How will I know whether I've overdeveloped or underdeveloped with Pyrocat-HD? I've never used a staining developer and I'm going to try my first negatives with it tomorrow. These negatives are something that I can repeat and probably will if tonight's negatives in D76 stock are anything to judge by.
Is it best to only use the developer once? I'll be developing Tri-X 320 and Maco IR with it.
Diane, we had a very good discussion on Pyrocat-HD earlier in the chat room tonight. First, my understanding is that Pyrocat-HD is best used one-shot. Since my experience with it is limited, there are others that can better answer the question about over/under developed better than I can. One thing I can tell you is try using the times listed over at Unblinking Eye. Oh yeah, if memory serves me correctly you use a Jobo drum for processing, so if you use a water stop bath be sure to do a least 6 full fill and dumps or use a very weak acid stop (I learned this the hard way, ended up with dichroic fog) and also be sure to use fresh fix since this is the first attempt with Pyrocat-HD.
Can you tell I have learned things the hard way?
Good luck and let us know how it works out, since I'm still working with this developer...all be it with different film (Efke PL100).
Although there is a brown stain it is not pronounced. The negatives should appear relatively normal in crontrast. Pryrocat HD is a pretty forgiving developer. The density range visually will be much the same as negatives developed in D76.
The film I have the most experience with in Pyrocat HD is 35mm Pan F+. I give a 5 minute pre-soak in tap water and delevop them for 26 minutes with stand development...no development after the first minute of continous agigtation. @ 70ºF. I fill a container holding 3 liters of water and I put in 12ML of part A and 9 grams of sodium carbonate,,,use washing soda from the grocery store. 9 grams of sodium carbonate is about 2 level teaspoons full.
Pyrocat HD makes beautifully sharp negatives with fine gradation. Best B&W developer this old dog has ever used.
The only sure means of testing for over and under development is to evaluate how well they print on the paper or process that you use.
Originally Posted by colrehogan
Donald is correct, just print to see what you have. If you will keep track of your technique with decent notes, things will fall into place quickly. Forget about the stain and just look at the prints. If your notes are good (time, temp, agitation cycle, etc.) it won't take too long to see what is there in a print.
Film tests are the way to go with any film-developer combination, but many people don't like to test because it takes a bit of time to see results. In the long run, it is much faster to do tests first, then just take the pictures. tim
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I was looking at my D76 negs as they dried hanging in the shower late last night and despite what I'd typed before, noticed that they probably look all right. I never really paid much attention to how different the IR negs looked until I saw the same scenes shot with IR/non-IR films last night. Amazing how a late night can affect the way you see things.
Three good references (the two at unblinkingeye and the photographer's formulary)
One of the articles at unblinkingeye is written by Sandy King, the second by Clay Harmon.
Please note that you can use pyrocat in trays, tanks or tubes, you just need to adjust for each methods idiosyncracies.
Also, most directions state not to use a stop bath, just water, since the stop bath reduces the level of staining. (I have no info on using tubes and stop baths.)
Clay Harmon's Article
Sandy King's Article
The Formulary's Directions
Just for the record, while I don't specifically recommend againt a plain water stop bath, I don't recommend it either. I use an acetic acid stop bath of about 1/2 normal strength with all pyro staining developers and have not seen any loss of image stain.
Originally Posted by jtsatterlee
Thanks to all who replied. I finished developing about an hour ago. Everything looks okay (I think.).
FWIW, I've used regular strength acedic acid stop for years and have never had a problem with acheiving properly stained negatives. This is after comparing with stoppng with a water bath stop years ago. Unfortunately a water bath stop does not immediately stop development. Based on my experience, the utility or advantage of a water bath stop is a myth.
Originally Posted by sanking
My 2 cents,