was as if the motting was inversely proportional to the time spent in the presoak. I will pursue this further. I will also start using metaborate in my presoak again.

    Thanks,
     
  21. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Bergger BPF 200 and JandC Classic 200 are the same film. I've shot them side by side of the same image and developed the negatives in the same tray of pyro on more than one occaision. I cannot tell any difference whatsoever in terms of grain, degree of stain, color of stain, shadow density, highlight density or scale. None. Go with JandC because it's less expensive.
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Member

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    In a previous message Paul wrote:

    "It was as if the motting was inversely proportional to the time spent in the presoak. I will pursue this further. I will also start using metaborate in my presoak again."

    For Pyrocat-HD I recommend the use of sodium carbonate in place of metaborate. The addition of metaborate to the pre-soak water should work fine with pyrogallol based developers but Pyrocatechin and metaborate are not compatible and the addition of even a minute quantity of metaborate may result in a significant reduction in the develoment energy of Pyrocat-HD.

    Sandy King
     
  23. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting thought - how about using metaborate as an alkaline stop for Pyrocat-HD?

    The Sodium Carbonate equivalent of Pyrocat-HD 1:1:100 can be mixed by adding 10ml "A" to 1 liter water with 6.3g Sodium Carbonate (monohydrate). I would use significantly lower concentration in a presoak bath, probably just enough to tip the pH to the alkaline side.
     
  24. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Jimmy I dont know. I did not see the problem when I kept the film in the soup. WHo know man, but I could not be happier wih Pyrocat HD, why mess witha good thing?