Pyrocat HD Problem

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by wfe, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. wfe

    wfe Member

    Messages:
    1,284
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Location:
    Coatesville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just mixed up a batch of Pyrocat HD (Sandy King formula) and got some horrific results. I've used this formula with great success in the past. I'm suspecting that the chemicals are not fully dissolved. This example is an unexposed section of film. The film is Ilford Delta 100. The frames that were exposed look great with the exception of this same nastiness. Curious to know if anyone has experienced this. I will be having a real close look the A and B mixes to be sure that the chems are fully dissolved.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. wfe

    wfe Member

    Messages:
    1,284
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Location:
    Coatesville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It seems that the B part (Potassium Carbonate) had some undissolved critters swimming around. I've re-stirred the A and B parts, filtered them and ran a roll of Delta 400 and it came out clean. More testing with the Delta 100 to be sure......
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,040
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This can happen with any developer home made or pre-packaged, it's one of the reasons it's usually suggested powdered developers are made up the day before use.

    I've seen a similar problem when developer's contaminated by residual hypo crystals from poorly washed college developing tanks, the comet like trails are the same but the effect is the opposite.

    Ian
     
  4. jayvo86

    jayvo86 Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use the liquid concentrate. (No problems.)
     
  5. wfe

    wfe Member

    Messages:
    1,284
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Location:
    Coatesville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not sure if it was contamination or undissolved chemistry but all is well now and the negatives look great. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2012
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,246
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Concentrate B is essentially a saturated solution which will cause problems like the one mentioned. There is no reason why you cannot make this solution as half strength and just use twice as much to make up the working developer. In fact if you do this you can use sodium carbonate instead of the more expensive potassium salt.
     
  7. KenS

    KenS Member

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    my first Pyrocat HD Problem

    I have some Pyrocat HD on its way from B&S... but its going to be another week (or so) for delivery.

    In the meantime, in order to get 'up and running' with a project, I pulled out the required ingredients from my 'safe box' and got to work.

    On the week-end, I took the last of my 10 y/o stock of 4x5 100Tmax of the freezer (it was OK a few months ago) loaded some holders the next day.. and went out to collect some reflected photons.

    On Monday I made up 500ml each of both A and B solutions from 'cratch'. This morning I made up my developer as per the directions I have.... images 'flat' ... somewhat lacking in contrast, and worst of all... none of the expected stain whatsoever!!!

    Have I upset the faeries by not 'investing' in some newer film????

    Ken
     
  8. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Ken:

    Did you mix part A and B just before developing? I mix mine while I am pre-soaking the film. What ration are you using? For Tmax 4x5, I think I used 1:1:100 at 72 for 16 minutes? Hard to recall a few years ago.

    Also, the pyro stain sometimes looks like crap, but prints beautifully. Give it a shot.
     
  9. KenS

    KenS Member

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been using Pyrocat HD for a few years.... it has provided 'beutiful' negatives or both silver and non-silver prints.
    My Pyrocat HD, (both A and B) from 'scratch' was mixed up about two days ago and made up using a pipette into the 200 ml of water in a 500 measuring cylinder and then 'topped up to the 500 ml 'mark', stirred and poured into the container and inverted a number of times to ensure 'mixing'. The caps of my BTZS tubes were filled, the tubes loaded from a pre-soak tray. inverted and screwed into the caps. the tubes got their usual shaking and dropped into a larger 'tub' of water at temperature and given their usual 'alternating spin' where I usually move the last tube to the othere end meaning they get 'spun' in both directions during the development period. At the 'end' of the developing cycle I stand the tubes to allow the developer to 'drain' down into the tub caps... remove the tubes and immerse them (completely) in a water tray and 'jiggle' them... remove the film and place in a tray of fixer for the duration.

    What is somewhat disturbing is the 'flatness' of the image on the Tmax negatives... and the complete lack of the 'stain' that I have come to accept as 'normal' since I started using Sandy's Pyrocat HD formulation.

    There is absolutely no evidence of 'fogging' and the film's edge 'rebate' is nice and clear.

    I am still scratching my scalp trying to figure out why the faeries stole my stain... I've really been a 'good boy' for quite some time now..... (but then... She Who Must Be Obeyed might argue a bit on that one.... :cool: ).

    Ken
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Sorry Ken, didn't realize you were a veteran of the pyro world. That does indeed sound quite bizarre. I have been using B+S pyrocat mix for years now with no issues and know that Dana is masterful about his chemistry, so I wouldn't suspect foul play there. What I do know is that the only time I experienced something similar to what you are describing is either oxidation or 4+ degrees to cool in temp. In my experience, those are the two killers of stain.
     
  11. KenS

    KenS Member

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The 'curse' of being so far away from B&S.... and at this time of the years when students are 'getting into their work' often means that B&S get somewhat 'overloaded' with student purchases... and delivery to me, here in southern Alberta, always seem to take so long when the pocket book will not allow for 'express shipping' at their ridiculous rates means that one has to rely on the post office.... and they charge more than the ordered supplies... but that's not the fault of B&S.... I have found their service to be excellent. In my old age, I shall just have to try to earn to be more 'patient'.

    Ken
     
  12. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Well, I know that I bought some and had it in a shelf for 6 weeks and didn't experience any issues. Are you sure you didn't waaay underexpose :wink:

    I can also ask them if they've had any issues or thoughts on the matter. I'll be there tonight and Thursday. Happy shootin