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  1. #1

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    My first developer!

    Hi,

    Some days ago I developed my first 3 film, all went great till I read some articles about the Pyro developer and my question is : is it so far better than the Xtol than I used for my first film ?

    I shoot with medium format 6x6 camera mostly still life and portrait pics, develop in tank and finally print on VC fiber paper, Oriental...usually. (tmax400-hp5).
    I wish get clean sharp and detailed images, which developer do you suggest to use for me purpose among : Pyrocat Hd, Pyrocat MC and moersch finol??

    I got some information about an article write by Sandy King where he wrote that the Pyrocat HD developed in stand for about 45-60 minutes mixed in 2:2:400-500 give stunning results with the maximum sharpness... any suggestions?

    This is my first post so I take this occasion to introduce myself in the community; my names is Pier and I'm writing from Italy, It's few time that I start with the photography, therefore I'm sorry for my basic question.

    Have a good day.
    Last edited by Indio; 05-28-2013 at 02:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    Staining developers; some people swear by them others swear at them. So be prepared for lots of opinions.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  3. #3

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    I'm looking for opinions...thanks

  4. #4
    mts
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    I suggest you get some experience with one conventional film/developer combination before experimenting with staining developers. In 6x6 format sharpness and grain are unlikely to be a problem, at least from the standpoint of the materials. The lens quality and camera condition will be more of a contributor to sharpness and your choice of film will contribute most to grain.
    By denying the facts, any paradox can be sustained--Galileo

  5. #5

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    it's true but I would like compared at the xtol and do some test... I can't wait because I 'm too curious to know more!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indio View Post
    it's true but I would like compared at the xtol and do some test... I can't wait because I 'm too curious to know more!
    It sounds like you are about to enter the phase where you are so excited by what you are doing that you start reading articles and posts by people who say 'the results are stunning' leaving you feeling that your results aren't. So you start buying different films and a myriad different chemicals and chasing rainbows thinking that another product someone else is raving about will make you better. We've all been there and most of us still are. So, go and buy all the films and chemicals and experiment to your hearts content because it is generally by these means that you will come to realise that the more you experiment, the less you know.

    Then you'll probably decide to use one film and one set of chemistry in order to try and understand the characteristics. From there you'll tweak one variable at a time as you realise that you're in for the long haul, a marathon and not a sprint. Few people know the characteristics of the products better than the manufacturers, this must be especially true for the very established ones. There is much to be gained by meticulously following their standard usage recommendations in order to perfect your workflow. From there you can begin drilling deeper and tweaking. Film and chemicals are like fine old friends. It takes a long time to get to know them, but once you start to understand and develop a relationship the rewards are great.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    LJH
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    Where you'll find a distinct benefit with Pyro is in divided development. It's a big topic, so I would suggest that you Google it…

    Xtol is a fantastic developer, though, and you should make sure that, whatever you decide to try, there is a marked improvement over the Xtol.

  8. #8

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    Dear Indio,

    First, there are no magic developers. Second, as Ghostman wrote above, we all go through the same stage of looking for that magic developer so enjoy yourself, it's great fun. One thing I would like to add is that often people seem to decide one developer is amazing because they got it right the first time (not necessarily the second or third time though ;>) ) so watch out for that.

    Neal Wydra

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indio View Post
    is it so far better than the Xtol than I used for my first film ?
    No.

    Each developer simply brings slightly different characteristics and strengths into the process, and all the advantages are trade-offs, you give up some characteristic of the "old" developer to get different characteristic in the "new" one.

    This trading of characteristics can help you refine the look of your prints but with just 3 rolls under your belt I doubt you even have a baseline to measure from.

    XTol is a great developer. You can modify dilution or use it replenished, each different scheme you use with XTol will get you slightly different results.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indio View Post
    I'm looking for opinions...thanks
    They are not better or worse. Just a little different in how they work. They are however a little more finicky to use (at least most of them are). They also typically cost you a little film speed.

    Be very careful what you read about staining developers. Most of it is anecdotal nonsense.

    If you want to compare a staining and non-staining developer (or any developer comparison for that matter), you have to print the negatives. Pyro negatives will look different by visual inspection, so don't try to evaluate them that way, especially at first.

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