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  1. #1

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    Pyrocat and flat scenes....

    Do you think that this dev is a good'un for flat scenes in need of expansion - what sort of capability does it offer here. I tend to shoot mountain light, water etc and find that compensation is often handy. Over the last while tho, I have started to think that the use of such devs might not provide the best look with flat scenes. I realise that the stain and tanning is proportional, but find that with VC one still needs lots of development with even a bright scene and less with graded. Those rare few flat scenes I have shot while experimenting with Dixactol/Exactol Lux shot ages back look very muddy. I am starting to think that for normal scenes a more aggressive developer might be in order. I just think that unless one is either prepared to use graded paper or develop for a long time and print on a high grade, a conventional dev like HC110/ID11 might be better????

    Any thoughts....I am a little perplexed that for some it is all they use....

    Tom

  2. #2

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    Tom, I think you're right about using pyro for contrasty scenes; like you I get compensation. The midtones I get with pyro are outstanding; very long scale negs, but I have to dial in about 1/2 grade more contrast than if I used another dev. However, the highlights are controlled and adding 1/2 grade more contrast is not much of a problem. I've also been known to add 20% to dev. times when using pyro to bring up the contrast.

    D-76 may not be your answer. It is known as a low-mid contrast dev. Something a bit beefier like Rodinal might be your dev. for low contrast scenes. But, as we know there is no magic bullet.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
    Do you think that this dev is a good'un for flat scenes in need of expansion - what sort of capability does it offer here. I tend to shoot mountain light, water etc and find that compensation is often handy. Over the last while tho, I have started to think that the use of such devs might not provide the best look with flat scenes. I realise that the stain and tanning is proportional, but find that with VC one still needs lots of development with even a bright scene and less with graded. Those rare few flat scenes I have shot while experimenting with Dixactol/Exactol Lux shot ages back look very muddy. I am starting to think that for normal scenes a more aggressive developer might be in order. I just think that unless one is either prepared to use graded paper or develop for a long time and print on a high grade, a conventional dev like HC110/ID11 might be better????

    Any thoughts....I am a little perplexed that for some it is all they use....

    Tom
    Hi Tom,
    Sandy King reported on the Azo Forum that the addition of 0.1 gram of Ascorbic Acid per liter of working developer significantly raises the activity level of Pyrocat-HD. Sandy calls this modification Pyrocat-HD+. I haven't tried it myself, but intend to do so in short order.

    The current weather in So. California is presenting me with lots of opportunities for low SBR photography!
    Tom Hoskinson
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  4. #4

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    The Azo Forum URL:

    http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/index_skip.html

    Open the Azo Forum and look under Developing Film, AZO #2 and Pyrocat-HD.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  5. #5

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    The choice of film is probably equally or possibly more important then the developer. In other words if the film is limited in its density range (BPF 200 for instance) then any developer will not afford any more then the film's capacity.

    That being said Pyro developers will give better separation in the higher negative density regions (print highlight values). The pyro developer stain color does become a factor when used with VC materials and the compensating effect on high contrast filtration. That is why I attribute Pyrocat's better print highlight separation when compared to a yellow or yellow green stain like PMK for instance.

  6. #6

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    For me, HP5 in HC-110 dil. H (1/2 dilution B) works like a champ. I rate the HP5 at ISO 200 is the light is really flat, then knock off 25% developing time, from 10 minutes to 7.5 minutes. Not a fine grain look, but lots of punch.
    "If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
    Do you think that this dev is a good'un for flat scenes in need of expansion - what sort of capability does it offer here. I tend to shoot mountain light, water etc and find that compensation is often handy. Over the last while tho, I have started to think that the use of such devs might not provide the best look with flat scenes. I realise that the stain and tanning is proportional, but find that with VC one still needs lots of development with even a bright scene and less with graded. use....

    Tom
    My recent tests in comparing PMK and Pyrocat-HD negatives printed on graded and VC papers indicate that you do indeed need a lot more contrast (CI of .70 to .75) to print on VC papers with these staining developers than on graded papers. But to get that contrast with Pyrocat-HD is very easy. All you need to do is change the dilution. I recommend the 1:1:100 dilution for printing on graded silver papers, but if that dilution does not give you enough contrast for VC papers just switch to the 2:2:100 dilution. I seriously doubt there is any scene so flat that it could not be handled with the 2:2:100 dilution with development times of 10-15 minutes.

    One of the extraordinary benefits that you will derive from optimizing your Pyrocat-HD negatives for printing on VC papers is that these negatives will have a density range that is almost perfect for printing on AZO#2 and pure palladium, which also require a negative with a CI of around .75. I had suspected this might be the case for quite some time but had not had any particular reason to test the premise until now since I rarely ever print with silver gelatin papers other than AZO.

    If anyone is interested in knowing what time is required for developing to a CI of about .75 just have a look at the CI charts in my article on pyro developers at Unblinking Eye, http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/pcat.html. Select from the charts based pm blue channel reading for your film.

    And of course, even if you are not now printing on AZO #2 or with palladium you might want to do so at some time in the future, and if that moment every comes you will have negatives of exactly the right DR to do so.

    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 01-03-2005 at 11:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    If you want to know what time is required for developing to a CI of about .75 just have a look at the CI charts in my article on pyro developers at Unblinking Eye, http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PCat/pcat.html. Select from the charts in blue channel for your film.
    Sandy,

    Thanks for the link. I'm primarly a color-landscape guy, but I've been shooting some Efke PL100 lately (although I haven't processed any of it yet) and was curious about staining developers. Your article answered a lot of questions I had. I'm looking at purchasing a Jobo CPE processor in the next couple of months - I need quicker turnaround times for my E6 than sending them to California - and your Pyrocat-HD looks like a good fit for processing the Efke.

    Thanks again,
    Robert M. Teague
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    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  9. #9
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    Tom
    I'm not sure how much effort you want to put into gaining negative contrast but here goes. I have always shot in similar lighting conditions as you refusing to shoot when the sun is up yet using Azo which has a significantly longer scale than silver. Sandy King turned me onto Semi-Stand developement which causes a marked increased in negative sharpness. This increased sharpness translates to a higher contrast index within the negative. This causes a number of elements to change, the biggest I believe to be the ability to print on softer contrast papers even though negatives were made in soft light. If you want a different look to your work this technique is worth exploring.

    There is an extended discussion on the Azo Forum which began just about a year ago next week. Look it up if you are so inclined.

    Regards, Steve

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    Sandy,

    Thanks for the link. I'm primarly a color-landscape guy, but I've been shooting some Efke PL100 lately (although I haven't processed any of it yet) and was curious about staining developers. Your article answered a lot of questions I had. I'm looking at purchasing a Jobo CPE processor in the next couple of months - I need quicker turnaround times for my E6 than sending them to California - and your Pyrocat-HD looks like a good fit for processing the Efke.

    Thanks again,
    At the time I did the pyro article I had not tested Efke PL100. Since them I have and you can find recommended times for AZO #2 with Pyrocat-HD in a recent thread on the AZO forum. These times should give good results with #2 silver VC papers.

    BTW, I am heading to Mexico tomorrow for a couple of weeks so this will be my last posting here on apug.org for a while.

    Sandy

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