Semi-stand in Pyrocat HD?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jeff Bannow, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    I'm at the point where I have decided to pick a film and developer and stick with it. Previously, I was souping in D-76, but I'd like to branch out a bit. Due to the low light performance, I've chosen Fuji Acros as my film.

    So, I'm shooting Acros in 120, and am thinking about semi-stand in stainless steel tanks. I've processed in SS tanks before, but have never done semi-stand development. To add to the fun, I would also like to change to Pyrocat HD in glycol.

    Does anyone do this? I need pointers on film speed, dilution, processing time and technique, and guidance on if I am crazy or not.

    My goal is to have one process I can use for all shots.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Jeff,

    Fuji Acros has been my favorite MF film for several years, because of its low reciprocity failure along with fine grain and very high resolution. For scenes of normal contrast I develop Acros in Pyrocat-HD 1:1:100 at 72F for 15 minutes, with four agitation cycles, once for one minute at the beginning, and then for ten seconds at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 points of time.

    Sandy King
     
  3. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Thanks Sandy. You expose this at 100?
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Exposing at EF 100 is ok but for more shadow detail I usually drop the rating to EF 50 or EF 75. My experience is that Acros does not have as much real film speed as Tmax-100 and Delta 100.

    Sandy King
     
  5. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Well, after having tried every developer under the sun, if I had to pick one and 'stick to it for all shots', it would be D-76 (or maybe Xtol). After trying all sorts of stand and semi-stand venues, if I had to pick one agitation schedule for roll film in small tanks it would be 5 sec every 30 seconds.

    Yeah, a really dull scenario.
     
  6. haryanto

    haryanto Member

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    I use Acros @80 pyrocatMC, 20C 30 minutes, 1st minute initial agitation, and 15s every 10 minutes
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Something quite interesting that I noticed when I used Pyrocat-HD a lot was that almost all films I used that were correctly exposed for well defined shadow detail needed 13 minutes of processing at 1+1+100 @ 70*F temp (normal), agitation full first minute, then at 9, 6, and 3 minutes (for 10s).
    The only films that deviated from that was Foma, and I forget now if they required less or more processing time (I think it was more).

    I print with a condenser enlarger, so my negs probably need less contrast than most.

    - Thomas

     
  8. sanking

    sanking Member

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    But even if results with Pyrocat-HD and Acros were no better than with D76 or Xtol (which I don't accept) I would still question why one would use D76 or Xtol since the Pyrocat-HD costs a lot less per liter of solution and if mixed in glycol has a shelf life of several years.

    Looking at the price of Pyrocat-HD kits in glycol from the Formulary, and D76 kits in powder form from B&H, I calculate costs to be about 60 cents per liter for the Pyrocat, 95 cents per liter for D76, and $1.30 per liter for Xtol.

    You could save a lot more money by mixing Pyrocat-HD from powder, which would bring the cost down to something on the order of $10 for a liter of Stock Solutions A and B (with B mixed in glycol), which would give 100 liters of solution using the 1:1:100 dilution. That is about 10 cents per liter.

    Looks like a no-brainer to me. The Pyrocat-HD kit comes pre-mixed with a shelf life of several years, and costs far less. The D76 and Xtol kits have to be mixed from the powder, cost far more per liter, and have a much shorter shelf life once mixed.

    Sandy King
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    That's rather a big assumption, Sandy.

    Staining developers - Pyro ABC, Rollo, 'Cat, HQ - don't cut it for my way of working and my goals. They don't even come close.

    I've tried quite a few developers in many years of dipping film in the soup and I have come back to the old standbys as I have found they work better than anything else for the work I do.

    My opinions aren't shared by everyone and lots of people swear by all sorts of developers that they find give them what they want.

    As to cost, compared to all the time and other costs of making a picture, even the most expensive developer costs next to nothing in comparison.
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    What it all really boils down to, is finding what combination of film and developer gives the look you are after. If what you seek is ever fleeting, then by all means, have fun experimenting. Maybe one day you will find your grail.
    Rick
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Member

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    No, not an assumption at all. My comment was based on observations that resulted form actual use and comparison testing of D76, Xtol and Pyrocat, and a number of other developers as well. I would pretty much bet the farm that one will not get better results with D76 and Xtol than with Pyrocat-HD with Fuji Acros. Which was the subject of the question of the OP.

    Have you actually compared Acros with Pyrocat-HD, D76 and Xtol? I am betting that you have not.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2009
  12. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    You are right there. But I have tried Acros and didn't think much of it. And I have tried Pyrocat-HD and it didn't suit me either - I find staining developers in general to be a PITA and inconsistent in results, so that shouldn't be any surprise.

    That the combination would be something I like, well, who knows, it might. But common sense would say it wouldn't. I'm not going to go chasing a holy grail of developer/film combinations - I have done enough of that in my life with the same result as other grail chasers: a lot of wasted time and effort leading to nothing except the occasional delusion. Instead, I have found a juice glass that doesn't leak and it's good enough for me.

    Not everyone likes the same things in a negative. I have had negatives thrust at me with words of "Isn't it marvelous?" and thought I have never seem anything so awful. I am sure there are others who would react similarly to my work.

    FWIW - the OP was looking for something to 'standardize on', and my comment is I have found the 'standard developers' to be a good choice for standardization, as have many million (now thousand, or hundred..) others. They may be boring, but in general, they are the ones that work the best in the majority of situations.

    I have seen lovely work by people who use Pyro. But it's not the common choice and I found it doesn't suit me either. Jeff may find it is just the thing he is looking for, or he may not. Horses for courses.

    As to the impact of the developer on the final image - I have never looked at a photograph and thought "That would have been lovely if it had only been developed in Wimpole's Q-44."

    And as to the frustration of getting people to try something new...tell me about it.
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    You are entitled to your opinion, but to keep things in perspetive the question of the OP was specifically about Fuji Acros in Pyrocat-HD, to which I responsed with specific development information, and the comment that Acros + Pyrocat-HD it is one that I personally use and find to be an outstanding combination.

    Since you have no specific knowledge of this combination, and indeed we now know that you don't even like Acros, I don't know why anyone should be interested in your general opinion of standard developers. I have lots of opinions also but when I don't have specific knowledge I usually find it more appropriate to just keep my opinions to myself.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2009
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  15. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    Agreed, Pyro can be as smooth as butter but you gotta churn the cream first to get it.
     
  16. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    From Amateur Work Magazine, Vol 3. 1904.

    Just couldn't help, but throw this in. Pyro was the standard developer of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It wasn't until the age of Kodakery that people began switching in droves to the non-pyro developer because it was *easier* (does this sound like any contemporary change in photography?).

    Or you can ask Steve Anchell what he thinks about pyro:

    Steve Anchell, The Darkroom Cookbook, 2000, pg 68.

    Just to shout out some pro-pyro propaganda.

    I'm going to try Acros in Pyrocat-HD using semi-stand tonight for the first time. Sandy, I'm curious as to why I would choose to go with either two-bath or one bath. To give specifics: I'm developing 120 Acros rated @50. The images were made with a Rolleiflex and the negatives will be scanned to make digital negatives. I'm just unsure as to the benefits or drawbacks of going with the two-bath vs. the one-bath and as you have experiential knowledge of both of these (120 Acros @50 in single and two-bath Pyrocat-HD for scanning) I wonder what you could share.
     
  17. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    You have no idea how appropriate this comment is considering who made the OP!!! :D
     
  18. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    :smile:
     
  19. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Let me know how it comes out!
     
  20. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The major benefit of two-bath Pyrocat is that you don't have to worry about blowing out the highlights so it is a good choice if you have shot scenes of different contrast on the same roll. The method also assures very good acutance as it favors the creation of edge effects. The disadvantage is that you have to use a lot more of the solution.

    You will get abou the same type of acutance with the 1:1:100 dilution uisng four agitaiton cycles. This leaves the film to rest a long time between cycles, which assures local exhaustion of the developer which favors acutance. If you are developing to scan you should be fine if you keep total development time to 12 minutes or less at 70F.

    Sandy
     
  21. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    I actually don't know but I'm happily amused :D

    Great stuff Sandy - very helpful!! Many thanks indeed to your dedicated research.
     
  22. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Shawn had the pleasure over the weekend to taste some of my bacon ice cream at the NE Ohio APUG gathering. :smile:
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Thanks, but that dedicated research is just my form of play!! Strange way to have fun, I guess?

    Sandy
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That makes me feel ill :D

    I miss pork too living in Turkey :smile:

    Ian
     
  25. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    I'd send you a batch, but I don't think it would survive the 3 weeks in transit!
     
  26. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    No pork in Turkey?

    Tom