About eight months ago I mixed a batch of Pyrocat-HD and planned to run a series of test against three developers that I really like. Those developers are WD2D+, Rodinal and Xtol. I also use a bit of Diafine from time to time, but those three I could get by with for everything. Well, to cut to the chase! I ran the first test against WD2D+ and Pyrocat-HD just didn't make it. In fact it failed to impress me at all. The negatives were far to thin and didn't seem as sharp as I had heard Pyrocat negatives should be. I increased the times by about 20% and still didn't get what I thought were good negatives. So I shelved the stuff and went back to what I knew and liked. Well, I just bought a bunch on Arista EDU 100 in 120 and wanted to try several developers with it since I heard it can be a little picky as to what it likes. Before I ran the test on the Arista EDU I had to shoot 5 exposures that were left on my Rollei. That done, I processed the roll of Tmax 100 in the Pyrocat-HD for 20 min@ 70 degrees semi-stand style. OMG what lovely negatives and they almost print themselves. I couldn't believe the difference from the first batch/try. I mean, it was like night & day! Now, what did I do different??? First thing I did was dump the old batch I had and then mixed a new one. That's all! Truth is, I think I somehow contaminated the first batch when I mixed it. Not the first time and probably won't be the last time I screw up. This time I mixed it in Glycol and it's now here to last now. This really is one great developer! It's going to be fun testing it against the others now and I got a feeling it might just come out on top of the heap with Foma 100. I'm going to log everything and I'll post my finding when I'm done. Hats off to Sandy and Patrick for their fine work in getting something like this out to us average Joe's. Happy days are here again! JohnW :whistling:
If the negatives were way thin in your first test then something must have been wrong. IIRC, Pyrocat HD working solution is pretty dilute, and it's short on Sulfite in order to promote staining, so chances are it expired before you got around to use it.
I had to rule out expired developer and lay the blame on me doing something wrong when I mixed it (to much coffee, not enough sleep, mind in another world, or Alzheimer's. Or maybe all of the above?). The first batch was used within four or five days and should have been in its prime. Of course not knowing exactly what I was suppose to get with the developer I had nothing to gauge the result with. Now I do! I know now why so many people like the developer. The negatives I got with it are very easy to print. I had a little Canon QL17 that I just repaired and wanted to test so I put some Ilford HP5 in it and shot away. I developed both the Tmax 100 and the HP5 in the same tank for the same time and they both are very easy to print. Oh, the HP5 was a 72 exp thin base film so you have an idea how old it was. It's been in a case in the garage for years and I use it for just this purpose. It did have a heavy base fog, but the prints look very nice and I had a hard time finding grain with my grain focuser. I'm looking forward to getting to know this developer much better. JohnW
Originally Posted by Rudeofus