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  1. #1
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    PMB Pyro-Metol-Borax film developer

    THE BRITISH JOURNAL PHOTOGRAPHIC ALMANAC 1952 156o

    Pyro-Metol-Borax Fine-Grain Developer

    Metol 2 gm.
    Sodium sulphite (anhydrous) 100 gms.
    Pyro 2 gm.
    Borax 6 gms.
    Water, to 1 litre


    Dissolve in water in the above order.


    The above developer originated by P. C. Smethurst and referred to as PMB is thoroughly efficient and possesses novel properties. Of the D-76 type with hydroquinone replaced by pyro and adjusted by borax to pH 7.6 to offset pyro acidity, this formula gives excellent shadow detail and good tone separation, producing negatives with very low fog level. John Scott Simmons, F.R.P.S., of Melbourne, states that this formula gives negatives of high resolution, good grain, and all the pyro characteristics in the shadows, with no clogging in the high lights. With agitation every two minutes in the tank at 68° F./20° C., Soft Gradation Pan Plates require 18 minutes, whilst Super XX films give first-class negatives in 15 to 18 minutes. Slightly pink in colour, this developer keeps very well and is stated by Mr. Simmons to be specially suited to 16 mm. negative film, the time for Eastman Plus X at 68° F./20° C. developed in drum and tank being 11 minutes.


    B.J., 1951, Aug. 10, p. 4 10.


    Notes:

    Originally published to make 500cc, and I've added the Centigrade figures.

  2. #2
    Trask's Avatar
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    Ian,

    Having no experience with pyro developers, I'm not sure if "pyro" as used in this formula is pyrogallol or pyrocatechin. When you search on "pyro" at Photog Formulary, both come up.

    Looks like an interesting formula to try out. Thanks

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    When the word Pyro is used in a formula it's always Pyrogallol, I've not tried this developer but the implication is it's finer grained than D76.

    Pyrogallol was used in commercial D&P developers by both Ilford & Kodak because it gives clean working negatives with less base fog. A cleaner working developer will have better tonality.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    Well known pyro-metol formula is Pyro-Triethanolamine. Some time ago I was playing with Pyro+Phenidone developer with next fine grain formula:

    RD-108
    Sodium sulphite 50g
    Pyrogallol 6g
    Phenidone 0.2g
    Water 1l
    pH 8.1

    starting dev.time 9-12min.

  5. #5
    pentaxpete's Avatar
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    I found this in the 'BJ Almanac' and made it up and developed some outdated Kodak Tri-X 120 film in it -- time needed was 13 mins -- it did not keep well though.
    An 'Old Dog still learning New Tricks !

  6. #6
    Trask's Avatar
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    Pentaxpete: and how did the images come out? What did you think of the developer?

  7. #7

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    Ian, interesting formula. Clearly intended to be a solvent developer and would not tan/stain. Regarding superaditivity, I would have thought at pH 7.6 and with that ratio of Metol to Pyro, the Pyro would be doing nearly nothing - perhaps a slight regenerative effect on the Metol, but I wonder if you could simply do a "Haist-76" adjustment (ie eliminate the Pyro and slightly increase the Metol or Borax - or perhaps no adjustment at all). It would be interesting to compare that to this version.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Michael the original Kodak Fine grain developer used only Metol, I've posted it here on APUG. The so called Haist version based on this.

    There's two interesting articles on the Moderrn uses of Pyro written late 1930's and eearly 40's that I must put online.

    Ian

  9. #9
    Trask's Avatar
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    I would look forward to reading them.

  10. #10
    Murray Kelly's Avatar
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    14 fl. oz?

    Ian I am still unable to equate 14 fl.oz. to approx 1.5L. 14 fl. oz. is nearer 400ml. Could you check that source again, please?
    Sounds more like 140 oz. or about 2 US gallon maybe? 14oz is rather left-field to me.

    Metol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 gr (2g)
    Sodium Sulphite (anhyd) . . . . . . 400gr (100g)
    Borax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 gr (2g)
    Water to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 ozs *** (If US oz 1600ml - UK 1540ml)

    Murray

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Michael the original Kodak Fine grain developer used only Metol, I've posted it here on APUG. The so called Haist version based on this.

    There's two interesting articles on the Moderrn uses of Pyro written late 1930's and eearly 40's that I must put online.

    Ian
    Last edited by Murray Kelly; 04-17-2013 at 10:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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