Pyrocat-HD

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by nworth, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I have been scanning a large bunch of my sheet film negatives over the past few days. It has given me a chance to look at them carefully again. One of the things I noted was the quality of those developed in the original Pyrocat-HD. The negatives were developed at various times in the past 15 years in various developers, including (but probably not limited to) D-76, HC-110, Rodinal, and Pyrocat-HD. The visual appearance of the Pyrocat negatives (easily identified by the stain, as well, in most cases, by notes) is truly superior. They also scan extraordinarily well. There are a couple of things that I can not explain. Perhaps someone can. The first one the Pyrocat stain. It seems to increase with time. Does it stabilize after a few months? (It seems to, but I'm not sure.) Is there any problem with this? The other thing I notices is that the negatives developed in Pyrocat seem to be free from development irregularities. Some times, because of the different agitation characteristics of the tanks, I get small irregularities in the image due to different amounts of development in various areas. Not anything big or that can't be handled pretty easily, but irregularities anyway. Does this have something to do with the dynamic characteristics of the development process in Pyrocat? Or is there some other reason, or am I just imagining things? In any case, I will have to mix up some more Pyrocat-HD.

    Merry Christmas.
     
  2. Ed Bray

    Ed Bray Member

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    I have just finished my first litre of Pyrocat HD and have just made up a batch of Pyrocat HDC in glycol. I now use it as a divided developer for almost all my films (especially sheet films) and have trouble seeing past it to others as it is just so good.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My Pyrocat negs are the same now as when I first processed them, that's in over 7 years of using Pyrocat HD.

    The negatives print very easily in the darkroom, and scans are better than from non staining developers like you say probably because the dye component of the negative image allows better scans of the highlight areas. than a comparable silver only negative. I now use it for all my films.

    Ian
     
  4. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    When it comes to staining developers , does anyone have experience on how Tanol and Tanol Speed ( Made by Wolfgang Moersch , Germany ) compares to Pyrocat HD and also to PMK .
    Pyrocat HD and PMK are a bit difficult to get hold of here in Sweden, but Moersch products are fairly easy obtainable both through his own web-site and through Fotoimpex in Berlin. As an old D76/HC110/Xtol/DD-X - user I would like to try a staining developer in order to se what it can give. Any experince is appreciated .

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Merry Christmas. Pyrocat HD is good stuff but not magic. I have 8x10 negatives with development irregularities because I didn't have enough liquid in the tray with pyrocat hd, so it's not magic. As with any developer, consistency is key in terms of volume used, temperature, agitation intervals and style, etc..

    The visual appearance is unique and different but not superior. I have a hard time eyeballing the contrast unlike with non-staining developers. But it still makes good negatives to scan or enlarge or alt process. The tint of the stain is easily identifiable compared to PMK or non-staining developers.
     
  6. Ed Bray

    Ed Bray Member

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    Can you not buy the dry chemicals and make the Pyrocat up for yourself, it is not difficult and all the chemicals required are listed on the Pyrocat website. All I would suggest is that you take your time, some of the chemicals take a while to go fully into solution. Made with glycol as a base the keeping attributes are fantastic and even made with water as a base the solution has long keeping qualities.

    Merry Christmas.

    But I think you are being unfair to Pyrocat HD, if you fail to put enough liquid in your trays or not sufficient volumes of active developer to cover the square inches of negatives you are processing that is certainly down to user error and you can hardly blame the developer. Sandy King has given all the information required to get the best out of the Pyrocat series of developers and if you choose to use less amounts than suggested either in volume or in active developer then you can't expect to have good negatives everytime.

    As you say, consistency is key and if you have had issues then it can only be down to inconsistencies in use.
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Pyrocat HD Formula 

    Part A----
    ⤵️
    Sodium Metabisulfite 10 g -------
    Pyrocatechin 50 g ----------------
    Phenidone 2.0 g ------------------
    Potassium Bromide 1.0 g --------
    ➕ Distilled Water to make 1000 ml-


    Part B----
    ⤵️
    Distilled Water 750 ml ------------
    Potassium Carbonate 750 g -----
    ➕ Distilled Water to make 1000ml--

    corrections or suggestions?
     
  8. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    Thank you , Ed Bray and Curt . Yes , I have thought of mixing my own magic brew , but finding a supplier of raw chemicals in small amounts and to private persons seems to be as difficult here as I have understood it is in most other countries. I will continue trying and see what I can succeed with.

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  9. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    I LOVE the negatives the Pyrocat HD can produce, but have a few standing issues.

    1) Film speed - I seem to loose between 1/3 - 2/3 stops (depends on the film). OK, this is a minor point

    2) Uneaven development. Often when developing 120 films in a Jobo tank I would get streaks running across the film (or along the axis of the drum) on a few frames (not all !) - even with agitation every minute. Scanning works great indeed, but if one needs stronger adjustments to contrast in PP (that forbidden digital part) - the uneven development really starts to show.

    I am wondering whether my problem No. 2 is because the Pyrocat HD (in Glycol) I have is around 7 years old (yeah, I still did not finis those 0.5l bottles). I use it in 1:1:100 dilution and should definitely have enough developer for the film area.

    I never get the above problems with Xtol.
     
  10. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    Hi Karl - I haven't used the Tanol but I have used the Moersch Finol, (high-def dev). As far as the staining goes, the negs look very similar to Pyrocat-HD. Without looking up the formulas not sure how close they are. Finol requires almost constant agitation whereas, I use Sandy's rec times 50-65m semi-stand, so I do use them under different circumstances. I do love the look of the Finol so you might give it a try and see if it works for you. I have to admit though, since I started using Pyrocat-HD, it has become my developer of choice.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I get better films speed with Pyrocat HD than with Xtol or ID-11/D76 (to achieve a similar tonal range. I shoot HP5 & Delta 100/400 at box speed.

    I process in a Jobo tank mostly 5x4 sheet film but also some 120 as well with no issuesbut mine's an inversion tank.

    Ian
     
  12. Olli J

    Olli J Member

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    Karl-Gustav,
    You can get Pyrocat-HD form me if you want. I mix and sell the glycol version regularly and other versions if needed. Sorry that my website http://hopeavedos.fi is only in Finnish but you can contact me in Swedish or English. It should not be a problem to send from Finland to Sweden, I have don it even before.

    Olli
     
  13. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    What surprised me about the instructions for Pyrocat-HD in glycol (as per http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/html/mixing.html) is the suggestion that the KBr and metabisulfite is introduced into the glycol as a solution in water - I'd have assumed that this would defeat the object of using glycol, which is to keep water out of the stock solution, isn't it?

    Perhaps Ian or Gerald or similarly chymical gentleman could fill me in on why it seems to be OK in this case?
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    They won't dissolve in Glycol so must be dissolved in water, a little water won't affect the keeping properties. It's important to use fresh Metabisulphite as it's the SO2 it releases that stops oxidation of the Pyrocatechin. Once the Metabisulphite breaks down the developer collapses.

    Oxygen is absorbed into water but not into Glycol which helps prevent oxidation. In practice with fresh Metabisulphite and the right bottles I have Pyrocat HD without Glycol that's lasted from March 2011 and is still OK today, so over 2½ years.

    Commercial developers made up in Glycol or similar need some water to dissolve some of the components.

    Ian
     
  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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  16. john_s

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    And you can leave out the KBr unless you're doing an alternative process that requires the absolute minimum fog. There is a post somewhere from Sandy King to that effect. Maybe (just a guess on my part) this could entail the use of a little less water.
     
  17. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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  18. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    Thank you VaryaV for your comments on Moersch Finol. I may give it a try.
    Olli J I will send you a PM when I am about to make my next paper/film/chemicals order ( Sometime in January ).

    Happy New Year to all of you.

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  19. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    I'm tempted to knock up a batch of Pyrocat-HD, just for the sake of my continuing to be inconsistent with developers, but I have only Sodium carbonate on hand for part B.

    According to http://www.pyrocat-hd.com/html/mixing.html, Part B can be made up with Sodium carbonate at 20% and the basic working solution proportion amended to 1:5:100.
    However I also saw Sandy King suggest here at APUG (http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=780237) that it should be a 15% solution (but still used at 1:5:100)

    I'm guessing this isn't terribly critical?
     
  20. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    Umm... does "knock up" mean the same thing where you are as it does in the States? :smile: (I understand, just having some fun.)

    I have some Pyrocat HD in glycol from the Formulary, but haven't used it yet. I'll try some on 120 before I start printing so I can see what everyone is talking about. I'll probably try it in a couple weeks.
     
  21. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    As with so many things, Truzi, it is a phrase with multiple meanings, only one of which is what you're thinking of ...
     
  22. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    I also observe less speed loss (if any) with Delta 100 and 400 Films in Pyrocat HD. I am starting to wonder whether the streaks I see on films are not related to the age of the Pyrocat - one of the solutions (I think it is A) got rather strong yellow and much denser - maybe it does not dissolve properly in the working solution and causes the problem. I bought the Pyrocat HD some 8 or 9 years ago. Maybe it is time to get a fresh one :blink:
     
  23. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    Normally I'd not have thought twice, but I see how some people so love their Pyrocat-HD, lol.

    Seriously, though, I think it's time I opened the Pyrocat-HD (in glycol) I had purchased a while ago. I think I'll "knock-out" a roll of 120 (and I'm not very good, so a pugilistic interpretation may be apt).

    There is no dearth of info on the internet to learn from, except for what may give me a good first-experience with this developer; something that makes it's attributes obvious. Any suggestions? I have Tri-X, TMAX 100 & 400, and Acros to play with, and we have quite a bit of snow this year.
     
  24. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Normally there is an info sheet with the Pyricat HD (well, if you buy it at photoformulary.com). I personally would start with either Tmax 100 or Tmax 400 and use EI of half the box speed.

    Check out (for example) the webapge of Ken Lee: http://www.kenleegallery.com/index.php He uses pyrocat with TMax films with excellent results.

    have fun :smile:
     
  25. Kawaiithulhu

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    Now y'all have gone and convinced me to try this, too. I've ordered some pyrocat from the Formulary and will try it with some HP5+ 4x5 (that I normally use Xtol with) in a rotary setup when I get that together late this month.

    The winter sun is strong and clear here in SoCal this year so this should be a good match.