Not sure there is a straight answer since the imagewise stain acts as a variable filter, reducing contrast preferrentially in the highlights vs a standard printing filter that acts uniformly.
What I would say is that you'd typically want to give a pyro negative more development if you're planning to print on VC paper, than if you were using graded paper since the filtering effect of the stain is more pronounced with VC papers. This is why some folks advocate staying away from say small format pyro negatives with VC paper - because you need to give fuller development which counteracts the grain masking effect of the stain.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
Yes Steve Sherman would be a reliable source, particularly for Pyrocat. I have not personally used Pyrocat so I can't comment on the specifics of that particular developer. Not sure what kind of paper he uses (assuming he mostly contact prints).
Anyhow, interesting discussion.
I'm beginning to wonder if there is a large difference between Pyrocat derivatives and pyrogallol based developers, grain wise. I have 16x12" silver gelatin prints on VC paper and FP4+ film, 35mm, where I have trouble seeing the grain a couple of feet from the print surface.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
But the negatives seemed to print well on Grade 2 graded paper, but I had to jump to Grade 3 for VC paper for the most part using the same negative.
It is an interesting thread this, and I'm learning quite a bit about pyro developers. I might get some just for the heck of it to try in very large brightness range photos.
Given the time period most likely a mature replenished dev.
Not sure if he processed them himself. Did he ?
Yes I jump a grade as well.
For split printing Non Stain normal scene I will start at about grade 1
For split printing Pyro somewhat normal scene I will start at about grade 2.
Ralph L had some points about 00 and Ilford Warmtone not recording well.
With Pyro negs I can confirm that 0 or 00 is not great with Ilford WT .
I found this out on a sheet of film of one of the most beautiful portraits I have ever worked on.
Tibetan Warriour- photographed in a black tent with very mininmal exposure on the film. At the time I was doing 0 and 5 splits and my client pointed out to me that my blacks though detailed were not black enough. We moved up a grade and man did the print pop.
from that day on I only use 0 or 00 with Ilford Warmtone as an accent of extra tool to place tone in difficult highlights and I do not recommend splitting with 0.
This problem is very hard to see but look in your blacks, if they look a bit muddy and you are using Ilford Warmtone and splitting starting with 0 filter then move up a grade and watch some magic happen.
I disagree with most split printers on this , I only use Ilford Warmtone so maybe its not an issue with other VC papers.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
Thomas your jump from graded #2 to VC #3 seems logical to me, at least directionally.
I also agree there might be significant differences in graininess depending on the developing agent(s). Not only that but some formulas stain more than others, and more stain means less silver, and more grain masking. Plus there are some formulas like WD2D+ that stain yellow-orange. Pyrocat is reputed to be relatively fine grained although I have not tried it myself.
It's funny this thread came up now because as it happens I had just ordered a series of different formulary developers for some particular experiments and on a whim decided to throw in a few tanning developers just for fun since I have not used one in quite some time. I might try them with 35mm. Never used a staining developer on anything smaller than 4x5 before. I doubt I'll end up switching, but always fun to rediscover things. For good measure I included The Book of Pyro in my order. Finally gave in on that one.
He had the ability to hire some real fancy pancy printers in the day, I swear its pyro without the stain.
No I do not think he processed them himself, though I am sure he looked at every negative..
Lots of people used a mature replenished line, others flew with film to Picto to have it developed by inspection.
He was with the same group as Irving Penn and that dude really pushed the envelope when it came to film and printing, so I think for that period he could very well have been using pyro.
Penn and Avedon were great, and would leave no stone unturned.
Originally Posted by Guillaume Zuili
There are two kinds of stain, general stain is like fog, imagewise stain is proportional to silver density. Imagewise stain is the desirable one.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
There are/were Replenished non stain Pyro dev.
Best of both world.