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  1. #1

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    Divided Pyrocat HD, the magic bullet?

    I used Divided Pyrocat HD as I wanted to see if the Compensatory Action would prevent the whites being completely blown out which is normally what happens with this type of image. This actually worked better than expected and I actually had to add a little contrast to give it a slight lift. I metered using my Minolta Spotmeter F from the shadow area in which I wished to retain some detail and then closed down 3 stops from that to get my taking exposure.

    5"x7" Fomapan 400 @ ISO250, 1/8 sec @ f32, Divided Pyrocat HD 6 minutes both solution A+B at 25░ C. Wollensak WA Raptor 6.25inch f9 (80+ year old non-coated lens)


    Steps, Avon River, Devon. by Ed Bray, on Flickr

  2. #2
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Would you mind educating me on the "compensatory action" and what that means exactly? Is this supposed to be for specifically Dividend Pyro or any of the pyro devs?

  3. #3

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    As I understand it the compensatory action gives a full range of tones in the negative in a higher than normal contrast situation.

    Don't know if it works with other developers, I just use this one.

    There is a good thread on the Large Format Photography Forum search for 'divided' there is also one on here Divided Pyrocat HD

    Here's one I tried previously which kept details in the highlights whilst also retaining full details in the shadows.


    Redundant Pressure Filters (Tottiford Water Treatment Works) by Ed Bray, on Flickr

    And in the one below the contrast between the outside through the window and the detail in the building was huge.


    Window, Old Filter House, Tottiford by Ed Bray, on Flickr
    Last edited by Ed Bray; 07-14-2013 at 04:38 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added additional example

  4. #4
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    The thought behind compensation is that as density grows in the highlight areas the developer gets used up and at a certain point even exhausts itself, it is thought to be a local effect with the hope that it affects just the most dense parts of the negative. It s designed to allow easier printing, a straight print with no (at least less) burn, dodge, ... Stand developing has the same intent. This is also one of the intents of staining developers.

    Mathematically the way it can be graphed/visualized on the film curve is as a manipulation of the shoulder, bending it over sooner/flattening it out sooner/shortening the curve more, than with non-compensating methods.

    The shorter film curve gets more detail into the papers printable range and get you "some more" detail, but there is no free lunch and this is not a magic bullet, as the OP found local contrast is affected and contrast adjustments are normally required to get things looking right.

    It isn't a matter of "if you have to adjust" it is a matter of "how, where, and when".

    Photography is a dance between paper and scene and there are lots of ways to get from a to b in this dance. Each path has its own advantages and failings.

    One of the alternatives is printing a normally developed negative and using a bit of burning. Burning in the highlights from a normal negative has the advantage of its highlights being at normal contrast so typically the paper grade can remain constant.

    Other ways of manipulating this are by choosing different film stocks say FP 4 instead of Delta 100, or you can print for the highlights then bleach the dark tones back a bit in the print, or ...

    The link leads to a page with a great darkroom video.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 07-14-2013 at 08:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  5. #5
    lbenac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Bray View Post
    5"x7" Fomapan 400 @ ISO250, 1/8 sec @ f32, Divided Pyrocat HD 6 minutes both solution A+B at 25░ C.
    Ed,
    A couple of question if you do not mind:
    which concentration of the A and of the B solution did you use?
    Rotary or hand?
    I am usually within range with HP5 and Pyrocat HD but you could always use a little bit more range from time to time :-)


    Cheers,

    Luc
    Field # ShenHao XPO45 - Monorail # Sinar F2
    Multi format P&S 4x5, 6x12, 6x9 # Chamonix Saber
    6x6 # Minolta Autocord, 6x9 # Kodak Medalist

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the info Mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by lbenac View Post
    Ed,
    A couple of question if you do not mind:
    which concentration of the A and of the B solution did you use?
    Rotary or hand?
    I am usually within range with HP5 and Pyrocat HD but you could always use a little bit more range from time to time :-)


    Cheers,

    Luc
    I use 1+20, typically I make up 900mls distilled water with 45mls of Pyrocat A for Solution A and I do 900mls water with 45 grams of Sodium Carbonate (Anhydrous) for solution B.

    Rotary processed in Expert Drums (3006 or 3010) on a CPP2 for 6 minutes each solution

    The best range I actually managed was on the internal shot of the Window, Old Filter House looking out of the window, the marks shown in the top of the window are from the skylight best seen in the Redundant Filters Image above it. The dynamic range of the grating inside to the outside was amazing and with most other developers would certainly have been too much for them to handle.

  7. #7
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    I have used this as well a few times. Indeed, it holds highlights and shadows extremely well. Care must be taken when using this though, because a normal scene might become difficult to print. http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...mageuser=41654 that was using pyrocat in an almost completely dark Kiva.
    K.S. Klain

  8. #8

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    Divided/two-bath development is different than one-bath compensating development. Compensating development typically produces a more gradual shouldering effect while two-bath development is supposed to give a straighter line. This of course depends on the film and the developer.

    The critical variable with divided Pyrocat is to get the agitation right in the second bath. With a Carbonate second bath development is very rapid and it can be tricky to get even development. For example if you're doing this in a tank it can be problematic if one gently pours in bath B in the usual way one fills a tank. You're better off lowering the reel(s) into full tanks. Experimentation is required with sheet film as well.

  9. #9
    lbenac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Bray View Post
    I use 1+20, typically I make up 900mls distilled water with 45mls of Pyrocat A for Solution A and I do 900mls water with 45 grams of Sodium Carbonate (Anhydrous) for solution B.
    Rotary processed in Expert Drums (3006 or 3010) on a CPP2 for 6 minutes each solution
    Thanks Ed. It 's going in my notebook. I have switched some time ago to 3010 with Unicolor for more even development so that is perfect.

    Cheers,

    Luc
    Field # ShenHao XPO45 - Monorail # Sinar F2
    Multi format P&S 4x5, 6x12, 6x9 # Chamonix Saber
    6x6 # Minolta Autocord, 6x9 # Kodak Medalist

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Would you mind educating me on the "compensatory action" and what that means exactly? Is this supposed to be for specifically Dividend Pyro or any of the pyro devs?
    Compensating action is a characteristic of developers which are relatively dilute with little preservative, relatively high in pH (ie they use stronger alkalis - typically Carbonate), and weakly buffered. These attributes tend to restrain highlight development. Pyro and Catechol staining developers typically fall under this category, as do formulas such as Crawley's FX-2. Dividing these types of formulas into two-bath developers (where there is zero to minimal development in bath A) is not quite the same thing. Although there will be highlight restraining action, the curve shape may not be the same, and the mechanism is different. In this type of divided development, development is limited by the amount of developing agent absorbed by the film in bath A. Bath B then activates the developer and development proceeds until the developing agents are exhausted. This is obviously different than regular time/temperature development. Not only is the curve shape different but image characteristics such as graininess and edge effects may also be different. A two-bath developer such as Pyrocat should also be differentiated from divided development with developers like D-23, where development takes place in both the "A" and "B" baths. Pyrocat is more of a "true" 2-bath developer where there is virtually no development in the first bath.

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