Pyrocat HD, FP4 stand - help

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by George Collier, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I have been working up to a time/temp combination with Pyrocat HD and 4x5 FP4 for stand/semi-stand. I have arrived at a good contrast level (for my Aristo V54, Dupont MG filters, and Forte Fiber VC paper.
    ASA 50 for the film (final test negs shot with incident readings to eliminate any "previsualization" errors.

    I use hangers (someone on a thread once said hangers are ideal for stand development). The tanks hold about 2400ml, the reason for the measurement. Agitation is alternate diagonal draining off of each corner, continuous, being careful not to be too turbulent about it, but to keep things moving (learned about surge marks many years ago in the Army).
    73F, 15:10:2400 with distilled water (very close to 1.5:1:250).
    2 minutes presoak (mostly continuous agitation, tapping off airbells now and then), into the developer - 1.75 minutes initial continuous agitation, 30minutes development, agitation for 15 sec (4 lift and drain, 2 on each side) at the 10 minute marks. So, they get 2 agitations, one at 10 and one at 20 minutes.

    When I was doing individual sheets to establish time/temp, I didn't see any problems, but what you can see in the attached images came from the last development session, these 2 negs are from a group of 4 films done together.

    The tanks are good size, have light tight lids (the ends of the hangers sit on a "shelf", an inch or so below the top of the tank), and are great for doing this, and hold 8 hangers. The top surface of the developer is a good 1/2" or so above the tops of the holding bales in the hangers.

    You can see that the offending areas are related to the hangers, surge of some kind, I guess.
    Image one is along the left side, and a dark vertical edge running down the large butress.
    Image 2 is along the right edge, with a dark area somewhat along the top on the right side (hard to see in the attachment).
    Both hangers were positioned the same, in parallel, so the problems are opposing, in a sense.

    I am disapointed at getting so close and have this problem. The quality of acutance is just what I want, so I'm inclined not to agitate more often...but will if I have to. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to be thorough.

    Any suggestions?
     

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  2. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    George,

    I can sympathize with your problem, but unfortunately don't have too much to suggest. I too tried Pyrocat /semi-stand with FP-4 on hangers and could not get it to work consistently. I had problems that looked much like yours and assumed it was due to improper agitation, but could not figure out what to do . I finally gave up on hangers and now use a Slosher type cradle in a tray with great success. I'm very interested in what other people have to say about this because it would be nice to be able to process more than 6 sheets at a time.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I've used this combo with great success using semi-stand development but in individual tubes. Steve Sherman has written about the process in issues of View Camera.
     
  4. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    I do not use hangers and use tubes. But my presoak is 5 minutes. Yours seems a little short.
     
  5. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    George, from reading Steve's comments about stand development, in general the problem comes from initial agitatation of the film. It seems the fluid is reacting to the edge of the film hanger and creating greater activity along this edge, due to the flow characteristics. I also use tubes for this type of development and don't have problems. It is just a single sheet at a time per tube, but agitation by roll, pitch and yaw seems to be just the ticket for me. While more labor intensive, it seems to work pretty well because there aren't areas in the tube to create cavitation or swirl marks due to the hard edges. The slosher system works well enough, but I prefer working with the lights on for longer development times. tim
     
  6. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Thanks for your replies. It's disappointing, but comforting to know that it's not my technique.
    I have tried tubes with other films, and had trouble getting all of the AH backing off (believe this is the reason for the long presoak with films, rather than the emulsion). The idea of the fiberglass screen "behind" the base side of the film seems cumbersome, but maybe I should "retrench", as it were. The nice thing about the tanks is that the tubes I made stand up nicely in the same tanks.
    When agitating the tubes (to the same interval and duration), would you pick them up and place back in (as in a "basket" of some kind? Or leave enough room in the tank for the "pitch and yaw" method combined with a bit of twirl, or what?
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Semi-stand in tubes

    As many folks know, for Semi-Stand development of 8x10 sheet film with Pyrocat (and other developers) I use a PF 8x10 slosher tray and I also use ABS tubes.

    With both, I use a 5 minute tempered water presoak (either deionized water or distilled water). For me, the purpose of the presoak is for uniformity of development - NOT to remove the various dyes that may be on the base side of the film. Any residual dye comes off the base side of my film during the fixing and washing steps.

    With tubes, I agitate by gently inverting the tube with a gentle twisting (or torus) motion.

    With the slosher tray, I agitate by gently lifting alternate corners of the slosher tray.
     
  8. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    fp 4 pyrocat and stand

    I have used pyrocat for quite a while with hangers. I think you may be over agitating.

    Longer pre soak and very slow lifting and tilting of the hangers, it might take as much as 10 seconds or more for one hanger, and just once or twice in the beginning. If you are having more than one hanger in the tank, merely moving one gives the others some agitation.

    I use 1.5, 1.5 to 100 for semi stand, 30 minutes. Slight lifting and tilting of the hangers once every 10 minutes, no more.

    Steve Sherman gave a talk a few years ago at a VC confernece, and he said that he put a sheet of 7x17 in a big round tank full of developer, and used a round sponge (I think) and lifted it in and out of the tank very slowly once every 10 minutes and that was it. I may have the details a tad fuzzy, but it was amazing to us that such very slow movement of the developer would work.

    The film was semicirled around the inner diameter of the tank, emulsion side in, and the movement of developer was really minimal.

    Try emailing him, he is the Guru on this stuff.
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    What did you do differently between the successful ones and the failures? You used single sheets successfully and multiple sheets of film with the failures. Could the introduction of multiple hangers change the flow of the developer? I'd suspect it would.

    Also, I think the 2-minute presoak is too short.
    juan
     
  10. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    George, the tubes I use have a screw-plug in one end, so the motion isn't a problem. Normally, I just roll the tube gently on the counter and twist end for end. Not sure I'd want to use open tubes in a tank, but I think Sandy King used a large tub of developer in a dark box and open tubes for some of his larger formats. tim
     
  11. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Juan - I agree about the possibility of multiple hangers being an issue, even though I haven't done enough testing to confirm, but for practical use, one at a time isn't enough, so it's kind of academic. But thanks for the comment.

    Tim - I am talking about standing tubes up in the tank, next to each other. I can get about 8 in a tank. But to follow your point, if you cap both ends, how do you let them stand for 10 minutes with no developer edge line? Are the tubes an inch or so longer and almost full, like a stainless steel tank with reels?
    When it's time to dump and change, do you then put them all in a tank to stop development more or less together? (I shoot a lot of pan strips, so this is important)
    Thanks for following this up.
     
  12. climbabout

    climbabout Member

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    fp4/pyro/stand dev/min agit

    If you don't mind me jumping in I can share my development method for 8x10 and minimal agit or semi stand or stand dev.

    I built my own set of pvc tubes for 8x10. they are 2 piece and they unscrew in the middle. The film end is made up of a 14" length of 3" pvc, a flat end cap and a pvc male adapter on the end. The chemistry end is made up of a 14" length of 3" pvc, a flat end cap and a 3" female adapter. The flat end caps are used so the tubes can stand on end.

    I prefill the female end with chemistry or pre soak water, turn off the lights, load the film in the male end and then in the dark screw the male end into the female end and then I can turn the lights on. The chemistry or pre soak is still on the bottom end of this assembly and the film is in the top end. I now quickly invert the assembly to and begin my agitation or presoak - the film gets quickly covered with chemistry this way.

    For semistand or minimal agitation, I usually just roll the assembly on a flat surface for a minute and then stand it upright. Of course you need to determine the correct amount of chemistry needed so the film is completely submerged. This method has produced great results for me thus far.
    Tim
     
  13. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    George, the tubes I make are cut from ABS and are 1" longer than the film size (4x5 tube size is 6", 5x7 is 8", etc.). This allows the fluid to completely cover the film, with room to spare. The 4x5 tube uses 240ml of developer. Once the plug is screwed in place, the small amount of air trapped in the top will compress and slowly displace fluid out of the top, because the threads are not completely air tight and I don't use o-rings or a sealant. The air just seems to move the developer around with the tubes in motion and doesn't cause problems, since the tube is set upright between agitations.

    This is a very effective method and I have had good results and consistency. Care must be taken when removing the film, as scratches on the back side can happen if the film and screen are not removed at the same time. I cut screens with a small tab on the long end, which allows a finger to slide between the tube's side and the screen/film layers for removal. Just takes a bit of practice. tim
     
  14. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the advice. Looks like tubes are the answer. I will repost if I find the tubes in tanks successful (easiest for me to try, nothing new to make).