Trying to pull ei800 out of hp5 w/Pyrocat
I've got some HP5 that I shot at ei800 that I'm trying, roll by roll, to get decent results out of with Pyrocat. This is 35mm, btw.
Basic workflow is one short, constant agitation waterbath to get the antihallation layer off. (with hp5, I don't see anything in the water afterward, so this may be superfluous). Next, I presoak in a second waterbath for 10 minutes to fill the emulsion with water. Lately, in development, I've been trying minimal agitation. I'll put the film into Pyrocat HD that I've mixed just before I went dark, agitate for 30 seconds, then let it sit for 10 minutes. I start inspection before each agitation, starting with the second agitation (20 mins). I'm coming up with what seems to me to be some huge developing times, though.
The first roll of this ei800 batch, I mixed Pyrocat at 1:1:200. After an 90 minutes, I gave up trying to get more density and ended up with thin and marginably useable negs.
The second roll, I mixed at 1:1:100. I got somewhat more density after "only" 50 minutes of minimal agitation, but still.
Also, in my research tonight, I've run across posts that longer development in Pyrocat results in more grain -- something I'd like to avoid.
Another thing that occurs to me is that maybe things like stand, semi-stand and minimal agitation require larger volumes of developer. Each time, I was processing one roll on a stainless reel in a 2-reel tank with 400ml of solution. My solution temperature ran about 80 deg/f. each time.
I'll continue to search around, but I sure would like to find a way to make these ei8i00 rolls work with Pyrocat.
Alternatively, if I don't get good results with the next roll, I'll try doing a DBI / minimal agitation run using xtol.
Another thing that occurs to me is that the stain (even the (more visible) stain with Pyrocat) is providing necessary density that I can't see and that before I process another roll, I should print a few frames and draw conclusions from that.
Other factors I neglected to mention above:
- I'm using Kodak rapid fix, film strength, for 2-3 minutes. (no hardener)
- I'm using HCA for ten minutes.
- On the second, somewhat more pleasing roll, I re-soaked the roll in the used Pyrocat while I was cleaning my tanks and such. I did this after the HCA but before the wash. I'd remembered that a developer re-soak can restore some of the stain removed by the fix.
- What I'm wanting to see that I'm not seeing what I look at the finished negs is more detail in the darker (lighter on the neg) tones, like the shadows, hair, etc.
I've got some Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner, but I've got reservations about toning a stained neg before I read more on whether it's advisable.
Any thoughts before my next run would be helpful.