I am finally getting to making the chemicals today from Photographer's Formulary's PMK and T4.
1. After shaking the T4 real well, can I only make say 1/2 gal of the full 1 gal capacity by still using the recommended 1 part t4 : 3 parts water?
And 2. More complicated. Regarding PMK restaining, Aggie was nice enough to call Gordon to clarify need to restain after fix. Gordon said, if using non-acid T4 fix, no need to restain. But the instructions w. the PMK
says to give a 2 min restain in the dev. even if using T4.."the alkali after bath induces the negative stain". So which way is right???
1) Yes. I forget the shelf life of TF-4 (months), but this is very common and easy with liquid chemicals.
2) Aggie called the guy who created the formula, and you're questioning what he said? ;-)
I use 24 ounce spaghetti jars for developer (Dektol) & TF4. Use 6 ounces of TF4 to a full jar. Use 8 ounces for a jar of dektol and fill with water.
With PMK it is not necessary to to the post-soak in depleted developer. It does enhance stain, but will contribute to overall stain, not image stain. This extra stain will cause a net reduction in contrast. This weekend I developed two sheets of film, one with PMK and one with ABC pyro. The wall I shot had rock and mortar in it. Most evident was the mortar joints. In the PMK print, the white mortar was murky, in the ABC print it was white. Just a note of caution. Do not do the 2 minute afterbath in PMK, it won't help.
Main thing with PMK is to use all alkaline chemistry.
Get yourself a gallon container and mix all the TF-4. It's quite long lasting; it can be reused; and there's no need to risk having inconsistent batches by trying to mix a small amount at a time. I keep two gallon-sized batches of TF-4 going at once, one for film and one for prints.
I stopped doing the PMK afterbath on the grounds that it only increases background stain and not image stain and haven't noticed any detrimental effects. When I get a chance, I'll shoot two identical negs and do one with and one without, just to be sure of that. The supposed advantage of the afterbath is improved grain masking, but I'm not sure that I see it, perhaps because I don't tend to make very big enlargements.
Fantastic responses! Thanks so much to everyone!
Good to hear about avoiding background stain. I'll avoid it.
And Noseoil, I thought I'd give this a PMK a try, and maybe next time compare it to Sandy's formula (flaking out on name). Too many developers lol
David, so you put the used w. the new to avoid having 4 bottles? I was going to have a new/used fix and rotate.
Yes, I pour the used back into the new and periodically toss the whole batch. If I've done a particularly long processing session (film or prints) where I've likely exhausted the fixer that I've taken out, though, I don't pour it back into the stock bottle.
If you do two-bath fixing for prints, you could have one for batch A that gets tossed when it is exhausted and promote batch B to A and start a new B, so that would be three bottles going at once.
I don't use the same batch for both film and prints, to avoid print staining from things that come out in the film fixer like antihalation dyes or pyro stain.
The TF-4 bottle says the stock solution should not be kept longer than 1 year, I would assume that is for a full bottle. I have a note written on my bottle that the 1:3 working solution can be kept in a full bottle for 6 months. For film, I usually mix 16oz at a time, since that's the size of bottles I have. For prints, I mix a half gallon, that's a good amount for 12x16 trays.
Thanks guys for the responses, seems like I have quite a few choices. As space is a premium for me, I'm going to just mix what I need and have a new and used bottle for film only. I'll cont to use my Ilford fix for now on prints.